Something about all of us

business-relationshipsToday the Design and Construction Network will break 1,800 members, our expansion into Philadelphia for the next networking event is already exceeding expectations, and to date over 500 people that have attended our networking events in Washington DC. It leaves me wondering how it is that the network has experienced such incredible growth.

Something about all of us

I am not alone when I say that, when it comes down to it, I just want to be myself. I want to laugh with friends, experience the ups and downs of life, and leave the world a better place than I left it. I have found more value in relationships than in money, and more monetary profit in building friendships than in making a sale.

Actually, not only do I think I am not alone in these thoughts, I believe that I am in the majority. Yet somehow in business many of us seem to have gotten off track; we have traded relationships for things of lesser value.  We often know that the best results are found in the long-term, but find it difficult when we see the immediate results of others that are focused on short-term success.

Back to the network, back to you.

The Design and Construction Network isn’t a success because of me, it is a success because of great people like Mark Buckshon, Matt Handal, Melissa Allen, Deborah Hayward, Kevin Smith, (the list truly goes on and on) that believe in building long-term relationships, not just creating value for themselves (note that I did not exclude it being of value for them also, I personally believe and hope that each of these people receive a ten fold return from the network). They are great people that simply want to be themselves, to help others, and to laugh with friends. Success is being born simply by bringing these types of people together and building positive momentum towards a shared goal of building relationships.

Your turn

This week it is your turn, to be yourself. To get back to the passions that brought you to where you are at today, to laugh with friends this week, to experience the ups and downs of life, and leave the world a better place than you left it. I hope this week that you experience the long-term gain of helping your friends and building some new relationships.

Online Networking and Real Relationships

dcdcn

Back in November, 2008 the Design and Construction Network (DCN) started with a single goal of turning online networking into real relationships. Since that time I have shared with you this ongoing case study through Cofebuz in hopes that we all might learn how to better leverage online networking sites to achieve the goal of fostering real business relationships.

Needless to say, the past seven weeks have beyond exceeded my expectations for the DCN. Here are just some of the highlights:

  1. The network has grown from 480 members to over 1100 members nationally
  2. For our second Happy Hour we had to close down a restaurant in Arlington Virginia to the general public as 323 members converged to attend, representing over 200+ design and construction firms.
  3. Members of the network have found new ways to connect in person, including the creation of a Design and Construction Network team that will be competing at the 2009 Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Real Estate Games! (www.realestategames.org)
  4. In the last several days members have proactively initiated the establishment of a Twitter group for anyone in the industry that is looking to connect via Twitter. (http://twittgroups.com/group/designconstructi)

The question people always ask is “where do you go from here?” The answer is simple and exciting: we are going to continue to focus on helping others develop relationships in the industry. To achieve this goal we are working to roll out some incredible changes. I am personally most excited about a new partnership that is unfolding which will help everyone in the network, not just those that are local to one of our Happy Hour locations.

In the next several weeks I will be making this new partnership public, but until then let me encourage you to think about the time you spend networking online. Are you truly building relationships, or just collecting links?

Tim Klabunde

If you would like to join the Design and Construction Network just use this link and click “Join Now.” http://www.linkedin.com/groupInvitation?gid=926787

The Network goes National

This past week I received multiple calls and e-mails from people across the United States that wanted to take the Washington DC Design and Construction Network concept to their region. Through these conversations it has become clear that the concept is larger than just the Washington DC market, and that it possibly provides the opportunity for a fresh wave of networking in our industry. On the heels of these discussions I am excited to announce that we are changing the Network to enable others in the industry to leverage a nation wide network. As of today the network has a new name; the Design and Construction Network!

The goal in building the network as a national network is to provide others with the opportunity to bridge the gap between online networking and building business. It is our hope that those I have spoken with, as well as others, will leverage the national network to bring people together not just in an online environment, but also at the local level. With that said, here are the three things you need to know about the Design and Construction Network:

  1. Happy Hours for Everyone – The primary purpose of the network is, and always has been, to bridge the gap between online networking and true relationship development. To that end, the goal for the national launch is still to facilitate in-person meetings. To accomplish this, we are looking to team with individuals in local markets that are looking to make in-person networking events a reality. If you are interested in facilitating an event in your neck of the woods, start by joining the network. Then send me a note to let me know of your interest so we can work together to make it happen.
  2. Washington DC -The Washington DC network will remain the flagship of the Network as we work to try new concepts that can be leveraged in other regions as well. The main change will be that the bi-weekly e-mail will be turned into a national newsletter. The Local website will remain at dcdcn.com and we will maintain plans to expand it to bolster benefits of being a part of the Network at the local level here in Washington DC.
  3. You – Now it is your turn to be apart of the Network… after reading posts about the Network for weeks it is your turn to jump in! All I ask is that you are serious about building relationships and not just collecting “Links.” If you are in the Design and Construction Industry please click here to become a member. I also want to recognize that over half of Cofebuz’s readers are not in the Design and Construction industry. To that end, I look forward to sharing with you the lessons learned here on Cofebuz in addition to my weekly posts on Marketing and Building Business though Social Networking.

As always, thank you for being apart of Cofebuz!

Tim Klabunde