posted 9 Apr 2009 in Volume 12 Issue 6
Mixing business with pleasure
David Gurteen champions networking for a living
People often ask me how I earn a living as I do much for free and it is not obvious how I market my services and earn money.
My goal is not to build a business but to do what I love; to make a difference in the world and earn a living while doing it.
What do I do for free? I maintain my website, I publish my monthly knowledge letter, run open knowledge cafés, write articles and more besides. What do I do for money? I give keynote talks, facilitate workshops, and consult and run knowledge cafes. But how do I find my work? Let me explain by way of a story.
In November 2006, I ran a workshop for Ark Group at its annual KM Asia conference in
But as a result of the
Here the story takes an interesting turn as, while in
At dinner, my host said “You do remember me don’t you David?” I had to admit that I didn’t. It turned out that I had met him at a KM Conference in
To complete the story, while I was at the conference in Hong Kong I met a French woman who spent part of her year teaching KM at a University in Oslo and the rest in Bangkok. We got to know each well as we both post photos of our travels on Flickr and realised that our paths often crossed.
While in Bangkok she introduced me to people at the University, which in turn led to my giving a keynote talk and running a knowledge café in Bangkok in January 2008, while I was there doing work for IBM. That work that had been cemented during a meeting I had when popping into
My French friend was also instrumental to my giving a keynote talk in
Do you get the idea? I don’t do any marketing or selling in the traditional sense. All my work is gained through networking and building relationships with people. My website, knowledge letter and use of social tools play a major part. And my knowledge cafés, both the ones I run at conferences and the open ones that I organise for my community when visiting any large city, are all part of my networking.
I love meeting and working with people – that’s my strength and I play to it. What better way to travel the world, meet interesting people, and earn a living.
You might like to think about how networking could work for you.
David Gurteen will be running a Knowledge Café with Ark Group in
David is founder of Gurteen Knowledge. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org