I recently stepped down as a co-organizer of the North Texas Happy Neighborhood Project. After nine months in this role, it became very clear that this was neither an effective or efficient way to build and curate strategic relationships.
The Happy Neighborhood Project, founded and managed by Edwin Edibiri, is an interesting and novel approach to networking. It’s growth and popularity can be partly attributed to the pandemic. Other reasons for its growth include Edwin’s passion and vision, the persistence of hundreds of co-organizers and the use of technology to network.
There are five reasons why I stepped down as a co-organizer of the North Texas Happy Neighborhood Project..
- To engage more often and consistently in the required income producing activities. I must make enough telephone calls, send enough text messages and emails and do enough wellness tours to grow my business and produce income.
- Too many network marketers on the calls. I am not associated with a network marketing company. I do not like, support or promote network marketing. Most of these network marketers were trying to recruit or sell. I will never refer business to a network marketer.
- To curate a network consisting of strategic relationships with power connectors and givers in North Texas. For most of the out of state Happy Neighborhood Project attendees, there was little synergy and a low likelihood of referring business.
- I decided to concentrate on four organizations and groups in Plano, TX: the Chamber Of Commerce, The Plano West Rotary Club, The Richardson – Plano Networkers and the Dallas Meditation Center (actually in Richardson, TX).
- Takers not givers. After enough one on ones with some takers, it became clear that I would step down. Some of these people never asked how they could help or gave referrals.
Developing a valuable network starts by assessing your current one. Here are a few questions ti looked at in evaluating the value of being a co-host with the North Texas Happy Neighborhood Project. So here are five reasons why I stepped down as a co-organizer of the North Texas Happy Neighborhood Project.
How many of your current relationships would you consider strategic—meaning, you know exactly the value they can provide you, and that you can provide them? Answer: Less than 40% from the Happy Neighborhood Project.
What is your network’s strategic quotient (SQ)? Answer: It could be higher when I strategically curate power relationships.
How many different professions, industries, and communities are represented in your network? Answer: it was only four.
Do you have connections with people who are “higher up” than you as well as those who are just starting out? Answer: Not with the Happy Neighborhood Project. I was interacting with too many young people in insurance, network marketing and digital marketing.
How much do you know about the people in your network? Do you know what’s important to them in their lives and businesses? Answer: Focusing on fewer connections but diving deep.
How much do you know about the networks of the people in your network? How connected are they? Answer: With the Happy Neighborhood Project, the best relationships I built were with power connectors who were also givers.
In how many relationships are you actively providing value at least once a week, month, or quarter? Answer, with the Happy Neighborhood Project, it was only a few.
Here are some final thoughts on why I stepped down as a co-organizer of the North Texas Happy Neighborhood Project.. The Happy Neighborhood Project is an excellent resource for entrepreneurs, business owners and professional networkers. With their many tools, committed co-organizers and thousands of participants, it can be a valuable way to network. It simply was not the right way for me to curate long term strategic relationships in North Texas.