THE FORM CODE
The idea that you’re doing something for money horrifies many people. Yet we ALL do it in some shape or form, and then justify in whatever manner we see as “right”. Depending on how you perceive the process of networking it could be seen as just a necessarily evil to avoid at all costs or social way of developing your business and getting out of the office.
If it wasn’t money though we’d find something else to focus on, just like the emotional needs of certain artists to be adored, laughed with and to leave their fans amazed no matter the genres or media.
No one approach, is a greater or lesser moral than the other.
You work because you need money, you get an education so that you can get a job and earn money, you perform a particular service because you need money, you build a business because you need money, you watch how you spend your money because you need to maintain your money, you’re nice to your boss and peers because you want a pay rise because you need more money, you invest your money in order to make more money. Yet somehow when we do something for money and it has something to do with business many perceive it to be dirty or sleazy. Networking is no different.
We all NEED something, and in our current financial system a large part of that is money.
Many of us are fortunate to have family and friends who we spend time with (a form of networking in itself) and believe that our actions are not motivated by anything in particular, or so we believe.
Yet if you look behind the emotional garbage, you’re still fulfilling a need by making the choices you do, and it could be more money motivated than you think. Networking is no different.
It’s a question of behavioural economics which deals with the irrational way that people behave (despite their belief in self control and logical thought) and how that affects economic transactions. This opposes the general framework of economics which basis its methodology on the premise that people employ rational thought when making decisions. Ha!
To really understand economics, and money, you must understand people, and then find the middle ground where the social norms and market norms collide (there are no norms as we know from the ups and downs of economic history and the ever changing world we live in). It’s just the same with networking.
Just think about the last time you offered to pay your family for inviting you round for dinner ? That would be like injecting a market norm into a social norm, getting you into trouble along the way as people would believe that you had somehow devalued the relationship.
It’s the same in networking and because family and friendships are seen as the social norm, when it appears that we’re injecting a market norm (business and money) into the situation we suddenly come across a “moral” or “irrational” stumbling block.
The whole thing comes down to how you frame a thing and your ability to alter your perspective depending on the circumstance as long as what you are doing in the long run is to maintain the positive balance. As Bruce Lee once said, you must become like water.
- Social vs Market Norms at Reddit (technologyreview.com)
- Breaking Social Norms (uw20sciencemediaandculture.wordpress.com)
- Zuckerberg: I know that people don’t want privacy (news.cnet.com)