Answers To 2 Questions That Should Be In Your Networking Arsenal

Networking. It’s essential if you want to advance.

The bigger your network, the more connections you have. The more connections you have, the better the chance of landing a new job, advancing your career, forming a partnership, maybe even finding your spouse.

You have to do it and you have to do it well.

Image by Ludovic Bertron

You get prepared for the networking event by dressing to the nines. Grabbing your best briefcase. And freshening up.

But do you have the most important tool to effectively network? Jane Friedman gives us two essential tools for effective networking.

She recently published a post telling us what 2 questions you should memorize for networking events. The two questions come from Michael Ellsberg. They were great questions and I thought it would be fun to share my current answers on the blog.

So here we go:

  1. What’s most exciting for you right now in your life/business?
    I have a couple of exciting things happening in my life.
    First is my blog. I’m able to influence and encourage other leaders. Giving the tools and resources to growing leaders is a joy.

    Next comes relationship with my wife. We’re growing closer. A couple of weeks ago we started a devotional book that has been challenging us. It focuses on specific areas of your life for each of the twelve months. While it can be tough, it has also been rewarding. Learning more about each other and going deeper in our faith.

    Lastly, are the business ideas that are brewing. I’ve got ideas for two products and at least one other website. I’m busy trying to put things together and see how they all fit. I’m hoping that I’ll have something released by the end of the year.

  2. What’s challenging for you in your life/business right now?
    Just like the exciting events in my life, there are a couple of challenges.
    Time management has been a huge challenge for me. Between working full time, running the blog, and volunteering in our youth group it feels like there is no time left. I know I have to prune and trim things back to allow myself to flourish. The challenge is knowing what those things are.

    Product development… I have ideas of products and other blogs I would like to create but it’s been challenging to get the ideas onto paper and into a physical form. This needs to become a priority before they fall by the wayside.

    Organization. Most of my life I’ve been a fairly sloppy guy in regards to my housekeeping. Piles of paper, music, and junk pile up and it stays there. I know I need to get things organized and ready for the great things that are about to happen. Yet it’s probably been the hardest thing for me to deal with.

My answers to these two questions will change over time but it’s great to have answers lined up. Also important is to have questions like this lined up when you’re out networking.

Getting potential clients and business partners to interact with you and give you pertinent information is vital. These two questions will give you a good insight into their life.

Now get out there and become the networking machine that you were born to be!

Questions: How would you answer these 2 networking questions? What other questions are valuable to effective network? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • My upcoming trip to Guatemala is probably the most exciting thing in my life right now. My most challenging this is time management. I feel like it’s go-go-go all the time. I need to perform some triage on my calendar, and I need to learn to say no (once I figure out what things should go).

    • That trip to Guatemala sounds like it will be a life changer Jon. Looking forward to hearing all about your experience!

  • For me it’s the public speaking events I have coming up at the end of this month and the end of this year. It’s my book being published later this year and finally leaving my day job to pursue my true calling. It’s also moving to Hawaii!
    The challenge is time: time to write (I have a lot of things to write like speeches, blog posts, guest post, revisions on the book, new books) and keeping a proper balance with everything. I know it’s a good problem to have! Praise the Lord for His goodness!

    • I can understand the upcoming speaking gigs being exciting! And you’ve got quite a few other exciting events coming up as well.

      Time management can be a struggle. It’s something that takes time to work on and create a plan that works well for you. But keep at it and you’re going to go far.

  • 1, Seeing God work in my life and the lives around me. Falling more and more in love with my spouse as God reveals His plan in our lives. Seeing God use me through my blog.

    2. Time management. Waiting on God’s timing (I want to be published, but it’s really not about me- it’s about His will). Having others not understand the things God has laid on my heart- our nation. God is pressing upon me that our nation needs to return to HIM, but it seems so many are asleep and blinded. It doesn’t help that our media is doing a poor job of informing us.

    • You’ve got some awesome reasons to be excited TC!

      It seems a lot of people struggle with time management. It’s not the easiest thing to get under control, I know I haven’t. Just keep working at it and you’ll notice it improving.

      • I’ve come to realize that even if I had an extra 10 hours in my day it would never be enough, instead I must ask God to direct me to accomplish His tasks each day.

  • The most exciting thing is my boss continuing to give me opportunities to grow. I also seem to be hitting my stride with my blog.
    The most challenging thing are some peope issues and learning about a sister department.

    • Larry, that is wonderful that your boss is giving you opportunities to grow. Can’t beat that!

  • Able to share more about that devotional book you are doing with your wife? Sounds like a good one. (author, title)

    The most exciting thing right now is being able to devote most of my time to purpose pursuit. That has not been the case before and am excited to have more time to write and build content (books, ebooks, posts, curriculum development, networking e.t.c)

  • The most exciting thing is to be immersed, writing, teaching writing, Courage to Write, workshops around Pasadena, particularly to homless women or women in transition, and to share our oneness in diversity, our voices, and see people emerge and crystallize. The challenge is to handle an action packed life, an activist life, an author’s life, a wife’s life, a Baha’i’s life, a racial justice advocate’s life, and mostly a devotee of Pug Dog’s lives, but chiefly, an immersion into service through writing classes in the world. We all have something to say! PS I have 2 books, Without A Net, a Sojourn in Russia, and You Carry the Heavy Stuff – voices within range from buoyant pathos, to lyrical writing, to spiritual subjects and how easy it is to eat a Falafel at the Mercatz in Haifa on top of Mount Carmel, Israel.

    • Wow Esther! It sounds like you have a lot on your plate. I like that you’re a devotee of Pug Dogs. I love the way they look. They’re so cute.

      I’ve never heard of a Baha’i. What is that?

      • Hi Joe, I’m sitting here thatched headed – not always sure i find all messages. http://www.Baha‘ A quick view-first email me at, thus I can answer any questions. The Baha’i Faith is the world’s latest religion, taking in the concept that there is one God, an Unknowable Essence, and that in essence the core of the World’s Revealed Religion is one and the same, and they all are to educate humankind at the particular age, and carry forth an ever-advancing civilization. The social laws change for the day and age. all of the Prophets/Messengers/Divine luminaries, Manifestations have 2 stations: one of an abstract unity, essential oneness-like the Sun. the sun represents God, we cannot know its essence, but by its rays we can know it’s attributes. so, mankind’s purpose for this day is esssentially this, We are all “fruits of one tree, leaves of one branch.” Much much more; hope this helps; regards, esther

        • Thanks for the information Esther. You learn something new every day!

  • Joseph, I loved your two questions. I’ve just transitioned from being a senior pastor to the brave new world of coaching and church consulting. I’m realizing that networking is absolutely critical. thanks for the post

    • You’re welcome Charles! Sounds like you’ve made some major changes in your life. Here’s to a great and exciting time as you transition!

      What made you decide to transition from a senior pastor to a coach and counselor?

  • Most of your answers are the same answers I would have said. That’s pretty cool. It sounds like we are in a similar season of life.

    My blog and how it’s adding value to others.

    The new season of life with having a new baby boy. It’s been great to have him home and spend time with him.

    I also have some eBooks, resource, and other sites I’m thinking about and working on.

    I’m still getting subjected on having a new baby. I’m trying to find a balance between work, serving at my church, family, and my writing.

    Trying to figure out how to develop all the products and resources that I have been thinking about.

    Great post and questions.

    • Awesome Dan! I can’t wait to see what eBooks and products you have in the pipeline. And I can only imagine what life must be like with a new baby. I’m sure it’s exciting!

      • Thanks man. It is very exciting and wonderful. It just shifted my priority’s and focus.

  • Great questions!

    Also, no matter what questions are being asked, the key is to focus on how I can serve and add value to the people with whom I’m networking.

    • That’s a great point to remember Kent. If you’re not focusing on the value you can give to others, the answers won’t interest the other party.

  • Awesome post. Well I would have to say that what’s exciting in Life and business right now is the fact that my Networking business is thriving and I’m growing other Leaders. In family life, my wife, daughter and I are spending more time with each other daily. LOVE IT!

    The Challenging part of things are similar to yours. I have so many ideas for Seminars, Products to help my team and market, other websites and staying focused on completing that and writing a book for Leaders. Its tough, but its a great problem to have.

    • Lincoln, that’s awesome! Glad to hear that you’re networking and growing. Keep it up.

  • Jack Lynady

    Nice read Joe. The most exciting thing going on right now is collaborating with other content creators on a project and it is also the most challenging. We are somewhat in what Seth refers to as “the dip”. I am really wanting to see this thing get legs under it but all the players including myself have other irons in the fire. I am just hoping we can pull it off. Suggestions?

    • Jack, that does sounds pretty exciting! I’m looking forward to seeing what comes out of the pipeline.

      That’s always tough when we have so many other irons in the fire. I’d say look at what’s most important, focus on those, and squeeze in the less important ones until you get things going.

  • I feel a certain amount of excitement in uncertainty… it is good knowing that God has my back and that many things that I used to fear are silly. From that point of view, there are lots of things going on that are edge-of-your-seat exciting.. but I am most excited about His perfect plan!!

    • Great Chris! Can’t wait to see some of the edge-of-your-seat exciting things come to fruition!

  • Joe, I know I am responding late, but I was reading this post and had to comment. We may be related. The list of challenges you gave are my top three challenges. My top is organization. I spend more time hunting for things I need than working on what I need to work on. I have several products I need to develop, but my management of time delays me. I am working to improve each.

    • Nothing wrong with jumping in late Bernard! Always welcome the discussion even if it’s later than most.

      Well welcome to the family my brother from another mother! (-; Or is it just joining the club?

      Try writing down the most important tasks that need to be completed. And do those first. For the project, break it down into individual parts and complete them in pieces. You’ll see progress and be encouraged to complete the projects.

      Do you have any suggestions on how we could overcome these challenges?

      • I feel privilege to be in the family. I have been breaking down my larger goal into smaller action steps. It has been working. I have a working plan that has help organize my time during the day. It is helped with family time , exercise, recreation activities and working on my blog. I have each hour pretty much accounted for. It still is a work in progress, but it is working. I have stay focus and not go off chasing rabbits. You will be hearing more from me.

        • Glad to hear it’s working for you Bernard. Looking forward to the great things that you’ll be doing.