Recently My partner and I started a club Ecademy Zaanstreek, which is a sub group of Ecademy, the online international social business club. I have learnt a lot and have had loads of fun through Ecademy and the books of Seth Godin and I’m still learning everyday.
We are true believers of the power of networking, the power of social media, the principles of winning by sharing and power of the Purple Cow
We have taken the concept of social networking one step further wih our platform: What's for Dinner! The concept is perfectly simple: We have tested and discovered that when strangers get together to share a meal within the safety, warmth and familiarity of a homey environment, something amazing usually happens.
What’s for Dinner! actually functions as a leverage, facilitating offline social networking. The very nature of the setting expedites and enhances the building of long-lasting strongly connected networks as people somehow tend to let their guard down easier like this. This, as opposed to networking á la Old Style where people circled and approached each other like sharks, in their stuffy self important masks, wielding and peddling their business cards like trophies and deluding themselves as they wasted precious time.
Here, the foods is a really delicious 3 course, healthy, slow and soul food and the exciting part is that at the end, you get to decide the value of the meal and evening and reward us accordingly.
One might wonder how on earth I came upon an idea like this. Well my only true answer is that as an african, meals and mealtimes have always played a special role in community(building). Sharing meals is like a social thermometer, a traditional way of coming together, showing your strenghts and vulnerability, a way for kids to adopt social skills like taking others into consideration and learning that the survival of all depends on the support of all. (In the villages families usually eat from one bowl together.)
During these meals, friendships and alliances are reinforced, dissonances are laid to rest, strangers are shown courtesy and accorded a warm welcome; winning through sharing becomes apparent when everyone realises that by just eating enough and not more, all bellies get filled.
The adults tactfully refrain after awhile so that the little ones to who need the nutrients harder, can eat and grow. This concept can be transffered to business networks: Welcome the stranger, share what you have and give the Up-and-coming an honest chance to enable them grow.
This is what we do with What's for Dinner!
There is an African saying: I am, because we are.
For me networking has become more than just a way of life. Through What’s for dinner! we are doing what we do best and along the way, our savvy new business called Natural Born Networkers just created itself. We do it all by using social media and the purple cow for the evolution of networking.
….and we’re loving it!