People have often asked me how I built my company. I answer in one word: networking. Actually, when I began Jameson Management, it was me, myself, and I!! My husband, John and I were working together in his practice and we were doing quite well, in spite of a painful recession in the oil producing states, including our state, Oklahoma. John’s colleagues, as well as our supply and lab representatives asked if I could go into other practices and teach others what we were doing in our practice to not only survive the recession, but to, in fact, thrive.
My background was education, so I thought, “Well, I’m a teacher, so I guess I can teach this, as well,” So, I wrote the curriculum—and off I went.
Soon, I realized that this small task that I had been asked to do was growing much faster and much larger than I could have ever imagined, so I incorporated and Jameson Management, Inc. was born. But, I had no money, no employees, and no organization behind me. I was a one woman show. Sure, I was married to a dentist. But, he was very busy in his practice and he was chairside!!! I built the company by getting out amongst the people, finding out who was out there doing what and learning about the industry as a whole. I wanted to know the who, what, where, how, and why of everything. I went to the conventions and walked the floors to meet the people, see what they were doing, what was happening, what the new products were, the new equipment, the new people. I scheduled breakfasts, lunches, dinners, coffees, etc., to meet people find out about them and to see what I could do for them—if anything.
Since I didn’t have any money, I didn’t have any funds for marketing, so I wrote articles. I wrote articles for every magazine that was interested. I found out what they wanted. I wrote to meet their needs. I found out what they wanted, I met their deadlines. I wrote the appropriate number of words. I wrote well, edited well, and was an asset to them—not a pain. Then, I started doing workshops, seminars, study clubs—for anyone, anywhere—usually for expenses only. Then, someone actually paid me to speak!!! Wow!!! And, then, I was invited to speak at the Chicago Midwinter, and the rest is history!!! My engagement there came about because of networking.
John and I often invite people with whom we work to our ranch in Oklahoma and treat them with the grace, respect, and care that they deserve and which is a part of the hospitality that is natural for us. We love for people to come to our ‘home on the range’ and once they sit beneath our western sky, our connection is forever.
We network. We love the people with whom we work. That goes for our network partners and our team members. We care about them. We give without expecting to receive. It is in the giving that we receive. We believe that and live by that. We give without hesitation and without expectation. We give because we want to.
Networking is the key to success. Networking takes time, effort, and love. Networking means being yourself. Networking means putting forth lots of effort. Networking means getting out there. Networking means being present, showing up, being seen, connecting, being kind, going the extra mile, Networking: the ultimate connection.