Johnny Appleseed Knew What He Was Doing: Power Networking Tips & Techniques

Johnny Appleseed Knew What He Was Doing: Power Networking Tips & Techniques by Rae Stonehouse, Okanagan-based Author, Speaker, Speech/Presentations Coach, Power Networker & Toastmaster Extraordinaire.  Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.Legend has it that Johnny Appleseed traveled the American countryside spreading apple seeds randomly, everywhere he went.

In fact, according to Wikipedia, he planted nurseries rather than orchards, built fences around them to protect them from livestock, left the nurseries in the care of a neighbor who sold trees on shares, and returned every year or two to tend the nursery.

Many people’s business networking activities can be a lot like randomly spreading those apple seeds. Some might grow but most likely left to their own, they will fail to develop and eventually die off.

Relationships need to benurtured. Often the wordcultivatedis used to describe what needs to take place for a relationship to grow. Both words are really describing an active interest, desire and taking action oriented steps to develop a relationship with another individual.

So how does onecultivatea relationship? I have some cynical colleagues who would say that would treat them the same way as you would cultivate mushrooms. You keep them in the dark and feed them BS [male cow manure.] I would suspect that they have few quality connections. I certainly wouldn’t want to be connected to them with that attitude.

Let’s leave the agriculture analogy for a while and go to back to the question of how does one cultivate a relationship?

Consider these following steps or actions:(They aren’t necessarily in the order that you would take. Relationship building can be more of a circuitous journey rather than a lineal one.)

  • Research the individual. Check them out on Linkedin. Find out what their vocation and background is.
  • Invite them out for coffee. Look for common interests.
  • Be on the lookout for resource materials related to their interests and forward it on to them.
  • Send them thank you notes or appropriate gifts to recognize help that they have provided to you.
  • Send congratulatory messages e.g. cards/notes by snail mail or perhaps by e-mail for important milestones both personal and business. Seeing their name in the paper can be a great opportunity to drop them a note and congratulate them, assuming it wasn’t in Crime Stoppers or the Most Wanted List of course.
  • If you are comfortable in doing so, send them business referrals. The law of reciprocity says that if you do something good for somebody else they in turn will do something good for you.
  • Perhaps you have heard of the concept of “unconditional love?” To successfully cultivate a relationship you can’t put terms in place. Doing so could jeopardize the relationship.
  • Don’t appear to be a stalker with your focused interest.

So far we have been looking atactivesteps that you can take. For a relationship to develop you have to be open to sharing of yourself. It can’t be a one way transaction. There has to be a payoff for you as well.

Getting back to that agricultural analogy of cultivating, sometimes you have to do some pruning to help strengthen your plantings. The same thing applies to your network. There will always be people that are suspicious of your motives or intentions. Perhaps this isn’t somebody that you want in your network.

There will also be people that once you get to know them, you find that you really don’t want to associate with them. It might be necessary to sever all ties with the individual. If you aren’t comfortable dealing with or relating to an individual you are unlikely to want to refer them to another connection. Their behaviour could have the undesirable affect of reflecting on you and your business.

An interesting side note mentioned in the Wikipedia article stated that apple trees grown from seed are rarely sweet or tasty, more on the sour side, which was apparently perfect for producing hard cider and applejack back in those days. Modern day orchardists plant strains of trees that consistently produce a fruit that is desirable and marketable. There is no use in providing all the labour in cultivating a crop if you aren’t able to realize a bountiful harvest.

So when it comes to business networking will you randomly toss out those seeds or will you take your time and cultivate a manageable amount of productive connections? Your choice … sweet or sour?


Rae Stonehouse

Author Bio:

Rae A. Stonehouse is a Canadian born author & speaker. His professional career as a Registered Nurse working predominantly in psychiatry/mental health, has spanned four decades.

Rae has embraced the principal of CANI (Constant and Never-ending Improvement) as promoted by thought leaders such as Tony Robbins and brings that philosophy to each of his publications and presentations.

Rae has dedicated the latter segment of his journey through life to overcoming his personal inhibitions. As a 20+ year member of Toastmasters International he has systematically built his self-confidence and communicating ability. He is passionate about sharing his lessons with his readers and listeners. His publications thus far are of the self-help, self-improvement genre and systematically offer valuable sage advice on a specific topic.

His writing style can be described as being conversational. As an author Rae strives to have a one-to-one conversation with each of his readers, very much like having your own personal self-development coach. Rae is known for having a wry sense of humour that features in his publications.

Author of Self-Help Downloadable E-Books:

Power Networking for Shy PeoplePower Networking for Shy People: Tips & Techniques for Moving from Shy to Sly!

PROtect Yourself!PROtect Yourself! Empowering Tips & Techniques for Personal Safety: A Practical Violence Prevention Manual for Healthcare Workers.

E=Emcee SquaredE=Emcee SquaredTips & Techniques to Becoming a Dynamic Master of Ceremonies.

Power of PromotionPower of Promotion: On-line Marketing for Toastmasters Club Growth


Phone Rae 250-451-6564 or

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Copyright 2016 Rae Stonehouse. The above document may be freely copied and distributed as long as the author’s name and contact info remain attached.

To learn more about Rae A. Stonehouse, visit the Wonderful World of Rae Stonehouse at http://raestonehouse.com

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