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on September 27, 2010
Have you ever thought what you might do if you lost your job today? If you haven't, I invite you to think about that for a second... Asking you to think about such a thing, goes against my belief, since I like to consider myself an eternal optimist. But I recently faced that exact situation in late July and was forced to figure what my next move would be.

Should I work as many angles as possible to "re-land" the job I was set take in early August? Should I go back to the place I just submitted a letter of resignation to and beg for my job back? Thanks to Joe Sweeney, I found out the answer was to NETWORK.

I put in my order for Networking Is A Contact Sport, following a recommendation from a close friend, without even knowing I would be jobless in an instant. The week my job feel through, I received my copy and began reading. Joe Sweeney's book was a life changer and renewed my confidence and optimism in life. While reading Networking Is A Contact I felt every word resonating in my life, both past and present, as well as what I hope for in the future. The chapter titled, "The Difference Between Networking and Not Working is Just One Letter" especially offered great insight considering what I was experiencing.

Within a week of reading Networking Is A Contact Sport and incorporating Joe's "5-10-15 Program" I already had three interviews scheduled for careers that interest me. I was proactive in my networking, all while keeping in mind Joe's approach of "giving, not getting." People thought I was crazy for not creating an account a career website and/or applying for any job under the sun.

Joe's book has become my Career Playbook that has allowed me to hone in on my abilities, talents, and restore confidence. Within a month of receiving Joe's book I found myself in a dream career situation and I look forward to growing in my current position.

The flame is burning bright for this eternal optimist thanks to Joe Sweeney's Networking Is A Contact Sport!
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on March 11, 2011
I think some of you will really enjoy this book, while others will have a mixed opinion like me. We read this in our business book group and the rest of the group seemed to really like it. Here's a few things I didn't like about it. First, the author's platform speaks to the fact that in order to truly be effective as a networker you need to look at the process as helping people rather than getting something out of it for yourself. I have no problem with this, in fact I find this works well in business (and life.) However, he then uses an example where someone called him up after losing his job and rather than help the guy the author preached to him about the importance of networking properly. He had an opportunity to do exactly what he says we all should do and instead showed little compassion. He goes on to say that he realized the guy was hurting and it made him think about how he handled it, but then ends the segment with "and the guy is still unemployed today," as a parting shot. I was really turned off by this.

I have no doubt that this author is probably a friendly, likable guy. However, he seems a bit out of touch with the way people really live. He talks about days where his income wasn't very much, and the figure he throws out is higher than anyone else I know. If he thinks he "struggled" at any point in his life, it is obvious he doesn't know the meaning of the word.

His tips for networking with the 5/10/15 rule are solid, however, and I think he makes good points with how to connect with people. He falls short when it comes to the social networking end of things. He seems to think things like Linked In, Twitter, and Facebook aren't very useful, and as a business person myself I disagree. I get the feeling that it's just something he doesn't need and since he doesn't bother with it he assumes it's not useful.

The reason I'm giving this book three stars (as opposed to a lower score) is that there are some good points you can take away. Get past the parts I mentioned above. If you're a salesperson today you'll probably appreciate his advice, and as I said the majority of my business book group seemed to really enjoy the book.
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on April 26, 2011
. NETWORKING IS A CONTACT SPORT (BenBella Books) by Joe Sweeney is written by a master networker . . . it hooked me right from the beginning when the author told the story about how he was an eight-year-old boy, he walked into Coach Ara Paraseghian's office to help his older brother gain a spot on the Notre Dame football team.

I figured if anybody can do this, then he could tell me a thing or two about how to connect with others--and he did . . . this book had lots of other great stories, as well as many useful tips that could be used by anybody looking to both develop and use contacts.

For example:

* Looking for a sure-fire way to bond with someone you want to get to know better or show a customer you really care?

Go to his kid's ball game.

There's something about standing on the sidelines or sitting in the bleachers together that creates a shared moment between the two of you. I still haven't forgotten the time when a well-connected Milwaukee CEO, John Arlotta, and his wife, Bobbie, came to Conor's high school football game when the championship was on the line. That happened seven years ago, but every time I think of John, I remember how we cheered on the exploits of Conor together.

It was a great bonding experience.

I also liked the fact that Sweeney's advice doesn't require a lot of money to follow . . . sometimes, it can involve something as simple as going to eat lunch with others:

* Being willing to break bread with your colleagues will strike up all sorts of interesting conversations that could prove fruitful down the road. You'll learn who they are, and they will get to know who you are. I'm not saying that you have to hopscotch from table to table inside the employee lunchroom, but eating lunch alone in your cubicle or outside on a park bench--or with the same clutch of people each day-- is counterproductive to good networking. A noontime workout in the company fitness center is another way to connect.

The author's principles can be followed in just about all situations, including romantic ones:

* Networking for love follows the same path as networking from scratch: you begin by asking yourself what your passions are, and once you do that, you can begin to search the right places for people you can connect with. If tailgating on Saturday or Sunday afternoon football games is your thing, then celebrate the big game by asking your friends to tell their friends to join you in the parking lot before the opening kickoff. If tennis is your passion, then hang out at tennis clubs and sign up for tennis leagues and tournaments. If wearing black leather and riding Harleys is your favorite weekend pursuit, then find a motorcycle club in your city. If your religious faith is the most important thing to you, then join the worship team or sign up for a Bible study targeted for your age group.

If you're looking for a great gift idea for a recent college graduate or somebody who just lost a job, get NETWORKING IS A CONTACT SPORT . . . others will like it, too, especially for its message that you need to network on a regular basis and when you do, you need to be aware that this it involves something more than just calling up somebody when you need his or her help.
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on May 15, 2014
I love this book. I read the whole thing yesterday, and enjoyed it immensely. The mentality that Sweeney has towards others, and his sense of humor and practical tips and explanations are very useful and give me a greater sense of confidence that I can be a successful networker. This book has great stories and the tone of the author throughout each chapter is engaging and humorous, hence why I finished it in a sitting I believe. I would buy this book for my younger brother, and my colleagues.
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on October 22, 2013
So, the information in this book was good. There didn't seem like there was a whole lot that was really spectacular, though. I had to buy this book for school, so I was expecting it to be much more in depth than it was. A lot of this information just seemed pretty basic; I feel like our professor could have just told us the important points from this book instead of making us go out and spend the fifteen dollars or whatever. In addition, it just didn't seem to be written all that well. The author kept on saying how didn't want to brag about his accomplishments, and yet the whole book was about his accomplishments. He just came off sort of conceited at times. To be fair, he did come to our school and speak, and I thought he came across much better in person than in writing.

So would I recommend the book? If you can get it from your library, sure. I don't think it's worth spending money on, though.
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on January 3, 2015
Gave as a gift to my nephew who just received his first managerial promotion. He is currently reading the book and has remarked that he is beginning to appreciate the importance to developing great networking skills. Once again, I am perceived as the smartest aunt in the world!
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on October 17, 2014
Joe Sweeney and I may not have one thing in common, but this book is accessible guidance on the sensible "sport" of networking. If you run a business and you feel awkward or uncertain about networking, read it!
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VINE VOICEon January 12, 2013
Networking is the kind of activity everybody in business knows they ought to be doing constantly, but few approach it with the kind of passion, dedication, and deliberate approach of Joe Sweeney. An obviously totally natural extrovert, the author has taken a very outgoing personality, a geniune concern and interest in others, and an affinity for business deal making, and developed a networking plan to dovetail with these aptitudes and interests.

The result is his 5-10-15 plan for making dialy contacts in business. You can use this too. It will help if you have Sweeney's personality. If you don't, fake it till you make it. It will do your business a great deal of good - if you keep it up daily, every month, every year.

Since the basic idea behind this book is simple - get to know everyone you meet, keep in touch, become a real resource to others before you worry about what kind of a resource they can be for you - there is quite a bit about Sweeney's own life story, his own experiences in business, and especially in sports. Anything that touches on Brett Favre is good by me, but I can understand that not everyone perusing bosiness books will be up for reading so much on football, basketball, friends, personal life stories, and so on. While the book is called a networking book, there's a lot of material some may well consider extraneous. It is meant as illustrative of the main point, but it's not strictly speaking absolutely necessary reading.

In any event, the book is a useful reminder of the importance of business networking, and provides the outlines of an approach one can discipline oneself to use to improve their own networking efforts. On that level, well worth reading.
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on February 1, 2015
This book changed my life, at a time when I found myself at a point in life, I never saw coming. Going the extra mile for someone, or something as simple as "breaking bread" with someone, can change the entire playing field in any career. If you like this one, I just read Mr. Sweeney's latest book, "Moving the Needle". It takes you to the next step.
After reading the two, you find, you really CAN DO, anything you want in life.....with a little kindness, and passion!
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on December 4, 2014
Well done, Joe! This read provides a wonderful mixture of real stories touched with love and kindness. One of Joe's best imagery comes in the later chapters when he reminds us that the world is not about us, it is about everyone else. Brilliant. Eric Lorenz
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