Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Guest Post - Crazy Joe: Networking For Beginners Part II

You can read the first part of Crazy Joe's series here:

You have gear or you have decided you want gear. You have ideas and plans on networking which will increase your chances of survival. You have concerns about various scenarios which could alter, harm or destroy your lifestyle. First - What is your own psych profile? How are you viewing these situations? How are you feeling about them? Running like a scared rabbit? Ostrich type with the head in the sand and hope for the best? Maybe you are Rambo'd up and hoping it will happen. What is your behavior towards these topics? How would you rate yourself? How would a close relative or close friend rate your mental/behavioral state versus a stranger's opinion of you? How are you perceived by others? As with any group situation how everyone interacts, networks and gets along is paramount. As you all know, there are co-workers we wish we could fire. There are church members we wish would transfer to another church or religion - please God take them! We all have that relative or two - need I say more or elaborate on THAT relative? Yes you know who I am talking about. How well can you tolerate those who are a marginal nuisance up to and including the real pain in the butts in life? Networking is so dependant on cooperation and getting along - hence the term like minded people.

It will do you no good to have every piece of gear if your behavior is just short of Napoleonic. Dictators do not do well in group situations. If you are the shy or reclusive type and can not break away from the loner behavior? You know the outcome in your wanting to network with others if you do not change your mindset. As folks look around for others to get along with they first latch on to what is agreeable between them. It is about establishing that likable contact. We build our friendships on what we agree with first. We are Eagles fans. There are no Cowboys fans associated with us. It is the rule and we are dead serious. We do not care what a Cowboys fan has to offer, plain and simple. We all discriminate through out life. We do it to a point based on our feelings of wanting that secure/safe feeling around others. It is normal. We all prejudge others. It is a safety defensive mechanism and more often that not it works. It is ok to do it.

In wanting to network with others what do you have to offer other people? What can you do for others? How much can you do for others? What abilities and skills, in the survival realm, do you possess? Why should someone agree with you and network with you? Why should someone cooperate with you and vice a versa on these past 6 questions? It is the proverbial 2 way street.

You a local or a newcomer to your current living location? Locals should not have the difficulty newcomers experience but on occasion do. Perhaps it could be the way one presents one self in regards to the topic of survival. The "Rambo'd up" person does not cut it with us. Some personality types just find it harder to join a group situation. Many jobs offer bowling or softball leagues to their employees, not all participate. If you are not a hunter or fishing kind of person well that excludes even knocking on the door of the local Rod and Gun club - they will not want you anyway. If the less social folks realize they must force themselves to open up more then half the battle is won. Every town in this country has groups of one kind or another. It would be almost impossible not to find individuals who are not in agreement with you on one or more topics. With the advent of television, home electronic entertainment and the computer way too many people find it easier to just rush home after a crazy drive and day at work, not to mention the customers and co - workers we all have to deal with. Many people just stay home and only go out as shopping requirements dictate. Those with children do the little league and soccer games but how much of a hassle is it ? Why do I have to pick up 3 other children again? Why aren't those parents helping? I find it sad so many out there are allowing "the world" to back them into a corner where complacency and apathy rule their lives. It is just easier than dealing with anyone. Over and over I have heard "what's the point". If this is not your life category but at times seems like it - then get out. Escape. Socialize. Experience a good time. I am BIG ON promoting camping and hiking. Shake off civilization for a weekend. Sometimes it is easier to meet and get along with total strangers in this setting. How many times in my life has someone just offered me to "join the fireside chat" - have a beer or coffee? Where ya from? Is the usual starting point to the conversations. Less social people just wave politely and continue on. This is not the path to networking.

Depending on your age how many people have you know since childhood and how long is that now? The same goes for work - been at one job 10 or more years? How many out there in life can you trust to help you out in a "normal life problem" - flat tire/dog got out of the yard/can you watch the children for 20 minutes/can I borrow 20 bucks till Friday/etc. Establishing friendships is not an overnight occurrence. No one should expect to read some survival web sites and see the term "like minded people" and assume "I will have an instant group if I follow these step". Networking into a cohesive, self helping group can take years. I have met people who read tons of books and studied tons of survival websites (especially since Y2K was almost upon us) and now 9 years later have only connected with one or two others (better than no one)or gone back to "what is the point" and "why bother cause nothing happened except a hangover Jan. 1 , 2000."

The real reason we got together back in 1971 - 1972 the original 5 of us had "ONE" final goal in regards to our "military bugging out" and surviving a nuclear attack by Russia and or China. FIRST - WE WERE ALL 18 TO 22 YEARS OF AGE - OK!! Please understand our age and attitude at the time. This is not a joke and it is how we started. We understood just how many young women our age there would be without someone looking after them due to the nuclear chaos. War, rioting, radiation, no food stores and death was the least of our concerns. Stop laughing or thinking this is a joke - I am being serious. THIS WAS OUR MINDSET and agenda 38 years ago. In those next 2-3 years thousands like us were being discharged as Viet Nam was winding down. Our little group grew to about 30 practically overnight. We were like minded former army/military - now rock and roll - let our hair grow long - party hard - young guys WITH NO FEAR. As many of us were now taking advantage of the G.I. Bill and heading off to various colleges our goal and plan was extended to so many other newly discharged veterans (same age group) in this tri - state area. It only took 5 beers to see our point of view - AGREE AND JOIN. The group continued to grow in numbers. As we grew the parties got bigger but some problems came up with the differences in behavior between some so some were cast out. As we got older still and started getting married and having children more variables came up. But we still had the original plan - only the final goal changed - it sucks to grow up. During the 80's we were working in all types of jobs. The friendship/bug out/military background network was now including "what can my line of work do to help you" and save you money??? The plumbers, tax accountants, masons, auto/truck mechanics, lawyers, law enforcement, retail store owners, carpenters, etc. - we found ourselves looking to one another for assistance in a variety of ways. Knowing 200 or more guys or associating with some guys that know that many is really networking. We continue to be prepared for the big UH OH. We still have routes to bug out to the safer areas. Some of us now own property in those areas. We network for a lot of things and that can also mean "I have 4 tickets to a Flyers or Eagles game - who wants to buy them?" (Face value of course/no profiteering). What started as "a goal in the event of nuclear attack" turned into hundreds of friendships. Even though some have moved to the west coast or down south , they have taken the "plan" with them and have re-established it there as it relates to that area. Networking for goods and services is as much about friendship as it is cooperation.

Networking for survival in a crisis situation can be just what happened this past March of 2009. Thousands of strangers answering a call and getting together (up in North Dakota was it?) to put sandbags on the river banks to save their area/Red Cross volunteers handing out coffee and chatting with perfect strangers/various types of people working together as there was a common crisis that could harm all of them. Networking takes time to establish but it has so many advantages for those who understand it/learn it/do it.

-Crazy Joe

Flea - "Thanks Crazy Joe!"

...that is all.

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  1. Fellows,

    Right you are!

    There is an old saying, biblical I think. It goes, As you sow, so shall you reap.

    As CJ mentions, they made an effort in building up a network, or perhaps a society of like minded individuals, that support each other in a myriad of ways. CJ could perhaps ascertain how many in his group are unemployed. I will be willing to bet that it is either none, or very few. Why? Because they have a network of good friends, friends, and acquaintances, that they can rely on to get them information, and maybe a reference.

    Be selective in your choices, and who you befriend, but don't be so strict in your criteria that you miss good people, because you didn't look passed the surface.

    Good stuff fellows!
    The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles.
    The Range Reviews: Tactical.
    Proud Member of Outdoor Bloggers Summit.

  2. Not a single one of us grew to adulthood without networking.

    Beat on your family to get prepared and if they won't listen, start in on your neighbors, I already have. A little bit can go a long ways down the road.

  3. Knowing people is don't want to get caught in a situation makes it that much harder to prevail.