Network for Success is a free networking group born in Freehold that has built many business relationships as well as friendships throughout Monmouth County.
John and Wendy Bruzzese founded the group for “people who wanted to meet people”.
Both Wendy and John said they tried other networking groups, but found that they were not really making any connections. After getting frustrated from handing out hundreds of business cards and getting no where, the couple decided it was time to either stop networking, or start their own group.
And so, Network for Success was born.
“Our first meeting was right here at ,” said Wendy. “We just reached out to our friends on Facebook and let them know that we were starting our own group. Seven people showed up and we were really happy with the turn out.”
By the sixth meeting at , there were over 75 people in attendance. “It was absolutely electric,” said Wendy. “This thing was getting out of control, but in a good way!”
Two years later, Network for Success hosts one meeting per month with an average of 200 people in attendance. The group also has over 1,500 members on Facebook. And, they are not done growing yet!
According to the Bruzzese’s, so many people keep coming back to Network For Success (and bringing their friends) because of the things that set them apart from other networking organizations.
First and foremost is the foundation of the organization.
While many people join networking groups to expand their own connections and their business, Network for Success is founded on bringing something to the table.
“We want people to come to our group thinking about what you can give instead of what you are going to get out of it,” explains Wendy. “It’s a mentality- you stop thinking about yourself and start thinking about others.”
The group is not about exchanging business cards, but building relationships.
“People do business with people they know, like and trust. So, we try to encourage people to build relationships through our group,” said John. “It is important that members continue to build these relationships outside of our meetings as well.”
The group is also free to join.
“We don’t make a cent through this group. There has never been a fee to join,” said John. “When you spend the time investing in the people, you get it back tenfold.”
The monthly meetings are also free to attend.
They have been hosted by a wide-variety of locations including restaurants like the Langosta Lounge in Asbury Park, local hotels like the Radison in Freehold and the Red Cross Facility in Eatontown.
The events benefit both local business and charities by bringing hundreds of people to their location. The sponsors of the events usually have an opportunity to share what they do with the crowd.
They do not limit the number of members per profession.
John says many business owners will compare and collaborate on best practices. They will also refer fellow members when they are not able to provide requested services.
“Everyone has something to gain through the group. We discourage competition and encourage collaboration,” said John.
Even more, they welcome all people, not just people who currently have jobs.
“Our group is made up of people that just want to meet other people,” said Wendy. “Stay at home moms and dads, business people, non-business people, people who are unemployed, people looking to change careers are all welcome.”
The Bruzzese’s say this group has really changed their lives. They have built many friendships and experienced the power of developing such a strong supportive group.
“No matter what your background is, everyone has a different gift to bring to the table that can help someone else in their journey,” added John. “The people in our group really support each other through the challenges and triumphs of life.”
If you are looking to meet more people and build relationships, consider joining Network For Success at their next event at the Sheraton Eatontown Hotel on Wednesday, May 23 at 7:30 p.m. All you have to do is show up!