Want a successful business? It’s all about networking - interview

Networking expert Gil Petersil supplies valuable advice on changing economies, the future of crypto and how to succeed in a more difficult market.

 Gil Petersil (photo credit: GIL PETERSIL)
Gil Petersil
(photo credit: GIL PETERSIL)

Gil Petersil is a networking strategist, business & life coach and the co-founder and partnership director at MeetPartners, a group of companies that unites educational projects in personal and business development. His career spans over 24 years of networking, strategizing and coaching.

In an exclusive interview, Petersil offered insights gleaned from his career on the evolution of business strategy, the future of blockchain technology and how the key to successful marketing is successful networking.

What is it that characterizes your specific (and apparently quite successful) approach to business strategy?

I move quite a bit in the world. So, I'm taking strategies and strategic models not just from different companies and industries, but also from different countries. And that gives me a broader view of the world and how the world economy develops – and how companies of similar size and similar industries in different countries are doing completely different things.

They have completely different ways of networking, the way they build relationships with their investors, their clients, their community, their network, their teams – the way they communicate, build trust, build loyalty – that is constantly evolving. And I'm excited by that.

Over the course of your career so far, how have you seen business strategy evolve?

First of all, COVID made the world economy sick. And then the different economies got healthier in their own way. And from what I've been noticing – and I'm monitoring multiple economies in the world that I'm actively working in – every economy made a small shift.

They didn't get back to the way they were. Israel, for example, did not get back to the way it used to be: strategically, what has changed is that too many successful people in this country are focusing their business strategy externally. They want to make a really big, seismic, impactful difference in the world... but what I don’t see is these companies trying to make that same impact in Israel – and that's not good because most countries after COVID really fix themselves.

There are some economies that I'm very excited about, like the UAE, especially how they're blowing up with web3, everything connected to the metaverse and NFTs.

I'm very much into this world, in the last year and a half only. But in that time, I've transformed my world completely to address how we pay team members, how we accept money, to the kind of clients we want to work with: clients that are at least open-minded to what web3 and crypto are bringing in. If a company doesn't have any strategy towards that, if they don't even see that in a plan, then I think that company might have a challenge.

On that note: blockchain technology and NFTs in particular currently have a very mixed reception in the public discourse. There are many who are blatantly against it, there are many who are for it, and there are millions who are completely ambivalent or oblivious to it. How do you see the space developing – and what changes need to be made in order for the binary perception around blockchain applications to evolve into a more varied spectrum of opinions?

As a student of human networking, it's clear that everything connected to crypto created a better way to network financially – that's the way I see it. Blockchain has brought a different level of security for relationships and deals to happen. It's easier to transact today than it has been in the past. Looking from an entrepreneurial point of view, what we need now is additional development and software.

The crypto space, the user interface and experience of truly building relationships and making deals is still not there. That's what's coming up and yeah, people could be afraid of it – but when I was 13 I received my first modem, and I was able to connect to the Internet.

Back then most people were afraid of the  Internet – they didn't know what it was. I believe we're now going through the tornado of a new economy that's being built. And I'm excited because it will give us more opportunities to reset our own personal network of people and build another network that can give us more freedom, more wealth, more happiness – whatever people wish for.

Zooming out from crypto, there are currently many economic challenges affecting the world, notably growing global inflation. What are some best practices for fresh, new entrepreneurs and startups to break into a successful pace when the market around them is struggling?

So it's about how you see the economy: I don't see bad economies: I just see markets changing, that's it. We have more people than we ever did before. We have more access to money now than we ever did before. People have access to loans. Everything is okay. People need to stop saying the economy's bad. Sure, people are spending differently – so change your marketing strategy! This is why I'm very busy, because I help companies change their marketing strategies. And changing your marketing strategy is just changing the way you network.

"People need to stop saying the economy's bad. Sure people are spending differently – so change your marketing strategy!"

Gil Petersil

What I would say to startups is this: Stop trying to do everything yourself. If you have a good idea, don't run out and do it yourself. Go find 10 companies who are currently doing the same thing – small, early stage – and maybe partner up with them to collaborate a lot more.

Also, decide who your client truly is. Entrepreneurs need to ask themselves "Who do I truly want to serve as a client and why? And in order to do that, who do I truly want to partner up with? Because I know that I cannot do it alone." That requires humility, and most entrepreneurs don’t start off as very humble. It took me a lot of successful failures to understand that.”