top of page
  • Writer's pictureMarc Ebinger

Networking 101: Learning the Art of Career-Altering Connections with Sarah Gartin & Jim Schaale

Your network is more than just the people you know; it's the key to unlocking countless opportunities, all based on genuine, long-lasting connections. In this episode of the Let's Talk Business podcast, hosted by Marc Ebinger and co-hosted by Heather Boehme, we cover how networking can shape careers and businesses with our special guests are Sarah Gartin, a Financial Services Professional at New York Life, and Jim Schaale, who runs New Tactics, Inc. Sarah shares her experience with networking, giving us insights into what works and what to avoid. Meanwhile, Jim, a retired U.S. Army veteran who now leads a nonprofit organization, will tell us about his personal journey and the crucial role networking played in his transition and success.

Understanding Common Networking Mistakes

In the ever-evolving landscape of business, the mastery of networking often emerges as the linchpin for success. Our recent episode of Let's Talk Business delved into the nuanced world of effective networking, unraveling both stumbling blocks and triumphs. With insights from industry experts Sarah Gartin and Jim Schaale, we dissected the nuances of professional connections.

Effective Follow-Up Strategies

One common mistake highlighted in networking is the failure to implement effective follow-up strategies. Sarah underscores the significance of not merely collecting business cards but having a well-thought-out plan for follow-up. This emphasizes the importance of turning initial connections into meaningful relationships. The mistake lies in the lack of a structured approach to maintain and nurture connections beyond the initial meeting.

Clear Interaction Plan

Heather stresses the need for a clear plan when engaging in networking events. This involves more than just attending; it's about having a strategy for interaction. The mistake often made is attending such events without a specific plan, resulting in missed opportunities and unfulfilled connections. Immediate follow-up, as highlighted by Heather, becomes crucial in ensuring that the momentum built during the event is not lost.

Social Media Networking Strategies

Jim shares a unique networking strategy that involves leveraging social media platforms. His approach includes tagging people on social media to broaden his reach and enhance his networking efforts. This underlines the growing significance of online platforms in networking. The mistake here would be neglecting the potential of social media as a powerful tool for expanding one's professional network. Jim's strategy encourages utilizing these platforms actively to establish and maintain connections in the digital age.

Navigating Follow-Up: Proven Strategies

Building on the discussion of common pitfalls, our esteemed guests graciously shared their insights, unveiling strategies for seamless and effective follow-up.

Utilizing Social Media and CRM for Follow-Up

Sarah offers a strategic approach to follow-up in networking by emphasizing the use of social media and a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Her focus on adding connections on social media underlines the importance of extending networking efforts beyond face-to-face interactions. Additionally, incorporating a CRM system aids in efficiently organizing and managing contacts, ensuring that valuable connections are not lost in the post-event follow-up process. This strategy aligns with the contemporary reliance on technology for effective relationship building and maintenance.

Consistency and Meaningful Conversations

Heather's follow-up strategy centers on two key elements: consistency and meaningful conversations. The emphasis on consistency highlights the importance of regular engagement in networking activities to foster lasting relationships. Moreover, the focus on meaningful conversations underscores the need to go beyond superficial interactions. By understanding the pain points of potential clients, Heather advocates for a more personalized and empathetic approach to follow-up, contributing to the development of deeper and more valuable professional connections.

Building Trust through Repeated Attendance

The strategy of building trust through repeated attendance at the same networking events is recognized as a valuable and deliberate approach. This method underscores the significance of consistency in networking efforts. By participating in the same events regularly, individuals can establish a familiar presence within the professional community. This familiarity contributes to the development of trust among peers and potential clients over time. Building trust through repeated attendance is a patient and intentional strategy that recognizes the cumulative impact of ongoing participation in specific networking circles.

From Music to Finances: Sarah Gartin's Career Transition

In this enlightening spotlight, we unravel the layers of Sarah Gartin's background, delve into her networking prowess, and explore the focal points of her business journey.

Top Performer in San Antonio General Office

Sarah Gartin stands out as a top 25 agent in the San Antonio general office of New York Life. Her impressive performance in this role reflects a dedication to excellence and a commitment to delivering outstanding financial services. This achievement underscores her proficiency in the industry and positions her as a notable figure in the competitive landscape of financial services professionals.

The Competitive Nature of Sarah Gartin

Sarah attributes her competitive nature to her background in music and past experiences in competitions. This unique aspect of her personality has likely contributed to her success as a top performer in the financial services sector. Her ability to channel this competitive drive into her career showcases the diverse skills and perspectives she brings to the table.

Transitioning Careers: From Music to Financial Services

In a remarkable career transition, Sarah Gartin moved from a background in music to becoming a financial services professional. This shift highlights her adaptability and the transferability of skills between seemingly disparate fields. Sarah's journey serves as an inspiring example of how one can successfully pivot from one career to another with determination and a strategic approach.

Emphasizing the Importance of Networking

Sarah Gartin recognizes and emphasizes the paramount importance of networking in the realm of financial services. Networking becomes not just a supplementary aspect of her business but a foundational element, contributing significantly to her success in the industry. Sarah's acknowledgment of the value of networking underscores its role as a cornerstone for building a thriving financial services practice.

Open and Exclusive Networking Experiences

Sarah actively engages in both open and exclusive networking experiences. While open networking provides broader exposure, it is the exclusive opportunities that offer more focused and intentional connections. This balanced approach showcases Sarah's understanding of the diverse benefits that different networking environments can offer in building a robust professional network.

The Power of Follow-Ups in Relationship Building

Sarah Gartin places a strong emphasis on the power of follow-ups and intentional networking in the process of building and maintaining relationships. Recognizing that initial connections are just the beginning, Sarah's strategy involves consistent and purposeful follow-ups, solidifying connections made during networking events into long-lasting and mutually beneficial professional relationships.

Multi-Platform Networking and Outreach

Sarah leverages a variety of platforms, including Google, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, for networking and outreach. This multi-platform approach demonstrates her adaptability to the evolving landscape of communication and highlights the importance of utilizing diverse channels for effective networking and client outreach in the digital age.

Networking Dominance in Business

A significant aspect of Sarah's business success lies in the fact that the majority of her business comes from networking, with social media playing a complementary role. This underscores the effectiveness of traditional networking strategies in the financial services sector and emphasizes the enduring power of face-to-face connections in driving business growth. Sarah's approach showcases the continued relevance of personal relationships in the contemporary business landscape.

Business Focus: Holistic Financial Planning and Strategic Investments

Sarah Gartin's professional expertise extends across a comprehensive spectrum of financial services, reflecting a business focus on holistic financial planning and strategic investments. Specializing in areas such as life insurance, retirement strategies, and consolidating assets, Sarah's approach goes beyond transactional engagements. She is dedicated to understanding the unique financial needs and goals of her clients, offering tailored solutions that encompass various aspects of their financial well-being. From safeguarding futures through life insurance to crafting retirement strategies and optimizing investment portfolios, Sarah's business focus exemplifies a commitment to providing clients with a 360-degree approach to financial planning and wealth management.

Jim Schaale: A Veteran's Journey from the U.S. Army to Nonprofit Leadership

In our second spotlight, we embark on a fascinating journey through Jim Schaale's military background, equestrian pursuits, and the challenges he faces in the realm of networking.

Military Service and Regrets

Jim Schaale's life is marked by a dedicated 23-year career in the United States Army, where he served as a mechanic with multiple maintenance specialties. Retiring as a Sergeant First Class (E7), Jim reflects on his journey with a tinge of regret, expressing disappointment about not becoming a Warrant Officer and not staying in the military longer. His military background lays the foundation for the unique path he would later tread, bringing a wealth of experience and discipline to his endeavors beyond the military.

From Navy Roots to Horses: Jim's Diverse Background

Jim's diverse background paints a vivid picture of a childhood spent between California and Texas, shaped by the influence of a father in the Navy. Unexpectedly, Jim found himself drawn to horsemanship, a passion ignited by family exposure and a genuine love for these majestic animals. This unusual journey showcases the unpredictability of life paths and the impact of familial connections on personal and professional choices.

Challenges in Non-Lucrative Business and Networking

Running New Tactics Inc., Jim Schaale faces the financial challenges associated with horses, even at a national racing level. The expense of such a venture becomes evident, contributing to the difficulty Jim experiences in networking and securing funding for his nonprofit. Despite the hurdles, Jim remains dedicated to his mission of helping veterans through horsemanship, navigating the complexities of running a non-lucrative business for the greater good.

Vision for Growth and Happiness

Looking to the future, Jim Schaale envisions growth for his program, aspiring to serve more people with increased funding. Beyond the pragmatic goals, Jim places a strong emphasis on the well-being of the veterans involved, highlighting the importance of them enjoying themselves during the sessions. This dual commitment to growth and the happiness of participants illustrates the holistic approach Jim takes in achieving his nonprofit's mission.

Inclusive Horsemanship for Veterans

Jim Schaale's commitment to inclusivity shines through in his horsemanship program for veterans. Despite challenges, he ensures that the program accommodates veterans of different sizes and backgrounds. This commitment reflects Jim's dedication to creating a welcoming and supportive environment, where all veterans can benefit from the therapeutic and transformative power of horsemanship, regardless of their physical attributes or past experiences.

Therapy Services: Supporting Veterans Through Holistic Healing

Within New Tactics Inc., Jim Schaale extends his commitment to veterans by offering a range of therapy services designed to address various aspects of well-being. For veterans grappling with depression and anxiety, Jim's program aims to facilitate recovery by helping them regain motivation, gain new perspectives, and rediscover joy in their lives. Recognizing the profound impact of trauma and PTSD, Jim guides participants through a process of grief and healing, providing a supportive environment for emotional recovery. Additionally, New Tactics Inc extends its services to address relationship challenges, offering couples therapy to support veterans and their partners in navigating the complexities of post-military life. Jim's holistic approach to therapy underscores his dedication to the comprehensive well-being of veterans, acknowledging the interconnected nature of mental health, trauma recovery, and maintaining healthy relationships.


Fueling your entrepreneurial spirit, Let's Talk Business sparks the dialogue for growth, learning, and prosperity.




bottom of page