“Your network is your net worth,” Porter Gale
When people say that it’s all about who you know, what do you think about? People might get promoted, because of the network they have. I want people to say like that about me. I want people to say that she has an unfair advantage. Yes, I work hard for that unfair advantage, and you should work hard for that unfair advantage as well. It’s the best unfair advantage that you can get because it's fully within your control to develop those relationships and I know that a lot of people are either born with that ability or develop it. If you can do that, I highly recommend doing it. And the good news is that if you're building it, you got your foot on the gas. If you were born with it, you're probably coasting.
I've got my foot on the gas for the last 10 to 20 years creating friendships which aren't fake relationships. It’s relationships with great people and then introducing them to each other so that they can help each other. I don't have to sacrifice family time to create this network. I have a big Network with lot of these people. By creating these relationships, it's a matter of having a lot of diverse friends who actually care about your success and then introducing them to one another. It’s scalable. I don't have to spend a lot of time doing it because it becomes with a set of habits which now has started yielding dividend throughout my life. If you’re going to events; you don't want to be hanging out with your husband and your cat and podcasting in the background. You need to get to know people and be adding value to their life.
The best way to begin creating networks is to look at who you already know and figure out how you can introduce those people to one another in ways that will help them. So, here's a quick sort of practical exercise that I recommend everybody to do. Make a list of the 10 or 15 people that you would call for advice and leave out your parents and the obvious ones like siblings with whom you're in touch with regularly. Try and pick people who you would call if you were desperate because that's the idea. Spend 20 minutes doing this. These will be the relationships that you probably should have paid more attention to but you neglected because you didn't need anything from them. So, it's going to be like the college professor who mentored you, but you never really followed up with after graduation.
Your old boss of your ex-girlfriend’s dad who really liked you and had that cool business but because you broke up with his daughter, you're not in touch anymore. Reach out to them now while you don't need anything because you're going to rekindle those relationships and they're going to realize that you're trying to rekindle this relationship. But you're not going to say I need $10,000 or ask can I get a job. Networking is awkward when you need something, and you didn't put any energy into it. The reason people think networking and relationship development is awkward is because they reach out and they are like “Hey Elona, I haven't talked to you in like four years”, can you sell my business startup strategies in e-book? If there is no response, you might feel that “that was so awkward, I just got rejected and you start saying I hate networking. You're not networking when you do that. The main reason is because you've neglected all the groundwork and didn't think of the well before you're thirsty.
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