Whether a conference, convention, First Friday, or Third Thursday event, you will find individuals obsessed with building their network. They seek partners who have connections, persons with access to the influencers, decision-makers, and movers in an organization. You will hear some stating I just want to get it in, others just need a name, and we have others who really want to be affiliated with persons in position of power – now what?
Finding the right connections is vital to personal and professional growth – these connections can ease our journey; saving us time in learning hard lessons, offer insights to best practices, etc. In doing so I would offer that we seek to build out beyond the network – based on the volume of people we know – to persons that increase our net worth – enhance our growth potential based on knowledge, expertise, experience etc. Not everyone around you is of value to you. In my reference to net worth, I am not speaking purely to financial success, although that is important. I am also speaking to attracting and connecting with persons who help us in getting to the next level. The net worth involves strengthening your ability to communicate with others in your chosen field. It might be finding others who can help you become more confident about your product or service by discussing its value to customers.
One of the key difficulties here is trying to identify when to push for my network and when I should push for my net worth. The collection of business cards and LinkedIn connections is a safe space for us. Building your net worth requires work in that we must evaluate and assess how these persons can be of value to achieving our greatness. Too often we limit ourselves to financial gains. It is time to reconstruct our thinking of net worth beyond finances and become inclusive of other factors far beyond our profits.
What constitutes your worth? Is it your product or service? Your background? Your competition ranking and ratings? Think through these questions then fashion your actions on building your worth to those areas you can control and get rid of those things you cannot control – which could possibly mean stripping down your network
Fit people into categories
Consider putting together a checklist of your priorities. Look at your inner circle and place them in those areas where they are beneficial. This is nothing personal, it’s business. In great numbers, you might have persons who are fantastic as friends and colleagues. You may get along with them superbly – but volume does not equal value.
Do your own research.
I have had numerous conversations with friends who got so excited about job referrals from friends and colleagues to a company in which they seek employment. They set their level of excitement about getting the job based upon this person’s connection. After speaking with the person further, they found out the individual really did not have as much pull as anticipated. This lead to great disappointment and sometimes fractured relationships. Seek out and study the relationships persons in your network claim to have and ask the tough questions to validate these connections.
Talk about it
In talking about your business or opportunity be very clear in what your “end” state looks like. The idea of working with the end in mind resonates in this area. What does your success look like and what is the ideal outcome including behaviors you would like to see.
Revisit the idea of the 5Ws and 1H – who, what, why, where, when and how might this connection assist me. Once those are answered go to the IF…THEN model. IF person X does this particular action, based on my understanding of how they can build my net worth THEN here’s the result I can anticipate. Do this from a place of growth.