Build This Asset That Will Change Your Life
I’m sure you’ve heard the quote from the late great entrepreneur and motivational speaker Jim Rohn: “You are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with.”
You’ve probably also heard the similar phrase, “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.”
And, of course, there’s the ever popular line, “Your network is your net worth.”
All of these aphorisms mean just about the same thing. If you hang out with happy, successful people, you’re more likely to rise to their level and also be happy and successful.
If you surround yourself with dopey, negative underachievers, on the other hand, odds are good you’ll sink to their level. You’ll drop your standards to fit in with them and in the end, you’ll be more likely to phone it in and complain about what’s happened to you as if you didn’t have a hand in it.
And no one knows this more than my recent guest .
Jordan started off in life as a Wall Street lawyer. When he found that career unfulfilling, he launched a chart-topping podcast called The Art of Charm – it’s been among the most popular on iTunes for over 12 years now.
As an award-winning broadcaster, entrepreneur and a networking expert, he’s now bringing his listeners new insights and the wisdom of other top performers with a new podcast called The Jordan HarbingerShow.
Jordan understands the value of the right relationships. Even FORBES magazine agrees that he knows his stuff – they recently named him one of the 50 best relationship builders on the planet.
Jordan tells us, “The people you meet are going to be the most important thing in your life…
People tend to complain when someone else gets ahead because of who they know, but they don’t realize they can have that, too. Sure, it can be an unfair advantage, but if you build relationships, your network can be your unfair advantage, too…
This doesn’t have to be hard. Connecting people to each other builds social capital. The more you do it, the better you get at it. The better you get, the better your connections will be.”
Maybe you’re wondering if this applies to you. Maybe you’re all set where you are in life, and you’re thinking, why should I bother?
Well, when you’re an entrepreneur or a business owner, the benefits of growing your network, improving your network, and strengthening relationships with your network are easily apparent. What about when you’re a nine-to-fiver, though? It’s easy to wonder why this is so important for you.
As Jordan describes it, someday, you’re going to need a back up plan.
Think of it this way: according to Jobvite, the average search for a new job lasts 43 days.
If one day you lose your job, how hard would it be to replace that job if you didn’t have any strong contacts you could call on or impressive recommendations from old coworkers you could share?
That 43 days could grow into months of sifting through employment ads.
On the other hand, if you had spent time cultivating a group of friends and colleagues, you could pick up your phone and put the word out just minutes after getting that pink slip. You could have a new – and even better – job in just days instead of spending 43 days (that’s six whole weeks) or more worrying and jumping through hoops trying to find something new.
In other words… whether it’s a new job, a better business, or something else entirely, no matter what you want out of life, building relationships and crafting a strong network can get you there.
If you’re keen to start growing your network, there are a few things you need to know.
Tips to Make Networking Easier
First, reframe how you think of networking. There’s no need to be slimy about it, and there’s no need to fear others thinking you’re sleazy. With this new approach, you’ll be prepared to network in an organic way that benefits everyone. This, in turn, makes people want to be in your network, not run away screaming when you whip out a business card.
Learn to “dig the well before you’re thirsty.” In other words, don’t wait until you need a network to help you out. Start today if you want to reap the benefits tomorrow.
Know that the old tactics taught by institutions like Dale Carnegie are still important, but they’re just a jumping-off place. Everyone knows that they should make eye contact, give a firm handshake, and remember the name of the person you’re talking to in order to build rapport, but if you really want to make an impact, you need to do more. Study the basics, get good at the basics, but when the time comes, be prepared to do more than just the basics.
Instead of going into any situation thinking, “What can this person so for me?”, focus on what you can offer to others. After all, people can smell an “ask” from a mile away, so go into this without ulterior motives other than to make new acquaintances and stronger relationships. Maybe you’ll be able to offer them something specific, like help on a project, maybe you won’t, but remember that better living begins with giving.
Look at who you already know. If there are relationships in your past that you let slip, reach out to those people now and rekindle that contact. Again, don’t ask for anything. Just make it clear that you valued them once and you’re sorry that you lost touch. They’ll be impressed that you remembered them and cared enough to call.
Turn strangers into friends. There’s no need to fake relationship building when you think of the people you meet as friends. You’ll easily remember important things about their lives and conversation will flow – no need to write memorable details in a tiny notebook so you can “refresh your memory” every time you have to pick up the phone.
Once you have these new and old friends, invest in their success and introduce them to other friends. If you know that person (A) would benefit from meeting person (B), set them up in conversation. That’s all you have to do. When it’s your turn to need help, they’ll remember you as that helpful person they can always turn to, and they’ll be delighted to reciprocate.
Seems simple when it’s broken down this way, right? So why not get started? There’s nothing more valuable than human relationships, so improve your wealth of relationships and watch how it affects everything else around you.
Editor, Brian Rose Uncensored