Believe it or not, your blossoming network is sitting right under your nose.
In my last article, I reiterated the importance of enriching your life through networking and giving. But how does one go about assembling and sustaining a kick ass network?
The opportunity for meeting new people literally surrounds us every day. First and foremost, we need to be receptive to each new encounter. And then comes the essential part (the part actually where most people fail) – actually keeping in touch with all our new acquaintances.
Obviously the more people you know, the greater the chances of unearthing that exact person you’ll need for your latest fabulous project.
How To Build A Fulfilling, Kick Ass Network
Take a moment to consider some of the tips below on how to launch (and keep) a thriving, kick ass network.
- Discover Interconnection. Have you ever heard the theory of “Six Degrees of Separation”, or small world phenomenon? This focuses on how everyone in the world is separated by merely six people from everyone else. Through establishing successful connections, you can theoretically reach just about anyone in the world!
And in the current technological age, the internet is keeping us more connected than ever before. Use every avenue to your advantage, including email, message boards, and even blogging. The opportunities for meeting exciting new faces are limitless and expanding every day.
- Establish and Keep Track of Your Network. This is extremely important. To launch a successful network, you first need to recognize who is actually included in it. A network is useless if you can’t identify who you’d like to incorporate.
If you feel lost on where to begin, family and friends are excellent starting points. Even college professors are great resources. Need some advice? Thumb through your current contact list. Umm, ok, so your list is currently comprised of yourself, your cat, and your mom? Well it’s still a great place to launch a blossoming network. Try asking dear Mom for a referral to someone else. And remember to give your kitty a special snuggle. (After all, she’s the only one who can stand putting up with you constantly.)
Chances are good if your immediate contacts can’t help out, they will probably know someone who can. When you’re in a bind, take a moment to consider everyone you know.
From now on, every time you meet someone new, make a conscious effort to ask for their name and contact information. Develop an organized plan on how to record each new encounter, including when and how you met and other relevant details. Formulate a type of database and focus on methods to continue expanding on it.
Jot down personal contact details, such as where they live. Are they married with kids? What type of career field are they involved with? What challenges do they face? In other words, what are their specific needs? And what value can you offer to help them become more successful?
- Sustain Your Network By Keeping In Touch. Steal a moment out of your busy schedule to do a small gesture every few weeks, such as sending a brief email to catch up on how they’re doing. Take special notice of any new situations or relevant needs which may have cropped up on their side since you last spoke.
- Help Those in Your Network Connect to Each Other Through You. If you generously give to others and help them become connected, they will be thankful and happy to return the favor down the road when you’re in need.
Perhaps you know someone who has the skills or resources to aid someone else on your contact list. By all means, go ahead and introduce them. Remain receptive to current needs and help out whenever possible.
- Continually Expand and Nurture Your Network. Each encounter in our lives is symbolically profound. Everyone has something unique to teach (whether we realize it or not) and can offer certain value into our lives. Open yourself up to exciting new possibilities and you’ll never know who you might unexpectedly meet.
Consider the sheer amount of people you encounter each day. Remember the guy standing next to you in the elevator? Or your colleague in the next office? How about the owner of your favorite store, or the gal that was sitting next to you on the bus this morning? Successful people recognize how critical it is to reach out – anyone can be an invaluable resource.
- Learn How to Ask for Help. If done honestly, there is never any shame in reaching out to others for assistance.
Many competent people are reluctant to do the smart thing by asking for help because they allow their pride or fear to hold them back. So stop sabotaging yourself all ready. Learn how to let others know when you need them. This really can’t be stressed enough. Never feel afraid or ashamed when asking others for counsel.
Don’t feel afraid to open yourself up to all possibilities, and learn how to give without expecting anything in return. Before long, you’ll be astonished how quickly your network will blossom.
Give unconditionally, make time to keep in touch and remain receptive to new possibilities. You’ll establish your own flourishing kick-ass network in no time!
Baby Steps Are Key ~†~ Envision interconnection. Find inspiration and balance within yourself through your relationship to the world.