This week I had an extraordinary experience. Got to speak at the Entrepreneur Magazine Growth 2.0 Conference on the subject of “Building, Managing & Rocking Your Network”. The response has been overwhelming…too cool for words. That said, we realized that we at YSN needed to do more to talk about this sometimes intimidating, but almost always life-changing practice. Especially in these trying times, as I said at the event, “your ability to survive and succeed in this economy may depend on your network.”
Building Your Contacts
Having a great network of friends and contacts can totally change how happy and successful you are. When you’re in trouble, are struggling, or experiencing a rough patch, your network will also be the first people there to help you get through it.
For 5 great tips on how to build your network that we filmed on a recent speaking tour with American Express talking about this very subject, click here to see video.
A few ground rules to savvy networking:
- Realize your life will get more interesting as you expand your network.
- Have fun.
- Don’t always have an agenda.
- Make it a point to meet interesting people everywhere you go.
- Be someone people like to be around.
- Most importantly, be someone you can be proud of.
- Make sure you surround yourself with successful people.
- Collect a broad mix of great mentors along the way who can teach you about a variety of areas.
- Keep a list of people you want to meet (or the types of people – ie: entrepreneurs, doctors, MBA grads, non profit leaders) and share it with your more connected friends who may be able to refer you to people in their networks.
Always try to help others whenever you can. Just do it because it’s good to do it. Wonderful things do sometimes come back to grace you too. Click here to see video.
In the Podcast of our book Secrets of the Young & Successful we spoke about How to Meet Anyone. Here are the audio links in two sections: Part I & Part II
Managing Your Network
As you start to meet more and more people, the biggest piece of advice we can offer is make sure you capture all of their critical contact info right away, keep it in one place, and make sure it’s digital. Then keep it up to date back it all up regularly.
Spend the time and money (if you can) to invest in a simple online database, PDA (personal digital assistant) or mobile device that can hold all of the information you collect on your contacts (from name to birthday, cell, city/state…whatever is most appropriate.)
Then make sure you’re staying in touch, taking good care of your people and treating them well. Here’s how to Create Your Own Networking Event. Make sure you take care of your network too and show them ongoing love and attention too.
Meeting Influential & Powerful People
In every business, industry, society, there’s a group of people who are considered the power players, the movers and shakers. They make the decisions that affect hundreds, thousands, sometimes millions of lives. Having access to them can get you a voice in their circles. Building relationships with them and get you in the game and make you a part of the serious action. Getting to almost anyone you want to meet is possible, you just need to know a few secrets, and a new perspective on the whole thing. Learn about the House on the Hill.
When you finally get the chance to meet someone really great, make sure you don’t blow it either! Here are our top 5 tips (from TONS of experience!) on how NOT to miss another opportunity.
And whatever you do, don’t forget the gatekeepers!