It’s not just what you know, it’s who you know, and – who knows you. Everybody wants to talk about dollar signs and net-worth, but real value comes from building the value of your network.
True facts: It’s never been easier or more essential to grow and maintain our networks.
We have the ability to contact, connect, and stay in touch with all sorts of interesting people. In an online world, anybody is a message away. Not a pony express, carrier pigeon, or fax away, but a call, text, or message away.
And, with everyone so technologically close, it’s the personal (i.e. non-spam) connections that become most valuable. They lead to the opportunities that can and often do turn out to be the most meaningful.
As David Burkus likes to say, you’ll definitely need your network if you’ve unexpectedly lost your job. However, the time to build your network is not after you’ve lost the job, but before.
The combined optionality of personal, valuable, and meaningful connections make our networks priceless. The right people can come through for us in a pinch or lift us to whole new levels when we’re on an upswing.
It takes work, but we have to take care of our networks. Just like we don’t want our net-worth to disappear, we don’t want our networks to go to zero either. Just like we make investments in our future net-worth, we need to make investments in the people that will add value to our networks over time too.
Your network is your net-worth. Build it, maintain it, and constantly reinvest in it.
Check out this Muriel Wilkins podcast for where I got the line “your net-worth is your network” in the podcast episode, “Building Influence Without Authority.” Also, the networking book I tell everyone to read is David Burkus’ “Friend of a Friend.”