Your Network, Your Net Worth

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Here is my weekly letter discussing mental models, performance, business and entrepreneurship.

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What’s in today’s newsletter?

  • Networking is a skill. But it's not one they teach you in school. They don't give you lessons on how to build genuine connections, how to give before you ask, or how to curate a personal board of directors.

  • So, here's the playbook I developed to network better: (1) Become a Talent Scout, (2) Curate Your Personal Board of Directors, and (3) Become a "Reverse Mentor".

  • Your entire career can change the moment you stop seeing networking as a chore and start seeing it as a strategic advantage.

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Your Network, Your Net Worth

Ever heard the saying, "Don't call me unless you need something"?

That's the exact opposite of how to build a powerful network.

Here's a thought:

The strongest relationships are forged in the fires of mutual support, not the desperation of last-minute asks.

Let me share a story.

Back when I was a first starting out, hustling to get my podcast off the ground, I had this mentor, Sarah.

She was a powerhouse in the industry, someone I deeply admired.

But here's the thing: I didn't just reach out to Sarah when I needed funding advice or a warm intro.

I grabbed coffee with her when I didn’t need anything at all.

We’d catch up, I'd share my small wins and setbacks, just to get her perspective.

Over time, a real friendship blossomed.

It turns out, I didn’t need anything at all for about 3 years.

And guess what?

When the time came that I did need something – a crucial connection, a sounding board for a tough decision – Sarah was there in a heartbeat.

Not out of obligation, but because we had built a genuine bond.

Think about it.

When you reach out to someone only when you're in need, it's like waving a giant flag that says, "I'm using you!"

It feels transactional, desperate even.

Nobody likes to feel used.

But when you reach out genuinely, to offer support, share insights, or just say hello, you're building something far more valuable: trust.

You're signaling that you value the relationship for its own sake, not just for what you can get out of it.

Trust is worth its weight in gold.

It's the currency of a powerful network, one that will have your back when you need it most.

Don't be that person who only shows up when they want something.

Be the person who invests in relationships before they need them.

The Networking Blindside:

Think about it.

Have you ever been caught off guard by a professional setback?

Maybe a dream job fell through, a project got derailed, or a client suddenly went dark.

In those moments, it's easy to feel isolated and overwhelmed.

That’s when you NEED people.

That’s also when you CAN’T reach out to people.

It’s happened to the best of us.

We wish we had a network of people we could turn to for support, advice, or even a new lead?

That's the power of strategic networking.

You have to build that network of people who can support you, before you need it.

So how do you do that?

Here’s the system I developed to network better - build relationships before you need them, so you're never starting from scratch when the unexpected happens.

The Networking System: 3 Strategies To Built True Ties

1. Become a Talent Scout:

The saying goes, "Bet on the jockey, not the horse."

The same goes for your network.

Don't just collect business cards – invest in people.

Scout out the rising stars, the ones with that fire in their eyes.

They're the future CEOs, the disruptors, the game-changers.

Spot the talent, the drive, the vision.

Be their champion.

Mentor them.

Share your hard-won wisdom.

Open doors they didn't even know existed.

As they rise, so do you.

Building a network isn't about quantity, it's about quality.

Bet on the jockey, and you'll win the race.

2. Become a "Reverse Mentor":

You just scouted new talent, now it’s time to tap into wisdom and experience.

Mentorship isn't a one-way street; it's a two-way exchange of knowledge and perspective.

Flip the script and become a "reverse mentor."

Don't just seek wisdom; offer yours in return (before you need it).

Your fresh perspective on emerging tech, digital trends, or innovative solutions is GOLD to those in power.

  • Pinpoint Your Power: What unique skills or insights do you have that a senior leader could benefit from?

  • Target the Right Players: Look for open-minded leaders who value diverse perspectives.

  • Make Your Pitch: Show them how your knowledge can solve their problems or drive their goals.

  • Start the Conversation: Don't be afraid to reach out and offer your expertise.

Become the trusted advisor, build cross-generational bridges, and accelerate your own career.

Remember: The student can become the teacher.

3. Build Your "Personal Board of Directors":

Jim Rohn famously said, "You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with."

Elevate your average.

Hand-pick your board of directors.

Not just mentors or colleagues, but your trusted advisors.

Seek diversity – experience, skills, perspectives.

Surround yourself with those who've "been there, done that" and those who challenge you to think differently.

Invest in these relationships.

Be present.

Be supportive.

Be the kind of friend you wish you had.

When failure strikes, this is your A-team.

They'll offer guidance, diverse perspectives, and unwavering support.

Your board of directors isn't just a network; it's your lifeline.

Your Network, Your Net Worth:

Stop chasing connections; start cultivating relationships.

Ditch the transactional mindset and embrace genuine connection.

Invest in people, not just business cards.

Remember, the strongest networks aren't built on desperation; they're built on mutual support, trust, and shared ambition.

This isn't just about climbing the ladder faster; it's about building a community that will catch you if you fall, push you when you hesitate, and celebrate with you when you win.

Your network isn't just a safety net; it's your launchpad.

This is how you network, properly.


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