We have all heard the adage ” It’s not what you know but who you know.”and it is still true today. Unfortunately it seems to be the agenda of society brainwash us into believing everything is supposed to be equal and fair. (On a side note: As far as I am concerned in the areas of human rights and social justice it most definitely should be.) However when it comes to business, work and quite frankly most everything in life it is certainly not fair or equal. We do not all have the same abilities and talents. We did not have the same advantages or disadvantages growing up. Our families were different and unique and that’s okay. Friends, schools, careers, and even which part of the globe you were born all have an impact on how you think and act. Embrace every good and not so good event in your life because it helped shape who you are today. Now how does this relate to networking?
Your ability to connect and add value to those around you will be a great determining factor to your success. Far too often it’s “What can you do for me?” instead of asking yourself how can you create opportunities and bless others. From the title Your Net Worth Is Equal To Your Network it would be easy to conclude that this is about receiving. That what we are talking about is strictly a financial benefit. You may have heard that your income is usually the average of the income of the five people you spend the most time with. While I can’t deny the monetary value that comes from mutually beneficial relationships with influential people, I would like to focus on adding value. John Holmes said:
“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”
Value is the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something. You can take a look around and see that people are struggling and that people are hurting. Social media has brought a new wave of depression to the surface where validation and self-worth rise and fall on the pretense of how many likes or followers we have. How do we combat this problem? Maybe you struggle with this personally. Once you post something do you check back every 30 seconds to see who, if anyone else has liked or commented. We have to change. We have to learn to focus on others. One of the best speakers of all time Zig Ziglar said “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”
Starting today commit to taking a little time every day and finding a way to add value to someone. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. Maybe it’s introducing to business associates or telling your significant other that you appreciate everything they do for you. It can be as simple as calling someone up and saying “I was just thinking about you and I wanted to call and let you know how much I value having you in my life.” It’s amazing how many times shortly after you have done this that same person will turn around and in some way add value back in to your life. Please keep in mind this isn’t doing just to receive. Your heart has to be in the right place. Genuinely wanting to and adding value will have a tremendous impact on not only the people you help but with yourself as well. Sometimes the best way to get past our own insecurities or stresses in our life is to help others with theirs. Truly when you help enough people you will get what you want. So next time you make a friend, next time you have a new business contact go out of your way to add value. They will associate you with being a positive person and want to be around you more. Your clients, your friends, all your associations will benefit because you chose to add value.
Take some time to reflect and evaluate who you are and who you want to be seen as. Think about how you can help others and I promise your life will be better for.