by Chris Widener
I have finally come to believe something about myself because so many people have said the same thing to me – I mean the EXACT same sentence – over the past year. It is about something about me that others notice, which quite frankly, just comes so naturally to me that I have never noticed before. It is a characteristic that, when applied to your life, will enable you to live the life you have always dreamed of because it will put you in the middle of relationships that will literally propel you to success! You see, no one lives their dreams without a lot of help from other people. I know a lot of successful people and all along the way, they all had others you went to bat for them and gave them a helping hand.
So, you are probably wondering what it is that I discovered about my self, aren’t you?
Here is what I hear a lot:
“Chris, you know more people than anyone I know.”
Here are some other variations:
“Chris, you are the most connected person I know.”
“Chris, your network includes almost everyone!”
So I started thinking about it and I realized some things.
In the last year I have put people together, as in “Call this guy. He’ll help you. Tell him I told you to call.” so many times that I am guessing there will be at least $500,000 worth of business done and maybe that much again in salaries made.
Do you remember the “Six Degrees of Separation” principle? It says that most people on earth are connected by only six people connections – i.e. I know you who knows Joe who knows Sue etc until you get to the other person. Most people can do this with any other person in just six degrees. The more connected you are, the less degrees – and the easier it is to accomplish what you want to accomplish. So I started thinking and I came to the conclusion that most connections for me are two degrees and even the “toughies” are just three. Don’t ask me to pass word on to the President though – he’s busy!
Now, let me say this: I am not bragging at all (though I am sure it sounds like it, which is why I was a little reluctant to write about this topic). In reality, this is something I had never really thought about until just recently.
And, after thinking about it, I believe ANYONE – yes, even you – can have the same kinds of network! ANYONE! Why do I believe this? Because I started thinking about what has made my network so supercharged and it comes down to a few simple basics that anyone can do. I am no better than anyone else at all. My Supercharged Network has nothing to do whatsoever with me being anymore talented or intelligent than anyone else! It has to do with a basic understanding of human nature and the nature of relationships as well as how to apply some principles that will maximize your relationships so you can live the life you have always dreamed of!
You can have a Supercharged Network too! Here are ten “secrets” to success through a supercharged network.
Successful people are sought out. If you succeed at what you put your mind and heart to, you will be sought out by other successful people. Yes, many unsuccessful people will seek you out as well, but that is the high price you pay to put yourself into the rank of those who succeed! Do your best, accomplish much and watch your network grow!
If you are a jerk people will write you off and will quit taking your phone calls as well as avoid the people you recommend. I am amazed at how many people will sabotage their own success because they aren’t nice to people.
Love to learn.
Developing a network is about learning. You need to learn about each person you come in contact with. You need to learn human nature. You need to learn how people work together. And this is fascinating stuff! If you do this simply to network, people will realize you are a phony. And phonies get left outside of the network. I truly love to learn!
I genuinely like people. There is always a mystery with people, always something new and exciting. Okay, sometimes they burn you, but generally speaking I like people – and that gets noticed. People like to be liked. They like to take phone calls from people who like them. They like to do business with people who are referred by people who like them. Don’t pretend to like people – like people!
Listen to people. Listen to what makes them tick. Listen to their likes and dislikes. Listen to their dreams and fears. Listen to their hobbies. Listen to what they do. I once got a job for a guy who I couldn’t even explain what he did. But I knew enough to know that when a guy I was standing in an elevator next to (3000 miles from my home) was talking about something I didn’t understand, the two things I didn’t understand matched up! I turned to the guy in the elevator and told him I knew just the guy for the job he was talking about. He looked condescendingly at me as though I couldn’t possibly understand what he was talking about (give him credit – I didn’t), and assured me that I was probably mistaken. This was a very niche job he assured me. I simply asked him for the website address and the position. He told me the website and that the position was for the CEO job. Within an hour my friend sent an email to my “friend” in the elevator. Two weeks later he was the CEO of the company! B-I-N-G-O!
Face it; big-shots know more people than little-shots! So it helps to know big-shots. Now this takes some chutzpah! First, you have to deal with your own self-esteem. You have to understand that you are more worthy than you think you are. Secondly, you have to deal with your esteem of the big-shot. Big-shots are really just little-shots with a bigger title (And they are usually more interesting. Think about it: Even a pompous blowhard big-shot is more interesting than a pompous blowhard little-shot. One brags about how they sat around and watched reruns while the other sits around bragging how they took over another company, which is definitely more interesting).
Most of the big-shots I know are the nicest people you would want to know. Very few of them are jerks or think too highly of themselves. Once you figure this out, call them and introduce yourself. Go up to them at the meeting and say hello. Note: This doesn’t mean bother them at dinner or inappropriate times – I have seen famous people in public and my friends will say, “Let’s go talk to him.” I NEVER do. They are busy with their families for crying out loud! Bugging them is the best thing you can do to CLOSE your network. What I would do is walk past and nonchalantly nod hello to them. They will appreciate that you knew who they were and left them alone. Then, if you need to, drop them a line or call their office. They will remember you and return the favor for not bugging them like everyone else does!
Help those who you network with. Always be helpful. If someone needs something you can provide for him or her, or someone you know can provide for them, be sure to offer the help. Nothing bonds a friendship (and that is really what we are talking about here – I want as many friends as I can get) like helping someone out. I can’t tell you how many times someone has been saying that they needed this or that and I said, “Do you know so and so? He can help you.” They got the phone number and usually a few weeks later they call and say thanks. Additionally, this only builds on itself as your network grows.
Help others via those who you network with.
Here is what I mean. Give people the opportunity to help other people. For example, one time I knew someone who was going on a medical mission and needed to get some pharmaceutical supplies soon and at cost. I knew virtually no one in the industry but I did know an executive of a large company in a state that has more than it’s share of drug companies. I figured he had to know somebody. It was a shot in the dark but it worked and the executive felt great being able to tap his network for the sake of needy kids in another country.
Names, dates, phone numbers, addresses. Anything to help you remember people. Harvey Mackay has his “Mackay 66” which I think is too long, but it is the right idea. Take notes and use the information to build your network. Somebody needs tickets to a State U. football game? Call that lady in accounting that graduated there. She can help!
Give more than you ask for.
Ultimately you have to be more of a giver than a taker. Otherwise you are more of a leech on the side of a network than you are a part of the network. Give to others any time you can help, have the resources, or know someone who does. This will make you a valuable asset in the network and people will want you around and active in the network.
The final idea is simply to be social. The more people you know, the wider your network will be. Not everyone will be a big part of your working network, but even those who aren’t offer you one of the most cherished things on earth – friendship.
If you want to be successful in this life it will take the help of other people. We pursue relationships for relationships sake, not to use people. But we are wise enough to know that the people we develop friendships with are people who we can help and be helped by – so all of us can achieve our dreams! Take the above to heart and you will surely Supercharge Your Network – which in turn will put you on track to live the life of your dreams!
Chris Widener is a popular speaker and author who has shared the podium with US Presidents, helping individuals and organizations succeed in every area of their lives and achieve their dreams.
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