Developing and Tapping Your Network

Whether you realize it or not, you have a network.  A network of people that range from acquaintances to extended members of your family that love you.  As Keith Ferrazzi says "Too many people see relationships as pies—where if you take a piece, there won’t be as much left over. Relationships and networks are more like muscles. The more you work them, the bigger and stronger they get."  So how do you work out your network?  Consider the workout being connecting the folks you know together.  Is there a person that you are trying to connect with?  Can you find a pain they might be having and solve it yourself or with someone you already know?  This builds your reputation, no matter how big or small.  I do this daily on twitter.  The most important point is that you do this with the right intentions, because people will see through you sooner or later.  Secondly, do it without keeping score of who you’ve helped.  By the way, this is a life long process.

The beautiful part about a network is that you can ask your network for help, too.  People are wired to want to reciprocate and it is perfectly acceptable to ask for help.  In fact, people want to be needed!  Recently, I took a tour of Google.  People freak out when I tell them that, but it was merely from asking my friend Vid (@vluther on twitter) who asked his friend Eric at Google.  Eric is now part of my network and he knows that he can tap me for anything he needs.  A friend asked me if I could get a team of 40 to 60 people a tour of Google.  Guess what?  The process is under way with Eric, simply by sending a nice email! 

Which one of your friends needs help today?  Who can you look for that could use a hand?  Are you the person that needs the assistance?  Ask your network and be amazed by the goodness of people.

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