Your network is your social currency. That’s why it’s so important for you to get out of your office or home and meet new people, because at any moment, meeting someone new can your life in unexpected ways. All it takes is one new valuable relationship.
The key to having an extraordinary life is by creating valuable relationships. The old adage is true – we become an average of the 5 people we spend the most time with. It’s your responsibility to ensure your circle of influence is positive, supportive and empowering.
The more time we spend with technology, the less time we likely spend building real human connections. To build deep social connections with other people, it will require you to get out of your shell and into the real world.
People want to feel your energy in-person. They want to know the real you.
Building Social Currency
Getting out into the real world greatly increases your opportunity of finding people to build valuable relationships with. I know meeting new people can be a scary and fearful experience but that’s the feeling of you stepping out of your comfort zone.
Becoming a part of a community is the fastest and most effective way to build social currency.
There are opportunities that can only be given to you by certain people. The internet has made it fair game for anybody who wants to become successful, but who you know and who you hang around with still matters a lot.
The more successful people you know, the more successful you’ll be. Social currency isn’t just the value that comes from your relationships but also the value you bring to the relationships. To build valuable relationships, you must become valuable. The more valuable you are, the more opportunities you attract. You have to give to get.
Ask yourself: What value can I offer to the world? What can I do that others find challenging? What is a need they have that I can fulfill? These are questions you must answer to yourself to gain a deeper understanding of what type of value you can offer to your circle of influence, team, family and community.
One connection is all it takes. Who you know is the secret sauce to having more opportunities to succeed in life and business. This can be a mentor, client, team member or business partner. A mentor can give you advice that is only learned from experience and walking the path. A new client can potentially refer you to someone who wants to work with you and pay you more. A hungry intern that has a valuable skillset and wants to learn from you or a business partner who crushes it in marketing can save you thousands of dollars over hiring a supposed expert.
Keith Ferrazzi, author of Never Eat Alone, discovered early in life that what distinguishes highly successful people from everyone else is the way they use the power of relationships so that everyone wins. The real path to success in your work and in your life is through creating an inner circle of “lifeline relationships” – deep, close relationships with a few key trusted individuals who will offer you encouragement, feedback and mutual support.
Having a personal network is a prerequisite for a successful career.
We are all dependent on other people to achieve our goals and realize our dreams. Nobody can hope to be successful in the long term without thinking connectedly and gaining the support of others. Sooner or later, every lone wolf will reach his limits and his career will come to a standstill.
But what is it exactly that makes a network so important? It might sound like a truism, but personal contacts.
A classic study, outlined in the book Getting a Job, showed that among the 282 job seekers surveyed, 56% found their jobs through personal contacts, whereas only 19% had found theirs through job advertisements and 10% through applications on-line.
It is precisely in times of economic downturn, with high employee turnover and high job insecurity, having a personal network is more important than ever. People who are good networkers rarely have any problems finding a job.
All it takes is one relationship.
So, leverage social media as a tool to reach out to people you want to build relationships with and then find time to meet them in person. Use the internet to find meetups in your area with other entrepreneurs, creatives and dreamers, attend networking events.
Do something that gets you around empowering perspectives, ideas and energy. Get yourself immersed in an environment where people are driven, ambitious and uplifting. Start thinking about the value of your relationships that you’re building and the value you’re bringing to them.
Remember, the people you associate with become a part of who you are and are often a key part of finding a job and building a great career.