NET WORTH (noun): The total wealth of an individual, company, or household, taking account of all financial assets and liabilities.
NETWORK (noun): A group or system of interconnected people of things.
Okay, we know the technical definition of net worth, but your net worth is reflected in your network, not only because of the quality of your contacts and relationships, but because of the opportunities for growth your network provides you.
Elevation. When you put yourself into a network with those who are playing on another level, those peers require you to elevate your game. Simply put, you show up differently. When you’re young and you’re hanging out with a group of kids in high school, how you’re viewed by your peers and mentors is affected by who you surround yourself with. Your professional network is no different. The stakes are higher, and the clothes are (usually) better, but other than that, cultivating your network is the grown-up equivalent of finding your clique.
Access. The priorities you have when curating your network should differ from the priorities you have when curating friendships. While both are important, you want to be mindful of the doors your network opens for you and vice versa. Access is everything. When you exchange business cards with one person, you are cementing the first impression with one person, but seeding the potential for introductions to dozens more.
Variety. If you’re an accountant and only connect with other people in the finance arena, you may meet some fantastic people, but in the grand scheme of networking, you’re limiting your potential success. There are definitely similarities that are worth looking for: motivation, drive, a passion for lifting others as well as yourself, but no matter your business, your network should be filled with people from a wide variety of industries and businesses! Not only for the doors other people open for you, but for the doors you can usher them through as well.
Ideas. Being an entrepreneur can be the ultimate rush, but it can also be an isolating journey. Networking is the best way to gain new perspectives, inspiration, objectivity, and gain new ideas from people with different views and backgrounds. What better way to put yourself in the customer’s shoes than by engaging in meaningful dialogue with people who are rooting for you and successful in their own right?
Building. As an entrepreneur, you are a builder. A builder of your business, a builder of your own dreams, your network helps you build everything. But when you network, you aren’t just building your network, you are building and solidifying your reputation. They say “if you build it, they will come”, work on building an irresistible reputation and you’ll have those clients lining up!
It’s not just about meeting new people. It’s about meeting the right people. Those who are like-minded, those who care about your success as well as their own, people who know that there is enough success for everyone to go around!