The path to wealth is often not how we imagine it, or at least me anyways. If I had to envision a metaphor for my path to success, it would look something like me climbing a mountain, clawing and climbing the whole way up, with no help. The more accurate and realistic metaphor would look more like telling everyone you know about your upcoming climb, only to realize your buddy Joe has an uncle who was college roommates with a helicopter pilot and he would love to put you two in touch. It turns out you and the helicopter pilot share a lot in common and he would be glad to fly you to the top of that mountain.
To put this in simpler terms, your path to success is often not a straight one and you almost never succeed alone.
“Your network determines your networth”
Some people are naturals at networking, building relationships, and connecting with people. Other, not so much. To these types of people, having to talk to people, socialize, or build relationships is a dread. There are many types of people who fall into this category. Many engineers, doctors, and accountants tend to have weaker people skills. Whereas, nurses, psychologists, teachers, lawyers, and sales people tend to be more comfortable in social settings.
Chances are, you could benefit from building deeper and more meaningful connections, therefore growing your network. Let’s look at how you can build and grow your network.
First it’s important to understand that building relationships doesn’t mean handing everyone you come across a business card. That’s a piece of paper, not a relationship.
It’s even more important to realize that no one woke up this morning with the thought to go out of their way to help you. But you should have this exact mentality. Don’t lead with your wants. Rather, lead with value to others. This is the best way to start a relationship.
To build your network, you must first identify who you should make up that network. You can do this by looking for people who are currently doing what it is you want to. Seek out people who have succeeded at what you want to accomplish.
“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn
So make sure you are surrounding yourself with the right people.
Find ways to help other people. By leading with value, you’re much more likely to build meaningful relationships. This could be anything from working for someone to gain experience to introducing people to each other (remember your buddy Joe who’s dad knew that helicopter pilot?).
“The best way to become a billionaire is to help a billion people.” – Peter Diamandis
Now there are pitfalls to avoid when building your network. You could build the wrong network of people who will not make you a better person. You want to be careful who you let into your circle. Unfortunately, not everyone is as ethical as you and shares your morals.
In today’s age of the internet, it’s easy to feel connected to many people through social media and other outlets. Just because you follow someone on social media, doesn’t mean that you have a relationship with that person. These are shallow and false networks. Don’t trick yourself into thinking these networks will get you somewhere.
With that, think about where it is you want to be in 1 year, 5 years, and 10 years. Visualize want your life to look like. Then seek out people who have achieved the success you wish to, and build relationships with those people. Build your network. Your net worth will follow. So get out there and network and build a life you’ve always dreamed of.