We talked last week about how you should use your network to create warm leads, versus cold calls and emails. This week, how you can use life to create and utilize your network. Everybody has a gift and/or life experience that makes them elite, even if they don’t know it's there. Some know who they are and some don't.
Either way, when building a network, it's your job is to filter through those emotions, experiences, and personalities to find the value in each person. Determine the potential of what they have, how you can provide value to each other, or if you can bring others together with aligned ideas.
Building a Network=Ditch Humility
“So Billy, what do you do?”
This is the green light to flex and show how great you are. Humility in these situations comes across as either having low value or being an un-engaging, disinteresting person. The thing that makes this worse, is people are actually asking in seriousness because they want to know. And here you are stonewalling them with an anticlimactic explanation.
This isn’t the typical social scenario where people are just being formal, and really don’t care about who you are. Now is the time to give the honest truth about your accomplishments, achievements, and your lofty visions for the future. If the truth makes you look superhuman, then let it fly. Tell the story of your awesomeness.
In college, when people would ask what sport I played--tall black man= basketball--I knew "I'm a swimmer" was going to be a total let down. And it was. Every. Time. Over the years, my friend started to step in with the whole “national champion” part and the game immediately opened up. People were far more engaged, eclipsing the whole “I wish I was meeting a basketball player” disappointment.
I began implementing the strategy myself when meeting new people. It worked. As a swimmer, I never felt my accomplishments were special or “brag worthy.” But to the average person, what you think may not be exceptional, may be exceptional to others, and-or, objectively accessional. You have to let your accomplishments and what you do fly loose, uninhibited.
Be Imaginative and Predict Scaleablility.
The initial stage of a business is the scaled down version of the ultimate goal. The primary objective: bring in revenue to pay the bills, while approaching the longterm goal behind the scene. When meeting new people, use your imagination to predict the future scalability of their company/service. Typically, a business is there to innovate something that already exists.
Or as I like to put it: "What business are they trying to kill with their idea?"
If you can deduce their vision without being prompted, their eyes will light up. Whether realistic or not, your accurate call takes their vision, and transitions it from thought to reality. Their full engagement will follow.
Leverage that into your favor: how can you use this in your business? Who in your network can help them fast track their development? Often times who you are now and who they are now may not match up at the movement. But being able to have that emotional imprint on them, will help cultivate that relationship for future connections.
I was at a pool party a few weeks ago that was sponsored by a company that is basically uber eats for storing and moving your stuff. So, I’m asking questions to one their representatives, eventually arriving at “you’re trying to kill the storage unit business!” That is pretty cool. It's something that has been around for ages. And here they are, trying to kill a thriving piece of society. A pretty impressive vision to say the least. The rep's eyes lit up, and she introduced me to the company co-founder. We had a nice conversation about his long term plan, ending in him giving me his business card.
Sharing Your Network
Networking is about bringing value to others. Weather that’s you directly, a referral, or setting up a meeting between two others. Give them access to your network.
“Who do you know in your network who has business alignment with whom?"
With the “uber-storage” business above, although I was not able to help them directly, I was able to link their team to a high school friend in the storage business, who was able to help them. I have helped two people help themselves through my network. I have brought value to both. Influencing them to return the favor and consider my ambitions in future endeavors.
Scared $ don’t make no $
Depreciating assets, liabilities, buying goods and services, can all create access to higher level networks. Buying a new car may get you access to a brand membership or car club. Paying a fee to be in a self improvement community will get you access to countless members with whom you have some type of shared interest. Social clubs like fraternities can get you access to a network of alumni.
Former world champion kick boxer Andrew Tate bought a Bugatti. But why? As he admitted, there are faster, nicer super cars. But the Bugatti gets him access to exclusive networking opportunities. Networking opportunities with the type of people who buy Bugattis. He did not buy the car, he bought access to a network of high rollers. This will also allow him to provide more value and experience to the rest of his network through the knowledge in his Bugatti network.
Networking is a combination of chess and puzzle making: Figuring out how the pieces fit together, anticipating their full potential, and connecting them right time. Now go forth and conquer.