You’re Only as Good as Your Network
“Effective networking isn’t a result of luck—it requires hard work and persistence.” —Lewis Howes
Thank you for joining this class. My name is Jordan Thibodeau. I work for Google’s Mergers and Acquisition team and have interviewed authors, venture capitalists, CEOs, billionaire hedge fund managers, and academics to learn what makes them successful. One thing they all have in common is the impact their social networks had on their personal growth and success.
One of the greatest connectors I have known was my mother. She was poor, lacked a formal education, and suffered from a terminal illness. Despite this, she was the light of our community. She helped people selflessly and made them feel truly appreciated. Her efforts created a vibrant network that helped me overcome my family’s economic hurdles and connected me to mentors, parental figures, and opportunities. This course is dedicated to her.
I mentioned my mother’s background to show you that being a connector isn’t predicated on wealth, health, education, or celebrity status. It depends on how willing you are to help others. According to Wharton professor and author Adam Grant: “Sociologists call this the Matthew effect, from the Bible: ‘For unto everyone that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance.’ If you establish a track record of achievement, advantages tend to accumulate. Who you’ll know tomorrow depends on what you contributed yesterday.”
This course is a blend of scientific research and my experiences in the field of networking. I want to share with you the tools that have helped me build a healthy network. By the end of this class, you will know how to:
• Develop stronger relationships through the five ways of giving.
• Create more engaging conversations.
• Overcome the fear of reaching out to old connections.
• Meet new people without that icky networking feeling.
• Properly introduce people.
• Develop bridging connections that can link you to new networks.
• Сontact influencers.
And much more!
Let’s start with the most primary thing you have to consider before building your network.
The Connecting Habit
Building a great network takes time and effort. That’s why most people don’t do it. Most start off strong with a burst of energy: They head to networking events, pass out their cards hoping to jump-start their network, and end up fizzling out. But to grow your network successfully, you need a daily routine of actions that deepen current ties and build new ones. I call this routine, the connecting habit.
There are four steps to building it:
1. Identify what motivates and distracts you. Why do you want to build a network? What are some of the excuses you will use to break your routine? What can you do to prevent them from stopping you?
2. Make time. Focus is key to making a habit stick, so you’ll have to stop doing something else. What will you cut back on to prioritize the connecting habit?
3. Keep it simple. When people start out building a new habit, they often make it too hard. Think of the person who vows to lose weight by trying a new diet, signing up for a fancy gym membership, and hiring an expensive personal trainer all at once. It’s better to determine the simplest action you can take to instill a habit and build momentum from there.
4. Hold yourself accountable. Create a weekly calendar reminder (no more than 30 minutes) to practice the concepts outlined in the following emails. Practice any of the lessons that resonate with you during this time block.
Tomorrow, you will learn five different ways to help people in your network.
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