It’s about who you know.
Your network is your net worth.
…cliché, cliché, cliché…
I totally buy into the value of personal connection, a powerful network, and strong relationships. If you know the right people to talk to, you can get just about anything done or at least find the answers to how you get anything done.
But meeting people and forming a relationship isn’t enough.
Networking isn’t “collecting people” the way some people treat it — you don’t shake someone’s hand, add them on Linkedin, and then have a strong bond with someone.
Real relationships are built on two people who both put energy and value into it. And if you can’t put energy or value into the relationship, it won’t really exist.
Over the past month, I met a ton of people who are doing things that I admire or aspire to. They have been performing at a high level for years, and collaborating with them could be a complete game changer for me and my business.
But honestly, I’m not there yet.
Think of it this way — you’re a high school baseball player and you meet the coach of the Yankees. Let’s say you made a great impression and he tells you he’s going to keep an eye on you — awesome!
But he’s not going to toss you out into centerfield at Yankee Stadium yet. Even if you’re willing to take on the challenge — it would be kind of a wreck for you, and he puts his own reputation at risk. You’ve gotta get better at hitting a curveball, build a better track record, and probably spend some time in the minor leagues first.
At some point, there is just no substitute for putting in the time to improve your craft or produce high quality work. You can network like a machine, but nothing trumps quality production and creating value.
It’s definitely worthwhile to meet the coach of the Yankees before you’re ready to be drafted — but then it’s time to put your head down and get back to batting practice.