Whom would you recommend?

My biggest lesson of 2017? WEAK TIES ARE A GOLDMINE!

TL/DR: The more random and diverse my network — the more my career grows and the more exciting (ad)ventures become. Take thirty seconds to think through your conversations in January. Connect your contacts to someone that could help in the comments below.

Your network is your net worth

5+ years ago Facebook first published this article on degrees of separation. It shows the degrees of separation between every user on the network.

At the time there were 1.5 Billion users and the big statistic was: “The average person is connected to every other person by an average of 3.57 steps.” 

For reference, back then:

At the time I could reach every user on Facebook, with just 2.8 degrees of separation.

Here on LinkedIn, I connect to add value. There’s a great mix, of English, Russian, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese in my feed each day. Contrasting opinions, debates, and support. I can manage the egos, clickbait, and fluff.

This variety sparks creativity, innovation, and alternatives.

I encourage you all in 2018 to make a new connection each month, with a personal invite, to someone different.

WHY SEEK DIVERSITY?

What got you into a mess won’t get you out of it.

  • A wise man knows how little he knows. Think through an idea in another language or from the perspective of another culture. If you can’t, ask a friend who does. They might have a solution. Side note, Empathy is gold.
  • Two heads are better than one.

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. — Jim Rhone

  • If you really want to grow you need to be spending time with people that are more evolved than you. I’m not calling you an ape or neanderthal, but I want to complete an Ultra Marathon, so I’m not spending time doing 5k park runs with amateurs in skate shoes.
  • Hemmingway was such a successful writer because of the people he connected with and the scene he was in. Tim Ferriss, Benjamin Franklin, Harrison Ford — all accredit their success through proactively building the right connections with people they felt embarrassed and amateur around.

I know someone who works there.

  • If you’re in business development and just connect with industry or those in #bizdev your echo chamber will never reverberate with the sound of leads.
  • If you ever need to make a move or switch roles, your workmates and previous colleagues aren’t as much help as a connection at a prospective employer. I’m yet to secure a role through a recruitment agent, maybe in the future one will break this streak.
  • Procurement and finance will love you if you can source supplies at mates rates.
  • There’s a reason old boys networks, Lions clubs, Rotary and the Freemasons continue to grow.

HOW?

  • Get off the internet and out to Meetups, coworking spaces or Creative Mornings. Attend a new one every other month.
  • Use your contacts, ask for recommendations.
  • Get a hobby, run with strangers (note with not after, that gets you new friends and a lot less freedom to attend Meetups).
  • Join the local business council.
  • Join the Rotary or Lions club. Join the Bikers club?
  • Use my contacts — I’d be more than happy to make a connection?
  • Use this article. Ask for contacts in the comments.

Thanks for reading. If you’re feeling generous, connect me with someone you think I or others should know in the comments below!

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