Book notes: Never Eat Alone

Never Eat Alone book summary by Marlo Yonocruz

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Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi

Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi

Synopsis: Do you want to get ahead in life? Climb the ladder to personal success? The secret, master networker Keith Ferrazzi claims, is in reaching out to other people. As Ferrazzi discovered in early life, what distinguishes highly successful people from everyone else is the way they use the power of relationships – so that everyone wins.

Opening thoughts:

Again, this was a book I heard on a Tim Ferriss podcast recommended by Ramit Sethi. If I remember correctly, this was one of the three books he recommended for budding entrepreneurs.

At first, I thought this book would be about why you should eat with other people and the benefits. But as the second part of the title suggests, it’ll probably focus on strategies for success based on building relationships. I imagine that there will be a ton of good tactics on developing relationships.

Key ideas/notes:

  • Community is the most valuable form of social capital
  • Everyone has something to learn and teach
  • Build friendships, embrace synchronicity, show love
  • Taking control of and managing your relationships is like taking control of your life and career
  • Nothing exists in isolation, everything exists in relation to others
  • Success breeds success, and the rich do get richer. Life is a game and those who know the rules and how to play it best succeed
  • The rule that has unprecedented power is that the person with the right relationships in the right way and utilize the power of these relationships can become a member of the club
  • Realize you can’t get there alone. Success is about access and talent
  • Profound lesson in generosity: when you help others, they often want to help you (reciprocity)
  • Reach out to people as a way to make a difference in their lives, as well as an opportunity to explore, learn, and enrich your own
  • Instead of “networking,” he sees as connecting and sharing his time, energy, and resources
  • Being a Connector is about managing relationships
  • When you strip down a business to its core, it’s simply selling things to each other
  • If they’re honest, successful people will give credit to others for paving the way
  • Comnecting is one of the most important business and life skill sets you’ll ever learn. Why? Because people do business with people they know and like
  • Nothing comes close to the impact of having good mentors
  • Real networking is about finding ways to make other people successful, working hard to give more than you get
  • Building relationships is never boring (if you’re doing it right)
  • A relationship-driven career benefits the company because everyone benefits from your growth
  • Since information is currency, a wide network is necessary to become a thought leader
  • “There is no such thing as a self-made man. We are made up of thousands of others”
  • Key to success in one word: generosity
  • You have to be willing to accept and ask for generosity, as well as give it
  • Stop keeping score. The more people you help, the more help you’ll have
  • In this hyperconnected world, cooperation is gaining the advantage over competition. We live in an interdependent world
  • Company and employee loyalty is dwindling. Today we must find loyalty in our own relationships
  • We are the very product of the networks and people to which we are connected. Who you know determines who you are, how you feel, and how you act
  • The secret to health and happiness: healthy and happy friends!
  • Relationships are not like a pie where taking will make less. They are more like a muscle; the more you work it the stronger it becomes
  • Institutions and relationships are built on trust. Trust is built not by asking what people can do for you, but by asking what you can do for them
  • The currency for real networking isn’t greed but generosity
  • One surefire place to find help when needed: within your extended circle of friends
  • Its easier to get ahead when those below you are happy
  • Each of us are now a brand, days of company and employee loyalty are gone
  • The more specific you are with your goal, the easier it will be to come up with a strategy to achieve it
  • The key is making goal-setting a habit; a goal is a dream with a deadline
  • The “blue flame” is where your talents and desires intersect, where your passions and ability come together from a realistic assessing of yourself
  • If you follow your bliss, it’ll put you on a track that has been waiting for you. Deep within a person is the intuitive knowledge of what he or she truly wants in life
  • Make one list of your goals, and another list of the things that please you, move you, and give you joy. Ask others what your strengths and weaknesses are, what they admire about you and what you might need help with
  • Human ambition is like a Japanese carp, it grows to the size of its environment. Our achievements grow to the size of our dreams and to the degree of which we are in touch with our mission
  • First, develop goals that will help you towards your mission. Next, connect those goals to the people, places, and things that can help you achieve them. Third is finding out the best way to reach out to the people who can help you achieve those goals. There is a symbiotic relationship between goal setting and reaching out to people who can help accomplish them
  • There is a system to building a network that requires having a predetermined plan, carrying it out, posting it where you’ll see it daily, and sharing with others
  • Goals must be in writing, specific and actionable, believable, challenging and demanding. Constant action (it’s a marathon) with a personal board of advisors as cheerleaders and supervisors
  • Warning: people become jealous when you do what nobody thought you would or could. You have to push through
  • Build it before you need it. Start making connections with potential future clients and do good work for free. Once you develop clients and a referral network, you can turn your current company into your second biggest client
  • The ideas that help you start your own business make you a hot commodity and give you job security in your own company
  • The idea is to constantly create the environment and community you want for yourself no matter the economy
  • Create a company-approved project that will force you to learn new skills and interact with other people in the company
  • Take leadership positions in the hobbies and outside organizations that interest you
  • Join your alumni club and spend time around people doing work you want to be doing
  • Enroll in a community college course that relates to a job you’re doing now or that you wanna do
  • All these ideas will help you meet new people, and the law of probability shows that the more people you meet the more opportunities will come your way
  • All around you are golden opportunities to develop relationships with people you know. In business, your best customers are your existing ones
  • Focus on friends of friends and old networks from school and family. Each person is a portal to an entirely new set of people
  • Boldness and audacity have genius, power, and magic in it. It separates two equally talented people in their field
  • Two types of speakers: those who are nervous and those who are lying
  • First, acknowledge that your fear is normal. Second, acknowledge that getting over that fear is critical
  • We tend to hang out with the same kind of people because subconsciously they affirm our own behavior
  • Follow and watch people who are better socializers, adopt their techniques and improve
  • You’ll feel most comfortable when you get involved with people who also share your enthusiasm
  • It’s crucial to become a leader in these hobby groups
  • Set a goal of initiating a new meeting with one new person a week. It becomes easier with practice and you get comfortable with the idea of rejection. With that perspective, even failure becomes a step forward. Embrace it as learning
  • Fail, fail, fail again, and fail better. Every situation becomes an opportunity to succeed
  • The recipe for success is a medley of self-assuredness, dogged persistence, and audacity
  • Time tested script when dealing with people: state the situation, communicate your feelings, don’t downplay your emotions, deliver the bottom line, use an open ended question to invite other person to work towards solution with you
  • “It’s what your team accomplishes because of you and not for that will generate your mark as a leader”
  • In today’s world, mean guys finish last. We vote for the people we like and respect. Great companies are built by CEOs who inspire love and admiration.
  • We live in an era of abundance of choice from products to careers
  • How to not be a networking jerk:
    • Don’t schmooze, have something to say and say with passion, make sure you have something to offer with sincerity
    • We must bring virtue to our connections and networks
    • Don’t rely on currency of gossip
    • In connecting online and off, you’re only as good as what you give away
    • Don’t treat those under you poorly
  • In the information age, openness is a much sought after attribute
  • It’s not a numbers game, your goal is to make genuine connections with people you can count on
  • Being liked can be the most potent, constructive force for getting business done. Cultivate trust in everyone
  • Do your homework; spectacular achievement is always preceded by spectacular preparation. Before meeting with someone, learn who they are, what their business is, their achievements, challenges, hobbies, etc. People genuinely care above and beyond about what they do. If you’re informed enough to talk knowledgeably and comfortably step into their world, they’ll appreciate it
  • The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated
  • In networking, your goal is to transform what might be a forgettable encounter into a blossoming friendship
  • In social media and online networks isn’t information overload, but filter failure
  • Managing a cold call: it’s all about YOUR attitude, make sure every call made is a warm one
  • Reaching out and connecting two people: chance to let his friend meet someone of importance and potential business interest, and a chance to look good
  • Don’t act annoyed when someone’s response time was long, but also don’t apologize for your persistence
    • Creating and maintaining a sense of optimism and gentle pressure is all part of the dance
  • 4 rules for warm calling:
    • Convey credibility by referencing a familiar person or institution
    • State your value proposition (all about what you offer them)
    • Impart urgency and convenience
    • Be prepared to offer a compromise and secure a definite follow up
  • Talk a little and say a lot. Make it quick, concise, and definitive. But it’s a dialogue so give them time to come with you
  • The ultimate objective is to set up a meeting to discuss the proposition in more detail, not to sell or close the deal (deals are usually made face-to-face and one-on-one)
  • In any informal negotiation, you go big at the onset, leave room for compromise, then ratchet down for the close. Compromise is a powerful force in human relations
  • Live and die by your email subject line, otherwise it will never get read. Focus on your strongest hook, whether that’s the mutual connection or value, and make them curious
  • Make the gatekeeper and ally and never an adversary. Always respect their power and authority. Acknowledge their help and thank them
  • When building a network, never disappear and have your calendar filled. Always appear visible and active in your network
  • Constantly look for ways to include others, multitask by having meetings with multiple people and connecting them
    • Pay attention to the sense of chemistry people have with each other
    • Take a friend out to lunch and include other people from your work networks
  • There is a unique camaraderie with those who sit in first class. They tend to be movers and shakers
  • Shared interests are the basic building blocks of any relationship
    • Events and activities where you will thrive are those built around interests you’re passionate about
  • Friendship is created out of the quality of time spent between two people, not the quantity; it’s what you do that matters, not how often you meet
  • Usually it’s the activity you excel at that you’re most passionate about
  • Giving back and the relationships formed while serving others is truly special
  • When we are truly passionate about something, it is contagious. Our passion draws other people to who we are and what we care about. Others respond by letting their guard down, which is why sharing your passion is important in business
    • It’s astonishing how much more you can learn about someone when you are both doing something you enjoy
  • Inviting someone to church is a personal gift, it shows you think highly enough of them to share a personal part of your life with them
    • Contrary to popular business wisdom, there doesn’t need to be such a rigid line between private and public life
  • The expression of emotion and compassion is the glue that binds us. When our relationships are stronger, our businesses and careers are more successful
  • Make a list of your passions and use it as a guide to which activities and events you should be seeking out. Use them to engage new and old contacts
  • Activities/events to keep in touch with business and personal friends
    1. 15 minutes and a cup of coffee
    2. Conferences
    3. Invite someone to share a workout or hobby
    4. A quick early breakfast, lunch, drinks after work, or dinner together (food to break the ice)
    5. Invite someone to special event (book signing, concert, theater)
    6. Entertaining at home: intimate dinner party 1 or 2 people you don’t know well, leave them feeling like they’ve made a new set of friends
    7. Volunteering
  • When scheduling time with others, don’t neglect the key relationships in your life
  • When your day is fueled by passion, filled with interesting people to share it with, reaching out will feel less like a chore, and more like an effortless consequence
  • When you meet someone with whom you want to establish a relationship with, take the extra step to make sure you don’t get lost in their mental attic: follow up!
    • Good follow up elevates you above 95% of your peers, it is the key to success in any field
  • The most memorable gifts you’ll receive are those value could not be valued by dollars and cents
  • Making sure a new acquaintance retains your name and the favorable impression you’ve created is a process you should set in motion right after you met someone. Give yourself between 12-24 hours after you met them to follow up
  • Get commitments to meet at a later date in writing
  • Critical: don’t remind them of what they can do for you, instead focus on what you might be able to do for them
  • What to include in follow ups:
    • express gratitude
    • include an item of interest in your conversation or memorable moment
    • reaffirm whatever commitments you both made
    • be brief and to the point
    • always address thank you note to the person by name
  • Timeliness is key; send invitation to connect and follow up note immediately
  • Make follow up and automatic habit
  • Military strategists know the battles are won before the first shot is fired
  • ROI type though process for conferences: is the likely return from the relationships I’ll establish and build equal to or greater than the cost of the conference and the time I spend there?
  • Conferences are not where you get insight, you get those from experiences, books, and other people
  • The smartest sales and business people spend 80% of their time building relationships
  • Bowling ball or pin: one leaves a positive impression in their wake, create friendships, and achieve goals, the other sits and waits
  • Doing speeches is one of the easiest and most effective ways to get yourself, your business, and your ideas seen, heard of, and remembered
    • Toastmasters provides a forum for the development of speaking skills
    • studies show the more speeches one gives, the higher ones income bracket tends to be
    • Your special status as a speaker makes meeting people easier at conferences
    • You need content and something to say. You need to develop a spiel about the niche you occupy or a number of different ones for different audiences
    • Start small in speaking and get feedback to hone your skills
  • Be the first to ask a well thought out question and gain attention from the gathering
  • Two of the best ways to make an impact while protecting your downtime: speaking publicly and attending conferences
  • Organize a conference within a conference. No reason not to host your own events away from the majority of the conference attendees
  • Introduce people to each other, and maybe give one fact about a person to another
  • Be an information hub; become a reporter
  • Master the “deep bump”, 2 minute bump with intention to get an invitation to reconnect at a later time; the perfect bump is fast and meaningful
    • Bill Clinton was a master as the deep bump, he wants to show he likes and cares about you
  • Connect with connectors, often times our acquaintances or weak ties are most important connections (Tipping Point idea)
  • Super connectors:
    • Headhunters: mix between salesman and socialite
    • Lobbyists
    • Fundraisers; a selfless job often done for the best reasons
    • Public relations people
    • Politicians
    • Journalists
    • Authors, bloggers, and gurus
  • Seek out people who are different from you, work in different fields and industries, and overall think differently
  • To be a super connector like Paul Revere doesn’t take an active genius, just involvement in the community and an active interest
  • The easiest way to grow your circle is to connect your circle with another’s
    • The best way to see every contact in your network as a partner
    • In other words, they exchange and share networks. However, each must give as much as they get
  • Conversation and the ability to make small talk is an acquired skill, not a natural ability
  • When a screen writer develops characters, the first thing they establish is motivation. What does the character want?
    • This will dictate what the character will and wont say
    • Acting based on our motives is a reflection of how we humans are hardwired
  • Study showed that GPA had no bearing on success. The one characteristic common among the most successful in a graduating MBA class 10 years later was verbal fluency
    • Those who could confidently make conversation with anyone in any situation
    • The more successful you can use language, the faster you can get ahead in life
  • Goal in small talk: start a conversation, keep it going, create a bond, and leave with the other person thinking, “I really like that person (you)”
  • False misconception: you should avoid unpleasant, overly personal, and highly controversial issues. WRONG.
    • The notion that someone can be everything to everybody at all times is completely off the mark
    • When it comes to making an impression, differentiation is the name of the game
  • The one way to stand out: be yourself!
    • Successful people don’t waste time and energy trying to be someone they’re not
  • Vulnerability is one of the most under appreciated assets in business today
    • Power today comes from sharing information, not withholding it. There is no power in secrecy
    • Our open source society calls for open source behavior
    • People will respect you more for honesty, openness, and putting your cards on the table
    • The best ice breaker is a few words from the heart
    • Every conversation you have is an invitation to risk revealing the real you
    • Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change
    • The key to connection isn’t having everything under control but being open to vulnerability
    • Courage: telling the story of who you are with your whole heart
    • Spirituality, romance, and politics are some topics that people consider off-limits, but are the issues that make life worth living
  • Charm is simply a matter of being yourself. Your uniqueness is your power
  • The best way to be good at small talk is to not talk small at all
    • Learn the power of nonverbal cues, give the person a hearty smile, maintain a good balance of eye contact, unfold your arms and relax, nod your head and lean in (show you’re engaged)
    • Learn to touch people in the right way
  • The surest way to become special in others’ eyes is to make them feel special
  • Develop conversational currency; have something to say, keep up with current events, have some niche interest
    • What you talk about is ultimately less important than how you talk about it
    • It’s edifying and interesting to hear someone talk about something they’re interested in
    • Don’t monopolize the conversation, share your passion but don’t preach it
    • Johari window: adjusting language and behavior to a person’s communication style like a mirror. This will make them automatically feel more comfortable
  • Small talk needs to end with an invitation to continue the relationship
  • Learn to listen. The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated
    • You should seek first to understand than to be understood
    • Nothing is sweeter to a person than the sound of their own name
  • Successful graduates are social, communicative, and out-going. Getting along skills more than anything else determined who got ahead
  • When getting to know someone, try to find out what motivations drive them
    • usually one of three things: making money, finding love, or changing the world
  • As a connector, you will be a keen observer of the human psyche. You’ll have to learn what makes people tick and how best to satisfy whatever tick that may be
    • The most successful relationship builders are a nifty amalgam of financial guru, sex therapist, and all-around do gooder
    • Connecting is a philosophy of life, a worldview
    • All people, every person you meet, is an opportunity to help and be helped
  • Emphasize mutual dependence, because as a matter of necessity we are social beings. Our strength comes from what we know and what we do cumulatively
    • The fact is, nobody gets ahead in this world without a lot of help
  • The only way to get people to do anything is to recognize their importance and thereby make them feel important. Every person’s lifelong desire is to be significant. Take interest in who they are and what their mission is
  • 3 things than engender deep emotional bonds between people
    1. health – can’t attend to highest needs until we attend to the bottom ones
    2. wealth – helping someone get a job significantly changes their economic situation
    3. children – mentoring and teaching is the finest way to help learning
  • Building relationships by find ways to help them individually and a commitment to what’s important to them
    • There’s something distinctive that happens when givers succeed. It spreads and cascades to others around them
    • Study shows that the hours spent helping others makes us more productive
    • Theres’s a strong relationship between giving and success
    • Give to givers; give and nurture your own network first
    • Look for “bargains” where you can do quick and easy favors that don’t require much time, energy, or resources, but make a big impact on the other person
  • The most successful people find out how to become indispensable to the people around them
    • Think of it as a game: when someone has a problem try thinking of solutions
    • Social arbitrage: making beneficial connections for your networks and not waiting to be asked
    • Real power comes from being a switchboard by giving out as many contacts and information and resources to as many people as possible
  • Make it a point to know as many different people from many different fields and social groups as possible
  • The ability to bridge different worlds and even people from the same professions is a key attribute for managers. You’re better paid and promoted faster
    • Those people are more adaptive, mobile, and better to solve the problems of the organization
  • It’s what you know and who you know that leads to success. Who you know determines how effectively you can apply what you know. Getting things done and climbing the walls of your company require having the right relationships
  • Performing social arbitrage when your financial and relational resources are thin is not that big of a hurdle. Answer: knowledge. This is one of the most valuable currencies in social arbitrage
    • Knowledge is free, can be found everywhere, and is precious to people
  • The ability to distribute knowledge in your network is a fairly easy skill to learn
    • the best way to break through the noise is to carefully target your work, for example, writing book summaries to a specific audience
    • It’s easy to make knowledge brokering a habit
  • 80% of building and maintaining relationships is just staying in touch; you have to feed the fire of your network or else it will die
  • People you’re contacting to create a new relationship need to see your name in 3 different modes of communication
  • The key is repetition and finding a way to keep in touch without putting mtoo much stress on your schedule
  • All successful people are planners, they think on paper. Failing to plan is planning to fail
  • Scrupulously update your lists so that you’re constantly focused on people who are most important to you
  • Personal pings should convey “I miss you and care about you”
  • Professional pings should have some value added
    • Holidays are not the best times to focus your pinging, birthdays are
  • The power of a shared meal in your own home to comfort, nurture, and connect people
  • Anchors are people who come up in many stories and have a positive influence on many of your friends
    • Anchors allow you to reach out and pull in other people from different circles who normally wouldn’t attend
    • Anyone who can add a little electricity to your dinner party is an anchor tenant
    • Journalists are great b/c they’re always on the lookout for a good story, are usually great conversationalists, and others may seek exposure from them
    • When you can’t land a big fish, you can pull someone with proximity to power
  • Finding the right mix: professionals you want to do business with today, contacts you aspire to do business with down the road, and “light attractors” (energetic, interesting, willing to speak their mind), a local celebrity, and close family & friends
  • These events are about building relationships, 6-10 guests are optimal
    • 6 people to pop in either before or after for drinks, appetizers, or desserts
    • Close friends who don’t mind being invited to main event
    • Sometimes energy level spikes w/ inclusion of new group
    • Thursday nights are best times for dinner parties
    • Rules: have a theme, use invitations, keep it simple (with food), create atmosphere, forget formal, don’t seat couples together, relax, host virtual after-party (send email thanks, memorable recaps, and photos)
  • Eventually everything connects: people, ideas, and things. The key is the quality of those connections
  • Gain information based on the research and knowledge of others via social media feeds. Getting smarter while also becoming more connected
  • The more ideas infect you, the more likely you will be able to sense the key to the next big innovation
  • Network management scales easily, while developing intimacy requires one-on-one
  • You’re always building and keeping an ear on your larger network, while keeping your relationship energy on a smaller group
  • Network diversity boosts collective intelligence
  • What you see shapes how you change, where you look shapes what you see. Audit your diversity in your newsfeed
  • In-person meetings promote authenticity, which builds trust
  • Be the first to share the news and relevant things to groups, create content together. Getting people resources and opportunities in sync is easier than it ever has been
  • Don’t focus on today’s big kahunas. Instead look for great ideas, uncommon smarts, fresh faces, and an openness to a two-way relationship
  • Build an alliance, and hopefully in 5 or 10 years you’ll both be in a better position to help each other
  • To build trust online, you need to find a way to reveal your humanity in bits and bytes
    • Content = one true vehicle for building trust online
    • Its how people come to know who you are, what you’re about, what you want, what you can provide, whether you’re cool, etc.
    • The algebra of trust: creating content that gets read and builds trust requires you to adopt and communicate the same core values that help you build relationships in the physical world
    • Generosity + Vulnerability + Accountability + Candor = Trust
    • The more you can be yourself, the m ore people can trust you’re giving it to them straight. It’s better to be rough around the edges than to be polished to a bland sheen
    • You have to find your own version of authentic, value-based content that is uniquely you and infused with GVAC
    • Your vulnerability and humanity will make people care to listen and trust you
    • Generosity online is willingness to give and to receive, show up, listen, and share your best ideas
  • Join conversations before you start them
  • Speak in a language that matters. Attention is the scarce resource that we all compete for these days
    • Tell people you’re solving a problem they already know they have. Putting yourself in your reader’s shoes and responding to their needs is generous
  • Every headline is a pitch; thinking carefully about how to make that value immediately clear
  • First rule for content: a strong belief your content has value for people
  • The best subject lines tease one of two human needs: utility or curiosity
    • Always make sure your piece pays off the promise of your headline
  • Whenever possible, co-create
    • The best ideas come from looking around you, constantly asking how can I be helpful to people, and then engaging them early and often in the process of creation
    • Inviting others to co-create allows them to be a part of something
    • Increases the likelihood the end product is going to be something your audience is interested in
    • Ask audience what they want directly
  • In the marketplace, being uniquely you makes you irreplaceable. But this requires risk in putting yourself out there
  • Blend personal and professional messaging, blend anecdotes with utility
  • Being open with your mistakes shows people you have nothing to hide, and stops perpetuating idea that successful people succeed over and over again
  • Posts with photos catch more attention and pack an emotional punch
  • Accountability is about taking a bold position and staying the course in the face of criticism or fear
  • Consistency keeps your readers engaged
    • Create an editorial schedule of what kind of content you’ll post and when
    • Providing structure to your efforts makes it easier to be accountable to your plans
  • Try to create your own content brand defined by that thing you do that no one else does
    • You can do weekly, monthly, or quarterly newsletters, or annual top 10 list with content entirely determined by your passion
    • The way you represent yourself online should never go too far away from how you would represent yourself in the flesh, it’s about your online integrity
    • When you and your content changes, gently and respectfully bring your audience up to speed with the changes
  • The tough thing about authenticity is that it demands you know who you are, what you care about, and that you do your best to be true to that. A good deal of introspection is needed to have that clarity
  • There are 2 types of people: those who make excuses and those who get the job done
    • You are 100% responsible for anything that has your name on it
  • Make the rules of your relationship with your audience clear, stick to it and don’t ever break a promise to them no matter what the circumstances
  • Candor: authenticity is not only scarce, it is supremely valuable. Its the essence of leadership, sales, marketing, and any discipline involved in motivating people to do anything
    • isn’t just saying what’s true, but doing so as a matter of habit
    • Say what no one else will, people are desperate for authenticity
    • When you make honesty a habit, controversy is not far away
  • The most successful entrepreneurs make their best moves by experimentation, trial and error, opportunism, and literally by accident
  • Share your process: grope, fail, adapt, repeat, and do it with attention and guidance of those who care enough to follow along
  • Elusive challenge: connecting with people you don’t know you need to know
  • Before, the smartest people gravitated towards the money. Nowadays, money gravitates towards the smartest people
    • Wherever you find creativity and talent, usually innovation and profit is soon to follow
  • The best contacts are those forged when working on mutual passions
  • Change is constant and information is quickly outdated. It’s not what you know, but how quickly you can learn the new and right things
  • Ask yourself: how can I foster the juxtaposition of really smart people who would normally never have the opportunity to talk, and if they did they would create amazing value
  • Direct correlation between population density and innovation
  • Consider travel and spending time in other cities, countries, and cultures as an investment in your career
    • Frequent places where people are open for interaction
  • Curiosity, generosity, passion, and humility are characteristics that help serendipity
    • Create social opportunities such as dinners that allow for opportunities to build trust
    • Passion generates energy, which makes it easier to reach out
    • Ideas don’t have to be perfectly refined to reel in fellow enthusiasts
    • Picking up a new activity or hobby can reinvigorate and refresh you when passion fires are burning low
    • Engineer serendipity: change up your routine paths and decisions, say yes more often, be open to new things and people
  • Network with other people and be generous to them. It’s just as much as shifting the focus on others as it is achieving your own goals
  • Take action. Create opportunities for collaboration and supportive in-person encounters. Gather all the smart people simultaneously in the process of learning and doing
  • Surround yourself with genius. Focus less on to do lists and more to-meet lists
  • Attract and reward mentors, not just with gratitude but with success
  • Be someone worth talking to, and even better someone worth talking about
  • People are asking themselves (about you), “would I like to spend an hour eating lunch with this person?” or “If I get stuck in an airport, would I like to spend it with this person?”
  • Spend a little time paying attention to what’s going on in the world, and interesting tidbits you hear, or read in your feed and work to remember them
  • People hire people not only who they like, but who can make the company better, especially someone with an expanded view of the world, which means you need to be aware
  • All your efforts have to be powered by a deep passion and a set of beliefs that go well beyond your own personal benefit. To move others, you have to speak beyond yourself
    • Become an expert, have a unique point of view. You have to have a well thought-out  point of view
    • Being interesting is talking intelligently about any subject enough
    • Expertise requires a more specialized form of knowledge. It’s knowing what you have that most others do not. It’s your differentiation. It is your message that will make your brand unique
  • Being known is notoriety, but being known for something is respect
    • You have to believe in something for people to believe in you
    • Becoming unique makes you more valuable
    • What will set you apart from everybody else is the relentlessness you b ring to learning and presenting and selling your content
  • Creativity in business is often nothing more than making connections that everyone else has almost thought of
  • Create a story about your company and the ideas it embodies that readers will care about. That’s your content
    • Talk to reporters about why what you do is so special
    • Your are the expert on what you do, the most passionate and most informed
    • A unique point of view is one of the only ways to ensure that today, tomorrow, and a year from now you’ll have a job
  • In America’s information economy, we frame our competitive advantage in terms of knowledge and innovation
    • Today’s market values creativity over mirror confidence and expertise over general knowledge. If what you do can be done by anyone, there will always be someone willing to do it for less
    • Content creators have always been in high demand
    • Become an expert by listening to all the thought leaders and reading all the literature on the subject
    • Experts talk, write, and speak about their expertise
    • There’s no better way to learn something and become an expert in it than to teach it
    • You can put together a course on relationship building or content creation (or any subject you learn) at your local community college or elsewhere
    • Forget your job title and job description. Starting today, figure out what exceptional expertise you’re going to master that will provide real value to your network and your company
  • One way, you can find someone who has already connected the dots and become an expert of their content (easy way)
    • The hard way is connecting the dots on your own
  • Tips on helping become an expert:
    • Get out in front and analyze the trends and opportunities on the cutting edge
    • Build your knowledge and you’ll start making connections others are not
    • Ask seemingly stupid questions, know yourself and your talents (focus and cultivate your strengths so your weaknesses matter less)
    • Always learn (self development), stay healthy, expose self to unusual experiences, stimulate creativity and learn things out of the mainstream, and travel to weird and exotic places
    • Don’t get discouraged, get used to rocking the boat, focus on the results and keep eyes open for what happens on the edges of your industry
    • Know the new technology on business and how to leverage it, develop a niche, and follow the money
  • Creativity is worthless if it cannot be applied. The bottom line for your content has to be this will make us more money
    • The lifeblood of any company is sales and cashflow
  • Powerful content communicated in a compelling story can energize your network to help you achieve your mission
    • Dalai Lama: message must be simple and universal. He appeals to his cause by appealing to everyone’s cause
    • “How does my content help others answer who they are, where they are from, and where they’re going?”
    • What moves us as human beings and prompts us into action is emotion, use it to convince doubters that underdogs sometimes win and goliaths sometimes crumble
    • In an economy that values emotions over numbers, storytelling has an edge
  • Building your Brand
    • We are all CEOs of our own company: Ourselves
    • Good person brands provide credible, distinctive and a trustworthy identity, project a compelling message, and attract more people to your cause
    • Your brand establishes your worth, it takes your mission and content and broadcasts it to the world. It articulates what you have to offer, why you’re unique, and gives a distinct reason why others should connect with you
    • To become a brand, you must be relentlessly focused on what you do that adds value
    • Document what you do that makes you faster and more efficient, and offer it to your boss as something all employees can use
    • Initiate new projects on your own. Search out ways to save or make your company more money. Redefine self by going above and beyond
    • Meaningful work requires a devotion to learning, growing, and stretching your skills
    • “The pursuit of ‘wow’ in everything you do. Shake things up. Find your value. Turn everything into an opportunity to build your brand. A brand is everything everyone thinks of when they see or hear your name
    • Develop a Personal Branding Message (PBM)
    • Identify uniqueness and put it to work. It’s a cultivation of a MINDSET
    • Take your skills, combine with your passions, and figure out where in the market or within your company they can best be applied
    • Image counts. What is your appearance telegraphing to others
    • Your website is a terrific and cheap marketing tool for your brand
    • Become your own PR firm. Do the jobs nobody wants. Don’t ask for more pay until you’ve been doing the job successfully and become invaluable
  • People who are more well-known tend to be more successful and rise up the corporate ladder
    • Your success is determined as much by how well others know your work as by the quality of your work
  • Content breakthrough tips:
    • Go visual (images), caring is sharing (emotional impact), most people like to be aroused
    • Curated content works well for viral posts
    • Pay attention to the conversation already in process, words used, what people are saying. Bring that awareness to what you create
    • Get written about, view exposure as PR campaign
    • Start small, just focus on lighting the fire
    • Start today building relationships with the media, stay in constant contact, add value to the relationship
  • There are no new stories, only old stories told in new ways
  • Start small and go local first with smaller newspapers and publications
    • Master the art of the 10 second or less soundbite. Brevity is cherished in media
    • Think of your 3 main talking points, make them fast, colorful and catchy
    • Market the marketing. Once published, send the article around
  • Teach a class or give a workshop in your company, take on more projects, freelance
  • Absolutely nothing wrong with seeking the influence of powerful people in our lives
    • Power by association: the power that arises from being identified with influential people
    • Trust is essential element of mixing with powerful and famous people. Trust that you’ll be discreet, don’t have ulterior motives, deal with them as people, and be treated as a peer
    • Famous and powerful people are first and foremost people. If you can help them achieve their goals in whatever capacity, they will be appreciative
  • Politics is the nexus of money, passion, and power. In politics, the unknown person you help today is the political heavy who can help you tomorrow
  • Seek local non-profits on issues you care about. These orgs try to find celebrities to sit on boards, and your end goal is to sit on a board next to them
  • Call it a clan, tribe, network, community, family, etc. Whatever you call it, you need one
  • TED was created to bring together three of the most interesting topics: Technology, Entertainment, and Design
  • Figure out your Unique Selling Proposition = USP
  • Form an online group, poll people on how the group can add value to each member, do regular weekly or monthly hangouts, level up to hotel conferences, book a speaker, etc.
    • Whatever the group, you’ll benefit from being involved in something larger than yourself
  • Don’t let ego and pride get in the way and make you lose all your teaching and principles in networking
  • Never sell beyond the close, and be crystal clear both parties know what the close is
  • You have to get things done and make people around you feel involved, not just part of the process but part of the leadership
  • Even with the best intentions, too much hubris will stir up people’s ire and their desire to put you in your place
    • When you hike up a mountain, be humble. Help others up along with you and before you
  • The most valuable connections you made are the ones you already have at all levels
    • Reach out to people in your past and let them know how much they mean to you. Touch base with mentors and tell them what an impact they’ve had on you
  • “To teach is to learn again” -H.J. Brown
  • Sharing what you know and learning what others have to teach is smart management
    • Helping employees build relationships for career success reduces turnover and ultimately leads to stronger external relationships for revenue growth as well
  • The endless cycle of mentoring has always been the holy grail of connecting with people
    • With whom you associate with is crucial to whom you become
    • Finding a talented and experienced mentor who is willing to invest the time and effort to develop you as a person and a professional is far more important than making a career decision based purely on salary or prestige
    • “You learn in your 20s and earn in your 30s”
    • The key to a successful mentorship is where there’s an emotional attachment and your mentor cares about you. Need equal parts utility and emotion
    • Mold you mentor into a coach so that your success is in some small or big way his success as well
    • The best way to approach utility is to give help first and not ask for it
    • Stretch to reach up, but also stretch just as far down to help others up
  • Connecting should advance rather than compromise your principles
  • We all must be vigilant that our efforts to bring people together are in line with our efforts to make the world a better place
  • Balance is a myth and complete b.s.
    • The best thing about a relationship-driven career is that it’s not a career but a way of living
    • Balance is simply a mindset that’s unique to each person
  • Connecting is a way of seeing the world. What makes you successful in both spheres of personal and professional, is people and how you relate to them
    • Real connecting means you bring the same value to every relationship
  • Where you find joy, you find balance. You’ll be joyful, enthusiastic, and full of gratitude
  • In the end, we all live one life, and that life is all about the people we live it with
    • Think: “I’ve got to get a life filled with people I love”
    • It’s not what you’re working on but whom you’re working with
    • The problem is we don’t have enough people in our lives
    • Western culture’s focus on individualism works against reaching out to others
  • Connecting is the rare thing that allows us to have our cake and eat it too. We serve the interests of work and life, self and others. If your life is filled with people you care about and who care about you, why concern yourself with balancing anything?
  • We are social and dependent creators. There’s not a moment where we don’t benefit from the actions of others
    • Alliance and community will rule in the 21st century
    • The real key to profit is working well with other people
    • Study: success in the future was determined by a student’s ability to join or create a study group
    • Learning is best achieved through relationships
  • Ultimately, making your mark as a connector means making a contribution to your fiends and family, to your company, to your community, and most importantly to the world
  • Our souls are hungry for meaning, not fame or comfort or wealth
    • Think: how to live so that our lives matter and so that the world will be at least a little bit different for our having passed through it
  • The only place to find real peace and happiness is within. Masters of our own minds and souls
  • Special meditation to refocus on what matters most: relationships
    • What is your passion? What truly gives you pleasure? How can you make a difference?
  • The achievement of some goals can feel as disappointing as failing, which is why choosing the right goals is very important
  • Love, reciprocity, and knowledge are not like bank accounts that get smaller as you use them. Creativity, money, success, knowledge begets more of itself
    • No score to keep when abundance leads to more abundance
  • How many mentors and mentees do you have? What do you love to do? How do you want to live? Whom do you want to be part of your clique?
  • Goal: working with people we love to make the world a world we want to live in

Closing thoughts:

Instantly in my top 3 recommended books that have drastically shifted the way I think, particularly about building networks, developing the right relationships the right way, and leveraging the power of those networks to achieve goals. What’s great about this book is that while I was reading it, I was able to follow some of the practical steps towards achieving some of my own goals. Most of it shifted how I see developing strong relationships as more of helping both parties win instead of seeing it as manipulating someone else to get what you want.

For example, when you connect two people together who can help each other toward their individual goals, you’ve not only added value to their lives, but also your own by strengthening all relationships involved. Moreover, by connecting those two, you have inadvertently connected all three of your networks together, thereby increasing the power of your combined networks! It’s fascinating to think something so small can have such a huge impact.

Something worth noting is that this book took me almost a month to complete. Though it was slightly longer than the average length of books I’ve read, it took about three times longer than it normally would have. The reason for the extended study into this work was because of all the invaluable nuggets and insights I was learning. I found myself constantly taking notes, pausing to reflect on how the topic at hand applied to my own life, how I could apply it immediately, having an internal dialogue, and slowly incorporating the idea/principle into my way of thinking. At several points during my read-through, I found myself applying the principles like gathering coworkers for lunch, helping friends get job interviews, speaking with people with the purpose of connecting on a deeper level, being more vulnerable in my discussions, etc.

The only other books that had such an immediate impact on my actions were How to Win Friends and Influence People, Four-Hour Workweek, and I Will Teach You To Be Rich. Unsurprisingly, these four books are all my top 10 recommended reads.

Lastly, this book had me asking myself very profound questions that allowed me to reflect on who I am, what I want, and what’s important to me. From the beginning until the very end, I felt I was constantly looking in the mirror, evaluating myself, and gaining more clarity and self-awareness. I think that increased and enhanced clarity not only shifted the way I think, but spread to other aspects of my life in a hugely positive way.

Nutshell: How the key to success revolves around the power of relationships. Great insights on the right mindsets and masterful tactics to building and developing the right relationships to achieve your goals.

Rating: 5/5

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