Getting ahead in business and life gets much easier when you build lots and lots of mutually beneficial relationships. Having many connections will give you greater access and leverage in the world. This is what I call Your Sphere of Influence. It’s a powerful asset that you’ll want to start building now.
Once you have completed the My World Exercise™ and you have identified your Top 50 contacts, it’s time to start populating and activating three more rings in your sphere of influence. They include your Active, Lost and Future Networks.
Active Network. These are the people in your daily world. You live next door to them, you work with them and you see them at your meetings and gatherings. You may be friends, acquaintances or even arch-enemies. The point is, you run into them regularly. They are “active” in your life right now, and you have some kind of relationship with them. These are the easiest relationships to develop and strengthen from a networking point of view. Why? Proximity and regularity. You only have to extend yourself a little bit to start to build upon these relationships.
Lost Network (also called the Past Network). These are the people who used to be in your active network, but something changed, and you haven’t seen them in a very long time. You used to live next door to them, you were best friends in school, you worked on that project together at the old company, you socialized with them and then – something happened. Someone moved, someone got divorced, someone left the company, and you lost touch with that person. You haven’t seen each other in a very long time. You may not even remember that person’s full name. The good news is that you can reclaim your lost network by finding those individuals on the many social networking sites like Facebook®, LinkedIn®, Twitter™ and the thousands of other sites focused on connecting people online.
Future Network. These are all the people you haven’t yet met, but would like to. You may discover them purely by accident and chance (the power of serendipity). Other people may suggest them as good contacts for you, or you might purposefully seek them out through your networking activity. This is what I call “targeted networking.” Think about whom you would like to add to your professional network right now. Whom would you like to have a relationship with that could add value to your life, career and business? Whose company would you enjoy and whom would you like to learn from? Whose brain would you like to pick? Write that person’s name down .
Need more help?
I suggest that you buy the book Networking Ahead for Business
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