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Why You Should Build – And Nourish – A Network

These are lonely times.

Whether you’re working from home or unable to connect with your friends, we are in a lonely era.

That’s why it’s even more essential to reach out to your network.

At Tanzanite, we refer to your network as “spheres.” These are family members, friends, business acquaintances, mentors, colleagues, and former classmates. They can be people you’ve wanted to meet and admire.

I wish social media – especially LinkedIn – was available when I joined the workforce. (But, not even the fax machine was available back then). LI is a free gift to keep track of the people in our lives.

Even if you think you don’t need a network, build one anyway. What about a teacher from your past that influenced you? Reach out, thank them. They’ll have validation and you’ll have given the gift of gratitude.

Every day, I contact 5 people from my key network, using a tool at Tanzanite we call the “5×5 Communicator.” The 5×5 tracks who we contact and when it’s time to re-connect. The goal is to touch 5 people, 5 days a week. These spheres are important to me – clients, influencers, mentors, referral sources, and distant relatives. Most of them are people I no longer see in person.

Go through your connections on LinkedIn. Who are you missing? Make sure everyone in your ‘network’ is a connection. (A good exercise: take a look at the last 100 e-mails or texts you sent – is each one a LI connection?)

Your network, and your closeness to them will significantly impact your professional life. One person might know someone who can fund a business venture. Or someone knows someone who’s hiring for that job you’ve longed for. Trust me: it’s not who you are, it’s whom you know that determines success.

A bonus in these times? You benefit by connecting with people at a time where everyone welcomes that connection.

That doesn’t mean you should go out and connect with random strangers. That technique doesn’t work. Worse it makes you look foolish, and you’ll never be able to separate those you’ve met from those you haven’t.

But as important as building a network is maintaining a network.

One of my mentors, the late Carl Terzian, was as good a networker there was (and he used a rolodex – well, lots of rolodexes). Carl preached you must nourish your network, otherwise it will wither and die.

So if you’re missing someone, reach out to them. Don’t wait until a birthday or anniversary. Call them just because! it’s Monday. Keep in touch. And remember the value of the connection. It’s good for you, and good for your spheres.

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Want the 5×5 Communicator tool to use in your business? Send me a private message info@tanzaniteleaderhip.com and we’ll send it to you!

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