I decided that Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time should be read as part of PropelHer’s Book Club because I was continually being reminded that your network is so important. In virtually every other book I was reading it mentioned how important it was to have a network of successful people around you and I felt that myself, and PropelHer’s Book Club, would benefit from a book that specifically focused on how to develop relationships and build a strong network.
Keith totally agrees that your network is important. In fact, he says that “Your network is your destiny” and that “Today’s most valuable currency is social capital”. So how do you build your network and gain social capital?
So many people are put off by the idea of networking. This is because people envision standing in a room, with a warm glass of wine and being bombarded with business cards. Keith has a different perspective on networking and says “Real networking was about finding ways to make other people more successful. It was about working hard to give more than you get”.
As goal driven person, Keith proactively builds his network based on his goals. In fact, he created a RELATIONSHIP ACTION PLAN specifically so he could identify all of the people needs to connect with and the best way to do so. This may so too methodic and calculated for some people, however, Keith believes that “Connecting with others really just involves having a predetermined plan and carrying it out”.
Keith recommends that you “build it before you need it”. So often people only think about networking when they need something. However, that is the wrong time. You should be working on developing your network all the time. This way when you need help the network is already there, rather then you need help and then go out and start trying to build your network. The reason why you need to start before you need help is because “You can truly gain someone’s trust and commitment only little by little over time”.
When it comes to networking, people think that meeting people is the challenge, however building a successful networking is actually about following up – “Follow-up is the key to success in any field”. You need to make sure once you have made a contact that you stay in someone’s mind and these means you need to follow up.
There was a whole section of the book dedicate to building your network online (Connecting in the Digital Age). Keith was very passionate about giving online. He states that “Information loses value so quickly that it makes more sense to trade it than hoard it”. Furthermore, it is really important to be vulnerable although he is aware that “Being brave enough to be vulnerable in person is hard enough… Making yourself vulnerable online feels even more risky.
A concept that I hadn’t been introduced to before was the super-connector. Apparently, these “should be the cornerstones to any flourishing network”. An example of super-connectors are:
- Public Relations People
- Authors, Bloggers, Gurus
These people are particularly useful because they know a lot of people and will help you with trying to contact someone via six-degrees of separation.
Overall, I really enjoyed Never Eat Alone Building relationships is critical to success, but can often feel like hard work. Never Eat Alone explores relationship and network building full of positivity and I think it would change most people’s perspective on networking.
I loved this quote in the book – “Building a network of friends and colleagues is about building relationships and friendships. It should be fun, not time-consuming”. If it is too much hard work, then you are trying to move in the wrong circles. Some food for thought.
I read Never Eat Alone as part of PropelHer’s Book Club for Ambitious Women. Do you want to join a community of ambitious women who read excellent books to support personal development and professional success? Come join PropelHer’s Book Club.
Like what you read? Leave a comment below and why not buy a copy of Never Eat Alone for yourself?