They know how to use their network to get ahead.
To be a success you need to do everything in your power to achieve what you want out. Nothing great ever happens to those who just sit there and hope for the best.
Sometimes we have to do things that make us uncomfortable. Sometimes it means swallowing our pride, putting aside our ego, and using our network to help us get ahead. All successful people have done that and there’s no reason why you can’t too.
Starting your own business?
The size of your personal network can give you a significant leg up in getting your business off the ground. The larger your network, the more opportunities you have to draw on a wider pool of people for advice and guidance.
Need some professional advice?
Every so often we could do with talking to someone outside of our immediate friends and family. Particularly if we are experiencing something that is quite emotive or where we feel we may be judged for making certain decisions.
Do you know anyone in your network who is a business or life coach? Or someone who has recently just finished their training and could offer some support on a greatly reduced fee?
Looking to change jobs?
These days you have to be smart when job hunting. It’s not just about applying to adverts online or seeing an endless amount of agencies.
Many companies have positions that are not advertised. Some companies will interview great candidates even if they don’t have a role for them right now. Some companies will even create roles for great candidates. How do you find out about these companies? Use your network. Whether it’s through LinkedIn, Facebook or just plain old word of mouth, there will be people you know that could help you find your next dream job.
Why using our network gets us ahead
1) Speed and efficiency
Have a think about how many people you have listed in your address book. Who are you ‘friends’ with on Facebook? How many connections do you have on LinkedIn? This is the size of the network you have at your disposal.
If you need that bit of help or guidance, staring at four walls (metaphorically) will get you nowhere. Using your network will make it easier and quicker for you to get the help and resources you need.
Using your network means that you don’t have to start from scratch to find the help you need. Your network will give you a head start.
2) Builds your confidence
We are all guilty at some point in our lives in being reluctant to ask for help. This could be due to fear of rejection or judgement or holding on to a belief that as strong and capable individuals, we can do things on our own.
It can be uncomfortable to ask for help, particularly if the request is very personal to us. But it is a smart person who recognises the value of asking for help and a confident person who knows how to use their network.
Human nature is such that our willingness to help someone is based on whether we like, trust, respect or value them as individuals (or we feel this way about the person making the referral). If someone takes the time to respond to your request – whether it’s replying to that email, an invite for coffee or a phone call – it’s validation that they find you worth their time and effort.
Word of caution: If they reach out to you and you don’t respond due to time pressure ‘I’m too busy’, nervousness ‘what do I say?’ or self-doubt ‘actually I don’t think I’m ready yet’ – you are missing out on an opportunity that may not come your way again.
3) Tap into the spirit of generosity
Over the years I have gotten better at reaching out to people in my network to to give me advice or connect with me with someone else in their network.
I love it when people start talking to me about an idea they have had or a change in career direction and as they talk I immediately think of a few people I can connect them with to help. Someone tapping into their network to talk to me, allows me to tap into my network to help them.
“Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking ‘What’s in it for me?’ Brian Tracy
Fortune favours the brave…
If you take action, take some risks and strive hard to achieve your aspirations, you are more likely to succeed that someone who sits back and waits for fate to intervene.
Don’t be afraid of asking for help.
What is it you are trying to achieve? There will be someone in your network who can help you get ahead. I guarantee it.