I used to think my library was my most valuable material possession. It’s still very important to me. But equally as important is my contact list.
No matter what you do or how self-reliant you may be, it’s impossible to succeed without knowing, working with and helping other people. Your network of clients, associates, partners, vendors and even competitors is-or should be-a cornerstone of your career and your business.
The old adage, “It’s not what you know, but WHO you know that counts,” may be as true today as it ever was-perhaps more so.
Who you know is your network. And it should be one of your most valuable assets. It’s up to you to plant, cultivate, nurture and harvest this network.
Being able to joint venture with others, ask the advice of people who know, collaborate with people, mastermind, do business and help each other is all part of networking.
Be Someone with Whom Others Want to Know
If you really want to grow and enrich your network, you must become someone who enriches others. When you help other people get what they want, you can get what you want.
Be on the lookout for information and resources that will help those in your network. Go through your contact list and touch base with them from time to time. Ask them what they need and how you can be of service.
I’ve always loved what Muhammad Ali said, “Service to others is the rent I pay for my room here on Earth.”
Use Your PIM
I use and like Microsoft Outlook. It may not be the best Personal Information Manager, but it works and works well for me and millions of others. It also comes as part of MS Office at no additional charge.
Learn how to master the contacts side of your PIM. It is an excellent tool that will allow you to file and categorize the contact information of everyone you know.
By the way, your contact list is easily backed up, but you must have a way to do it that is easy-and preferably television-automated. Be sure to back up your PST file if you use Outlook and be sure to have a copy stored off-premises in case of a fire or other catastrophe.
What are you doing to add to, file, track and work your contact list? Is it part of your strategic plan? If not, I urge you to make this an integral part of your business. Decide today where and how you will store your contact list. Add to it every day. And WORK your network.
Business Card Tip
Make your business card a better networking card. Depending on your business, you may very well benefit from having your business card give the recipient a reason to contact you. On the back of your card, offer something like a free-report or special gift when visiting your web site
Michael Angier, founder of SuccessNet.org, recently released the New SuccessNet Resource Book – the Top Must-Have Tools, Products, Services and Resources for Running Your Business Effectively. This $27 eBook can be yours now at no-cost. And most of the over 100 resources are FREE to access and use.