Published in: 2014
Keith Ferrazzi believes that the most valuable currency is social capital – defined information, expertise, trust and other value that exists in our relationships. Success in life is the people you meet and what you create together. “Networking” does not create magic – it is maximizing generosity and then letting your social seeds that you have planted grow. For example, a study of MBA students found no correlation between high grades and a successful life. However, they found a strong correlation between social skills and a successful life. The more successful someone is at using language – both speaking and writing – the greater the chances.
MENTORS. Studies have shown that those we associate with have a major impact on our lives. At every step of his career, Ferrazzi has looked for successful people to ask for help and guidance. You should not be afraid to ask stupid questions. It is important to be able to ask for help but also to dare to take help.
TANGIBLE AND INTANGIBLE ASSETS. We should be open to working for free if required. Many entrepreneurs work “for free” for a while and then reap the rewards afterwards. It is more important to build up assets than to strive for a high income. An asset can, for example, be shares in a company or ownership of a property – these are tangible. But knowledge and contacts are also assets. However, these the returns from these assets are more unclear. You build the strongest base for success if you have both a lot of tangible as well as intangible assets.
”In your twenties you learn, in your thirties you earn”.
FREE AGENTS. People no longer get a job when they are 20 and have it for the rest of their lives. Today, everyone is a “free agent” and the social currency is very valuable for free agents. We are all “Me Inc.” and, according to Ferrazzi, must nurture our brands and constantly work with them. We do this by focusing on what we can do that creates value for others.
WEAK TIES AND STRONG TIES. “Weak ties ”are often more valuable than“ strong ties”. Those closest to each other within an area know what they can do for each other. It is the “weak ties” that can surprise us with interesting life changes.
A GOAL IS A DREAM WITH A DEADLINE. Almost every successful person Ferrazzi knows is good at setting goals. When goal setting is a part of our lives, the ball is rolling. To find out what you yourself are good at, Ferrazzi thinks you should ask your surroundings. They often know you very well. The goals must also be written down.
BUILD RELATIONS LIKE BILL CLINTON. Bill Clinton basically knew everyone he met, not just names but also their interests. Before he meets new people, he does a quick research on what they are for people, what they have for businesses, what they are proud of, what they have for problems, etc. In this way, he creates strong relationships.
CAREER KARMA. Ferrazzi writes “You can be more successful in two months by becoming really interested in other people’s success than you can in two years trying to get other people interested in your own success”. If you help someone with health, their children or their financial life, this is something that will be remembered for a very long time.
FEEDBACK. After a nice meeting, you should get in touch and give feedback (a follow-up takes place best 12-24 hours after you have met someone). Good follow-ups alone elevates you above 95% of your peers. Ferrazzi talks about the process of “pinging” – sending out a quick contact signal to your acquaintances. A relationship is like a fire that you sometimes need to refill with new wood. Get in touch on birthdays or if something else special happens.
VULNERABILITY. At a dinner with new friends, Ferrazzi and his girlfriend had just broke up so he was a bit absent. It was stiff at the table. He apologized for being a little off and told his story. Everyone’s attention increased and there was a deep and rewarding discussion. Everyone told about similar situations they had been in. He showed weakness and the situation changed completely. He noticed that a good icebreaker is to tell something personal from the heart. People feel chosen when they hear something like this which creates strong bonds: “vulnerability is one of the most underappreciated assets in business today”.