Sounds kind of arrogant at first.
But it simply means forming relationships with people where you’re legitimately concerned for their success, health, goals, and well-being.
“Networking” is not collecting people. Networking is collecting business cards.
The idea of collecting people is a much more humanistic approach. All collectors have a genuine love for their collection and take great pride in displaying it.
Business cards sit in a desk. Contacts sit on a spreadsheet.
But people reside in your heart and mind. That’s pretty significant.
People want to feel special deep down inside. And the best way to make them feel special is to want to get to know them. Show them you care and, once in a while, they’ll reciprocate.
I have earned a lot of business and have forged many friendships by simply keeping in touch with people. Even if it’s just a single sentence in an email, when someone pops into my mind I usually stop what I’m doing and shoot ’em a quick email.
It’s an easy thing to do and so much good can come from it. But the key here is that you cannot do it for the sake of benefiting. I’ve made that mistake many times.
You just do it to do it. That’s all. Do it to be nice. Do it because you know it can make a difference in people’s lives. Do it because that’s what you’re here to do.
I’ve always just considered it my responsibility to be kind and cooperative to my fellow man. And what I’ve found is that the best way to be kind is simply by getting to know them.
The tendency in conversation is for one to talk about and validate oneself, talking primarily about their own feelings and life experiences. But when one puts their attention and interest on the other person, that person feels special, if even for just a short time.
And when people feel special, they like you more. And when they like you more, they tend to give you things and help you out on your journey in life.
How many exciting opportunities have you missed out on because you were too shy or too lazy to reconnect with someone?
I think there’s a lot of hesitation for people to reach out to people they don’t know that well. I think it’s a large part due to guilt regarding either their own situation or the other person’s.
So it can be a really humbling experience to reach out to someone even if your own life isn’t where you want it to be. But it makes you stronger and it opens the door to new experiences and opportunities.
Just be honest and straight up. You don’t have to make it a big emotional investment. Just find out what they’ve been up to and approach it with a sincere desire interest in their life.
Do you realize how rare this is? It’s right up there with cursive and handwritten letters.
When you care about others, others care about you. It’s really that simple. And the more people that you have caring for you, the more people you have collected.
But at the same time, you’re giving away a little bit of yourself to each person you “collect”. So in a sense, they’re the ones collecting you!
This is truly a service-based model because it asks for nothing in return. If you’re asking for something in return, you’re doing it wrong. You have to do it just for the sake of doing it.
A gift is always given freely.
You might walk away from the conversation having gained nothing and only listened to them talk about their cats for 45 minutes. So what. You did good, comrade. That’s all you had to do.
I’ll close this article with a quote from one of my mentors:
“God doesn’t want you to serve your fellow man, he just wants you to get to know ’em.”
Hmm…maybe there’s some truth in that?
Yeah, I think so.