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Everyone’s heard it: “Your network is your net worth.” If that’s true, then increasing your connections by 10x would mean increasing your net worth by 10x – it’s worth considering.
If you had 1500+ connections, and those connections referred business to you, how would your life and business change?
You could go to them with anything and everything and get instant high quality response, instant connections, introductions, career boosts, business deals… anything and everything you’ve ever needed or wanted. And if you’re looking for sales, they’d stream you all you’d ever need.
But how’s that even possible? We started doing it, and life and business changed.
We went from guessing to knowing, from spending money advertising and hoping it worked, to more time connecting. Our business increased 125%.
There’s even a blueprint for doing it right. If this is so great why doesn’t everyone do it? Perhaps they would if they only knew how to use it to earn more and work less.
Drive advertising costs to near zero. Do you know what it’s like to take the cost of advertising out of the equation? Even better is taking the reliance on advertising out of the equation. The biggest problem with advertising isn’t the cost, it’s the response or lack of response and what that costs. It’s a tricky one that’s nice to eliminate.
Less overhead, more more more profit
What was the Super Bowl this year, $5 million per 30 second spot? Obviously most of aren’t in that game, but smaller advertising is no less relatively daunting; it’s all expensive and it’s all hope-based. Without the costs of traditional advertising, your profit is high because you have little expense. Advertising is msot often an experiment, and an expensive; you don’t know which ads will pay off, and most of them don’t, Example: If you made a sale for $1,000 and your advertising cost that month was $3000, that meant your first three sales were going to the advertiser. Damn, it’s like working until May 1 just to pay taxes. At some point you might want to stop and start questioning. Maybe test-asking yourself a higher quality question, like, “How can I double my income and pay no advertising for that extra 100%? “
Most advertising hits, gets some kind of response, and is done. It’s a lot different when you’re working your network: every connection is its own little perpetual advertisement. What’s better–1500 advertisements that run “forever” or a single ad that runs for a short time, then dies?
Intentional directed custom advertising to everyone is better
As you assemble your network, you have the power to have specific conversations with specific people. You’re going to include a complete cross- section of folks in your network. As a result, you’ll be able to have custom conversations with everyone. This propels you to the next connection much better that everyone seeing one ad with you hoping they get the point of what you’re trying to accomplish.
Because you know it happens, that means you can also plan for it. When you run a network-centric business you can get sick, your stuff can break; all manner of sh!t can hit the fan, but because you have 1500 little advertisers working for you and profit is high, you can weather a downturn, a week month, quarter, year… You have low expenses and business that flows in to keep delivering high profits.
Breathing Space happens
Because you intentionally built your network (and business) to stream your business, you can now do whatever you want.
1) This doesn’t get taught is school. How could it be, when 99.999% of educators (P.S. no offense to educators, they are some of the most important people on earth) have never done “it.” The “it” we’re talking about is creating something from nothing, going from zero to millions… That it. When you’re in the trenches it’s real and you need to figure out how to use your resources and ingenuity, none of which can be learned from a book, nor taught to you by a professor who hasn’t had to dodge bullets, capture the flag, and win. While all the nuances can’t be taught right here, either, what can be taught is the map, the proven process, the recipe. And just like when you’re in the kitchen following a recipe, you’ll see how the ingredients go together with a formula for great results. Your job is to keep doing it till you get it right. Getting it right means winning a life that’s supported by a business you designed. You’ll be your friends’ hero. It’s probably one of the top 5 things in life worth doing.
2) How does networking get so overlooked? Because tapping your network has gotten a bad rap. When networking is taught, or recommended as a way to land business, it’s usually explained by someone who was just introduced to the concept at the biz. op. meeting last night or some churn ‘em and burn ‘em sales outfit. They miss the entire point. When they teach us a model that doesn’t work and it goes down the toilet; we’re all left with a bad taste in our mouths.
But again, the problem isn’t networking. Networking isn’t evil. Quite the contrary, it’s the best way to do pretty much everything. Thank goodness they’ve been teaching it wrong, because when we do it right we slice through the dust cloud of the competition, go right to the front of the line and live what’s possible.
The Problem with your warm market
This is exactly where everyone is instructed to go and it’s a smart first move, but it’s not sustainable. It’s not where enough long-term action happens. It’s not where enough business comes from.
The #1 point that’s 180 degrees different from what we’re taught is this; the value isn’t with your friends and family (1st degree contacts), the secret is in the strength of what we call “weak ties” (degrees 2-6).
Weak ties: It’s your connection to a high value connection through one or more other people who you really don’t know that well.
We’ve all heard about 6 degrees of separation, right? Where everyone in the world is separated by only 6 connections? This takes that concept and puts it into action. Your job is to connect your network. Everyone in the world is at your disposal; it makes no difference who you are. If you are on this planet and have the tools, you can knit your connections together, whatever your purpose.
You only have about 150 close 1st degree connections and though they love you, only a few of those are going to be good for your business purposes. It’s degree 2 (with 22,500 connections), degree 3 (3,375,000 connections), and so on.. that have the right number of the right people for you.
So how on earth can that be valuable?
Because everyone worth their salt is also looking for good people/valuable connections. When someone introduces you at a party and you hit it off with that new person you didn’t know before now, and you go off and do cool things together – that’s a weak tie. And that new person introduces to Jim who introduces you to Judy who introduces you Simon who introduces you to the Queen of England who introduces you to the Royal Bank of Whatever and round and round it goes. It gets really quite interesting very fast, grows quickly and can be wildly profitable.
You, me, all of us, this is how all of us are connected. Sure we know a few people closely, but the massive value is everyone else. They are out there, we just need to reach out and make the connection.
Real life examples of the power of weak ties.
EXAMPLE 1 My dad. My dad is retired and lives in a tiny town. He’s not in business, doesn’t buy what I sell, but he’s a fun guy and has a lot of connections; some I’ve heard of and some I have no idea. He connected me to his connections and I landed a bunch of business fast and then they referred me to their connections. All this happened faster than I could have ever designed advertising; and even if his connections saw my advertising, why would they give me the time of day? The power of connections is too big to ignore. It can go really fast.
Example 2 My son and I went to a Tony Robbins event in Chicago, I ended up on someone’s email list and received a message from Jay Abraham (world famous marketing consultant). Jay and I we ended up doing a lot of business (he even recommended I write a book), and he introduced me to Harvey Mackay (CEO and Author), and Harvey connected me to a lot of people, and pretty soon I was at Larry King’s house with his wife baking cookies and Larry telling stories in his living room. The number of high quality people I’ve connected with through Harvey is crazy – and that’s just one thread of weak connections. All these people exist and it’s absolutely bizarre how close you are to them.
EXAMPLE 3 A few years ago I knitted together a network of banks that referred me all the business I could handle – it was pretty lucrative and I set it up to be able to work from anywhere in the world. Money and freedom; that’s breathing space.
Think about anyone, any group of people you want in your network and then set out and get connecting.
It’s arguably the fastest route anywhere.
1 Get clear and get organized
- Know why you’re connecting so you are clear when you connect. When others understand, they can help you best.
- Get yourself an easy-to-use CRM. WARNING: Not one of those complicated high-priced ones, but one you can use the moment you get it.
- Enter everyone you know and everyone you ever meet into your CRM. This is where you keep what is arguably your biggest asset, your network. Make sure you keep a copy somewhere safe.
- You are mining gold in your CRM. Get in there as much as you want to create the life you really want (That’s a subtle suggestion that you dedicate all your time and work aggressively until you have everything you want. After you get the hang of things, you can automate; some of us end up working only part/part time. It’s what happens when you’re intentional.)
2 Go after building your network like you’re under water and need air – intentionally.
Build your network with intention. After all, this very well could set you up for life.
Step 1: Connect with everyone you know–yes that means warm market. Some of those people will be interested right now in what you’re doing/selling, and some will show interest later, but EVERYONE is there to provide a weak connection, your portal to the world. You may never have to go any further than this. However, if you’re looking to go at hyper speed into a particular market (bank example above), then..
Step 2: Buy a list, grab the phone and dial.*
* You may have noticed I used the word “dial,” and that’s important. This is an active connection game, and I’ll explain why Facebook isn’t enough, LinkedIn isn’t enough. More on this later.
3 Keep in contact
Out of sight out of mind; you want to be the opposite. You want to stay on their minds so they can remember to send people your way. So keep in contact with everyone. And here’s the key, keep in contact with what’s interesting to them, not you. Make sure you do this at least every month. We like email for many reasons: one is that you can divide up all your contacts into maybe 4-6 groups and send them all a semi-customized message or contents of your message that are of interest to them.
If you’re doing #2 right, it won’t take long to have so may people that it’s hard to keep everyone straight; that’s a big reason for CRM, but also for automation. CRM, used as a tool, helps you build really fast. If you like you can see a more details in my book REWIRE.
This is not Networking Groups
Networking groups are places to trade leads, not networks. Leads are light, fleeting and lukewarm; networks are a living, breathing solar system of connections that continue to unfold and grow. That said, leads are connections, and if you play your cards right and make sure you not only get leads but also tap and connect networks, then join all the networking clubs you can.
LinkedIn isn’t enough
Too passive. Yes, people link themselves together, but you can do better. You want a machine and LinkedIn isn’t.
Facebook isn’t enough
Too social. Ditto to LinkedIn. You want your own machine; that’s why you use CRM. Feel free to reference something on your Facebook or LinkedIn page, but use your own machine.
When the world shifts away from whatever social platform used to be cool, you want to stay solid. Have your own platform.
Trust is why this works.
Recommenders! Malcom Gladwell (if you don’t know him, read him, he’s got insight you can use) talks about the value of recommenders, people who connect people; there are loads of them out there and your entire system is based on this quality of human nature. If you clearly have value, your connections will grow fast.
On the flip side, if you’re a cheat, your network will fall apart and you’ll have to operate like the crowd–pay for your advertising, constantly struggle…
A two-way street
You need to be not only a good resource for others to recommend, but also a good recommender for others in your network. Do good things for others in your network and they will do good things for you.
I just dropped off the moon; I don’t know anyone. How can I network?
Yeah right. Since this isn’t true and you’re just testing me, that’s ok, I’ll still play along. Here’s what you do: Haul your ass around town and introduce yourself to 100 new people every week. It will take all week to really connect with 100 decent connections, but if you really want it, you’ll do it. Or, if you’re clever, you’ll get on the phone, target really well, and knock it out in 3 days a week. Either way, in about 15 weeks you’ve assembled what most people in life never will. Now nurture this network and it will prove itself valuable beyond what you ever expected.
How long does this take? See above
Some people go to people they know and that’s great, we put the whole thing on steroids and connect the world.
Can I use this for my career too?
Absolutely. Imagine if you wanted to land your dream job, what would you do? You could send resumes to the cold market or you could build a platform and promote yourself. Imagine how resourceful you’d come across and how much companies would pay for you.
You can go about life and business like everyone else or you can be intentional and strategic about it. There’s a shift going on in the world today, a shift away from the typical 9-5 thinking, away from business as usual. We’re asking better questions–questions that get us the answers that help us get where we really want to go.
You can do what everyone has been doing since the industrial age or you can get on the arc to where the world is headed.
It starts like this; take a few steps back, ask questions like, “What am I really wanting to accomplish? What would a platform look like that encourages people to send business my way. How could I make it work?”
The question that started the REWIRE Movement was, “How do I double my business, not having to work any more than I am now and not hating it?” (That last part was later changed to “..and have a good time doing it?” It made for a better question. Feel the difference?)
What would your first run at a high-quality question be? What’s your first action? It’s proven that when you take immediate action, like right now, before moving away, momentum starts moving in your favor. Few things are better in life than having momentum in your favor. So there’s one thing to do right now; do it.
Test it. Share your experiences. Send us a picture of what breathing space looks like to you.