Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A neat article about not just getting to know people, 
but instead people that you should know!

The 25 People You Need

 in Your Network

By:Adelaide Lancaster 

As an entrepreneur (or aspiring one), you constantly
 hear about the value of expanding your network. But the
 truth is, when it comes to business relationships, it’s not 
quantity that matters—it’s quality. Having memorable, 
substantial relationships with people who understand your
 business and can help you over time is the real key to networking success.
So, instead of forcing yourself to meet and greet as many 

new people as possible, spend your time focusing on a few 
strategic relationships. You can get all the inspiration, information, 
resources, and connections you need to move your business 
forward from five people in each of five strategic areas. Read 
on for how to build your 25-person power network.
People With Similar But More Established Businesses

Acknowledging that great businesses have come before you
 doesn’t make you any less smart or capable, and it doesn’t
 make your company any less successful. So don’t necessarily
 look at the established companies in your field as competition
—instead, see them as your mentors! Learning what they’ve done well
 and what they wish they had done differently can give
 you insight on what’s worked, plus help you avoid learning things 
the hard way. Don’t be shy here—pick a few of your role models, take 
them to lunch, and do a lot of listening. 

Businesses Who You Admire in Another Industry

It’s also important to get out of your own sandbox. It’s easy
 to be focused solely on your industry, but that really limits 
you from seeing the innovation and ingenuity that exists elsewhere. 
Smart entrepreneurship is all about transferrable learning. 
Think about other industries you find interesting and what
 they might teach you about your own business or customers. 
What about their tactics and techniques could be incorporated 
into your own shop? Pick five people you find fascinating in
 a wide variety of industries—and learn 
everything you can from them.

Smart People Who Make You Think Differently

Similarly, you should connect to people who help you 
broaden your perspective and see the world in a different 
light. These may be entrepreneurs, but they certainly don’t 
have to be—they can be anyone who asks the tough questions
 and doesn’t mind pushing the envelope once in a while. 
Make sure that a couple people in this group are those who
 you don’t automatically agree with. Few business strategies 
are automatically right or wrong, and people who challenge 
what you tend to think can be a great check and balance for
 your decisions. 

People that Love Being in the Know

As an entrepreneur, you’ll spend much of your time thinking
 about the things that you don't know—business 
strategy, technical details, resources, rules, you name it. Of
 course, all of that info is out there somewhere, but it still 
requires lots of time sifting through unvetted leads to find. 
Fortunately, some people pride themselves on being walking 
encyclopedias. Get to know them. Ask them questions often, 
and take them to coffee to pick their brain from time to time.
 (In return, be sure to share your resources and experiences, too.) 

Your Entrepreneurial Pals

Perhaps most importantly, you need your posse: your confidantes
 who will cheer you on when things are great, and hear about
 the worst (with no judgment) when they’re not. After all,
 entrepreneurship isn’t for the faint of heart, and only other 
entrepreneurs can truly understand the complex happiness/exhaustion
 relationship that comes with running a business. Make sure 
that you have people you can count on to help out when you
 need it most. (And make sure to reciprocate by lending an 
ear, hand, or shoulder when they need it, too.)

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