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Sunday, September 18th, 2011

7 Tips I Use Every Day To Be A Better Networker (By Letting People Know I’m Thinking Of Them)


You have to grow your network to succeed in business (reminder to read about how each person in your rolodex may be worth $948 per year in income for you).

A key to being a better networker is to let people know you are thinking of them. This is because a key part of human nature is that people want to be loved, popular, etc.

This sounds easy on paper, but it’s tougher to execute.

Below are 7 effective and efficient tips to being a better networker.

1) Recommend A Partner, Customer Or Hire

Let’s say you are introduced to a new person through some type of business meeting or even at a party…we’ll call him “Mr. Jimmy.”

If you find Mr. Jimmy to be a person you want to get to know better, then ask yourself:

“Who do I know that Mr. Jimmy might be interested in meeting…and who might want to meet Mr. Jimmy?”

Perhaps Mr. Jimmy is a good potential partner, customer or hire of someone else you know.

It doesn’t matter if you just met Mr. Jimmy. This is part of the “Go-Giver” philosophy I wrote about in 7 Easy Tips On How To Be A Go-Giver (Not a Go-Getter).

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Monday, December 27th, 2010

Do These 3 Things & You’ll Be A Much Better Networker


I was stunned recently when, within 15 minutes of a concert I attended, I found a potential buyer for my 94 year-old Grandma’s summer cottage 2,000 miles across the country.

How did I do it?

I found a potential buyer for my Grandma's house at a....Jerry Garcia Tribute Concert!?

This wasn’t just luck — although you could argue that the tips I’m going to share are all ways to increase your luck…or serendipity as I like to call it.

Either way, it was a positive thing…so I re-engineered what happened and am sharing the three tips below.

And I really like these 3 networking tips cuz all are real easy to do and remember.

3 Networking Tips

Networking Tip #1: Attend Events You Enjoy (It’s That Easy!)

The first thing I did was to attend an event I knew I’d enjoy.

A friend had invited me to a “Tribute To Jerry Garcia” concert put on by the REX Foundation…and I’m a huge live music/Jerry Garcia fan!

Why is attending an event you’ll enjoy so important to networking?

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Friday, October 22nd, 2010

3 Simple Steps To Help You Pursue Your Passion


Steve Jobs told Stanford students that when he wakes up each day he tries asking himself:

“If this were my last day on earth, would I be happy with my to-do list.”

Steve Jobs told Stanford graduates that his to-do list needs to be good enough for his last day on earth


And if his answer is “no” for three or four days in a row, he does something about it.

Well, a goal in my life is to help people explore their passions, ideally in a way that helps them make a living.

I thought I’d share three steps that I used to further my own career passions.

Ok, so let’s dig in…

Step 1: Pick a Passion

It starts with picking a passion — your passion may be obvious to you ( politics, sports, medicine, photography religion) and you’re good to go.

If your passions are not obvious to you, ask those closest to you (friends, colleagues, family members) what they think.

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Thursday, August 5th, 2010

5 Tips On How To Get To Know Someone You’ve Never Met


Have you ever wanted to meet someone, even though you don’t know them? Perhaps you read about them in a book or just heard that they were an awesome person.

Here are some approaches I use to get to know a “desired connection” better.

5 Tips On How To Get To Know Someone You’ve Never Met

1) Look up the desired connection on LinkedIn for your common connections…it’s not that simple: read on!

First off, look them up on LinkedIn to see what connections you have in common.

If the desired connection is a 2nd degree connection (i.e. a connection of mine is a 1st degree connection to them), then look closely at those 2nd degree connections and determine if you have such a fantastic relationship with any of the 2nd degree connections that you’d be willing to ask them to introduce you to them.

If the answer is “yes,” then great…ask your connection for an intro (but read tip #5 first!).

If the answer is “no,” then instead focus on trying to add value to those 2nd degree connections and don’t bother asking for the introduction yet (reason: if you ask a favor of someone, you want them to feel like it’s worth their while!).

If the desired connection is a 3rd degree connection or more distant, then I recommend you work harder at expanding your LinkedIn connections (see my business networking section of articles (including LinkedIn tips!)).

You should constantly work towards being just a connection away from meeting anyone.

2) Look up the desired connection’s LinkedIn page to see if they list any “Web sites” or their Twitter page

This is simple: if you can find your desired connection’s LinkedIn page, then look at their profile page (a few fields underneath their name) for any links they include next to “Websites” or “Twitter.”

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Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

4 Easy Ways To Approach An Employer Who Has A Job You Want


You may periodically see or hear about a job you’d love to have — so what do you do next?

I believe that the best way to approach a job you want is to get the senior most person at the target-employer to refer you so that you get on the fast track for the interview process (with the hiring manager).

If you’re interested in that, here’s some advice I gave a colleague recently on how to do that through LinkedIn:

1) Identify The Employer’s Senior Most Person (Who Is Also On LinkedIn)

First, go to LinkedIn and search for the senior most person at the target-employer (I recommend you go for the CEO).

Note: If you’re not familiar with LinkedIn, read this LinkedIn For Beginners Article.

When I search on LinkedIn I use the “advanced search” and enter in the name of the target-employer  in the “Company” field (I start with “Current” in the drop-down) and then “CEO” in the title field.

Click Search.

Hopefully, up pops the CEO of the target-employer. If the CEO doesn’t pop up, then re-do the search by trying out other senior titles such as  “founder” or “president” or “vice president.”

Click Search.

Now you should have at least one senior person at the target-employer.

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Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

How To Innovate: 5 Tips From The Top Innovators


I was fascinated by a recent Harvard Business Review (HBR) article on how to innovate (an abstract is here with the option to purchase).

They researched such innovators as Apple’s Steve Jobs, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, eBay’s Pierre Omidyar and Meg Whitman, Intuit’s Scott Cook and Proctor & Gamble’s A.G. Lafley.

Their key finding was that innovative entrepreneurs (who are also CEOs) spend 50% more time on five “discovery activities” than do CEOs with no track record for innovation.


I fully agree with these five tips for how to innovate; and want to provide my insights on them:

Five Tips On How To Innovate

1) Question (The Status Quo)

HBR points out that Michael Dell famously created Dell with the question:

“Why do computers cost five times the cost of the sum of their parts?”

Innovators are excellent at asking questions that challenge the status quo such as:

  • Why not try it this way?
  • Why do you do things the way you do?
  • What if you tried this new thing or stopped doing some old thing?
  • What would you do if failure was not an option?

2) Observe

Innovators are strong at observing people and details.

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Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

Discover How To Network Like This Top Web Site CEO

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I chatted with DocStoc Founder & CEO Jason Nazar the other day.

You should know abut Jason and DocStoc because Jason is an amazing networker (among other things) and DocStoc has been one of the fastest growing Web sites in the last few years (ranked 407th by Quantcast with 15 million unique visitors per month, according to DocStoc).

Jason and I had a little chat in which I asked him a few questions. He agreed to let me share it with you.

Q: Hi Jason, you really value business networking — tell me your philosophies.

I personally enjoy networking. I like meeting smart, interesting successful people.

From a professional standpoint, I believe the principal of it’s “who you know not what you know” is very true.

One thing about the Internet is that we spend a lot of time behind our computers…you’ve got to get out there and meet people.

Typically the larger the network you have, the more opportunities you have.

We spend a lot of time behind our computers…but business still gets done in person.

People want to work with other people they like, trust and respect.

And you don’t do that by just sending emails and sending IMs…you have to get out and meet people.

And if you want to have opportunities such as getting hired, raising money, building your company, and hiring the right people…you need to have a large network.

Typically, the larger your network is the more opportunities you have.

The business we’re building is a consumer-facing Internet company – we’re trying to get pretty much everyone in the world to use DocStoc.

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Thursday, January 14th, 2010

A Networking Pro Explains How to Master LinkedIn in 8 Easy Steps


My friend Drew Sanders is one of the best networkers I know. He recently presented his Action Plan for using the networking tool LinkedIn to insurance giant Chubb…and was kind enough to let me share it with you.

If you want to know why you should be linked in, check out my You Must Be LinkedIn article.

Here’s the 8-step plan for setting up and managing LinkedIn:

Step 1: Complete your Linked in Profile (1 Hour)

  • Have a coherent narrative of your history from college graduation
  • Print out several examples that you like and model yours after theirs
  • Brevity is appreciated by all
  • Be factual, but humility is a good tack

Step 2: Email accumulation (1 Hour)

  • Export your outlook contacts to a (CSV file)
  • Do the same for your hotmail, yahoo, or Gmail accounts
  • Extra Credit
    • if you have emailing lists from when people have accidentally not bcc’d people and you saw some cool email contacts and saved the emails.
    • Export those as well.
  • Any email from anyone you have ever met now has more value than just a way to get a hold of that person.

Step 3: Contact Invitation Process (1 to 3 hours depending on number of emails)

  • Load all the emails into the LinkedIn Platform
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