“The problem is that if you are thinking about how someone can help you, you’re not being real with that person. You can’t connect by trading favors. And if you are meeting someone to get help from them then you are not going to be able to form a real relationship with them.
Networking is about being friends with people. Not asking for favors. It’s why I never really got anything accomplished on my trips to Silicon Valley, and it’s why the rooster woman asked us to do a trade. She knew we weren’t really friends. She didn’t feel vested in helping me reach my goals.
A network is people who you are interesting with and interested in. It’s not about favors. Trading is a transaction, not a relationship. So we got a lesson in networking instead of a lab internship. And anyway, I think that might have been more valuable.”
This is important. I usually try and help people when I can, even people who contact me out of the blue, but the people I form real relationships with are the ones who make the biggest impact on my personal and professional life. They’re also the people I’m more likely the think of when I can do something for them.
Which would you rather have, a long list of people who might help you if you contact them, or a small group who care about you and could potentially help you without your asking? Let alone people who you simply enjoy spending time with. 😉