The difference from knowing a lot of people is that your Success Network is a target group who can be influential for you in your career or in other parts of your life. It is a group of people you collect and purposely stay in contact with over the years because they are moving in different circles, or they have expertise in areas that are helpful, or even that you have interests in (for professional development or charitable work).
Here is a list for you to see if you can fill in the blanks with the name of a person that you have been in touch with often, or at the least once or twice a year, every year:
- Past Employer
- Financial Advisor
- CPA/Tax Advisor
- Family Lawyer
- Sports Team (Yours or Child’s) Parents/Friends
- Old Coaches
- Former Teacher (High School, college, post college)
- College Friend(s)
- Professional Organization
- Leadership Program Alumns
- Past Clients
- Charitable Organization Volunteers
Now, go back through the list and see if you can name their spouse, their kid(s)’ names, where they currently work, their birthdate, their anniversary, where they are living, etc. The point is that the only people in your Success Network are those that you are up-to-date with and have truly shown an interest in. If you don’t stay in touch, they also don’t know much about you and your situation.
Keeping your network alert to your changes and situation provide even more opportunities. Here are two scenarios:
Former business owner – Having volunteered on nonprofit boards, after selling his business, he has kept active sitting on new boards, was asked by a friend to help him start a location for his business, got involved speaking to college classes, and more. He is involved with his network and busier than ever with new opportunities popping up because of it!
Former CFO – Lost his position in the sales of part of the business that he worked within. Was involved in his son’s and daughter’s school organizations as a parent volunteer but not in any professional organizations nor any leadership programs or charities. He sent resumes out and went to placement firms but most of his time spent was at home. In two and a half years, he has not found a position nor has he ventured out to volunteer or be involved out in the community.
The value of having a Success Network that you work to keep in touch with and nurtured will consistently bring you the rewards of new opportunities!