The Lowdown: Learn how to be a better networker with this Never Eat Alone summary.
In a world where most side-hustlers are creating online businesses, a lot of the interpersonal skills needed in business are neglected.
However, nobody ever succeeds on an island, and being able to network is a vital skill.
It is kinda like the saying “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. People will use that saying as a negative, but in reality, it’s a handy piece of information.
If it’s about who you know…. then go out and know people.
That involves more than Facebook groups (although, they can be amazing). So sorry, but you’ll have to talk to people face-to-face.
The truth is, knowing the right people can boost your side-hustle quicker than trying to master online marketing.
Never Eat Alone is a how-to guide for people who want to learn to network efficiently.
- Be a giver, not a taker
- Have a personal brand
- Get to know the right people – mentors and super-connectors
Lesson One: Be a giver, not a taker
Let’s say you’re writing a sales page for a new product.
Are you going to lead with “I would love it if you got your credit card out and bought this product because I am trying to earn enough money to quit my job”?
Probably not… you’d have far more success giving the other party the benefits they want.
The same mindset is needed when networking. Instead of asking yourself “who here can help me?”, you should be asking “who can I help?”
By entering with a generous mindset, you’ll build trust and create strong long-term relationships. That generous and loyal mindset should extend beyond the networking event. You can help with small things like forwarding an article you think the other person will like, or even
Odds are when you start networking, you’ll meet plenty of the “who can help me?” people, who are quickly moving from person to person and making it rain with business cards.
You’ll probably think that guy is an asshole… and you’ll more than often be right. The “who can help me?” people will eventually push people away.
Lesson Two: Have a personal brand
Let’s get the first thing clear, a personal brand doesn’t mean that you have to be a strong social media presence and live stream every time you blow your nose or collect the mail.
Instead, a personal brand is the way you conduct yourself. Start by asking the following:
- What sets me as being different?
- What are my strengths and weaknesses?
- What am I most proud of?
- What would I like to be known for?
Once you answer those questions, try and package those message in your day-to-day life.
That means the way you dress, conversation style, haircut, business cards, letterheads… basically everything that can be made consistent with who you want to be.
For example, if you want to be seen as a more casual person and hate the thought of wearing a suit and tie every day, don’t do it! Be yourself and be yourself consistently.
Your personal brand should be liberating, not restrictive.
The consistency is key, it can even mean using the same photos in all of your marketing.
Lesson Three: Get to know the right people – mentors and super-connectors
Obviously networking and meeting people is important (hence you reading this summary). However, there are two kinds of people that are key to being good at networking, mentors, and super-connectors.
Have you ever heard the saying “if you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room”?
Well, the same goes here. When networking, look to connect with people who have been there and done what you want to achieve.
You’ll learn so much from these resources, and most will be willing to help if they know you’re in it for the right reasons.
A super-connector is someone who has thousands of contacts. They are the person who seems to know everybody.
As connecting with people is a passion of theirs, super-connectors tend to pride themselves on connecting others together.
There was a cool study by a guy called Stanley Milgram where he sent 160 identical letters to homes in Nebraska with the instruction for that letter to get to a stockbroker in Massachusetts. However, they couldn’t send the letter directly to the stockbroker, they had to send it to one of their acquaintances who may know the person.
The letters who made their way to the stockbroker took a range of paths, sometimes exchanging hands dozens of times in the process. However, the last point of contact for the majority of the letters were only three people. The super-connectors.
So, look for people who seem to know everybody and connect. You’ll find a lot of these super-connectors are in industries that talk to a lot of people like hospitality, politics, and public relations.
My Personal Takeaway
I 100% need to work more on my personal brand.
That means that I should look to make the most of my differences and not take them as negative. That is something I will definitely do.
Put it into action
Obviously, you should look to go to a local networking event in the near future. Joining the local Chamber Of Commerce is a good place to start.
However, what I would like you to do right now is get your phone out, scroll to the bottom of your text conversations and say hi to that person who you haven’t spoken to for a while.
Doing that once a day is a great habit to get into.
You should consider buying this book if…
Anybody starting a business and is struggling to make connections.
Or, read our other business book summaries.
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