Yesterday we talked about three catchy phrases or cliches about your environment.  Today let's share another cliche: "It's not what you know, it's who you know."  In China they call this guanxi.

This idea of knowing people is a universal concept because it is true.  It is extremely rare for someone to be successful by themselves.  Most all people that you consider successful, even the ones that maybe look like they did it on their own, most likely had many people helping them along the way.

How can we get to know more people?  There are three ways I see you expanding your network:
  1. Someone introduces you
  2. You approach strangers
  3. Strangers approach you

Someone introduces you
  One way to get to know more people is to have people you already know introduce you.  There is a pretty painless question I have found as a way to achieve this.  You can approach people you already know and ask them "Who do you know that needs ...." or "Who do you know that does ..."

  The "Who do you know ..." type of question is powerful because it does not easily allow a person to say "No".  For example if you ask them "Do you know anyone that needs ..." many people will quickly respond with "No"

   You can start by making a list of your closest relatives, then make a list of your friends, then a list of co-workers past and present, and finally anyone else that you currently know.  You can then work to contact them asking them if they know anyone that can help you achieve your goal.

You approach strangers
  Approaching strangers is sometimes a difficult activity.  Many successful people that I know and that I have heard talk, say that they had to approach strangers to be successful.  You can use the same "Who do you know ..." type of questions when you approach them.

  The key is that you may want to consider thinking of ways to approach people you have never met before.  This can be giving them a call on the phone, sending them an email, or going to some event like a conference or networking event and walking up to them in person.

  I can understand the fear of approaching strangers and the fear of rejection.  One thing you can try to remember is that you don't know this person right now.  There is not much you will lose.  If they tell you to "Get lost" you haven't lost much because you had no relationship.

Strangers approach you
  The third way to meet new people is to have strangers approach you.  This is usually done by marketing and advertising.  You can put an ad out that people will respond to, or you can do marketing like speaking in public or creating some online content that is highly ranked in the search engines that would attract strangers.

  There you have three methods to increase your circle of influence.

  What are you going to do to increase the quality and quantity of people you know that can help you be successful?
 


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