It’s a relatively simple concept, but what does it entail and why don’t more people take the time to do it?
Making connections is an integral part of succeeding both with relationship marketing and with business in general. My Dad always told me that it is who you know and not what you know, and now I’m finally savvy enough to realize that the old adage is essentially true.
The shift in our society has become increasingly evident. Few people are finding jobs via traditional job-searching routes like newspaper job listings and executive recruiters. Submitting your resume online almost ensures that it gets stuck in a pile with countless others in the black-hole of job acquisition. The majority of people find their job through a personal contact.
You’ll be hard pressed to convince plenty of MBAs and other graduate students that grades don’t matter that much, but other than aspiring for another advanced degree, or perhaps that first job, it’s true.
I was THAT guy in undergrad with the obnoxious GPA, though I played a sport so that helped curtail that stereotype; however, now that I am in graduate school the course load is significantly more intense and I often struggle to find time for my social life due to studying, projects, jobs, etc.
Which do you think I do? A.) Make time to do some excessive studying, extra work, additional reading or B.) Go to happy hour, work on my business, learn from people who I aspire to be like when I finish school?
The answer is that due to my ridiculous competitive nature, I am sometimes still guilty of A, but more times than not I try to make B take precedence in my life. Professors say they would rather you actually learn the material than just make good grades. I am finally doing that as I pull what I find valuable from lectures and apply it to my online business and real world settings as opposed to merely scouring through notes all night in an effort to regurgitate exact phrases for exams.
More important, I have utilized the extra time to make some phenomenal connections with my peers. Many of them will undoubtedly be uber successful. I look forward to the day I can call one of them up and say, “Remember that ridiculous idea we had that night at Happy Hour about how to [insert idea here], well I actually found a way to make it come to fruition. Would you be interested in a possible joint venture opportunity?”
Do not be afraid to step outside your comfort realm either? If you’re a finance guy/gal, make an effort to meet some marketing people, an accountant, some management majors. Get to know different people in all disciplines, not just those within your field of study. Maybe you never pursue those fields, but wouldn’t it be nice to have someone to call on if an endeavor you were pursuing required knowledge in that discipline? Or better yet, you needed one those people, their knowledge, their resources in building your own team and/or company?
Study a little less this week. Make an effort to meet a couple of new people (it could be as simple as commenting on this post), and make a genuine connection. You’ll be happy you did.