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Why Connecting With Others Is Key To Success

May 24, 2008
I don't think I can express enough the crucial importance of contacts. I could rattle off statistics like the Federal Bureau of Labor research that 70% of all jobs are found through networks or axioms like "It's not what you know but who you know", but the truth is that nothing, bar nothing, is as important as your list of contacts.

The value of social networks:

Everybody can benefit from the value of connecting and most importantly, those that participate in connecting with others, whether here or anywhere, will receive those benefits.

The value of a network is greater than the sum of the individuals that make up that network. In other words if you have 100 people and you add up their individual values it would be smaller (much smaller) than their value if they all knew each other. Hopefully this is just stating something that you already knew and readily practice, but it also has another interesting conclusion that might not be so obvious.

Each new member to that network grows the value of that network at an increasing rate. So if you take our 100 person network and double it to a 200 person network the value of this new network is much greater than simply double the 100 person network. Each person has an exponential increase in the value of the network.

Connecting with others is a win: win scenario. Everybody benefits from everyone's participation. A proper network does not create winners and losers...only winners. Remember creating wealth is not about beating someone else or taking money off someone. It's about offering value to others. If you offer value to others they will pay you willingly for that value.

The great thing about networks is that they are virtually free to participate in but they can provide immeasurable value to you and the others in the network. How much does it cost to make a contact or keep a friend? A few minutes on the phone, a regular coffee, an email here and there. I'm sure you get the idea that there is no cost involved. But what could you offer that friend or vice versa. You (or they) could be the contact that opens the door to a massive deal or new job opportunity or life changing experience. This sort of thing happens time and again...and introductions and recommendations, much like manners, cost nothing.

Who would benefit from you introducing a friend to someone else you know looking to meet or say hire someone like your friend? Well your friend would obviously if they score a brilliant new job. Your other contact, the employer, would as well because you've helped them find someone they were looking for. And finally you would because these two people are grateful to you for your help in being thoughtful enough to see the link and introduce them. To sum up, connecting people is all about solving problems!

Small World:

But is all this networking stuff really worth the effort? Will it really change your life? The short answer is "Yes". However, for those of us that would like a bit more convincing one of the most famous social network experiments was performed by Stanley Milgram in the late 1960s. He created an experiment that illustrates just how close we are to anyone we need to know.

Milgram sent letters to random participants in Omaha and Wichita detailing the purpose of the study and some basic information on a target in Boston that they should sent the letter to. If they didn't know the target directly then they should forward the letter to an acquaintance they thought would be more likely to know the target, and so on. Milgram found that the average length of these chains was about six. His study essentially shows us just how small this world really is...connect because you are closer to the person that can change your life than you think.

Although Milgram's experiment showed that the average length between two random people is six, he never coined the term six degrees of separation. Credit for that goes to John Guare who first used the term for his 1990 play. It later became a more common term following the 1993 film of the same name featuring Will Smith.

An interesting variation of this theme is the trivia game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, which states that any actor or actress could be linked to Kevin Bacon within six links. It's amazing to think that Kevin Bacon is linked to Ronald Reagan and Steve McQueen by only one person. Try the game is fun and enlightening...

I hope you come and join in...
About the Author
Emlyn Scott is the founder of Rich1Percent , investor and wealth creation author. He is a wealth creation and finance expert with 4 post graduate qualifications and has amassed a multi-million dollar investment portfolio.
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