You will be the same person in five years except for the people you meet and the books you read. —CHARLIE JONES
FULLY 85 PERCENT of your success and happiness in life is going to be determined by the quality of the relationships that you develop in your personal and your business activities. The more people you know and who know you in a positive way, the more successful you will be and the faster you will move ahead. At virtually every turning point in your life, someone is standing there to either help you or hinder you. Successful people make a habit of building and maintaining a network of high-quality relationships throughout their lives, and as a result, they accomplish vastly more than the person who goes home and watches television each night.
Everything involves relationships. Virtually all of your problems in life will come as the result of your entering into wrong relationships with the wrong people. Virtually all of your great successes in life will be accompanied by great relationships with good people who help you and whom you help in return. More than 90 percent of your success will be determined by your “reference group.” Your reference group is defined as the people with whom you habitually identify and pass the time. You are like a chameleon in that you take on the attitudes, behaviors, values, and beliefs of the people with whom you associate most of the time. If you want to be a successful person, associate with positive people.
Associate with people who are optimistic and happy and who have goals and who are moving forward in their lives. At the same time, get away from negative, critical, complaining people. If you want to fly with the eagles, you cannot scratch with the turkeys. Self-made millionaires network continually. They join their industry and trade associations, attend every meeting, and get involved in the groups’ activities. They introduce themselves to people in business and social settings, hand out their business cards, and tell others what they do.And here is one of the best strategies of all. Whenever you meet new people, ask them to tell you about their businesses and, especially, to tell you what you would need to know to send clients or customers to them. Then, as soon as possible, see if you can send some business their way. Be a “go-giver” rather than a go-getter.
Always look for ways to put in before you start thinking of ways to take out. The very best way to network and build your relationships is to constantly look for ways to help other people achieve their own goals. The more you give of yourself without expecting something in return, the more rewards will come back to you from the most unexpected sources.
ACTION EXERCISE Identify the most important people in your life, both present and future. What could you do to help them in their lives and work so that they would be open to helping you? Identify the people you should get to know. What could you do to help them in advance of your needing anything in return? Remember, first you sow and then you reap.