Whether I’m coaching a recent college graduate looking to get his life on track or a business woman in between jobs, I tell everyone the same thing: It’s all about connections, or as the saying goes, “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.”
Qualified people with the same degree or work experience you have are a dime a dozen, but only so many people know the hiring manager or the small business owner or the casting director.
What is a “Connection”?
Whether it’s an emotional connection (“you’ve known me since we were kids”) or one base on reputation (“you’re good friends with my wife’s boss”), a connection is basically a protection. A connection is not simply defined as “knowing someone.” I know my bagel-guy, but I don’t consider him a connection. A connection is a protection of emotion or reputation. A loved one, a person who has a secret, a person in a community you’d like to maintain a good standing in… a stakeholder. That’s why the main thing a connection provides us with is favors, or some form of exclusive treatment.
If you look at it from that transactional viewpoint, hopefully it will make it a lot easier to garner connections. You don’t have to have friendship necessarily with a connection, but you should have a certain value in his/her eye that makes favor-pulling a central part of the relationship.
If you come to my office we’ll talk in great detail about how you make connections, how you maintain connections (very important), and how you follow-through on connections. How do you ask for favors? How do you thank someone? How do you make sure to refer the right person?
Finally, I have acquired an large amount of connections in my career, and of course all of them are at the disposal of my life coaching clients.