Your Real vs. Your Fake Network

Let’s be honest. When you have over 500 facebook friends and 300+ LinkedIn connections, it feels good to be connected, doesn’t it? Even if the quality of those connections are only superficial, it’s good to know that you have a plethora of resources spanning multiple industries and parts of the country.

If this doesn’t sound like you, well, you may be lucky. Sometimes the numbers make us more attractive. Check out the social media indexes and algorithms. It’s truly about your “popularity” in numbers. In fact, just to get in front of people regularly on one of the world’s most popular social networks, I have to allocate weekly and daily budget to stay visible. That feels a bit fake, but it’s business and I do understand. We all have to drive revenue or it becomes a hobby, and this particular social network I’m referring to is far from a hobby as it reaches the billions of dollars with millions of users.

Seriously. When it comes to your network, is it real or fake? The world wants us to have quantity, but I would argue all day long that I’d rather have quality. In fact, from a professional perspective, I think I only need to call on about 20-25 people. Yes. Only 20-25 people are truly valuable to me on a day to day basis right now, and even for long-term strategic planning in both my personal and professional life.

At first, I wasn’t sure why this topic became this week’s hot topic, but now it makes complete sense. In this network of 20-25 people, I have everything I need as a small business owner, mother, and wife.

Financial Advisor | Real estate agent(s) | Architect | Yoga instructor
Health coach (food & fitness) | Graphic designer | IT guru
Web designer | Social media consultant | Business coach
Spiritual mentor | Email marketing ninja | Training consultant
Author | Video bloggers & producers | Parent bloggers | Candle crafters
Cooking consultants | Early Childhood Education Teachers
Public speaking | Strategic planning | Branding expert
Lawyer | Project manager | SEO/Search | Advertising | Entrepreneurial warriors
Photographers | PR mavens | Child whisperers

 

They’re plain smart, good, thoughtful & helpful people who have helped me get to where I am both personally and professionally.

While I’m sure that there are other contacts I need, I am grateful that with just one email or phone call, this list has real people whom I know well enough to move forward in my business. One of my favorite aspects of my personal brand is making sure I have the resources I need to grow and also to connect others so they too can grow in their businesses – whether it’s theirs or someone else’s.

I am grateful to have these people in my life, even if we never have to talk, but choose to when necessary.

  • Who is in your network that can help you add value – in your professional and personal life
  • Who is essential to your personal brand and the work that you do?
  • Who do you need in your network who isn’t there?

While visibility in the digital age is largely a numbers game, in the human space, I still believe it boils down to connection. Even the numbers game of social media and list building for marketers is largely based on the human connection that people make with their audience. Otherwise, unsubscribe, disconnect, and unfriend become the name of the game.

This week, I am truly grateful for my go-to list of people that help me grown many aspects of my business and my life. They often offer great perspective and advice that I can choose to take or leave, but they are trustworthy sources for those areas of my life that I need to nurture and grow.

I’m also grateful that many of these contacts are people that came into my life, because of some God moment. Do you know what I’m talking about? It’s one of those really cool moments when the person arrives in your life that you’ve been looking for for so long to help you improve or right something in your business and life and…just like that…they’re right there. Bam!

Many of these people were a big part of God’s plan in my life. Maybe the contacts didn’t always make sense to me, but now do they ever. I have go-to people in my life for so many things and when I think back on how we connected, God was in the details doing His beautiful work.

This week, take some time to recognize and be grateful for people who have been placed in your life for a definitive reason, even if it is only for go-to needs or seasons of your life. Next week, we’ll spend time with our closest family and friends letting them know how grateful we are for them (of course never a day goes by when we aren’t grateful for loved ones).

Do a little network check-in: Who are my Top 20 go-to people? How can I thank them this week for all that they have done for me? Those are your real network connections.

Then, spread a little gratitude to your greater friend and connection audience, because they may be there for a bigger reason than just the numbers game (even if it doesn’t make sense yet).

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