This Book is For:
*People who are uncomfortable with "networking" the way it's always been done, and who want to learn about mutually beneficial, non-sleazy relationship-building practices that will help them feel good about themselves, not like they're trying to be someone else.
*Businesspeople who want to advance their missions and goals by helping other people advance theirs, and who see the value in reciprocal, win-win relationships that leverage other people's strengths and shore up each other's weaknesses.
*Students and lifelong learners just stepping out into the working world who want a winning game plan for meeting and developing relationships with the people who can help them make their ambitions a reality.
*Community leaders of all types who want to make an even greater impact by leveraging the power of teamwork and mutual assistance, backed by an attitude of generosity, care, and meaningful attention.
“Connecting is a philosophy of life, a worldview. Its guiding principle is that people, all people, every person you meet, is an opportunity to help and be helped.”
No one is self-made anymore, if they ever were at all. Total self-reliance doesn't exist either, which is actually great news for all of us, because we rise or fall together.
Connection and relationship are the law of the universe, and this book will help you put that law into action to build a powerful network that will help you realize your greatest ambitions.
In order to achieve what's possible for you in life and business, you need a strong, healthy network full of other altruistic individuals who want to see you succeed, and...more good news...it's never been easier - and more necessary - to do that as it is today.
As far back in time as 2005, more than half of all new jobs were found through a person's network and contacts, with less than 30% of all jobs found through advertisements or "cold" job applications.
Friends help friends get ahead, and so if you want to get ahead, you need more friends! This book will show you exactly how to do that - ethically, responsibly, and in a way that feels "right" - and the author is a recognized expert in relationship-building.
Keith Ferrazzi became the Chief Marketing Offer at Deloitte & Touche Consulting, the youngest-ever CMO at Starwood Hotel & Resorts, then the CEO of Yaya Media, before starting his own company. He's built up a personal network of more than 10,000+ people that he can rely on to take his calls, and whom he can assist in helping to get what they want in life.
That's the game. That's the real point of relationship-building, which is not shameless self-promotion or sleazy "networking" events where you spam people with business cards until their pockets are bursting with the contact information of people they'll never hear from again.
Real relationship-building is so much more than that. It's about helping and being helped in return. It's about wanting the best for people, rejoicing in their success, and endeavoring to help everyone in your network win.
It's not zero-sum. Networking is an infinite game, and Keith Ferrazzi is a star player who's been teaching this stuff for more than two decades.
Never Eat Alone is one of the greatest networking books ever written - a certified classic - but it's not literally all about who you have dinner with. Not completely. It's so much more than that, and Keith uses both his own story and the stories of influential power connectors like Katherine Graham, Bill Clinton, and Dale Carnegie to illustrate his best tactics for gaining influence by being valuable to others and cultivating your network.
Even more importantly, it's about becoming valuable to the people you're connected to and being a resource for them, someone your whole network can rely on to help them get things done. It's about winning yourself, while making sure that, at the same time, your friends are winning too.
Creating value is what creates cash, and you create value by strengthening your network. Never Eat Alone is an extremely tactical book about how to do exactly that, with advice on topics ranging from how to host a great party, to specific words and phrases you can use in your interactions to connect more deeply and become more memorable.
The book explores three distinct stages of the networking process, which include the preparation phase, the actual building of a network, and finally, maintaining a network through relentless, friendly, and playful follow-up.
Ferrazzi explains the importance of having four different types of people in your network as well: people who can help you to meet your goals, mentors, super-connectors (people who know lots of people), and prominent people, i.e. leaders in their organization.
Inside, you'll learn about setting up efficient and valuable meetings, how to maximize your learning and exposure from the conferences you attend, the art of small talk, and big ideas surrounding warming up cold leads and managing gatekeepers, i.e. the assistants and "protectors" who guard the time and the schedules of the important people you want to meet.
As you make your way through the Key Ideas below, you'll also learn the importance of maintaining omnipresence and keeping yourself top of mind in the people who make up your network; how to get virtually anything you want in life; why attention is the new oil; and several other topics having to do with giving, reciprocity, and mutual aid.
Now is the most exciting time to be alive in the history of the planet, and more opportunities exist today to both get everything you ever wanted and to help other people do the same.
Goodwill isn't finite, and Ferrazzi demonstrates the truth of this statement throughout the entire book. As we assist others and accept their assistance in turn, we expand our total possibilities and begin to access our full potential - together.
#1: Attention is the New Oil
“Today’s most valuable currency is social capital, defined as the information, expertise, trust, and total value that exist in the relationships you have and social networks to which you belong.”
Doctor. Lawyer. Stockbroker. These were the jobs that you used to be pressured into getting by people who pushed you to "make something of yourself."
They were the highest-paying, most prestigious jobs in society, but that's rapidly changing, and it's the "attention economy" that is the driving force behind much of this change.
Now, you have multitudes of creators and influencers with millions of followers and subscribers who command higher salaries than all three of the above careers combined. But you also have quieter creators and businesspeople with smaller followings, yet who are still building sustainable careers online, all due to the power of social media and worldwide connectivity.
What they've all done - in their own way - is capture and monetize attention. And attention is the new oil.
In the 19th century, the way you got rich the fastest was by owning a railroad company or at least investing in one. In the 20th century, it was oil. Today, it's attention. Social capital. The total value of your network.
Of course, you don't have to be an "influencer" to benefit from the strategies contained within this book. Keith Ferrazzi's definition of social capital applies to all its manifestations, regardless of whether it's online or offline. The big YouTuber making hundreds of thousands of dollars from sponsorships and brand deals can benefit from using the same ideas as the local plumber or the neighborhood dry cleaner. It's all networking.
However and wherever you deploy these strategies, however, building a powerful network is going to help accelerate your career like almost nothing else. Your personal brand doesn't just exist online - it's what people everywhere think of whenever they hear your name.
In this context, value creation is one of the most important concepts to internalize as well. It's about the value you bring to the table and the resources you contribute to the network you're a part of, that will separate you from your peers, and separate you from your former self. As you become more valuable to your total network, the value of that entire network rises, and more often than not, your personal compensation will rise along with it.
It's the network effect in action. Networks become more valuable the more people are connected to them, as they help each other and are helped in turn. That's one of the most important ideas in this entire book.
Where attention is concerned, if you invest in yourself to the point where you've built trust and competence - when people believe that you can help them - they will start to seek you out. Opportunities will come to you, and it will all be because of the attention and recognition you've developed over time.
The attention you can command will become as valuable as oil.
#2: Maintain Omnipresence at All Costs
“In building a network, remember: Above all, never, ever disappear.”
The only thing worse than being talked about is NOT being talked about. I stole that from Oscar Wilde, and of course, you probably want to avoid damage to your reputation at all costs, but the idea behind it is of major importance.
People are like goldfish, and if you're not constantly at top of their minds, they will tend to forget you exist.
There's some nuance here, because obviously what's good for getting attention - making a spectacle of yourself - isn't necessarily what you want, or what will serve your best interests. You never want to take an unnecessary reputational hit in exchange for a short-term gain, and it's easier to build a network than it is to rebuild a reputation.
But on a more foundational level: just make sure you don't disappear.
Always be on people's radar, "pinging" them to use Ferrazzi's phrase, and also maintain an attentional presence in the wider market as well. People will forget you if you don't help them remember you.
Right now, obscurity is probably your biggest problem. It's not your skills, or your ability to service your clients or add value to the marketplace. Your biggest problem is that no one knows who you are!
And if, because of your consistent, intentional efforts at getting on people's radars, you fall off those same radars, much of your previous work will have been wasted. So battle back against obscurity. Fight the forgetting curve. Take up real estate in people's minds. Never, ever disappear.
#3: How to Get Virtually ANYTHING You Want in Life
“I learned that real networking was about finding ways to make other people more successful. It was about working hard to give more than you get.”
I've built my entire career on the following phrase:
You can get virtually anything you want in life, just as long as you help enough other people get what they want.
It's worth committing that sentence to memory, maybe even putting it somewhere you're likely to see it every single day. It's important. It's crucial to networking success.
This approach to life and business always throws people off. They never expect it; it's like they keep waiting for the catch, or waiting for you to ask them for a favor.
There is no catch!
Just help people. Make sure the people around you are winning, and go out of your way to be of service. That's one of the major keys to building a powerful network, and that one idea has helped me make more progress in my career than almost anything else.
Not everyone will trust your motives at first, but eventually, they'll catch on, and they'll realize that this is just who you are. That you care. You want them to win as much as you want to win. That's when it happens. That's the "switch."
Giving to others without expecting anything in return is like pouring rocket fuel on your networking fire.
The game then becomes figuring out new and bigger ways to be of service. To help other people achieve their goals and become successful.
You'll start looking through your contacts to see who you can fix them up with that will help them solve their current problem. You'll start seeing where your specific knowledge can really help them step over their current stumbling blocks. You'll start seeing all these different ways you can increase the total value of your entire network.
This is an infinite game, and there is no upper limit to our collective success.
#4: We Rise or Fall Together
“There is no such thing as a ‘self-made’ man. We are made up of thousands of others. Everyone who has ever done a kind deed for us, or spoken one word of encouragement to us, has entered into the make-up of our character and of our thoughts, as well as our success.”
-George Burton Adams
The world is too interconnected now for any single person to try to go it alone. We rise or fall together, and the entire point of having a strong network is that you won't have to try to succeed alone.
And, I mean, why would you even want to try and do that? When there are practically infinite opportunities out there for networking, mutual reciprocity, and support?
A case in point is Twitter. On that one platform alone, you have this huge number of the smartest people in the entire world, thinking out loud, building in public, and offering up their most valuable ideas. For free, I might add.
That's just one social media platform. YouTube is basically a free university, and Instagram has launched more profitable businesses than most people realize.
Opportunities for networking and mutual aid are everywhere, and so today, trying to be a lone wolf just isn't sustainable or wise. Not when you're competing against people who are leveraging the ideas and advice from the world's smartest people.
Many of these people are more than willing to help you achieve your goals. Sometimes for free, sometimes for a price, but it's almost always going to be cheaper and less painful than trying to succeed by yourself.
#5: Every Person's Deepest Lifelong Desire
“The only way to get people to do anything is to recognize their importance and thereby make them feel important. Every person’s deepest lifelong desire is to be significant and to be recognized. What better way is there to show appreciation and to lavish praise on others than to take an interest in who they are and what their mission is?”
In Dale Carnegie's perennial classic, How to Win Friends and Influence People, he taught that in order to become interesting, it's better to be interested. Become curious about people, ask them deeper, more thoughtful questions, and take a sincere and genuine interest in who they are and where they're going in life!
It works approximately 10,000x better than trying to make people interested in you. And it's not because everyone is narcissistic or self-centered, it's just that most people have a deep, lifelong desire to be appreciated and to be seen.
You can give this priceless gift to people during each and every one of your interactions, and it doesn't have to cost you a damn thing, except perhaps your time and your focus. In another, more modern version of Carnegie's book, What's In It for Them? by Joe Polish, he shows why this is in fact an excellent way to expand your network with quality contacts.
There are magnetic individuals all around us who possess spectacular listening skills, but they are...silent! They're here among us, giving their undivided attention to whomever they're with, not tapping their foot waiting for that person to stop speaking so that they can say something, but actually engaging with what's being said and making the other person feel significant and, most importantly, seen.
So many human beings walk through life never being seen by anyone, but when you're given this priceless gift of attention by someone else, you remember that person. Their memory stays with you - and your memory of how they made you feel - and that person's network tends to grow exponentially.
#6: How to Keep Score
“You can be more successful in two months by becoming really interested in other people’s success than you can in two years trying to get other people interested in your own success.”
Money is how we keep score in the game of business but there are other success metrics to track as well. What gets measured gets managed, and the best way to improve something is to track it in the first place. But there are right and wrong ways to "keep score" in your relationships.
Probably one of the absolute worst ways to do it is to track who "owes you" something. Much better is to count many times you've helped others win, and keep track of their successes as well as your own.
Build up your portfolio of other people's accomplishments; constantly be on the lookout for how you can help to engineer wins for the people in your network and treat their successes as your own.
At the end of the day, we're all on Team Humanity, and when one of us succeeds at something noble and worthwhile, it's a victory for the entire human race.
On top of that, most people - all 8,000,000,000 of us - win at least some of the time. Good things happen to all of us every day, and so if you can be happy for the good fortune of others, then you've just given yourself literally 8,000,000,000 reasons to be happy.
#7: Tend Your Garden Faithfully
“The follow up I remember best is the one I got first.”
You can view your relationships as a garden full of plants and flowers that you have to water in order to maintain them and help them to grow.
Just as our minds can be likened to a garden (and the thoughts we plant there will ripen according to their nature), our network is like a garden as well. There are lots of different plants (relationships) and they all need water and sunlight (kindness and attention) in order to fully bloom.
You can do this in many ways, but one of the simplest is just to reach out occasionally to the people in your network and ask how you can help them. What can you do for them, and how can you be of service?
Then, crucially, it's a matter of following up, and, like we talked about in Key Idea #2, never, ever disappear!
Keep showing up, keep asking how you can be of service to the people in your network, and keep giving to them, contributing to their success, without expecting anything in return.
Now that's a greenhouse effect worth intensifying!
#8: Build Your Network Before You Need It
“Never forget the person who brought you to the dance.”
In her excellent book, The Long Game, thought leader Dorie Clark recommends waiting at least a year before you ask any favors from your new contacts.
One more pragmatic reason for this is that by holding off for a time, you build up a tremendous amount of goodwill, and by the time a year rolls around, the other person will most likely be anxious to do you a big favor too.
But waiting a year is just... non-sleazy. It's just a better way to go through life.
If you neglect to do this, however, the other person will quickly learn that the only reason you're getting in touch is that you want something. That's an easy way to make people feel dirty, manipulated, and used...and no one wants to feel that way.
So don't start building a network just because you need something tomorrow. Think long-term. Play the long game. You may have heard the saying, "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the second best time to plant a tree is today." Well, that's doubly true for relationships and networking!
Start putting these ideas into practice now, today, way before you need to shade yourself from the heat. And be sure to remember the people who helped you last year! As they say, be nice to people on your way up, because you'll be seeing them again on the way down!
Other people helped us to get where we are today. They extended themselves, offered us their assistance, and guided us when we didn't know which way to go. Never forget the person who brought you to the dance.
#9: Infinite Networks and the Human Ecosystem
“The more new connections you establish, the more opportunities you’ll have to make even more new connections.”
Networks don't grow in a linear fashion. They grow exponentially. Meaning, adding more people to your network doesn't just work in a +1, +1, +1 fashion, but the entire network of the people you're connecting with is being added to your network during the process.
You can think about it like the human brain, which is the most complex thing we have yet discovered in our universe. It contains hundreds of billions of cells interlinked through trillions of connections. Trillions of connections...that's insane!
But that's how network effects work. The value of the entire network grows as more and more individuals become connected to it.
The storage capacity of the human brain is virtually limitless, but there are "only" about 8,000,000,000 people alive on this planet right now. Slowly, painfully, we're learning to overcome our separateness and realize that our futures are tied up with every single other person with whom we share the Earth.
At this point, you can pretty much start playing "6 Degrees of Separation" with yourself. If you know 1 person, who knows 4 other people, and each of them knows 3 other people who each knows 7 other people, etc., you can keep going and going until you're basically Joe Polish.
Maybe it's not such a great idea to spread yourself too thin (I mean, can you really have even 1,000+ close friends?), but literally, the larger point is that whatever you want to achieve, there is someone else out there who can help you do it, and, somewhere out there, is someone who could really use your help as well.
We're all in this together, as members of the same human ecosystem, fighting for the same cause: happiness, fulfillment, love of life, and adventure. As we've already discussed, we rise or fall together, and the beautiful thing about a planetary human network is that the bigger and stronger it gets, the harder it is to break.
#10: The Universe That Rearranges Itself
“Until you become as willing to ask for help as you are to give it, however, you are only working half the equation. That’s what I mean by connecting. It’s a constant process of giving and receiving – of asking for and offering help. By putting people in contact with one another, by giving your time and expertise and sharing them freely, the pie gets bigger for everyone.”
The driving theme of this book is that as we each devote ourselves to serving the other people in our network, we all become better and richer in the process.
As former President George Bush once said, in one of his hilarious "Bush-isms," we can "make the pie higher."
But I'm also thinking here of Law #5 of Stratospheric Success, as laid out in The Go-Giver, which states:
"The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving."
Strong, healthy networks see the benefits flowing easily between givers and receivers. Maybe not equally in every instance, but over time, benefits tend to balance out and everyone gets what they give.
But strangely enough - and I include myself in this - many people are hesitant to ask for help. They don't want to be seen as "takers," but they go too far in that direction and never open themselves up to be helped by anyone!
It can be uncomfortable asking for help and opening yourself up to receiving, but the people worth being part of your network won't mind. Not only will they not mind, but they will be overjoyed to help you. Because you're both on the same side, fighting for the same team.
They realize that when they help you, not only are they building up goodwill and a strong reputation, but they're helping their entire network to get stronger and more resourceful over time.
Most importantly, although they see themselves as sovereign individuals with a right to self-determination and control over their own lives, they also feel powerfully connected to everyone with whom they share the world.
Master networkers don't see a mass of self-interested, selfish individuals fighting over scraps. Nor do they even tend to meaningfully differentiate between helpers and those being helped. There is no giver, and there is no receiver. There is only the universe rearranging itself.
“Your network is your destiny.”
“Relationships are all there is. Everything in the universe only exists because it is in relationship to everything else. Nothing exists in isolation. We have to stop pretending we are individuals that can go it alone.”
“The business world is a fluid, competitive landscape; yesterday’s assistant is today’s influence peddler. Many of the young men and women who used to answer my phones now thankfully take my calls. Remember, it’s easier to get ahead in the world when those below you are happy to help you get ahead, rather than hoping for your downfall.”
“No one becomes an astronaut by accident.”
“There are hidden opportunities waiting to be accessed in everyone if you just tell them what you want.”
“Ultimately, everyone has to ask himself or herself how they’re going to fail. We all do, you know, so let’s get that out of the way. The choice isn’t between success and failure; it’s between choosing risk and striving for greatness, or risking nothing and being certain of mediocrity.”
“In today’s world, mean guys finish last.”
“People are wowed by social decisiveness when it’s offered with compassion and warmth.”
“Every man I meet is my superior in some way. In that, I learn of him.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Real power comes from being indispensable.”
“What you see shapes how you change.”
“You are 100 percent responsible for anything that has your name on it.”
“Reporters continually ask, ‘But why is it important now?’ If you can’t answer that sufficiently, your article will wait.”
“To teach is to learn again.”
“Learn in your twenties and earn in your thirties.”
“The achievement of some goals can feel as disappointing as failure.”
“The pursuit of achievement could be, I realized, so much fun and so inspiring when you knew what was worthy of achieving.”
Important Insights from Related Books:
What's In It For Them?, by Joe Polish:
They call him the most connected businessman on the planet, and this book is the distillation of Joe Polish's absolute best advice for creating and sustaining win-win relationships that last a lifetime.
If you've ever played "6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon," you could probably play "3 Degrees of Joe Polish," and it can seem as though there's no one in the online entrepreneurship space who hasn't been helped by him in some way and eventually come to call him a friend.
His story is a pattern interrupt that diverges from the expected script. Joe succeeded in business by rejecting self-interest - or at least putting it to the side - so he could ask a very simple, yet very powerful question:
"What's in it for them?"
It's a useful question that changes the conversation and can change your life in the same way that it's changed Joe's life and damn near everyone with whom he's shared it.
Think of Joe's book as Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People for the 21st century. While Carnegie's book is still absolutely worth reading, Joe's book represents the future of networking, while at the same time, the underlying themes and success strategies are as old as humanity itself.
Sample Quotes from the Book:
“The first secret to the successes I’ve had in life and business is simple: I invest more time, attention, money, effort, and energy into my relationships than I do anything else, and I do so on the longest timeline possible.”
“I treat everybody I meet as if I will run into them again. As much as I can, I want to make a lasting impression and whenever possible, leave everything better than before I showed up. The most positive impacts I’ve made haven’t been overly calculated strategic decisions. They have grown organically out of this simple philosophy.
The bottom line: Spread as much positivity and love as you can wherever you go, not to avoid some imagined future punishment, but because you don’t know the magnitude of the impact that possibility will have on others and the world. Usually, our humble efforts have an effect reaching farther than we think."
“The important thing to remember is that you’ll need to connect with other people to make big things happen – and understanding what they want from life and how they want to be treated is crucial to that.”
Read the Full Breakdown: What's In It For Them?, by Joe Polish
Who Not How, by Dan Sullivan and Dr. Benjamin Hardy:
Whatever your limitations, there is someone out there who can help you move beyond them. The best way to solve a problem is to find someone who already knows how to solve it, and that's pretty much the "one-sentence summary" of this incredibly valuable business book.
Instead of asking, "How can I solve this problem for myself?" a better question is to ask, "Who can I get to help me solve this?" Asking the former is just asking for burnout, frustration, and inferior results. Because the truth is that there are people out there who are experts at doing the things you either hate to do, are bad at, or both, and they are more than willing to help you achieve your goals.
The right person already knows how to solve your problem, so they can get to work immediately. As the authors explain, freeing up your time is one of the first steps towards increased financial freedom, and if you want to experience the full power of teamwork you're going to have to relinquish at least some control over how things get done. Find your Who, so they can get to work on the How.
It's a mindset shift more than anything - retraining your brain to see potential and opportunities for collaboration and ease, rather than slugging through your daily tasks thinking you have to do everything yourself. You are limited in what you can do alone, but together, there's almost nothing we can't do.
Sample Quotes from the Book:
“The best way to measure your progress is by noting the amount and quality of collaborations happening in your life.”
“Once you’re committed to the result you want, you’ll find that Who. When you do find that Who, you’ll see how ridiculously simple it was for THEM to produce your desired result, then you’ll begin to see just how small you’ve been playing. You’ll begin to set bigger and bigger targets, and you’ll commit to those targets faster by getting the Who that is equipped to produce the result.”
“If Michael Jordan couldn’t get to, let alone win, a championship by himself, why would you even consider trying to pursue your goals on your own?”
Read the Full Breakdown: Who Not How, by Dan Sullivan and Dr. Benjamin Hardy
The Education of Millionaires, by Michael Ellsberg:
Just because some of the smartest and most successful individuals in the world dropped out of college or skipped college altogether, does that mean that you should too?
Not necessarily; but in this book, author Michael Ellsberg makes the case that most of what you'll need to learn in order to become successful - by anyone's standards - are skills that you'll never see taught in school.
Teaching any of those success skills would require dozens of books for each one, and Ellsberg doesn't claim to teach you everything you need to know on these pages. But he tells you where to start looking, and what's important to look for.
He doesn't just give you a fish, or even go too deep in teaching you how to fish; he simply explains why you absolutely have to learn to fish, and where to go in order to learn most effectively.
Not only that, but if you're missing any of these critical success skills, you're handicapping yourself horribly and holding yourself back from all that you could achieve and become.
Sample Quotes from the Book:
“The driving theme of the stories in this book is that, even though you may learn many wonderful things in college, your success and happiness in life will have little to do with what you study there or the letters after your name once you graduate.
It has to do with your drive, your initiative, your persistence, your ability to make a contribution to other people’s lives, your ability to come up with good ideas and pitch them to others effectively, your charisma, your ability to navigate gracefully through social and business networks (what some researchers call ‘practical intelligence’), and a total, unwavering belief in your own eventual triumph, throughout all the ups and downs, no matter what the naysayers tell you.
While you may learn many valuable things in college, you won’t learn these things there – yet they are crucial for your success in business and in life. Whether you’re a high school dropout or a graduate of Harvard Law School, you must learn and develop these skills, attitudes, and habits if you want to excel at what you do.
In this new economy, the biggest factor in your success will not be abstract, academic learning but whether you develop the real-life success skills evinced by the people on these pages, and how early you do.”
“Your self-study and learning in one of these areas of advice-giving is highly liquid; it can often be traded for learning in another area. Because few people are truly well-rounded, if you become well-rounded in these areas of marketing and sales, health and nutrition, spirituality and personal philosophy, and interesting hobbies and passions, you will almost always have something to help people with.”
“I am passionately pro-education. There are few things I care more about than reading and learning constantly. Yet, the lives of the people profiled in this book show conclusively that education is most certainly not the same thing as academic excellence. We’ve conflated them, at great cost to ourselves, our children, our economy, and our culture.”
Read the Full Breakdown: The Education of Millionaires, by Michael Ellsberg
The Long Game, by Dorie Clark:
While the rest of the world thinks we're playing checkers, readers of this book will know that we're actually playing chess instead. The greatest Grand Masters in chess plan many, many moves ahead, and the best players in the game of life tend to do the same thing. That's what The Long Game is all about.
Creating the white space in our lives necessary in order to step back and take in the whole picture is one of the goals of this book, and here Dorie Clark presents a ton of high-level concepts to help you make this kind of thinking more common in your daily life.
Your personal goals need a long-term strategy, and this book will help you craft one for yourself. It will encourage you to "think in decades" and help you to think bigger. In this breakdown, we're also going to cover several extremely important ideas such as strategic patience, raindrops of success, and more. We're going to uncover the truth about ridiculous goals and how to tell if what you're doing right now is working.
We're going to see how we can create opportunities for ourselves that give us "two ways to win, and no way to lose." We're also going to internalize the power of compound interest, and clear the chessboard with devastating long-term moves that the other players never saw coming.
Sample Quotes from the Book:
“Waiting a year to ask for any favors prevents anyone from inferring that you have an agenda. And frankly, it stops you from having one, even subconsciously. It lets you step back and concentrate on building a genuine friendship.”
“What I’ve come to love about patience is that, ultimately, it’s the truest test of merit: Are you willing to do the work, despite no guaranteed outcome? We earn our success by toiling without recognition, accolades, or even any certainty that it’s going to come to fruition. We have to take it on faith and do it anyway. That’s strategic patience.”
“The challenge for all of us is an inner one: to keep going when it seems like no one is paying attention or cares. And to believe that eventually, the world will catch up.”
Read the Full Breakdown: The Long Game, by Dorie Clark
The View from the Opposition:
No one's ideas are beyond questioning. In this section, I argue the case for the opposition and raise some points you might wish to evaluate for yourself while reading this book.
#1: This One's Not for Introverts
The introvert inside of me didn't want to do anything that Keith suggested I do in this book. The constant busyness of texting and pinging people and phoning them and staying in touch with an entire village of people every week doesn't sound like the kind of life I want.
That being said, you don't have to give your social life the whole Ferrazzi treatment in order to experience wonderful results. You can just dial down his networking intensity to a level that works with your life and the size of your ambitions.
Sure, you're not going to have the same massive, insanely influential and valuable network that he has if you're just making 1 or 2 phone calls a day, but again, you don't have to. Live your life and let the coffee-bean-crunching power connectors live theirs.
#2: Go an Inch Wide, But a Mile Deep
The advice in this book will help you build a huge network, but you can easily take it too far and end up with this massive list of people who just kinda sorta know who you are, but don't have more than a vague memory of where they met you or what you offer.
You can avoid this, however, by cultivating just a few, much deeper friendships, and going all-in on making them work. There's definitely something to be said for that approach.
Aim for depth and substance, not brainless breadth and superficiality. You can't make old new friends, so cherish the ones you do have and make sure that you spend enough time with each of them to allow the friendship to fully develop.
"The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
-F. Scott Fitzgerald
Questions to Stimulate Your Thinking:
The quality of your questions determines the quality of your life. That's also how you get the absolute most out of any book that you decide to read:
You ask great questions the whole time - as though the book was on trial for its life.
Here in this section are a few questions that can help guide and stimulate your thinking, but try to come up with your own additional questions, especially if you decide to read this book the whole way through...
#1: "What specific value do you offer people who may potentially connect with you? Why would they want/need you to be part of their network?"
#2: "Who do you spend the most time with, and what kinds of things do you usually discuss when you're with them? Are the people in your current network taking you to where you want to go?"
#3: "What kind of people do you want to be around? Where do they normally hang out? How can you meet them? Would they want to meet you?"
#4: "Who can help you achieve your goals? What's in it for them?"
#5: "What's the most valuable/profitable partnership you can envision at the moment? Who's involved? What's the best way to get started?"
#6: "What's the biggest win you've ever helped engineer for someone else?"
#7: "Is obscurity your biggest problem right now? Do enough people know who you are and what you provide? How can you get yourself in front of more people in a way that's going to make them want to associate with you?"
#8: "How are you going to stand out from the masses of half-hearted follow-up attempts that important people receive every single day? What makes you different?"
#9: "When's the last time you went out of your way to help someone who couldn't do anything for you?"
#10: "How did it make you feel the last time someone remembered you by name? Wouldn't it be wonderful to go through life being able to make others feel the same way?"
"Judge a man by his questions, rather than by his answers."
So you've finished reading. What do you do now?
Reading for pleasure is great, and I wholeheartedly support it. However, I am intensely practical when I'm reading for a particular purpose. I want a result. I want to take what I've learned and apply it to my one and only life to make it better!
Because that's really what the Great Books all say. They all say: "You must change your life!" So here, below, are some suggestions for how you can apply the wisdom found in this breakdown to improve your actual life.
Please commit to taking massive action on this immediately! Acting on what you've learned here today will also help you solidify it in your long-term memory. So there's a double benefit! Let's begin...
#1: Find Your Whos
For every What that you want to accomplish, there's a Who that can help you get there faster.
As laid out in the Summary section above, in Never Eat Alone Ferrazzi explains the importance of having four different types of people in your network: people who can help you to meet your goals, mentors, super-connectors (people who know lots of people), and prominent people, i.e. leaders in their organization.
You need to write out a list of who these people are so that you can contact them, connect with them, find out what they need and how you can help provide it, and begin to strengthen your relationship over time.
This step doesn't have to take a long time, and it's best not to overload yourself with options when you're just getting started reaching out. To help you decide who should populate your list, proceed to Action Step #2.
#2: Create a Relationship Action Plan
Great relationships don't form by themselves. You have to be intentional about the process, and you need to have a plan. Now, this doesn't have to be - and shouldn't be - some calculated, conniving, sinister plan for success at all costs; quite the contrary, as we've discussed throughout this entire breakdown!
It's just that networks rarely form by accident, and you need to take your own future prospects into your own hands. That's where your Relationship Action plan comes in.
When you're trying to figure out who you want or need to network with in order to make big things happen, it's helpful to look at it through the lens of your goals: in the short-term, the mid-term, and the long-term.
I find it helpful to work backward from your long-term goal, something that, for most people would take about 5-10 years. Not to complicate things, but I also like to have really, really long-term goals for my life made up of things I want to achieve in the next 50-100 years (seriously), but you don't have to worry about that right now. That's a conversation for another time!
For the purposes of this Action Step, simply write down a goal you'd like to achieve within the next 5-10 years. That's your long-term goal.
Next, write down at least one mid-term goal that will help you achieve your long-term goal. It should be something that you can accomplish in the next year.
Then what you'll do is write down at least one short-term goal that you can accomplish within the next three months and that will move you closer to achieving your mid-term goal above.
Your job now becomes identifying who can help you achieve these goals, what they can do for you, why they would want to help you in the first place, and what you can do to get on their radar.
#3: Perfect the Art of Following Up
The luxury real estate agent Ryan Serhant often says, "Til death do I follow up." It's important. Following up with your list of contacts makes them feel appreciated and helps to remind them that you exist, but it also shows them that you're serious about connecting.
People are busy. Even though they may be perfectly nice people, they're probably not thinking about you. They're thinking of their own goals, problems, opportunities, etc. People will forget about you over time if you don't make a habit of consistently following up and staying in touch.
I mean, after all, doesn't the same thing apply to your closest friendships? If you didn't stay in touch with your friends, those relationships would wither and fade away. It's exactly the same with your business associates.
In Key Idea #7 we likened your network to a garden and said that what you plant there will eventually bear fruit. Following up is like tending your garden; it's about keeping your hard-won network healthy and vibrant and alive.
In the next Action Step, we'll talk about how to do this easily, in a way that's natural and authentic, and in a way that serves everyone's interests and makes people feel good about themselves.
#4: Send 10 "Pointless" Personal Messages Per Day
Almost every email or letter we get is from someone who wants something from us. It could be money, an introduction to someone, another favor or benefit they think we can confer on them...it's rarely just to reach out and tell us that we're appreciated.
Most people are starved for this kind of appreciation and recognition...so give it to them! You will expand and deepen your relationships, you will stand out in a sea of takers, and you will make the entire world just a little bit better.
So, every day, message 10 people (or 1, or 15, or however many you have time for!) and tell them you appreciate them, tell them a joke, pass along an interesting article they might like, or simply say hi!
It certainly helps to keep track of what you talked about last time so that you can reference it again when you follow up with them. If they mentioned a problem they were having, when you follow up you can share an article or a video from someone who's solved a similar problem. Or you can solve their problem for them and send them an email telling them how you did it!
Remembering people's names is huge as well. People appreciate that so much, and for the amount of joy and warmth that it generates in the other person, the time and effort it takes to remember their name are so totally worth it.
#5: Look for Ways to Be of Service
What it all comes down to is always being on the lookout for ways you can help others win. I've said that a hundred times in a hundred different ways throughout this breakdown. Because it's vital!
In an intimately interconnected, infinite universe, your success is my success; your happiness is my happiness, and your pain is my pain.
As Joe Polish says, and as Keith Ferrazzi would agree, all people are facing some sort of problem in their lives, and if you can become a "pain detective" and look for ways you can help others, then you'll be welcome wherever you go.
"The path to success is to take massive, determined action."
About the Author:
Keith Ferrazzi is an American entrepreneur and recognized global thought leader in the relational and collaborative sciences.
As Chairman of Ferrazzi Greenlight and its Research Institute, he works to identify behaviors that block global organizations from reaching their goals and to transform them by coaching new behaviors that increase growth and shareholder value. Keith has introduced a new transformational operating system he calls co-elevation that leads to exponential change and value. Formerly he was the CMO of Deloitte and Starwood Hotels.
He is a #1 New York Times best-selling author of Who’s Got Your Back and Never Eat Alone and his newest book Leading Without Authority, as well as a frequent contributor to Harvard Business Review, WSJ, Fast Company, Forbes, Inc, Fortune, and other publications.
Keith’s 20-year history of transforming C-Suite executive teams has made him an agent of transformation and among the world’s greatest and most sought-after leadership coaches.
Keith-Ferrazzi.com | Main Website
Ferrazzi Leadership Academy | Online Courses
Ferrazzi Greenlight | Transforming Teams to Transform the World
This Book on Amazon:
Never Eat Alone, by Keith Ferrazzi
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