A major component to my success thus far has been: Your business will not survive if you do not realize the value of your network, because who you have in your network determines your net worth. This concept is applied to business and your personal life. In financial terms your net worth is the value of assets, minus the total of all liabilities. In both business and your personal life it is important to see who is a viable connection so that it does not devalue your own worth as while your advancement is in progress. This may sound exclusive, however if you are trying to elevate your business or your life, you must choose where people belong to maintain the balance and growth you aspire for.
In business an asset is something that supports or assists in the evolution of your company. The key to acquiring said assets is to be open to “diversifying your portfolio”. When building up your stock portfolio, the first thing any broker will say is to diversify your portfolio to obtain maximum results. It is the same in business where the variety of people within your network bring value to your growth plan; whether that is from a chance meeting, connecting on LinkedIn, or meeting at an event.
Asset Building Values:
- Actual Value: The person/people you connect with that have a skill, service, or network they want to introduce you to that will affect your business in a positive way almost immediately. These are people that you seek to build a relationship with for an intentional purpose that has potential growth in the future.
- Potential Value: The person/people you connect with that may be in a different industry or career level than you are that will be useful in the near or distant future. While these types of connections are not an absolute guarantee of partnership or using the service, these connections can serve as great referrals that someone else may come to you for; thus making you a reliable resource for information.
- Penny Stock Value: In the stock market a penny stock is a small or big business that trades publicly for $5.00 or lower, but can yield a small return with little risk. Penny Stock connections are ‘back pocket’ connections you can call upon for a quick service or connection. They may not serve a need for growth, but they are quick, reliable, outstanding resources for an immediate job, referral, or service that can be rendered for a small cost. They are not invaluable, but if they are not used it will not be to the detriment of your company.
- Educational Value: These are people who are potential mentors, connections to valuable information, and further education for your staff or yourself. This type of connection is always a good resource to have especially in rapidly changing industries like technology.
Running a business or operating a life is not easy and you need people in your corner that will pour into you emotionally, mentally, and spiritually while supporting you no matter what. Not everyone is a business connection, however that does not devalue them. Everyone is a part of your personal growth in big and little ways. While they may not fit in every part of your life a good friend is needed in every component of your life. When creating or evolving your “friend circle” make sure that they hold the following components that will not derail your personal growth:
- Can provide advice on life’s issues or be a listening ear when you need to vent. Having someone to talk to is wonderful, having someone to listen is priceless. Odds are you know the answer already, you just need someone to help you lay out your options even if it is just by listening.
- Offer assistance or refer you to someone who can. No one has all of the answers, and sometimes things like therapy or groups can offer more of a solution. Be around someone who will not shame you for not having it all together, but assist you in sorting out your issues.
- They are your defense system. Whether you are successful or not, people will talk about you, especially to your friends. A good friend will always speak against the negativity and protect your honor so that the opposing energy does not disrupt your personal growth. They will not gossip about you, they will hold your personal standard of success higher than you do, and they will keep you lifted; regardless if you feel defeated.
There are a few things to avoid when it comes to business and personal net worth. While they may serve a quick purpose, they are not viable resources of growth for the long term.
- Poachers: People who pretend to be seeking a relationship for growth, but they are solely in it for their own interest. Not every friendship is a business relationship or vice versa. However if people are continuously asking for you to “do them a favor” or reach beyond your capacities without a return they are damaging your worth. They will use your friendship or services to better themselves without a thank you or equal distribution of favors which can damage your reputation as being desperate and willing.
- Copycats: People who lightly compliment then copy your style almost identically because they can not create their own style, relationships, or business concepts on their own. These people usually envy something that you have and instead of developing their own or asking for advice they copy you and expect to be glorified for it. When they are not given the same attention as the person they are copying they start to shame and belittle that person so that they appear superior.
- Faux Olive Branches: People who pretend to be helpful in a time of need, but in reality are setting you up to be a ‘poacher victim’ or gather information to use against you when you do not give them what they desire. In business there are times of crisis in which a call to the network would be needed, however if someone may need something from you they will use this crisis as an opportunity to grow themselves instead of being a helping hand. In friendships, these are people who will drink with you, dance with you, yet in a time of crisis are no where to be found until they need something from you. Some surefire signs of this are: publicly offering support to be seen, subtly demanding thanks and praise for their rescue, and gossiping to you about other people’s issues to encourage you to talk more about your own.
Your Net worth
It is a process to weed out assets and liabilities. If someone who you thought was an Actual Value asset turns out to be a Faux Olive Branch, it’s alright because everyone makes mistakes. By continuously going through the process of identifying your assets and liabilities your growth whether personal or professional will occur. All I can truly suggest before starting that process is to first identify your self worth and how you contribute to your own success, your network, and removing your own unknown liability habits.