Cultivating People Means Cultivating Opportunities

Most of the time our relationships are formed by circumstances.  We’re related to these people.  We work with or live near these people.  Our children are friends with their children.  We went to university together, go to the same church or the same club.

Quite often our friends within a given group happen to be the first people we “clicked” with in some way.  We found a common interest with the guy two doors down.  We started hanging out with a group at work because someone invited you for an after-work drink the second day on the job.

We usually know a wide mix of people but how many times do you talk to them about something other than your common interest?  This is where your opportunities lie.

Get Out There And Network

My father-in-law lived in the same city he was born in for his entire eighty-six years.  He never went anywhere without meeting someone he knew, used to know, or knew someone he knew.  It didn’t matter whether he was in a grocery store, camping, or even when he was in the hospital.  He always had a source for a good used car, someone to paint his fence, free tickets to a sporting event and anything else he could want.  My children used to ask, “Does Grandpa know everybody?”

You need to get to know a wide variety of people – not just the group you first befriended.  Don’t be limited to work related gatherings (we used to call it networking) where you meet with people in the same business as you and exchange business cards (and most are never looked at again).

At parties or family get-togethers be sure to meet and speak to as many people who attend as possible instead of staying with your normal cluster.  At work, head a committee, especially if it will bring you into contact with higher up managers and executives.  This is a great way to be noticed at work and your name may be at the forefront when a new position comes along.   You can meet many like-minded individuals when you join a club or organization that’s of interest to you.

Don’t Be Afraid To Stand Out

Volunteer for a project or activity instead of keeping your head down to avoid eye contact at meetings.  Even if you’re not sure how to proceed, you can find out.  There’s lots of information on-line and people always like to help someone who’s sincere.  Ask for advice or ideas and offer up your own.  You are bound to learn something new that will benefit you in your future enterprises.

People from different groups will be exposed to different information and different opportunities and they’ll think of you when something comes up that you may be interested in and will try to inform you as soon as possible.  Positive relationships constantly contribute opportunities and value to your life.  And the more people you know, the greater your benefits.

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  1. Ashley @ Money Talks on April 21, 2011 at 9:36 am

    I’m just starting to work this into my life. I’m such an introvert (and that’s not a bad thing, it has it’s advantages) I don’t naturally want to meet everyone, but I’m trying to branch out and it’s fun. I actually have a networking group I’m meeting with later today.

  2. Boomer on April 21, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Hi Ashley. I tend to be shy at first around people I don’t know but finding a common ground brings up lots to talk about.

  3. My University Money on April 21, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    I find that the more diverse your interests are, the broader your network quickly becomes. If you only hang around with people from school or work you are fairly limited. I benefited from being very weird or ‘unique’ as some charitably call it, and knowing a very wide variety of individuals.

  4. Liquid on April 21, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    “It’s all about people. It’s about networking and being nice to people and not burning any bridges. Your book is going to impress, but in the end it is people that are going to hire you.” – Mike Davidson

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