Start Where You Are

Yes! A new year, a new challenge. I am committed to doubling my network in 2018. Time to roll up my sleeves and get started. 

The first step? Figuring out how big my network currently is.

So I sat down, opened Excel, and started inputting names. I went through my e-mails, opened my address book, checked out Facebook, and went through my client list from last year.

In the end, I had 136 names.

I am not going to fib, I am a little disappointed.

Of course, this is not everyone I know. There are an extra 100 people on Facebook alone that I’m “friends” with, but you and I both know that a social media connection does not a friendship make. I also did not include my extended family, or clients I haven’t worked with in the past year, or people on my mailing lists unless I knew them socially.

The 136 represent people who would take my call. That’s the criterion I used. Some would take my call with more enthusiasm than others, mind you, but each of these people would pick up the phone.

So now I have a goal: from 136 to 272 in 12 months. Roughly 11 new connections a month, or 2-3 per week.

Totally do-able.

If you want to play along — and it is a game! It can be a life-altering game, but it should still be fun — then go ahead and start your list. I recommend Excel, or any other spreadsheet so that you can add information and sort as you go, but pen and paper will do in a pinch.

Start with the minimum information you need: First Name, Last Name. That’s it. We’ll add information later on, as needed.

I’m living this out loud so everyone can learn from my mistakes and (one hopes) successes. Your Networking Goal can be either to double the number you have now or a flat 100 new faces, whichever makes the most sense to you.

— Laura