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Three Steps to Build a Powerful Network

Three Steps to Build a Powerful Network

by Adam Callinan

As any entrepreneur will tell you, there are few things in the world of business that are more valuable than a great network. After all, you’re only as strong as your weakest link. And when it comes time to start a new enterprise, expand a company, raise funds or even find a co-founder, you’ll be relying on the value of your network to help you accomplish these milestones. Here are three steps to make sure you have the strongest network possible:

1. Make yourself uncomfortable.

No, I do not mean wear a wool sweater in Phoenix in August. I mean put yourself out there. Unless you are one of those rare people who can meet a random stranger on the street, strike up a conversation and get a stranger’s life story within 30 seconds of meeting them, approaching someone you have never met before can be nerve-racking.

But if you want to build a great network, you have to do it — a lot. The more you do it, the better you will get. Make it your goal to get people talking about themselves, while genuinely listening to what they are saying. If you fake it, they will recognize it and you will have burned a potential valuable connection. Dale Carnegie’s classic “How To Win Friends and Influence People” is an incredible resource built largely on this idea. If you haven’t read it already, I highly suggest you do. Twice.

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