networking up

Networking Up for the New Year

We’ve all heard the advice: “you become the people you hang out with”. This means that you need to surround yourself with successful people (however you define success). Plus, you also need to be networking up to raise the bar for yourself over time. Having run the world’s largest business networking organization for more than three decades, one of the things I’ve learned is that: There’s generally room at the top.  It’s the bottom that’s really crowded.  So how do you start networking above your weight class to move your way up? Here are seven things I recommend that will help you accomplish that goal.

One of the most important endeavors for our professional success is also one of the most confusing and daunting for so many. That endeavor is “networking up” – connecting in a meaningful and memorable way with those who are at a higher level of success or whose influence and connection could potentially change everything for your business.

Though our natural instinct is often to stay firmly planted in our own comfort zone by associating with people who are either equally as successful or less successful than we are, if we want to achieve higher levels of success, it is crucial that we network up by making an effort to surround ourselves with people who are more successful. If you surround yourself with and spend the most time with people who are more successful than you, you are in a perfect position to constantly learn from them, meet other successful and accomplished people through their networks, and continually challenge yourself to achieve higher and higher levels of success.

Finally, remember that if you’re always the most successful person in the room, you’re hanging out in the wrong rooms.  Take these five suggestions and start “networking up” to the right rooms.

7 thoughts on “Networking Up for the New Year

  1. Ivan, that’s helpful advice, and another approach is to contemplate exactly how we might be helpful to someone else, and thus showing we have an “us” approach to relationships, believing that healthy relationships are not based on a quid pro quo yet an ebb and flow of mutual support over time

  2. Great advice that’s worked for me in a variety of contexts. But, just like tennis–you only improve your game when you’re playing someone somewhat, but not too much, better than you, networking up can be a challenge. They also are aware of Dr. Misner’s wisdom.

  3. Thanks for the reminder, Ivan. We all need to get into a different room… and I wouldn’t be the most successful in my current room if it wasn’t for the skills learned in BNI, the advanced techniques of the Referral Institute, and great mentors like yourself, Dawn Lyons and Mike Macedonio.

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