Recently, while in New York City, I had the pleasure of seeing old friends and connecting with new individuals. Additionally, I attended a spectacular gala for a company that I have consulted for over the last few years. Besides the long hours of partying my nights away and eating giant slices of New York Pizza, it was awesome to learn some invaluable lessons.
The Power of Genuine Networking
We are all very familiar with the age old saying, “it’s not what you know, but who you know.” After my trip, I think the phrase should be updated to: “it’s not what you know, but who knows you and how well you stay in touch with them.” At a very young age, I was not only taught the important principles of networking, but also the importance of being genuine and loyal within relationships and partnerships. It was also instilled in me to cut the ties of connections that hinder and affect me in ways that do not produce growth (literally and metaphorically). If we surround ourselves with individuals who see life through dirty, cracked lenses, then over time, we may begin to view life just as pessimistically, especially within our careers.
Some big advice I offer to many of my mentees is to surround yourself more with those who are not only just as dedicated and passionate as you, but also with those who are exponentially much more dedicated and more passionate. Soon enough, you will become the mean of the greatness you surround yourself with as success begets more success.
As you continue to forge new relationships and strengthen older ones, always remember where you come from, who originally helped you and how you felt before you were helped (and from there, begin to help others). We all have times in our lives when peaceful solitude is what we need, but with a great network, we should never be in a rut for too long. Be a genuine friend and business partner not only in times of need, but also in times of giving.
Network to your net does not work any longer, and if that one happens to wear, tear and break, get a new one, but be authentic.
Being un(Realistic) with Your Professional Life
If you are a dreamer and aspire to do something great within your personal life or career, then make a promise to yourself right now to always remain one and to go after it. If it was not for individuals who ‘see the world and ask, “why not,” then half of the things we utilize and see everyday would not exist. Think of things from vacuums to Facebook. Over the last few weeks, I have been told by several individuals to start being more realistic about my life and future. Two words come to my mind as a result: No Way!
Of course, there is very, very thin line between realism and idealism, but be honest with yourself right now, would you be here today if you never had some sort of bigger dream? Would you have fought so hard through school if you did not believe in yourself? Would you have told your younger brothers and sisters to always follow their hearts and do what they love in life if you personally did not believe what you were saying? Would you have practiced so hard on the baseball diamond or in the piano room if you did not believe excellence was possible? All these examples take a dream, a plan and execution to reach fruition.
But after all I have said, please do not take this article the wrong way. No mentor advocates, nor supports dreaming while sitting on your ass. If you want something or dream of doing something great, then you are going to have to work your ass off for it (and work even harder as your dreams become more and more elaborate). Be passionate about your days and begin to look at your life and your future with gratitude. Smile. Smile for the simple fact that you alone have the power to make the choice to live life as you imagine it. Nothing that is earned should come easy in life and hardships will make the acquisition of dreams that much sweeter.
Now ask yourself one last question: If there was nothing I dreamed, wanted, desired, craved, ached, fancied, longed, preferred, needed, thirsted, wished, yearned, aspired or wished for before I went to sleep last night, would I be reading this today?
Alex Echols presently resides in Los Angeles as a branding consultant, entrepreneur and adventurer. His life’s mission is to inspire others through many creative conduits including a lifestyle brand that he is currently establishing. Follow him on twitter at alessandrospath and be inspired daily at www.facebook.com/
Category: Personal Branding