So, I have a confession. A shameful confession with some good news at the end. Let me go back a few months, to when JibberJobber was first being designed.
Earlier this year I was talking with a buddy of mine about the networking aspect of JibberJobber. The idea that networking is more than keeping names and phone numbers, etc. etc. etc. He mentioned this awesome book to me, “Never Eat Alone,” and talked about how they have some great ideas (which we talked about). Well, I incorporated the ideas as best I understood, based on his description. And then, as I talked with people about JibberJobber I said that part of the networking was based on ideas from networking experts. But… I had NEVER read the book! As a matter of fact…
I just finished “Never Eat Alone”… ! (ya, just 4 months after I released the website, I finally read the book that partly inspired it)
And I’d like to share some thoughts from it. I went online a few months ago and searched for other bloggers who have blogged on it. I didn’t find much. There was one guy that said that halfway through he threw it across the room in disgust. I found another that said “that is fine for (Keith) Ferrazzi but I’m too introverted.” Well, I couldn’t judge until I read the entire book.
I went into the book thinking it was a book on networking (and, wondering how in the world you could write over 200 pages on how to network). Not even halfway through I realized that this book had a much bigger message than “go network and here’s how.” Duh – I should have looked at the sub-title a little closer: “and other secrets to success, one relationship at a time.” That made more sense, this is more a book on personal “success” than it is on how to network.
I appreciated Keith’s personal experiences that he shared. He has had an amazing career, and has had a lot of success along the way. But he shares a lot of what he did wrong also. It is a very candid assessment, and I felt that it was a coach or mentor (or best friend) trying to share with me what I need to do in my career to be successful. I understand why some people would think this book is not for them… I probably would have thought the same way before I lost my job. But I see the world in a new way now, and I just soaked up this book.
Check out some of these chapter titles:
2. Don’t Keep Score
4. Build It Before You Need It (ya, my next book is Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty)
6. The Networking Jerk
9. Warming the Cold Call (has a great message!)
14. Follow Up or Fail
17. The Art of Small Talk (very personal, again a great message!)
23. Build Your Brand (hah, this obviously was a personal favorite of mine. But I was disappointed to realize that I didn’t invent the concept … or maybe she invented it?)
29. Find Mentors, Find Mentees, Repeat
I thought I could take the chapter titles and pretty much figure out what this is about, but one thing that drove me to get this book was to find the parts that encouraged some of the functionality of JibberJobber. But I was hooked from page one. Of course it helped that a lot of his messages were directly in-line with where I’m at right now.
If you don’t read any other book this year, you must get this book (my library system has 3, waiting to be checked out). I know there are other networking books, which I’ll check out, but here’s my suggestion: GET ONE AND READ IT! I think there are too many misconceptions about what networking is, how to network, and when to start, and most people need this paradigm shift.
I’m still amazed at the newly laid-off people that I meet that say “I don’t know anyone”… you need to begin to build your network right now! And reading a good book like this will help you get in the right frame of mind, and learn some good techniques along the way.