Networking is one of those key social factors that are is so often overlooked. The power of networking is one of the reasons there is only a “1%” in modern society. It can easily positively transformed your life as it can destroy it. Modern Man Advice believes in the importance of having “social capital” and, as men, knowing how to leverage social capital. We often see how networking is not fully understood and overlooked. Men failed to see we become like those close to us as we prioritize superficialities over general wealth and success.
It is men’s ultimate goal to be successful and have abundance but rarely do we try to understand what it takes. Or rather we should say, we lack to understand the foundations of success and abundance. We should not only model those who already accomplished those things we want but also study them. Men really need to understand those key factors that will take us to success. Networking is absolutely one of those key factors, and something sociologists refer to as “Social Capital”.
Those Close To You
Humans are a highly social species. There is no hiding from it, we belong in a group. We thrive from being part of a group and generally speaking, we are not meant to walk this life alone. It is called the power of networking. While we don’t get to choose our families, we do have a choice of who we do let close to us as we grow older. A choice that will make a difference in our lives, a choice that we don’t understand the significance of. Whether we as men realize it or not, it is inevitable for us to not only depend but define ourselves by those who are close to us.
We have all heard this before, who you surround yourself with, you become. Period. Our families are very important to us as men. Not only our families provide emotional support and foundation for the rest of our lives but they are our first mirror. We inevitably become like our parents but in reality, any of those who are close to us define us. This means that the friends we choose who we spend as much time if not more also define us. As we grow older the professional peers who we surround ourselves with define our careers.
The reason why those close to us inevitably shape us is due to our nature to conform socially. Social conformity has a big role in how we perform in society and over time those social interactions and intricacies define who we are and how we think.
Positive influences are relatively hard to come by but they are the ones that push us forward. These are people in our lives that either consciously or unconsciously drive us to challenge ourselves and always strive to improve themselves and those around them. They are those influences in our lives that never settle for less and know how valuable you and they are. Positive influences are never too many to have. But while this all might sound good and simple for you, the real struggle or question is, how do we recognize positive influences? Where do we find them? We will go over those questions in a later section.
The impact that this type of influence will have your life is very noticeable. Men should make a priority to create skills to be able to recognize and embrace positive influences. It is imperative, especially because in modern times everyone seems to be so focused on superficialities and technology has isolated us. Making positive connections is not impossible but rather simple when you open your mind for it. Everyone has a little piece of the puzzle, it is completely up to each of us to learn and take with us the best from each other. It will make you a better person, whether personally or professionally. This is called the power of networking.
Negative Influences “Energy Vampires”
On the other hand, you will also inevitably come across negative influencers. Or what we like to call “energy vampires”. And unlike positive influences, there will be plenty of these type of influences passing through your life. Unfortunately, these are friends or people that will only want to take but not give back. They will not push you forward or truly care for you become a better person. More importantly, negative influences seem to always focus on the negative, meaning they are pessimists. However, what is even harder to realize is that those negative influences can be super close to you. They can be your own family sometimes which is very sad if we are being honest.
One of the hardest things to do is letting go. Even if it means getting away from a family member or longtime friend. But trust us on this, it might be one of the best decisions you can ever take. Your future self will be immensely grateful for with your present self. Think of negative influences as vampires, they feed off others life source. These type of influences benefit from your energy or at least the very little energy you might have left after a long day. They don’t replenish you with optimism but rather pessimism.
Navigating Through The Power of Networking
Earlier we introduced two questions: How do we recognize positive influences? Where do we find them? This is understanding that the more positive influences you have in your life will create a powerful network of connections. But before we address those questions, what is networking? Networking is the “exchange of information and ideas among people with a common profession or special interest, usually in an informal social setting.” The reason why we made sure to discuss the differences between positive and bad influences is because you want to absolutely create a network of positive influences. More than exchanging ideas and information among like-minded people, you want to build a circle of positive influences where you can exchange ideas and information regularly.
Learning to recognize positive influences is just like any other skill. It must be practiced through trial and error. Luckily, our minds tend to naturally gravitate to good and positivity. Which means your mind will sense when you come across someone you want to include as part of your positive network of people. You will also know because, well, they simply have a lot to offer to your growth. If they challenge you to think and act upon knowledge then it is worth making an effort to build a relationship with that person. As to where anywhere really.
Here are some places we recommend: conferences on a topic you are passionate about as this is the more natural way to align with your values and interest with others. It will inevitably bring you in proximity to like-minded people. There are also specific networking events that are regularly posted online and social apps like Meetup.
The more you expose yourself to networking events the more social capital you will have.
The Power of Networking
Do not preoccupy yourself with what was or what will be. The power of now and the choices you make now are what truly matter. Expose yourself to create a group to network with. Focus on the power of networking. Having social capital is like having currency, the more you have the more you can leverage your passions and interests. The confidence boost you get from going out of your way to meet and discuss with other like-minded people is powerful. And in return, this can accelerate your growth by learning from others and modeling success instead of trying to reinvent the wheel.
Here are some suggestions that might help you get out your shell if you find yourself in a networking event or social setting:
- Make it easy for people to approach you: Have a positive attitude and genuinely enjoy yourself. It will come across and people will want to approach you.
- Initiate the first step: People are social by nature but you’ll be surprised how many are shy and miss out on building connections because of this. Be brave and focus on the potential in front of you to learn something amazing and potentially creating a long last symbiotic relationship.
- Give to give not to get something in return: Be genuine in your intentions and believe in the importance of why you are there. You want to share your knowledge and ideas. This will open people up to share back their own knowledge and ideas.
- Don’t bring negativity into a conversation, focus on positive: Don’t initiate an interaction based on something negative like complaining or criticizing. This will set the mood for the interaction and you will only come across as a negative influence. Focus on something positive you came across and build on that.
- Keep conversations short and meaningful: People have busy lives. Respect other people time, as well as yours, and this will go along way in being more effective in the interaction and people being more receptive.
Well there it is, we really hope this adds some value to your life. Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
Modern Man Advice