Having an unquenchable thirst to learn about business and leadership, I read incessantly—sometimes two or three books at a time. Needless to say, I drive my wife and my business partner crazy with book quotes and ideas. But rarely is there a book that captures my attention to the point where I put the others away.
Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi was one of those books. In a world were Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social medaia outlets rule, Ferrazzi has created a manual for how networking should be done.
If you’re turned off by the idea of traditional networking this is the book for you. As a manager I saw agents taking part in networking group after networking group. You know the drill: stand up, give a 30 second elevator speech, hand out 20 cards, and never speak with anyone until the next meeting, where you do the drill all over again. Ferrazzi’s book gets to the real essence of networking. “Real networking was about finding ways to make other people more successful," he writes. "It was about working hard to give more than you get.”
Ferrazzi’s unique perspective on how both individuals and businesses network to be successful is a perfect fit for the real estate industry. We are taught to stay in contact with our sphere. Build large referral bases. But where do we start? How do we create a network of mutually beneficial relationships that will benefit not only ourselves, but the individuals we are reaching out to for referrals and business?
This book changed the way I do business and the way I train agents to do business. As I read this book I had the opportunitay to practice its teachings and I was hooked. I became acutely aware of how I could help others in their personal and business lives with no expectation of anything in return (but with the knowledge that someday our connection would be mutually beneficial).
Ferrazzi states, “relationships are more like muscles—the more you work them the stronger they become.” Don’t keep score, he says. There is no relationship bank. “The currency of real networking is not greed but generosity.”
Never Eat Alone is not just a book on theory. Ferrazzi outlines tools he has created to help in creating a successful network. He provides the “relationship action plan,” a worksheet designed to help define your goals and map how you will get there by utilizing your network.
One of my biggest takeaways from this book came in a section called “Genius of Audacity.” Ferrazzi outlines the need to be bold and not fear risk or rejection. He writes, “I remind myself how people with a low tolerance for risk, whose behavior is guided by fear, have a low propensity for success.” Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want, in any situation. A key point provided in this section has been a focal point of my training since I read the book: “ The choice isn’t between success and failure; it’s between choosing risk and striving for greatness, or risking nothing and being certain of mediocrity.”
These are just a few lessons provided in this book. I have put Never Eat Alone on my must-read list for agents, managers and trainers. The book will put your networking efforts into perspective and will equip you with tools to expand your network to new heights.
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