Selfishness and generosity two polar opposites. People who are selfish seek to take, take, take and people who are generous seek to give, give, give. However, I’ve seen that being selfish is counterproductive . What I’ve seen is that people who who try to take the most get the least and the people that give the most get the most.
I work in a very sales oriented role. Most of my day is spent networking with people and building relationships. The key to building powerful relationships is by being mutually beneficial. Simply put, nobody likes the guy who comes to a Christmas party without a gift, but they might tolerate that person. By being mutually beneficial, and by “bringing something to the table” it invokes a reaction in the other party involved. As Sir Isaac Newton put it, every action, has an equal and opposite reaction. By adding value to someone else’s life, they will seek to add value in yours.
My friend who is a commercial realtor put it best. When he’s working with young, start-up companies, he tries to help them grow their business in any way possible. Whether it’s introductions to investment sources or helping them with their sales strategy, he focuses on their growth in the hopes that when they do grow, and need additional office space, he’ll be the guy they call.
Networking, and helping people out, is key for building successful career. What I have found so far is that 90% of the battle in networking isn’t meeting somebody, it’s turning that person into a friend. Your network would be completelely useless if you didn’t have friends. That’s why you should treat every new person (or prospect) you meet like your best friend. This way, you will have a network of friends who want to help you out, rather than a network of acquaintances who only know you because your connected on LinkedIn.