Your network is your net worth.
This is the battle cry of Love Is The Killer App. Over the last decade, our tools for networking building have grown exponentially. I'm reading the excellent book Here Comes Everybody, that argues that the costs for building groups (networked people) have dropped to ZERO. Which means that we'll all have expanded networks and be part of larger and larger groups over time.
As Leo Buscaglia would say, "You want to be the greatest. It is something you can give away."
I bet many of you invest serious time building your network. Think of the time-users required to build a mega-tappable group of helpers/followers:
* Numerous meetings, events and conferences — where you collect/distribute/meet.
* Massive email and phone time to nurture these relationships.
* Blogging every day to build traffice
* Tweeting several time a day
* Doing things that could make you higher profile (business launch, big deals, write books, etc.)
So what are you getting out of this? Ego-satisfaction? Making money via Amazon referrals fees? Customer finding you? Is it just a marketing platform where you can sell eventually?
I suggest that we dedicate 10% of our network building time to giving it away. You can blog or Tweet to help worthy causes raise money. You can use your email data base, combined with your profile, to help great people find new jobs. You can use your network reach to distribute good influences that improve the world we live in.
But you should/must do something with your network that goes beyond helping yourself. Otherwise, you'll find it hard to build it organically and you'll end up burning out before you ever achieve critical mass.
Me? I'm going to use my some of my Tweets this week, and this postt, to encourage former debaters, public speakers and city dwellers to donate to the National Association For Urban Debate Leagues. You'll be reflecting your values when you do.
What are you going to do with your network?