What Is Your Connection Worth?
Just to be clear what I am about to share with you is not bragging…it’s just good record keeping. Something I encourage you to begin thinking about doing yourself.
Let me explain why.
This year I’ve made connections which resulted in substantial business deals, partnerships and improved employment situations both for employee and employer. I try, when prudent, to track the connections I make to see if they materialize into financial value for either (hopefully both) connections.
For example. at least three of my connections led to employment opportunities that amounted to more than 500K in salary. I made one connection that resulted in a two parties coming together on an idea that I am certain will be worth millions one day. I made one connection that resulted in one of my coaching clients landing a new client that brought in over 100K in billable revenue for his firm. I even made a connection to a non-profit which will result in a large increase in their donor base thanks to the new board member I introduced them to.
It’s important for me to share that I didn’t receive one dime from any of these introductions. That wasn’t my motivation for making them. However, just because I didn’t stand to benefit from them financially doesn’t mean that I didn’t have an ongoing interest in making them and seeing them through to a profitable conclusion for both parties. In fact I like tracking what the connections translate into in terms of real dollars. Hey don’t laugh, everyone needs a hobby and it’s far better and more personally rewarding than collecting stamps.
The connections we make have value and that’s why it’s fun (yes, fun) to see what that value ends up being. If we were running our own NFL Franchise (If only Jerry Jones would hire me for the Cowboys), we’d have a vested interest in the players we acquire through the draft, trade or through free agency and what those acquisitions translated to in terms of results on the field or, infinitely more important, wins for the team. Why not have that same level of engaged interest in the connections we make in the real world and take a certain level of pride in the ensuing Ripples, financial and otherwise (employment, partnerships, deals, etc.), that happen because you helped them to happen. If you view your own network as your team and take a keen interest in building value amongst that team I suspect you might approach your connecting a bit more strategically yourself.
This isn’t about gaming the process of connecting mind you, or turning it into a real sport (though wouldn’t it be fun to have a fantasy football like approach to making connections), but rather it is about understanding the process of connecting and your place in making stuff happen. Those efforts have real tangible dollar value and impact real lives and for me, it’s fun to see what dollars my connections generate and what Ripples are created because of people I helped bring together.
Other than invested curiosity why should you care what the value of your connections are? What if I were to tell you that the cumulative value that your connections generate can and will open other doors of opportunity for yourself. For instance, one introduction I made to a local entrepreneur resulted in him coming back to me several times for input on other aspects of his business. Despite the initial introduction not resulting in any financial gain for myself, I did create value and built trust with the entrepreneur which led him to reach back out to me and engage me to consult with his company on an ongoing basis. Not to mention he’s referred me to at least two other entrepreneurs that will result in additional consulting opportunities.
I have countless examples of these types of situations resulting in big time Ripples coming back to me in ways that are more valuable than just financial gain. So when people ask why I keep track and stay invested in the connections I make I simply answer – because it make sense to do so. You never know where those connection may lead to in the future for the parties you engage and for yourself.
Oh and it’s a pride thing too. I’d be lying if I didn’t say it is fun to go back and see just how many Ripples I created over the course of this year. I had hoped to make a million dollars worth of Ripples out there in the world but I didn’t quite achieve that..but I came real close.
© 2014 Steve Harper