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True networking is all about facilitating a new flow of energy. It is about creating a channel and currency between two energetic beings that is mutually beneficial to both sources. Oftentimes we qualify our ability to network by the number of business cards we have sitting on our desk at home, but that is a false measurement. Our social capital is our ability to mobilize our network to move in a unified direction, whether it is by garnering (social, intellectual, or financial) resources from them and/or their networks.

The key to developing more social capital is learn how to plug in. Plugging in is 20% about what you say when you actually meet someone for the first time and 80% about what happens afterward. We have 4 choices when we meet someone new:

1. 2-way: They plug into what we're doing and we also plug into what they're doing
2. 1-way: They plug into what we're doing only
3. 1-way: We plug into what they're doing only
4. No way: No exchange (except meaningless business cards)

In order to effectively plug in, there are a few things that you should do.

1. Have a story to tell.

When someone asks you "What do you do?" don't just give them your job title (ie doctor, lawyer, banker). Instead, share your purpose with them. The more clear you are, the easier it is for your new friend to hear where they can plug-in to what you're doing.

2. Ask about their story.

Honestly, I suggest asking questions into you find a deeper bond and a compelling reason for the two of you to plug-in to each other's lives afterward. If after interviewing the person you still can't find a link inlet or outlet, think of all of your friends that this person could potential plug-in with.

3. Have something to give.

By giving them something (anything) you automatically activate the law of reciprocity. When people receive something for free, they feel inclined to give back. Lasting relationships start with small commitments and exchanges that get bigger over time. Simple gifts to consider include referrals to a person, website, organization, event, or book that you think is relevant to them or a genuine affirmation about them and their purpose.

4. Have something to recruit to.

Always have an upcoming opportunity to deepen their relationship with you like a monthly dinner at your house or a current project. Make them say "no". (Note that it is harder for people to say "no" if you've done #3.) By inviting them into your world, they will get an opportunity to know you more intimately by seeing you in your element which will deepen the relationship.

Everyone has inlets and outlets that may energize you. Don't let another potentially beautiful relationship pass you by without trying to plug-in.


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Jullien's Purpose Statement

My purpose is to help as many people as possible reach their full potential by helping them making a living doing what they love and in the process of doing so achieve my own. I want to do this through writing, speaking, and creating offline and online spaces that facilitate conversations around purpose.

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