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Syndicated columnist and business speaker, Harvey Mackay proves "it`s not what you know, it`s who you know." In this provocative networking book, he contends that talent alone will not save you in the current economy. Genius, guts, and hard work can also be counted out as life preservers. In fact, according to Mackay, there`s only one thing you can depend on -- your network.
Doin' What Comes Unnaturally
Fred was one of my schoolmates from fourth grade all through college.
He was a loner, a total introvert, painfully shy, with all the baggage that comes with it--the dead-fish handshake, the downcast eyes that never quite met yours, the halting, barely audible stabs at conversation.
Still, Fred was sincere, honest, hardworking, a thoroughly decent person.
I'm sure Fred went through high school without ever having a date. I can remember how, on graduation day, many of us trolled the halls to corral our classmates into signing our yearbooks. We competed with each other to see who could fill the most pages with reminiscences and tributes from their friends.
But not Fred. Once again, too timid, too shy. It would be a force job for Fred to go up to a classmate and request this easy favor.
Fast forward to college.
Somehow, Fred managed to get into a fraternity. Maybe it was because he never had a bad word to say about anyone. Maybe he was a "legacy." Maybe it was because Fred decided it was something he wanted badly enough to come out of his cocoon and really go for.
What was it that changed him? Only The Shadow knows.
Whatever it was, whatever it took, a new Fred began to emerge.
By our last year in college, he was unrecognizable from the Fred of our high school years.
He had become popular and gregarious. Fred's "lost years" in high school had not been entirely wasted. He seemed to know more about swing music and jazz than anyone else on campus, probably from listening to it alone in his room. He also developed a flair for dancing, a considerable socialadvantage.
After college, Fred and several of his fraternity brothers formed a partnership in the automotive business. They became very successful.
We all know people like Fred. Some of them never manage to shake off their early problems.
For some people, networking is as natural and instinctive as breathing. We all know people who are self-confident, radiate optimism, make friends easily, and seem to glide through life on winged feet.
Not many of them will be readers of this book.
Why should they be? They do this stuff without even having to think about it. They network with their alarm clocks when they wake up in the morning.
This book--and particularly this chapter--is addressed to the rest of us, the Freds of the world, those not quite so sure of ourselves, perhaps a bit shy, even timid. We're not out there bowling over everyone we meet with our dazzling smiles or brilliant conversation. We're not even out there bowling.
For most people networking is a learned behavior, like learning to swim. It is a gradual--and often painful, even scary--process of trial and error, small incremental steps, and finally a few breakthroughs.
The more you exercise your networking muscles, the stronger they get--and the easier networking becomes.