In tough times a network's value can be priceless, but it should not just be for hard times that we decide to network.
One of the critical mistakes I see far too often is only calling on your network when you need it. Too many times I have conversations with successful professionals and executives who suddenly are in a situation where they need their network and they are almost literally going to have to dust off their 'rolodex'.
As the year draws to a close and you start to consider your goals for 2010, start to consider who are the people that will help you get there? Are they in your network at the moment?
1. Get your network up-to-date, it's a great excuse to pick up the phone and find out what people are up to now.
2. Make it a point of finding one thing with each contact you make that you can provide value to - information, advice - whatever it is get them on your radar.
3. Book an appointment every week with your network. I don't mean lunch, I mean one hour a week where you are taking the time to send information, drop an e-mail or pick-up the phone. Make a target of 5 contacts a week - that really should be easy.
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What is the networth of your network?