So, every individual in the whole world is potentially only five or six contact steps away.
This 'five or six degrees of separation' shows that even an entire population of over five billion people is still highly accessible.
For practical purposes, we don't necessarily want or need to meet millions, or even thousands of people in different organisations, age groups, religions, professions, cultures or places.
We are just looking to develop a network that will eventually provide us with additional business, or .....
Possible networking goals:
• To increase market share/customers
• To find new ideas
• To learn and develop yourself
• To find a job/work/career
• To find a new colleagues/friends
• To pursue a hobby or interest
• To gain new perspective on topics of interest to you
• To go into business for yourself
Every one of these networking goals is a worthy aim in itself, but it is usually the case that only one or two goals of this type will apply at any one time. Consequently, your networking research efforts will be invested quite differently if your goals are broadly around work or career options rather than if they are about starting up your own business.
Hence, although a few people will have very wide and diverse interests and a broad array of interesting contacts, our networking pyramids are built according to our specific goals and interest areas. This is often why we talk about a jobs network, a small business network, an education network and so on.
Networking is not a new phenomenon but with the plethora of sites now specializing in bringing people together, it is certainly something business people should do well.
Ideally therefore, we need some kind of filtering or research system that will help us to build a set of relationships of high quality, or a strong network that can find people and resources both efficiently and effectively - more about that tomorrow.
Personally, I enjoy networking very much - in fact I have been described as compulsive - and I like networking too!