I read a book yesterday called The Ripple Effect by first time author, Steve Harper. The book was a great blend of research and personal stories on the "how, what and why" of building a professional network of contacts in your business and personal life. The author's premise is that every time you throw a stone in the water, it causes ripples. These ripples continue outward, making larger and larger circles....eventually engulfing the whole pond. Once these ripples hit the edge, then they come back to you. His theory is that you never know how your actions will effect other people or yourself....but it is clear that positive actions can have amazing results.
He is right. We cannot achieve greatness in our business or personal lives without interactions with other people. By shifting our focus from ourselves to helping others achieve their goals, great things can will back to us. My favorite line in the book says that the "most selfish thing a person can do is to be selfless." Doing things to help others will have returns on your own life in ways that you cannot imagine.
His book is available through Amazon.com and on his website (www.therippleeffectbook.com). I suggest you read it and follow his advise. If you want to improve your life and build a network, take action...NOW!! Be the stone that is thrown in the water and watch how those ripples can change the world.
Have a great day.
PS - My own book on the subject of networking will be released by New Year Publishing in July 2005. Some Assembly Required: How to Make, Grow and Keep Your Business Relationships can be preordered on my website : www.thomsinger.com.