The Difference in Networks

The Difference in NetworksFebruary 3, 2023

The Difference in Networks

A vibrant and deep network is key to building a successful solo or small professional services practice. Most service providers agree with this statement. (Those who don’t may not be in business much longer.)

There’s a difference, though, in how professionals build their professional network. It breaks down largely along these lines:

–”Takers,” believing there’s a fixed pie from which they must grab as much as possible, build a network by trying to claim as much for themselves as possible.
–”Matchers” build a network based solely on “quid pro quo,” expecting an identifiable, tangible benefit in every relationship they establish.
–”Givers,” unlike “takers,” see the world as a growing pie of opportunity, and they go out of their way to expand that pie so that everyone can get a larger piece.

“Takers” must constantly add to their network to compensate for the bridges they’ve burned in previous relationships.

“Matchers” have the narrowest network of all because they limit themselves to relationships in which they receive an equal or greater benefit than what they offer. As LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman said, “if you insist on a quid pro quo every time you help others, you will have a much narrower network.”

Over the long term, "givers” build the largest and deepest network, dramatically increasing the potential payoff of that network.

(Adapted from "Give and Take," by Adam Grant. It’s a book I HIGHLY recommend.)


(This blog post was also posted on LinkedIn.)

©Ray Business Advisors, LLC and John Ray


About me: I help solo or small professional services firm owners with the confidence and positioning necessary to improve their pricing and change the trajectory of not only their business but their life.

I have a podcast called The Price and Value Journey, which features interviews with industry leaders and audio versions of my blog posts. You can find the podcast on your favorite podcast app.

I also have a book coming out in 2023:  The Price and Value Journey: Raise Your Confidence, Your Value, and Your Prices to Grow Your Business Using The Generosity Mindset.

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