I need a good writer to read over this article checking for grammar errors and make suggestions. Must be a very good writer with a portfolio.
Article is below. It is right at 1000 words.
Whether you run your own business, work a regular office job or run a family office, there's something to be said for being well connected. When a well-connected person needs something, they simply pick up the phone, and make a call to a friend in the right place. It seems so easy. But how do people become well connected? Is there a secret that only those people know?
I avoid traditional networking groups and events like the plague (think of all the low-level sales sharks tossing business cards around like confetti). Old-school networkers quantify new people from a transactional standpoint. How much is each new person worth to them? How many people do they need to meet to make one sale? In short, they pursue relationships based only on what the other person can do for them.
In my professional life, I choose to be a relationship builder. Relationship builders take the opposite approach of the old-school networker. We focus on helping others without necessarily keeping score. It isn't about meeting this month's goals or sales numbers, it is about building long-lasting mutually beneficial relationships (which in the long run contribute those same results, but usually at a higher level).
The people I work with are more than just professional contacts, they’re people I care about. If I didn't care about them, I don't believe I'd be able to do my job well. And as for those people with whom I don't (yet) work, they're people who have taken their valuable time to get to know me, not just potential future income.
Focus on Quality over Quantity:
Top professionals have five to ten active alliances. What makes a relationship an alliance? An ally is someone you consult regularly for advice (trust). You proactively share and collaborate on opportunities (mutual respect). You keep your antennae attuned to an ally's needs and interests, and when it makes sense to pursue something jointly, you do. Most importantly, you stick up for your allies. You promote his or her brand. When an ally runs into conflict, you defend him and stand up for his reputation, knowing that he will do the same for you.
Be generous with your connections.
Part of being well connected is acting as a connector for other people. Recognizing what each person brings to the table, you can make introductions that benefit all parties involved. If you genuinely seek to help others by sharing your connections, others will be apt to do the same for you.
Don't be a climber.
We all know those people... the ones who suck up the big dogs and treat the little people like dirt. It's usually blatantly obvious (to the big dogs and and little people alike). Treat everyone with the same respect. Even if they can't do much do help you professionally, there's something to be learned from everyone. (But if that's not enough to convince you, here's a hint: it's usually someone at "the bottom" that serves as gatekeeper and makes the schedule for the man on top.)
Befriend your competitors.
It's just as important to make friends with enemies. Call competitors to go get coffee. There's always opportunity to work together. Even if it's just to send them a client you can't take or vice versa. Ideally, you can make a friend that you can even call on for advice when you run into a problem that most people won't understand
Don't be afraid to ask for help.
I help people out when the need it but I'm also not afraid to ask for help. People are usually more than willing to help but oftentimes won't volunteer. Asking someone for help doesn't make you look weak; it's a sign of respect that you value their opinion or position enough to recognize they can help you.
It's ok to say no.
Don't be a doormat. You don't have to do everything and you can't be everything to everyone. No matter how hard you try, not everyone will like you. It's important to realize that if you spread yourself too thin, the most important relationships in your work and home life can suffer.
Maintain your relationships.
Over the long haul, it takes more work to build a relationship than it does to maintain one. Value your contacts enough to realize that letting them slip away can sometimes be as bad as burning the bridge altogether. To avoid losing touch, work to keep yourself on their radar. Check in from time to time, ask to meet up for lunch or send articles and bits of information that you think might be useful.
Skills: grammar, acting