In Business, Be Friendly But Have Few Friends


Spend time alone. Economics 101 shows that scarcity creates value. Don’t Over-Network, upside down.

We think the closer we get to people, the more they’d help us, right?

Well, wrong!

A research from the sociologist Mark Granovetter, whose classic 1974 study: Getting a Job. He surveyed 282 workers and business people in relation to how they got their jobs and current business contract. What he  found was that 56% got jobs through a personal connection. Of those connections, most were weak ties. Only 16.7% saw the contact often, 55.6% saw them occasionally, and 28% saw them rarely. This should be weird. But you actually can get too close to people or someone to be thought of when a deal comes to table.

This summarizes a very personal central ideology I have always had and shared. Be friendly but have few friends. You don’t have to attend every party you are invited to.

Networking is great and social intelligence is key. But don’t  over-network or make yourself overly available. As a business man, being a connector is just enough. Connectors are important for more than simply the number of people they know but most importantly people that know them for their value. Strive to be this, and continually share value but leave it at that.

Also, to be a networking individual and connector,  ensure you know a vast majority of people from different field and not just one field and make them primarily weak ties; people you  know peripherally. Strong ties are known to have over familiarity which breeds contempt. They are prone to hate, jealousy and strife.

The problem with strong ties is that they are usually around your space and circle too.

Your friends like you call them, after all, occupy the same world that you do. They might work with you, or live near you, and go to the same churches, or parties. How much, then, would they know that you don’t know.

Acquaintances and weak ties  are more likely to know something you don’t. They represent social power and the more acquaintances you have, the more power. Add value and leave. Be friendly but have few friends.

Eizu, ©Hexavia!

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