Here’s the shakeout you need to know up front if you want to create unfair opportunities using those you know and things you know.
First, people say the most powerful thing you have is your network. That’s a lie.
Your network is not your net worth. What your network thinks of you is your net worth
For instance, in my world of buying businesses the most powerful thing you have is your network THINKING OF YOU as a DEALMAKER. You can know everyone in the world but if they think of you as an employee, or just a nice guy, or someone who shares politics all day instead of value add, well then does who you know really matter?
Many people know Jeff Bezos; his employees, his housekeeper, his kid’s friends’ parents. But while Jeff may listen to his kid’s friends’ mom from the PTA on ideas for parenting, and getting his kid into student council, he probably could care less what Susan thinks of his most recent acquisition. She knows Jeff. Jeff knows Susan. But Jeff doesn’t think of Susan as a business player, so it doesn’t matter.
Everyone talks about networks but you “knowing” a bunch of people doesn’t actually matter. It is what do people know about you? What do they think about you? Do they see you as a mover and shaker making, building and creating in this world? Or do they just know you? Like hey Bob, what’s up. How are the kids?
How do people think of you?
With that in mind I’ve made a deliberate effort to have people think of me as a deal maker. Not everyone does. I’m sure a fair share of people think of me as a pain in the ya know, or as a pompous opinionated long-winded blogger, or as a salacious contrarian giving away all the finance secrets. No problem
But the people I care about, I’ve curated and shown my capabilities to strategically so that all my interactions with them lead them to view me as someone to go to for advice on building, growing, buying and financing companies. Half the reason I write these posts is for that reason alone. To bring in the people I want into my network because they KNOW ME that way.
Think about this as you build relationships. If you were to ask the top 10 business colleagues you think highly of how they’d describe you, what would they say? If someone asked them what you are good at, what would they mention?
Play a fun game, try this out with people. See what your net worth really is, you might be surprised.
Ok wow – we get it Codie, stop beating the poor horse already.
Where I am going with this will lead into business acquisitions. You see if you want to close deals, you have to first source them, then you have to get them to trust you, then you have to be able to finance them. After all that you still have to be able to negotiate them, then you have to be able to sway an operator to your vision, then employees and finally one day maybe even a seller to go full circle.
The way you do all of that? Your network net worth.
Steps to figure it out:
- Challenge – ask those you know how they’d describe you? What you’re good at? How would they describe you in 3 words? What you’re looking to do next?
- If they don’t respond with what you want i.e. Codie: “You’re a hard charger who is buying businesses and talking about that and cannabis investments constantly.”
- Then what I’d do is start putting out more content on social media, start mentioning in more conversations and start obsessing more about what you do want to be known for.
I imagine you’ll be surprised what starts to happen. Deals and unfair advantages will flow to you. You won’t have to chase them.
That’s a magical thing.
Codie Sanchez & Ryan Snow
Co-founders Unconventional Acquisitions