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It’s Called “Networking” Not “Using”

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Daily. Seriously, every single day, I receive a message like the following:

“Hi Paul, I’m working on an incredible new project. Can you introduce me to Oprah so I can pitch it to her for funding?”

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I wonder do they really expect my reply to be:

“Sure, let me fire-off an email immediately to her and make an introduction.”

Let’s get serious folks!

The biggest problem people have with networking is going in for the “ask” too soon. If your networking strategy is simply about getting what you want, that’s called “using” not “networking”.

Keep in mind the #1 rule of influence is reciprocity. Doing many somethings for the person you’re building with before you make your ask will dramatically increase your ask getting answered.

The most successful relationships I have built are with people I do more for than they do for me. I give, give, give, give, give, then ask.

Sure, networking is about getting what you want but it’s also about making sure the people who are important to you get what they want, too.

 

Posted on: Jun 11, 2013

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139 comments
Anthony Henderson
Anthony Henderson

It was indeed an unreasonable request, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but I also get where Paul is coming from.

Jacole Thomas
Jacole Thomas

Well maybe they figured they had a 50/50 chance so they went for it...I guess you could look at the bright side and say hey, I'm seen as influential & my marketing/branding skills are working. I do like your point, networking is not using! Oh by the way, you & Oprah should check out my website www. ( just kidding)...

Addie M. Smith
Addie M. Smith

IMO..Mr.Brunson, you sound ungrateful! Wow, a dreamer came to you FIRST..... WHY?!? Click an read................reciprocity

Kate Haddaway
Kate Haddaway

I'm assuming with Paul's attitude that be never cold called anyone and everyone that helped him get where he is was a good friend of his. Yeah RIGHT !!!!

Angie YayaDivine
Angie YayaDivine

It is unfortunate that the person sees Oprah as their only way to success....they can be successful without Oprah EVER knowing about them, further its presumptuous for people to think that Paul and Oprah are even close enough for him to send her such requests.....ultimately it is about etiquette and what are YOU WILLING TO DO TO GET YOUR OWN endorsement and product recognized.....seriously asking somehow how to do something speaks more about one's dedication than asking someone to just DO this for me....really, I would not be interested in that book either..........

Christiana Adiatu Thompson
Christiana Adiatu Thompson

Not why wouldn't he help, moreso why put the person on blast? The approach could have been different. But I mean hey we are all different. He is shining a light that is so bright and when ppl see that they draw to you and respect you and want that LiGHT that you're shining. How do you know that this persons plan wasn't to build an empire and in turn help ppl from that empire? How do you know that this person isn't going to be the next SOMEBODY that will be able to reach back and help the person that got them there & give back to his/her community by rebuilding it economically and socially? Big changes come from ppl who have nothing but have the audacity to DREAM and reach up toward those dreams even if it means asking the simple question "will you help me?" "Will you help me get to the point where I could help you?" ❤️❤️ All it takes is a simple perspective shift and a yes or no :-)

Camille Ford
Camille Ford

I'm saving 5k to advertise in New York Times Magazine. I've already invested and lost 70k on liars who claimed to be managers and set my expectations that they would be the driving force of my success. All they did was take my money and pay their personal bills while lying their entire relationships with me. Join organizations, connect with like-minded entrepreneurs, and book vendor spaces at local events until you get recognized. There are other things to do. For example, I've started a nonprofit organization and have a board for this organization and forming a board for my publishing business. Get educated. Get educated. Get educated. Don't be discouraged. And don't expect anyone to help you. You just have to continue to fail your way to success and get connected with those who want to see you succeed. I was bitter. But now I'm just wiser and doing what I have to do to get where God INTENDS for me to be. You'll be alright.

Oge Diribe
Oge Diribe

But there's asking for help and then there's taking the wee wee. I don't think asking for help was the issue, its the fact that this person saw an opportunity and decided to push for everything they could get out of it. Granted they've got balls to be so blatant, but if you're gonna bulldozer your request to a stranger, and treat your request like a supermarket sweep where you grab all you can, you can't be surprised if you get their backs up.

Rasheida Adrianus
Rasheida Adrianus

Great share, but why include someone's request with the post? You could have just emailed them the link as well and just leave it like that. You appear to be very approachable and you often interact with your followers on Social Media, which I like and respect. That person might have felt the same, I do believe they asked a little too much, but posting this in public did not help them one bit. Now it looks like you do not take them serious at all. It's kind of humiliating when you share your dream with someone and they publicly make you realize, they're not in for it. I assume it's one of your followers so they must have read this post, don't you think? Again, I agree it's a little too much to ask, actually it's wayyy to much to ask, but I do think you could have handled it differently.

Dena Reid-Esquire
Dena Reid-Esquire

Sarah, I always day use me, that means I'm useful. But don't abuse me.

CeCe Falls
CeCe Falls

Paul, you know what you can do for me? Tell me how you felt about season 2 of House of Cards. ;)

CeCe Falls
CeCe Falls

This is a relevant discussion regardless of celebrity status. When you come at anyone, especially someone you don't know, with expectations of the hook up, you are tripping. Real networking, which is useful whatever your status, especially if you are trying to change it, involves real connecting. "What can you do for me" doesn't bode well to most people.

Sarah Dales
Sarah Dales

Young Guru said to me last year that we are meant to use each other but not abuse each other. In other words, reach out & connect with those who can help you move forward and do the same for those that you can help move forward, but don't expect people to do things for you and don't let people walk all over you. Help each other grow but don't abuse the kindness of that person or the connections made through that person helping you.

KimChi's Zen
KimChi's Zen

It is TOUGH out there. I have three books I started to write and put down b/c no matter how aggressive I was, even to so-called friends who were published, I got no where.

Ursula Harrington
Ursula Harrington

Wow!...lol. Just like that you are supposed to endorse someone you don't even know

Kari Creamer
Kari Creamer

The asker could have gone about it a better way. I to t ally agree in the pay it forward thing, but asking him to send it to Oprah? He's not a publisher for petes sake. Now if he asked him to read and give feedback, I think this whole situation could have gone better. But the writer just EXPECTED him to do it. Thats not a pay it forward deal....

Lena CandyGirl Vee
Lena CandyGirl Vee

I am just learning to network for business. I don't have a circle yet. I have joined twitter and often ask people to like my fb business page, but I don't believe in pushing people to do what they don't desire. At the same time when I do grow and become experienced in the business world, I won't hesitate to help another to certain extent. I can't go above and beyond with contacts when I don't know anybody yet.

Brooke Oden
Brooke Oden

I can understand where he's coming from because he CAN'T help every single person who asks him. However I can certainly understand where the asker was coming from. They have a dream just like he did. What if they don't know anyone to "network" with on an equal level without first "imposing" on someone they don't know. One of the people who they chose to inconvenience was a high profile author such as Paul Carrick Brunson. They probably figured it was worth a try and they don't really have anything to offer to make it mutually beneficial besides the hopeful success of their book. While I can imagine that strangers bombarding you with requests could be quite annoying, I think this rant would have been more appropriate to share with another celebrity who can relate to these circumstances. Most of his followers have not achieved his level of success and we're likely following him because we're looking for inspiration in our endeavors to better our circumstances. This means that we've likely been in the person's position who made these requests that he deems inappropriate. I am in need of a mentor and I want to ask this Lady whose page I'm following but I'm afraid she'll have the same reaction. I like Paul Carrick Brunson. I've purchased his products. But I think this post was inappropriate. Unless its purpose was to shame and deter his followers from ever making such requests. In that case, it's right on time.

GiGi Bradley
GiGi Bradley

What happens when he calls Oprah set up a meeting and he doesn't show up? Or he shows up and demands money from Oprah? People refer those who they know and you get to know people through networking. Ask for advice it's free. Ask how would you go about doing... Ask them for there time which has value...

Jeane Stewart
Jeane Stewart

If I was in a position where people sought my endorsement, I'd be humbled and give them tips on how to succeed. Like "ask for introductions from someone you know". Truth is, some people have small circles, so, perhaps clumsily, they reach out to those they don't know.

Vanessa McKenzie
Vanessa McKenzie

Sadly, unless you spoke to this person directly, your point is perhaps lost. It's unfortunate that people don't understand there is a reciprocity to networking, much like any other relationship. Perhaps you should be teaching a class on entrepreneurial etiquette. My 5% please!

Becca Griner
Becca Griner

Good for you making a stand! Walking in what you peach!

Tanya Moss
Tanya Moss

Operating on the premise of ask and you shall receive. A closed mouth don't get fed mentality.

Lucy Taylor
Lucy Taylor

That's EXACTLY WHY BLACK PEOPLE AS A RACE OF PEOPLE NEVER get TOO FAR IN LIFE. CRABS IN THE BUCKET MENTALITY. DON'T WORRY YOU WILL HAVE YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO ASK FOR HELP FROM SOMEONE MORE SUCCESSFUL THAN YOU. I JUST HOPE THEY DON'T FEEL THE SAME WAY YOU FELT ABOUT THAT OTHER NEEDY PERSON. SOMETIMES GOD IS JUST TESTING US.

Sherea Mclaughlin
Sherea Mclaughlin

Smh real fast "Scooby Doo style." Networking at its dumbest....

Dean Cantave
Dean Cantave

Nimco, I think Paul probably has a LOT of people vying for his time so it's better when people take time to give value first because there are a lot of people out there that would love to have him help them to some degree.

Nimco Mohamud
Nimco Mohamud

What is the big deal if you help someone out, if you can do it do it, if you cant you tell them tht you cant

Kennedy Stuart
Kennedy Stuart

I saw a guy doing the same thing on Twitter. Basically he wanted the masses/ppl to tweet his book to Oprah. And encourage her to have him on I think super soul Sunday. Now? I'm not say3 the book isnt good; I haven't read it. I guess social media.....

Monica F. Cox
Monica F. Cox

This shows how kind you are. Most people would have deleted that email with no response. Thanks for walking in love and for providing a teachable moment.

Patrice Tartt
Patrice Tartt

So RIDICULOUS!! I am about to read this response, lol.

Ashley Hodges
Ashley Hodges

Toibwere just supposed to say aw okay then. Chile boo

D.c. Stone
D.c. Stone

I self-published my first book and have four more ready to go...Even though I struggle I would never ask someone I just met to help me..Unless it was advice...

Tee Hall
Tee Hall

WOW!!!! Some folk!!! Smdh!! Makes you wonder!! Smh.... Have we really come a long ways?!??!! Sad!!