Dig Your Well Before You're Thirsty: The Only Networking Book You'll Ever Need

by Harvey Mackay

Currency, 1st Currency Paperback, 336 pages, $11.53

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Springtime is the perfect time to emerge from hibernation and turn up your networking efforts, and Dig Your Well is an ideal tool to help career seekers. "A Network Never Sleeps" is the title of Mackay's first chapter, reflecting his philosophy of never hibernating when it comes to circulating and staying in touch with business contacts. Anyone shifting career gears or going into business for themselves will glean solid strategies for cultivating relationships that function as the currents capable of propelling your career forward.

"The New England Journal of Medicine has published studies showing that people who stop smoking, even though they may have smoked for decades, can cut their risk of lung cancer nearly to the same levels as people who have never smoked," writes Mackay. He goes on to say the same reasoning works with networking because it's never too late in the game to start building relationships. Using personal anecdotes and enlightening business stories, Dig Your Well uses the metaphor of digging a well to show professionals how to build a foundation and eventually wind up drinking in the fruits of their labor.

The book begins with the following Six Conclusions about networking:

  1. Practice "Let's Pretend" — by pretending you are what you are not, you actually can become what you have pretended to be.
  2. Adopt a Role Model — it takes only one good contact to get you on your way.
  3. Take Lessons — they can help you gain and polish the tools to become a successful networker.
  4. Keep Taking Lessons — graduation is not the end, it's the foundation.
  5. Join Up — take advantage of groups that offer possibilities for making contacts and achieving personal growth.
  6. Have a Little Faith — in yourself. The way to make a friend is to be one.

Mackay strongly advocates doing what you love and using it as a way to network. He teaches that some of the best networkers of all time are American Presidents and offers examples of how their strategies worked. "Networking is not a numbers game. The idea is not to see how many people you can meet; the idea is to compile a list of people you can count on," writes Mackay. Dig Your Well is a great roadmap that not only leads you toward building mutually beneficial relationships, but instructs on how reinvigorate and strengthen existing contacts.

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