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Simon says, “Your success depends on who you know but depends more on who knows you.”

This is a small point but understanding the distinction is critical to your success. You know you succeed with people and do-it-yourself success is a myth.

•Your chain of success is a people helping people succeed process.

•Your personal success equation only works with people.

•Your success business depends on people who make opportunity links available to you.

•Your success depends on the people who link to your services.

You are keenly aware of how important people are to your success and have included people as the fourth component of your success mantra which you silently chant at least once a day, every day:

•Patience, Patience, Patience!

•Attitude, Attitude, Attitude!

•Timing, Timing, Timing!

•People, People, People!

The important question here is, “Which people contribute most significantly to your success?” Unfortunately, too many people believe the people who count are primarily the people they know. This little glitch is the main reason why “networking” is so often misunderstood. Naive hustlers think, if they meet enough people, they eventually succeed. “I know this Executive or that Politician, this celebrity or that leader.” The problem is they confuse “knowing” with “being known.”

There is some value in knowing the right people in the right places. It saves time when you determine it will serve your success for a specific person to know you. You at least know where to focus your energy as you get into a position where they know you.

For example, it helps to know your child’s teacher; but research shows your child will be better served if your child’s teacher knows you too. People who you know may be interested in your services; but they are more likely to link to them if they know you. Someone may have an opportunity benefiting your success business; but they are more likely to let you link to it if they know you. For now, just keep in mind who knows you is more important than who you know.

Knowing what you want, who can give it to you, and what it takes to get their cooperation extends Simon’s simple idea. You do not have time to leave your success business relationships to chance. Approaching these interpersonal opportunities on a thoughtful, well-considered basis, as you do with other aspects of your success business, serves your interests very well.

Start with being clear about what you want, what you need. What specific opportunities do you think helps you expand and enrich your internal resources, increase your ability to add value to them? The key here is adding value. An opportunity to which you will not or cannot add value is not worth the effort it takes to pursue it. For example, better understanding the air traffic control system would be interesting but likely is not something you can add value to unless you are a transportation consultant or at least doing something related to air traffic. What you want/need relates to your personal success business and to your interests.

On the other side of your success equation, what you want/need depends on your services line. People are your customers or can connect you with customers; so you want relationships adding to your marketing potential, your marketing effectiveness, or to your marketing success, e.g., people who can get you in touch with potential customers are helpful as are people who provide services your customers want/need you cannot provide.

To be sure your customers are well-served, you may want/need secretarial services, computer expertise, shipping services, tickets to the championship playoffs, or priority access to medical services. What you specifically want/need to fill out your services line or to supplement your services to better serve your customers depends on the nature of your success business. Be clear about exactly what you want/need and then figure out who can give it to you and under what conditions they will come through. They are much more likely to be there for you if they know you than they are if they are only someone you know; and when you do ask for what you want/need, another one of Simon’s little rules is worth remembering:

•Do not wear out your welcome, go to the well too often, or expect more than people can comfortably give.

You understand the importance of the right people knowing you and work hard to cultivate those relationships. The question now is, “What do they know about you?” They know what they have learned from doing success business with you. On that basis, all is well. Importantly, though, they know you in other ways:

•They know many other people and they talk about you;

•They know how it feels to do business with you;

•They know if you are sincerely interested in their success or just concerned about yours.

What people know about you is, in the end, more important than their knowing you. Those who know you know you understand your success depends on your helping other people succeed. You and your success business are always a pleasure to do business with.

You know:

•You are always judged by appearances;

•How you do things is usually at least as important as what you do.

•Your reputation is, in large measure, made when you are not present.

•You do everything you do with style, all the time, every time, with everyone, on purpose.

Your success with people and especially with the people who know you is no accident. You work at it very hard, giving every opportunity you have to make a first impression your best effort; and once you have made a first impression, you work even harder to be sure who people think you are is who you are whenever and wherever your name comes up. To be sure you are as successful with keeping your reputation as you have been in making it, Simon has four tips to serve you and your reputation.

•Follow up and follow through with everyone.

•Make it easy for people to get in touch with you.

•Promptly get back with anyone who is trying to get in touch with you.

•Every deal is interpersonal groundwork for your next deal.

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