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My Network Value – £2.5m+

August 17, 2010 4 comments

I stumbled across a fun “tool” run by Xing called “My Network Value”. If you get a chance, have a play – it takes less

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than 5 minutes to complete.

Here is my result – and I’m over £2.5m richer than I thought I was!!!

Have a play – and let’s compare results. I think there were a couple of figures that I filled in that might have skewed the figures in my favour – can you guess what they were?

Their comments on my network are below:-

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Auto response – but very useful!

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Personal Network – google search NOW

I’ve been surprised as I explore the idea of the Personal Network that there is so little focussed information.

For example, a search on Google (UK version) for “Personal Network” gives very

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few relevant links on the first page.

Highlights are:-

A Wikipedia entry – that seems to be by an East European, Pawel Zorzan – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_Network

A very good PDF outlining a course given in the US to young students by bonner.org (it’s great that someone is already teaching the value of a Personal Network to youngsters) – http://www.bonner.org/resources/…pdf/BonCurBldgPersonalNetwk.pdf

A blog entry from 2007 by Stephen Downes from Canada (why is all the cool stuff on blogging, networking, etc from Canada these days??) – http://halfanhour.blogspot.com/2007/11/personal-network-effect.html

Stephen’s entry pointed me in the direction of Robin Dunbar – and his book “How Many Friends Does One Person Need?: Dunbar’s Number and Other Evolutionary Quirks”. Robin came up with the idea that 150 is the “magic number” for personal connections. He’s on my summer reading list … so more soon!

Anyway, if you do a Google search of “Social Networks” there is a very different set of results (lots of competing banners, side bar adverts and good links). If you’ve read more of this blog – then you know that I feel that Personal Networks are a significant part of your “net worth” – so why so little focus compared to the “spin of the hour” (social networks!)??

“Your Network is your Net Worth!”

As I research the subject of Personal Networks further. I am finding many more resources on the subject – and my Amazon account is taking some hammering! It’s interesting that it’s often the older books & research (from 1970s through to early 2000s) that seem to be hitting the mark for me. I think some of this is because in recent times the focus of most writing has been on the rapid growth of Social Networking. I believe that your personal network should be reviewed in the round – and the focus just on social networking can be damaging to contacts not actively on-line (and those

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hard to find people you would like to meet).

One quote I came across today was a header on a page of Keith Ferrazzi’s website.

“Your network is your net worth … Add to your personal bottom line with better networking and bigger relationships.” Tim Sanders, Author of Love is the Killer App.

I passionately believe that this is right – and very few people value their Personal Network enough. Tim’s book seems to be out of print in the UK now – but Amazon have come up with a second-hand version that is being shipped to me.

Anxious to find more about Tim Sanders, I headed off to his website. He has a great post on the subject. It’s quoted below (with Tim’s permission) – and has an excellent networking tip at the end.

“Your network is your net worth. So why don’t you invest time in it?

Think about it. Much of your future rides on one of your network contacts. Your network of personal relationships, filed in databases like Outlook or Yahoo’s Address Book, is the number one source of opportunities and solutions for you.

Yet you don’t invest much time in it at all. You probably spend five to ten times more personal effort making sure your Inbox is empty — yet that yields very little value. Time invested in entering personal contacts, spending time with them and keeping the relationship fresh is much more valuable time spent.

Recommended: Do the random refresh exercise every Thursday for the next four weeks. Here’s how the exercise works: You randomly pick three names from your rolodex or address book. Call them on the phone and devote fifteen minutes to playing catchup. Agree to do something with at least one of them, even if it is just a call or lunch in the future. The whole month’s effort should cost you less than four hours, yet potentially yield something great. Try it and report results later under comments.”

I’m definitely going to become a follower of his blog – and will review his book when it arrives.

Tim speaks a lot of sense!

“Personal Network” Network

One thing that I believe has been a strength during my life is the ability that when I want to steer a new course or check out new ideas is to ask the people I know who they know.   With my Personal Network’s help I have managed to get so some amazing places – and develop interesting projects (both business and personal).

The other skill that I use when I am trying to develop a strategy for a new project (often away from my core knowledge and competence) is to devour information and learn as much as I can before getting to know people in a new area.

Well, here I am – in the area of Personal Networks – and I really know nobody who

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is knowledgeable or important!  Well, actually, there is one person – Mrs Moneypenny, the Financial Times extraordinary anonymous networker!  More on her later….

As mentioned, I do like to do my research before launching in to a project – so I’ve been avidly reading books, checking out blogs and diving in to the occasional bit of academic research (which does stretch my brain a little too far!).  The result is – that the first visualisation (or visualization if you are American) project has been to map out the “Personal Network Experts” that I have identified through books, blogs, the academic world, etc.  As of today, I know one person in this network (and a very tenuous link to another) – but it is my challenge over the coming months to make an intro and try to develop a relationship and build up trust so they can become part of my “Personal Network” Network (think I’ll start to abbreviate that to PNN!).

This first network diagram has been produced in a mind mapping software that I like to use for project to-do lists called Mind Meister.  I think it’s a fun way of giving me a “helicopter” view of things.

“Personal Network” Network – Mindmap on Mindmeister

Welcome to my blog about Personal Networks

Hello!  This blog is intended to track my journey trying to understand how Personal Networks work, their value to us as individuals (my hunch they might be our most important asset!) – and whether there is a way to make sense of them visually.

I’m not a serial networker – I have less than a hundred contacts on LinkedIn (as of today), my Facebook presence is really there to keep an eye on my children …. and I can think of nothing worse than attending a “networking” event.  However, I am an entrepreneur who is committed to business development – and to create new ideas I need people around me and information from all sorts of places.  The same applies

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when a strategy is developed – and it’s time to deliver.  I do believe that I have a good quality network of people who trust in me – and this diverse network has helped me to create and develop new ventures.

I’ve been fortunate to have built a business from scratch – and sold it at the peak of the market.  This means that for the last 4 years I’ve managed to take time out to think, play and get involved in small (but exciting) projects.

Anyway, I am working with two of my colleagues from the business we sold to develop our ideas around Personal Networks.  We have a fledgling idea, a registered domain name (VizWho) and some basic tools to start piloting.  If you visit this blog – I hope you will find some of the discussions and resources interesting … and hopefully you might come along for the journey (maybe even join my Personal Network!).

Phil O’Brien

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