You’ve heard the phrase “It’s not about what you know, it’s really about who you know.” Well I never understood those words before I graduated college, but after I got out into the real world and especially since I started my own business, I’ve really seen the meaning of that phrase.
Cue the Rant!
You need to take those words I said in the phrase above extremely literal. How do you think George W. Bush became president? How is Kim Kardashian famous? How are half of these rappers hot now? All those questions have the same general answer. It was all in who they knew. Since who you know is so important, I really feel it’s important to know as many people as you can.
Most people pigeonhole themselves without knowing it. You see it all the time. Black entrepreneurs and business owners that only have black or only a certain type of client like old, male or female they cater to. And vice versa. Jess hates when I say this but the point I’m trying to get across is valid. I have a phrase I say to her and it goes “You need to get some white people on your team.” Now while I don’t necessarily think you need a white person to succeed, the big point I’m trying to make is you need to diversify your team. They all don’t have to be young and white or black or all old and mature. Go after everybody and all of those different experiences and voices will make you stronger.
And this goes for real life too. Being a well-rounded person in general help makes you a better person. I can’t stand people who aren’t expanding their circle or experiences, especially entrepreneurs and young people. I see so many young people like me graduate with a degree, put in a few job apps and expect people to come running to find them. I’m sorry but if you haven’t realized, this is not how it works anymore. In this day and age, especially with the internet and social media, you’ve got to learn to market yourselves, research and GET TO KNOW PEOPLE.
Remember the realist piece of advice I ever gave you (because this is). It’s all about WHO YOU KNOW. Not about what you know. Not about what you’ve done. It’s not about what degree you have. Hell, you don’t even have to be supremely talented at whatever it is you do. Because we all know talented people who squandered it because they had no direction or knew what to do with it. You do need people and you CAN’T do this thing called life alone. So get out there and network, shake some hands and introduce yourself. Oh, and get you a mentor. Someone who will always have your back and look out for your best interests. That’s the real true key to success.
Forget everything else you heard. What you just read changed your life and you didn’t even know it.
That’s it for this week. Don’t forget to cue the Sir Charles.