3 Keys To Building A High-Quality Network

Accomplishing your dreams requires more than passion and hard work. You also need a strong network of people to support you.

Before social media, your network probably consisted of family members, coworkers, neighbors, and friends you met at activities like church or yoga. People in your community.

But who you know isn’t confined by physical proximity anymore.

In addition to people I know personally, my network includes individuals I’ve communicated with online — and even people I haven’t established a relationship with yet.

Essentially, my network is everyone who’s somehow connected to me.

Connecting and building a high-quality network isn’t as simple as gaining followers. You don’t want to get as many followers as possible. While bigger networks mean greater access to more knowledge, resources, and opportunities (in theory), you should strive to create a top-notch network of similarly motivated, well-connected people who can help you get to the next step of your journey, professionally and personally.

To cultivate these relationships, you have to put yourself out there and make people aware of the value you bring to the world.

Here are three points to keep in mind when building a high-quality network:

1. Identify quality people.

The most important ingredient for creating a robust network is excellent people.

While it’s great to have friends you can laugh with, you need to look for people who share your core values and motivate you to aim high. These high-quality individuals are well connected and can help you share your message with an even bigger audience.

One of these people in my network is Grant Cardone, a multi-millionaire real estate rockstar who’s also a major social media influencer. When I was bedridden after my heart transplant, Grant saw me sharing my message through Periscope and Facebook live streams. He was one of the first people to tell his global audience to find me and follow my story.

I was able to connect with him and join his network at a time when I wasn’t even physically able to leave my house.

You can find a connection just about anywhere you look, and this can expand your world and your possibilities. The more top people you surround yourself with, the more you’ll be inspired to fulfill your mission.

2. Get comfortable being uncomfortable.

Finding the right people to create a high-quality network isn’t easy.

One of the most common mistakes people make in expanding their network is only surrounding themselves with people they feel comfortable with. But staying in your comfort zone isn’t how you build a strong network or make progress on your journey.

Sometimes you have to initiate a conversation or put yourself out on a limb to foster a connection.

A good sign you’ve found quality people who will push you to be better is feeling an initial discomfort around them. Every time I aim to “up-level” my network, I find myself worrying the person will never accept me into their circle. But I always stick it out, and we end up becoming close friends. Without fail.

A good example of this happened recently, when I was fortunate enough to be invited to appear on national TV. Even though I was terrified, I embraced the challenge, and now I’m blessed to have contacts at NBC Universal in my network, who can help me share my message with an even bigger audience.

Don’t be afraid to find people who challenge you to confront your fears. Embracing opportunities, especially scary or uncomfortable ones, is the best way to expand your network and bring yourself to the next level.

Great opportunities with great people only come when you’re pushing the boundaries.

3. Bring value without expecting anything in return.

Building a high-quality network isn’t all about what you can get from others. It’s just as important to give people genuine value without any expectations.

Every single thing I’ve accomplished in the past three years has come to me because of my community. There was always someone who made an introduction, stepped forward at the right time, or reached out to me for help. But this doesn’t happen by chance.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve helped someone out, and five or six years later, they were finally in a position to return the favor.

That’s often how it works. Before you ever ask for something from people in your network, help them first. Show them how much value you can bring to their business, who you can connect them to, how you can solve their problems. Take the time to build trust and add value.

Investing in people in this way will not only deepen your connection to them, it will also allow you to nurture lasting, authentic relationships based on mutual respect. Whatever you put out will come back tenfold. This give and take is what makes networks so effective: both parties share their knowledge, wisdom, and contacts — and everyone benefits

Building relationships takes time, but you’ll build an amazing network if you always look for ways to help other people.