To be sure, since I got laid off I’ve been on a voyage of discovery and am learning that through networking the possibilities for opportunity are limitless. Let me share with you what’s happened since discussions with the publishing house opened. In the first email I received from the editor expressing her interest in my book proposal, she asked, “Do you do any blogging or personal promotion that you can point to for pushing your book?”
The only answer I could say is “No.” Up to that moment I had never considered personally promoting myself for anything. I mean, I have some music videos on YouTube and I did have a light blog for awhile on our family website. But those things I did for self-enjoyment, not self-promotion. I never meant any of it to be taken seriously. And I have since deleted the blog from my family website. The videos are still on YouTube. If you want to have a laugh, go check them out. The url is http://www.youtube.com/user/vfontjr.
I started thinking long and hard about the editor’s question and looked at my network statistics on Linkedin. As of December 22, the statistics were:
My trusted friends and colleagues: 255
Two degrees away: 41,200+
Three degrees away: 3,125,800+
Total users I can contact through an Introduction: 3,167,300+
I sent these stats to the editor. She was impressed and importantly, so is her publicity manager. The 255 friends and colleagues are people I’ve worked with over the past several years or know on a personal level. As I kept thinking about these statistics, I knew I could improve them. So I embarked on yet another mission to determine how fast and how large I could build my network. Remember, the numbers above are from Dec. 22nd.
Today, January 7th, a scant 2 weeks and 2 days later, my network stats are:
My trusted friends and colleagues: 1,691
Two degrees away: 615,400+
Three degrees away: 12,078,700+
Total users I can contact through an Introduction: 12,695,800+
That’s a whopping increase of 663% and these numbers are growing daily!
To further test the power of networking, I established 2 blogs at http://victorfont.wordpress.com and http://victorfont.blogspot.com. These blogs are identical in content. I usually write on the WordPress blog and cut and paste to the BlogSpot blog. Julie Powell, the author of Julie & Julia, got her start on BlogSpot. Unfortunately, BlogSpot either doesn’t provide statistics or I don’t know how to find them. On WordPress though, the second day I had the blog open, I had almost 100 readers! I am convinced that to accomplish BIG things, you must network.
Yesterday I received a phone call from Vern McDonald of Vaco, LLC. First he told me that I am doing a great job networking. He’s been watching my progress on the Linkedin update digests. After a brief conversation about what I’ve been doing, he asked if I’d be interested in being a guest speaker at the AITP. The AITP is the Association of Information Technology Professionals. Vern is the Executive Vice President of the Research Triangle Park Chapter. There are two topics that I am passionate about: Authentic Leadership and Networking. We’re meeting tomorrow to discuss opportunities. So because I am discovering the power of networking, don’t be surprised if you get an invitation to come hear me speak.