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K. Brian Kelley - Databases, Infrastructure, and Security

IT Security, MySQL, Perl, SQL Server, and Windows technologies.

Thoughts from Never Eat Alone

Watching a Chefograpy on Giada De Laurentiis, I learned that she was considered very much an introvert and had a hard time in front of the camera. However, over time she has overcome all of this and has become more comfortable around people and being on film. I've always been shy around people I don't know, and that makes meeting people hard. Whether it's due to my upbringing or what, the show made me think about the fact that this is one area of my life I need to improve on. I had heard good things about Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi, and checked it out from the library. The gist of the book is about how to become better at networking through the building of relationships.

It was a very good read and I took notes on every chapter. A lot of is common sense, but while the points are common sense, they aren't necessarily easy to do. For instance, chapter one points out it is foolish to not ask for help. In our "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" culture, asking for help is akin to admitting weakness. However, Ferrazzi gives examples from his own life where his father wasn't afraid to ask for help for his son and because of his father's willingness, Ferrazzi was able to get into doors for his education he wouldn't have been able to otherwise. Some of the key points I pulled out:
  • We need others to succeed.
  • Be willing to ask, even if others would consider it embarrassing.
  • True networking isn't about using people to get what you want, it's about caring and concern for others regardless of status.
  • Work hard to reach out to others.
  • Be sincere in your efforts to make connections with people.
  • Remain humble.
  • Make something of the time and effort a mentor is willing to impart.
  • Measure success by love and friendships, not by income, position, or hype.
As I said, these aren't stunning revelations. However, the fact that a "master networker" is pointing them out as the keys to his success is a reminder that candor, openness, sincerity, and compassion still work in this world. That's a nice, refreshing message and its solid encouragement for me to work on being able to meet and share with others.

If you're interested in reading some excerpts of the book, Mr. Ferrazi has a few chapters available on-line. Mr. Ferrazi also has a blog which he posts to semi-regularly.


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