This post was originally featured on Technori.com, a leading digital publication for the world’s best starters.
There are certain people out there that seem to always have amazing things come their way. NEWFLASH. It’s not a coincidence.
Your ability to attract great opportunities comes down to a simple formula:
Size and Quality of Your Network + Transparency + Perceived Ability to Create Value = Volume of Opportunities
Let’s dig in.
Your “true network” is not everyone you’ve ever met. Your true network is the group of people who’d gravitate towards helping you out given the opportunity (assuming the ask is appropriate).
The larger your true network, the larger the pool of people who might decide to send an opportunity your way. Network quality has implications too. Because better networked, influential people are privy to more opportunities, having them in your corner correlates to a higher volume of opportunities.
People are much more likely to help you if they know how they can help you. No one’s a mind reader. This is why it’s imperative to make sure people know your objectives. The greater the awareness of how people can help you, the more likely people will funnel opportunities your way.
Let’s take a look at how intentionally practicing transparency has increased my network’s capacity to improve my life:
2013 Goals - Just over 2 months ago I decided to list my goals for 2013. My motivation for displaying them publicly was rooted in accountability and creating the capacity for people to help me out.
Since writing that post over 20 people have reached out and offered to help. I’ve gotten offers for help with volunteer opportunities, forming an LLC, and improving my ability to outsource. In the past week, 3 awesome blogs have reached out and asked me to contribute. I just went on a trip to Jackson Hole because my awesome buddy Ryan saw I wanted to go on my blog. You get the picture.
Dating - My roommates complain that I get set up with more people than anyone they know. This doesn’t happen because I’m particularly attractive or cool; it happens because I make it known amongst friends that I’m interested in dating. When someone inquires about my relationship status my “I’m single” response is almost always followed by “do you know anyone smart, nice, and cute?” There’s no chance I’d have as many dating prospects if I didn’t put myself out there.
Note* if you know anyone cute and smart holla at cha boy.
Ability to Create Value
Let’s face it. Majority of people are self-serving. If they’re going to expend time and energy on something they hope to some day receive a return.
Thus, when people perceive that you might be able to create value for them, they’re going to be more astute about providing opportunities to help you out. An unspoken karmic debt is created that they hope you will repay some day. Those familiar with the law of reciprocity know exactly what I’m talking about.
Bringing it all together: your ability to project that you can create value increases the amount of opportunities you’ll receive.
Becoming An Opportunity Magnet
Increasing the amount of opportunities you receive is as simple as maximizing these variables.
The larger and higher quality your network becomes, the more opportunities will come your way.
The more your objectives known, the more people will help you out.
The more you project a propensity to create value, the more people will send great opportunities your way.
It’s that simple.
There’s lots of ways to maximize each variable which is why stacks of books have been written about each subject. So for the sake of your attention, I’ll just highlight a few things I’ve done to amplify each component.
Take a targeted approach to building your network instead of treating its growth and who you invite into your life as something that occurs due to circumstance or convenience. Going to a networking event and hoping you meet someone cool is not a strategy.
Start a blog. Publicly sharing your thoughts on a consistent basis not only makes people have a deeper understanding of how they might be able to help you, but also makes you more salient. Your goal should be to become the person that people think of when [insert interest/niche/need] comes up. The first thing people see when they get to my site is literally a billboard indicating what I’m looking for. It’s about shooting off flares!
Stop being shy and start asking for what you want. If you have any social tact, most of the things you’re afraid to your network for are actually things they’d be more than willing to do. Try to build a habit of asking people you know and trust for things calibrated with the value you provide to their lives. It’s about establishing give and take relationships where both parties win.
Stop being proud and tell things like they are. If you hide all your problems behind the vale of pride other people will never understand how they can help you out. I wrote a post awhile about how startup founders should be authentic when people sling the “How’s It Going at [insert company]” rock. Creating the capacity for others to help along with engendering intimacy, makes being honest and authentic the optimal strategy in 99% of scenarios.
Ability to Create Value
Start a blog and get in traffic. If the only people in your industry who know you’re the best at what you do are the people in your office then you’re squandering opportunities and optionality.
If your want to anchor the perception that you’re a badass, you must relentlessly demonstrate this to as many people as you can. I aim to accomplish this by trying my best to knock it out of the park at work, building relationships in + outside my company, creating actionable content that can be shared, and ACTUALLY CREATING VALUE FOR OTHERS. To my last point, the best way to “derisk” the perception that you can create value is just by doing it. Spend 2 minutes thinking about how you might be able to help someone out and just do it instead of pitching a hollow “let me know how i can help.”
Being intentional about maximizing these variables has had a tremendous impact on my ability to attract great opportunities. Do you know someone whose looking for their next great opportunity? Send them this post so that they have a better chance to accomplish that.