In the book still often credited as being responsible for creating more millionaires than any other, Think and Grow Rich, originally published in 1937, Napoleon Hill advises readers to assemble a group of masterminds. He defines the purpose of this group as, “Coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for attainment of a purpose.”
Building that network is a lifelong undertaking, yet for most of us, the only time we have energy or make time to invest in building our network is when we’re looking for our next job or client.
Even with the availability of social media, making the time to keep up with people we’ve worked with can be a challenge, particularly when there aren’t enough hours in the day as it is. I know I’m not alone in admitting that when I’m fully engaged with my work I have little mindshare left to invest in keeping up with my previous clients and colleagues.
However, networking is like exercise … an investment in our future selves. The more we stay connected to the people with whom we worked, learned from, and with whom we share a common set of experiences, the better we get at what we do.
Leah Ward-Lee is a management consultant and business writer based in Dallas, Texas and the author of $1,000 Start-Ups. Her next book, The Executive’s Toolbox, will be released in 2017.