Your network is your net worth, grow it

Knowing that your networks determine your net worth. Networks that you build and grow will start right back at school. PHOTO /FILE

What you need to know:

You need to get the right networks that speak to your value; bearing in mind that your networks are your net worth

Your network is your net worth, grow it

You need to get the right networks that speak to your value; bearing in mind that your networks are your net worth

RACHEAL NABISUBI

Have you ever thought about your inner circles? What do you do or what value do they add to you? This is a question we tend to take for granted but is very relevant as we mature.

When invited to a party or network gathering, what takes most of your time? Did you know that your network is your net worth?

Whereas some people might hate networking, others love it. Networking is one of the most significant business skills.

It is also a way to build relationships by being yourself and being generous to others.

Porter Gale, the author of “Your Network Is Your Net Worth,” says: “Your social capital, or your ability to build a network of authentic personal and professional relationships, not your financial capital, is the most important asset in your portfolio.”

The best business leaders and institutions understand that your network is your net worth, and they do everything they can to invest in their relationships.

But to attain this, Prosper magazine takes a look at how you can build relationships and the advantage of growing networks and building trust-based business relationships.

This was affirmed during the recent webinar dubbed, ‘My Network, My Net Worth’ organised by National Social Security Fund (NSSF) under the theme: ‘The role of social Capital and networks in our financial journey.’

Association

Being a good networker counts. But it needs some skill to build contacts within and outside one’s job. No doubt, the dividends eventually pay off.

Barbara Kasekende, head of advisory services at the Uganda Development Bank, said you need to get the right networks that speak to your value; bearing in mind that your networks are your net worth.

“If your friends are not adding value to you, you are not going to grow. To attract the right people in your network, you need to associate with the right people. If someone is not adding value to your life, you will save more money and sleep better,” Kasekende says.

This is because you will spend less on people who reduce your net worth rather than making it go as a result of too much expenses. Bear in mind that people come into your life and go.

“Your net worth does not have to stay with you forever and you can move to other things,” she adds.

She further adds that giving is critical. It does not mean you get or give money. It is your time. This means every human being has at least 17 people looking at them as social capital.

Social capital

Social capital has nothing to do with tangible things.  It is about building others whether from a financial aspect or morally. Social capital includes things you cannot quantify in terms of money such as attitude to work, the will and zeal to get things done and the relationship with people you work with. 

Growing networks within your work environment involves utilising and building the space.

“If you are in a work space and something comes up, show up and front it so that people can see your worthiness,” she adds.

Strategies to access networks

Olive Lumonya, deputy director general, Uganda Civil Aviation Authority, says networks start right from school. Networks that you build and grow will start right back at school.

“When I was in Senior 6, I used to bake cakes and give them to supermarkets in Jinja. I had a network that I built and right now; they are at my fingertips because I had a notebook where I kept my contacts,” Lumonya says.

Network effect

She adds that you must be known for something. For instance, you must be trustworthy or accountable. This means you should not wait to start networks; you must be deliberate on making these networks.

“It is your networks that take you wherever you might want to go. In order to achieve this, especially the young people need to be willing to get out of their comfort zones,” she elaborates.

This means when a boss wants you to represent him at a certain function, when you go there; make yourself relevant. This will be the start of your networks.

For others, when you find books at the entrance of any function, sign in because they might help you in the next step of your career.

She concurs that it is through giving that your networks grow.

“The more you give the money your networks will grow because they will keep referring people to you,” Lumonya says.

Put in the time

Furthermore, networks are not on paper. When it comes to networks, there’s a human part of it.

When you go to meet these networks; most times it is through meetings. You go in to meet people depending on the network you’re looking for.

However, Lumonya is quick to note that most times networks fail because a lot of time from the corporate world, when people jump out of it, they fail to know the complexities of how to manage a business. For instance working in Kikuubo yet one of the most important ways to get ahead is through the use of their networks.

Tony Otoa, the chief executive officer at Stanbic Business Incubator Ltd, says that networks are about showing yourself, your ability and skills and thus people will eventually hunt you down.

“The real world is about what more you can bring to the table. This is possible if you can communicate so well and articulate it. This is more or less giving value. This means networks are about going an extra mile to provide more and hence if you give more, people will associate more with you,” Otoa explains.

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