Adam Rifkin is widely considered as, hands down, the best networker in Silicon Valley … which is saying something.
In fact, Fortune magazine at one point recognized him as the greatest power networker on LinkedIn.
His introductions have led to the funding of several companies, as wells as many, many new business partnerships and even marriages.
You can name just about anybody who is somebody, and Adam knows them … and could introduce you to them.
Yet, the more you learn about Adam, the less it seems possible that this guy could be such an impressive networker.
Adam admits to being an ultra-introvert. I searched for an image to use at the top of this article and couldn’t find any where he was cavorting at a party or a big networking event. That’s not his style.
He’s not a billionaire. He didn’t quite finish his degree at Cal-Tech. He’s not an insanely suave and good-looking guy.
Given all this, that Adam is such an insanely great networker should give anyone hope that they can do what he has done. In fact, he seems to say a lot: “If I, of all people, can do this, so can you.”
So … what’s the big “Networking Secret” of this normal-looking, introverted, college dropout?
His secret is both simple and hard.
Adam shares a little bit of well-thought-out kindness every single day with a few specifically-chosen people in his network. He calls these “Five Minute Favors.”
Sounds simple enough. Between 5 and 15 minutes each day. No big deal. Right?
Yet, like so many things, the simplicity can be deceiving. As the old saying goes, “If it’s so easy, why isn’t everybody doing it?”
Here are the hard parts …
1. EVERY SINGLE DAY: Adam does a little every day. A little every day for many years adds up to a whole lot. In addition, doing something every day for years means that you are seriously committed. It’s not something you do because you need money now, but it becomes who you are.
This requirement alone means that 99% of people will never be as good a networker as Adam Rifkin.
2. WELL-THOUGHT-OUT KINDNESS: When I read Adam talking about networking, it strikes me that he is has a “gift-giving mindset.” He is constantly asking himself:
– “Who would like to read that article I just read that I really liked?”
– “Who could benefit most from knowing this person?”
Then he acts on the answers to those questions. He does this for people in the highest places … and the lowest, Everyone appreciates a thoughtful act of kindness. Everyone.
He never expects reciprocation. (But he gets it.)
He, like every one of the best networkers you will ever see, is a true, to-the-bone go-giver.
There are very few true go-givers – people who continuously give generously and thoughtfully, without expecting an immediate back-scratch in return.
So, whadaya think? Here’s the recipe for becoming the most connected person in all of Colorado.
There are no “catches” or hidden tricks.
99% of you won’t do it, for whatever reason. Are you part of the 1% who will actually decide to do it?
Here are a couple of articles and a video about Adam-the-Networker:
- Article: Silicon Valley’s Best Networker Teaches You His Secrets
- Article: The Basics of Power Networking
- Video: Networking for Success
What do you think about Adam’s approach? Too simple?