Never Eat Alone!
Posted February 7, 2010on:
How can son of a cleaning lady and a steel worker reach Harvard Business School? The answer is in the book: Never Eat Alone and other secrets of success by Keith Ferrazzi (http://www.keithferrazzi.com/)
Main theme of the book: HOW CAN PEOPLE HELP YOU IF THEY DON’T KNOW YOU?
The book is about networking and connecting with people.
Here is the story of Keith Ferrazzi from his book: Never Eat Alone
I was a country boy from southwestern Pennsylvania, raised in a small, hardworking steel and coal town outside of Latrobe called Youngstown. Our region was so rural you couldn’t see another house from the porch of our modest home. My father worked in the local steel mill; on weekends he’d do construction.
My mother cleaned the homes of the doctors and lawyers in a nearby town. My brother escaped small-town life by way of the army; my sister got married in high school and moved out when I was a toddler.
Hard work, I reassured myself, was one of the ways I’d beaten the odds and gotten into Harvard Business School. But there was something else that separated me from the rest of my class and gave me an advantage. I seemed to have learned something long before I arrived in Cambridge that it seemed many of my peers had not.
As a kid, I caddied (worked to carry bags and kits of people who played golf) at the local country club for the homeowners and their children living in the wealthy town next to mine. It made me think often and hard about those who succeed and those who don’t. I made an observation in those days that would alter the way I viewed the world.
During those long stretches on the links, as I carried their bags, I watched how the people who had reached professional heights unknown to my father and mother helped each other. They found one another jobs, they invested time and money in one another’s ideas, and they made sure their kids got help getting into the best schools, got the right internships, and ultimately got the best jobs. Before my eyes, I saw proof that success breeds success and, indeed, the rich do get richer. Their web of friends and associates was the most potent club the people I caddied for, had in their bags.
Poverty, I realized, wasn’t only a lack of financial resources; it was isolation from the kind of people that could help you make more of yourself.
I came to believe that in some very specific ways life, like golf, is a game, and that the people who know the rules, and know them well, play it best and succeed. And the rule in life that has unprecedented power is that the individual who knows the right people, for the right reasons, and utilizes the power of these relationships, can become a member of the “club,” whether he started out as a caddie or not.
This realization came with some empowering implications. To achieve your goals in life, I realized, it matters less how smart you are, how much innate talent you’re born with, or even, most eye-opening to me, where you came from and how much you started out with. Sure all these are important, but they mean little if you don’t understand one thing: You can’t get there alone. In fact, you can’t get very far at all.
Now, think of a circle, a tri-angle or a square and watch this interesting video where Keith Ferrazzi speaks to all:
Is networking really important?
Share your ideas and thoughts.
More from this book in coming days.