Networking: It’s Too Late to Get to Know a Fortune 500 CEO

It’s too late to buy Google stock. You’re not going to make much money buying it at its current high price.

I think the same attitude should apply when trying to meet new people. If you’re a relative no-name trying to build a network it’s too late to reach out to Mark Zuckerberg to talk about entrepreneurship. He’s too busy, too high profile. If you’re an aspiring writer and want to meet other writers, you can’t reach out to an author after he’s become a New York Times bestseller. Either you won’t reach him, or if you do, he’ll assume you have an agenda or want something from him.

Better, in my view, if your goal is to develop long-term relationships with interesting people, to focus on those whose “stock prices” are low but long-term potential high.

Compared to the already rich and famous, no-names can be less egotistic and often more insightful. Plus the value flows bi-directionally (you can help each other).

How to find a hidden gem? Hints from my post on de-emphasizing popular filters: seek out introverts. Seek out people under age 30. Seek out people who are bad at marketing.

Recognize and discount the celebrity effect. Spend time with people who also have time to spend with you. My bet is you’ll have a more rewarding relationship.

Bottom Line: The only reason to try to meet with Mr. Busy and Rich for 10 minutes is if you have a very specific request or need. If you’re just trying to “network” or build a relationship, don’t waste your time.

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