There's a great book called Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time that talks about networking over casual conversation. And this morning as I was pulling into a breakfast meeting with a business friend, I was struck by another concept. It has something to do with the people you hang with being of similar social and economic levels as you.
The idea is that your peer group is not only an indicator of your performance and habits, they may also be a predictor of future success or failure.
So walking into the restaurant to meet my friend, I was noticing the cars on either side of mine. An Mercedes SLK and a BMW M-series. Some smart people are having breakfast here this morning. I wouldn't mind upgrading my 33o to an M, but all the same, we were having breakfast at the same place.
So who are you brainstorming with? Do you have the C-level mindset, or are you still trying to work your way up from client/creative/account services?
I'm not suggesting that you go out looking for higher-level friendships. BUT, do start to cultivate the relationships and lunch/coffee dates that will inspire and continue to grow your success and sphere of influence. We are our circle of influence. And the closer we are to the SLK the closer we are to getting the SLK. If that's out dream.
Make every lunch count. You ARE who you eat with.