Why ‘Who You Know’ Might Be Better Than ‘What You Know’

It is no secret that often in life we find “Who you know” trumps “What you know.”

Relationships are crucial to maintaining one’s health and well-being, but in the world of business, relationships play a vital role in getting ahead.

There have been several studies that have proven healthy, personal relationships may cure ailments such as stress, depression, and high-blood pressure. Relationships can even augment feelings of love, joy, and comfort. 

A recent case study by Gregg Arnold Lichtenstein focuses on the “Ecology of Enterprise” within two business incubators, proving that ailments aren’t the only thing relationships cure, they also cure unemployment.From the study:

“This research examines two questions: What is the significance of relationships and how do they influence entrepreneurship… The major finding is that the most important contribution of business incubators to entrepreneurship lies in the opportunities they provide for entrepreneurs to interact and develop relationships with other entrepreneurs, the incubator manager and other individuals associated with the incubator.”

Lichtenstein’s research goes on to show that entrepreneurs receive three main types of benefits out of relationships: Instrumental (such as increased sales, lower costs, enhanced capabilities and reduced risk), Psychological, and Developmental.

The instrumental aspect speaks for itself. Going to events, going to meet-ups, knowing owners of businesses and companies comes with a side of goodies. Psychological benefits include the obvious increased happiness that comes with being around your people, lessened depression, and the comforting thought of a crew who will always have your back.

Developmental benefits appear throughout your career, as you continue to grow as an individual and develop your ideas, business, and network. Naturally, as you grow, your success advances with you.

The entrepreneurial world is vast, yet close-knit when it comes to the six degrees of separation every person has. Relationships, both personal and professional, should range from friends, to employees, and mentors. Tending to these relationships and maintaining a close companionship will open up doors for opportunities, networking, positive energy and new friendships. 

So how does one begin cultivating these relationships?

Your network is one of the most important components to your success. Networking is the number one link to association with others, and getting to know those around you will broaden connections that you would have otherwise not had.

Putting yourself out there and introducing yourself to others is another great approach to getting yourself noticed in the business world.

Remember that presentation is everything. It is important to work on your persona so that you are able to confidently introduce yourself and the impersonation of your business.

We’ve been taught “Never speak to strangers!” since we were children, but in this world, that rule no longer applies. Leading a lifestyle of constant relationship development, you never know who you’re going to meet, or what you both have to offer one another.

Meeting even one person through your network can alter the direction of your life and career. You never know who is within arm’s reach, and the only way you can find out is to continue developing your network and making constant appearances whenever possible.

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Julia Ismail

Julia likes Nickelback & is unapologetic about it.