Your Network is Your Net Worth

In this video, I interview Porter Gale the former VP of Marketing for Virgin America and author of the fascinating new book Your Network is Your Net Worth I first heard Porter speak on this topic 2 years ago. What she talked about then, and has since elaborated on in her book, has changed my life. I don't say that lightly. The path to a richer (in the broadest sense of the term) life is through relationships with other people.Unlike all the other books I've read on "networking" (I really hate that term and prefer the term "relationship building" instead), this is the ONLY book whose ideas I actually ended up USING. It describes a model for relationship building that's very natural, easy, and allows me to be me (as opposed to some super schmoozer that "works the room" in a manipulative way).As a introverted person, I found this book to be the first "networking" book that resonated with me enough that I'd actually use the ideas in real life. I highly recommend Your Network is Your Net Worth
17 comments… add one
  • Karen Jun 4, 2013, 3:22 pm

    Hey Victor! Your voice sounds a lot better than the first video I watched. Those voice coaching lessons are paying off!! Keep up the great work!

    • Victor Cheng Jun 5, 2013, 8:36 am

      Karen,

      Lol… Thank you, you are very kind. I am driving my kids crazy when I practice (I’ve never heard so many moans and groans in my life), but I figure it’s good for them to see their dad doing his homework too. And they definitely KNOW when I’m doing m homework.

      Victor

  • Zia Jun 4, 2013, 5:01 pm

    Hey Victory! Thanks for this interview upload. It’s a great resource for anyone.

  • Vinay Jun 4, 2013, 6:17 pm

    Great interview, very useful information. Love how it comes across as a conversation between two friends.
    Buying book now!

    • Victor Cheng Jun 5, 2013, 8:34 am

      Vijay,

      Thanks!

      Victor

  • Hal Jun 4, 2013, 6:55 pm

    Excellent video! Sent to my “network” and looking forward to reading the book. Thxs Victor!

    • Victor Cheng Jun 5, 2013, 8:31 am

      Thanks!

  • Leo Jun 5, 2013, 1:52 am

    Hi Victor, this is an awesome video interview. Thanks a lot!

    I have one question. As mentioned in the video, providing value is important to establish connection with the others – asking ourselves how we can help others – “Give, Give and Take.” While some people are genuinely interested in you, most business people are actually social climber. These people would like to connect with you because of the things I have to offer them immediately or that I come from a prestigious background.

    Right now, I am pre-experience student in a Master study and I do enjoy speaking to different interesting people. Due to my limited time, I have to choose the people I connect and spend time with. There are mainly two types of people, people that I can obviously provide value for and the people that can obviously provide value for me. It is fair to say the latter can help me better in my career at this stage. While I enjoy helping people and guiding my juniors to a better career path, I have to spend time focusing on my own development and career. (Otherwise, I would have nothing to offer people in the future.)

    What do you think is the right proportion that I should spend on these two types of people in terms of networking? I understand that these two types of people are not mutually exclusive, but a choice has to be made sometimes when they are not. I guess it is ”today’s intern can be tomorrow’s CEO” vs ”the shorter term impact a valuable connection can bring”.

    Thanks for reading – I understand if you would be too busy to answer my question. I have not read the book yet but I am grabbing a copy from the bookstore this afternoon. Have a good day.

    • Victor Cheng Jun 5, 2013, 8:31 am

      Leo,

      For those that I can help in an obvious way, but they can’t help me in an obvious way, I usually do two things. First, I screen them for who I see as most determined. For some reason those people stick out on my mind and if I do help 1:1, those are the people I help 1:1. For the rest, I will tend to use more scalable ways to help. I will use some kind of media based resource (blog, video, a handout) or I will help people in groups (e.g., I don’t have time to help you 1:1 this week due to my classes, but I have a mentor dinner once a week on Thursday nights where I help out 7 people, you’re welcome to join us… Or something along those lines)

      For those that can help me in a more obvious way or have the resources to provide help even if there is no obvious need for help in the moment, I will tend to spend more 1:1 time helping them. Even with them, I will tend to use pre recorded or pre written stuff where possible and limit my 1:1 time to introducing them to someone they should meet (which doesn’t take that much time) and true 1:1 interaction.

      Victor

      • Leo Jun 8, 2013, 12:15 pm

        Hi Victor,

        Thanks so much for your advice. I think it would be a very efficient and effective way to manage our network.

        I am a Master student from Hong Kong studying at London Business School – please let me know if there is anything I could help in terms of your blog or any upcoming events.

        Leo

  • Ray Chang Jun 5, 2013, 5:59 pm

    Hi Victor,

    Thank you again for this terrific post. I will be changing my routines more often. Although I am rather extroverted, the line where you bring up that “the relationship is the benefit” really struck home for me.

    I look forward to more terrific content and congratulate you on your voice and presentation improvement.

    Best regards,

    Ray Chang

  • Martin Jun 6, 2013, 3:47 pm

    Hello Victor,

    Thanks for the great video, it really helped clarifying so many points about networking, that I have been struggling with throughout the years. I do have one question that I hope you could provide your perspective: on the point of give give get, what should I do as someone seeking mentorship or advice from an already established person? Very much like your example in the video, what types of value can I provide such that I am not only “getting” from the relationship?

    Thanks to your insight.

    • Victor Cheng Jun 6, 2013, 4:18 pm

      Martin,

      The easiest way is to just ask the other person how you can be helpful. I usually phrase it as follows:

      1) What are you trying to accomplish? 2) What can I do to help?

      Most people early in their careers object to saying this because they think there isn’t anything I have that the other person already has. This is probably true, but it misses the point.

      The act of asking, and following through if there is a need, signals to the other person that your INTENT is to have a mutually beneficial relationship. Even though it is inherently unequal, that is okay.

      Most people in the more senior role just want to make sure 1) you’re going to take action on any advice or help they give you, and 2) you respect them. So by asking how you can help, you signal respect and a willingness to give (even if the actual capacity to give is limited).

      -Victor

      • Rahm Aug 5, 2015, 3:00 am

        Great reply Victor ! This is very informative.

        Also, btw, very useful session (and the previous session with the voice coach was also very inspiring). Keep extending a “hand” out to us all.

  • Fahd Jun 9, 2013, 4:10 am

    Dear Victor & Porter,
    Thanks for the video! It has really reinforced a mindset I’ve been building up recently, which is the idea of getting ahead by helping people whenever you can. So this wonderful contribution by you two has definitely made this belief of mine even more solid.
    Porter: Thanks for putting the effort in to write the book. ‘Your Network Is Your Net Worth’ is so so going to be one of the next books I read.
    Victor: Thanks for sharing, you continue to be an inspiration from more and more angles.

  • Vikram Iyer Jun 9, 2013, 4:26 pm

    Hi Victor,

    Thank you so much for the video. For someone who is looking to understand different avenues and methods of networking, I feel this video is extremely useful especially because how you touch on important points through your questions and urge the interviewee to elaborate on those critical points which acts as building blocks in understanding the broader concept of ‘NETWORKING’.

    I feel the interview really helps induce a mindset in people trying to network that one should guide their networking efforts to meet and learn from people whose interests align with theirs, thereby making it more enjoyable, rather than trying to approach it in a more mechanical sense.

    From someone who thoroughly enjoys and finds great value from the material you share, and who has gained life-changing insights from your advice, a big thank you Victor..

    Regards,
    Vikram

  • Shannon Jul 19, 2015, 3:22 am

    This is a really insightful video for those, like myself, who are somewhat adverse to the outdated concept of networking. It provides a a more relatable approach to connect with people more authentically and dare I say it, shows the positive influence of having more women engage and form the business landscape. I look forward to reading the book!

Leave a Comment