Networking is such a valuable skill set in the world of business that there are networking events on networking. Courses. Masterminds. Seminars. There is a huge demand from the world at large for insight into how certain individuals are able to integrate into any business or social circle and ultimately obtain the coveted title of “knowing everyone.”
I’m sure you have heard the very true saying, “your network is your net worth.” It’s 100% true.
I recently had a chat with Nima Nejat, a “super connector” from Silicon Beach, who is the CEO of Super Connector, Inc., a stealth startup in the celebrity/influencer space as well as a sought after venture capital prospector. He spends his days working on Super Connector in addition to filtering through pitches and helping startups gain venture capital funding through a Silicon Valley venture fund.
But how did Nima go from a nightlife VIP manager in his early twenties to socializing with billionaires and celebrities to now working in tech on both the funding side and funded startup side?
How Does Someone Become a Super Connector?
“One of my big passions is teaching people what being a super connector really looks like and how they can become one themselves,” said Nima. “A super connector is someone who not only connects people, but someone also of high influence. Whether it’s socially or financially, it’s someone that brings people together on a massive scale. When you go to a super connector and you ask them, ‘You know someone in this industry?’ they know exactly who. They can go through their network and be able to connect high profile individuals with a single degree of separation. And the amount of value in that alone is immeasurable.”
Nima went on to explain, however, the biggest mistake most people make when it comes to networking, and it’s the fact that they want to take first and give second.
In order to ultimately become a super connector, Nima stressed the importance of always providing value. If you can connect people, connect them. If you can help in some way, help. If you can offer insight or valuable feedback, do so without needing anything in return. Whatever you do, do it with an open hand.
It’s the people who approach networking with the “ask first” mentality just end up accumulating a lot of business cards from people they never hear back from. Because the truth is, the best networking comes from win-win opportunities.
“Anyone I bring together, I do it without asking for anything in return. I want to show my value first, and that’s displayed by providing opportunities to others. Even when I was first starting out, I didn’t even know how or why having such an extensive network would be valuable. I just knew that if I was rubbing shoulders with the right people, I’d eventually find myself in the right circles. And along the way, I connected people I thought could benefit from each other,” said Nima.
He went on to explain that once your network starts to see how powerful and vast your reach is, the opportunities start to barrel in.
Which then brings up the question of choosing which roads to follow, and how to pick and choose the right people to keep within arm’s reach.
“Once you have that kind of network, there will be some people that will try to take advantage. They don’t have anything they can add—and that goes back to the whole art of providing value. When you become a super connector, and you deal with other super connectors, you can spot someone like that from a mile away. Real connectors build their relationships by constantly providing value to each other. That’s why it’s a win-win situation, and just continues to open more and more doors,” said Nima.
Looking at his path, Nima’s words speak to arguably the biggest problem in networking, period. It’s the fact that people approach the whole thing with a shortsighted mentality. They aren’t building a network. They’re looking for a shortcut to the top.
Be Understated and Give First
Nima is very much like me and other super connector’s that I know, who are all extremely understated. The most connected guy in the room is not always who you might think. I’ve never caught Nima showing off or bragging, and I have realized that is a sign of a true “super connector.”
If you want to start building a truly powerful network like Nima has for himself, you need to live by the “give first” mentality. True networking isn’t about how much you can pull from the people around you. It’s about how much you can provide at a moment’s notice.
Brian is an Inc. 500 Entrepreneur, who built the 25th fastest growth marketing and advertising agency in America. Brian is an advisor to many startups and mentor to many entrepreneurs. He is a columnist at the world’s top publications. Brian is the Founder of Influencive and the Founder at BDE Ventures.