Leverage is the key to major success in any endeavor. There are many kinds of leverage. Leveraging “social capital” is my favorite! When you leverage relationships, we call it “networking.” You are actually leveraging trust and influence, as well as knowledge, resources, and contacts.
It is similar to leveraging financial capital — like you do when you buy a $500,000. house with $25,000. down. If it appreciates 5 % per year, your equity increases by $25,000., i.e., you make 100% annual interest on your investment!
Although 5% appreciation is a normal average in real estate, in these particular economic times, it is a safer bet to leverage “social capital.” In many situations it is “who you know that counts.” I always add that it is also “how they feel about you that counts!”
Cultivating a relationship is like growing a rose garden; it takes time and nurturing or else it whithers. Investing in a relationship is like making deposits in an emotional bank account. It is wise to be proactive in making plenty of deposits before you need to withdraw!
Please don’t misunderstand me! This is NOT a matter of being cold and calculating. The best (and most valuable) deposits are made without any thought of personal gain. Sincere compassion and interest in other people is more effective than keeping score. Just caring and sharing what you have to give is the way to earn social capital, and also the way to be happy. As the song says, “Make someone happy, and you will be happy too!”