Dig Your Well Before You're Thirsty: The Only Networking Book You'll Ever Need

Dig Your Well Before You're Thirsty: The Only Networking Book You'll Ever Need

Audio Other(Other - Abridged, 4 Cassettes, 6 hrs.)



Bestselling author Harvey Mackay reveals his techniques for the most essential tool in business—networking, the indispensable art of building contacts.

Now in paperback, Dig Your Well Before You're Thirsty is Harvey Mackay's last word on how to get what you want from the world through networking. For everyone from the sales rep facing a career-making deal to the entrepreneur in search of capital, Dig Your Well explains how meeting these needs should be no more than a few calls away. This shrewdly practical book distills Mackay's wisdom gleaned from years of "swimming with sharks," including:

  • What kinds of networks exist
  • How to start a network, and how to wring the most from it
  • The smart way to downsize your list—who to keep, who to dump
  • How to keep track of favors done and favors owed—Is it my lunch or yours?
  • What you can do if you are not good at small talk

Dig Your Well Before You're Thirsty is a must for anyone who wants to get ahead by reaching out.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553477740
Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/14/1997
Edition description: Abridged, 4 Cassettes, 6 hrs.
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 4.14(w) x 7.07(h) x 1.24(d)

About the Author

Harvey Mackay is a bestselling author whose books include the mega-selling Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive; and a nationally syndicated columnist, whose weekly business advice appears in fifty newspapers around the United States.  He is an active corporate CEO and a prominent civic leader.  He and his family live in Minneapolis.

Read an Excerpt

Doin' What Comes Unnaturally

Fred was one of my schoolmates from fourth grade all through college.

He was a loner, a total introvert, painfully shy, with all the baggage that comes with it--the dead-fish handshake, the downcast eyes that never quite met yours, the halting, barely audible stabs at conversation.

Still, Fred was sincere, honest, hardworking, a thoroughly decent person.

I'm sure Fred went through high school without ever having a date. I can remember how, on graduation day, many of us trolled the halls to corral our classmates into signing our yearbooks. We competed with each other to see who could fill the most pages with reminiscences and tributes from their friends.

But not Fred. Once again, too timid, too shy. It would be a force job for Fred to go up to a classmate and request this easy favor.

Fast forward to college.

Somehow, Fred managed to get into a fraternity. Maybe it was because he never had a bad word to say about anyone. Maybe he was a "legacy." Maybe it was because Fred decided it was something he wanted badly enough to come out of his cocoon and really go for.

What was it that changed him? Only The Shadow knows.

Whatever it was, whatever it took, a new Fred began to emerge.

By our last year in college, he was unrecognizable from the Fred of our high school years.

He had become popular and gregarious. Fred's "lost years" in high school had not been entirely wasted. He seemed to know more about swing music and jazz than anyone else on campus, probably from listening to it alone in his room. He also developed a flair for dancing, a considerable socialadvantage.

After college, Fred and several of his fraternity brothers formed a partnership in the automotive business. They became very successful.

We all know people like Fred. Some of them never manage to shake off their early problems.

Others do.

For some people, networking is as natural and instinctive as breathing. We all know people who are self-confident, radiate optimism, make friends easily, and seem to glide through life on winged feet.

Not many of them will be readers of this book.

Why should they be? They do this stuff without even having to think about it. They network with their alarm clocks when they wake up in the morning.

This book--and particularly this chapter--is addressed to the rest of us, the Freds of the world, those not quite so sure of ourselves, perhaps a bit shy, even timid. We're not out there bowling over everyone we meet with our dazzling smiles or brilliant conversation. We're not even out there bowling.

For most people networking is a learned behavior, like learning to swim. It is a gradual--and often painful, even scary--process of trial and error, small incremental steps, and finally a few breakthroughs.

Fortunately, there are several tried and true techniques for overcoming this Fear of Trying.

1. Practice "let's pretend."

Why do we procrastinate? Why are we shy? We fear failure, and we define failure as falling short of perfection. Since perfection is impossible to achieve, we are conflicted and act tentatively, or don't act at all.

Plato said each thing or idea has a perfect form. While we can never achieve the ideal form, we should attempt to come as close as we can by observing and emulating the characteristics of the ideal.

Let's segue from the ancient Greeks to the modern angst-ridden networker. There is someone you want to meet. You have done your homework, you are aware of an affinity or a shared experience with this person, but you are afraid to make the first move.

Why not play a game with yourself? The name of the game is "Let's Pretend."

Ask yourself, "What would the ideal networker do in this situation?"

Pretend you are that person. And do it.

If you are able to do that, you can reinvent yourself.

By pretending you are what you are not, you actually can become what you have pretended to be.

2. Adopt a role model.

What's the difference between this suggestion and the Aristotle gambit?

Your ideal is real, not imagined.

You're not asking yourself what the perfect person would do, you've attached yourself to a successful networker and you're committed to studying his or her techniques.

In the best of all possible worlds, your role models also can become your mentors, helping you, advising you, guiding you, even lending you their network as you build your own.

For the shy or anxious person, this method has two advantages:
  • It takes only one good connection to start you on your way.
  • Your natural shyness and inexperience can help rather than hinder you. As you gain confidence and skills, your role model will take pride in your progress and be motivated to do even more for you.

    3. Take lessons.

    You're taking one now, as you read this book, so you're already a believer in the learning process. There are other, real-life educational opportunities that are effective for overcoming shyness and inexperience.

    The first real networking school I signed up for after I got out of college was Toastmasters. It proved so valuable to me that here I am many years later being paid handsomely as a public speaker, even though my main thrust is still running my business.

    Toastmasters is not just about making speeches. It's about doing your homework, self-confidence, appearance, and becoming an interesting person and a valuable resource to others. In other words, Toastmasters can help you gain and polish the tools to become a successful networker.

    The Dale Carnegie schools are designed to achieve similar goals. I'm a graduate, and I can tell you from my own experience that they are masters at instilling personal confidence, polish, poise, communication, and networking skills in their students. They've been around a long time--an excellent indication that they are getting results.

    And if you hope one day to be a professional public speaker, or if you just want to sound like one, there is no better organization to join than the National Speakers Association (NSA), headquartered in Tempe, Arizona.

    I am a member and collectively we speak to 20 million people a year. If you're looking to hire a speaker for an event, they're the ones to call. In fact, I believe this organization is so worthwhile that if you don't feel you got your money's worth the first year, send me a copy of your canceled check and I'll give you a "Harvey Mackay Scholarship"--the second year's membership is on me. NSA can be reached at (602) 968-2552 or via the Worldwide Web at www.NSASpeaker.org. They can explain to you about national membership and/or put you in touch with your local chapter.

    4. Keep taking lessons.

    Graduation is not the end of your education. It's the foundation, the launching pad, the beginning. Unless you keep your batteries charged, they will run down. For an ongoing source of inspiration and motivation, I recommend subscribing to Norman Vincent Peale's publication Positive Living. A similar publication in more condensed form is Bits & Pieces.

    5. Join up.

    Just about any group offers possibilities for making contacts and achieving personal growth: Dancing. Choir. Coin collecting. Horseback riding. Art appreciation. Theater going. Antique shopping. Politics. Great books. Wine. Food.

    6. Have a little faith.

    In yourself.

    Dale Carnegie probably summed it up best: "You can make more friends in two months by becoming really interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you. Which is just another way of saying that the way to make a friend is to be one."

    Mackay's Maxim:

    The more you exercise your networking muscles, the stronger they get--and the easier networking becomes.

  • Table of Contents

    Introduction by Jack Kemp ..... xv
    Happy Birthday, Ziggy! ..... 1

    Step One: Jump In, the Water's Fine! ..... 7

    Chapter 1. A Network Never Sleeps ..... 7
    Chapter 2. Six Conclusions to Begin ..... 10
    Chapter 3. Maybe Networking Really Is Rocket Science ..... 12
    Chapter 4. Harvey's Top-Ten List of the Most Important Things a Network Can Do ..... 14

    Step Two: Time to prime the Well! ..... 33
    Chapter 5. Prepare to Win ..... 33
    Chapter 6. Networks, Like Bass, Are Where You Find Them ..... 36
    Chapter 7. The Four Best Places to Go Prospecting ..... 40
    Chapter 8. You Know Who, But Does Who Know You? ..... 45
    Chapter 9. The Most Important Networking Lesson I Ever Learned ..... 47
    Chapter 10. Doin'What Comes Unnaturally ..... 50

    Step Three: Start Digging! ..... 57
    Chapter 11. Lou Holtz's Networking Story: How I Became a Coach ..... 57
    Chapter 12. What Is a Network? ..... 60
    Chapter 13. What Isn't a Network? ..... 62
    Chapter 14. R.I.S.K. It. The Four Elements of Networking ..... 65
    Chapter 15. Sixteen Cornerstone for a Solid Network ..... 76
    Chapter 16. Network as If Your Life Depended on It, Because It Does ..... 86
    Chapter 17. Why Aim Low? ..... 96
    Chapter 18. Networks R Us ..... 98

    Step Four: Sharpen your Edge! ..... 103
    Chapter 19. The Single Best Vantage Point from Which to Build ..... 103
    Chapter 20. Muhammad Ali's Networking Story: How I Learned to Expand My Network ..... 106
    Chapter 21. When You Work on Your Network, Your Networks Works for You ..... 112
    Chapter 22. ThisIsn't the Army: You Need More Than Name, Rank, and Serial Number ..... 120
    Chapter 23. If It Doesn't Work for You, It Doesn't Work ..... 125
    Chapter 24. Plugging into Your Network ..... 129
    Chapter 25. You Show Me Yours...I'll Show You Mine ..... 131
    Chapter 26. Maximum Effort, Maximum Results ..... 133

    Step Five: Excavate Your Unique Skills! ..... 139
    Chapter 27. There Is Nothing Worse Than Looking at a Deer Caught in Your Headlights ..... 139
    Chapter 28. Butcher, Baker, Envelope Maker ..... 141
    Chapter 29. Be a Differentiator and... ..... 142
    Chapter 30. ...And They'll Never Forget You ..... 145
    Chapter 31. The Return of the One-Armed Men ..... 147
    Chapter 32. It Doesn't Matter Where You Start, It's Where You Finish ..... 150
    Chapter 33. Take My Network...Please ..... 153
    Chapter 34. Let the Games Begin ..... 158
    Chapter 35. Q: How Do You Open the Door? A: Know the Gatekeeper ..... 160
    Chapter 36. You Are What You Read ..... 162
    Chapter 37. The Two-Minute Drill ..... 164
    Chapter 38. The Shark That Got Away ..... 166

    Step Six: Dig Deeper! ..... 171
    Chapter 39. A League of Her Own ..... 171
    Chapter 40. Bring Something to the Party ..... 174
    Chapter 41. Diversify ..... 177
    Chapter 42. Love, Honor, and Obey Your Spouse's Network ..... 178
    Chapter 43. The Best Place to Find a Helping Hand Is at the End of Your Arm ..... 181
    Chapter 44. The Network Right in Your Own Backyard ..... 183
    Chapter 45. Come on In, No Shark Sightings Today! ..... 186
    Chapter 46. Marilyn Nelson's Networking Story: How We Got the Super Bowl ..... 188
    Chapter 47. Don't Forget the Ones You've Left Behind ..... 191
    Chapter 48. Teach Your Subordinates the Power of Networking ..... 193
    Chapter 49. Networks for Sale ..... 196

    Step Seven: Don't Fall In! ..... 201
    Chapter 50. Harvey's Top-Ten List of the Biggest Networking Mistakes ..... 201
    Chapter 51. Norman Ornstein's Networking Story: What Not to Do to Win Friends and Influence People ..... 209
    Chapter 52. Don't Make a Move Without It ..... 212
    Chapter 53. Spin to Win ..... 214
    Chapter 54. Network Alert ..... 216
    Chapter 55. Network Intelligence ..... 218
    Chapter 56. Networking Poster Child ..... 219
    Chapter 57. All Networks Are Not Created Equal ..... 220
    Chapter 58. Ask and You Shall Receive--Maybe ..... 222

    Step Eight: Minding the Well! ..... 225
    Chapter 59. Harvey's Top-Ten List of the the Best Ways To Stay in Touch with Your Network ..... 225
    Chapter 60. It Is Better to Give Before You Receive ..... 231
    Chapter 61. The Ever-Blooming Garden ..... 233
    Chapter 62. A Few Tricks of the Trade--Part I ..... 239
    Chapter 63. A Few Tricks of the Trade--Part II ..... 241
    Chapter 64. You Never Know When the Phone Is Going to Ring ..... 242
    Chapter 65. You Can't Walk Through a Door Unless You Open It ..... 245
    Chapter 66. The World's Greatest Networker ..... 247
    Chapter 67. And Now for the Runners-Up ..... 252
    Chapter 68. Join the Grounds Crew ..... 254
    Chapter 69. Present at the Creation ..... 256
    Chapter 70. Pat O'Brien's Networking Story: How to Stay in Touch ..... 259

    Step Nine: All's Well That Ends Well! ..... 205
    Chapter 71. The Ten Commandments of Networking ..... 265
    Chapter 72. Your Networking Report Card ..... 266
    Chapter 73. The Perfect Network ..... 271
    Chapter 74. Teach Your Kids the Power of Networking ..... 273
    Chapter 75. Have Your Kids Teach You the Power of Networking ..... 275
    Chapter 76. Kid Power ..... 277
    Chapter 77. It Isn's Only People Who Network ..... 279
    Chapter 78. Q & A ..... 282
    Chapter 79. A Few Leftover Networking Aphorisms I Have Known and Loved (and Begged and Borrowed and Stolen) ..... 286
    Chapter 80. Some Final Dos and Don'ts ..... 288

    Step Ten: Drinking from the Well...and Sharing the Wealth! ..... 293
    Chapter 81. Stanley Marcus' Networking Story: What Goes Around Comes Around ..... 293
    Chapter 82. Call Jack ..... 297
    Chapter 83. The Last Word ..... 299


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