By Josh Mait
The hot weather has arrived
— and it’s a good time to get in shape for the rest of the year. But “weight loss” extends beyond how good you look on the beach. Your business network can get bloated, sluggish and inefficient, too. And when it’s overloaded with ineffective contacts or becomes one bland board meeting after another, your professional health may suffer. Luckily, there are things you can do to nourish and strengthen your network
. They’re not all easy, but neither is losing that beer gut, is it? Here are five ways to maximize the summer season with a healthier network.
1. Slim down.
Resist the urge to hold on to every business card you take. The more relationships you add, the greater the chance that you begin to amass some dead weight — people for whom you can do nothing and who can do nothing for you but take up time and energy that could be spent, say, taking a coffee meeting with a prospective client. Your network should be curated. Look for people who have their own efficient and far-reaching networks, professionals who are where you want to be in five, 10 or 15 years; and young, energetic upstarts you can mentor. Focus on cementing those relationships.
2. Get “outside.”
Homogeneity is a death sentence to your network. First of all, when seeking advice, you should go outside your own realm of experience; if you tend to surround yourself with people who’ve shared similar experiences, you’ll get nothing but an echo chamber
. Look for people of diverse backgrounds
, education, levels of professional experience, country of origin and, yes, gender. At an individual level, they can add new perspective to your concerns, and, overall, you’ll be provided with a comprehensive assessment of your situation.
3. Train for strength.
If you want to see results, you need to be consistent; this rule applies as much to muscle-building as it does network-building. Don’t let months go by without contacting some of your top-tier connections. A quick email or phone call might be enough, but be sure to set aside time each week to reach out to a few members of your network
. Additionally, stay plugged in to what’s going on with their firms and industries; promotions, mergers and layoffs are opportunities to reach out and re-connect. Stay top of mind while reminding them of their value to you.
Read the full article on Entrepreneur to get all of the tips on how to get your network back in shape.
Josh Mait is the Chief Marketing Officer of Relationship Science (RelSci).
RelSci helps create competitive advantage for leading non-profit, corporate and financial organizations through a crucial yet vastly underutilized asset: relationship capital with influential decision makers.
This article was originally published on Entrepreneur.com.