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Not Who You Know?

Don't misunderstand me. I agree that people who are well connected can take advantage of those connections to get ahead. Their connections help to get funding, recommendations, employment, and great deals. Knowing that at the core, I still itch a little when I hear someone claim "It’s all about who you know in life." Something about the phrase just sets off the “false” meter inside of me and it should do the same for you.


Let me tell you what I believe. I believe that when we talk about "who you know," we are referring to a network of contacts on which you can rely for help and support. That network of contacts is ultimately a reflection of who you ARE and what you DO. Put differently, the choices you make (which are a reflection of your character) create those contacts that make up your network. If you can call up a large number of rich and powerful people right now and ask them for favors, more power to you. That means you’ve done something to earn that connection. That something you did was not being born in the right place or the right time. It goes far beyond that.

Next time you find yourself talking about how the world operates based on "who you know" remember that who YOU know is a reflection of you. If you don't like your network, do something to earn a better one.

Jacob S. Paulsen

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