"Who You Know" VS "What You Know"
We were taught from our schooling days, to focus on developing our skills – what we know. But never about meeting more people – who we know.
Yet, it's the organizations and activities we participated in as we grew up – that allowed us to meet people who probably shaped who we are, and what we do today.
'What you know' – is important.
This is not to discount the fact that 'what you know' is equally as important as 'who you know'. It's not about trying to become successful without the hard work of polishing your skill sets.
What you know is important. Your skillsets add value to the marketplace.
But consider this scenario:
An FMCG company is choosing between proposals from two marketing agencies. One agency has a great award-winning team. But the founder of the other agency plays golf every week with the CEO of the said FMCG company.
Who has a higher chance of winning the business?
Don't forget – 'Who you know'
The thing is there is no way to know. You will never know if meeting someone will change the trajectory of your career.
But you can increase your odds, by being open to meeting people.
In 2008, I joined BNI, a year out of high school. I met many people who changed the course of my professional career. One of them was Charles of Digital Marketing Consultancy, who taught me digital marketing. Today, I work in marketing. I even started a site called the Daily CMO (Chief Marketing Officer).
Sometime in 2016, I met a talented copywriter, Shuant who introduced me to her client – who needed some marketing help. That connection eventually led me into heading marketing at LEAD.
Everything I do today stemmed from the connections I made with people over the years.
The butterfly effect of networking.
As humans, we're hard-wired to want instant gratification. We want an immediate ROI from the things we spend effort on.
- I did a 60-mins jog today. OK, did I shed some weight now?
- I met 10 people at an event today. Any business opportunities?
- Published a blog post. How many followers?
The ROI from networking takes a slower course.
A seemingly minor or insignificant conversation with a person may, after many ripples over time, end up in a dramatic connection later. Just like in my example, one connection leads to another, then another.
Dr Ivan Misner, the founder of BNI explains this best in the article below:
In the end, it's usually who you know, not what you know – that gets you further in your professional career. Combine good skill sets with great connections, and you will be unstoppable.
The aim of Underdog Marketing Conference, is not for you to just listen to a bunch of speakers. You can do that from your computer or smartphone. It is for you to meet and make meaningful connections with 200 marketers and founders. Nothing can take away the quality of meeting people in-person, psychically.
Because we'd like to encourage you to attend Underdog Marketing Conference, we've put up a total of 80 tickets for pre-sale. A ticket to the conference also comes with meals and an online community made up of all the attendees and speakers. You can learn more about the conference and get your ticket at underdog.dailycmo.net