“The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you,
whose presence calls forth your best.”
I believe that your network of contacts is the foundation of your brand. The people who are closest to you, who will vouch for you, who will refer you for jobs or business, and who trust you enough to do business with you are the ones who will help you define who you are and what makes you unique.
Have you ever considered mapping your network? It might be a useful exercise. It would be something you could post on your wall and look at every day. It would be a visual reminder that you need to ‘tend to your flock,’ and stay in touch with these people to show them gratitude for being part of your life.
You could start with your most inner circle of contacts. This would be your family and closest friends.
The next layer might be the people you work with on a day-to-day basis and the friends you see frequently but who aren’t necessarily your most intimate friends. If you send Christmas cards every year, it might be the people on your Christmas card list. Or it might be your Facebook friends.
The next layer might be all the associations you are part of: your professional memberships, your church congregation, your school and community groups, and perhaps even the residents in your neighborhood.
Then there might be another layer with people whose names you recognize, but who you might not know very well. You might make it a goal to get to know these people better.
I recommend you create a network map, and you hang it on the wall near your desk. You might want to include an affirmation such as: “These are the most important people in my life and I am grateful for my relationship with them.” Or it could even be as simple as “These are my peeps!”