I apologize for the slander I am about to employ. Yes, I did learn something. I had a great time too.
Newly arrived in Murcia, Spain I got to start teaching some of the richest people in the region. It was not due to me. My partner had been there for months and had started teaching one company president. He introduced us to other hard charging business leaders. Every single one of them was very nice to us. They listened politely and either sent us off with a referral or heartfelt thanks for talking with them.
That was my first experience dealing with truly rich and powerful people. I found out that the people who can do the most for you are generally the nicest too. They help you even when they get nothing out of it. In this case they thought we were wrong but appreciated our enthusiasm, so they gave us what assistance they could. I liked it so much I looked for ways to call on business leaders in other cities.
In Seville, Spain there is a small group of condominiums that are pretty nice. Many of them have a maid or a butler in a uniform straight out of the movies. They have money, but are not rich. They don’t lead or own companies. They are the ones who think appearances and posturing will get them promotions. Help someone lower than them? What a laughable thought! What’s in it for them?
The people living there are the rudest people I met in Spain. And you know what? They aren’t going anywhere. The only place you get to the top by being cut-throat, mean, rude and despicable is in the movies. They got to where they were because many people helped them, but they had forgotten to help others. They were stuck, living lives of ostentatious desperation.
That small enclave was the only place I met people like that in Spain. My conclusion may well have been off base about those particular people. However, I have noticed that the most helpful people rise to the top. So guess where I start my networking? At the top. That’s where the nicest people are.
Are you afraid to network with the people who can and will help you the most?