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Relationships or Lack of Them Will Determine Your Success

We have all heard it, "It's who you know not what you know" but for some reason this simple concept continues to not be taken seriously by far too many people (myself included). I got a dose of this reality yesterday when The Director of Human Resources from a major pharmaceutical company made a trip to Kansas City to meet with the Athlete Network team. This Pharmaceutical Company has been a small client for a few years and fortunately, now is a major client.

What changed? Was it the huge amounts of money we have invested in technology? Was it the amazing growth that Athlete Network has achieved? While all of these played a role, the Director simply stated, "I have a relationship established with your team."

Now, I have to admit at first his answer took me back. I was expecting him to talk about our growth, technology, and success stories. As the CEO of Athlete Network this would have provided me great gratification of all we have accomplished but at the end of the day, the key factor was the relationship our team had built with him.

While I was excited after the meeting because we executed a large contract which will help gainfully employ hundreds of college athletes, I couldn't help but be frustrated with myself. I lost focus on the most basic determination of success "relationships". I have invested so much of our time and resources into technology and growth that I have neglected harping to our teammates to build and strengthen relationships. This lesson is proven time over time and could be maximized if we just make a small part of our day all about networking and relationship building.

I think the problem most of us make when it comes to networking is we only do it when we need something. When we need something is not when we should be trying to build a network but when we should be relying on our established network to help us out. I recommend building your network with individuals who you respect and have skills or experiences you can rely on. Most importantly, make sure you are willing to give back to your network.

So, how do you strengthen your professional network on Athlete Network? Our concept is simple. As members, we all share a common bond through athletics, so the "ice is already broken" and networking with other athletes has never been easier. Furthermore, employers love hiring athletes because the traits we acquired as student-athletes (time management, teamwork, discipline...) are the same traits that make individuals successful in the professional world. Right now on Athlete Network, you can connect directly to more than 200 recruiters; apply to more than 7,000 career opportunities and network with more than 90,000 athletes.

When fellow athletes combine their experiences and contacts, amazing networks can be built and goals can be accomplished. I would like to invite you to join Athlete Network and be proactive and start networking. Approach Your Career Like Your Sport.

Not a member yet? Join Athlete Network for free, the one network helping 5 Million athletes advance their careers.