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The Network Is Everything

Chances are, your connections don't go far enough and you don't contact them enough. Here's how to change that.

This story appears in the October 2010 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »
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producer Jerry Weintraub recently published a great memoir called When I Stop Talking, You'll Know I'm Dead that illustrates the power of the network. In it, he tells story after story about how a relationship, properly maintained, brought him further along in his business than anything else.

But people rarely tell you how to build a network, or how to maintain relationships, or what will matter on the way up. And they don't give you any shortcuts that you can follow, either. Me? I'm all about the shortcuts and the help.

Understand Dunbar's number
British anthropologist Robin Dunbar said you can maintain only 150 close social connections. This isn't a software limitation--it's a number culled from research that says we humans have a hard time keeping everyone top of mind. With technology, we are able to stretch that number, but it requires consideration and tuning to maintain your 150 and to grow.

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