Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time

Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time
Publisher: Currency
Published: 6/3/2014
The secret, master networker Keith Ferrazzi claims, is in reaching out to other people. As Ferrazzi discovered early in life, what distinguishes highly successful people from everyone else is the way they use the power of relationships—so that everyone wins.

Never Eat Alone By Keith Ferrazzi

Key Insights

Isn’t it easier to achieve your dreams when you have people by your side?

That’s why networking in business helps you to be successful and reach your end goals.

Seriously, nobody in business can be successful long-term without the help and support of others in the business.

In business you need a strong foundation if you are ever going to make it to where you want to be. You need a network.

“Success in any field, but especially in business is about working with people, not against them.”- Keith Ferrazzi

In “Never Eat Alone”, Keith Ferrazzi tells of the importance of having a network and how you can gain one in order to be successful in your business endeavors.

Key Points

  • Learn How To Network

Anyone can learn how to network. But, many times people are deterred from the idea of it because they are afraid of rejection.

But, there are a couple of secrets to help people take the leap into reaching out to others that could help them succeed:


  1. Observe expert networkers. See how they go about approaching others, and take lessons from them.
  2. Always be learning. Take classes on communication, or read articles about the art of networking in order to help you develop your own tactics and become comfortable reaching out.


Eventually, though, you’ll have to just leap in and do it. That’s the hard part, but like everything else in life, once you do it, it’ll become much easier. Experience will make you more confident in the process.

  • Loyalty and Generosity

Networking is not all about “take, take, take” but rather, how you can give back. It’s a two-way street. Good network connections are based on mutual respect, appreciation, and benefit.

Networking relationships should not be sought out for short-term benefits. Rather, they should be seen as long-term relationships. The stronger these relationships build, the more you will get out of them in return.

“It’s better to give before you receive. And never keep score. If your interactions are ruled by generosity, your rewards will follow suit.”- Keith Ferrazzi

When you are a selfish networker, your business will not succeed. No one wants to help another business if there is no return to them. The return, however, does not need to be instant, it can be over time, such as a well-placed investment.

These networking connections must also include kindness. No one wants to work with someone who is hard to talk to. Being personable can go a long way when it comes to networking.

  • Always Be Building

Even if you are at the very beginning stages of your company, it’s important to actively be building your network.

Networking shouldn’t be done only when you need help, it should be a foundation you already have in place on which you can rely on when you need assistance.

Having something already in place doesn’t only make you prepared, but it also makes it so the trust between you and the other party is already there.

You can’t build a network overnight, however. This is something that must be done one step at a time.

  • The Relationship Glue

Relationship glue is a term used to describe the factors that keep a relationship together. For example, a co-worker might turn into a friend if you share the same interest in pottery making or if you both love rap music.

And, this is not only true in friendships and romantic relationships, but also networking and business relationships. Relating to someone on a personal level and approaching them outside of the workplace, often can be the key to finding that relationship glue.

“I’ve come to believe that connecting is one of the most important business—and life—skill sets you’ll ever learn. Why? Because, flat out, people do business with people they know and like. Careers—in every imaginable field—work the same”- Keith Ferrazzi

When people are not in the workplace, they are more at ease and willing to be open and honest. This is a great time to take the opportunity to introduce yourself and start to create a relationship with the person behind the company, not just with a company itself.

  • Be Social and Patient

Good networkers know that they must be social, but that they also must be patient.

Some business owners make it their daily goal to outreach to at least 50 people a day. They can do this by email, phone, or even walking around their office and talking to people in all aspects of the company.

Networking takes time and effort. You won’t always hit the jackpot on the first person you speak to. But, it’s important to keep reaching out to people in your pursuit of growth and success.

  • Always Have Something to Say

It’s important to have opinions on things and always have something to say. If you are networking, you want to be interesting and relatable to whoever you are trying to talk to. That’s why it’s smart to be up-to-date on all things buzzworthy and be knowledgeable on many different subjects.

And, if you really want to stand out to your potential future network, try spreading unique messages about different topics. Thinking differently is attractive to networkers as they are always looking for new innovative ideas.

But, your idea cannot be too crazy or not backed up by your expertise. So, make sure you really know what you’re talking about before you start spewing information to potential relationships.

  • Super-Connectors

Super-connectors are the people in the business world that seems to have hundreds and thousands of contacts in their books.

Super-connectors are usually in politics, PR, journalism, and restaurant management.

In order to boost your own network and add some people to your book, try connecting with one of these super-connectors. They will be able to link you to people that will help you.

  • Your Goals

One of the big tricks to being successful is to have the right goal. These goals must be clear to yourself and to your network. When these goals are clear, then you will be able to work toward success.

When you decide on a clear goal, you must look at your passions and your abilities. Looking at both of these simultaneously will help you to make a choice about your goal.

It is proven that people who follow their passion live much happier lives. And, people who work jobs that they are not right for, are much more unsatisfied.

To find your true purpose in life, make a list of all your dreams. Then make a list of the things you do that make you happy. When you put the two lists together you will start to see an overlap, which is the goal forming between the two. This is your clear goal.

  • Networking Action Plan

Networking should be strategic. You should have a clear plan, just like you have a clear goal.

A plan is important because it allows us to put our goals into our daily lives. It allows us to slowly work toward success on a daily basis. This also helps to keep our passion ignited and motivated.

You should break your plan up into long, middle, and short-term goals. Think of the big picture first of three years into the future, where do you want to be? Then, work backwards to see how you can get there.

It is important to note the tools you will need in order to achieve these goals, so that you make sure to attain those before you even need them. This is the same idea of building a network before you even need it.

  • Be Your Own Brand

You should have a personal message that you want the world to recognize you by. This is your personal brand. It is what you stand for and what you wish to emmunate.

To develop a personal brand you must ponder on your skills, your weaknesses, your qualities, your achievements, your dreams, and everything else that makes up you.

Now, you must make your external match your internal. We all know that a Mac laptop is a Mac because of the Apple logo. So, what will allow people to identify you?

Then, you must spread awareness of your brand. You should be focusing on getting positive attention from others in your field as well as the media.

  • Find Good Mentors

By surrounding yourself with good mentors, you will have an easier time becoming successful.

A good role-model can go a long way in not only sports or university, but also in business. It is important to observe and take note of the higher-ups that are doing a good job so that you can do the same.

“Wherever you are in life right now, and whatever you know, is a result of the ideas, experiences, and people you have interacted with in your life.”- Keith Ferrazzi

It is also a good idea to ask questions to your mentors, so that you can gain even further insight to their business craft.

Being surrounded by people doing their job well will ultimately motivate you to do your job well. When you surround yourself with successful and motivated people, chances are you will succeed too.

The Main Take-Away

A successful network is kind and generous and sees the networking relationship as beneficial to both parties. When you have a strong network, your chances to succeed in your goals is much greater.


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