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February 16, 2008

Laptop Stickers Can Make You a Better Networker

  More Laptop Stickers 
  Originally uploaded by kev/null.

I try to network whenever I can and that's not because I believe it's who you know versus what you know, your own hard work determines much of your life, but connections always help.

After reading Inc.'s article on uber-networker, Keith Ferrazzi, I read his book, Never Eat Lunch Alone and try to keep improving my networking skills, both offline and online. It's not hard work intellectually but it requires diligence.

I find my networking prowess comes in spurts, depending on my mood and work load at the office. But the problem is that most of us fall into that exact trap, only networking when you need something (a new job, financial advice, etc.). Thats the exact wrong approach to networking: it must be a mutual beneficial- two-way street.

If you want a simple to way to start conversations and network with people, put stickers on your laptop. My four-year old Dell used to be a plain jane, naked laptop but at least now it's a plain jane Dell with some color and personality.

We all add widgets or bling to our blogs and Facebook profiles, why not do the same with our laptops?

Granted, this trick only works if you, like me, go to the coffee shop frequently with your laptop but it can work in any public place, the airport, the library, practically anywhere.

This morning while sitting at Murky Coffee reading/emailing/blogging, I struck up two conversations thanks to the stickers. The stickers on your laptop gives people an immediate sense, not a complete picture of course, of what you like and who you are. It breaks the ice and makes the initial question that much easier. Once you start talking to someone, you've gotten past the hard part.

Now playing: Josh Rouse - Streetlights


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