We hear it all the time: “It’s all about whom you know, not what you know.” Apparently, getting to know the right people will get you where you want to go. While  I do believe that networking will help you accomplish your goals, I think this statement is false for two important reasons.

First, it’s more important that people know you than for you to know them. If you build a quality name (brand) for yourself, you will be recognized as a leader, and people will seek you. Make a list of super successful people. D you know them, or do they know you? For example, I recently reached out to a few authors for a book that I’m working on because I respect their work in Sociology. They don’t know me, but they stand to benefit from being known.

Second, it’s a combination of who you know AND what you know. If people know you and respect you, they will help put you in contact with certain people and you’ll find yourself with opportunities you might not otherwise have. However, if you can’t perform, not only will you look bad, but so will be the person who recommended you. In short, the people who know you put you in positions to allow you to use what you know.

Who you know lets you use what you know.