He with the biggest Rolodex wins


My New Year's resolution was to catch up on my Rolodex. Maybe that's setting my sights pretty low but it's more important than it sounds. There's a saying that he with the biggest Rolodex wins. In a nutshell, business - and often lots of other parts of life - can be all about who you know and networking.

In this computer oriented society, it's easy to forget about business cards. If something comes to you via computer, you may add it to your mailing list but the quickest way to handle a business card is still to stick it in a rolodex. Mine is so old that more than probably a third of the contacts are obsolete and the edges of the cards are tattered.

Think of all the times that your path crosses with someone else's - all the business cards that people hand you (some of them artistic treasures and for the rest of us just Staples variety) - all the nice people you meet. Keep these contacts where you can put your hands on them.

In Don't Worry, Make Money - Spiritual and Practical Ways to Create Abundance and More Fun in Your Life, Richard Carlson, Ph.D. reminds us to delight in the success of others. He fesses up to the inclination that most of us have to want to be more successful than our friends, to be competitive and jealous. "While it can be seductive to try to keep others at your level, it's absolutely, positively not in your best interest. The way to rise to the top is to wish everyone well, to hope with all your heart" that others succeed ... There's plenty of success to go around." While that may sound like a spiritual message (iwhich yes, it is), it's also a business message.

I'm putting the scattered business cards and the Rolodexes - the old and the new - in the same stack as the other things that I like to do when I watch a dvd - that is, ironing, bill paying, and the very occasional sewing. I'll put my stack of personalized postcards (an excellent way to remember to say hello, congratulations or thank you) with them. Networking matters - in a variety of ways.