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The Value of a Social Network: Priceless?

Yeah yeah yeah, I’m going to stop beating myself up over reading my non-fiction “candy” over stuff like Torts and Civ Pro.  Actually, it was my Sales law reading assignment that got me thinking more about the ‘value’ around a social network, which was solidified by an example I read last evening in a new book, Iconoclast: A Neuroscientist Reveals How to Think Differently, by Dr. Gregory Burns.  The value of a social network has always been perplexing to me.  Many know that building a strong, wide and robust social network is important, but just how valuable is it?  

Dr. Burns in his new book cites an example of the value of a social network by comparing Picasso to van Gogh.  I really don’t want to give away Dr. Burns’ story, but suffice it to say that the differences among these two icons of art paid off big time for the one with the widest and most vast social network.  (I’ll let you read the book to find out just how much by and to whom the vast millions were acquired.)  Although both today are considered art rock stars, they lived very, very different lives.

I’m going to continue to explain the whole networking value thing to my students as I have been:  building social capital is just like starting a retirement or bank account.   The earlier you start and the more you work at it, the bigger the growth and account in the end.  Even in a recession, social capital really doesn’t take as big a hit as financial capital, and social capital may just be even more important in an economic downturn than dollars in the bank.

OK!  Back to class reading….

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