updated 10/4/2013 12:16:38 PM ET 2013-10-04T16:16:38

When you hear about social networking these days, people typically mean the online version. But where you work, live, play and eat your meals also influences you and your network everyday.

What if you made it a point to meet and connect with more people in person? This simple step can expand your current network and create a powerful support  team  for you and your goals. Plus, life is just more fun when you enjoy the people around you.

What you know is important, but these days, so is who you know. Ask yourself the following:

  • Do the people around you offer encouragement and support?
  • Do they challenge you to think bigger? 
  • Who has had the greatest impact on your life?
  • Who has changed the course of your life for the better?
  • When is the last time you reached out to that person?

While they may not formally be part of your business team, the people around you can provide ideas, advice and coaching. Recognize just how essential your social network is to your professional and personal development. Truly, it is not what you know that counts -- but who.

Is your network at least partially responsible for your current life and work success? If so, then how can you tap into this network to create new, bigger opportunities? If not, move on. What questions can you ask, what insights can you glean? Consciously build your expanded social network. Seek people who care about you and your growth.

Who wants to see you succeed? Who will meet you where you are and help you grow from there? Informally, your team is made up of the people you talk to most frequently, work with daily and spend time with throughout the week. Are the right people on your team?

When I meet with executives who manage companies, and managers who lead teams, we discuss their networks. This includes their leadership team plus the informal groups they spend time with throughout the day, at work, at home, and on weekends.

How does the right team help you live easier, have more fun, and grow your business? By offering insights and challenging you. Take five minutes to focus on the following questions to ensure you have the right people on your team:

  • Who are you?
  • What do you do?
  • How much money do you make?
  • What possibilities do you envision?

These are big questions, but you'll find that your answers evolve depending on who you surround yourself with. Spend time with people who think bigger and you will think bigger too.

Copyright © 2013, Inc.


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