When I was first married, I took subscriptions to about six financial publications. As a new husband, I was hungry for knowledge in an area where I had no understanding. I was raised the son of a blue-collar worker (my Dad worked in Detroit all night long and slept all day for most of my youth because it paid a couple dollars an hour more).
I bought subscriptions to Money, Inc, Smart Money, Forbes, Fortune, and Kiplinger’s. To feed my inner geek, I had a subscription to Omni, Scientific American and Popular Science.
I liked them all, except Forbes. In fact, I hated Forbes. I didn’t understand most of what they were talking about… and after about five issues, was ready to cancel my subscription. The sixth issue contained a profile of the average Forbes reader. I don’t remember the details now, but the average reader was WAY better off than Airman First Class Spencer (I was in the Air Force at the time). I decided to force myself to read every issue cover to cover and look up any words or ideas that I didn’t know. What a difference that has made! Forbes became my favorite magazine, and I still read every issue nearly cover to cover.
Forbes often helps me see things from a different viewpoint. Many years ago, I read an article about social networks and LinkedIn. As a computer programmer, I enjoyed network theory, and here was an article about applying networks to human relationships! I had been ignoring invites to join LinkedIn from my more hip friends for almost a year. The Forbes’ article helped me see through new eyes. Humans are connected like computer networks… and the value increases with the number of nodes in the network! Metcalf’s Law (increasing the number of nodes greatly increases the value of the network) holds true in both fields.
When Tim invited me to read those books, he opened my path to combine Positive Psychology, network theory, social networking and social media. This makes it easier for me to grow and feed my network. The value of my network increases not just by the 10,000 or so people a day that LinkedIn reports, but by the quality of the hundreds of people in interact with every day.
I’d like to thank all of you for being part of my network. Please look through my connections to see if there are people you need to meet… I’d love to introduce you.