Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time

byKeith Ferrazzi
Rating 8 /10 Readability
Read Time 8 hrs Readible On
Published: 2005Read: June 7, 2015Pages: 309
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by Juvoni Beckford@juvoni

Never Eat Alone is about the power of relationships. Ferrazzi’s philosophy on life is that you can’t succeed without the help of others. Ferrazzi’s main tool is generosity to connect with the world around him, which includes helping friends connect with other friends. The title of the book comes from the image of sharing meals with others as one way to involve other people in what you’re doing. Never Eat Alone, draws a lot of Ferrazzi’s experiences growing his business and a lot of the advice is career oriented. He also believes in having processes to maintain and develop your relationships. One such process is a Relationship Action Plan where you:

Set goals for every three months and year, three years out Identify the people, places, and things required to meet those goals Reach out to the people who can help you achieve your goals. If you’ve read Dale Carnegie’s, How to Win Friends and Influence People, you’ll be sure to enjoy this as well.

Motivations to Read

Interpersonal skills and Emotional Intelligence areas I have bumped up in priority significantly having spent many years being a shy and introverted kid, living in my internal world and crafting my logical side. I have been averse to the term "networking" for a while, I didn't get it and it also feel desperate and scammie to me. There are people who can Network right and make meaningful connections and this book is another step to make learnings in that area.

3 Reasons to Read

  • Create a fulfilling, authentic, effective networking strategy that lasts a lifetime
  • Cultivate a magnetic personal brand that draws people to want to share information, access, and resources
  • Filter and prioritize your relationships for quality interchange that supports your goals and values

Notable Quotes

Success in any field, but especially in business is about working with people, not against them. - Keith Ferrazzi Relationships are all there is. Everything in the universe only exists because it is in relationship to everything else. Nothing exists in isolation. We have to stop pretending we are individuals that can go it alone. - Margaret Wheatley Today’s most valuable currency is social capital, defined as the information, expertise, trust, and total value that exist in the relationships you have and social networks to which you belong. - Keith Ferrazzi It’s better to give before you receive. And never keep score. If your interactions are ruled by generosity, your rewards will follow suit. - Keith Ferrazzi

Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time Notes & Summary


"Relationships are all there is. Everything in the universe only exists because it is in relationship to everything else. Nothing exists in isolation. We have to stop pretending we are individuals that can go it alone." - Margaret Wheatley

Really like this point

"Poverty, I realized, wasn't only a lack of financial resources; it was isolation from the kind of people who could help you make more of yourself."

Real networking is about finding ways to make other people more successful.

"Everyone has the capacity to be a connector."

"There is no such thing as a "self-made" man. We are made up of thousands of others. Everyone who has ever done a kind deed for us, or spoken one word of encouragement to us, has entered into the make-up of our character and of our thoughts, as well as our success." - George Burton Adams

Some of Farrazzi's lessons and insights from creating lasting relationships

  1. Business cycles ebb and flow; your friends and trusted associates remain.
  2. It's better to give before you receive. And never keep score. If your interactions are ruled by generosity your rewards will follow suit.
  3. Each of us is now a brand. Gone are the days where your value as an employee was limited to your loyalty and seniority. Develop your brand and strong relationships with your network.
  4. Give your time, money, and expertise to your growing community of friends.
  5. Share what you learn.

Goal Setting Process

Step One: Find Your Passion

"A goal is a dream with a deadline"

  1. Look inside Conduct an inner self-assessment of your goals and dreams. Feel for what you should be doing. Now get it out of your head. Write it down. Next write down all the things that bring you joy and pleasure. Find the intersection between these two lists.
  2. Look outside Gather information about your strengths and weaknesses from the people who know you best. Ask them what they admire about you.

"Disciplined dreamers all have one thing in common: a mission.[..] The kind of discipline that turns a dream into a mission, and a mission into a reality, really just comes down to a process of setting goals."

Step Two: Putting Goals to Paper

Relationship action plan:

  1. The development of the goals that will help you fulfill your mission.
  2. Connecting those goals to the people, places, and things that will help you get the job done.
  3. Determine the best way to reach out to the people who will help you accomplish your goals.

Criteria to consider when filling our your Relationship Action Plan:

  • Your goals must be specific.
  • Your goals must be believable.
  • Your goals must be challenging and demanding.

Now, take Action.

Step Three: Create a Personal "Board of Advisors"

Gather a Personal Board of Advisors who can help keep you accountable to your goals. This board can include family, friends, mentors, etc.

Some areas where you can create the kind of community to help your career

  1. Create a company-approved project that will force you to learn new skills and introduce you to new people within your company.
  2. Take on leadership positions in the hobbies and outside organizations that interest you
  3. Join your local alumni club and spend time with the people who are doing the jobs you'd like to be doing
  4. Enroll in a class at a community college on a subject that relates to either the job your doing now or a job yourself doing in the future.

Becoming comfortable in social situations

  • Find a role model
  • Learn to speak
  • Get involved
  • Get therapy
  • Just do it

When feeling nervous about discussing a problem, learn from these pointers by DeAnne Rosenberg

  1. State the situation
  2. Communicate your feelings
  3. Deliver the bottom line
  4. Use an open-ended question

Enjoyed this comment from Nancy Badore, an executive coach, who visited Keith's office:

"Keith, look at all the pictures on your wall. You talk about aspiring to become a great leader, and there's not one picture in your whole office of anybody buy you: you with other famous people, you in famous places and winning awards. There's not a picture in here of your team or of anything that might indicate what your team has accomplished that would lead anybody like me to know that you care for them as much as you care for yourself."

Way's to avoid becoming a networking jerk

  1. Don't schmooze. Have something to say and say it with passion.
  2. Don't rely on the currency of gossip Injecting gossip into a conversation may be a easy method to get the conversation going, but it would help you in the long run and brings your character and trust into question.
  3. Don't come to the party empty-handed In connecting, online and off, you're only as good as what you give away.
  4. Don't treat those under you poorly Treat people with respect.
  5. Be transparent Transparency helps to develop trust with the people you interact with.
  6. Don't be too efficient Reaching out to others in mass, boilerplate format can be seen as not genuine. Try to form personal connections.

"Spectacular achievement is always preceded by spectacular preparation." - Robert H. Schuller

Try to find out more about knew people ahead of time.

Warming up a cold call

  1. Draft off a reference. Convey credibility by mentioning a familiar person or institution.
  2. State your value proposition.
  3. Talk a little, say a lot. Make it quick, convenient, and definitive
  4. Offer a compromise

Warming up virtually(email)

  1. Live and die by your subject line Have a strong hook. Make the reader curious.
  2. Game the timing Email when they are most likely to be checking email, morning, lunch end of day.
  3. Have a clear call to action Make it easier for them to say yes/take action.
  4. Read it out loud Ensure the language is clear and conversational.
  5. Spell-check A portion of people take grammar seriously.

"In building a network, remember: Above all, never, ever disappear."

I kinda disagree with this one. There needs to be times for solo introspection and then time for outward connection. Maybe let people know you'll be unreachable for a period of time.

When traveling somewhere where you have many people to see and little time for one of ones, invite them all to join you for dinner.

I've been doing this domestically! And it really works wonders and helps to cultivate my existing relationships while, connection people with each other. I've had people become best friends because of dinner's I've hosted.

Another idea is to have virtual group meetings to keep in touch with people.

"Friendship is created out of the quality of time spent between two people, not the quantity."

"Make a list of the things you're most passionate about. Use your passions as a guide to which activities and events you should be seeking out. Use them to engage new and old contacts."

"Follow-Up is the key to success in any field."

Follow up with the acquaintances you meet, give yourself 12-24 hours.

[Good story about how Susan Cain prepared for her TED talk on pg 124]

Conference Tips

Draft Off a Big Kahuna

Talk to the big speakers before they've hit the stage, you will have difficulty talking with them after their talk and their popularity boost.

Be an Information Hub

Know the logistics of the conference and spread that information with the attendees. Know the local restaurants, private parties and people to meet at the event. People will want to know you.

Become a Reporter

Use social media to communicate about the conference. Twitter is great for this as it is more public and you can utilize hashtags so people can find conference related tweets quicker. A post-conference report about what went on is a great way to make people gravitate to you.

Master the Deep Bump

This is the ability to form a connection quickly with the opportunity for follow-up after the conference. Remember genuine eye contact and listening more than talking.

Know Your Targets

Keep a list beforehand of the people you'd like to meet at a conference.

Breaks Are No Time to take a Break

Breaks are prime opportunities to form new connections.

Henry Kissenger technique for commanding a room: "Enter the room. Step to the right. Survey the room. See who is there. You want other people to see you(doing this)."

Follow Up

Business Cards are an invitation for follow-up! Don't like that gold mine of cold business cards gather dust, reach out to people.

It's the People, Not the Speakers

Don't only go there for the speaker, meet the people.

Research by sociologist Mark Granovetter, in 1974, found that 56% of people surveyed found their current job through a personal connection.

These number should be wayy higher in the hyper connected digital era we are in now.

The point is that, Personal Contacts are the key to opening doors.

Connectors of various professions:

  1. Restauranteurs (People who own restaurants)
  2. Header-hunters (recruiters)
  3. Lobbyist
  4. Fund-raisers
  5. Public Relations People
  6. Politicians
  7. Journalists
  8. Authors, bloggers, and gurus

Connect with the connectors

Small talk is important. But it's not all about talking. Small, subtle interactions can have big impact.

  • Learn the Power of Nonverbal Cues

    • Smile
    • Maintain a good balance of eye contact. Don't stare 100% of the time, try to stay above 65%.
  • Be Sincere

    • Have genuine interest in someone; it makes them feel special.
  • Develop Conversational Currency

    • Share your passion, but don't preach it. Give the other person a chance to speak.
  • Adjust Your Johari Window

    • How openly you reveal things about yourself.
  • Make a Graceful Exit

    • Example: "There are so many wonderful people here tonight; I'd feel remiss if I didn't at least try to get to know a few more of them."
  • Until We Meet Again

    • Provide option to continue the relationship
  • Learn to Listen

    • Be more engaged by listening and showing that you acknowledge and understood what is being said.
  • Give Good Chat

    • Use causal tone with online chat.
  • If All Else Fails, Five Words That Never Do

    • "You're wonderful. Tell me more."

"There are three things in this world that engender deep emotional bonds between people. They are health, wealth, and children."

"When you help someone through a health issue, positively impact someone's personal wealth, or take a sincere interest in their children, you engender life-bonding loyalty."

"There's something distinctive that happens when givers succeed: It spreads and cascades." - Adam Grant

What Smart Givers Do:

Give to Givers: Smart givers recognize takes and are cautious about giving to them, preferring to focus their efforts on those who might pay it forward.

Feed Your Network First: They channel giving to bolster their social ties - in other words, they are aware of the need to nurture their own networks.

Calendar Time for Giving: They "consolidate their giving" into chunks of energy and attention, which increased their sense of gratification and allows them to protect other time for productive work on their own projects.

Become a practitioner of Social Arbitrage, distribute knowledge and connections through your networks.

Overhearing a problem is an opportunity to help by leveraging your network and knowledge.

Maintaining Relationships & Staying Front of Mind:

  • Building Relationships with new people need three modes of communication: email, phone, face-to-face, before there is strong recognition.
  • Nurture the relationship with a call or email once a month.
  • Two face-to-face meetings can move to closer to transform a contact into a friend.
  • Maintaining a secondary relationship requires two to three pings a year.
  • Social Media Updates are a good way to loosely maintain extended relationships, but you still need to directly reach out to high priority people in your network.

Don't forget birthdays. Everyone cares about his or her birthday.

Dinner Party Tips:

  1. Create a theme: If it's a dinner party, where you are hosting and managing the cooking, you can make use of a theme to make strangers feel more unified.
  2. Use invitations: Get your invitations our early (Recommends at least a month) so people can have a chance to plan accordingly.
  3. Don't be a kitchen slave: You can host a dinner party at home even if you don't know how to cook; get a caterer. Or even a friend who cooks and invite them to co-host.
  4. Create atmosphere: Make sure your place is clean and the vibe is right.
  5. Forget being formal: Make it casual. It's about people coming together over good food and conversation.
  6. Don't seat couples together: Mix and match people who don't know each other.
  7. Relax: Chill out. Enjoy the fruits of your labor.
  8. Host a virtual after-party: Share photos follow upowup with the guests afterwards. Encourage them to follow-up with each other.

"Eventually everything connects - people, ideas, objects ... the quality of the connections is the key." - Charles Eames

Ideas are contagious, spread them through your network.

"Introduce mindfulness in your social media strategy. when you log on, especially during the workday, make sure it's time that adds up to progress on your goals."

The Algebra of Trust

Generosity + Vulnerability + Accountability + Candor = Trust

"Share your process. Grape, fail, adapt, repeat - and do it all with the attention and the guidance of those who care enough to follow along."

"Anyone who wants to achieve something extraordinary needs a plan."

"To move others, you have to speak beyond yourself."

10 Tips on Helping you to become an Expert

  1. Get out in front and analyze the trends and opportunities on the cutting edge. Learn as much as you can from key people in your industry. Read blogs, research papers and other curated content so you can build strong domain knowledge around your field.
  2. Ask seemingly stupid questions. "If you ask questions that are like no other, you get results that are unlike any that the world has seen."
  3. Know Yourself and your talents. Focus and cultivate your strengths.
  4. Always learn. "You have to learn more to earn more."
  5. Stay Healthy. Get rest and manage your health.
  6. Expose yourself to unusual experiences. "Different experiences give rise to different tools.[..] Take a deep and boundless curiosity about things outside your own profession and comfort zone."
  7. Don't get discouraged. Expect challenges. Be resilient and committed.
  8. Know the new technology. "Understand the impact of technology on your business and be able to leverage it to your benefit."
  9. Develop a niche. Focus on the area least attended to where you can potentially dominate.
  10. Follow the money. Find ways to extract value from your work.

"Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You." - Tom Peters

Develop a Personal Branding Message

The best brands have a distinct message.

"What do you want people to think when they hear or read your name?"

"What produce or service can you best provide?"

"Take your skills, combine them with your passions, and find out where in the market, or within your own company, they can best be applied."

Write a list of words you would like people to think of when referring to you.

A personal website is a good marketing tool for your brand.

"The world is your stage. Your message is your "play". The character you portray is your brand. Look the part; live the part."

Promoting Your Brand

  • Go Visual Text heavy content may not be the best way to draw new people in. Photos, infographics, animated gifs, slide shares are much more likely to catch someone's eye and get passed on.
  • Caring is Sharing Say something that matters, has emotional impact and is more shareable.
  • Curation, Not Creation You don't have to create everything. Help your network filter through the noise by sharing high quality and engaging content.
  • You are your own best PR representative Manage your own social. You will be better and telling your story with credibility and passion than a PR firm.
  • Know the Media Landscape Know the audience of the publication you are trying to get your content into.
  • Work the Angles "There are no new stories, it has been said, only old stories told in new ways." Find innovative slants to your pitches.
  • Think Small Start local, get the fire started and then scale it up when it's hot, to bigger publications.
  • Make a Reporter Happy Help reporters get the content they need.
  • Master the Art of the Sound Bite Learn to be brief. "Pick the three most interesting points about your story and make them fast, make them colorful, and make them catchy."
  • Don't be annoying Pace yourself and back off when it's time.
  • It's all on the record "What you say can hurt you."
  • Trumpet the message, Not the Messenger Branding should feed into your message not your ego.
  • Treat Journalists as you would any other member of your network or community of Friends
  • Be a Name Dropper "The media wants to recognizable faces in their pages."
  • You've got to market the marketing Once you've got into a publication share it around and use it to land more opportunities.
  • There's No Limit to the ways you can go about enhancing your profile Find as many ways as you can to showcase your skills.

"Fame breeds fame."

"Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one." - Jane Howard

"Can't join a club? Organize your own." - Benjamin Franklin

"To teach is to learn again." - H.J. Brown

When seeking a mentor, instead of asking, first try to help that person and show your value. "Consider their needs and how you can assist them."

"Connecting with others doubles and triples your opportunities to meet with people who can lead to a new and exciting job."

"Oscar Wilder once suggested that if people did what they loved, it would feel as if they never worked a day ion their life. If your life is filled with people you care about and who care for you, why concern yourself with "balancing" anything at all?"

"Nothing is more important today then having a people powered infrastructure, freed from the constraints of time and space by technology, to provide you with a flow of opportunities and lifelong learning."

"Our souls are not hungry for fame, comfort, wealth, or power. Those rewards create as many problems as they solve. Our souls are hungry for meaning, for the sense that we have figured out how to live so that our lives matter, so the world will at least be a little bit different for our having through it." - Rabbi Harold Kushner

Find inner peace and and power through connection.

posted February 29, 2016

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