If you haven’t played Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, we’re sure you’re at least familiar with it. Turns out, though, you don’t need to be Kevin Bacon or even a D-list celebrity to be so well connected. The game is based on an actual theory that believes each one of us is connected to everyone else through six relationships or less.
Outlandish as that may sound, the business world may be the most formidable proof of the theory’s merit. Recent statistics show that close to three-quarters of all jobs are secured through networking, and the actual figure may be even higher than that. Think about it: We shop where we shop and dine where we dine in large part through the influence of others. Scouting new job opportunities is really no different. As the pool of potential candidates grows dramatically, it usually takes the endorsement of an insider or, at least, a recruiter to distinguish us.
And, with the seamless integration of social media into our lives, business transactions, now, are following suit. We trust the people we know. That’s probably held since mankind’s beginning. What’s changed is our interpretation of “know” and, in turn, the size of our circles. If we were looking at a basic bar graph, you’d see subtle pulses over the generations followed by an astounding spike across our era. Between work and home, our parents may have had 50 acquaintances. It’s not a stretch to think that most of us have 10 times as many.
When you’re starting a business, if positioned correctly, that’s a massive, ready-made market. On Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, six degrees of separation looks like a very real possibility. What starts with a like from your sister on the other side of Toronto can spread to New York, London, Istanbul, Beijing, Tokyo and Melbourne within hours. The skill comes in converting that attention to action and ensuring that the message remains positive. Easier said than done, we realize.
CA4IT, one of the most respected accounting and bookkeeping services across Canada for the last quarter century, provides business coaching for independent contractors, consultants and entrepreneurs. Click here for a free (no-obligation) consultation.