Your Network is Your Education

Some very good (and relevant) advice for teenagers and college-bound (or college-age) folks, this one in particular:

Your network is your education. Invest in it. Always.

via Howard Lindzon

I particularly love this piece of advice and reminder because it might be the single most important type of investment that we get to make in our lives, both personal and professional.

When we’re “rich” with an ever-growing network, we have options, safety and security, and life is generally exciting, full of possibilities.

When our relationship networks are languid, stale, and are in a clear need of renewal and attention, we feel isolated, alone, and the sense of despair, due to the lack of optionality, can be overwhelming; crippling at times.

This is why I’m so adamant with my own children that they know and understand that their relationship network is their most important resource, full stop.

This is why we spend a lot of time talking about things like emotional intelligence and empathy and why we coach and practice those things at home because, regardless of how my children ultimately make a living, they are going to need to know how to interact fluidly and effectively with other people to get their best work done.

And, an ever-increasing network will give them the best and most exciting opportunities to work in whatever field(s) they want to explore next. It’ll not just power their education, it’ll allow them to earn a modest living and provide avenues for them to create the most value for the most people.

That will be a life well-lived, well-spent.