What is Social Equity?
You always hear people talk about the value of investing in something. Whether it be a house, apartment, stocks, etc. It’s called equity, the ownership you have in something. It’s tangible too, well for the most part. You see it and know instantly how much it’s worth. It’s pretty easy to invest in something you can see and touch, but what about relationships? That’s where social equity comes in. What is social equity exactly? It’s developing a connection with like-minded individuals. In other words, networking.
If you compared measuring your network to investments, the latter is fairly simple. There’s a way to measure your investments from a number’s perspective. In fact, we are in an age where analyzing data is at an all-time high. Data is everywhere. But, how do you measure your connection with others? Quantifying your network is like trying to measure an emotion or feeling. It’s intangible, and it’s all about the sense of connection you have with someone. Although we can’t measure our network, there are a few things we can do to ensure that our network is valuable. Before we get into that, let’s answer,why it’s important to build social equity.
Social equity is key to success
The more social equity you have, the more opportunities you are presented with. Opportunities are key to realizing your full potential (and fattening your pockets). (Tweet This) Could you imagine being the exact same person you were a year ago? Having social equity surrounds you with like-minded individuals. The benefit is gaining a plethora of knowledge in a short period of time, and the first step in gaining new opportunities is acquiring knowledge. (Tweet This)
You need to be “in the know” to understand where opportunities are presented
and getting there requires asking questions. People love showing off what they know and asking questions is the best way to building relationships with others. (Tweet This) Here’s an exercise for you, the next person you want to connect with come up with a list of questions to understand what they did, how they did it, and let me know how everything went. They will think about it as a mini-interview and indulge in the spotlight. If you walk away learning anything from this article remember, people love talking about themselves! Now that we’ve covered ‘how’ in building your network let’s talk about the ‘where’. Here are some things you can do.
Join an organization
This is the quickest way to building social equity. Organizations provide the opportunity to connect with dozens of like-minded individuals. In college, I joined the National Association for Black Accountants (NABA) and attended meetings on a weekly basis. I also went to regional and national conferences where I connected with other students and professionals from all over the U.S. I was essentially building my social equity.
Attend professional events
Professional events include seminars, conferences, summits, fundraisers, etc. Attending these type of events can provide a tailored approach to building social equity. For example, let’s say you want to connect with entrepreneurs within the tech industry. Attending a tech summit for entrepreneurs is a great opportunity to build your social equity.
Put yourself “out there”
Every once in awhile, I research someone that I deem very successful and try to connect with them. It’s called cold calling (or emailing), which basically means reaching out to someone you’ve never met. It’s a bit daring but can be one of the most rewarding things to aid in building social equity. Few people do it, but in the time we live in its much easier to connect with people through social media. Imagine you want to be a great actor like Denzel Washington. Now, imagine by some unbelievable force you manage to find his contact information surfing the web. You cold call him, he answers, you two hit it off , and he mentors you. It’s definitely not that easy, but it could be one of the most rewarding connections. Surrounding yourself with influential individuals and decision makers accelerate your growth and magnify your social equity.
What’s listed above is a starting point. There are tons of ways you can nurture and grow your social equity! You can make a list of individuals you want to connect with on Twitter, start a group on Facebook, or go to a professional conference; the options are endless!
Now that we have a starting point, how do we know if our efforts are working?
There are a few questions you can ask yourself to ensure you’re on the right track. The good thing about social equity is there is no right or wrong way to do it. It’s all about improvement. The more you improve, the more you grow and influence others. Here are some questions to ask yourself.
- How well do I know so and so?
- I want to learn how to do _____ . Do I know anyone doing that now?
- Did I follow up with that person I met the other day?
- Is there anyone I am trying to connect with? Why am I trying to connect with them?
The questions above are not etched in a stone tablet. They are just feelers to give you an idea of where your network is and how you want to improve it. Just remember, it’s the little things you do that contribute in building social equity. Every time you have a conversation, go to a game, counsel someone in need, or help someone out it’s building social equity.
How does Social Equity relate to building wealth?
Social equity is the cornerstone to building wealth. There is no way you can be successful in this world by yourself. To truly succeed, you NEED social equity. When you hear the phrase, your career is based on 85% of soft skills and 15% technical, SOCIAL EQUITY IS THE 85%. As your network grows, you grow. (Tweet This) Not only that, the rate at which you learn about opportunities increases. At the end of the day, you get what you put into your network. (Tweet This) Just remember to be strategic. Not everyone you connect with will be beneficial.
Edited by N. Cusic