It took two months, but I’ve finally finished Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time by Keith Ferrazzi. This book was included as part of my Praxis curriculum. Business and self-help are two genres that I don’t usually enjoy, which may explain why I took so long getting through this book. Despite my aversion to the style and subject, there are many useful and relevant principles Ferrazzi shares here.
The foundational belief that Never Eat Alone builds on is that relationships can change your life. They have a bigger impact than where you’re born, how you’re raised, what kind of education you have, or the career you choose. The book is divided into sections: The Mind-Set, The Skill Set, Turning Connections into Compatriots, Connecting in the Digital Age, and Trading Up and Giving Back. Interspersed throughout the book are stories from the lives of excellent connectors- people like Bill Clinton, Dale Carnegie, and the Dalai Lama. If you’re wanting to learn how to be a better networker, reading the book straight through will be beneficial. Each chapter is valuable in and of itself, so if you’re looking for ideas and expertise in a specific area, you could also pick and choose which sections you read or use for reference.
I really enjoyed seeing the points he made explained and verified through his life or the lives’ of others. A career built around connecting with people- like what Ferrazzi does- is not something I want nor do I think I’ll ever want. His version of networking is very extreme, but we can take the methods he uses and apply them in our own lives to achieve the goals we have set for ourselves. His relationship action plan (RAP) could be a wonderful tool for many people, across multiple careers.
“Until you become as willing to ask for help as you are to give it, however, you are only working half the equation. That’s what I mean by connecting. It’s a constant process of giving and receiving–of asking for and offering help.”
I’d recommend this book to those in business or otherwise. Regardless of what you do “professionally”, the relationships you have will be a large part of your life. It’s worth investing some time into understanding how to become a better communicator, empathizer, colleague, and friend. Never Eat Alone is a great book to help you do this. I even tried putting these networking ideas into practice in the midst of reading the book! You can read about that here.