Have you ever seen the movie “The Princess Bride?” Of course you have, what a ridiculous question. (And if you haven’t, it’s one of the finest films ever made, so go watch it.) There’s a scene where the main protagonists are trying to plan their attack on the bad guys, and the lead asks for a list of assets from his compatriots. It’s sparse. He brainstorms out loud, wishing he had some random mundane item and it turns out they do – which makes him mad that it wasn’t listed among the assets in the first place.

(Go watch the scene if you don’t like my summary!)

The reason I bring this scene up is because it’s actually harder than you might imagine to conjure up a complete list of all your assets on the spot. Here’s an example: write down a list of everyone you know.

Daunting, isn’t it?

You could write for hours and still miss people. That’s one of the advantages of social media networks; they’re a sort of inventory management system for your friends, loved ones, and professional contacts.

And the reason I bring that up is because if you can’t even list your assets, you’re certainly under-utilizing them. You don’t even know what tools you have at your disposal! Want a sure-fire way to network better? Introduce people that both know you, but don’t know each other. Figure out connections that can add value.

When you introduce two people that may benefit from the connection, you improve both of their lives. That’s two people with a reason to be grateful for your existence, a reminder that you’re awesome, and at least a marginally improved situation that you helped cause. Do that enough, and the spillover effects back to you are HUGE. But how can you do that if you don’t even know who you know?

Every so often, inventory your own “assets,” especially the intangible ones. You might be one wheelbarrow away from a breakthrough – and it was there all along.

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