When Building Your Network, Think Diverse Over Big

If you want to learn and grow, hang out with people who know what you don’t know. It’s easy to spend time with people like yourself because you possess a common language. But we have found that real growth takes place when you spend time with people who know different things than you do. Real growth happens in diverse networks.

One of the biggest predictors of an individual’s success is access to open and diverse networks. We learned this from Studio/E member and partner Vikas Narula, founder of Keyhubs – a company which maps networks inside of organizations. In other words, when you are a part of communities comprised of individuals from different industries and with varying experiences, you are more likely to find success as a leader – both personally and professionally. When you build relationships with people of different backgrounds, you are privy to new ways of thinking and doing. This not only expands your own knowledge, but it provides you with new ways of approaching challenges.

An open network could be any number of things, like a co-working space where freelancers and business owners from all sectors come together to office. It could be a community education class or a mastermind group, which we intentionally design with diversity in mind at Studio/E. It doesn’t matter which diverse network you are a part of; what matters is that you’re in one, are spending time with people unlike yourself, and are getting outside of your comfort zone. And nobody ever said learning is comfortable. 

Networks are powerful. Make sure yours is open and diverse. For tips on diversifying your network, check out this interview with Vikas Narula in Minnesota Business Magazine. Want even more? This Fast Company piece makes a good case for diverse networks.

Are you interested in joining Studio/E’s open and diverse network? Visit our programs page to learn about our experiences

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