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Now, throughout life, we have multiple networks. Right? We have our family network. This is our core group of people that we grew up with, but also our extended family. For myself, I have my two brothers, my parents, but I also have my extended network of family, which are my in-laws, so that’s Erin my wife’s family as well. This is my network as far as family, but I also have groups or pods of networks of friends. Then, of course, we have business networks. Now, I have several different businesses so I have different networks that fit into each of those businesses.

Then, I have my network as a whole. You can consider the network as your LinkedIn network. What does that say about you? Or, your Facebook network. Now, what I want you to consider is that we are all part of that network’s ecosystem, and within that ecosystem or in that network, we’re either contributing or taking away, and this goes for every person. For example, if you have a network of friends. Let’s say these are friends you go out with on a Friday night. You’re going to happy hour, and you go out clubbing or whatever it is you do. In that network of friends, who are those people that are contributing to your life, who are contributing to the future author of your own story, you? Who are those people that are also bringing you down? See, if you’re not contributing to somebody in your networks, if you’re not contributing to your family, if you’re not contributing to your business partners, if you’re not contributing to the network, that means you’re taking away. That’s mean you’re bringing the network down itself.

We all work holistically within these networks. Now, certainly, there was a time in my life and especially in my family network where I felt I had to be a certain way. I would show up to holidays or get-togethers, and I would just be down. In fact, I would compensate by drinking. That would kind of just mellow me out and just all right, let’s get over this day. This is no surprise to anybody in my family that I did this. In fact, multiple members of my family did it, but in that network, I was bringing the network down. It wasn’t the network’s fault or my family’s fault. It was me. I wasn’t contributing to my fullest. Now, when I go, I’m just being myself, and as myself, the things that used to bother me, just roll off my back as we’ve talked about ways of handling these triggers in previous Daily Growth Hacks.

This can also be said for other networks. Now, I have friends and these are people that I love, but these are also people that aren’t contributing to my growth, and these are people that I’ve let slip away over time. I’m sure you can think of a lot of friendships that you used to have and you used to be really close and all kinds of things together, and over time you’ve just let those friendships slide. Why is that? Perhaps subconsciously you realize that that relationship wasn’t beneficial. Whether it be you’re not giving them something or they’re not giving you something. Now, in this idea, we have looked for … hopefully, we are actively are looking for other networks to join. I definitely follow them, I want to make sure that I’m not the smartest person in the room philosophy with my networks.

Now, see, also always joke around. It’s easy for me to do, but hopefully, it is for you too. I’m always looking at people who I can strive for and I can contribute as well. I approach these networks, especially new networks, with the idea of, how can I pour into them? How can I really give myself? What can I do for them? I have a diverse background in fitness. I have over 18 degrees and certifications in the fitness industry, but I also have almost as many degrees and certifications in the marketing field, and then we have personal development or holistic coaching that I do. I usually pick from one of those three spheres to see what I can really give and contribute to the group before I ask of anything. I sit back and I try to contribute, and I just be myself. If it naturally clicks, then that’s fantastic. I can also find something to admire in somebody, and that’s something that I’ve worked on and a trait that I really like about myself and something that I’ve developed, and I hope you can too.

What I want you to do is grab your journal, and I want you to write out the different networks that you’re in. Stephen Covey calls these roles. Right? We have different roles in life that we fulfill. It could be a father, husband, et cetera. This is a little twist on that, and I just want to talk about networks that you’re in. Now, networks can be for good or they can be for bad. ISIS is a bad network in my opinion, but there’s also good networks that are out there. That could be your church and community organizations, sports leagues. Like I said, friends, et cetera. Networks can be good and bad. Don’t you have different cliques that you hang out with? Maybe you hang out with these friends this time and this other group of friends another time. I think most of us do.

What I want you to do is write down all of those networks that you have and include your social media networks because this important for you that are actually expanding upon your business. Even if you don’t have a business, you want to make sure your networking is also happening for you so you can utilize it and give and contribute over time. Especially as you’re being the author of your own story. You’re going to inspire people beyond your scope of knowledge, beyond the people that you can actually physically see. What I want you to do is grab your journal, like I said, write down your different networks. Church, organizations, family, friends. Write down the different networks of friends that you might have. Now, also business networks. Right? How many business networks do you have or employees or employers, and what cliques are within those?

Now, within each of these networks … You probably should have a long list. A lot of you should have a network list of at least 20 or more. Some of you are going to have 50 to 100. Take the time to write out each of these networks. Now, what I want you to do with these networks is write down, are you contributing? Are you a contributor, or are you a drainer from these networks? Also, is this network contributing to you? Is this network positively contributing to you and the man or woman that you are striving to be? Does this actually add up to your values? Now, some of this be said about loyalty and friends that you can just confide in. You know we’re always there for you. What I want to know is are these people contributing to you, and are you contributing to them? See, you can be the bad person in a network, or you can be positive, and I want to know which one you are.

Now, as you go through these networks and you’re looking at these, and after you’ve written this down, notice which networks you aren’t contributing to and you’re not getting anything back from. Now, if it’s been over time, what I want you to do is cross them out or highlight them, whatever you want to do to notice them. I want you to do the same for the networks that you’re both contributing to and getting something from. Now, the ones that you’re getting something from and contributing to, I want you actively plan a way to spend more time in those networks. Now, the ones that are taking away from you and you can’t contribute to either, I want you to actively plan not spend time with them. Nothing to say that these people are bad, but they’re not adding value to you, and you’re not adding value to them, so you want to break ties as soon as possible and hang out with people that are actually up leveling.

Now, if you … I hear this all the time, like, “Doug, I can’t find men or women or people that are trying to up-level their lives. They’re not trying to do things at my level or as much as I am.” I hear that often. I got to say that’s BS. Right? We have the internet of things. Right? We can go on to LinkedIn groups, to Facebook groups. There are tons of opportunities out there. In fact, Author of Your Own Story has its own group. It’s active. There are members in there just like you. They’re contributing, they’re learning. The key to anything, just like social media, social media is social. If you’re in a group, and you’re just being a voyeur, you’re not getting anything out of it. You know what? You’re not contributing. You’re the one holding everybody back, so contribute today. Simply introduce yourself or simply just throw a question out, whatever it is. Be an active part in the Author of Your Own Story community. It’s a great way to meet new people and expand your network with people who are up leveling to allow you to rise just even more.

That’s it for me today. Remember, go over to AuthorofYourOwnStory.com. Make sure you get on our newsletter so you can get the latest tips, tricks, and techniques as well as these events that we’re launching. You want to be involved because you want to have the tools to allow you to easily grow and become the author of your own story. Remember, go out and have an awesome day and be the author of your own story.

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