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R. I. S. K. – The Four Elements of Networking (According to Harvey Mackay)

By JLP | September 13, 2006

Since reading and reviewing Jeffrey Meshel’s One Phone Call Away, I decided to reread Harvey Mackay’s Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty. Both books are excellent resources for anyone looking to build their network. I hope to do a full review of Harvey Mackay’s book, but for now will concentrate on something I read in Chapter 14: R.I.S.K. IT. – The Four Elements of Networking.

As you can probably guess, R.I.S.K. is an acronym, which stands for:

Keeping at it

Now let’s look at each of the elements:


Although you should never come right out and ask, “what’s in it for me,” reciprocity is what makes a network work. If each member of the network were to focus on how they could help the other members, the network will be a success. Of course there will always be those who take but never give. Those cases usually end up with the “user” getting pushed out of the network.


Think about all the different careers out there. Now imagine having to perform them all yourself! You couldn’t do it. That’s what makes a network interdependent. If you have a plumber in your network, you know who to call when the toilet overflows (or when you need to replace the ballcock). Or, say you need to draw up a will. If you have a trusted lawyer within your network, you don’t have to try to find one via the Yellow Pages.


Information sharing has to be easy to come by if the network is to operate properly. Thankfully, with email, blogging, and websites like MySpace, sharing is now easier than ever before.

Keeping at it

You have to maintain your network. You do that by keeping up with the people in your network. Calling them on their birthday or sending them a card every now and then, will help you keep your network up-to-date.

These are all pretty straight-forward elements of a network. Sometimes the simple stuff isn’t that clear. Hopefully this post will help you to start thinking about your own network. Let me know if you have any other networking tips you would like to share.

Topics: Books, Personal Growth | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “R. I. S. K. – The Four Elements of Networking (According to Harvey Mackay)”

  1. Andrew Flusche Says:
    September 13th, 2006 at 8:57 pm

    This post is great! It is an almost scary coincidence that I was just looking at this book a couple days ago. I am a budding lawyer (well, when I graduate from law school I will be), and I’m trying to build my networking skills. Ok, I’m trying to GET networking skills. I am anxious to read your full review of Mackay’s book.

    As a side note, I’m curious if you have read How to make people like you in 90 seconds or less by Nicholas Boothman. I just got it from the library today, and I am hoping it will be helpful. As I wrote about here, I think those first impressions are ever-so-important, especially when networking or searching for jobs.

    Keep up the awesome work!

  2. Dale Says:
    September 14th, 2006 at 3:49 pm

    I liked Mackay’s book as well. I mentioned it in the comments on this article. There are so many books out there that I have to filter them with recommendations and reviews, which in the end are just a more remote form of networking.