Relationships matter. This doesn’t mean that essentials like development and positioning are not important when building a business. They definitely are but who you know and who knows you are the ultimate validation in the startup world. After all, everyone who interacts with your business, for instance, your investors, customers, clients, etc. all need to buy into your vision and the ability to execute it. The relationships that you make are critical and essential from a mentorship perspective. For example, seeking advice from your network can help you make the right decisions to set up your business for growth.
Put yourself out there. One must note that there is a reason why there are so many networking events for founders. It must be remembered that building a successful network requires putting yourself out there as many times as possible to make yourself visible to your potential networks. meaning not shying away from taking a seat at any table with a potential network. This might feel uncomfortable to you at first, but with every interaction, it will become easier.
One size doesn’t fit all. It is not enough to just put yourself out to the world. Moreover, meeting someone for once should not translate to a reliable part of your network. But, on the other side, one needs to be sure that the relationships that one continues to put their valuable time into are the most significant for the business.
Segmenting your network. One should be focusing their attention on the segments of their network that deserve the most attention. There should be three main categories of people in your network -- your advocates, your helpers and the lurkers. It should be kept in mind that they all deserve different amounts of your time and significant attention.