Your personal network is more than just friendship. Your personal network is a gateway to the world brimming with possibilities and potential. So what does a network mean for our personal and professional lives in 2021? As we’ve been asking ourselves this question, we sought out an experienced relationship broker Antoine Vatar, founder and CEO of Albert Technologies, to provide insight on how his network shapes his work and business.

On defining ‘network’

“To me, it’s pretty simple. Everything relates to your environment. It’s all about who is around you, who you’re seeing, talking to, and relating it with, where you are,” Antoine explains over our phone call. Networking is paramount for your current work and career trajectory, he describes; it’s from your network that you will decide “where you go, how you learn from who you learn, and whether you should or, will get business.” Being surrounded by people who you can learn from and understand is one thing, and being deeply connected to them is another. Antoine offers an example.

Using The Power of Now (1997) by Eckhart Tolle, he illustrates the power of a network. “Have you read the book ‘The Power of Now’?” Antoine asks. “It is brilliant… As it is nothing. Because, basically, it’s more like a guide. Every person I’ve talked to about it has a different point of view on the book, taken different lessons from the book because it’s only a guide.”

“You can read the book as many times as you want. The problem is, now, you can only get it from your perspective, which is always rather limited.” With only one sole reader, the only ideas that resonate come from yourself.

“But,” he pauses, “if you talk to five people about this, you’re going to have five different points of view. They’re going to enrich you, or talk to five more people that will probably give five more views on this book–a single book of like 150 pages.” With one book or one idea, as Antoine alludes to, your network gives you access to endless perspectives. Your networks and that of your friends’ are interconnected, and link to many more connections beyond your immediate circle. One person may know another, and another, and soon enough, you’ll develop a more comprehensive perspective.

“Thanks to your network–if you’re like me–you’re generating thousands of ideas.”

One concept can bring forth many perspectives (Freepik).

His network entered the Business to Business space

“My network is the people around me who directly and indirectly helped me achieve what I want to achieve and it helped me create an environment that is relevant with what I want to achieve.” While Antoine had sought out connections to get his foot in the door for Albert Technologies, many of them also came from referrals and indirect connections. In this way, your network may surprise you, because every single person is connected to 10, 20, or even 50 other people that you could benefit from, upon meeting them.

He created a product that has successfully improved employee engagement and retention with corporate mobile app solutions. However, coming from a retail experience background at DIOR and entering a B2B space with a B2B product wasn’t easy. With B2C products, “you can convince clients with good marketing. You go to clients, get more clients, and the more clients you have, the more friends you have,” Antoine says nonchalantly.

The B2B market, on the other hand, largely depends on the security and longevity of a product in bringing in revenue for each company. The number of stakeholders for each account exceeds that of a B2C product. “It is a very long process and companies don’t want to make the wrong choice,” he says. In addition, many of them have a very traditional mindset. Getting around the barriers to entry in the B2B sphere is challenging, but not impossible. Antoine admits that his connections were what gave him the power to level up within the B2B space by helping him build trust early on and get his foot in the door.

This network, while personal, may include people beyond your immediate circle, or what Antoine calls “indirect contacts”. Whether they are two, or even five degrees of separation away from you, you’ll never know whose connection you might need to leverage. “My first clients, my first shoulders, are not ‘friends and family’. They were just, you know, so many networks that I got connected to because I was referred to them. That is the power of the network.”

Why we love networks

A network, it turns out, is not simply a static network of people. It is dynamic and interconnected.

Antoine concludes with what Weavit does, by saying, “Making sense of my world is understanding that no one else makes the same sense of my world, and everyone has a different world. Even though other people stand in front of me, we don’t live in the same world. We live in the same physical world, but we live in a very wavy world of perspective.”

A quick recap: why your network will help you level up in 2021

  1. Your network creates an open environment of possibilities around you.
  2. Your network gives you access to infinite perspectives on an idea, book, concept, and more.
  3. Your network builds trust and connections with people outside your professional expertise.

This 2021, use these 3 pointers to level up your personal and professional goals, or, simply, to gain more perspectives from a single book. Either way, Weavit is linking all those connections together in a single application at your fingertips so that you don’t have to look far.