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Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time

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Do you want to get ahead in life?

Climb the ladder to personal success?

The secret, master networker Keith Ferrazzi claims, is in reaching out to other people. As Ferrazzi discovered early in life, what distinguishes highly successful people from everyone else is the way they use the power of relationships—so that everyone wins.

In Never Eat Alone , Ferrazzi lays out the specific steps—and inner mindset—he uses to reach out to connect with the thousands of colleagues, friends, and associates on his Rolodex, people he has helped and who have helped him.

The son of a small-town steelworker and a cleaning lady, Ferrazzi first used his remarkable ability to connect with others to pave the way to a scholarship at Yale, a Harvard MBA, and several top executive posts. Not yet out of his thirties, he developed a network of relationships that stretched from Washington’s corridors of power to Hollywood’s A-list, leading to him being named one of Crain’s 40 Under 40 and selected as a Global Leader for Tomorrow by the Davos World Economic Forum.

Ferrazzi's form of connecting to the world around him is based on generosity, helping friends connect with other friends. Ferrazzi distinguishes genuine relationship-building from the crude, desperate glad-handling usually associated with “networking.” He then distills his system of reaching out to people into practical, proven principles. Among them:

Don’t keep score: It’s never simply about getting what you want. It’s about getting what you want and making sure that the people who are important to you get what they want, too.

“Ping” constantly: The Ins and Outs of reaching out to those in your circle of contacts all the time—not just when you need something.

Never eat alone: The dynamics of status are the same whether you’re working at a corporation or attending a society event— “invisibility” is a fate worse than failure.

In the course of the book, Ferrazzi outlines the timeless strategies shared by the world’s most connected individuals, from Katherine Graham to Bill Clinton, Vernon Jordan to the Dalai Lama.

Chock full of specific advice on handling rejection, getting past gatekeepers, becoming a “conference commando,” and more, Never Eat Alone is destined to take its place alongside How to Win Friends and Influence People as an inspirational classic.

309 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2005

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About the author

Keith Ferrazzi

37 books331 followers
Keith Ferrazzi is one of the rare individuals who discovered the essential formula for making his way to the top -- a powerful and balanced combination of marketing acumen and networking savvy. Both Forbes and Inc. magazines have designated him one of the world's most "connected" individuals.

As Founder and CEO of Ferrazzi Greenlight, he provides market leaders with advanced strategic consulting and training services to increase company sales and enhance personal careers. Ferrazzi Greenlight strategically leverages the insight of its executives, whose careers span the highest echelons of corporate America, along with principles from Ferrazzi's best-selling book, Never Eat Alone.

Widely recognized as a thought-leader among his peers, Ferrazzi is a frequent contributor to CNN and CNBC. He has authored numerous articles for leading business and consumer publications, including Forbes, Inc, the Wall Street Journal, the Harvard Business Review, and Reader’s Digest. An early leader in the quality movement, Ferrazzi was the youngest examiner of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. He has been named a "Global Leader of Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum, one of the top "40 Under 40" business leaders by Crain's Business, one of the most distinguished young Californians by the Jaycees, and one of the most creative Americans in Richard Wurman's "Who's Really Who". Ferrazzi's extraordinary rise to prominence, which includes a stint as the youngest Chief Marketing Officer in the Fortune 500, has even inspired a Stanford Business School case study.

As CEO of Ferrazzi Greenlight, he draws upon a rich professional history to help guide organizations and business leaders worldwide. Ferrazzi was previously Chief Marketing Officer at Starwood Hotels, he oversaw marketing activities for global brands including Sheraton, Westin, The Luxury Collection, St. Regis, and W Hotels. Ferrazzi also served as Chief Marketing Officer for Deloitte Consulting, a leading global management consulting firm, where he developed and managed the industry's first globally integrated marketing organization. His creative marketing strategy drove the ascent of Deloitte's "Consulting" brand recognition from the lowest in the industry to a primary position and spurred the highest featured growth rate in the industry.

Ferrazzi actively supports numerous civic, charitable and educational organizations. He serves on the Yale University Board of Alumni Governors and the Board of Trustees of the Kiski School in Pennsylvania and is also a Fellow of the Berkeley College at Yale. Additionally, Ferrazzi founded Big Task Weekend, an executive roundtable that brings together some of the nation’s top leaders to focus on improving the health and wellness of Americans. Ferrazzi’s interests also include studying the relationship between leadership success and spirituality. He received a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and his MBA from Harvard Business School.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,877 reviews
Profile Image for Jaclyn.
41 reviews34 followers
September 28, 2017
This book is a huge elitist bragging session for Keith Ferrazzi. I picked it up to get some tips on networking for a new business we're starting and it eventually began grating on my nerves. I'm not sure how many times it's necessary to congratulate yourself in your own book about how great you are, but the author went above and beyond that limit. A large network is great but I am not about to start proclaiming that having hundreds of people as contacts is what's going to make me successful. Get a grip. He needs an ego check. Any valuable points made in this book could have been summed up in a small 5 page essay.

2017 Edit: This review keeps popping up as people like it. I just looked at a book list my company has created on great books to improve yourself in business, life, etc. A sort of inspirational vitality book amalgamation. This was on it and I immediately assumed all the other books were trash - which shows how much my dislike of Ferrazzi must have infiltrated my brain over the years since reading this.
Profile Image for Iris.
438 reviews19 followers
December 16, 2012
nothing authentic here. i need to stop picking up cheetos-colored books.
Profile Image for C.
1,100 reviews1,047 followers
September 9, 2021
I've been attending more local workshops, lectures, and networking events. After hearing a few people recommend this book for networking advice, I decided it'd be worth my time to check out.

It's too early to tell whether this book will improve my networking skills, but I'm definitely optimistic. Ferrazzi packs the book full of advice, tips, and anecdotes from his personal life. To add credibility, he also references a few studies and statistics.

The book's title comes from Ferrazzi's recommendation that you never eat alone; he uses sharing meals as an example of one way to include others in whatever you're doing. Ferrazzi's main idea is that instead of cold, calculating, traditional networking, you should make genuine friends. First make friends, he says, then make them clients. The more people you know, the more opportunities will come your way, and the more help you'll get. Your circle of influence will widen naturally.

Early on, he says you must find your "blue flame": the intersection of your passion and talent. This is where you can be most successful. Then, share your passions; invite people into your personal life by sharing meals, hobbies, and events. This will lead to the friendships required for his form of networking.

Another point he hits several times is reciprocity; again, not in the traditional "I'll scratch your back if you'll scratch mine" way, but giving without keeping score, then benefiting from the inevitable return of favors. He says to give generously and ask for generosity from others.

I agreed with most of Ferrazzi's ideas, but not with one he presents at the very end. He proposes that there's no such thing as a work/life balance, because if you like the people you work with and the work you do, there's no need to distinguish between work and personal life. I don't buy this, because although you can become friends with colleagues and business partners, it's not always possible to work with your family and friends, the people that we most enjoy spending our time with.


Ask not what people can do for you, but what you can do for them.

Create a Relationship Action Plan
1. Set goals for every 3 months and year, 3 years out.
2. Identify the people, places, and things required to meet those goals.
3. Reach out to the people who can help you achieve your goals.

Create a board of advisors to act as cheerleaders and supervisors.
Be bold and willing to ask; it never hurts to ask.
Become an active member in clubs, and work up to being a leader.
Meet 1 new person per week, no matter where or how.
Research people before meeting them to find common interests.

Warm calling
1. mention a familiar person or organization
2. state your value proposition (what you can do for them)
3. talk only enough to set up a face-to-face meeting
4. aim high, then compromise

Invite people from different parts of your network to events so they get to know each other.
The quality of time you spend with people is more important than the quantity.

Follow up within 12-24 hours of meeting someone
1. cite something specific you talked about
2. ask to meet again
3. offer them something so they want to meet again

Make a connection quickly
1. look them in the eyes
2. listen intently
3. ask personal questions
4. reveal your vulnerability

Connect with "superconnectors" (well-connected people outside your profession).
Avoid safe, boring talk. Talk about religion, romance, politics, and your passions.
Listen attentively and use people's names.

Help people with the 3 most important things: health, wealth, and children.
Become an indispensable power broker, helping others succeed.
Ping your contacts at least a few times each year to stay in touch. Birthdays are the best time.

Throw dinner parties with a mix of people.
Use "anchor tenants" to bridge to others outside your social circle.
Connect with the famous and powerful through organizations, clubs, conferences, fundraisers, nonprofit boards, sports, etc. If you can't find a club, start one!
Profile Image for Yara Yu.
541 reviews441 followers
July 31, 2022
العلاقات هي كل شئ .. كل شئ في الكون موجود في الاساس لأنه في علاقة مع شئ آخر ولا يوجد شئ في انعزال تام .. علينا جميعا التوقف عن التظاهر بأننا أفراد يمكننا العيش بمفردنا

كتاب عن أهمية العلاقات في حياة الانسان .. انت لم تخلق لتبقي وحيدا بل ليكون حولك عائلة وأصدقاء وأفراد يشاركونك طريقك
Profile Image for Thomas.
1,457 reviews8,562 followers
August 2, 2016
3.5 stars

As someone who feels skeptical about business and networking and most things professional (i.e. elitist), I came into this book with low expectations. Never Eat Alone looks like another career-oriented self-help book aimed at elevating one's wealth and making connections to get ahead. And while it does focus on both of those things - relationships, how to sell yourself and your brand - I appreciated Keith Ferrazzi's emphasis on vulnerability and kindness. He advocates for caring about other people and using that concern for others as a platform for genuine, professional growth. His comments about vulnerability surprised me in a pleasant way, because they shattered the idea of of always maintaining a flawless image to get ahead in the working world. A few of the other highlights in this book include: the idea of finding your blue fame (where your passion and practical abilities intersect), Ferrazzi writing that we should introspect more about our values and that we should seek therapy if we want it, and his note to stay humble, even when you feel like a great success.

I have a few critiques of Never Eat Alone, too. Ferrazzi states that networking gets a bad rep for being a shallow, non-authentic activity. While he urges us to view networking as an opportunity for genuine connection, which I loved, I still felt that throughout the book his conceptions of networking aligned with the negative stereotypes he aimed to avoid - a more thorough or refined analysis of connection-making may have helped him craft a unified message about the ethics of networking. He also could have allocated more attention to issues of privilege and disparity, as he himself comes from a disadvantaged background. Certain people in society (e.g., affluent white men) can benefit from his strategies with ease, while minorities will have to work so much harder to succeed; I wish he had included more tips on how to not feel encumbered by a less-privileged background. And, my last critique: I could not stand the title of this book. I have my bias; as an outgoing introvert, I like to eat alone as a break from interacting with people all the time (and I read this book while eating alone several times, too.) Either way, the title simplifies the book's meaningful messages in a way that does not serve them justice.

Overall, recommended to those who want to read a straightforward, well-written book about connection-building. I can see business and career-oriented folks getting a kick out of this one, though its ideas could help anyone who wants to expand their social circles.
Profile Image for Bebe Burnside.
218 reviews3 followers
November 15, 2011
It started out really good. Mr. Ferrazzi talked about the importance of treating others well and not just networking because of what you can get out of it. If you have read the secret it is the same idea. Then it turned into the story of why Kieth Ferrazzi totally rocks and is so successful. He went from talking about why you should treat people well and not look for the big sale to how to meet people who will land you the big sale. I would say he talks the talk but does not walk the walk. I could not even finish it. When he started blabbing about how people in first class are so special and people in coach are just not...well guess what Keithy Boy we will never meet cause I always fly coach. If someone can tell me it picks up and has a great ending, maybe I'll try again..but really there are plenty of better written books with the same good advise and not page after page of why the author is so fabulous.
Profile Image for kareem.
59 reviews103 followers
August 27, 2007
original review:

I forget how I first came across this book, but it seemed to be one of those (like Blink, The Tipping Point, The Wisdom of Crowds, etc.) that was getting a lot of press on blogs that I read frequently. Ferrazzi has an interesting blog for Never Eat Alone and Phil Terry of Creative Good suggested I give it a go to help connect with folks at the Gel conference this week.

The book is about how to meet people and develop deeper relationships more quickly. Ferrazzi shares his philosophy on life--you can't succeed without the help of others--and outlines strategies to make connecting easier.

These strategies are a reinforcement of the Golden Rule, and they boil down to things like: Always looking to help or connect people, Have a story to tell, Show vulnerability first to make the conversation more intimate, Become indispensible in one specific area to become more valuable to your company, Ping your contacts at least once a quarter, Do your homework; make sure you know details about the people you will be meeting, Be bold; believe you have something to offer and others will treat you as such, and Speak at, or start a conference to develop your personal brand.

The advice Ferrazzi presents is useful for managing one's personal and professional lives (in his life, Ferrazzi does not make a distinction between the two) and really preaches that a different mindset is required in order to be always connecting. It's a good read, and while Ferrazzi name-drops a lot, he's ultimately a (smart, ambitious) kid from working class Pennsylvania who has networked his way to both success and what sounds like a fulfilling life.
Profile Image for Oana Sipos.
72 reviews41 followers
September 1, 2021
He's an American. So as some of my friends said, you have the feeling of shallowness in relationships. Not all his pieces of advice would work in Europe, where I think it takes longer to build a relationship, but which will ultimately be much more meaningful and deep. Here are, however, some things that are worth to be noted:

- if you never ask, the answer is always no
- respect the gatekeeper's role and make them your friend
- the follow-up is the hammer and nails of your networking tool kit
- the most memorable gifts I have ever received are those whose value could not be measured in terms of dollars and cents
- a commando knows that you have to get people to like you first. The sales come later - in the follow-up discussions you have after the conference.
- If 80 percent of success is, as Woody Allen once said, just show-ing up, then 80 percent of building and maintaining relationships is just staying in touch.
- The lesson? Even a Harvard MBA or an invitation to Davos is no substitute for personal initiative.
Profile Image for Chantal.
53 reviews
September 28, 2008
I sat through a brilliant networking lecture a few months ago and I kept thinking about how much more good you can do in the world if you have built relationships with people. The lecture really got me thinking about the value of building relationships with others in order to better serve them. I taught a lesson about it at church...and got such a dead response. After the lesson, a friend suggested this book that he had previously read and brought it by for me to read. I spent the next week devouring it. It seemed to be a culmination of everything I'd been learning about and thinking about up to this point. It mentioned several characters (Benjamin Franklin) and books (How to Win Friends and Influence People) that I just love.

I thought the author had many valid points. It seems to be human nature that if you help people, they will help you. Give, and you get, or so my life experience has taught me. The book seems to follow in a similar style to How to Win Friends and Influence People, which gives you a selfish reason to be nice, here he gives you a selfish reason to reach out, to give, to create and support communities. Ultimately, I think these principles are intrinsically good. They bear value even if there is nothing in it for the giver.

Both books have manipulative undertones. I've come to realize, however, that saying 'look at all the good you'll generate by living by these principles' isn't as persuasive as 'look at how much money you can make or how loved you can be by living these principles'. Humans are generally motivated by 'how will this benefit me'. Thus, even though he often discussed the non-altruistic side of networking, I still think his book is effective in both persuading and teaching readers to network more, and more effectively.

My take home lesson was - get more involved. And I will.
Profile Image for Sergei_kalinin.
451 reviews164 followers
June 15, 2012
Очень странная книга...

Начну с того, что пока дошли руки её прочитать - слышал о книге очень противоречивые отзывы. И подметил некую тенденцию в этих самых отзывах :)

Если книгу читал ярко выраженный экстраверт - он отзывался о ней с восхищением, и давал самые высокие оценки: "Очень полезная книга для жизни! С её помощью можно задружиться с кем угодно, стать популярным человеком!" (и т.д. и т.п.)

Если читателем был интраверт, то книжку он критиковал жёстко и бескомпромиссно: "Это всё тупая и поверхностная американская фигня, совершенно бесполезная в нашей жизни!" (и т.д. и т.п.)

Мне лично прочитать книгу очень хотелось хотя бы потому, что я - выраженный интраверт, с людьми схожусь долго и вдумчиво :) Именно поэтому было вдвойне любопытно поверить столь противоречивые отзывы о книге собственными впечатлениями.

Считаю, что тема отношений (построения, поддержания, развития, использования и др.) в ближайшие лет 5-10-20 в нашей стране будет только набирать свою актуальность. Причина проста: социальный уклад СССР разрушен (включая социальные нормы построения и поддержания отношений); "коллективизм" и "общинность" - не более, чем исторические или мифологические понятия. Стране сделали прививку капитализма - с изменением системы социальных ценностей; с расслоением на богатых и бедных; с креном в абсолютную "свободу" для каждого и "индивидуализм".

Проще говоря - грядёт эпоха Великого Одиночества, когда каждый сам по себе. В худшем случае - это "война всех против всех". В частом случае - это всем на всех напевать ("всё равно"). В лучшем случае - сбиваемся в группу, объединенную общей наживой, и дружно топаем к социальной ценности "богатство" ("благосостояние").

"Цивилизованный" (развитой) капитализм на Западе вроде бы научился справляться с этим самым Одиночеством (а м.б. просто болезнь загнали вглубь?). А у нашего российского общества, "укушенного" капитализмом - всё ещё впереди.

Способы сколачивания персонального финансового капитала могут быть разными. Один из путей - сначала скопить социальный капитал (те самые контакты и отношения с "полезными" людьми), который потом уже можно конвертировать в деньги. Собственно книга и посвящена стратегии и тактике сколачивания этого самого социального капитального...

Что понравилось: В вопросах тактики (т.е. в конкретных способах и приёмах создания / поддержания / развития отношений) книга очень хороша!

Часть рекомендаций можно смело отнести к созданию персонального бренда. Что вполне логично: чтобы люди захотели общаться с вами, надо что-то представлять из себя.

Часть советов посвящена навыкам общения, вопросам этикета и организации деловых (но при этом "неформальных") коммуникаций.

В общем, книга из разряда "сам себе пиарщик" :) , но написано довольно толково.

Также в книге есть отдельные интеллектуальные "изюминки", за который автору отдельное "Спасибо!" :) Например, о том, что т.н. "баланс" между работой и личной жизнью - невозможен, что это мифология. Автор приводит очень хорошие доказательства этого тезиса, но пересказывать их не буду - читайте сами, интересно! :)

Что не понравилось: на уровне стратегии книга содержит очень серьезное противоречие. С одной стороны очевидно, что связи и отношения с другими людьми - не самоцель, а всего лишь стредство для достижения других ценностей и целей - карьерных высот, богатства, популярности и т.п.

С другой стороны, автор призывает быть альтруистом, т.к. единственный по его мнению способ создавать и поддерживать отношения - бескорыстно помогать другим людям. В книге очень много псевдогуманистического бла-бла-бла (про то, что надо "отдавать"). Но если читать внимательно, то в описанных автором ситуациях и кейсах на самом деле речь почти везде идёт об обмене (или даже о торге). Что как-то не очень сочетается с пафосом про "отдавать" :)

Книга написана "из образа" эдакого драйвового тусовщика, рубахи-парня, который всем (а у него 5000 фамилий в записной книжке) направо и налево "отдаёт". После чего благодарные партнеры по отношениям "возвращают" ему всё сторицей. Книга как бы про альтруистическую игру, про совместное развлечение "милых" людей.

Но на самом деле в этой игре работает другая логика: если контакт мне необходим для достижения каких-то целей, то я концентрируюсь на отношениях именно с данным человеком (в это время ничего не "отдавая" другим). Мало того, я не "отдаю", а инвестирую разного рода ресурсы (не бесконечные!) в эти отношения :) И если эти инвестиции не дают результата? Если другой человек привык только "получать", а "отдавать" ничего не собирается?

Повторюсь: любые отношения - это игры обмена, а не некий мировоззренческий бескорыстный альтруизм, как это пытается представить автор. Следовательно, в этих играх бывают проигрыши (о чем не пишет автор). Следовательно, существуют условия, ограничивающие игру обмена, а также правила её прекращения в случае выхода за ограничения (о чем также молчит автор).

Резюме: Читать было интересно :) С учётом описанного глобального противоречия в стратегии, книга заслуживает крепкой "троечки".

Но поставил ей "четверку", т.к. выписал для себя (как выраженный интраверт ;) ) порядка 20 пунктов, над которыми мне лично работать и работать :)
26 reviews2 followers
January 5, 2009
I read about this book some time back and finally taken the time to read it. My goal in reading this was to improve my own networking and relationship building skills while staying true to my own values and principles. Ferrazzi’s approach is aggressive and there are something’s that simply do not work well for me. I gained additional knowledge and ideas from this book and it also reinforced much of what I know. Not a page turner but overall this was worth the read. I appreciated Ferrazi’s rise from working class roots. I liked the fact that he points out it is about giving before receiving, developing trust, helping people and clearly points out that it is about relationships not your own personal success. This is also a practical how to book, with simple examples of how to do things, break the ice, and initiate conversations and relationships.
Profile Image for Travis.
222 reviews2 followers
February 23, 2012
Typical Business 1.0 good-old-boy network "what can you do for me?" advice. If this guy asked me to lunch, I'd be immediately suspicious of his motives.
Profile Image for Dana K.
11 reviews1 follower
October 11, 2017
Я все покращувала і покращувала своє враження від книги чим ближче доходила до кінця. Справа в тому, що спочатку мене відштовхнула дещо зверхня, як мені здалося, манера автора описувати свій досвід як єдино правильний. Та з певної глави я зрозуміла, що ця своєрідна щирість Кейта Феррацці - нагода для добродушного сміху і більшої довіри до його порад. Адже автор не намагається прикрасити своє вміння налагоджувати і підтримувати велику мережу контактів, вміло використовувати їх для своїх цілей, проектів і задумів, бо він і справді спеціаліст у цьому. Разом з тим, він підкреслює, що таке будування мережі стосунків буде успішним лише тоді, коли ми навчимося віддавати, ділитися, думати про вигоду іншої сторони на стільки ж як і про свою.

Особливо корисними мені були останні розділи книги, в яких подані розкішні ідеї того як організувати вечірку в себе, щоб зібрати людей зі спільними інтересами та з різними можливостями. Тут Феррацці ділиться практичними порадами з організації контактів, їх оновлення, частоти "нагадувань про себе", привітань. Ну от, читаєш, спочатку аж дивно і неприємно від "штучності" всього процесу, а з кількома сторінками, розділами стає зрозуміло, що це підхід відвертого Феррацці, я ж можу застосовувати його в тій мірі, яку буду вважати п��ийнятною для себе.

І ще хочу похвалити цікаві розповіді з біографій відомих людей, які розміщені вкінці кожної глави. Вони дуже доповнюють сказане в розділі на реальних прикладах.

Раджу цю книгу до прочитання усім, хто працює в сфері маркетингу чи зв"язків з громадськістю, людям, які швидко притягують до себе увагу, але найбільше тим, хто хоче розвинути у собі вміння спілкуватися і підтримувати контакти з людьми з найрізноманітніших сфер.
Profile Image for Mallory.
98 reviews19 followers
May 14, 2017
I honestly don't get why people rave about this. I didn't find anything insightful in it. Even before I got to the parts where he praises Donald Trump's networking "skills," I could tell he subscribes to that style of manipulation/inflated self worth. The advice is all trivial, nothing you haven't heard a dozen times before. Skip it.
117 reviews1 follower
May 25, 2011
Much of what the book talked about was what I already knew. I didn't like how he talked about mostly cliche advice like "Find your passion and things like money will naturally follow”. Also, it seemed that Ferrazzi was trying to use the book as some kind of a biography to brag about his accomplishments. He seems really proud and full of himself, with a huge ego. He may be qualified to be like that because I do think what he achieved is impressive, and I have nothing against being proud of oneself. It’s just that his tooting his own horn frequently went overboard in several sections of the book. His tone was rather preachy and patronizing, which was annoying. I even got a feeling that the author was interested more in bragging about his victories than in sincerely helping or giving something of value to readers, though I don't deny that the book had some good wisdom scattered throughout the book. He also seems very elitist, and I feel that much of his advice wouldn't be as easily applicable for people with no Ivy League background. Overall, I am quite disappointed with the book.
Profile Image for Craig Kissho.
51 reviews1 follower
June 9, 2017
Catchy title but this book bored me to tears. I stuck with it for a few months, reading bit by bit, hoping that somewhere i could discover some gem of a wisdom. But each passing day I got more and more nauseated and finally decided to just file it for good.
Nothing new in here, just the same run of the mill advice on how to build contacts. Most of the book sounded insincere, cliched - and some parts just sounded like bs to me. The bragging n self congratulatory tone were rally tiring.
Profile Image for Nguyen Linh Chi.
83 reviews14 followers
November 25, 2016
This book provides me with some outstanding networking advices, such as categorizing your contacts, pinging, be a person of content and reciprocity. However, this book is a bit general (especially Section 5: Trading Up and Giving Back) because in my opinion, body language and small talk are more important to connect with people. This book is more about maintaining your contacts rather than recommending what you should say in the first place. If you are a newbie or a graduate student like I am, I highly recommend How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships which is more applicable in every life situation.
Profile Image for Amy Landino.
Author 4 books1,086 followers
January 29, 2020
Everyone should read this book who thinks they know how to network. People say they want to build relationships but Ferrazzi actually defines what it means to make that happen in meaningful and effective ways. Loved it. Staying on the bookshelf and planning my first dinner party ASAP.
Profile Image for Sophie.
165 reviews122 followers
August 29, 2022
''Poverty is the isolation from people who can help you make more of yourself''

The book "Never Eat Alone" by Keith Ferazzi is a decent read, but it doesn't offer anything groundbreaking in terms of networking tips. The author advises readers to be interesting people, to network with top executives in their company, and to develop business relationships with major players. While these tips are all valid, they are nothing new. Overall, the book is meh - it's worth reading if you're looking for general networking advice, but there are better resources out there.
1 review19 followers
February 7, 2016
Having read many books in the past about the art of networking and how to build connections for a successful life and career, I find Keith Ferrazzi's "Never Eat Alone" to be an especially great book on this subject. Many of the ideas here are not revolutionary or new since the concept of networking has become, as the author puts it, a "lingua franca of our times". Of course, you'll find chapters on well-worn topics, such as "being interesting," "follow your passion", or "the art of small talk".
Nonetheless, this book is a great read for 2 specific reasons: (1) making connections should be a lifestyle choice, rather than an opportunistic chore one does occasionally to advance in life; (2) it is possible to cultivate a mindset and a set of skills to establish sincere and worthwhile relationships in today's world.
Some books have become overly cynical about why and how we connect to others. Networking has often been treated as a kind of trickery or manipulation à la Machiavelli, a necessary means to achieve specific ends, such as finding a job, or moving up the power ladder. Ferrazzi's book was able to tread a delicate balance between advocating authenticity and kindness in building relationships and giving practical advice on how to network effectively and maintain different kinds of professional and personal contacts (close friends, acquaintances, super-connectors, gatekeepers, etc.) Most importantly, some of the advice on sincerity in this book does not stray far from insights in classic books, such as Dale Carnegie's How to win friends, but it is updated for situations in the contemporary workplace, incorporating the existence of social media, new technology or events specifically designed to facilitate networking.
Gathering this much praise from me, this book is not without flaws. Many reviewers were put off by Ferrazzi's "boastful" accounts of his own networking prowess. True, most of his real-life anecdotes are from his own life and not from other people's. He does sometimes go on about all his famous and powerful friends and his shiny networking achievements. However, the author's stories reflect his proactive and continued quest to build meaningful connections, despite his humble working class beginning. Ferrazzi realized early in life the importance of relationships and has since worked out ways to mitigate the difficulties of starting and maintaining connections (warm the cold calls, follow up, provide social arbitrage, and don't keep score, etc.)
Overall, Never Eat Alone is worth reading if you are in search for the ins and outs of networking and to learn how to manage and advance your career in today's world.
Profile Image for Henrik Haapala.
507 reviews86 followers
November 30, 2017
• "Success in any field, but especially in business, is about working with people, not against them." /KF, p.7

• "The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated" /W. James

• Connecting (="networking") = sharing knowledge, resources, time and energy.
• Importance of mentors.
• Don’t keep score, keep giving. The idea is to be a giver, but be strategic about it. You also have to ask for generosity back. Networks are for mutual benefit.
• What’s your mission? The importance of written goals and having people around you that can help you achieve those goals. 1. Find your passion (look inside, look outside) 2. Put goals to paper 3. Create a personal "board of advisors"
• Examples: Bill Clinton being a master at "feeling your pain" and listening.
• Build your network before you need it.
• Be audacious: find a role model, learn to speak, take some risk, meet new people and different people
• Do your homework: research beforehand and even tell people you have done your research.
• Take names; make lists of helpful people and people you want to help. Friends, family, acquaintances, weak ties. Make a priority list 1,2,3.
• 1: contact each month, 2: touch base, quarterly, 3: once a year
• 80% success is just staying in touch; therefore have a plan.
• "All successful people are planners. They think on paper. Failing to is planning to fail… and a plan is a list of activities and names" p.197
• Three modes: email, a phone call and a face to face encounter.
• Pinging: "When it comes to relationship maintenance, you have to be in your game 24/7, 365 days a year." p.196
• As you add names to your lists, don't worry right away about whether or not you can immediately connect to them. Mapping the landscape is where you start. Aspirational list.
• Warm calling; 1. Mention a familiar person, institution, 2. state your value proposition, 3. Impart urgency and convenience, 4. compromise to secure a follow up
• Good follow up: follow up is the key to success in any field
• "Deep bump" = fast and meaningful connection enough to secure the next meeting and move on.
• 56% found their job trough a personal connection, study shows.
• Weak ties: "weak ties" are generally more important than those you consider strong - when it comes to new jobs and new ideas and new information.
• 8 connector professions: restaurateurs, headhunters, lobbyists, fund-raisers, PR-people, politicians, journalists and authors/bloggers/gurus
• "Mix it up. Hunt out people who look and act and sound nothing like you do. Seek out ideas from people you don’t ordinarily talk to who inhabit professional worlds you don’t ordinarily travel in… connect with the connectors" p.145
• Conversation as a skill: it can be learned.
• Health, wealth and children --> deep emotional bonds
• Micro celebrity: not famous among millions, but famous among the people who are important for your mission.
• GVAC: Generosity + vulnerability + accountability + candor = trust
• "People are desperate for authenticity" p.251
• What's got your attention? Write about that.
• "The best ideas come from looking around you and constantly asking, 'how can I be helpful to people?'"
• Become the king of content.
• Create “luck” and engineer serendipity:
• Productivity and innovation tracks with population growth: different people --> different ideas --> different opportunities --> meetings with other people
• “Third spaces”: bars, coffee shops etc. where people seek community.
• Everything accelerates: Problem: knowledge becomes obsolete and globalization leads to competition; how quickly can you know the new and right things? Answer: By creating serendipity and connecting people --> massive value
• “Your goal as you move through the world should be to create a force field inside of which people feel safe to play by different rules. Model the traits that support serendipity – curiosity, generosity, passion, and humility. Create social opportunities, like the dinners.., and allow others to build trust” p.260
• Passion --> energy --> enthusiasm (so cultivate passion)
• Relationship action plan (RAP):
• Study: 86% credited their success to being “open to new things and people” p.263
• Conferences/workshops are not for sitting and listening, it’s about connecting with people.
• Become expert:
1. Trends and opportunities on the cutting edge (analyze)
2. Ask seemingly stupid questions
3. Know yourself and your talents
4. Always learn
5. Stay healthy
6. Expose yourself to unusual experiences
7. Don't get discouraged
8. Know the new technology
9. Develop a niche
10. Follow the money
• "Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are the CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You." T.Peters p.290
• "Create your own microequivalent of the Nike swoosh" T.Peters p.291
"In terms of branding, then, the bottom line for everyone comes down to a choice: to be distinct or extinct." p.292

"Be the CEO of your own life. Raise hell. Let the chips fall where they may." T.Peters p.292
Profile Image for Doris.
116 reviews7 followers
February 14, 2019
Nếu bạn không có hứng thú kinh doanh, đừng đọc nó. Chưa đầy 5 phút bạn sẽ ngủ đó.
Quả thật phía sau sách ghi quyển này dễ đọc như một quyển truyện, thì mình cũng tự nhận chắc là mình không hợp với đọc truyện rồi.
Quyển sách không phải khó đọc, nhưng nếu đọc xong rồi quên thì rất dễ đọc. Còn đọc xong để cảm thấy sâu sắc, để ghi nhớ và áp dụng, thì chỉ nên mỗi ngày đọc một ít. Và mình đã dành gần 5 tháng để đọc hết nó.

Quyển sách chủ yếu tập trung về các cách mở rộng quan hệ, làm thế nào để kết nối với nhau. Thật ra đây không phải chủ đề mới, nhưng để viết được một quyển sách 386 trang như vậy thì tác giả cũng khá tốn nhiều tâm tư và công sức.
Đi từ chương 1 nói về lợi ích của việc mở rộng mối quan hệ. Dựa trên mối quan hệ là một tiền đề tốt, nối kết với nhau.
Chương 2: Nên cho đi và khoan hãy hỏi khi nào sẽ nhận lại. => bạn thất nghiệp rồi nhờ mối quan hệ bạn sẽ kiếm được việc mới, nên đừng lo lắng... đừng suy nghĩ đến lượt ai trả tiền và thế giới hay thay đổi, có thể hôm nay họ là trợ lý như sau đó họ sẽ là người đầy quyền lực. Dùng thời gian, tiền bạc, kinh nghiệm để phát triển cộng đồng người thân quen. Và cách trả ơn tốt nhất là chia sẻ điều mình học được cho người khác.
Chương 3: xác định kế hoạch. Bạn muốn làm gì sẽ giúp bạn xác định được bạn nên kết bạn với ai.
Chương 4: hãy bước ra vùng an toàn, hãy làm những thứ táo bạo. Khá ân tượng về câu chuyện ba ông đã xin chiếc xe đạp bị bỏ vào thùng rác của một nhà nào đó, và ông ko những lấy dc chiếc xe đạp mà còn thêm một chiếc khác. Cứ nói chuyện với ngừoi ko quen, dù rằng thất bại, bạn cũng đã học được bài học.
Chương 5: kết bạn bằng trái tim, chứ k phải là lợi dụng họ. Kết bạn với cả ngừoi thấp kém hơn mình. ( but anw mình vẫn cảm thấy nên kết bạn với người biết giới hạn của mình)
Chương 6: not much more interesting :) làm bài tập về nhà, chuẩn bị thông tin ngừoi sẽ gặp trước. Thật ra điều này mình biết qua nhiều sách báo, nên khi đọc lại cảm thấy ko có gì mới mẻ, có lẽ sẽ thích hợp cho các doanh nhân, not trường hợp thấp bé như ở VN.
Chương 10: hãy học cách làm thân với các trợ lí. Ok cái này mình cảm thấy đúng. Muốn vô được phòng thì tất nhiên là phải qua được cửa. Cửa còn ko qua được thì làm sao vào phòng.
Chương 15: làm quen với ngừoi siêu kết nối: chủ nhà hàng, kẻ săn đầu người, lobbyist, quan hệ công chúng,...

Và chương cuối kết thúc tác giả giúp mình trả lời nhưng câu hỏi mà mình thắc mắc khi đọc xong cả cuộc sách. Nếu quá mức tập trung vào phát triển các mối hệ, mình sẽ mất cân bằng cuộc sống thì sao? Các điểm cần phải tránh khi bạn kết nối quá mức.
Ưu điểm là tác giả có viết về tiểu sử của vài người thú vị liên quan đến kết nối khiến người đọc cập nhật được thêm một số kiến thức về người nổi tiếng và cũng là một cách nghiêm túc để dẫn chứng.

Nhược điểm của quyển sách là tác giả viết ở bối cảnh Mỹ, doanh nhân Mỹ, nên đôi khi đặt ở Việt Nam sẽ khó áp dụng. Có lẽ tương lai sẽ áp dụng nhưng không phải mình bây giờ.

44 reviews
July 8, 2013
This was a great book about what networking really is. It's about sharing information with people, not just about managing transactions with people.

Here are some quotes that I liked from the book.

1. …being a connector is not about managing transactions, but about managing relationships. P8

2. I learned that real networking was about finding ways to make other people more successful. It was about working hard to give more than you get. P9

3. Every successful person I’ve met shared, in varying degrees, a zeal for goal setting. Successful athletes, CEOs, charismatic leaders, rainmaking salespeople, and accomplished managers all know what they want in life, and go after it. P23

4. A goal is a dream with a deadline. P25

5. Goal setting: 1) Find your passion 2) Putting goals to paper 3) Create a personal “Board of Advisors”

6. Those that had built businesses and climbed the corporate ladder with amazing speed were those who could confidently make conversation with anyone in any situation. P 145

7. In my initial conversation with someone I’m just getting to know, whether it’s a new mentee or simply a new business contact, I try to find out what motivations drive that person. It often comes down to one of three things: making money, finding love, or changing the world. P161

8. … health, wealth, and children affect us in ways other acts of kindness do not. P165

9. Real power comes from being indispensable… coming from being a switchboard, parceling out as much information, contacts, and good will to as many people – in as many different worlds – as possible. P174

10. The ability to distribute knowledge in a network is fairly easy to skill to learn.
a. ID some of the leading thinkers and writers in your industry
b. For business bestsellers, check out the Wall Street Journal’s list in the Personal Journal section on Friday.
c. Buy the book, read it, and take some notes summarizing the Big Idea, a few interesting studies or anecdotes, and why it’s relevant to the people you’re thinking about
d. Now pick a few people, some of whom you know well and some you don’t, and email them your work.

e. All you have to say is “Here are some cool ideas I think you’d like to be on top of.” P 176

11. To paraphrase Dale Carnegie: You can be more successful in two months by becoming really interested in other people’s success than you can in two years trying to get other people interested in your own success. P177

12. Even a Harvard MBA…is no substitute for personal initiative. If you can’t find an outfit to join that allows you to make a difference, then recognize what you do have to offer – your particular expertise, contacts, interests, or experience. Rally people behind them and make your own difference. p263

13. Life is about work, work is about life, and both are about people. P293
Profile Image for Ben  Campopiano.
44 reviews5 followers
July 21, 2008
Disciplined dreamers all have one thing in common: a mission. The mission is often risky, unconventional, and most likely tough as hell to achieve. But it is possible. The kind of discipline that turns a dream into a mission, and a mission into a reality, really just comes down to a process of setting goals.

Throughout his career, Bill Clinton’s political aspirations and his ability to reach out to others have gone hand in hand. He made it a nightly habit to record, on index cards, the names and vital information of every person whom he’d met that day. After writing down the information about someone he just met, Clinton said, “I’m going into politics and plan to run for governor of Arkansas, and I’m keeping track of everyone I meet.

Don’t wait until you’re out of a job, or on your own, to begin reaching out to others. You’ve got to create a community of colleagues and friends before you need it. Others around you are far more likely to help you if they already know and like you.

Every time I make a call or introduce myself to people I don’t know, the fear that they might reject me is there. Then I remember the Big Wheel my father got me, and push ahead anyway.

It’s not necessarily strong contacts, like family and close friends, that prove the most powerful; to the contrary, often the most important people in our network are those who are acquaintances.
Profile Image for Jamie.
323 reviews
May 29, 2012
2.5 stars. What I liked: The book has some helpful pointers for those who are shy or who are not inclined to engage with strangers. I would recommend it for new professionals. I think it is also helpful that the author emphasizes that it isn't easy, or natural, even for extroverts to put themselves out there all the time. I also appreciated that he shared some of his rejections, showing that even the best networkers strike out sometimes.

What I didn't like: Sometimes the author is too braggy , which is off-putting. I thought I was going to relate to his blue collar background, but all of his bragging came across as trying too hard to prove himself. Some of his tactics sound highly obnoxious and I doubt he understands how they come across. Who, upon landing from a flight, calls an acquaintance to say "I'm in town but I don't have time for you". Really? I very much doubt his assertion that the friend will just be glad to hear from you at all. I would immediately delete this person from my contacts.

I'm also not sure I agree with his claim that you should get personal quickly. Nothing screams "needy" like someone sitting next to me at a conference who wants to talk to me about a recent breakup. I guess "personal" is very relative.
Profile Image for Elisabeth.
Author 11 books41 followers
May 2, 2013
I have to admit that I only read two chapters of this book so 1 star might be unfair (perhaps the rest was better).

I am an extremely introverted person, and on top of that, extremely shy too (and no, they're not the same thing ;-)). So I really need to learn how to network better. But this book turned me off from page 1. The first chapter is all about how great the author is. And of course how he's been thinking about and planning and strategizing since he was lucky enough to meet all the right people as a teenager. How many people are strategizing about their lives when they're teenagers? Most of us are blowing off school and commitments to have FUN. Or was that just me??

Chapter 2 is also about how great the author is, along with a bunch of advice that doesn't really seem approachable to someone like me, who doesn't really know that many people and needs to start from scratch.

So... I gave up. Perhaps a book specifically designed for introverts would be a better place for me to start.
153 reviews4 followers
September 21, 2017
Things I hated about this book:
* endless name dropping of rich and famous people that the author knows
* advice about how to text people during toilet / taxi time so that a whole bunch of schmoes think they're your BFFs
* vague and generic stories about the little people that the author has molded into winners
* something about how adver-gaming is the greatest thing since sliced bread

Somewhere in there is some practical but obvious advice like:
* look for deep connections rather than shallow ones
* treat people well even if they can't further your agenda

but really unless you're already some rich successful schmoozer, mover, and shaker like the author the advice probably isn't very actionable despite there constantly being talk of a Relationship Action Plan (or system, philosophy, blah blah blah).
Profile Image for Jacob.
Author 3 books129 followers
February 22, 2012
This book goes into the Top 10 Must Reads that I recommend to everyone in every profession. The principles of "connecting" strike a nerve of truth that gives power to the actionable steps the author suggests. I love the new vocabulary that this book gives us in reference to networking.

Essentially we learn in this book that relationships are our greatest assets and that our best relationships are those in which we create high value for people we care about. This is the skill that must be honed. Caring about more people and discovering how we can create more value for them.
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