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3 thoughts on “Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty: The Only Networking Book You’ll Ever Need Reviews

  1. Randy Macdonald says:
    50 of 57 people found the following review helpful:
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Great Start To Your Overall Networking Life, October 6, 2004
    Randy Macdonald (Mississauga, ON, CANADA) –

    This review is from: Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty: The Only Networking Book You’ll Ever Need (Paperback)

    Harvey Mackay’s book approaches the practice of networking in a wide sense: strategies for initiating and maintaining relationships at any stage of your life with as many people as possible from as many walks of life as possible in as many situations as possible for a variety of different ends, both for yourself and for the people you network with.

    The book is divided into ten sections (Mackay calls them steps) which play upon the well metaphor:

    1. Jump In, the Water’s Fine! – reasons why you should network (26 pages)
    2. Time To Prime The Well! – starting out with the right approach to networking (23 pages)
    3. Start Digging! – building the foundation of your networking: the essential elements of a network and basic networking strategies (45 pages)
    4. Sharpen Your Edge! – refining your networking skills (35 pages)
    5. Excavate Your Unique Skills! – recognizing and using your personal uniqueness to your advantage to build your network (31 pages)
    6. Dig Deeper! – refining your networking using your personal uniqueness (29 pages)
    7. Don’t Fall In! – networking pitfalls: how not to network (23 pages)
    8. Minding The Well! – maintaining your network (39 pages)
    9. All’s Well That End’s Well! – additional insights into networking (27 pages)
    10. Drinking from the Well … and Sharing the Wealth! – final thoughts/summary (7 pages)

    The book is very useful as a roadmap for utilizing all your relationships: it prompts you to think about where you could go with virtually every relationship you’ve ever had. Therefore, the older you are and the more people you already know, the more this book will probably speak to you.

    However, for people wanting to network to gain business prospects and convert them into customers in the near future, the book is limited. For instance, of Mackay’s top 4 places for building your network (Alumni Clubs, Industry Associations, Social Clubs, and Hobbies) only one of them (Industry Associations) seems to be a viable way of getting business prospects sooner rather than later. A reviewer of Mackay’s book on Amazon.com commented “this (book) is more an autobiography of Mackay’s networking than the art of networking itself.” It’s challenging to keep in touch with people you’ve met at networking events and maintain meaningful relationships. Mackay’s chapter on keeping in touch with your network speaks to maintaining ties that are already well established, but these tactics would come off as unctuous and inappropriate with people you barely know but want to have a greater relationship with.

    Mackay does have strategies for establishing ties with new people. However, I find his approach distasteful. Mackay encourages establishing rapport with people you want to reach by finding personal facts about them and shamelessly initiating conversations with them. Mackay actually reads a periodical called Who’s Who which details the personal lives and accomplishments of executive America. When he meets someone he’s read up on he initiates the conversation with this personal information as if he were a good buddy ole pal come round to visit. In the same way, Mackay advises that when you meet a couple you have not met before, ask how they met; they will begin to tell you the story of their lives, and you quickly have new best friends. Does this approach really work with most people? Another Amazon reviewer has similar reservations about Mackay’s sincerity: “His book reminded me too much in spots of the old Sicilian (i.e. mafia) saying: “I don’t do favors, I accumulate debts.” Or as that saying is illustrated in The Godfather by Mario Puzo in the wedding scene of the book, where Michael Corleone is telling his future wife, Kay, about Don Corleone; Kay says to Michael: “Everything you’ve told me about him [Don Corleone] shows him doing something for other people. He must be good hearted…” And Michael answers, “I guess that’s the way it sounds. But let me tell you this. You know those Arctic explorers who leave caches of food scattered on the route to the North Pole? Just in case they may need them some day? That’s my father’s favors. Some day he’ll be at each one of these people’s houses, and they’d better come across.” That’s the mentality that is projected throughout much of DIG YOUR WELL BEFORE YOU’RE THIRSTY. But then Mark MacCormack, who wrote WHAT THEY DON’T TEACH YOU AT HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL, said that The Godfather by Mario Puzo is one of the best business manuals ever written. What’s that tell you about the business world? Since that is perhaps the reality of the business world, this book should prove quite helpful for dealing with it.”

    However, Mackay offers a number of interesting strategies and insights for networking for prospects. Mackay says the greatest networkers of all are American presidents, providing anecdotes about the strategies of George…

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  2. Pensfan "Pensfan" says:
    13 of 15 people found the following review helpful:
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    The Power Of Networking, August 10, 1997
    By A Customer

    What single characteristic is most ubiquitously shared by truly successful people? According to Harvey Mackay, it is the ability to create and nurture an effective network of contacts. In his book Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty, Mackay teaches us the importance of networking and provides us with practical advice on how to network effectively.

    Mackay’s perspectives on this otherwise common-sense topic are important in two respects. First, Mackay’s approach toward one’s network as a vibrant, organic body that requires disciplined, focused attention is compelling. He is particularly effective in advising us on how to grow a network and nurture key contact information. Secondly, Mackay’s emphasis on the value of networking to help others, and not only one’s self, is refreshing. In this capacity, Mackay is particularly motivational in that he encourages us to expand our own personal contacts as a vehicle to assist others.

    Read this book, add this critical success strategy to your personal repertoire, and enjoy life more

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  3. Anonymous says:
    7 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
    1.0 out of 5 stars
    NOT worth the time to read, September 23, 2009
    Pensfan “Pensfan” (Pittsburgh, PA USA) –

    This review is from: Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty: The Only Networking Book You’ll Ever Need (Paperback)

    This book has way too many useless stories about his life and friends without any real substance about how to build a network. Even worse were the stories about how networking is important. I know it’s important or I wouldn’t have bought the book. It does seem a bit dated at times, but is mostly relevant if you get by the other stuff. I feel like this book is the product of an author who has had successes in the past and wanted to write another book to make more money and brag about how good he is.

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