Curate a large rolodex

“It’s all who you know.” — Derek Sivers

Many daunting tasks in life — getting into college, starting a company, finding benefactors — are a lot less daunting when you have a rolodex. A well-curated rolodex is so valuable that some professionals, like real estate agents and recruiters, build an entire career with it.

Before today ends, set up your own rolodex. In the coming weeks, add everyone you can think of — first, second, or third degree connections — to your system. Build a dossier on each individual: how you met them, who they know, secrets they told you, children’s and parents’ names, what they like, what they don’t like, their political and religious preference, birthdays, anniversaries, psychological observations, when you last spoke with them, and, of course, all of their contact information.

From now on, as you conduct your day, keep an ear to the pavement for new connections. Did you meet another entrepreneur in your accountant’s waiting room? Add him to your rolodex. Did your doctor mention he plays tennis with a well-known reporter? Add him to your rolodex. Did a co-worker mention that his uncle owns a chain of hotels? Add him to your rolodex. When the time is right, you can reach out and utilize these relationships.