We were on a rampage last week. My husband and I decided it was time to give 50+ boxes of old business and household files the old heave ho. We called in a shredding truck and within 45 minutes 2300 pounds of excess paper clutter was outta here. As the truck drove off we felt a sense of giddy relief.  Everything seemed fresher, lighter.  We could move forward with our lives and businesses.

So what does this have to do with networking? Plenty.

What’s your contact database or address book look like these days? Is it bulging with outdated information on people you haven’t seen or heard from in years?  Are there people in there who you don’t really know or hardly remember? Do all these people really want to hear from you or do business with you? And vice versa? Really?  Are you sure?

“What?” you might be saying. “Databases don’t need cleaning. The more contacts the better!”

That may be true in some cases.  But just like attics, closets, filing cabinets, and junk drawers, your address book and database need to be freshened up and cleared out from time to time.  Bigger isn’t necessarily better. Why not have a database that’s smaller, but more up to date, more manageable, richer with potential, and filled with people who are more likely to appreciate and need you– and vice versa?

You might feel less overwhelmed and (just an idea) you might actually be able to stay in touch in a meaningful way. You’ll be kicking up less sand with your networking and promotions. Maybe you’ll even see more and better results.

And here’s the other thing: If you take someone off your list, it doesn’t mean they’re dead to you.  If they need you, trust me, they’ll find you and they’ll contact you. Especially if you make it easy for them via a good website and a regular presence in places where you need to be.  What’s more, it’s normal for people to flow in and out of our lives.

Here’s a challenge that may make a good weeding-out easier:  Go through your address book or database and see if you can find just 10 names you can delete. Just 10. Try it. See if it makes you feel fresher, lighter, less encumbered, and more able to move forward in your life and business.

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Haven’t read The Intentional Networker™ yet? Head over to Amazon right  now and download Chapter 1 of the ebook version FREE. Check it out here.