What I learned from Keith Ferrazzi with his book: Never Eat Alone

What I learned from Keith Ferrazzi with his book: Never Eat Alone

A lot of my friends and a few blogs what I follow have recommended me to read the “Never eat alone” book by Keith Ferrazzi.

I decided to do this, and I have not regretted that.

The first part of the book was more interesting for me and included a lot of new ideas, takeaways. The second half of the book mainly focused on how to connect with others, build your network and brand, which included repetition. But still, it is an exciting book, and I also recommend to read if you want to build meaningful connections, become a leader and achieve high goals.

What was interesting for me, and I want to remember:

  • building connections are not just important but help me the most to achieve any goals (you can get a job or deal more likely with someone you know or one of your friends knows that a stranger)
  • decide your goal with your life and have a plan of how you would like to achieve that
  • surrounding with successful, interesting people determine who you most likely will be
  • give first before you even expect anything
  • build connections in advance
  • do not forget your old connections and follow up as frequently as you can (and it makes sense)
  • build and broadcast your brand


Never eat alone takeaways


The author of the book is Keith Ferrazzi, who was Deloitte’s chief marketing officer and the youngest person ever tapped for a partner. From Deloitte, he became the youngest chief marketing officer in the Fortune 500 at Starwood Hotel & Resorts, then he became CEO of a Knowledge Universe before the founder of his own sales and marketing consulting company, Ferrazzi Greenlight.

Although his career seems He comes from a poor but hard-working family. His parents afforded private school and even sending the author to the Harvard University.

Looking around in the elementary school, Harvard, and the Golf Club where he worked during the weekends, he noticed:

To achieve your goals in life, I realized, it matters less how smart you are, how much innate talent you’re born with, or even, most eyeopening to me, where you came from and how much you started out with. Sure all these are important, but they mean little if you don’t understand one thing: You can’t get there alone. In fact, you can’t get very far at all.

What Keith emphasize is the importance of your network.

Building network requires

  • generosity (ask for help and provide help)
  • have a clear mission and goal, what you want to achieve
    • „Every successful person I’ve met shared, in varying degrees, a zeal for goal setting.”
    • Goal setting basics, according to Keith:
      • Find a passion (A goal is a dream with a deadline)
      • Putting goals to paper
      • Create a Personal “Board of Advisors”
    • build it before you need it
      • If you know your goal, what you want to achieve, build your relationships in advance on this area. Do not start networking, when you need a connection, but way before that. If you want to start a company in a few years, start building your leads now.
    • audacity (bravery) – to ask, and do not be afraid of hearing „no”. No is not the worst, not asking, and stay where you are is.
      • To reach/develop audacity you need
        • a role model
        • learn to speak (self-confidence to overcome shyness) – participate in a Toastmaster Club
        • get involved – if you have a hobby, join a club and what is important, become the leader of that club
        • just do it – let’s make a goal, like meet one stranger per week. It will be a good practice.

When you want to meet somebody, and build a relationship, you should not be “mean”, self-oriented.

I get e-mails all the time that read, “Dear Keith, I hear you’re a good networker. I am, too. Let’s sit down for fifteen minutes and a cup of coffee.” Why? I ask myself. Why in the world do people expect me to respond to a request like that? Have they appealed to me emotionally? Have they said they could help me? Have they sought some snippet of commonality between us? I’m sorry, but networking is not a secret society with some encoded handshake practiced for its own virtue. We must bring virtue to it.

Do your homework, when you meet someone, or even when you expect to meet someone.

If you need to contact somebody, do not cold call. Try to find a way, that somebody introduces you, or meet with the person somewhere and introduce yourself, etc. But always be prepared with a pitch, and always remember what you want (a longer meeting to introduce your product, etc.?).

The dynamics of a network are similar to those of a would-be celebrity in Hollywood: Invisibility is a fate far worse than failure.

You should keep in contact with your friend, network, prospects, clients, etc. Do whatever you can. If you have a hobby, share it with whoever you can, and for example, go into the gym together. You can meet in conferences, eat together, send out a newsletter to them with your interests, write a blog, etc. Just be in front of them and be in their mind.

Follow-up is critical. Always do it. Make it a habit and automate it. Follow-up in at least 12-24 hours, or as soon as possible. And if you have been introduced by somebody, you can also share what has happened, just to update the introducer, it makes sense for him/her also.

Follow up and preparation is key for conferences. it is a great tool for network building, not just to learn something, or spend time somewhere outside of your office. You can help the organizers (or even better: you can be the organizer) to know more info about the event, attendants, etc.

Connect with “superconnectors”. People, who has a huge network, and preferably outside your network, in “other industries”.

Prepare and always use small talks to get in contact with somebody, even a stranger. Be yourself, and it is ok to talk about “not usual” stuff. Always pay attention to your body language (tach elbow during handshakes), listen carefully and close with a meaningful end, even an agreement about a next meeting. And what is important: remember and use the other’s name. It is sweet for others to hear bac their names. Read: How to Win Friends and Influence People from Dale Carnegie.

The best way is to grow your network and use it wisely is to make everyone around you successful, help as many people as you can. And the first key is, don’t wait to be asked. Just do it.

You need to be interesting. You want to be an expert, somebody who is well known to do something interesting, good at something. It is not a problem if you do not have any degree related to the topic. People can learn programming in a few months, so do not be shy. Always learn and develop yourself, and articulate a standpoint, a view which can be unique but interesting. And always communicate it! Have a story, tell your expertise, share it with other people.


Build your brand!

Your positioning message should include a list of words that you want people to use when referring to you. Writing those words down are a big first step in having others believe them. Ask your most trusted friends what words they would use to describe you, for good and for bad. Ask them what are the most important skills and attributes you bring to the table.

And it is not enough to build the brand, you need to expose that. Share it somehow. Write a blog, give interviews, do whatever to make sure that your brand will shine and be heard.

As long as you’re going to think anyway, think big. —DONALD TRUMP


The best way to develop yourself is to find a mentor for yourself and help some mentees. With these relations, you can learn and give.

Never be alone, be together with others, and live the live what you enjoy.



Leave a Reply

Social Share Buttons and Icons powered by Ultimatelysocial