Are you trying to connect with people that are out of your league? I used to do this, now I ignore anyone that is out of my league. If I can’t bring something to offer into a relationship, I re-channel my focus to others that are able to gain value from me while I gain value from them.

You might think that connecting with a much more popular person will bring you to their level, but it doesn’t. If anything, it may actually hold you back. Others will see you as a wingman, cool to hang out with, but lacking any significant authority.

If you really want to rise to the top, you have to be your own person. You have to stand out and stand for something that others do not. That means that you have to find people to work with that don’t compete against you but enhance what you do.

From time to time, I will come up and introduce myself to someone who will be influential in the future. I enjoy saying, “Hi, I’m Kirk Taylor. I just wanted you to know that in the future I will want to connect with you, but not until I’m ready to bring value to the conversation.”

What happens is I get a very positive response. It’s so unique that engages a conversation and causes influential people to remember me even a year or two later, when I’m ready to connect with them.

I’ve made a huge impact on them. I’m not asking them for anything, in fact, I just told them I don’t want anything from them. I’ve let them know in the future I intend to give them something and that is unique to what they are used too.

When I contact them later, they are almost always more than eager to connect with me because they know I’m not wasting their time.

The next time you think you need to connect with somebody of stature, ask yourself, what do I have to offer to them? Find what that is and then connect with them so you aren’t like everyone else and stand out instead.

If you can’t think of anything, spend your time connecting with people in a different group or level and then work your way up. You’ll get a lot more value with less effort.