Book Review: Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi

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I really enjoyed Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi. One my my professional development goals for the year was to improve my networking, specifically how to do it in a more systematic and methodical way. I’m pretty good with AQ2people and actually do some outreach pretty regularly, but I don’t have a system.

As Margaret Wheatley said,

“Relationships are all there is. Everything in the universe only exists because it is in relationship to everything else. Nothing exists in isolation. We have to stop pretending we are individuals that can go it alone.”

No one comes more highly recommended than Keith for networking. Working from humble beginnings, he’s created an entire career from Harvard MBA consultant, to CEO, and entrepreneur from primarily this skill. His ability to connect and provide value has let him connect with everyone from Presidents and movie moguls, to CEO’s and celebrities. As Keith says, your network is your net worth, and building it is crucial to your career. This book should really help you get there.

Never Eat Alone was interesting as Keith told the details of his own story along with a lot of interesting and fun anecdotes. It does what most personal development books do and talks a lot about mindset, but it also met one of my greatest pet peeves with personal improvement books. It was SPECIFIC. Keith goes through and provides direct, actionable steps along with process, details, and tools to manage a growing network.

“Who you know determines who you are – how you feel, how you act and what you achieve” – Keith Ferrazzi

This book will most likely make a very short list of business and personal improvements books that are prominent on my shelf and will be referenced and re-read in the future. Check out Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi.


Section 1: Mind-Set

Success in Life = The People You Meet + What You Created Together

  • Poverty is a lack of financial resources but also isolation from the people who could help you make more of yourself.
  • Being a connector isn’t managing transactions. It’s managing relationships.
  • When you help others, they want to help you – reciprocity
  • Real networking is finding ways to make other people more successful
  • Have to ask for generosity. Not just wait for it. Be willing to ask for help.
  • Never keep score

“Your network is your destiny. Our paychecks, moods, the health of our hearts, and size of our bellies – all of these things are determined by whom we choose to interact with and how.”


  • Know where you want to go. You need a strategy so you know who you think can help you.
  • A goal is a dream with a deadline.
  • Disciplined dreamers all have something in common – a mission.
  • Have a goal, connect those goals to people places and things that can yelp you, and determine how to reach out to those people.
  • Put it in writing
  • Create a personal Board of Advisors

“The choice isn’t between success and failure; it’s between choosing risk and striving for greatness, or risking nothing and being certain of mediocrity.”

Steps Today to be Comfortable in Social Settings

  • Find a role model
  • Learn to speak
  • Get involved
  • Get therapy
  • Just do it

Overcoming Fear

  • State the situation
  • Communicate your feelings
  • Deliver the bottom line
  • Use an open-ended question

Don’t be a Network Jerk

  • Don’t schmooze. Don’t rely on gossip as currency. Don’t come to the party empty-handed
  • Don’t treat those under you poorly. Be transparent. Don’t be too efficient

Section 2: Skill Set


  • Research who you want to meet – Twitter, Linkedin, Google, company bios, etc…
  • Dig for common connections, interests, friends, hobbies, etc…
  • Try to turn forgettable encounters in to blossoming friendships
  • When starting focus on people people you are actually connected with. You likely don’t realize how big your network is.

Cold Calls

  • They take major persistence
  • Don’t be offended if your ignored
  • Call early or call late. Most likely to get them and not their gatekeeper.

4 Rules for Warm Calling

  • Convey credibility by mentioning a familiar person, institution or connection
  • State your value proposition (keep it short and say it early)\
  • Talk a little, say a lot. Make it quick, convenient, and definitive.
    • Impart urgency and make a meeting super convenient to the other party
  • Be prepared to offer a compriomise


  • You live and die by the subject line.
  • Email early, late or lunchtime for best open rate
  • Be brief
  • Have a call to action
  • Read it out loud
  • Spell check


  • They  must be an ally, not an adversary.
  • Never piss off the secretary / admin.

Good Activities to Create Memorable Networking

  • Friendship is created out of quality time, not quantity
  • 15 minutes and coffee (for the busy)
  • Conferenes
  • Share a workout or a hobby
  • Breakfast or drinks
  • Special events (theater, book signing, etc)
  • At your home
  • Volunteering. Organize an event (pack lunches, etc)

Follow Up

  • Good follow up elevates you above 95% of your peers. IT IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS
  • Try a hand-written note to stand out. It can create goodwill
  • Be brief and to the point
  • Mention something from the meeting or conversation
  • Use their first name
  • After doing so connect via social media
  • Timeliness is key


Less relevant to me, but the keys are to:

  • Know and research who is attending
  • Spend your time making connections
  • Organize small, private events before and after for your targets
  • Draft off a big dog if you know one
  • Master the “Deep Bump” – buy the book to  learn the technique
  • Breaks aren’t time to take a break

“Acquaintances represent a source of social power, and the more acquaintances you have the more powerful you are.” – Malcolm Gladwell


  • Weak ties are better than strong because they tend to know a whole different set of people. Strong ties are to similar in network to you.
  • Find super connectors and make them your friend.
  • The easiest way to expand your circle is to connect it with somebody else’s. 2 connectors combined is powerful.
  • Those who build businesses and climb the ladder can confidently make conversation with anyone.
    • Smile, balanced eye contact, unfold and relax your arms, nod and lean in, appropriate touch,
    • Be sincere, have something to say, adjust your style to match, learn to listen
    • Make a graceful exit

Section 3: Turning Connections into Compatriots


  • 3 things create deep emotional bonds: health, wealth, and children
  • There are takers (don’t give back), givers (give without expectation), and matches (look for reciprocity)
    • Most successful and unsuccessful are givers.  The winners give freely, but maintain a high degree of self-interest. Not doormats.
    • Give to givers. Nurture your network. Calendar time for giving

“Loyalty may be the forgotten virtue of the modern age, but it remains the hallmark of any strong relationship.”

  • Power comes from being indispensable – having contacts and knowledge.
  •  Bring together people from different worlds that wouldn’t normally meet.

Ping (This Chapter is amazing for specific tactics and strategies)

  • 80% of building and maintaining relationships is just staying in touch.
  • Step 1 Connect
  • Step 2 Phone call or email monthly
  • Step 3 Minimum of 2 face to face meetings outside the office
  • Secondary relationships take 2-3 pings per year
  • Social media is great for quick and easy maintenance pings
  • Divide your network in to categories – Personal, Customers, Important Associates, Aspirational Contacts
  • Use a # system of 1-3 to determine how often you contact. 1 = monthly, 2 = quarterly, 3 = annual
  • Organzie by geography, industry and other key criteria


  • Strategize to bring diverse and interesting group together
  • Have “anchor tenants” – again buy the book to  learn the technique
  • 6-10 guests is optimal. (Pre and Post pop-ins of an extra 6 can be fun)
  • Create a theme, use invitations, don’t be a kitchen slave, create atmosphere
  • Don’t be formal, don’t seat couples together, and relax

Section 4: Connecting in the Digital Age


  • Curate your social media
  • Remember the Fringe
  • Use twitter and other social to interact with people you can’t access
  • Be diverse in who you follow
  • It’s much easier to access the 2nd or 3rd tier. Don’t go for super celebs
  • Become a content creator for your industry. Provide value. Join conversations. Be consistent and authentic.
  • The best subject lines tease 1 or 2 human needs – utility or curiosity
  • Hack serendipity – be open, create broad networks, and become a visible leader

Section 5: Trading Up and Giving Back

  • Be interesting. You must be someone worth talking to. Have a point of view. Have interesting experiences
  • Be an expert, especially of cutting edge trends. What can you master and provide value with?
  • Ask dumb questions, know your talents, and keep learning.
  • Develop a niche.

“We are CEO’s of our own companies: Me Inc. Our most important job is to be head marketer for a brand called You.” – Tom Peters

  • Good personal brands provide credible, distinctive and trustworthy identities.
  • They also provide a compelling message and attract people to your cause.
  • Create, package, and broadcast your brand. Be deliberate.
  • Develop your contacts in the media and your space. You are your PR rep.
  • There’s alot here about connecting with celebrities and the powerful. Read the book
  • Join clubs, associations, etc… frequented by the people you want to know
  • If you can’t get in, create your own.


  • If you want to be successful and connected. Spend time with those people.
  • Mentoring is a deliberate activity. It won’t come to you.
  • You must offer something in exchange. Even if its only potential and a willingness to learn and work and loyalty.
  • You need mentors who are invested in your success.

“No process in history has done more to facilitate the exchange of information, skills, wisdom and contacts than mentoring”


Keith has a very work-drive, go go go go schedule. Not sure if I’m really with him on his view of balance.

  • Balance is a myth
  • Don’t compartmentalize personal and professional.

I loved the book. Check out Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi.

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