Never Eat Alone

Back Home Books Index See JSON


Never Eat Alone
Keith Ferrazzi
Star Star Star Star Star
5 out of 5
Short Summary:
The ultimate bible of networking, friends, relationships, mentorship and social management. It will open up your eyes to the importance of people and why you need to network with others to bring your entire life to the next level. Terry's personal favorite.
Terry's Notes:

You can’t achieve success alone. Actually you can’t go far at all.


Chapter 1: Become a member of the CLUB

Poverty is not just lack of money. It is isolation from the kind of people that could help you make more of yourself

The individual who knows the right people can get far no matter how humble his beginnings

Networking is connecting à Sharing knowledge, resources, time, energy, empathy, compassion to provide value to others and make a difference in people’s lives as well as a way to enrich/expand your own world.


To absorb wisdom and grow, nothing comes close to the impact of mentors

At every stage in your career, seek out the most successful people around you and ask for their help and guidance. Our country’s most successful people reach out to others and ask their help in accomplishing their goals.


Chapter 2: Don’t Keep SCORE

Real networking is giving more than you receive. Finding ways to make others more successful.

You need to ask for help from other people. You cannot be shy. You cannot be afraid of “owing” something to other people. The pie gets bigger when you ask. Relationships are like muscles and favors are not finite. More you work the muscle of the relationship by asking and giving, stronger it will get. When you give, it makes the recipients happy but when you ask, it makes the givers happy. There are people out there who WANT to give advice, help, be a part of your growth and world. But if you don’t ask them, how will they know to help you? How will they know to reach out? And why should they?


Asking is half the equation. Giving is the other half. Experiments show that when you ask and others give you something, they end up liking you more.


Give before you receive but don’t keep score of how you gave more than the other person. Just keep in mind the rule of generosity. As long as Giving > Receiving, that person will always be open to you when you need help from him/her. Even if he is not open to help you, as long as that rule is in effect, you are doing everything you can to expand your network. The people who are WORTH it, and are sincere, will help you when you need help as long as giving > receiving.


Contribute time, money, expertise to your community and friends

Don’t keep score of who owes you or if you did more things for somebody else. The only golden rule is 1) give first before you receive 2) generosity



Most people work their jobs because they just grab whatever comes their way. Overwhelmed by tough decisions and competition, family pressure and peer pressure, they accept what they “must do” rather than what they “want to do”.

Blue fire is where passion and ability intersect. Desire and talent intersect. Combine it with effort and determination. You have a sure recipe of success.  

Disciplined dreamers are driven to action by their goals. Their mission is often risky, unconventional and most likely very tough to achieve. But their discipline, process of setting goals, is what allows them to do it. It is the tool they use. Dreams propel them. Goals take them there.


Building a social network starts with a plan, a process.

One great thing about having clear goals is that when you share them, someone might come and help you unexpectedly. Share and publicize your goals.


You will lose friends when you are trying to accomplish your goals. Others will be jealous when you decide to do what no one thought you would or could. You just have to push through.


Hairdresser who became an engineer at 40: Virginia Feigles

“There’s no such thing as a self-made man. We are made up of thousands of other people. Everyone who has ever done a kind deed for us, or spoken one word of encouragement to us, has entered into the makeup of our character, and of our thoughts, as well as our success”



Building a relationship is very gradual and incremental. You can only gain someone’s trust and commitment little by little over time.

Hobbies, leadership positions, clubs … the place where your role models hang out at is the place you need to go to make friends and meet them.

More people you know, more help you will have at critical junctures in your life.

Investigate and take care of your network right now. Every new person is a portal into an entirely new set of people.

Others are far more likely to help you if they know and like you. Start building it today.



Audacity and boldness have magical powers. Audacity often separates two equally talented men and their job titles. Keith Ferrazi only got into where he is now because his working class father had the guts to ask the CEO of his company for an introduction to a good school.

People with low tolerance for risk have a low probability of success

When you are trying to meet new people or cold-calling or introducing yourself to others, the worst anybody can says is NO. If they choose not to give you their time and help, it’s their loss.

You need to push beyond fear and discomfort when you are meeting new people. Either you don’t talk to anybody (risk rejection) and stand by yourself the whole time, or you take the risk and sometimes it turns out wonderful.

The choice is risking and striving for great relationships and a better life or risking nothing and being certain of mediocrity and a limited life.



It’s better to spend more time with fewer people and have one or two meaningful dialogues than wonder around inattentive and lose all the people’s respect.

Know and respect other people’s boundaries. Don’t gossip. You will leave impression that you are not to be trusted.

Don’t go to parties empty-handed.

Treat people under you with respect. They will go to differences places, perhaps surpass you, or even offer you great help in the future.

Don’t try to be efficient (Sending mass texts, etc)

A wide circle of influence is an unintended result of your constant golden rule of generosity extending to everyone. Not a calculated aim that comes from conditional generosity.


Chapter 7 Do your homework

What’s your mission, goal, dream, brand? Make it clear for other people. It will draw the right people – supporters, friends, mentors

Before meeting any new important person, research and prepare

1) Hobbies

2) Business info

3) Challenges, problems, needs

4) The person’s goals

5) His/her passion and interests, proudest accomplishments (all within one page)

Reach beyond the abstract and get to someone as an individual. Find a way to connect with things that are of most interest to them and you will have found a way to be a part of their life


Maximize the brief windows of opportunity you have to become intimate with other interesting people you haven’t met before. Fluff talk won’t get you there. For somebody to open him/herself up, you need to open up your mind first.

Be honest about mention that you do research on other people before you meet them. “I usually make a special effort to inquire about the people I’d like to meet”. To transform what could be a forgettable encounter into a seed for future contact and friendship, you do your homework and figure out a way to connect and bond.


Chapter 8: Take names and make lists

Make a habit of listing people you know and like to meet by region, industry, activity and keeping them in a database for you to access easily.

Look at magazine/newspaper rankings of the most successful people in your industry. They are probably well-connected. When you get to know these people and journalists responsible for creating these lists, you will be that much closer to being on that list

Name-dropping of a mutual friend/acquaintance is powerful because that mutual friend’s brand will help you establish a bond with the other person. If you have a good mutual friend together, that friend will bring two strangers closer.

Respect the gate-keepers of your contact. They are powerful. Ex) administrative assistants, executive assistants, assistants in general


Chapter 12: Share your passions

Shared interests are building blocks of any strong relationship. You will find many potential friends if you attend events and activities built around interests you are most passionate about

Friendship is built on the quality of time spent with a person. NOT quantity. You see that colleagues you work with are not close to you at all. Or even classmates or your teacher. By doing activities you enjoy together, you’ll be far more comfortable and make quality friends with quality time

Some activities include snowboarding, working out, playing basketball, playing poker, restaurant hopping, going to comedy shows, watching broadway, watching movies, skydiving, extreme sports, traveling, concerts, playing instruments, etc

Invite people to your activities you think they will enjoy too. Let them know, be a diligent event planner, host of good activity gatherings, get people out/having fun

You will be a center of influence by putting together events, happy hour gatherings, dinner gatherings, playing HOST and engaging/creating opportunities for everybody to enjoy together and bond. Don’t just wait around.

There’s 2 types of socializers.

1) Bowling ball à finds and creates social opportunities and crushes them

2) Pin à waits for something to happen/someone to plan something

Who’s going to be more active, more popular and more powerful?


Being friends with the most popular person at a club/event/conference will help you get to meet others THROUGH this person.

            à However, if the venue is competition for this person, you need to use the path of lowest resistance. If you develop a conversation with others related to the person, not as powerful and cool, but still important, you will benefit more.


Also be an information hub/resource. Be up-to-date on latest news, fun spots, private parties, events and share them.


Chapter 13: Follow up with people

The follow-up people remember is the one they got FIRST – earlier than everybody else. Timing is key if you meet a new important person and you want to solidify that connection.

Be sure to include an item of interest from the meeting, a joke or shared moment of humor, or information.

Follow-up emails should be constant


Bill Clinton Greeting

When he shakes hands with fans, he uses two hands to clasp the person and create instant WARMTH (NLP) so that they remember him as warm

Maintains eye-contact strong – always

Asks a personal question to the other and never talks about himself. Always revolves around what the other person is thinking.

He understood that when you are trying to sell or convince somebody something, you have to get them to LIKE YOU FIRST. The sale comes after you establish trust, likability and credibility. A relationship.

Don’t be a card amasser or handing out cards everywhere. Cards prove useless after awhile you will basically have nothing better than a phone book with people’s names and numbers. Instead, BUMP and extract promise for future meeting.



Super-connectors are people who know everybody, whom everyone seems to know, usually occupying fields like hospitality, restaurants, recruiting, lobbyists, fundraising, politicians, journalists, public relations specialists.

Befriend super-connectors are a key to any flourishing network.

Personal contacts are the key to opening doors (+50% of job seekers found their current job through a personal connection) but 80% of those who benefit from personal contacts never even meet up with them often. 30% hardly meet with their contacts at all but still benefit from it.

It’s not necessarily strong contacts that prove the most powerful and useful à on the contrary, often the weaker acquaintances will open a lot of different doors for you and give you more diverse information, opportunities and new ideas. Termed the “Strength of Weak Ties” by Granovetter

Your closest friends and contacts go to the same parties, generally do the same work, exist in roughly the same world as you do. That’s why they seldom know information you don’t already know.

Malcolm Gladwell wrote “acquaintances are a source of social power and more acquaintances you have, the more powerful you are”



1) Frequenting a restaurant and becoming a regular à befriend the staff and the manager and you will have your own private party venue

Cut your umbilical cord to the folks you’ve been stuck with your entire life. Mix it up. Hunt out people who look and act and sound nothing like you do. Seek out ideas from people you don’t really talk to who are in professional worlds you know nothing about. It’s the WAY to expand yourself, go further, become a cosmopolitan individual who understands all.

One contact is the gatekeeper to a whole new world. You can meet hundreds of other people through your relationship with one other key connector.

You must be willing to trust your superconnector partner because you are vouching for them when you allow them to connect with your friends and their behavior with your network is a reflection on you. Make good decisions.

For example, When Ferrazzi wants to launch a product targeted toward lawyers, he will go to his own lawyer and invite him to an event where the lawyer can invite his friends and Ferrazzi will invite his friends – potential clients.



Chapter 17: The Art of Small Talk

Stanford University did a study on identifying traits of most successful alumni. It wasn’t GPA. The one trait that was common was VERBAL FLUENCY.

If you can confidently make conversation with anyone in any situation: investors, customers and bosses pose no more threat than colleagues, secretaries and friends à in dinners, in cabs, in parties, you know how to talk.

The more successfully you use language, faster you can get ahead in life.

The key to good small talk is vulnerability, honesty and being yourself. People want to talk to interesting people willing to differentiate. Not just surface talk.

The issues we all care the most about are the issues we all want to talk about most. Genuinely allow others into your life so that they can be vulnerable in return.

Everyone one has at least one thing in common with someone else. But you won’t find those similarities if YOU don’t open up and expose your interests and concerns allowing others to do likewise  Admission of weakness, honesty, vulnerability is important – even crucial and game-changing. 

Every conversation you have is an invitation to risk revealing the real YOU and creating a real connection with somebody else. What’s the worst that can happen? They don’t respond in kind – so what? BUT if the risk pays off and the other person GETS YOU, then you’ve just turned a potentially dull exchange into possibly a real relationship with amazing rewards.

People who put it all out there and don’t waste time and energy trying to do something or be someone they are not – they are the charmers. Your uniqueness is your power. We are all born with innate talent to be a masterful small-talker. The key to small-talk is not to talk small at all


Master Non-Verbal Communication

            It takes 10 seconds for a person to decide subconsciously whether they like you or not (women attraction to you, first impression in an interview etc) and it’s 20% Verbal communication and 80% Non-Verbal Communication that decides it

                        1) Smile (says I’m approachable) displays confidence and warmth

                        2) Eye contact – keep it about 70-80% of while you are conversing. Don’t glare and stare too much though

                        3) Unfold arms (defensive posture makes others react accordingly)

                        4) KINO à Learn to touch people. Touching is powerful. Touching shoulders, hands, back, elbows, arms

                        5) Nod your head and lean in when the other is talking


At an event, don’t constantly look for the most important person in the room just because you are with less important friends. It’s a turn-off, insincere gesture. Every person is better than you in some way so every person is your mentor

The surest way of becoming special in someone’s eyes is to MAKE THEM FEEL SPECIAL. Opposite is also true. If you make them feel small and insignificant …

Have something to say and offer. Niche hobby, passion, information, unique experiences. Don’t monopolize conversations but don’t be silent as well

JOHARI WINDOW MODEL: Successful communication depends on how much we can align ourselves to match those we interact with … AKA MIRRORING the other person’s communication style. Not just verbal mannerisms but non-verbal posture. Mirroring will put the other person at ease and make them feel closer


Chapter 19: Social Arbitrage

Stop thinking about yourself as an island. When you are isolated, you become powerless, lonely and ignorant. When you are part of a network, which you naturally should be, because connecting is a natural recipe to happiness, success and expansion, you will experience life the way you should – exciting and fun.

If you do one favor to a friend, that friend will feel gratitude to you – and thus, this friend can be leveraged to do favors for some other friend à That is the Domino Effect of Giving and Gaining Power. Every time you give to others or do something nice that takes time and effort, you are gaining power.

Karma = how much you do for others determines how much you will receive in return in the future. It applies to career and is known as career karma. More you help young people get ahead in their careers by offering recommendations, jobs, references, you will have them when you need them in the future. As a young up-and-comer, you should ASK for help so that it creates an opportunity for older people to help you – because they WANT/NEED to do that if they want to get ahead themselves and gain power. And as an older person, you should GIVE help so that you earn karma and power for future

Diversity of your relationships is as important as the quality and quantity of your relationships. Make a point to explore other social groups and bridge different worlds together à it is the key trait of successful managers and people

Quality/Depth of your relationships is important. With deeper understanding of each other and sharing experiences, you will share a bond with another person that will give you joy, success, fun, more friends, resources and benefits not available to you if the quality of your relationships is shallow.

Quantity of your relationships is also important. With only a few friends, even if the quality of the relationship is good, you will become dependent on them which drains their energy which will strain the relationship but also limit you. With many friends, you have many options.

Be a broker of knowledge, information and wisdom to others. Become a problem-solver for their needs. When you see people with problems and you can’t directly help them, just ask yourself “how can I best use my network to help this person solve the problem they are having?”


Chapter 20: You have to keep in touch

Ping, keep in touch, ALL THE TIME

Feed your network or it will wither and die. When it comes to relationship maintenance, you need to be on your game 24/7, 365 days a year

Make calls, send emails, messages to keep in touch with your friends, your mentors, your mentees, your past bosses, your past teachers, professors, everyone you value

The key is “Do not wait until you need them”. Build them before you need them


Chapter 21: Beauty of Dinner Parties

If you organize a dinner party, it’s a very effective way to bring people together, get to know people and socialize because food and alcohol bring people together

At a party, person who’s energetic, interesting, willing to speak his mind and initiate conversations becomes very important, a king. Because everyone is shy, feeling vulnerable, most will be receptive to being “talked to” but not initiating because it’s intimidating and tough and takes courage

6 to 10 guests are optimal for a dinner party. More and it will get a little hectic

            1) KISS (KEEP IT SIMPLE SILLY)

            2) Food à 1 big dish like a chili, or just deli chicken, 부대찌개

            3) Big salad

            4) Dessert (아이스크림) or snacks (chips)

            5) WINE (plenty and plenty of it)


Relax, guests take cues from the host so have fun

Invite people ahead of time so people can adjust their schedules

Wear casual – so that people don’t feel like they under-dressed

Don’t be a kitchen slave à the objective is to socialize and have fun, not impress everyone with your cooking skills. If you put too much energy in the kitchen, you will literally go crazy from the stress and have no energy to have fun

Thursdays are great for dinner parties because it doesn’t cut into people’s weekend plans and yet people are willing to go a little late knowing that they have only one day left in the work week.

Attract a good mix of people and get a reputation that keeps them coming back

If you want to broaden your social circle using these parties, focus on inviting an “ANCHOR” person outside your regular, normal circle. Then advertise this person’s promise to attend the party to get others to attend

Generally, when you invite someone for dinner, you get a 20-30% acceptance rate because of schedule. Suggest people to drop by briefly after dinner for drinks

Themes are always fun and one simple theme can bring a party together and make it exciting – Ex) Circle of Death, Beer Pong, even Naruto, black clothing, poker, potluck, etc


Chapter 22: Be Interesting

When people first meet you or interview you, they ask themselves “would I want to spend one hour with this person if I were trapped inside JFK airport?”

Old people are impressed and admiring of young people who have the nerve to approach them and take the initiative to ask them questions and converse – just showing interest in forming a relationship is enough, no matter how awkward it seems. It shows candor, courage, DIFFERENTIATION. But you still gotta be interesting and differentiate yourself

People hire people they like, and also who can make THEM and the company better. So if you read the news, keep up in everyone’s lives and are involved in what’s going on in the world at large, you will become more valuable as a person to everyone around you as they benefit from your knowledge.

Young people don’t approach older, more successful people because they feel inadequate, intimidated, fearful that those older people may scrutinize or criticize them and make them feel insignificant. Older people don’t approach younger people because they fear young people would think they are old, boring, out-of-the-time, not interesting, nothing in common. Whether you are younger than someone else, or older than someone else, break this loop that’s the cause of non-communication between majority of people in this world.

If you are younger, reach out despite the fear whether you think the other person seems intimidating, or “so much more successful” than you

If you are older, reach out to younger people despite the fear that they might think you are boring and have nothing in common

Everyone sees what you appear to be but a few really know what you are – Machiavelli


Chapter 23: Build your brand and broadcast it

Work on building an expertise

            1) Study text, find articles, buy books, subscribe to magazines, talk ppl

            2) Try teaching it to others. Write a blog on it. Answer questions online.

In today’s business world, creativity defeats competence. Experts will defeat generalists. A unique mind is only thing that will guarantee you a job. Think, why would you be any different from the guy after you if everyone’s a generalist who can do everything?

Whether you like it or not, looks count. Look polished and professional. Clothing, letterheads, hairstyles, conversational styles all matter and are noticed all the time to make one impression. How do you WISH to be seen, to an employer, to an interviewer, to your boss, to your colleagues, to your friends? How are you presenting yourself?

Personal website is a great marketing tool. Build it.

Brand is what everyone thinks when they hear your name. Best brands have a distinct, unique message, value-positioning (words used to describe your mission, skills and passion). It’s knowing you have something others do not. A compelling, emotional story and the ideas that people will care about.

Analyze forefront trends and cutting-edge developments

            - Be an early adaptor, trendsetter, knowledge broker

            - Connect with those above people

Ask a lot of questions, stupider the better

80/20 Rule: 80% of the time, concentrate on your strengths and innate talents. 20% of the time, work on covering your weaknesses

Always be learning through books, magazines, conferences, audiotapes, radio, courses, classes, people (asking them for advice)

Expose yourself to unusual experiences and new things

            1) Peter Drucker’s advice to make someone better at business “Learn to play the Violin”

            2) Travel

            3) Knowing one’s industry won’t be enough to compete in the future

            4) Take a boundless curiosity about things outside your job and comfort zone

Know the latest technology

Develop a niche à carefully select a small area you can realistically hope to dominate in. If you are in a company, think of areas where your company underperforms and choose to add value on that area when nobody else is looking/has the energy or time to work on it themselves. You can dominate it and find a way to improve it.

Go out of your way to take on projects nobody want and initiate projects nobody thought of doing. Email boss and CEO ideas frequently. What’s the worst that could happen? Add value, do things more efficiently, compile best practices, etc

Make the effort to create the job you want and will make you happy regardless of where you are. And you will get that job (Keith Ferrazzi created his own positions)

Redefining yourself constantly is a key and a necessity to success. Break ceilings of people’s expectations, expand people’s view of your capabilities. You can always change people’s expectations of who you are at any time.


Your accomplishments will remain hidden and unknown if you don’t promote them in some way

Feed the KOL influential à they ignite the buzz, adopt a cool product early on and infect everyone else with the passion à A KOL’s word is gospel to many

When you want to grab attention of journalists, you ask yourself 4 questions

1) What do you want to do?

2) Why do you want to do it?

3) How will you do that?

4) Why is this important NOW?


Self-promotion should be controlled. Not too aggressive but balanced so that people who are interested in you (fans, supporters, friends) and also people who can give you opportunities can hear of you.

Your old, established friends, colleagues are the most powerful vehicles that spread word of mouth about your brand.


Chapter 25: Write

Advice from Harvard Business Review professor and renown writer on how to write better à “Write a lot everyday”

Good idea: Write an article and pitch it to an available publication, even small. Contact experts of a topic to help you and collaborate with you as a co-author while you do most of the writing. If it gets published, great. If not, you still made awesome contacts.


Chapter 26: Get close to power

1) When you see famous people, pass the test of sincerity

            A) No ulterior motive

            B) Ask about their interests

            C) Don’t dwell on their fame

2) Look for ways to spend time with people who have accomplished more and have more wisdom and success than you. The key is not to feel undeserving or insecure. You are a star in your own right with your own accomplishments and a whole lot to give to the world.


Chapter 27: Build it and they will come

To create a credible club/organization, it’s important to have back-up supporter/co-founder à preferably a powerful, influential person and you live off his/her brand strength

Clubs are very important. Build your own based on communal interests. Clubs will create friendships more than business relationships that end when a project is done

Benjamin Franklin: “Every man should be a part of multiple clubs and social groups, if not three. A group of like-minded achievement-oriented individuals can dramatically leverage each other’s success to do things otherwise impossible”


Chapter 28: Watch Hubris

The most valuable connections are the ones you’ve already made

When you are doing joint projects, let others be part of the leadership, not just your followers

Help others up the mountain along with and behind you


Chapter 29 Find mentors – Find mentees – Repeat

Harvard study: Your reference group or people you hang out with is a very important factor in determining your future success or failure

If you hang out with connected people, you will become connected. If you hang out with successful people, you will become successful.

Don’t overstretch and pretend to know more than you do when reaching out to more experienced people. Just be yourself.

You can’t look at senior directors, CEOs, VPs with intimidation and boredom thinking “what can I possibly have in common with these old farts?”

Mentor to Mentee is a give and take. It’s reciprocity in some way or form. Loyalty, hard work, appreciation are some things you give to the mentor.

Best way to find a mentor is to give help first, not ask for it. Consider their needs and see how you can assist them. If you can’t, contribute to their charity, company, community

Tell potential mentor why they are special and you are special. What we have in common. Express gratitude, excitement, passion.

Mentors just want to see from their mentees sincere gratitude and that their mentees apply all that they have learned in their lives and are doing well 


Eternal Cycle of Wisdom Transfer

Mentor will teach wisdom to the Mentee

Mentee will learn from the Mentor and in return form a bond with the Mentor

You teach and you learn. From all different people of all ages and angles. It is how it worked at all times in history.


It’s common for mentees not to want to hang out with older mentors. Mentors often want a fun, casual, conversational relationship with their younger mentees like hanging out with a younger brother/sister. So that they can feel younger themselves. Imagine a group of younger kids who are nice, cool and accomplished in their own right want to talk to you and be your friend. Wouldn’t you be flattered? But mentees usually fall short because they don’t really expect that kind of friendly relationship from older people – intimidated, fearful and uncomfortable.

Dalai Lama: “We survive here in dependence on others. There’s not a second that goes by where we don’t benefit from other’s activities. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that most of our happiness arises in our relationships”

Back Home Books Index Edit