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  • Learn From The Queen of Silicon Valley

    “I always tell people if you try to connect the dots of your career, if you mess it up you’re going to wind up on a very limited path. If I decided what I was going to do in college—when there was no Internet, no Google, no Facebook… I don’t want to make that mistake. The reason I don’t have a plan is because if I have a plan I’m limited to today’s options”

    Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO, has been named one of Forbes 50 most powerful women for each of the last four years. Business Insider published an article on nine ways that she came to be the most powerful woman in Silicon Valley.

    I want to briefly look at two of those traits.

    One of Sandberg’s success keys is to be connected with other powerful women.

    You know how the old cliché goes: “it’s not what you know but who you know.” To a certain extent, that’s true. When most people say something like that, they’re speaking out of frustration. They feel that they’re automatically disqualified from many of the opportunities that other, more-connected candidates have access to.

    If knowing the right people is an essential to getting ahead in your career, don’t throw up you hands, bemoaning your current circle. Go out and proactively build your network. Get to know people who can help you move forward in business.

    Some people are well-connected because of their families, schools they attended or other factors that they had no control over. But regardless of those things, you can still take the initiative to go out and build your professional network.

    Another lesson we can learn from Sandberg’s career is to keep our options open. In an interview with the New Yorker, she said

    “I always tell people if you try to connect the dots of your career, if you mess it up you’re going to wind up on a very limited path. If I decided what I was going to do in college—when there was no Internet, no Google, no Facebook… I don’t want to make that mistake. The reason I don’t have a plan is because if I have a plan I’m limited to today’s options”
    Thinking and dreaming big are closely related to success. But always maintain your adaptability. When opportunities arise, you’ll want to be free to jump on them.
    By all means, have an end goal in mind, but be flexible about what steps you have to take to get there.
    There are seven more distinguishing features that set Sheryl Sandberg apart from most of her peers. Read more about them here.

    Filed Under: Women's Business

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    About the Author: Donnie Bryant is a direct response copywriter and marketing consultant. He specializes in improving businesses' sales and profitability by creating compelling marketing messages and strategies. Find out more about Donnie at http://donnie-bryant.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at @donniebryant and connect with him on Google Plus at +donniebryant.

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