By Brian D. Stanchak

Now that the grind of the July recruiting period is complete, I want you to think back to all of the coaches that you met on the road. I’m sure your network grew tremendously, whether you were in Atlanta, New Orleans, Chicago or any other city you ventured to. You may not realize it yet, but you may have even met someone that will change the course of your career and life forever.

Now that July is over, what happens next? Will you wait until you hopefully see everyone you met on the road again during one of the next recruiting periods or will you start cultivating these relationships seeds that were planted within the past month TODAY?

When I say start TODAY, I want you to write down each and every person you met during the month of July. When I was a college coach and I’d be recruiting, I’d type in my phone or write in the back of my recruiting packet every single person I met or was introduced to. It didn’t matter if it was a five second introduction or a five-minute conversation. I would then follow up with them once I got off the road and send occasional emails during the course of the year. It would take time and effort, but it was worth it. In fact, several of the coaches that I did just that are very successful current clients of mine.

When evaluating a client’s network when they are interested in a position, I don’t want to hear “well, I met someone last July while recruiting but haven’t talked to them since”. Don’t bother wasting their time reaching out when you are in need of something. You need to cultivate relationships and view establishing these relationships as a long-term process and not instant gratification.

Finally, take 25 minutes each day to yourself to network. Network with those you met in July or strengthen relationships with those you know already. Utilize all forms of communication but spend this time on “you”. Too many times people will say they don’t have time, but if you don’t invest time in your career, how can you expect it to grow? As mentioned earlier, you never know if someone you met this July will change the course of your career forever, but if you don’t take advantage of the seed that been planted, you’ll never know.