Derek Sivers

Programmer, writer, avid student of life. I make useful things, and share what I learn.

Articles → Stay in close touch with hundreds of people

Every person you’ve ever met has a huge potential to help you.

If you keep in touch, and stay on their mind, there is a big chance they will send an opportunity your way. But if you don’t keep in touch, that potential is almost gone. Out of touch, out of mind.

So you need to make a habit, a simple automatic system, to keep in touch without relying on your memory. Use a “contact manager” app to label everyone in a category like this:

Contact them just to say hello. Ask what’s new. Find out how things are going with them. See if you can help them in any way.

Don’t ask a favor unless you’ve already been in touch recently. It’s a little insulting to contact someone you haven’t talked with in a long time, just to ask a favor. This regular contact should be unselfish, sincerely caring how they are.

Most people are so bad at keeping in touch that they will really appreciate that you do. And if you make this a system, it’s really not hard to stay in close touch with hundreds of people.