How to Maintain a Network in Quarantine with Tips from Chip Gaines

Posted by Eric Jensen on

You know and love him from his work on Fixer Upper and Magnolia Homes. Chip Gaines is here with another book featuring his wit and wisdom, this time focusing on network-building. But because it's Chip, it's not your usual business-y network-y book. No Pains, No Gaines is a helpful manual to get you building a group of people you can count on to join you on your journey. Because networking shouldn't just be about shaking hands and climbing to the top. It should be about finding your people who will stand by your side and help you reach your goals. It should be about real human connection. 

The book will guide you on the path to better networking, including tips on figuring out which risks are worth taking, valuing what you have to offer, and engaging with the world around you. Gaines is adamant that this sort of networking won't come easy. It's the roadmap he's followed in his successful career alongside his talented wife, Joanna Gaines, who writes the foreword to the book.

I'm taking a few tips from his book to offer you a way to maintain a network during quarantine. We all know times are weird and difficult and frustrating, and we're all feeling painfully alone. But you can do some work (pain) to get what you need (gain). Pinky promise. 

Work for what you want

If your only focus is getting through the day unscathed, I feel you. But sooner or later, you're likely going to need a helping hand or a shoulder to cry on. Nourish the relationships you have, both personal and professional, to make sure both parties feel worthwhile. Joanna writes about a time Chip met a plumber and was excited to take his business card, saying it could come in handy some day. To Jo, you really only need one plumber. But that's just not the way Chip views the world. It's easy to meet people and see them as a means to an end. But a better way is to consider what you can learn from each other and what you can build—or, uh, plumb?—together.

Live true to yourself

Chip is fierce about nonnegotiables—the things that are the heart of your character. The things you cannot and will not waver on. In quarantine, that can mean pushing for a video or phone meeting rather than in-person. Or it could mean being the only person in your circle to get vaccinated. Do the things that are right to you, the things you feel in your bones. Living true to yourself is the right way to find your network and your success. 

Bust out of your routine

In quarantine, it's extra easy to fall into a routine that keeps us away from things that might open our minds. Bust out of it, though. Take a walk around the block—going the opposite way than you normally go. You might meet someone knew or see part of your neighborhood from a new angle. When we're in a routine, we work on autopilot and don't notice anything around us. So shake it up once in a while! 

Don't be afraid to fail

Failure comes in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes it's a joke that doesn't land right over a video call. Other times it's walking away from a venture that's not profitable. It is all okay. Pick yourself up and get back into the world. Chip insists that failure lives in our heads, and often, what we're afraid of is the appearance of failure rather than actual failure. So keep doing you. 

This book comes at the perfect time. The world is inching toward a version of normal and soon we'll be able to be making connections with new people again. No Pain, No Gaines is the handbook you need to start changing the way you live your life. 

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