It’s true that your network is your net worth.
Never was this idea as clear to me as it was when I got a rare invitation to a closed-door meeting in the nation’s capital.
I was invited to meet with a handful of the world’s most powerful men… including the late Sen. John McCain, Sen. Dick Durbin and former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutiérrez.
But the real powerhouse was a man who used his connections to accidentally throw the political world upside down.
Many folks will recall the name of the late Robert Novak. He was the notorious journalist who extended his arm and brought me to Washington.
He was also the man who exposed the utter foulness of Washington’s innards… and lifted the veil of the deep state.
Novak’s earth-shattering reporting started in the wake of an op-ed penned by former diplomat Joseph Wilson. In it, Wilson publicly stated his doubts over George Bush’s now infamous State of the Union claim that Saddam Hussein sought a large quantity of uranium from Africa.
Eight days after the attack on the Bush administration, Novak penned a piece that outed Wilson’s wife… Valerie Plame, a deep-cover agent for the CIA.
Novak went to his grave claiming he never knew of her undercover role. He consistently argued that “two senior administration officials” were the ones who told him of Plame’s connection to the story.
Nonetheless, this simple slip of the pen ousted a key CIA operative.
It virtually erased all of Plame’s work.
Many pundits claimed that it was direct political retribution for Wilson’s comments. They said that the White House gave the name to Novak, knowing he would innocently print it… and ruin two careers.
“Naming her this way would have compromised every operation, every relationship, every network with which she had been associated in her entire career,” Wilson said.
Plame’s time at the CIA was over.
She was no longer a spy.
But don’t shed a tear… Hollywood has paid her far more than Washington ever would have. Her network there is even larger and likely even more disturbing than anything the realm of politics could produce.
As for Novak, his slip-up reminded the world – and its politicians – of the force of the written word… and the power of knowing the right people.
A Good Connection
Novak used his time in Washington to amass quite a powerful Rolodex.
For example, on the day we met with him near his home in Washington, a junior senator was forced to back out of our meeting at the last minute.
Novak didn’t mind.
He picked up his cellphone and politely excused himself from the room. “Durbin owes me a favor,” he said as he walked into the hall.
We’re not sure what Novak said to the powerful senator from Illinois or who was owed what and why… but Dick Durbin got to our building fast. He sat down with us a mere 15 minutes after the call ended.
Connections are a wonderful thing.
We’d go on about the things we learned that day… the tales of economic manipulation Gutiérrez revealed… or how McCain looked us in the eye and said he’d never run for the White House… but we fear we’d bore half the readers and nauseate the rest.
Instead, we tell this tale to remind you of two things.
First, never take any of the junk you see or read from the mainstream press at full value. After all, if it’s a story worth telling, it’s probably a story worth lying about.
Second, and far more important… we beg readers to understand the tightly knit connection between our network and our net worth.
It’s easy for a man to think he’ll never rub elbows with the political elite or titans of industry. It’s easy to think that our connections don’t matter all that much. And it’s easy to let them drift away like a rowboat that’s slipped its moorings.
But it’s our Connections that influence nearly all that we do.
No man, after all, lives in an oasis all his own. (Nor would any man want to.)
We are the sum of those around us. And in this case, one plus one certainly equals three… or 300.
It’s why investors in small startups don’t think nearly as much about the business plan as they do about the folks who wrote it.
It’s why the funerals of the rich and powerful tend to get quite crowded. The wealthy didn’t get that way on their own.
And it’s why Connections are a vital part of our Triad.
Without them, our wealth and our freedom aren’t worth all that much.
As Robert Kiyosaki, the famed personal finance expert, reminds us, “The richest people in the world look for and build networks. Everyone else looks for work.”
P.S. Here’s how to use your Connections to build liberating wealth… We’ll be speaking at The Oxford Club’s annual Investment U Conference next March, along with two dozen other financial experts. Join us to learn the very best ways to create a seven-figure retirement fortune. Click here for more details.