The Squared Connection Effect

“Why accept mediocrity when excellence is an option?”

This is the first question Dr. Ivan Misner asked the 200 member audience at the 2014 Referrals For Life® Day that really caught my attention. The question posed hit me to my core. This is a question that is part of who I am.

Ivan continued on in a discussion about the theme of his upcoming book collaboration with Stewart Emery, Who’s in Your Room? The larger concept is that if we lived in a room where people could only come in – and never leave – who would you allow to enter?

It’s a great concept and question for networkers. As we build our businesses by referral, we get to decide who we want to collaborate with, who we want to build a referral relationship with, and who we want to network with. We get to pick who is in our proverbial room.

The flip side to who’s in your room is the question, are you the type of person people want in their room?

The Squared Connection Effect

Graphic from

How far does your network reach?
Graphic from

In a network, the possible business referral connections is equal to the square of the number of people in the network.

For example, a referral network of 16 people creates 256 potential connections. With 32 people there are 1,024 possible connections. Now, assuming the number of meaningful relationships that an individual can have is 150, that network of 32 has a potential of 153,600 possible secondary connections!

Are you going for quality or quantity?

Referring back to the first question, to select quality or quantity would be accepting mediocrity. I am on a quest to push the boundaries of both. I want many high quality people in my referral network. When out networking, I believe the two go hand in hand. You must meet a quantity of people to meet the most quality people. Building relationships with those quality people will lead to introductions to other quality people.


-Maile Collmer

Be excellent, be referable, be a connector, and live Referrals For Life®.


References: Quality vs. Quantity, Sept 2013

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