life is unfair

Life is unfair, we all have to deal with it. Most get inherited advantages (or disadvantages) via genetics or finances. The Economist captured an incisive analysis of meritocracy in America: Ever higher society, ever harder to ascend. While on paper we have no caste system, the informal social strata and ethnic enclaves persist for generations. Nothing short of a revolution can change it all. But, revolutions are bloody.

A small percentage break through and get on the upward mobility track. That’s the stereotypical American dream: born into a poor family, and seizes the opportunity to break free and rises in net worth and status. It’s also the stereotypical immigrant story, my family’s story — that my parents came to the United States 30 years ago with three young boys, I was 8 at the time, to have the possiblity of a better life and opportunity for us. And, Keith Ferrazzi is one of those stories.

Master networker Keith Ferrazzi (or one of his staff) stopped by my blog and commented on my July 2004 entry titled “amateur networker“, to tell me about his new book Never Eat Alone : And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time. Kudos for how quickly they’ve gotten onto the blogosphere.

From its official website at, I read an excerpt, and it appears to be a compelling read. (Also found Chapter 1 online.) You might even say it’s the 21st century’s version of Dale Carnegie’s How to Make Friends and Influence People. You might imagine that seminars, conferences, and consultations will soon follow.

Being an amateur network myself, I’ve already got an immediate affinity for the subject. My personal hurdle is probably my resistance to monetize my network. And that is the difference between an amateur and a professional. One is unpaid, one is paid.

[update 3/05/05] They’ve released some more excerpts of the Keith Ferrazzi book at, wi th tips like Learn the Power of Nonverbal Cues, Develop Conversational Currency, Adjust Your Johari Window, and Learn to Listen.

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