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By David RichmanNational Director, Eaton Vance Advisor Institute

When people said they did not have the talent to paint, Bob Ross, the legendary creator of "The Joy of Painting," often responded, "Talent is a pursued interest." What a beautiful thought — talent isn't simply something we are born with, rather something we can cultivate.

During one of our most enjoyable workshops — designed to help advisors build their networking skills with prospective clients — we often hear this refrain: "I simply am not a good networker." Is networking an innate talent or one that can evolve with pursued interest? Probably both. 

We have all met people who seem so effortless in their capabilities to connect us to other people or resources of value. We likely think of these people as "natural connectors." Then there are those who work at it with great intentionality. In the process, they build this talent.

Why should becoming a connecter be an interest you should pursue? Two reasons:

  1. The best rainmakers in this business tend to be the best connectors.
  2. It can expand your reservoir of connections within your community.

Bottom line: Even if you are not a "natural," you can become a talented networker so long as it is a pursued interest.