Do you believe in 6 degrees of separation?

January 10, 2018



Join me as I try to find the most inspiring people on the planet. Are human beings really all linked together?



I’m fascinated with the concept of the influencer. We’re lucky to live in a world where brilliant people are sharing their knowledge and ideas, usually free of charge. I’m on a mission to grab it all with both hands, as well as add to it in my own small way.


Recently I was finding out more about LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman. Did you know that as well as founding PayPal, Reid also started a precursor to LinkedIn, called SocialNet? It was a prototype social network, based on the principle of 6 degrees of separation. Actually, he still owns the patent.


Ties that bind


You’ve probably heard of the theory of 6 degrees of separation. The idea is that all living things and every single person in the world can be linked together in six or fewer steps. Your friends are one step away, friends of friends are 2 steps away, and so on. Any two people on the planet can be connected in a maximum of 6 steps.


It’s a staggering concept, first put forward by the Hungarian author Frigyes Karinthy, in a short story from 1929, called Chains.


Hold that thought


I’ll come back to this concept later, but allow me to digress slightly!


I’m lucky enough to be in a position where I’ve built up a following. I’ve written over 100 blogs now. I’m also the No1 Social Seller on LinkedIn. This is all great for the ego, but I try to be humble in public. (Honest!)


This year, I want to really provide value to my followers. I’m trying to take a leaf out of Gary Vaynerchuk’s book and document my life. I received a video camera for Christmas and I’ve been practising hard at using it. Unfortunately, my life isn’t as aesthetically pleasing as Gary Vee’s. In fact, my partner referred to my videos as, ‘An ordinary guy filming himself in an office.’


The truth hurt, but it’s still the truth. I am an ordinary guy. If I really want to provide value for my followers who I’m so thrilled to have, I need to do something extraordinary.


That gave me an idea.


The Inner Circle


OK, remember I told how I’m fascinated with influencers. Well, over my time working at LinkedIn I’ve curated a long list of companies and influencers who I enjoy following and reading about. This list now numbers 100 people. They’ve affected me in some way through their writing, their films, art and entertainment. I call this list my Inner Circle 100.


I’m going to meet them all. In person. For real.


How hard can it be?


I like to think I’m pretty adept at sales. Hey, I started Sales Confidence to be an advocate for the sales profession.


For years, I’ve been mapping organisations and tracking down the right people to talk to. I think with a bit of planning, reaching my top 100 influencers is possible, right?


Then you’ve got the 6 degrees of separation. If old Frigyes was right, with your help, and the help of my network, I should be able to reach out to these people.


As part of my quest, I want to employ the concept of ‘paying it forward’. I’m happy to help anyone in any way I can. If you can help me through your network, I’d love to help you through mine.


Will you help me?


End of part one


So, there we are. I don’t know how successful I’ll be, but I can promise you it’ll be fun finding out. It should be better than ‘An ordinary guy in his office’, anyway. I’m going to meet 100 of the most interesting people in the world, what could be more valuable than that?


I’m going to be documenting my journey on Twitter with the hashtag #Innercircle100 and at @innercircle100, and many other places besides. I hope you’ll join me, and tell everyone you know.


Now, you’re probably wondering who is on the list. That will have to wait until part 2.


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