I think (hope) we all know the importance of keeping in touch with your network of connections. After all, in the business world, it’s all about who you know. My senior year of college, I interned for Tim Reha. At the time, he ran Venture All Stars (no longer up and running). He is easily one of the more connected guys I know — and you know what? There is a reason for it. During my internship, I used to always hear him on the phone saying something to the tune of “just calling to catch up a bit”. I didn’t quite grasp the real importance of this until recently but it’s turned out to be one of the more important lessons he taught me in those 3 months. Building and maintaining relationships with a vast network of people takes time and effort — but the time and effort you put into it pays off in the long run. I can tell you from first hand experience some of the most valuable business intel and opportunities come as a result of just shooting the breeze with people you haven’t spoken with for awhile.

Lesson: if you find yourself with a few free minutes — call someone you haven’t spoken with for awhile and ask them what they’ve been up to (and update them on what you’ve been doing). Better yet, carve out a few hours every week to making these phone calls. I think you’ll be surprised with how valuable those phone calls turn out to be.