Your Network Determines Your Net Worth

I know it is 4-20 and it would be cool to read about all type of hemp influenced products or why/why not weed should be legalized, but there are much more important subjects to blog about.

cans of Chillo drink

Hemp Energy Drinks by AudioVision via CC* License 

Such as …

“Your network determines your net worth.” To the growing hemp producers  that phrase might be all too familiar (lol), but for you younger folk it may sound very new. And thats okay, but after today I want you to never forget it.

cartoon images of blue stick-figure men

3D Social Networking by Chris Potter via CC License

According to A network is an association of individuals having a common interest, formed to provide mutual 

assistance, helpful information, or the like. When you meet people on your career path or those in your hobby-generated groups you may automatically connect them with your “network.” Although those people have common interests, they become apart of your network, and vice versa, only when you put actively add them to it. Of course that is figuratively speaking, you cannot actually pick people up and put them in a physical network. But just think if you collect business cards, phone numbers, and emails from everyone you meet, even those who do not seem to share common interest with you, you may have thousands of contacts within a few months. After you converse and exchange contacts, you must personally follow up with people and even subscribe them to your monthly mailing or email list if you have one. If you walk by people, choose to bail on networking, and refuse to attend all social events, you are missing a possible life alternating opporntunity.

a woman in a white dress holding out her hand

Helping Hand Edited by Stormgirl via CC license

Some may not know, or even believe that I can be a shy person. It’s true. I would choose to opt out of a phone conversation or even a face-to-face chat unless I know a person very well. THIS IS DISASTROUS for anyone.  How can I be successful in real estate, let alone in the entertainment industry, if I can not socialize or speak to a person or a crowd. Most times I pump my self up or just brush away the fear, but it is a skilled that can only be mastered if practiced. So people, next time you are about to send a mass text/email try sending it personally to someone or calling them directly. That will help build a trusting relationship. You may even spark a conversation that inquires about each of your skill sets and interests, which in return build a network that will allow for exchange of services, sharing of knowledge, or even referrals.

people in suits shaking hands

Business Meeting by thetaxxhaven via CC license

And thats where you build your net worth, which can be thought of as the total assets of a business minus its total liabilities ( A person can be a brand, or business, as well. Theoretically, your net worth can be calculated by actual financials or based on those connected to you in someway. Those connections can be a direct link to leads, future income, knowledge, and more.

 a word cloud of business terms

Business by Gerald via CC license

*CC: Creative Common

Dedicated to some of the men in my life who practice and preach this concept:

  • My Dad Larry, personal trainer & (Co-Owner of Brooklyn Billionairez)
  • My Uncle Dave, business owner in the Automotive & Entertainment industry
  • My Uncle Sammy, mutli-business owner including We Have it ALL
  • My Brother-Cousin Samar, Owner of Made Realty & Made Capital Corp.

Happy Birthday Samar, you will continue to add on to your network and success.

QUESTIONS TO THE AUDIENCE: Are you nervous when networking? | Do you leave events early to avoid feeling awkward when talking to others? | Do you have stories of success based on your network? | Do you feel having people in your network is similar to using people? | How do you network? | Can you give me advice.



5 Useful IT Certifications

This one’s for the Computer Systems students. What our college doesn’t offer in IT certifications, it makes up for with comprehensive courses culminating in a degree. Despite all that, students have a hard time finding jobs when they graduate because more and more employers want their potential entry level techies to have more under their belt than just a degree.


CompTIA A+

One of the most basic certifications you can get in IT, the A+ certification is mandatory for Dell, Intel and Lenovo technicians and is held by over 900,000 IT Professionals. The A+ certification consists of 2 exams- covering topics like PC hardware, networking, operation procedure, operating systems, security, mobile devices and basic troubleshooting skills. This test has a little bit of everything, but IT hopefuls who can pass this exam will feel right at home in a help desk or support position while they figure out what they want to specialize in.

For more information, see:


CCENT / CompTIA Network +

Both of these are entry level networking certifications. The CCENT exam stands for Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician and “validates the ability to install, operate and troubleshoot a small enterprise branch network”. In English, you’re qualified to be a network support technician. The exam focuses heavily on routing and switching, but students in the Networking module (CST 3507/607/707) should have no problem passing the exam. The same goes for the CompTIA Network+ certification. Where the CCENT is focused on routing and switching, the Network + certification covers basic networking concepts, installations and configurations, media and topologies, network management and network security. Which certificate you pursue depends on what  you want to do. If you want to have a career as a network technician, you should consider taking both exams, making sure to pick up the CCENT. It is a prerequisite for the CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate), something any mid-level IT professional is expected to have. Whether you have the skills or not, like a college degree, if you don’t have that piece of paper, higher paying companies are much less likely to consider you.

For more information, see:


Microsoft Technology Associate

The MTA is recommended for most IT professionals. Like it or not, the world runs on windows – from help desk to CIO, you’re expected to know how to use it. The MTA certification can be earned by passing an exam in one of five areas: Windows Operating System Fundamentals, Windows Server Administration Fundamentals, Networking Fundamentals, Database Fundamentals and Security Fundamentals. This certificate is a prerequisite to become a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate a.k.a. someone certified to work with and troubleshoot for Windows 7 and 8. If you’re interested in specializing in the Windows OS, you should also look into becoming a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist.


For more information, see:


Apple Certified Technical Coordinator

There’s also a need for people with the skills to troubleshoot Apple products. The Apple Certified Associate certification is for entry level tech support and lower level system administrators. Obtaining it proves that you can (at least on paper) provide support for Mac OS X users and maintain Mac OS X Server. It requires two exams (Mac OS X Support Essentials & Mac OS X Server Essentials). Like the Cisco and Microsoft Certifications, this certificate is a prerequisite for something more advanced. Having an Apple Certified System Administration Certificate verifies that you are a system administrator capable of managing large multi-platform networks utilizing Apple products.


For more information, see:


Red Hat Certified System Administrator

This isn’t necessarily an entry level certificate, but it will definitely earn points when you put in a resume. Very few people bother learning to use Linux or UNIX but having the RHCSA tells employers you’re capable of doing everything in Linux you can do in Windows. This includes: Understanding essential tools, working in a command-line environment, booting into different run levels, controlling virtual machines, configuring system files, deploying and maintaining systems, services and installations, managing user groups and managing security in a Linux environment. Unlike almost every other certification on this list, the RHCSA is a performance based exam. You aren’t just given a question on a hypothetical situation – you’re given a live system and are judged on your ability to accomplish a task in a timely fashion.

For more information, see:


Depending on whom you ask, certifications may or may not be necessary for starting on your path to a career in IT, but it’s a double edged sword. Yes, you run the risk of being overqualified for a position if you go grabbing up certifications. You could also have someone unexpectedly test you on topics from the certification you‘ve earned during an interview. However, outside of internships, students are not always luck enough to get a job in their field. Certifications are essential for job seekers in IT trying to get a foot in the door, especially when they don’t have the 6 months to a years’ worth of experience most employers want. To test or not to test – is it really a question?