How to establish your “Personal Capital”

Personal Capital. One of those phrases that gets tossed around in business without much thought. But what do we mean by personal capital? Even an internet search will not define it beyond the more technical definition from the personal finance world.

But we have all heard the expression, “do you really want to spend your personal capital on that? The implication is that somewhere you have accumulated credibility that you can “spend” at the appropriate time. But how do we accumulate this credibility?

Borrowing again from the finance world, lets think of personal capital as an account. In order for you to be able to withdraw from that account, you will first have to have made deposits. Those deposits, in this context, are favors. Things that you have done for others, unselfishly, when they were in need. The quid pro quo is not established but implied.

In a recent Globe & mail article : How to Network the right way by Suzanne Bowers,

Randall Craig is quoted as saying:

“Too often we, as professionals, forget and rush so quickly to make withdrawals when there’s nothing in the networking bank account. Give to get is about finding ways to make deposits with those people who you’ve just started relationships with.”

I would suggest that we need to go further and make making deposits an ongoing process so that when a withdrawal is needed, the Personal capital is available.

So in your day to day activities remember to help when you can. The next time someone calls looking for a favor, or help on their job search, or advice on a project, lend a helping hand, and watch your Personal Capital grow :)