But, Do You Have People?
When Being Wealthy Ain’t About Money At All
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If you know anything about Nene Leakes and this moment in Black reality television, you know that she said this with her whole chest. And, while we can debate on her intent, there was definitely something to her certainty. We can’t be mad at that.
And whether or not you’ve reached your financial pinnacle, we hope that you’ll think about what this statement means outside of the dollar bill. Yes, get your bag sis. But that’s not all there is.
Can we talk about the wealth of having good people? Like, solid people. Different kinds of people. People whose life experiences and perspectives challenge you to learn more about yourself and the world. People who call you up higher and expand your palate.. Having those? That’s wealth right there.
In a formal context, experts have named this life asset social capital. It is defined as the networks of relationships among people who live and work in a particular society, enabling that society to function effectively. The positive outcomes of human interaction can be tangible or intangible, but they serve a function in supporting a goal.
In a post by Will Kenton of Investopedia, he shares that researchers have identified three primary types of social capital:
Bonding refers to social capital created within a group with shared interests and goals. A neighborhood association is a good example of how bonding works.
Bridging, on the other hand, is the creation of social capital across groups. When bridging is successful, individuals in the two groups discover shared interests and goals and work together to achieve them. A neighborhood association that links up with a local police department is an example of how bridging works.
Linking, similar to bridging, linking creates ties across groups, but those that span different socioeconomic groups. Linking has been associated with increasing one's chances of upward social mobility.
These additive groups exist in comfort spaces -- your Sunday Funday brunch crew, for example-- AND your professional groups at work that perhaps don’t feel as familiar. Either way, being present to intentionally cultivate and gain this kind of capital is a key element of growth.
So, how do we get there?
Building social capital isn’t novel…so this isn’t a how-to-meet people guide. But this is a nudge to think about how you’re intentionally cultivating community in your life. And, this isn’t about interactive behaviors so much -- so the introvert vs. extrovert paradigm isn’t the focus either. This is about creating an experience that is enriching according to the life you want to create. Cool?
So, a few tips:
Follow the trail of your interest. Do you have a quirky hobby or seemingly random interest that excites you? Don’t just research it to death. Find groups online or in person that connect you with others who may share that affinity.
Create experiences with the people you know and love. One way to engage your besties and family members more deeply is to try something new, together. Creating memories has merit all its own, but learning alongside your loved ones opens new levels of dialogue and connection.
Collect the cards, but also use them. Ever attended a function and left with a stack of business cards that became desk decoration? Yeah, us too. Well how about going through the stack and sending a note. Perhaps it’s just saying hello or connecting online -- but consider that there is a broader, bigger network available to you -- you’ve just got to tap in.
Get curious. Are there coworkers that you always greet but don’t really know? You have a friendly enough office energy but it falls flat after weather and weekend chat? How about going the next step and asking themselves about something you’ve picked up on, or making space to engage outside of the office? Simple acts of invitation and inquiry can begin the makings of a bridge between you two.
Consider all these opportunities to lean in to intention and planfulness the same way that you approach planning your money moves. Because the dividends of relational investments? They can’t even be counted.
Photo credit: PICHA Stock