You’re likely familiar with the famous author who wrote classic books like Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Even though Mark Twain was actually Samuel Clemens, under his pen name he became one of the most influential writers and critics of his era.
As he became a well-known figure, he was able to introduce many impressive people into his network. He was known to be associated with numerous historical figures including Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, Helen Keller, and Andrew Carnegie.
Twain’s interest in science connected him to Edison and eventually Edison’s protégé, Tesla. Through one of his associates, he was also introduced to Helen Keller. In his autobiography, he documented his first meeting with her and the impression it made on him. Twain also met his future wife through her brother who was in the author’s network. The pair’s first date involved attending a reading by legendary author Charles Dickens.
Overall, Twain was connected to a wide variety of famous people throughout his life and career. His network consisted of people he looked out for and in turn looked out for him. Whether it was by increasing his personal connections like his wife or for financial or business reasons, Twain’s network was filled with people who were of great interest to him.
Of course, Twain’s interest in people fueled his curiosity and helped him to breathe life into the character’s in his works. He was known to seek out others by arranging a meeting with them or introducing himself at social engagements. As a writer’s life can be isolated at times, it was likely important for him to connect with others when the opportunity presented itself.
It’s also important to note that Twain’s wife was instrumental in helping him build his network. Her connections brought him into the world of women’s suffrage, civil rights, and abolitionist movements.
So what can you learn from Mark Twain and how he built his network?
By connecting yourself with people who share interests with you, who are seeking the same line of work you are, or who are involved within your community, you can easily connect to those who can make a difference in your life. Whether the individual provides you with guidance or advice or they know of someone who can, staying in touch with and building your network can enhance your life goals and career aspirations.