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Your ability to get the right information when you need it is far more important than your ability to memorize or stockpile information. Your ability to get the right information depends on whom you ask and where you look.

CASE STUDY: Kevin has a hard time finding the right equipment and supplies for his photography hobby.

TIP: A business card helps networking.

TACTIC: Use your personal network of friends, colleagues, and acquaintances to help you to find contacts, get ideas, and refer you to other people.

If you know ten friends and each of those friends know ten different friends, you have 110 friends or friends-of-friends. If your friends-of-friends know ten different friends, you have 10,110 friends, friends-of-friends, and friends-of-friends-of-friends.

Your friends and acquaintances can be a great referral resource. For example, you might be looking for an apartment in a particular part of the city. By letting your friends know, you might hear about an open apartment before it is listed in an advertisement.

You can make more contacts by networking--getting to know people for mutually beneficial professional reasons. Most professional conferences, meetings, or other gatherings provide you with excellent opportunities to network. The key to successful networking is to meet people and make a few, meaningful relationships with people who can help you and whom you can help. Then keep in touch with these people.

Self-improvement has been a craze in the United States for decades. So if you seek ideas for more successful living, working, or loving, you can find it. There are many self-improvement books and seminars.

Pick out the ideas from a self-help program or book that apply most to your situation. Even using a few of these ideas may give you very worthwhile results.

TACTIC: Use your public library to access a treasure house of information and knowledge.

If you don't have a public library card, get one. It is the most valuable card you will ever have in your wallet.

You can find information at your public library, and also much more: knowledgeable information professionals who can direct you to a variety of resources.

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