It is great to spend time building an illustrious network with people across several industries. It's essential if your interested in several sectors like me. But what's more important than building a network is nourishing it. I compare relationships and networks to plants. Without nourishment, plants can't thrive.
If I wanted to grow a rose at my house, I would need to do several things. First, I would need to plant the seed in fertilizer. If I'm really diligent, then I'd research the perfect dirt to put my seed into. Next, I would water my plant regularly and put it in front of sunlight. This process would be repeated continuously throughout the life of my plant. If it is not done, guess what, you plant dies! Plants are fragile and can be destroyed easily.
Relationships are just like plants. Many people are afraid to even plant the seed of a relationship. This involves reaching out to people in a warm or cold manner and creating that first interaction. A seed that is never planted can't grow. A relationship that is never started can't grow. For people that actually plant the initial seed, they generally fail to water the plant and put it in sunlight. How can your relationship or plant grow if you don't put any nutrients or energy into it. The lucky part is most relationships don't require as much tlc as a plant and can be maintained easily.
As with friends and family, your network requires differing levels of watering. You may call your mom each week. You may text your cousin each month. With your network, you may connect with them once a quarter or twice a year. This connection could be a personalized email, a quick call, coffee, or any other good interactions. These small but important touch points keep you and your network connected and helps those relationships flourish. Kept it simple, BUT make sure you're consistent and stay in touch.