It’s really easy to grow a professional network. You meet people, collect business cards and capture contacts. The more influence they have, the better.
Value of your Network = Number of contacts x Their Influence
You can’t predict what you’ll need in the future or how influent people will become. For that reason, number and variety of contacts makes sense. But, if this is how you’re going to value your network, you might as well stay home, go on LinkedIn and add random people as connections.
Your network’s value is not the number of people you know, it’s the number of people available to help you.
Value of your Network = Number of contacts x Their Influence x Their Willingness to help you
As big as your network might get, it will never be worth very much if no one is returning your calls… A few very good contacts is better than a lot of contacts you can’t rely on.