Make sure to do your background research as you look for job opportunities, networking connections and more.

I once called a well-known investor trying to pitch him on my new startup idea and I did not get more than a few minutes into the pitch when he shared that he was an investor in a competitive company.

I felt like a dolt. I did not do my homework.

How long does it take to do a search on someone? A minute. Maybe another 3-5 minutes of reading the top 3-4 links? LinkedIn has a ton of personal background. Do they have a blog? What they write about says a lot about what is important to them.

As I have written about many times before, networking is not hard but doing it right takes a little work on your part.

Do yourself and your targeted new networked friend a favor – Do Your Homework!

In my case, a brief search of his website would have revealed the competitive company. Ten years later, I am now professional friends with that investor and I am hoping that he has forgotten that brief and awkward phone call…