Net Worth = Network (The foundation of a successful professional & personal life)

Sep 28, 2021

IBA, as the premier business brokerage firm in the Pacific Northwest, is firmly established as a respected professional service firm in the legal, accounting, banking, mergers & acquisitions, real estate, and financial planning communities.  Periodically, we will post guest blogs from professionals with knowledge to share for the good of owners of privately held companies & family owned businesses. The following blog article has been provided by Curt Maier. Mr. Maier is the Vice President of Business Development at IBA (

Net Worth = Network

(The foundation of a successful professional & personal life)

What is your net worth? This is a question I posed to my daughter the other day and she looked puzzled…  “Dad, that is a bit intrusive, wouldn’t you say?”  So, I then asked her what she thought I meant by “net worth.”  She immediately cited Webster’s definition which is stated as the excess of the value of assets over liabilities. I explained to her that my definition was not limited to one’s personal financial balance sheet, rather the definition could be extended to one’s worth to family, friends, and community.  I am an engineer by degree and so I think in terms of equations. And based on a lifetime of building my own net worth, I have concluded that this simple equation truly describes what true net worth is to me:

Net Worth = Network

In my world of business development, one’s network, both personal and professional, is a person’s most significant asset. I realized this years ago when I reached my limit of 30,000 connections on LinkedIn. From that day to the present, for me to add a connection I must in turn delete one. As my connections on LinkedIn are strictly professional (Facebook and other social media accounts capture my friends and family), the value of my network improves daily.  When adding a new connection, I must replace one of ‘lower value’ to me.  As I started building my LinkedIn connections well over a decade ago when I was a senior corporate manager in a FORTUNE 300 company, I do not lean on those early connections as much as I do today connections with the entrepreneurial community and its allied professionals, as I have become a Vetrepreneur, owning and selling several different businesses over the past 18 years.

I certainly believe in the adage “it is not what you know but who you know.”  I do not consider myself a Mensa quality human being by any stretch. But what I have figured out is that it is better to give first to build meaningful relationships, both in business and in my personal life. I work for IBA, the Pacific Northwest’s leading M&A/Business Brokerage firm and have built a robust network. And the quality of my network reflects the kind of high personal net worth I have established over time.  IBA as a firm is proud to have very strong Referral Database Program ( and I would maintain that this network of professionals equals the net worth that IBA delivers to our clients along with our knowledge and experience to sell businesses for the owners of privately held and family owned businesses in the lower middle market across all industries including manufacturing, technology, construction, services and retail, including franchise resales.  As a result, IBA completes “win-win” transactions through our focus on knowledge, performance, experience, and confidentiality.

So, what is your net worth? If you define it as purely financial, are you likely wealthy more as the result of your God-given brain or your network? As a former US Navy Nuclear Submarine Officer, I can tell you that success in my military career was more attributable to my network of fellow crew members on my fleet ballistic submarine than it was my own limited knowledge. Likewise, as the Vice President of Business Development at IBA my success is directly related to the rich professional network I have developed over the years. If you want to increase your net worth, I suggest you increase your network. Always remember that Net Worth = Network.

If you have questions relating to the content of this article, becoming part of IBA’s collaborative referral network, or how to refer an entrepreneur to IBA for professional representation with a high level of experience, knowledge, and superior ability, Curt Maier would welcome the opportunity to talk with you.  Mr. Maier can be reached at (425) 454-3052 or

IBA, the Pacific Northwest’s premier business brokerage firm since 1975, is available as an information resource to the media, business brokerage, mergers & acquisitions, and real estate communities on subjects relevant to the purchase & sale of privately held companies and family owned businesses.  IBA is recognized as one of the best business brokerage firms in the nation based on its long track record of successfully negotiating “win-win” business sale transactions in environments of full disclosure employing “best practices”.