The hot-girl effect is, at least in theory, as follows: once a girl passes a certain degree of hotness, the amount of guys who hit on her drops dramatically. Why?
Because they assume that she is not in their league so they don’t bother. This could mean that getting a date for a guy with a very hot girl could be easier than one with a merely hot girl.
It’s a bit silly, but there is a grain of truth to it. It also is very true in networking.
My friend William was recently telling me about a networking event he went to at our college. There, he says he met the CFO of Goldman Sachs, perhaps the best investment bank and a very large and prestigious company.
To his surprise, the CFO was quite friendly, and they’ve stayed in touch.
Yet no one else took that initiative.
It’s the hot girl effect. Everyone else thought, “Holy, crap, that’s the CFO of Goldman Sachs! There’s no way he would want to talk to me,” and so they all missed the opportunity to meet someone very influential.
What this means is that in networking, you shouldn’t be too intimidated by the people at the top of a field. Yes, you absolutely must give them the respect that they deserve and appreciate their accomplishments.
But being too intimidated to make a move means you’ll miss an opportunity.
Actually, I’ve found that the more successful and accomplished people are, typically, it seems like the more humble and friendly they are. Additionally, they tend to appreciate the value of networking and make an effort to meet new people.
After all, they made it to the top by having a good attitude, working hard, and likely networking. Hence, they are more likely to want to connect with new people.
What this all means is that successful and accomplished people are a lot like very hot girls. They can have their pick of the many people interested in them. Yet many times you may be too intimidated to make a move, so to speak, and this isn’t necessarily a good thing.
Be humble, be friendly, and say something! Maybe find some of the top people in your field and give ’em an e-mail. You lose nothing, and could well gain a lot.