Continuing with my lessons learned from my "failed" triple board break, watching my efforts in the video, I can see that my kick wasn't aimed well. In the first attempt, it was way too high. In fact, I think I might have clipped one of the holders' fingers.
Ouch. Sorry about that.
Lesson: For success, aim is 90% of the effort.
The funny thing is, I've held for little kids and had them miss by even more and still break the board. The difference is that they were using boards which snapped relatively easily -- practice boards which were very thin to get them used to the process -- whereas my triple board break was much more difficult. It not only required significantly higher force, but that force had to be directed to the exact correct spot (about the size of a dime).
In networking, your aim is 90% of the effort, too. This is especially true for bigger requests. If I really need a personal, face-to-face introduction with Al Jones, the CEO of ABC Corporation, then that is what I should be asking for from my networking contacts. Of course, that request has to be to members of my network with whom I have the strongest connections.
The mistake that most people make is just asking for a connection in the ABC Corporation and hoping, somehow, that the CEO will miraculously appear. In fact, quite often they can't even be that specific. All they can say is they want someone who wants to buy their stuff, whatever it is. That's the kind of ask that just bounces off, just like my foot did with the boards.
So to give yourself the best chance of success, learn this lesson: Know what you are aiming at then focus your network on that exact, specific spot. There's no guarantee, but you've got a better chance of breaking through if you do.