I woke up this morning, and I noticed that it really looked like it wanted to rain. It doesn’t rain in Southern California in June ever.

There is something here that’s called “June Gloom.” No, it’s not a bunch of desperate guys from the desert wanting to meet hot girs from the beach. It’s cloud cover caused by the hot desert air meeting the cold ocean air.

So I’m driving around with a client who flew in from New York whom I told to come here to work with me so he could enjoy the nice weather, and it’s raining. The great thing for him is that he feels like he’s home in New York . . . with the exception of not traveling on the subway.

So to make him feel totally at home, everytime we are at an intersection I make it feel like a subway stop. “Approaching Montana Avenue. Please beware of the bad drivers (substituting that for a warning to beware of the closing doors). Beep!”

Now for today’s blog…which is about being with groups of people, but in a very different way than being crowded in with them on a New York subway.

The ultimate trick for networking is what I call “the group mentality” (as opposed to “the one-up”). If you want to make the most of your time and stay in touch with all of your friends, you need to learn about the group mentality.

Many of us make the mistake of hanging out with a just a few people we already know well. Perhaps we go out on a Sunday and spend the day with a few close friends.

We invest eight hours with three or four people. This really isn’t good time management.

Instead, you should be getting six to eight people together for a two-hour brunch. In that situation you will basically become the master of ceremonies and, as such, people will look to you as the group leader. If they see you in this light, they will always invite you to the functions that they have.

This is great for the person who wants to network. You will start to notice that you are beginning to get invited to a lot of different events. Everybody wants that person who put the group together at their event, because they know that when the party gets slow or calms down that the group will always gravitate toward you.

If you’re someone who wants to meet a lot of people — whether it’s for business, personal or dating purposes — then you need to start using the group mentality. If you’re just continuing to go out with one or two other people, you won’t be able to network effectively.

The key to life is to tap into other people’s networks. The easiest way to do that is through group meetings.