The Hustle

'Staten Island Hustle' star: This one trick can help you network like a pro

NBC Universal

Adolfo LaCola's ability to hustle has gotten him far in life: Though he started from humble beginnings, the son of Italian immigrants growing up on Staten Island, New York, he worked his way to the upper echelons of the music industry, becoming the co-owner of Wu-Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah's record label.

Today, he's an entrepreneur, investor and star of CNBC's "Staten Island Hustle. " On the show, LaCola helps devise new business ideas and schemes with his fellow cast members — Dom Detore, Mike Palmer, Tony DeCicco and Ron Montana — to make extra money.

During his career, there has been one crucial skill that's helped him succeed, LaCola tells CNBC Make It: networking.

"My best advice that I can give anybody is to definitely network anywhere you are," LaCola says. "Always keep in mind who works where [and] what they can do."

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How these five guys from Staten Island hustled and landed their own TV show

While many people network via social media, on LinkedIn or through mentorship, LaCola insists there's really just one old-school trick you need to make meaningful connections.

"The biggest trick to networking is memory," LaCola explains. "Anyone you get introduced to, always remember that person, because 10 years from now you may need to call that person."

It's worked for LaCola throughout his life. It's how he became involved with Wu-Tang clan.

"Staten Island is a small borough. So a group that makes it as big as Wu-Tang did on Staten Island, everyone tends to know it," says LaCola, who used to DJ in local clubs. "I kind of had a reputation of my own [in music], and running into Ghostface or Method Man every now and then, we ended up becoming friends."

Recently, when LaCola and his investing partners were launching New York WaterMaker, a machine promoted as transforming any water into New York water for perfect bagels and pizza, the "Staten Island Hustle" cast turned to people they knew.

"If you have a guy that works in a pizzeria, he tends to know 15 guys in other pizzerias and that's how you'll sell your first and 15th WaterMaker," LaCola explains.

And to keep your connections solid, keep in touch — even when you don't need to.

"Touch base with people every now and then," he explains. "It doesn't have to be like a best friend, but you do call them once or twice a year just to keep your contacts fresh."

"The best way to work it is to touch base with people so that you're not just calling them when you need something," LaCola continues.

"Always maintain a very loose friendship with anybody you meet in life."

Don't miss: How these 5 guys from Staten Island got their own TV show on CNBC

New episodes of "Staten Island Hustle " air Saturday, April 28, starting at 5 p.m. EST on CNBC.

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This machine can recreate New York pizza and bagels across the country with one simple step
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