Within eight minutes of sending my email I had received eleven replies, including responses from two vice presidents, three directors and my boss, plus two phone calls to my desk and one high importance flag.

My innocent email with the subject, “Quick question about training,” went viral in the worst way possible.

I was on the job for less than four weeks and I had already created a huge fiasco.

My boss stepped in and said, “Robbie did not intend to send this email,” and those were the magic words needed to end the drama I had started.

Here’s what I’ve learned about winning at office politics.

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Sir, what are you doing?

I… I’m just getting a pen.

This supply cabinet is for employees of this group only. Are you part of this group?

I… I’m sorry. I thought this cabinet was for everyone within the company?

Well, it’s not. The nerve of some people. Put that down please.

I walked away feeling like a criminal and embarrassed. Two hours later I was laughing to myself and thinking, “Wow. What a miserable person that lady was.”

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“You’re so annoying, Robbie.” — James Altucher.

I idolized James Altucher. It is okay to say that I had a man crush. If you don’t know James, he wrote one of the most popular posts on LinkedIn about how you should quit your job in 2014.

Mine wasn’t your normal man crush. He didn’t have a body I wanted, nor did he necessarily have the job I wanted.

Have you ever seen someone on television or read someone’s writing, and your first reaction was, “I MUST meet this person?”

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I had 500 dollars in my bank account.

It was hovering at that amount for a long time no matter what I did. I bought fewer things and saved more money. I stopped going out on weekends. Somehow, someway, I always ended up with just 500 dollars in my account.

I was living paycheck to paycheck.

One day I attended a large conference. The keynote speaker said:

“Be bold. You have to take risks to advance. Be your own brand. You have to stand out.”

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There are many ways to advance your career, but it is rarely a straight path. You can advance your career by staying with one company and methodically climbing up the ladder, although this method is on the downswing.

You can advance your career by leaving companies every 3 to 5 years. Or you can quit your job and start your own company, which often leads to new career opportunities, even if the company fails.

In reviewing my career, I’ve realized that there are certain types of people that have consistently helped me advance to the next level. I’ve been able to use them as sounding boards and ask questions that I normally wouldn’t ask, and they’d provide honest feedback. This was extremely important. These are the ten people you need to have relationships with in order to accelerate your career:

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