You need people. No matter what you do or what you sell, you need people. It is people who will take your brand from unknown to a household name. I’ll say it again, you need people. As an introvert who enjoys my space and solitude more than is probably healthy, I fought against learning this lesson simply because it made me uncomfortable.
Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, I was socially awkward. I was the girl who didn’t talk to people unless they talked to me. I hated talking on the phone and would only communicate via text or email unless I couldn’t. As you can imagine, once I entered the world of entrepreneurship, where my success was dependent on me making my voice heard and presence known, I had to make the choice to step out of my comfort zone to win. I had to accept that I wouldn’t get as far as I wanted alone so I needed to build relationships with like-minded individuals who had the ability to assist me to go further. You will never hear me say that I am a “self-made” anything because I am very aware that I have gotten as far as I have because of the people I connected with.
Making the right connection with the right person can change your whole life. How do you do that? Be bold and genuine about it. I am quite sure that there are people you admire who you think could teach you something, connect you to someone, or put you in a better position. So, why haven’t you reached out to them? Are you afraid they may say “no”? Listen, there are those who will help you and those who won’t, but you won’t know who will if you avoid reaching out to everyone for fear of the response. I have connected with celebrities via social media. I have had celebrities share my platform and products simply because I was bold enough to reach out to them for help and genuine about why I wanted their support. You’d be surprised how many people will gladly help you if you just open your mouth to ask them.
When networking with the intention of building mutually beneficial relationships, it’s also important that you are not always thinking about what someone can do for you. You need to know what you can offer others because no one wants to feel taken advantage of in a relationship. If you see value in someone who you think can assist you in the future, start the conversation by offering them assistance. You get what you give so give what you wish to receive.
It’s so important that you surround yourself with people who are smarter and more successful than you because they will be the ones who will teach, encourage, and help you to get to the next level. Don’t be intimidated by them, link up with them.
Assignment: Evaluate your network. Make a list of what value each of the top 5 people in your circle brings to your life. Ask yourself if you are surrounded by people whose presence is beneficial to your growth. If not, ask yourself why and what you are going to do to change that. Also, locate a networking event in your city that people you are interested in hearing from or meeting will be attending. Plan to go to it. Visit Biz Ownhers page and consider joining.