Networking and connecting in business are super important. Just as in life, you can’t go it alone. It’s said that none of us are islands, but if we were, each of us would form a vast and interconnected archipelago. Bridges and boats would stream traffic between all these islands and that traffic is largely information. If you cut yourself off from this flow of information, either purposely or by mistake, you do so at your own peril.
Why is it so important to make connections with other business owners? This topic of networking and connecting comes up often so why is it so important?
Here’s one reason why. If you don’t, the island next to you is going to make those connections you’re making and the information they provide and use it to his or her advantage. What are am I even talking about? Let me explain in further detail below.
Why You Should Network
Networking is an essential element of every successful business. It provides you with contacts, leads, clients, partners, suppliers, and much more. It will carry your name and your business reputation farther and more efficiently than most advertising will. Most importantly, it is an endless source of profit, ideas, collaboration, and support.
The IFS and the BUTS
If you are networking, you should do more. If you’re not networking, you need to start. If you don’t network, your business will stagnate and die. But why should I do this you might ask? Aren’t people just going to find me online searching for me? After all, I have a website! Ha…so does everyone else!
When you’re networking you need to keep a couple of important points in mind.
First, every social or professional engagement can provide you with an opportunity to network. There’s often nothing more formal about it than an exchange of information and follow-up connection. Remember, as a business owner you’re always “on the clock”, so to speak. Be ready to take advantage of a potentially lucrative networking situation should the opportunity arise.
Second, when you are networking, treat people naturally, the way you’d want to be treated. Offer no-strings advice. Often solving a problem for free generates more long-term profit than the cost of the advice or service. Also, listen more than you talk. Silence really can be golden when you take the time to hear what another person is saying.
Finally, always remember that honesty is the best policy. Don’t promise something that you cannot produce. Don’t be someone you’re not in order to close a deal. Be yourself and watch those connections grow!
Connections & Business Collaborations
Networking and connecting with other business owners gives you the opportunity to collaborate with others also. You never know what you might teach each other or you might just find someone you can partner up with. Some of the most interesting aspects of your business might be just around the corner. So, remember that when you’re connecting with others.
Today we’re discussing creating focus and endurance in your business. You might ask why you need these two things. Well, if you really want to succeed in your business, this is what it’s going to take.
In any activity or endeavor, it is important to build endurance. Endurance can be defined as the ability to focus on the task at hand and bring it successfully to a conclusion. Some call it fortitude, others call it strength or stamina.
No matter what you call it though, endurance is the ability to persevere and get the job done, no matter what. Do you have what it takes?
Usually, when we speak of endurance, we’re referring to physical activity. Yet, endurance is as important in the business world as it is anywhere else.
Focus & Concentration
In business circles, endurance usually takes the form of focus. Instead of physical prowess, it becomes the ability to concentrate successfully on a given task. Focus is a critical skill set for any business owner. Especially in today’s fast-paced world where success often means keeping several equally important balls in the air at one time.
So, how do you focus on multitasking, a situation where, by its very definition, several things are happening at once?
Well, the key to successful focus is attention. When several things are happening simultaneously, you need to concentrate on only one thing at a time. This doesn’t mean that you bring one task to full completion before you start on another.
Rather, you spend just enough time on a given task to take it to the next stage of development. Then you turn your attention to another task.
In some sense, it’s a little like being a mother duck with ducklings. You give your attention to the duckling that is farthest out of line, nudging it forward to where it should be before you turn your attention to the next little duck. Each duckling gets a measure of your focus, but none gets your full attention all the time.
In this way, each task gets moved along in turn, and all are successfully completed in time.
How are you doing with your focus and endurance? Are you doing what is necessary? Or are you finding yourself all over the place and overwhelmed?
Maybe it’s time for you to think about 1×1 mentoring sessions to help you figure the necessary steps to take to decrease your overwhelm. I would love to help you if you are struggling with your focus.
Creativity can be elusive. It’s not something that you can summon at will. But, I certainly wish it would sometimes don’t you? Today we’re discussing how to cultivate your creative muscles to further your business success.
When creativity happens, it strikes like lightning. Like an explosion! Yet, like lightning, it can be maddeningly unpredictable. However, because creativity is an essential element of a successful business mindset, it is necessary to understand the creative process. And how you, the business owner, can cultivate your own creative juices. So how do you do that?
Creativity is all about taking in a lot of influences and letting those influences combine, ferment and morph in your subconscious. Together, they form a sort of mental potting soil where new and different ideas have a chance to germinate and grow. The more things you learn, read, see and hear the more creative soil you are able to produce. Kinda sounds just like gardening, don’t you think?
Why Be Creative?
Be clever, innovative, and definitely think outside the box. As a business owner who wants to be creative, the best thing you can do is get out there in the world and open yourself up to new experiences. Be curious about many different things. It’s very natural to do this.
Do the unexpected.
The more you push your own personal envelope the more you are charging your own creative batteries. When those batteries are charged, it is much more likely that inspiration will strike. Be inspired by what you create.
Creativity Pushes You To Think Outside The Box
What other types of creativity can you think of to become successful? Maybe work on your content for your business. Make pretty graphics in Canva or whatever you use to make graphics. Stretch your imagination and create some unique items for your business.
There are so many things you could do, you just need to try things out. Use your imagination, daydream but most of all, just try different things out.
If you cultivate your creative muscles, you will find yourself energized and enthused to continue creating your successful business.
This one is fairly straightforward. Are you taking responsibility in business for both the good and the bad? What does that even mean? That’s our topic for discussion today.
Let Me Tell You a Story
President Harry Truman had a sign on his desk that said“The buck stops here”. What he meant by that was, as President, he did not have the option to pass the buck when it came to mistakes or failure. He was the boss and the buck stopped right there. “What does that have to do with my business?” I can hear you say that pretty clearly.
That’s pretty smart advice for any business owner who wants to be more successful. When it comes to the results of decisions you make, don’t pass the buck.
Everyone is happy to take credit for a successful outcome; as well they should if they were directly responsible for that success. That’s the easy part. The hard part is owning up to your own mistakes.
Now This is The Hard Part – The Guilt
Taking responsibility in business means it’s up to you. There is somewhat of an inclination to try and blame someone or something else for a negative outcome. The most successful people fight that inclination and accept the blame for their mistakes as readily as they accept congratulations for their successes.
They do so because they realize that being the captain of the ship means that all decisions start and end with you. Am I right? Don’t be that one business owner that suffers from guilt.
Making Decisions About Responsibility
If you happen to make a bad decision then you own that fact, tighten your belt, and move forward armed with the knowledge to never repeat that mistake again. This is a part of the process of growth. It is a process that demonstrates that the greatest opportunity arises from failure.
By avoiding the repercussions of that failure, you also avoid the opportunity to grow as a leader and learn from your own mistakes. In other words, you condemn yourself to make that same mistake over and over. Yikes!
So, if and when you are faced with a bad business situation of your own making, don’t pass the buck.
Hope is one of those things that people don’t always understand well, though oddly enough, we all need it to live a happy, healthy life. After all, hope is what helps you see your situation and then shows you the way out. So, what is hope and why does it matter?
Discover some of the ways I’ve mentioned below:
What is Hope?
According to the dictionary, hope is “a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.” Hope sees the potential in a situation. But it does more than that. Take a look at these synonyms taken from the same dictionary.
noun – the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best: to give up hope. a particular instance of this feeling: the hope of winning. verb – (used with object), hoped, hop·ing. to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence. to believe, desire, or trust: I hope that my work will be satisfactory. verb – (used without object), hoped, hop·ing. to feel that something desired may happen: We hope for an early spring. Archaic. to place trust; rely (usually followed by in).
Hope isn’t some warm fluffy bit of happiness, nor is it a Pollyanna dose of enthusiasm, though it might contain both emotions. Hope is instead a goal that includes the desire to get there, and the feeling that you can.
The thing to realize is that hope is necessary to live. Without it, we not only stagnate, but we also lose our will to live entirely.
Does it matter to YOU? Do YOU desire it?
Hope gets caught up in the interconnectedness of things. We need hope to realize our dreams, but as a group, our communities likewise need hope to survive. Hope shows us what we live for, and what we fight for.
Some other aspects of hope?
Hope makes us creative. Without hope we wouldn’t go hunting for out-of-the-box solutions to our problems, nor would we waste time trying to find a new way to do things.
Hope puts us to work. Without hope, there’s no point in even trying to get a project done. Hope tells us to get to work and pushes us to keep going, even when interest in that project flags.
Hope pushes us past any failure. With hope, we can see our setbacks as opportunities to learn and grow. Hope ignites our problem-solving abilities, so we understand the better way to do things through experimentation and persistence.
Hope makes us look toward the future. More than that, it helps us let go of the past so we can welcome our bright future with open arms. Hope sees us as going somewhere, and then shows us the way to get there.
The best part about it?
It’s contagious and a desire to have
If you go out into the world full of hope and enthusiasm, you can be sure to find that reflected at you by those around you, by those who have learned how to hope because you first showed them the way.
Reach out to me if you’re looking for help with your mindset. I offer 1×1 mentoring services as well as group mentoring. I would love to help you.