HOW HAVING FUN, BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS & GIVING BACK ATTRIBUTES TO YOUR SUCCESS
I don’t know about you, but when I started my business I quickly exhausted all of my efforts trying to build my client list. I’m living in a town that I didn’t grow up in and I really only knew a handful of people - which was helpful indeed - but it only goes so far.
I soon realized that I needed to network and meet as many people as possible. This seems obvious I know, it’s called networking helloooo! It’s so much more than that though, and this is why I titled this article “How having fun can help your business”.
Networking by definition is purely professional. You meet people at a local, or maybe an industry event, and you swap information in the hopes that they, or someone they know, will reach out and want to work with you/hire you/your business. Sure networking can be fun, but having fun and building relationships is different, it has a much bigger impact on your life and the success of your business.
I know I’ve talked about how less is more and that can be confusing and counterintuitive as an entrepreneur - especially in the beginning - but it’s true, and this is another example of that.
When you’re getting involved in your community or involved in anything that you enjoy and you meet and connect with people - that is 10x more powerful than networking.
I don’t know about your business, but for mine I’m in sales, and successful people in sales know that we are actually in the business of relationships. If we don’t build a relationship and have that trust with our potential clients they’ll never be clients and we’ll never be successful. It makes sense when you see it that way, right? If we are in the business of building legitimate relationships, and we do that effectively, the success will follow suit.
So many people (myself included) try wayyyy too hard. They’re thinking they have to work, work, work and really push people to persuade them into buying what you’re selling whether it be product or service. It’s desperate and gross. I can say that sadly, because I’ve been there.
When you’re starting out it’s scary. You go through all of the phases of fear and anxiety. You don’t feel worthy and the imposter syndrome is real. That’s normal, it’s okay, we’ve all been there at one point or another. That is where you need to take a step back and reassess the situation and your business. Think about it, if someone is pushy or forcing their product/services onto you what do you want to do? Run in the other direction, right? And never talk to that person again? Yes. We know this, we had a moment of insecurity and desperation because we are starting a business and that’s scary. Let’s give ourselves a moment of grace for that because we are normal human beings, we are having the awareness and learning from it.
Okay, so we are learning that no one likes it when people are pushy or desperate and give off the used car salesman vibe. Let’s take a moment and think about the times where we had gratitude and truly wanted to support a friend’s business when we needed their services or products. What did that look like? What did it feel like?
For me, when I find out a friend is starting a business, or I connect with a business owner that has a product or service I may need one day, I make a mental note of it. Not only that but in today’s world with social media you can do so much for a business without paying anything - i.e. supporting their social media accounts. Like a post, share it to your story, #shoplocal, etc.
Why did I feel this way? Likely because I had a personal connection with this person. We had a conversation or maybe they shared a social post that resonated with me and I reached out. We started what may become a working relationship but for now, in its purest form, it’s just two human beings connecting, sharing our experiences in this world, and supporting one another. What should be your main objective in life is to take care of yourself first, then connect with and help as many people in this world as you can.
How I like to connect and have fun meeting people in my community is by joining groups, partaking in local activities and events. I’m part of the local women’s club in my area. Half of the women in the group are realtors. In the beginning of my business, sure that was one reason why I wanted to join the club - to get clients. Upon realizing this, I had a laugh and decided this was great! I can relax, turn my business brain off, continue to meet these amazing women, have fun, and do charity work together in our community (also meeting and helping more people in doing so). I ended up meeting one of my best friends in this group. I signed up with her at eXp Realty and we get to grow our businesses together (shout out to Sarah, she’s the best mentor ever!).
Another way I get involved in the community is going to networking lunches. I know, I know earlier I said networking is purely professional - and it is - but you can still take those opportunities to meet people in your community and it doesn’t always have to be about business. My advice to you at a networking event is to not talk about yourself. People will likely ask you what you do and that’s okay to answer, but try your best to focus on other people. People love to talk about themselves and when you make it all about them you learn about them and their business. Build that relationship. Figure out what you can do for them and how you can help their business. When you give back and help others it will return to you tenfold.
I like to look at networking and connecting with people in the same way that I do learning. As an entrepreneur, (and also in life) you should always be growing. It is constant and you should never stop. Think of connecting, socializing, and networking in this way as well - it should never stop.
In summary, I would love for you to take away from this blog article a few things:
Take care of yourself and your mindset first. Remind yourself that you’re just starting out and you don’t have to be successful overnight no matter how badly you want it - trust in the timing.
Have fun! Put in the work, but don’t forget to live your life. When you’re happy and doing things that you love doing people will be attracted to that and it will allow you to connect with more people easily.
Give back. When you put others’ success before your own, the success will find you and it will be more than you could ever imagine. Make a habit out of helping others whether it be in charity or in business - always give back!