I was hesitant to write a blog on money and your network because I was afraid that the way that I do things might be a personality trait. However, after further reflection I figured out this wasn't the case because I am an introvert (I know, crazy right?!) In fact, short and simple small talk drains me! Once I figured that out, I realized I needed to network in a way that felt organic and natural to me. When I really looked at this way of networking, I realized it was something anyone could do.
Before I begin, I want to emphasize that I do not see people as a dollar signs and you shouldn't either! You should not create a network for the sole purpose of making more money, even if that is often the natural outcome of having a solid network.
1) Be visible - Don't play small when it comes to your business, take up space, own that you are a business person with a real business. Tell the people around you what you do! Why? If people know what you do, then it is easier for them to seek you out to help them or to refer their friends to you. Don't be a business owner that hides away and no one knows what it is that you do or what success people have had from working with you.
When you are talking about your business and what you do, don't just tell people your title, tell them exactly what it is that you do. For example, don't just say - I am a business coach, tell them: I help entrepreneurs make more money! Why does that make a difference?! When you just say business coach, it is very generic and people can't begin to think about how that would apply to their lives or the lives of those they know. However, as soon as you use the word entrepreneur, they begin to think of people in their lives who are entrepreneurs, maybe they just reconnected with a friend who was telling them about the new business they started - suddenly you've connected the dots for them about how you can help! Bottom line, if you don't tell the world (and especially your network) what you do, then the world will never benefit from what you do!
2) Treat People as People: That ones sounds sooooo basic but it is perhaps the one that I see most entrepreneurs struggle with. How often does someone friend request you and then immediately start pitching whatever it is they have to sell! Connect with people on a real level, not just a business level.
It is ok to connect with people online about something you see that intrigues you that isn't business -- a song they are listening to or a quote that you saw that spoke to you. If the conversation flows naturally to business, great!
Also, don't disregard engaging with someone because they aren't your ideal client -- they probably know 1-3 people who are your ideal client. When you disregard them as not being your ideal client, you are actually seeing them as a dollar sign. When you interact with people from a genuine space and are open to give them your attention, then you are making a true connection. Connect with people on a real level - it doesn't always have to be a conversation based solely on business
3) Operate from the highest level of integrity - You are in business to make money, but money shouldn't be what drives your decisions. Don't sell your business to someone if it isn't the right fit. There is always the possibility it will be the right fit in the future OR that they know someone who you are the right fit for. When you say no to someone because it isn't the right fit, you aren't saying no to an opportunity, you are saying no to the potential for an opportunity gone bad. People appreciate and respect when you are upfront and say, this isn't the right time for us to work with one another - you need to do A B and C before we can work together because I don't want to just take your money and not be able to deliver the results you are expecting. Again, this shows the person that you see them as a person and not as a dollar sign - it isn't about the sale, it is about wanting them to get the help they need!
If you really have deep connections with people, instead of seeing them as a dollar sign, you are going to make more money. Anytime you operate from the utmost integrity, you are going to make more money. We spend so much of our lives feeling like a number, be someone who listens to them and actually offers them a true solution, even if that solution isn't you!
I love sharing many of my beliefs, thoughts and at times unpopular opinions.