Your Network is Your Net Worth
When was the last time you really looked at your network? Have you gone through your contact list lately and studied how many you have actually connected with recently? One of the greatest success factors in entrepreneurs today is to actively grow and nurture their network. Many of us easily get busy and our network becomes ignored. If it’s just a list of contacts you rarely talk to, then it’s not worth much more than the paper it’s written on. However, if it’s an active community of people that is created by mutual intention for growth, than you have a tribe!
Here are five steps you can take now to create your tribe:
- Be Intentional. When you are looking to grow your network, be intentional about the types of people you want to connect with and look for groups and events where those types of people attend. Evaluate your own circle and identify any gaps. We become the average of the five people we are surrounded by the most. Therefore, be extremely intentional when you are evaluating your inner circle.
- Be Open. Expanding your network is a perfect opportunity to get out of your comfort zone. We naturally associate with people that are similar to us in the way we think and operate. Yet, some of the greatest connections and ideas can be with those who may have a unique perspective on a service or product we may offer. Expand your horizons and connect in circles that may not be typical for you. As a business owner, we often tend to steer clear from the competition. However, it can be extremely advantageous to network with business owners who offer services or products similar to our own because they can understand our unique challenges.
- Be Genuine. One of the best ways to build your tribe is to focus on how you can give rather than on what you can get. Giving back shows you care, as networking should never be a one-way street. Your tribe will be much more apt to help you out when the time comes if you are first offering a helping hand.
- Be Engaged. Remember the greatest skill in networking is not handing out business cards and rambling on about your business, but rather by being a great listener. Take a few minutes to find a way to connect, learn about what they do and find a mutual interest. Then, when they ask you what you do, find a way to connect it back to something they do. Making it about them will make your connection real and memorable, and you’ll create much better relationships that will pay dividends down the road.
- Be Connected. Reach out to someone in your network every week to simply touch base and find out how things are going in their business. Be the person that stands out because you connect even when you don’t need something. Mark it in your calendar and rotate through your connections to make sure you keep them fresh.
The more you stay connected, the more you give, the stronger your tribe will become and the more your network will work for you!