I’m the oldest of 6 kids.
And I’ve always been overly enthusiastic about my own ideas. Which of course means, I’m
bossy a natural leader.
Whether I was organizing a backyard production of Cinderella with my siblings (and any other neighborhood kid lucky enough to enter my gravitational pull), or I was enlisting the playground girls for a war against the 3rd grade boys, my whole life has been about figuring out how to recruit others to
do my bidding work together toward a common goal.
My father (in his infinite wisdom) saw an early need to funnel my
bossiness leadership qualities in a positive direction. He gave me his copy of “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” and strongly suggested I read it. And read it, I did.
I may have skipped to the chapter called “How to Make People Like You Instantly.” But I went back and read the whole dang thing from cover to cover.
In fact, I devoured the book pretty quickly for a 12-year old. I also remember thinking, “Huh. So that’s how you do it.”
The advice seemed to work, because fast forward nearly 35 years and here I am to tell you that I wouldn’t be here without YOU. My business and this blog wouldn’t have grown nearly as fast without my network of friends and colleagues. And YOU are a part of that.
And not just because you might read something and share it once in awhile. Nope. Because on a more esoteric level, the version of me that exists right now in this particular time-space zone, exists precisely because of who YOU are — in all your glorious and imperfect beauty.
Stay with me here. I’m not going to say, “We are all ONE.” (It’s true, but I’m not going to say it.)
What I am going to say, is that our individual and collective experiences of life on this planet are the direct result of a feedback mechanism we normally call “relationships.” Relationships help us do many things. But mostly, they teach us about ourselves.
In my book, I start Chapter 6 with this bit of Ubuntu philosophy:
I am what I am because of who we all are.
To me, that means that without every single other being in this Universe, I could not exist. I wouldn’t know up from down, black from white, good from bad. There would be no contrast (as Abraham-Hicks likes to say).
For instance, without my relationship to Mr. Perfect, I would never know exactly how impatient I really am. Or how beautiful the world is.
If I were on my own, I could do whatever I pleased, whenever I pleased. I could travel the world, if that’s what I wanted to do. (Assuming I could finance it.)
But without him there to share the experience with me, the experience isn’t fully formed. It’s sort of that, “if a tree falls in a forest” question.
If you travel the universe and nobody’s there with you to witness it, how fun is that?
(A question that even The Doctor doesn’t want to know the answer to.)
A gorgeous sunset is one thing when you catch it on your way home from work. But it’s entirely something else when you’re watching it with someone you love and care about. Guess what?
Business relationships are like that, too.
A fully formed, thriving business only happens when you do it with someone else. With your customers, with your audience, with your peers, with your mentors. Nothing grows in a vacuum. There’s camaraderie, sure. But there’s also a bigger flow of creativity, richer ideas and more surprising innovations. There’s a larger reach. A deeper impact. There’s more of everything. If you’ve been in business for even a little while, you’ve figured that out already.
But knowing something and acting on it are two different things.
Answer honestly: Are you taking full advantage of your business relationships?
How often do you partner up with other entrepreneurs on a project? Are you more worried about building traffic than you are with one-to-one conversations?
Do you ever think of the people on your email list as your tribe? (Or, are they simply “your list?”)
How do you handle your social media posts? Do you outsource and automate? Or are you there yourself, socializing and building relationships?
Are business relationships something you’re wishing for? or working actively to build?
And, Who do you go to in a business crisis?
Just like it’s good to have credit with the bank before you need the money, it’s also wise to have an inner circle of people who have your back before you need their help. And that can only develop over time.
My 4-Step Process to Manifesting a Tight-Knit Community
- First, know what types of people you want to build relationships with. What kind of knowledge, skills, talents and taste in music do they have? You’ve created a profile for your ideal clients. Now create your own recipes for your ideal partners, mastermind group, you-name-it.
- Second, be proactive about finding them. Set aside a few minutes every week to go a’ huntin. Show up where your people can most likely be found. Strike up a conversation or two.
- Third, get to know people. Ask them to coffee — even if it’s by Skype. Find out what they do when they’re not being Ms. Entrepreneurial Superstar. Dig deep and ask them how you can help them get what they need.
- Fourth, take action whenever possible. Be generous. Share yourself. Your ideas, your network, your support. Be a friend.
These four steps have allowed me to build up a fabulous network of folks over my lifetime — some with very close ties who I know will have my back in a crisis.
And that’s a good thing, cuz I’m gonna need their help very, very soon. (Stay tuned!)
What about you? What kind of folks are you looking for? Post your want ad in a comment below and let’s see if we can make some new friends!
Iam haydi from Egypt thank you very match about your words and this photo program
Awesome post Tea. LOVE the graphic and 4 steps. Your philosophy of how we are what we are because of others reminds me of the Tom Hanks movie Cast Away. Its the movie where he’s stranded alone on an island. He has enough to eat. He has shelter, but in his incredible loneliness he turns a basketball into a “person” for companionship.
Tea, you and I are so similar. I remember being enthralled by “How to Win Friends and Influence People” at about the same age.I also enjoyed solving problems, I even started up my own Star Trek fanfiction group at about 13 and started marketing it online. I had to seek out fellow writers, people who were interested in creating new characters, new worlds, and new stories to tell about that universe. In true Star Trek fashion, I actively practice the principle of unity. Whether it’s in Spock’s Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations, or more to the point with the Borg: we are as one, a single collective of countless individual voices.Word Carnivals have truly bridged a gap for me in that – I was having issues connecting with fellow bloggers because I had no gravitational pull of my own. I was looking for a network to connect to, something to belong to – and there wasn’t a team out there (as far as I knew) that existed and wasn’t sure how to create one.I’m thankful that I found the Word Carnivals, for sure! 😀 I look forward to what we can all accomplish together!
I’m still working on step 2 of that 4 part process, but I think part of it is just tagging along on your ride. I have learned a lot and “met” some good people through you.Thanks for all you do. ;-)Annie may have thought it, but I did magnify the shot and was sad not to see my face. Maybe I’ll make it in your next rev. And I’m the oldest of 6 kids too.The world is such a set of interesting coincidences…
Loved the 4-step process. Will start working on it, as I need a suitable community asap. Cannot do anything good alone, right? 😉
I know I say this to you almost every word carnival — I always LOVE your imagery! It does such an amazing job of clarifying points and giving added dimension to your words. People often underestimate that element in their blogs. As for your insights, totally spot on. We all have our own way to create and nourish connections, but everyone has the same capability to reach out and share as a human, heart to heart. The more authentic the connection, the simpler and more natural it is to be in the flow, but it doesn’t mean you don’t sometimes need to do a little work to find the right ones in the first place ; ) You will never know the impact of reaching out until you try it.
And I’m happy as a clam to be part of yours, Ms. Carol Lynn. Us oldest childz got to stick together. 🙂
Ahh Tea, you just do it so well. We so get you in those first few paragraphs because you’re a grand story teller. One of the essential attributes of creating clans, of course. But it was this line that identified something really important about creating community, the inner circle. Just like it’s good to have credit with the bank before you need the money, it’s also wise to have an inner circle of people who have your back before you need their help. It made me think about the fact that you can have a huge community, but most likely there is only a small percentage that are really active and engaged. And that’s okay. They’re the ones who will make things happen when you need it to happen. I often wonder how many of Seth’s gazillion tribe members write to him. I’m told he answers every single letter. Maybe there are only a hundred or so truly active advocates if that’s the case? If we knew that for sure, would it impact on our idea of him as tribe leader extraordinaire? I don’t believe so. Interesting notion for those of us who are concerned that only a percentage of our clans actively contribute.
My first thought was holy cow, how can I get one of those awesome mosaics too? I see Jenny beat me to that one so now I am going to check it out :)My second thought was holy cow, I’m the oldest of 6 kids too! Although I don’t think I ever got to be as bossy… er, leaderly… as I would’ve liked. There were some pretty strong personalities in my family!Love your knowing vs. acting. We know a lot, don’t we? It’s the acting part that sometimes gets sticky. It takes effort. You can’t just cruise through life on your good charms and expect people to fall into your gravity (hey, even YOU had to read at least one book!) But finding those connections is the most rewarding thing about business. Glad to be part of your universe!
Is it wrong that I’m soooo tempted to magnify that image and look for my pic? That’s genius, by the way. And can I just give a big fat AMEN to step 3, especially the “giving to others” part? Turns out everything we needed to know about networking, we actually learned in kindergarten. Thank you for this, and for the Carnival, and the Posse, and – well, for you.
I love reading your blog, Tea, because there is always something awesome here. Apart from the Ubuntu saying, which I love, the four step process and the circles graphic are awesome. Inspired, inspired, inspired!
First, LOVE the graphic. Awesome and the four step process. All critical components to success. I think in our rush to get business done we often forget to stop and make deeper connections with people on and off line. Very timely advice!
Love the 4 steps, Tea. I have always been a fan of communication in all forms, but sometimes we mistake numbers with connection. Connection takes two (at least) engaged individuals. In some ways, I consider myself very much the newbie (I started my business in the latter part of 2008). I am still working on the joint venture idea. By the way-newbies don’t know JV means Joint Venture. 😉 Always learning. 🙂
I am what I am because of who we all are. That’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve read in awhile, and I read a lot of beautiful things. LOVE that mosaic!!
Very well expressed, Tea! (And I LOVE the strikeouts 😉 I’m looking forward to what you’re cooking up (as always LOL)
For me it’s always been about connection. And when I take action from there, community shows up rather effortlessly 🙂