3 Excellent Connections for Entrepreneurs
Grow your business with clients and customers by understanding how to start connecting.
What does time, confidence and communication lead to?
Entrepreneurs know that without a network of strong connections, success can be difficult. And to be honest, it can also be very lonely.
With time, confidence and putting yourself out in front of people, communicating with them, relationships can be fostered that will keep you company as you grow your company. The reality though, is that not all new entrepreneurs are strong in all 3 of those assets, making it more challenging to strike out into the world of self-employment. It takes courage to get uncomfortable and to start inviting connections into your life.
In the last year, I have gone from the "security" of a corporate job to choosing to be an entrepreneur. My business? It is about empowering women to make connections - with one method being through the content that they, or their business, writes. Connecting women to each other or their purpose, entrepreneurs to their customers, business to business.
So for my first blog, I thought it was fitting to talk about the connections that I value, and how without them, I would not be where I am today.
A radical shift in my thinking changed my life. Although I created a business that is based on empowering women to connect to each other, making connections was not something that I used to enjoy. For decades, I vehemently avoided it.
I used to have a big sign over my head. It was a bedazzled, flashing beacon that advertised to anybody taking notice of me that I had no interest in making a connection.
I wanted to be disconnected from people…activities…pleasures…life.
The very thing I was craving – connections - I pushed away.
One decision in 2015 though, forced me to change my thinking. I no longer wanted to feel disconnected from life or others.
At times in the last year, I found fear trying to paralyze me from making myself visible. I used to find comfort in being a wallflower, blending in with the background. What motivated me to abandon this feeling was knowing that if I don’t connect, I can’t help
During my transition from wallflower to confident chatterer, there were 3 must-have connections that I relied on to breathe life not only into myself, but into my business.
Connection 1 – Myself
I would be able to connect with others and build trustworthy relationships if I did not even have a relationship with myself. With my radical shift in 2015, I found the time to reintroduce myself to myself.
Feeling both vulnerable and awkward, this was a crucial experience. It allowed me to re-connect with my passion and desire to write.
As I grew comfortable with myself, and defining what it was I truly wanted to do with my life, my self-confidence expanded. This confidence helped me to navigate through the maze of learning how to make connections as I laid the groundwork for my business (although I was completely unaware of it at the time).
Connection 2 – My mentors and coaches
Without the support of mentors and coaches, I know I would have converted back to holding up that sign. Seeking out these allies was about surrendering to one of my biggest fears; asking for help.
I used to believe that as an independent, strong woman I was supposed to be able to do it all. That asking for help was a sign of weakness. That people would think less of me if I did not have all the answers.
My connections taught me that asking for help is a sign of strength. There is strength in numbers, and the synchronicity of multiple minds working together can generate infinite possibilities.
Mentors and coaches urged me to realize that solving problems is easier, and more fun, when you ask others for help.
Connection 3 – My community
In 2015 I made the commitment to be more involved in my community. I wanted to connect with organizations that I felt I could contribute to, and not just financially.
Being a part of my community gave me a fresh perspective on what the needs of my community are in order to support a diverse population. By integrating myself, I have met so many people whom I have learned from. People whom have endless amounts of love and compassion for helping others and I admire.
I have learned that many of us share similar experiences. Even with all of our differences, common threads can connect us together.
As an Entrepreneur ...
- What connections do you define as being critical to the success of your business?
- What connections do you need to make to take your business to the next level?
- Which connections do you need to reflect on to determine if they are helping, or hindering, your business?
I no longer have that sign above my head. I have come a long way in the last year. I continually challenge myself to expand how I can most effectively connect with others; to offer my help, or ask for help.
I have learned that life is more fulfilling when you have people to share it with, and people who help to ensure that my sign stays permanently out of order.
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