In Fall of 2017, I was fortunate to start working with a super-connector, young entrepreneur, award-winning book author, and motivational speaker and then become exposed to HIS network of likeminded super-connectors. We’re building something together that will help its members scale up their businesses faster, design their ideal lifestyles, and most importantly, connect with each other to build products and companies that will solve society’s problems. In this group, a “super-connector” is a successful businessman or woman who wants to learn how to build “world-class” networks. A few basic truths have emerged from the experience of working with this group so far:
- The best and most successful people out there aren’t magical gurus, or necessarily even at the top of their fields. They’re the ones who are committed to giving back, and sharing their knowledge with others. Creating more abundance in the world helps spread it around. Like many people, I’ve had the unfortunate experience of working with people who only view me as competition and try to hoard information or give a condescending response when asked questions. Not only is this not helpful when it comes to building a collaborative team, it actually holds everyone back by keeping information siloed. You can’t grow without resource sharing.
- The power of networking can’t be understated, and I’m not talking about going to meetups and shaking a bunch of hands. It’s more about creating strategic alliances with people – finding or being a mentor, establishing joint ventures, and building relationships with people who have similar missions and goals. I used to think I had to do everything by myself, especially as an entrepreneur. This is back-asswards – it could take years to do something by yourself that could take one day by asking your network. I am already seeing this get proven out for myself. And I’ve seen it in action for others – one ask to the group results in an angel investor introduction that could lead to someone getting their first seed funding round and launching their business.
- Don’t try to be and do everything — either hone in on a niche industry that is a good fit for your skills or figure out your CORE skill and sell that HARD. In my own consulting business, I’m going from being a jill-of-all-trades marketer working in all industries to focusing in on the ones I know I love and pushing the skills I know I rock at. I’m also committing to approaching clients I want to work with directly rather than waiting for them to find me. For everything else, you can always bring in another expert. This is the beauty of joint ventures.
This blog post started as a Facebook update on my personal page because I was so inspired by all I was learning and the momentum I was seeing in my own life as a result, that I wanted to share that out. I was immediately touched by peoples’ comments, thanking me for the insight, or messaging me privately to tell me how much the post resonated with them and their own career struggles. I was already seeing how sharing knowledge was creating a positive ripple effect, and wanted to do more of it. So I’ll expand on that original post with one more tip, given to me this week by a former pro athlete turned professional marketing consulting 6-figure business owner:
- When you ask other business owners and consultants for advice, most will give you the same throw-away tip: figure out your target niche and market. This is meaningless – you don’t have to have that figured out just to START. Chances are that will evolve naturally as you figure out who you most enjoy working with and which industries are the most fun for you. Also, if you sell yourself too early as being THE expert in a certain niche industry, you run the risk of not being able to deliver on what you promise. Instead, go after clients you want to work for, and then focus on building out a team you feel 100% confident in. It wouldn’t do to land a bunch of dream clients, hand one of them off to an untested team member because you’re busy, and then have them flake out or just not deliver up to your standards of quality. Your reputation as a business is everything, so make sure you put the proper time and attention into starting alliances with trustworthy people.
I’ll be sharing more of these business tips and tricks as I learn them, so hopefully everyone can benefit. Just like all the great marketers give away great content for free, sharing knowledge only increases your value-add to people, so keep spreading abundance.
What would be your #1 piece of advice for a new consultant or business owner? Share in the comments!