Your story?

So, what’s your story?

How do you, stick in the mind?

All around us, media often appears full of ‘stuff’ designed ~ just for you ~ right at ‘peak times,’ perhaps the ‘stuff’ hits you just before you jump in the car and head off to the office … over the car radio, during lunch break, the commute home maybe. Everywhere there are stories to stick in your face so that it’s stuck in your mind.

So, the way I see it, being sticky can be useful if we are to be successful in business life. Business/life, closely aligned, right?

Think about how people remember you. What do they recall of you when next you catch up or more importantly when they meet up with mutual friends at the regular network soirée?

Being a witness to the conversation, would it be something you’d expect? Are you remembered as being the best that you can be?

The thing is, every interaction we have with someone leaves an impression, sometimes a lasting one. So for me (I know this is also true for many of my close friends), it’s important that MY STORY is a faithful representation of what others expect of me, each time we meet up.

Why? Because each of us is our own mini media outlet.

‘What?’ I hear you say, just hang on a minute, bear with me for a second …

It’s true. What kind of sticky are you? What stories do you conjure, what memories evoked, how do people see you in their life? It’s just the same as that current ‘hot’ company vying for your time and attention before you’ve even ordered the best-ever morning coffee and … the cake!

Showing kindness on a regular basis is important. Agreed. Love? That’s a no-brainer for me as well, but in today’s ‘circus’ of life … if we are to really embrace the power of relationships, affinity and trust let’s leave the right messages out there. Better still, let’s ensure our closest allies see our true colours and have every chance of passing the message that YOU and your story are that which is best remembered, most easily referred.

Better together

 

Bob arrived, pulled up a chair and reclined with a cup of what appeared to be hot chocolate …

‘So, what do you say, Bob? I asked.’

~

Getting good players is easy. Getting those good players to play together is the hard part.” 

It’s so true don’t you think? A quote by Casey Stengel, I thought this was ‘right up our street.’ Just about sums up the development of our referral network, don’t you think?

‘A good one Bob, yes, I like this one as well, collaboration is a huge part of the business. Especially so for the small business.

OK, I get that, what do you say though, when you meet someone who doubts the value of collaboration?

‘It depends on circumstances Bob, we’re all different, aren’t we? Some don’t value it. Others may be wary of the thought of relinquishing the reins of business, perhaps it’s uncomfortable for them. Some of us fear ‘control’ may be lost when meeting new people, developing those new relationships and trust.

Being aware that we are working for ourselves is great for the soul. No matter whether you’re employed, or whether you have your own business Bob. I remember that as soon as I understood the value, of sharing views and opinions outside of the workplace, the sooner I learn to embrace the opportunity and many benefits good relations bring through my network, the human collateral. We’re never truly ‘going it along.’

Sharing the wear?

‘Sharing the chocolate perhaps? Yes, that’s about it, although in my case? More like taking my head out of the sand.

So networking is not about money?

‘Bob, the value of collaboration goes beyond ‘making money’… through collaboration we learn to think differently, we’re inspired while educating and sharing strengths. Networking is the opportunity to develop strong connections with ready-made marketing expertise, finance wizards, creatives and much more. All developed through networking. We’re richer before we know it.

So, engaging others makes you more profitable?

‘We’re immediately better off when we meet someone new Bob. By making the human connection, by offering help and support when required – and not simply at a professional level … networking is hugely educational and can help solve many doubts and dilemmas, even before they materialise.

Henry Ford said it best.

Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress and working together is success.”

My quote is better though Charlie.

‘Better together, Bob.’

community network

Community-focused networking has lots of benefits, some are immediately evident, others need clarification and I was witness to this just recently as around twenty met over ‘brunch.’

Our guest was Michael has a lot of domestic responsibility, being the ‘office at home’ and supporting two young kids. He loved the idea of opportunity through engagement, connecting with others in business. The same for many sharing a similar routine these days …

‘Great business today Charlie, met some good people and so glad I accepted your invitation.’

It’s taking that first step, isn’t it? That’s where the intimidation lies, right? Stepping outside of the ‘comfort zone’ into an alien landscape, we all become moulded by our routines and I think Michael was no exception.

With a greater number working from the home office, we soon realise the value of people.

‘I didn’t know what to expect really. Although, I was half expecting the selly-sell, and/or the ‘sign-up’ so today was a refreshing change.’

‘Yes Michael, it is good to have you with us and course there are those who come along fishing for business, with focus on the referral. Others Michael, are just as happy to engage views, share the dialogue, focus on areas of passion, of need and the point of view, not to mention collaboration and to ultimately sample the ‘culture.’

Business is at times a secondary consideration – or ‘the bonus’ as some put it.

Seems to me, the development of community engagement is important, not least because it inspires better efficiencies by creating belonging. Along with a clear infrastructure, community helps us all, in whatever line business.

Most especially, those working from the home office.

‘Happy people mean a happy business, right?’

True Michael, cultivating the community network has enabled many to plan for the realisation of longer-term goals, the chance to step away from the monthly/quarterly led management figures and visualise the ‘bigger picture’.

Cultivating community delivers so much more. Community inspires relationships, affinity, infrastructure and ultimately the trust – then comes referral.