The Key to Reaching Your Personal & Professional Goals: Networking
Today might change my business for good.
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At breakfast, I met with a builder with almost $100MM on the street. He had incredible development ideas, with joint venture potentials potentials that promised amazing opportunities for my business. Then, I hopped on a phone call with my partner on developing our client strategies for investors in the United States and internationally. And just before noon, I ate lunch with an entrepreneur who created, built, grew, and sold his business it to a multi-national company in the hundreds of millions. He is now finding ways to connect people with ideas all over, to help change the world.
Talk about the meeting of the minds. There were enough ideas talked about just today to create a gazillion new businesses, rabbit holes, and crazy plans. I was able to connect, learn, and find ways that we could both help each other and take action at the same time.
All of the opportunities I’ve ever had in my life came from creating connections. In fact, building relationships is a required first step in almost all business ventures. Have a widget to sell? You’ll need someone to sell it to. Have a house to buy? You’ll need someone to connect the dots between the opportunity and the person buying it. Have a product or service? People need to understand how it benefits them, their life, or their business.
Most successful people I know have made it their business to get to know people. They learn what others need, where their strengths and weaknesses are, and how best to help them. In return, the income, benefit, and opportunities come back tenfold.
Our team just started a meet-up here in Kansas City. We had 90+ show up at our first meeting and over 160 at our second. We were simply overwhelmed and humbled at the number of people. We literally outgrew the first meeting space and then the second, in back-to-back meetings. This is honestly the motivation and fuel for this post.
The meet-up really made me stop and think about how we connect as people.
As my team sat around eating lunch, excited and sharing stories about the meeting on Wednesday, we talked about all the people we met. The deals that were done there. The cool new people we had never heard of. And then there were some who literally had no idea where to start. What we did know for sure was that the people who attended were looking for an amazing community that would support their dreams and ideas.
Whether it’s a group of just a few people or a community like BiggerPockets with over a million, it’s no different. People want to understand a culture and be a part of it. The community feeds you. People look for ways to participate and make a difference.
Think about your own life—your own business, dreams, and goals. Are you putting yourself in places where you can connect with likeminded people? Are you growing your network? Think about what your own community looks like. What areas do you need to strengthen? Finally, what specific steps are you taking to support your life, family, and mission?
A Clear Approach
If you aren’t sure where to start, think about what you want your life to look like. Who do you want to be meeting with or doing deals with? Find books, podcasts, and stories of real people doing what you want to do.
You will be blown away by the number of people who are in your area doing nearly or exactly the same thing you want to do. Understand where they have been, what they did to get there, and how you could model the same. If they aren’t there or you can’t find them, there are so many ways to find people online.
Michael Jordan has an amazing quote: “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
I can remember many times when I’ve tried something only a few times and given up. Or maybe I’ve given myself an out and told myself it’s acceptable to not persevere through the point of pain to really solve a problem.
By connecting with others, we can worth through our issues by learning from the mistakes and past experiences of others. It allows is to actively problem-solve and helps us realize that failure is a normal, necessary part of success.
Think about those you surround yourself with—your community and relationships. How do they work together, and if something needs to change, what is it? Don’t be afraid to make a change. Don’t be afraid to remove or lessen the influence people have in your life. Be clearer on the outcome you desire. Don’t be afraid to be a student and a teacher at the same time.
Believe things will change positively in the way you want them to. And fearlessly go make relationships and be a part of a thriving community.
What networks are you a part of that inspire you to be better in business and in life?