It’s been said time and time again: “You are the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”
Essentially, all this amounts to is that your circle of friends, coworkers, family members and whoever else you choose to associate with frequently are highly influential in your own personal and professional development.
That’s one reason why humans are so invested in creating and maintaining relationships. I don’t care who you are: We naturally crave closeness. We want to know we’re not alone. We want to know someone else has our back.
When things are good in business–they’re good. When they’re bad–who are you going to rely on during those times when the pendulum shifts? At the end of the day, it’s our relationships that keep us afloat. It’s the person who has a few referrals to give you, executive advice on a strategy you’ve dreamt up, or even an entirely new direction.
What is your strategy for maintaining those relationships? How are you keeping that anchor in place for when times get hard?
Here are three tips to help create and maintain influencers in your life:
1. Find a Community
Finding a community is an essential part of building relationships in business. Whether it’s through a niche-focused group like SHE Sparks Business or through your local Chamber of Commerce–knowing where “your people” are is paramount.
Look for a community that encompasses like-minded people, or others who are in your same shoes. Don’t make the mistake of joining a networking group with individuals who haven’t been where you are–you won’t see the value.
Join a community where you know you’re not the smartest person in the room. Because if you are, you’re in the wrong room.
2. Mentor and be Mentored
One of the most valuable aspects of being involved in a networking/referral group is the opportunity to mentor AND be mentored. Of course, referrals are your bread and butter, but the cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top? It has to be the fact that you can allow yourself to have access to possibly hundreds of others who are interested in helping you grow personally and professionally.
Mentoring others and serving them for free does have its financial benefits. Think of it this way: If you give someone an awesome tip or stellar advice, who do you think is going to be on the top of their mind? YOU. Building up others is a wonderful way to remain top of mind. What goes around, comes around.
3. Invest in Those Relationships
Always remember to take a step beyond just building new relationships in your industry and maintain them. There is nothing worse than feeling like you are simply a dollar sign to someone; ie: having a “one-and-done” interaction with them.
Invest in them by NOT taking them to lunch to “pick their brains,” but be focused on building an honest and true relationship with them. Similar to the “mentor and be mentored” tip above, investing in others around you will help you remain at the top of others’ minds. What do you have to lose, truly?
Written by Emily Havens
Emily is the Marketing Director for SHE Sparks Business. She has a passion for women in business and female empowerment. Contact her at 435-640-4825.