Posts Tagged ‘networking’
You’ve probably heard it said that you are the sum total of the 7 people you hang out with most. So who do you hang out with most? And, do you like who you are and who you are becoming in that company?
If you want to lose weight, hang out with healthy, fit people. It makes it easier. If you want to be more successful, surround yourself with people who are MORE successful than you are. If you want to be in a fulfilling marriage, hang out with other couples who represent that for you.
Conceptually, this sounds great. But, I think it’s harder than it sounds. I know that the people I spend the most time with actually are my children. When they were little, it was hard for my brain to keep from turning to jello sometimes. As an entrepreneur, I spend most of my time working with clients or in pursuit of new clients. I have to make a conscious effort to put myself in environments that stretch me and to surround myself with people who propel me forward.
Here are 7 Ways to Create a Powerful Peer Group:
1. Be at choice about who you spend your time with. Of course there are important people who you are in relationships with that may not serve your vision of who you are becoming. Choose when to spend your time with them and how much time and energy you want to invest in that relationship. I’m not going to stop hanging out with my kids. But, I am intentional about that time. I love to play games with them, help them with their homework, make meals, go to the movies and just hang out with my kids. But, I don’t play Xbox or WOW with them. You get the idea. I also love my extended family dearly. I come from a long line of women who love with food – lots of delicious food. If I am watching my diet, I need to plan ahead when I attend a family event. It’s also true that I love with food and make regular attempts to kill my loved ones with enchiladas and cheesecake. They need to plan accordingly and enlist my support when they come over.
2. Bring the people in your current peer group up with you. So, in the case of my family, especially my immediate family, I am not going to stop eating with them as a long term solution. But, I can enroll them in eating better with me. Now, I have a peer group that supports me. You can do this with your office staff, your management team, the Little League moms or any of your other friends.
3. Join networking and business development groups or start your own. My favorite business development group for Women Entrepreneurs is The Association of Women Entreprenuers. I am inspired by the motivational and inspirational speakers. I love the mastermind groups. And I cherish the friendships that I have made with like-minded women in pursuit of MORE.
4. Join or start a mastermind group. Be intentional about who you choose to mastermind with. Look for people who compliment you and stretch you. Many coaches and consultants offer the opportunity to mastermind with them for a price. If this is your next teacher, then the price is generally worth it. You can mastermind with me, if you are so inspired.
5. Attend conventions in your field. Conventions are a fabulous opportunity to network with other like-minded professionals who are moving in the same direction that you are and conventions generally offer progressive educational opportunites in your field.
6. Pursue a credential. Most credentialing programs give you education with a peer group, or tribe, built in. One of the tribes that I am proudest to belong to and most stretched and fulfilled by is my CTI Leadership Tribe. My coaching certification, CPCC (Certified Professional Co-Active Coach), also admits me to an amazing, international tribe of coaches and leaders. I continue to be inspired and grown by these associations.
7. Join an association of professionals in your field. As a coach, I belong to The International Coach Federation and The International Coach Federation in Los Angeles. I know I am among “my people” when I attend any ICF event. Know your tribe! If you are a designer, hang out with other designers. If you are a realtor, work with other realtors. These collaborations make us all better at what we do and help us to serve our clients better by bringing up our whole industry.
Whatever you do, do something. You’re success depends on it!
As promised, here is my “Stadium Pitch”: The Seven Most Expensive Mistakes Women Entrepreneurs Make. Drum roll, please…
- Being non specific and not identifying your niche. This is extremely true of coaches and service professionals. How many clients/customers do you really want? You do not need to market to the entire world in order to get them.
- Not knowing who your target market is. Of course, defining your niche is a big part of this. “Pretty much everyone could use my services ” is not a target. I recently polled a group of savvy, mostly experienced women entrepreneurs and less than one third of them had a defined target market. This is a VERY expensive mistake. You need to know who your client is in order to know what they want from you and how to reach them.
- Telling your clients what they want and need instead of listening to what your clients tell you they want from you.
- Getting up and running on a crazy treadmill and not asking yourselves, “What’s the point?” It is important to evaluate every commitment and decision and ask “Why am I doing this? What do I hope to achieve? What do I want to get out of this? How do I need to approach this in order to get my desired outcome?”
- Taking on too much overhead and throwing money at your business without looking at your return on your investment.
- Recreating the wheel. There is a lot of good information available. For most new entrepreneurs, it makes more sense to build your own website than to pay $9K for one. But, it probably doesn’t make more sense to build your own blog than to pay $500 for one.
- “Spray and Pray” advertising. This is a common side effect of not being clear about your niche and not knowing who your target market is.
- Networking ineffectively – expecting to “get something out of” simply attending some networking meetings. This could also be called not following up.
- Hiding behind SAFE sales strategies – advertisements, newsletters, handing out business cards, creating facebook events, etc.
- Thinking that a new expert or another credential is what you need to succeed. In some cases, an expert is very valuable, but many entrepreneurs make the mistake (at least once) of hiring someone or buying a program in order to avoid doing what they already know.
- Not taking responsibility for your impact. Blaming other people, organizations, advertising platforms, social media sites, etc for your lack of success.
- Quitting too soon. Doing something once and expecting it to payoff.
- Not quitting soon enough. Hope is not a good strategy.
- Attempting to do everything yourself. Stay in your strengths and outsource the rest. I just hired a VA to do my billing, because I hate doing it. It actually costs you more money for you to run certain parts of your business than it does to outsource them, and you will likely be more productive and make more money when you free yourself from tasks that drain you.
Okay, okay… I can count. That’s fourteen, not seven. I could edit the list, combine some things and drop some things and I’m not going to. I also think it’s a good strategy to under promise and over deliver. So, the extra seven are my gift to you. Enjoy!