As business people we are always looking for ways to expand our horizons, meet new people and market our services. We may talk to our friends and relatives and all of our prospects, but at some point you need to go beyond your tribe and reach out to new people. I think one of the best ways to meet new people is to volunteer and become involved in a cause you really believe in.
Here’s what I mean; find something you are really passionate about and set aside time to participate and volunteer your time. You will meet people of like minds, work together and build friendships and rapports. Don’t do it strictly as a way of building your business, people will see right through you. Instead as a way to invest your time and make the world a better place. Business will take care of itself. People like to do business with people who are like them.
There are clubs and organizations for almost everything: you can save the whales, save the ocean, help rescues animals find permanent homes, plant trees, help children, help schools, political causes, feed and clothe homeless people, offer business skills to those who need a new start. There are many, many ways you can help.
I’ve told you before I love magic, and I love entertaining and making children smile. I recently contacted the Magic Castle in Hollywood, California, to join their outreach program. It’s a program where they reach out to magicians to volunteer their time to children’s hospitals. It’s something I think that is so worthwhile. I’ve also told the Castle I would like to contact magicians to volunteer their time and I would also like to be one of the magicians entertaining the children. There is nothing like seeing the smile and enjoyment in a child’s eyes when they feel and experience magic. That unto itself is a big payoff and reward. The business part will take care of itself.
It’s an interesting question isn’t it? Some people are born leaders, right? They take risks every day, it’s in their DNA. And then there are the rest of us that sit back and keep our thoughts and feelings to ourselves and take what life hands us.
I think so often people come to a crossroad in their life, where they are unhappy with the status quo, but don’t believe strongly enough in themselves to take the action required to change their lives and make themselves happy.
I fell into that camp. I worked in corporate America for 13 years in the mortgage industry, getting more miserable by the day due to all the bureaucracy and red tape. I worked for Fortune 100 companies because that seemed safe to me. I never saw myself as one that had all the answers and could strike out on my own, open my own small company and become a risk taker.
I finally got to a point where I felt I had no choice but to go out on my own. It was at that same time I realized I was taking risks every day and had built a business of my own even though I was working for someone else. Relationships had been established, friendships were created and business was being done. At one point while contemplating what to do, I asked a Realtor whom I worked with for his opinion on what I should do. He replied, “I don’t know where you work now. When I need a transaction closed I just call you.”
That did it. That was enough and gave me the final push, the momentum I needed to open my own company. The truth of the matter is we are all our own business whether we realize it or not, open for business each and every day. The effort we put into our work, no matter what it is, and the results we attain, whether it be in an actual workplace, or at home, speaks volumes.
You don’t have to make anyone else believe in you. It doesn’t matter what your mate or spouse believes, it doesn’t matter what your friends and family think. The only one that has to believe in you, is you.
Until next time.
Have you seen it, High School Musical? It came out a few years ago, shown on the Disney Network with Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens. It was on again over the weekend. Now I know I’m not exactly their demographic, but I enjoyed it and also observed something.
The movie is about a basketball player, Troy Bolton (played by Efron) and an academic genius Gabriella Montez (played by Hudgens) who both share a love of singing. They are both trying to escape from their stereotypes so they can do what they love, which is to perform. At the end of the movie, they do just that, landing the male and female leads in their high school musical. That doesn’t mean they have to give up sports or studying, they can do both.
Along the way both characters receive a lot of pressure from their cliques, concerned for them and doing something outside the norm. At the conclusion of the movie, Gabriella and Troy are successful. Here’s the surprising part: friends of each discover there are things they want to do, such as cooking, baking, dancing and composing in addition to sports or academics. They were all waiting for permission to do what they are passionate about. Seeing their friends succeed gave them permission.
How about you? Are waiting for permission or encouragement to do what you yearn for? I’m guilty of that. I love helping new entrepreneurs and have wanted to hold a workshop for the past 2 years. For one reason or another I made or found excuses why I couldn’t do it. What if no one shows up? What if I’m not good enough? What if I can’t really help?
I got to the point finally where there are no more room for excuses to I am holding my first event on July 29, 2014 in Burbank California, called The Entrepreneur In You: Creating a Company with Passion, Appreciation and Trust.
Here’s the bottom line, while I would certainly like want-to-be-entrepreneurs to show up, I will be there no matter what. I have made a commitment to that. If you are looking for encouragement to do what you really want, let me know on Facebook, or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be pleased to help you and be your cheerleader.