So y’all…. .don’t know if you knew this, but I happen to be the Queen (or at least the Duchess) of Networking in southeast Minnesota….. AKA….. A stranger is just a friend I haven’t met.
For the purposes of this post, please take a few minutes to read what I have written, then feel free to come up with your own conclusions…. 🙂
This has always been my creed, my strength, my motto……
Gallup (you know, the people who publish all those polls….) put together something called the Strengths Finder several years ago. I took their online test. My biggest strength – no surprise to those who know me – was Win Others Over (WOO)….. in other words, I am the person that sits next to you on the 2-hour airplane ride and learns your entire life story by the time we land.
Some people have criticized me for this, have called me “bossy” and “intrusive.” Funny, though, I am neither. In fact, I would prefer to retreat into reading a book or a magazine on the afore-mentioned flight. But that doesn’t usually happen. Generally, people want to be heard, or understood, or known.
So, often, it takes only a couple simple questions like, “How are you doing? Where are you travelling?” for people to open up and completely dump their guts, for lack of a better phrase…..
Sometimes, I really don’t want to hear people’s sacred and deep stories. Most of the time, though, I do…..
In 2007, I was named the Spirit of Winona, a huge honor from several local businesses, organizations, etc. – it was based on my efforts of helping our community recover from a violent flash flood…… During that time, I had many opportunities to reflect on how important relationships are and how important networking is.
And the answer is….. “Relationships are Key, No Matter What You Do.”
Fast-forward a couple years to when our son joined an international student organization…. he came home during spring break and said – with a straight face – “Mom, I don’t know if you know this, but networking is very important.” Yes, I earnestly agreed with him, and only started laughing hysterically about 10 minutes later. Son and I still agree – with rueful laughter and grins – that this is important.
And, fast-forward again to today….. son sent me a link to a free webinar about how to make 6 figures in your consulting business. Of course, this is something I would be interested in – I hope and want to be successful in my new business of consulting for and with non-profit organizations!!! – so I dutifully signed up, and logged in.
The great thing about webinars is that they can play on your computer while you accomplish other tasks. Good thing I did that yesterday…… the webinar about “Making 6 Figures While You Sleep” (or something)….. told me, after 51 minutes of my life (while I was making to-do lists and e-mailing people I wanted to connect with)…. that building relationships is the key to building a business.
Wow! I am so impressed… that I have actually held this key to success myself, for all these years! The great news is that I hold this key, and that I don’t have to start from scratch. And, son Nic, thank you for being so honest and earnest with me during your early AIESEC years!
Don’t get me wrong… I am grateful for the opportunity to take part in this free webinar…. Overall, though, it will be fantastic when I am able to truly start trusting myself and my instincts when it comes to my business of helping non-profit organizations become even more successful in what they are doing to help their clients and to improve our communities…..