“No man is an island”. I had to learn this lesson early on. The one woman band gets tired very quickly and I do mean super sleepy. God’s form of math is all about multiplication and we can see that within the world that we live in. One seed is planted and through a partnership of sun, water and earth, a “multi-fruited” (yes, I’ve made this a word) plant with tons of new seeds springs forth. One person may be able to accomplish a lot, but a body of people dedicated to one vision can accomplish exponentially more.
When Solomon organized the nation in a temple building project, there was a boatload of people needed for every aspect of the job. It took 7 years to accomplish and many specialty craftsman to make it happen. In the end though, this temple was a beacon to those within that “Israeli organization” and without. Check out, in King Solomon’s words, what that project was all about. Now, imagine 1 king attempted to build all of that by his lonesome…
::que the crickets chirping::
As a “solopreneur”, I have been reaching out to those in my network and partnering with other business owners to mutually grow our businesses together. The process of networking will stretch you, but widening your business community is well worth the effort.
1. Research local groups that you can visit that work with your schedule, your budget and your business values. Attend a few meetings to get a feel for the people in the group. Pick 1 to start and then join.
2. Each meeting, ask 2 people to schedule a coffee chat, also known as a “1 to 1″ for the following week. If your group meets only once a month, reach out to 5 people for that month. Let’s not forget to ask colleagues out as well. Just because they may not be your immediate target market, does not mean that you cannot benefit each other in some way.
3. When you meet individually, listen to your guest and try to understand what they do thoroughly. In this way, you will be able refer business to them and they to you, which is the point of the meeting (aside from making a new friend).
4. Follow up with them, afterward. As you network with more and more folks, it becomes easier to connect one “new friend” to the next because your list of contacts widens. This is the step that tests how well you followed #3. Did you listen well and remember?
5. Pray, pray, pray. When you now “network with God”, He may give you new ideas based on some of your past meetings. Perhaps in the form of new products that will meet many of the pain points that you heard, or perhaps He will just ask you to start praying for someone. Follow God’s leading because at the end of the day, networking if nothing else if not a great way to share the love and gospel of Jesus in your community
Now, I would love to hear what your community building experience have been? Leave me a comment here and share a tip that I did not mention or let me know how you will follow through with one of these suggestions.