Your success should be everyone’s priority. Your family circle should be supportive. Your colleague's circle, encouraging. Your friend’s circle should play devil’s advocate. And your networking circle should give you every opportunity to advance your business.
Within your networking circle might exist two networking groups, your sphere of influence, clients, prospects, and anyone else related to your business. To advance professionally and make the best use of your networking circle, everyone needs a solid support system. This includes family, co-workers/colleagues and friends. Each intertwines with the other, affecting our personal and professional success. Your success should be the priority of everyone in your life. We owe it to each other to be supportive. How else are we all to do well?
Let’s face it, there’s nothing worse than feeling on top of the world because of the happiness your family gives you, but your work life is miserable and makes you want to call in sick every day. Or when work is the only satisfaction you get because of a dysfunctional personal/family life. Not until there is balance can there be harmony.
I think it’s everyone’s responsibility to make sure you have what you need to be successful, personally and professionally. And none of this, “They should this and they should that” behind people’s backs. If you have something to say, good or bad, face them and offer constructive remarks. Or, congratulate them on a job well done with a recommendation. Whatever it is, have in mind that you have the ability to help someone succeed. This is a responsibility that shouldn't be taken lightly.
Balance and harmony between work and life puts you on the path to happiness. Happiness ultimately leads to success. Isn’t that the ultimate goal? Happiness in all things? When your success is everyone’s priority, you’re going to do well and you’re going to be happy. Your family is happy. Your friends want to be around you more. Colleagues refer you. And your clients want more of what you offer. You’re successful. And everyone wants to be a part of success.
The role of the networking circle, toward your happiness, is critical. I believe networking organizations have the responsibility to 1. make certain you are connecting to the right people (consumers/clients), 2. make sure you have the resources you need to build a business, attract business and stay in business, and 3. make sure you have opportunities to share your expertise with others.
Connecting to the right people. Look for organizations that offer an online business directory that is accessible to all consumers, regardless of membership or the need to log in. As well, you should have the opportunity to regularly network, in person, on common ground. Connections cascade into referrals.
Having the resources you need. There’s nothing like finding FREE resources that are valuable. Workshops, articles, and classes on all topics from marketing to budgeting can be offered, for free or at an affordable fee. Take advantage of all of the resources offered. Especially when they are offered by other members.
Opportunities to share your expertise. When a networking group offers you an opportunity to teach a workshop, write articles, host an event, or speak during an event, they are encouraging you to share your expertise. This is a great way to keep your business memorable to others. The more you share your expertise, the more credible and desirable you become.
In today’s world, there is very little reason a woman or man shouldn’t succeed and run a business to her/his full potential. In Central Ohio, we have approximately 6-8 female-focused networking groups, 7-10 co-ed networking groups and dozens of chambers and associations. Many of the groups are “professional”-based with a yearly membership fee and monthly networking events. Most are affordable and offer different services. Investigate the right networking group before you join. When you join, get involved!
I think we all play a huge role in the success or demise of others. As individuals and groups, we have an obligation to help everyone be successful. Whether it’s through encouragement, support, playing the devil’s advocate or being brutally honest about someone’s product or service, when our support system works well together, we are happy.
What would you do? If someone you know in business has a product or service that you know to be awful, do you have an obligation to let them know?
Cheers toward your personal and professional success, that ultimately leads to your overall happiness.
When Dames bond, Dames thrive!
Mary B. Relotto
Founder and CEO, Dames Bond LLC
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