The Absolutely Wonderful Change I Made to Help Grow My Business
Face to face, or even via a phone call, is the ultimate way to build a true relationship with someone.
There's four circles of people in most of our professional lives.
There are the people we work with frequently, such as co-workers. For example, I'm in regular contact with Carolyn Crummey as she's working with me to build Smart Hustle Magazine (and other cool projects I'm working on).
Then there are people we're in touch with every now and then due to projects (like a client or vendor). In my work with Market New York, I'm in touch with the awesome peeps throughout the year from the Event Management team who work on producing the event.
Then there are those who we know and interact with from time to time. For example, Adrian Miller and I are friends and we bump into each other every now and then (sometimes more and sometimes less) due to our common interests in the small business community.
The fourth group are those people who we know in passing, we know them online. We know OF them and they know OF us - but we've never taken the time to connect more deeply.
As an entrepreneur, if you can take this fourth group and upgrade them to one of the other groups - your business will be enriched. Why? Because beyond our need to "get a client" and earn direct revenue from someone, you'll find tremendous value in connecting with other people. You can learn from them, they can learn from you, you can introduce them to people who can enrich their lives and they can introduce you to people who can do the same for you. In the past few weeks, I got to know Raj Thakkar of FOREsite Financial Services for Good much better. We knew of each other, but only recently did I sit down and get to know him better through a face to face conversation! In fairness to him, which started by him coming to the first Smart Hustle Meetup Group (NYC).
Bottom line, reach out to those who you know, but have not really connected with. You'll be surprised at how these distant relationships can turn into real benefit for your company and your personal life as well.