I always wanted to be successful. But for a long time, I struggled. Like so many Business Owners, I just couldn’t level up my income and I felt stuck
Then, a mentor changed my life. I used to hang out with four financially broke friends. I was the fifth. It was my mentor who cared enough to be honest with me. He told me that the reason I was struggling financially was that I surrounded myself with people who had a “broke” mindset. Those four friends weren’t going anywhere. And if I wanted to break out of their cycle, I had to break away from them.
Over the course of a few months, I switched those people out of my life in favor of friends and connections that were living the life I wanted to live. And you know what happened? My income increased.
Surrounding myself with the right people changed my thinking. Which changed my actions. And that led to stronger results.
Today, I want to share with you how to develop the right community to reach your business goals.
Narrowing the proximity
Years ago, I promised myself I would do a billion-dollar business deal. There was only one problem. I had no idea what it would take.
I didn’t know how to connect with people with that level of capital. Or how to even hear about deals of that magnitude. I definitely didn’t know how these deals were negotiated or any of the lingo. But I was committed to this huge goal.
Then I learned that proximity is power. People with the knowledge and ability to write seven-figure checks weren’t going to the $5 pancake breakfasts put on by the local business community. If I wanted to learn about bigger deals, I had to go to where those people congregated. I had to step outside my comfort zone.
Stepping outside my comfort zone
I live in Vancouver, Canada. And in Vancouver, we have a five-star luxury hotel, the Fairmont, connected to the airport. Many international businessmen and women stay there or spend time in the lounge during layovers. So, even today, a few times a month I take a little field trip over to the hotel. I buy a salad and spend three or four hours in the restaurant or lounge. There is free wi-fi, and I get to listen and observe people doing deals and talking about their businesses. Sometimes I take notes, sometimes I network. But I do my best always to absorb the language and behaviors of the people around me. I’ve met many amazing connections and mentors here.
Never be afraid to make small moves to be around those doing the work you want to do.
You see, we’re taught as kids not to talk to strangers. But everything we want, need or desire to grow our business comes from strangers. So, we need to overcome that programming to grow.
Never be afraid to make small moves to be around those doing the work you want to do. Pick up the phone, drive to your businesses financial district or have dinner in a place where you know these people congregate. Then listen and be yourself. You’ll be amazed at the people you will meet.
Connecting with a mentor
Mentors are incredibly important for business owners. It was a mentor that put me on the path to motivational speaking. A mentor that encouraged me to do bigger deals and guided me. And a good mentor can keep you on track.
We all have something to offer. And everyone has something they need help with.
One of the most common questions I get about mentors is how to find one. Many people feel like they have nothing to offer a mentor and struggle with how to ask these successful folks for help. If you feel that way, remember one thing. We all have something to offer. And everyone has something they need help with.
I start every new conversation with potential mentors or connections with, “What are you struggling with right now?” Or, I research their business and ask a question about what I believe could be a potential pain point. They may not be willing to be vulnerable with a stranger, but many are looking for an outlet to discuss the things that keep them up at night.
Moving forward in a mentor relationship
Ask questions, and listen closely. Maybe through your network, you can connect this potential mentor with someone who can help them with their business. Maybe you can be a sounding board helping them discover their answer. Whatever it is, be a go-giver rather than a go-getter.
Thoughtful discussion helps build a relationship and trust.
Thoughtful discussion helps build a relationship and trust. And others will want to help you, because the time they spend with you is worthwhile.
Early on, just being in proximity of the right people can help you find a mentor. I met my first mentor at Toastmasters, and she made an incredible impact on my life.
But if finding a mentor is proving too difficult, don’t be afraid to pay for a little help. I’ve paid professionals to teach me how to fill out financing forms. Or to let me listen in on mute during deal negotiations. These interactions helped me learn and gave a natural starting point for building a relationship. And, through these actions, those people knew I valued their time.
Finding a community
I was a lone ranger for a long time. I thought I could do it all by myself. Now, that’s something that if I could go back and speak to my younger self, I would avoid.
Jumping to the next level is easier when you’re surrounded by people who are already there.
Being a solopreneur doesn’t mean you can’t have help. Make room to hire experts for big things like bookkeeping and accounting so you can organize what you need when an investment opportunity does come along. And you’ll have time to focus on what’s important for growing your business day-to-day.
Jumping to the next level is easier when you’re surrounded by people who are already there. Your mentor is going to be five, ten or dozens of steps ahead of your in their business. They can help with strategy and direction. But they might not remember exactly what it takes to go from $50,000 a year to $100,000. Or $100,000 to $200,000.
That’s where masterminds come in. Find a mastermind community of like-minded people where at least some of the people are just a step or two ahead of you. Find out what activities they’re doing, how they set goals and what they don’t do.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
We as people are unique. None of our businesses are exactly the same. But the systems we need to have in place and the planning often looks very similar for successful people. Connecting with people who are focused and doing the work helps you stay in the right mindset to develop your business.
There is an old saying, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” When you want to build a long-term, Legacy Businesses, community helps you get there.
Building your tribe
Being a business owner has peaks and valleys. Get around a group of people that you can be honest with and who can help you stick to your important habits, goals and values as you go through the rollercoaster of entrepreneurship.
The right network can help you grow a stronger, better business than ever. But the wrong one can have you running in place for years. Always evaluate your environment, and surround yourself with people that keep you moving towards your goals.
The views and opinions expressed are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of MindShift.money.
image credit: Bigstock/pinkypills
Darren Jacklin has personally trained and developed more than 1 million people in more than 46 countries. He has mentored entrepreneurs and business owners on specific and measurable strategies that have increased income, transformed obstacles into cash flow and turned passion into profits. Darren has an uncanny ability to increase wealth and success by uncovering hidden assets, overlooked opportunities and undervalued possibilities.