How do you react when people say, “It’s all about who you know?” It used to make me so frustrated. My professional success should be about ME and my vision, passion, hard work and results.
Right? So sorry. Wrong.
The truth is none of us can be successful alone. Most every new job, freelance assignment and even getting my first book published were all because someone I know made an introduction for me.
There is a good reason so much is written about the dreaded “networking” and the importance of developing and maintaining our professional relationships. It’s truly the secret to success. You need to add Rally My Relationships as a major priority and Must Do in your life right now.
You know what else is true? Knowing how to relate with and work with people is way more important that any of your other talents. Most anyone can learn a skill, but not everyone knows success is all about prioritizing people. Here’s another secret. Look around, all those people in your professional life are not only your key to reaching your wildest dreams; most of them are likely fun to hang out with professionally and personally.
Here’s more good news. You can still be in control of how you Rally Your Relationships. You’re the one that gets to decide how to take action. “Networking” doesn’t have to be about excruciating formal events in hotel ballrooms with bad booze, awkward name tags and uncomfortable “what do you do?” moments. However, those experiences can be a big stretch for those of us who proclaim to be people but who struggle with approaching strangers. Raise your hand if you are a confident badass, but a crowded room where you don’t know anybody makes you feel like a nerdy sweaty hot mess.
Today let’s start with a more-easy and equally important way to Rally Your Relationships.
Step #1 is about nurturing the people already in your network who are out there somewhere in the background. You likely have your go-to super hero squad on standby to come to your rescue at a moment’s notice. But how about all those amazing people waiting in the wings? People you grew up with, went to college with, your first boss, beloved teachers, people from your first job?
That girl sitting right beside you every day you met once but never say hello to? There are likely hundreds of people you have met who could support your mission or who knows somebody who knows somebody. Imagine. There are hundreds of incredible people out there waiting, willing and able to support you.
Building and maintaining relationships is some of the most important work you must do. A challenge never has to suck when you have people you can rally when needed. Another truth bomb: we are all here to love and support each other. Strong relationships bring us inner joy. Isn’t happiness really our ultimate goal? Don’t reach the top and look around and find yourself alone.
So today, and from now on, commit to adding Rally Your Relationships to you’re your daily MUST DO list.
I love keeping life simple and putting everything into 3 buckets. Here is an easy way to break this down. Every week, make it a priority to: Thank Someone, Support Someone, Ask Someone for Help. Get creative and add your own twist, but these are three simple ways to Rally Your Relationships.
1) Call someone and thank them for the support they have provided you (note: you can go back as far as you like including teachers, first bosses, mentors etc.)
This week, I am going to thank ______________________________________.
2) Reach out and offer your support to someone you know needs assistance you can provide. Be generous. Give your attention. Even your unsolicited kindness is a gift to someone.
This week, I am going to offer my support to _____________________________.
ASK SOMEONE FOR HELP
3) Don’t be a martyr. Ask someone for advice, ideas, resources or even funding for a project in which you need support. Expect generosity. People love to help each other.
This week, I am going seek advice and support from _______________________.
By proactively reaching out and engaging with your extended network on an ongoing basis, you are nourishing it. Keeping your relationships healthy is also fun. Make people a top priority.
Another tip. Don’t avoid those people in your life who are different than you, a bit eccentric or even too annoyingly confident on the surface. You want to ensure your expanded super hero squad is robust, diverse and lively. You will likely be surprised who ends up saving the day and becoming your most cherished friends.
Have fun while you Rally Your Relationships!
T“The making of friends who are real friends is the best token we have of a (wo)man’s success in life.” —Edward Everett Hale