Today I was listening to an old episode of the Oprah show on the radio. It was a very touching story, aren’t they all, about a woman who took in an 11 year old boy relative to live with her. She was a single woman who had applied to and was preparing to go into the Peace Corps when relatives approached her about this little boy who had no where else to go. Around the same time she saw an episode of the Oprah show about another woman who had taken on the task of caring for a sick elderly relative. It was that episode that tipped the decision for her to take the boy in.
At the end of the sound bite, Oprah chimed in and said “I love the power of television.” What she was was referring to was the power of television to connect people. Because the woman in the story saw someone else being open and brave, she was able to dig deep into herself and find her own courage and conviction which in turn not only saved the boy, but also gave her life great joy and meaning.
Your business is not an episode of the Oprah show, however, we often do need inspiration from others to make decisions that will give us the life we want, sometimes even a life better than we could have dreamed. It is in the power of connection that dreams really do come true.
We talk about building our tribe to grow our brands, but there is also a need to build an entrepreneurial tribe of peers. We need that support and community to grow and thrive. Human beings need connectivity. It is far easier to survive in the wilderness when there is cooperation of a group than being a lone wolf. One person tends the the fire, another gathers the foods and as a result, everyone gets to enjoy a warm meal.
The same is true in our businesses. The fastest path to huge success is through cooperation.@HeatherPoduska (Tweet this) Think of the Amish who practice barn raising. The whole community gathers to build a barn for one family. The favor is then returned to everyone who pitched in to help. As a result, the whole community enjoys the potential to prosper. Imagine if each farmer tried to build a barn on their own! It would take forever.
We all need to construct a web of affiliations to support and grow our business. If you don’t already belong to a barn-building community,
here are some tips to help you build a tribe:
1. Give first. You’ve got to give to get. That is not to say your should give just to get! If you show sincere interest in helping others achieve their goals, you will be amazed at how quickly you start to achieve your own. Creating a spirit of mutual contribution will sky-rocket your success.
2. Find the right tribe. Believe it or not, not everyone shares the same ideas around goals, success and achievement. You may want the stars and someone else may just want a diet Coke. Make sure you align yourself with like-minded business people. You want to match energy so you can move forward full-throttle.
3. Be a Mensch. Underneath our business attire, we are all people with lives and feelings. Show that you care about the human beings with whom you are interacting, not just their businesses. Don’t be fooled, all business is personal. When you show kindness and empathy, you will naturally attract the same response.
4. Ask for help. If you don’t ask, people will not know you need help. We often feel shy or embarrassed to ask for help, but you can either be shy or you can grow your business. Just be sure to let those who help you know you will reciprocate and then do so quickly.
5. Be social. The more you show up and interact with your community whether is it in person or online, the more people you will get to know. That in an of itself is a gift. Having a social network is a huge asset to an entrepreneur. We spend so much time behind out computers, planning and working we often miss out on one of the best elements of success there is. Having a large social network not only helps your business, it improves your health and dramatically adds to the quality of your life.
As I am writing this blog, I am thinking of my 10 year daughter who plays soccer. She’s a very funny kid. Every time her team gets the ball, she puts her hand up in the air, yells “CHARGE!” and races down the field. It’s her battle call to the team. I love it. She’s cheering them on, running full force to the goal and have a ball doing it.
I wish you the same thing in your business. Gather your team and lead the way!
I love to hear your voice!
What is one thing you can do today to strengthen your own entrepreneurial community? Remember, give first!
Post your answers below in the comments or find me on Facebook.
If you would like to use this article on your website or ezine, feel free! Just be sure to include the following:Heather Poduska is a brand strategist, business coach and opera singer who helps entrepreneurs and small business owners create client attractive brands, polished brand images and brand communication strategies to increase their visibility and impact in the marketplace and grow their businesses.