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Membership programs

Recently, there seems to be an influx of mentorship programs geared toward small business leaders and entrepreneurs. The whole idea behind these programs is to set people up with a mentor, for a fee. Some programs work by allowing entrepreneurs to use the platforms to focus on growing their business. They then receive mentoring in return for equity in the company. While these programs can be helpful, they can be an expense that many start-up businesses can’t afford. Usually, there is no refund if you’re not matched with the right mentor, so it’s one of the riskier ways to connect with a mentor. 

Join A Masterclass

Now I may be biased, but I can not tell you how many people have connected through our Next Level Mastermind Class and formed invaluable professional connections because of it. A masterclass is a place where eager, dedicated, passionate, and goal-oriented professionals come together to learn everything they can about getting to the next level. Our mastermind class is unique because not only do you get access to a handful of professionals who could significantly improve your business, but you get one-on one-coaching from Antoinette and myself, two people dedicated to your success. 

Social Media

Social media platforms like LinkedIn can be great for networking and mentorship. Social media has a way of connecting people that may have never connected without it. Social networking sites, even Facebook and Instagram, if used correctly, can help you reach out to people who have more experience in your field. Reaching out to those people increases your chances of learning something new and making intentional steps towards your goals. Put yourself out there and don’t be afraid to be seen. If you come across someone on social media who is already doing what you want to do, reach out, and make your intentions clear. Do not let the fear of rejection stop you from using social media to possibly connect with the one person who could dramatically change the trajectory of your career

Cold Emailing

This one can be tough, but hear me out. There’s an old saying that “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” Cold calling has been a business strategy for decades, and although we have newer, more innovative ways to communicate with potential customers (and mentors), there is something valuable about the cold call. Cold emailing is the same thing. If you know someone who you feel could significantly help you grow as a business leader, reach out to them. Offer to work for them, for free. Ask if there is anything you can do, anything at all, to learn from them. Expect a few unanswered emails, but also know that persistence and dedication will always pay off.

Personal Network

Finding a mentor can be as easy as making a list. Make a list of the professionals in your life and what their strengths and accomplishments are. Do you know anyone who has started their own business? Wrote a book? Did whatever it is you are trying to do? Make a list of the people you know personally who could help you on your journey to the next level. Finding a mentor can be a very formal thing, or it can be two friends who see each other’s potential and work together to better themselves. Imagine how you would react if someone you knew reached out and asked to learn a thing or two from you. You’d probably be honored. Asking someone you know to be your mentor is a compliment, so don’t be afraid to ask.

We are just days away from the launch of our new book, SWIM! It covers the importance of mentorship in an easy, funny, relatable, and impactful way. I wrote a book about mentorship because it is THAT important.

My challenge for you this week: Use one of these methods to step out of your comfort zone and ask someone to be your mentor. The success of your business could depend on it. 

 

“Successful people know a lot of people” -Walter Bond

It’s Meet Someone New Monday! Today is a great day to work on your networking skills and meet someone who could help you reach your goals. Or maybe by meeting someone new this week, you’ll be the person someone else needs to achieve their goals! Either way, by meeting new people this week, networks are being strengthened, goals are being reached, and relationships are being built. Networking is a critical skill set that we all must develop to enhance our purpose and make progression.

Everything you need to get to the next level will go through someone else’s hands to get to you. Ask any “self-made” millionaire their secret, and they’ll tell you they had a strong team of people behind them and were committed to effective networking. Meeting new people is critical in growing as a person and as a business. You can master programs and processes and create formulas that will improve your numbers, but if you can’t master the relationship building part of your business, you’re doing yourself, and your company, a disservice.

Networking is paramount to your success in 5 major ways:

  • Shared Knowledge. Successful people surround themselves with people who are more successful than they are. By networking with other like-minded people, you can share ideas, knowledge, strategies, and tricks to help you reach the next level. This is one reason our Next Level: Mastermind Group has been such a success, successful people love connecting with other successful people.
  • Increased opportunities. Networking helps you get connected with the people who have what you need to grow. Meeting new people increases your chances of finding new opportunities that will help launch you towards personal and business development.
  • It’s about secondary connections. Businessman Bob may not be the person you need to reach the next level at this moment, but building a long-term relationship with him means that he has connections that could be crucial in your success. Maybe Businessman Bob gives your name to his friend Professional Paula and viola! You’re connected and significantly moving forward.
  • Get Noticed. The more people you know, the more people know you. This helps to increase your profile and reputation in the industry. By making yourself a regular at networking events and business development sessions, you’re letting everyone know that you’re serious about getting to the next level. This will attract other serious business leaders and entrepreneurs into your professional circle.

This week, your challenge is to work on a short pitch/speech that will cover the basics of who you are and what you do in the amount of time it takes to ride an elevator. This is commonly referred to as an elevator speech. Once you’ve crafted your elevator speech, use it on one person that you don’t know. If you’re not doing it, your competition will. Being prepared will help you move past the few seconds of nervousness and start a chain reaction of connections that will get you to the next level.

If you didn’t get in on the Mastermind Group in October, there a few spots left for November. We’ll be discussing networking tips that have helped successful business leaders and entrepreneurs reach the big time!

Now go meet someone new!

-Walter

Everyone knows that in business and in life, it’s more about who you know than what you know. The connections you make in your professional life are what open doors and get you to the next level. We all know we need to attend networking events, participate in mastermind groups, make phone calls, send emails and shake hands. However, there are a few secrets to effective networking that commonly get missed. Before your next networking event, make sure you’re paying attention to these fundamentals that could either make or break your networking game:

Prepare

You’d be surprised at how many professionals walk into a networking event, meet-and-greet or another connection-focused endeavor without being prepared. Not only does this make you look unprofessional and unprepared to potential connections, but it can also decrease your confidence and your chances of making a powerful first impression. Some ways to prepare yourself for success when it comes to networking include:

  • Be clear about your goals and intentions for networking. Are you trying to collect five business cards? Are you aiming to give out all of yours? Do you want to leave with a follow-up phone call scheduled? If you know who is going to be there, make a list of the people you want to speak with. Going in with a plan helps you stay focused and increases productivity.
  • Do your research. Nothing is more embarrassing than meeting a keynote or notable figure at an event and not knowing who they are. Make sure you can identify the high-profile people at your event and learn a little about their history and contributions. This will make you look prepared and educated.
  • Take care of details ahead of time. This means knowing where you’re going, what you are wearing, and any unexpected obstacle that could prevent you from being late or missing critical connections.

Pay Attention To Your Body Language

Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, your body language at networking events tells people everything they need about approaching (or avoiding) you. Things like crossing your arms, standing against the wall, avoiding eye contact and the way you stand in a group can all send off vibes that you’re unapproachable or uninterested. Many introverts do these things unintentionally and often as a response to crowd-anxiety.

But introverts aren’t the only ones guilty of body language that sends off the wrong message. Dramatic hand gestures, an unnecessarily loud speaking voice, a defensive attitude, and offensive or inappropriate humor could also put people off from approaching you.

Keep your body language in check to maximize the connections you can make.

The Follow Up

Professional relationships are like flowers, the seeds are planted at the initial contact, but they won’t grow if you don’t tend to them. While meeting people at networking events is the first step, it’s all for nothing if you don’t follow up. Your work is not done when the networking event is over, in fact, it’s just getting started. Be intentional about setting a follow-up meeting or phone call before you go your separate ways, and then follow through with this commitment. Even if the connection doesn’t lead anywhere right now, your follow-through and persistence will give them a good impression of your work ethic.

Become A Networking Monster

Networking is one of the significant ways to grow your business. Even if you consider yourself a people-person and have no problem making friends with strangers, it’s important to remember the things you are doing and saying are always working towards presenting yourself in a light that is both personal and professional.

What is your next step in next level networking? If you’re not sure, check out our innovative Next Level: Mastermind Group where we discuss the power of effective networking, by networking!

We want to meet you and hear your story. Let’s get connected!