I’m excited about the release of my next ebook, Connect and Conquer: How to Nurture Your Business Through Online and Offline Networking. It’s an ebook to help you tap into your relationships to grow your business. And get this — it’s not just for social butterfly extroverts. It’s quite handy for low-key introverts who don’t want to be left behind. Check out the introduction. And if it’s your cup of tea, join the mailing list so you can be among the first to know when it’s available in December.
Connect and Conquer: How to Nurture Your Business Through Online and Offline Networking
We do business with people we like. It may not be fair, and it may not be politically correct, but most people get work because somebody likes them. Yep, millions of dollars — actually billions, in today’s economy — of business and jobs are awarded each year to people who play nice and have friends. Many people who do not effectively leverage their relationships — or who just simply aren’t very likeable — hate this because they think business should be about what they know, not whom they know.
Well, I’m not going to debate what “should” happen in business. I’m here to show you what does happen and how you can make what happens every day become a benefit for you. If people do business with people they know, then wouldn’t you like to be among those they know?
This ebook will show you how to do just that. Yes, it would be fairer if we landed clients, contracts, and jobs based on what we know. But since a lot of the times it boils down to whom we know, let’s focus on that. As a small business owner, freelancer, or independent professional, you get a contract because of whom you know. You keep it because of what you know. Both have their place.
Learning a few simple relationship-building techniques can help you level the playing field. Access to money, power, and lucrative contracts shouldn’t just be the domain of the already wealthy. Sharp people with good ideas and great products and services, but who weren’t born rich or who haven’t quite taken their businesses to the levels they know those businesses can grow, should be able to compete. This book helps you compete.
The Knight in Shining Armor for Small Businesses
Connect and Conquer: How to Nurture Your Business Through Online and Offline Networking. That’s it. Connect is about reaching out to others. Conquer is about overcoming the barriers to your success — lack of funding, lack of access, lack of resources. When we connect through relationships, we can conquer those demons that typically sink small businesses. We can suddenly have access to much more than our humble beginnings would have suggested possible. And as a result, we grow. We connect through online and offline networking to create real relationships that help us nurture our businesses to growth and success.
This book goes beyond the simple networking concept most people have. Many people attend countless after-hours business functions for the purpose of networking, yet they come up short. That’s because they often are more focused on what they can get from the other person quickly than about what they can give to the other person. The concept of networking that most people have sets them up for failure. The concept of networking that I talk about in this e-book is about mutual benefits. It’s not about selfish networking that focuses on take, take, take and me, me, me. It’s about giving and creating something for both parties. Instead of only considering what you can gain from a contact, you have to change your thinking.
The type of relationship-building I show you how to pursue in this e-book is built on a simple premise: Figure out how you can help someone else and make yourself available to that person. Look to truly connect with people around you. Those in your community, industry, and elsewhere. Connect with them, be of service to them, and then build on that connection — relationship — to conquer the things standing in your way. When we connect with others in a meaningful way, we build bonds that enable us to do that which we could not do alone. It truly does take a village — to grow a career or business.
Successfully managing relationships in business means properly balancing the pursuit of new customer relationships with the nurturing of old ones. Many businesses focus on getting new customers, but suffer poor retention because they do nothing to keep the customers they already have. Get new relationships, but don’t neglect the old ones.
This e-book helps entrepreneurs and professionals cultivate relationships that benefit them in growing their businesses and even their personal lives. Today, our personal and business lives are often interconnected, so building relationships in one area often benefits us in the other. We can’t compartmentalize our lives into neat little circles, certainly not in this online world where our social media profiles can tell our personal business to any number of potential business or professional contacts.
From Modest Beginnings to Great Success
I had to learn how to connect and conquer along the way. I wasn’t born into money. In fact, I spent my early years in one of the poorest places in the U.S. — the Mississippi Delta. The county of my origin has the lowest life expectancy of any county in the nation. Educational attainment is low and income certainly isn’t high. My family eventually moved, and I had the opportunity to attend college.
I experienced the first hint of just how important connecting would be when I landed a full-time newspaper job a month before graduating, after hitting it off with my editors at the newspaper where I did my internship. I was too young to realize what happened, but as I look back, I know now it was because I did a good job, sure, but it was also because I was likeable, eager to learn, and so ready to help in any way I could. I connected and that allowed me to conquer a pressing problem facing many graduating seniors: Finding a job. I didn’t have that problem. I landed a job before I walked across the graduation stage.
I worked in newspapers for several years before leaving to run my own writing business. Starting out was tough, and I seriously questioned my sanity at times. I liquidated all my retirement savings as I fought to hold on, but saw not much money coming into the business. I scaled back my living expenses and desperately cast about for a lifeline. I had to find a way to get the word out, to land business, to grow. The path to growth for me, as you’ll see in this e-book, was through the wealth that I did have — relationships.
I tapped into relationships to help me leverage my skills into bigger and better opportunities. I went from doing small projects for $75 to ghostwriting books for around $20,000. I went from speaking for free to being paid a very solid four figures for less than an hour of speaking. I went from a struggling startup to a successful company of more than ten years with multiple businesses and brands.
All because I chose to connect.
And get this: I’m not a social butterfly. I spend a lot of time working in my home office, writing books for clients, editing, creating new products. And when I’m done working, it’s time to switch gears and pay attention to my family — my husband and my preschool-aged son. So there isn’t a lot of time to be as social as some would imagine.
Being extremely social is great, if you can manage it. My husband’s aunt and uncle are very social people. I doubt there is a region on this planet they could go and not have someone to meet for lunch, dinner, or tea. They often travel to cities far and near for weddings. Christmas-card sending is an intensive affair. They frequently play host to friends and family traveling through their area.
I love how social they are and often tell them. It’s doubtful I will ever be quite as social as that, and that is the beauty of this book: You don’t have to be! If you are like me and you spend more time working than partying or you tend to spend a quiet evening at home and not out, then know that you too can still connect and conquer. This book is for you. It’s for business owners and professionals who want to strengthen their few relationships, as well as for those who want to add new relationships. It’s for anyone who wants to find new ways to work, do business, and grow. It’s for introverts and extroverts, both.
I, a person who has never been the life of the party, have been able to create meaningful relationships that have allowed me to grow personally, spiritually, and professionally. These relationships have helped me build a business that has survived the worst economic period in American history since the Great Depression and continues to thrive today. This happened for me because I reached out to others, nurtured relationships, and was genuine in my interactions. I believe the same can happen to you.
I’ll show you how.