At the end of 2014, I left my career to go “out on my own” as a professional speaker, expanding a side business that began in 2009. I was passionate about teaching people how to build great professional networks and strong, welcoming communities.
It wasn’t out of nowhere. My signature session, Art of the Schmooze (www.ArtoftheSchmooze.com), had been getting rave reviews and I knew there was more I could offer if I wasn’t balancing a full-time job and an increasing number of speaking engagements.
This meant that after 15 years, I was no longer going to be working in an office surrounded by colleagues.
But was I “out on my own”?
In 2015, as I neared the end of my first year as a solopreneur, I reflected on my journey and couldn’t help but notice all the ways I was not “out on my own” this year.
From beta readers willing to provide feedback when I was first starting to write a blog, to technical support as I upgraded my website, to word of mouth promotion of my training, to being willing to be interviewed for On the Schmooze before it launched, to general encouragement and unending belief that I can and should be building this business – I have felt tremendous support from my network.
Support has come from expected corners – my closest friends who were invited to my wedding in 2013; and very unexpected corners – virtual strangers who I only know through social media or briefly met at a networking event years ago.
It’s absolutely true that I would have felt alone in these endeavors if I had not been building my professional network before making this leap. Since I moved to Boston in September 2002, without a job and staying in a friend’s spare room, I have experienced the power of “weak ties.”
Not having many close friends in Boston would have prevented me from launching my career and finding a place to call home, if I had limited my job hunt and apartment search only to them. In “The Tipping Point”, Malcolm Gladwell calls this the “strength of weak ties.” If you only ask for help from your strongest ties (close friends and family) and they can’t offer any leads you are out of luck.
Being open to making new connections and recognizing the importance of having a strong professional and personal network, has made it possible for me to ask for assistance from an incredibly diverse and talented network of people.
Why were so many people willing to help me? Especially if they are “weak ties”?
Because I’ve become known as someone who helps others. Many years ago, my mother questioned why I was willing to me someone for coffee and help them think through their career or business questions – without charging them. She was concerned I was giving away too much information for free.
I explained it was like giving rides to the airport; you only do it if you have a relationship and the resources of a car and time. The person you are driving knows you are doing them a favor. If you do this regularly you become known as the kind of person who is willing to drive someone to the airport. Then, when you need a ride, someone will step forward to help you – and it’s entirely likely that it’s someone who never directly received support from you.
For over a decade, I’ve been literally and metaphorically “giving rides to the airport” in Boston and beyond.
I call this my Philosophy of Abundance: “Giving away knowledge does not deplete you of knowledge. In fact, it opens up endless possibilities.” Read more about this in this blog post: https://www.robbiesamuels.com/2015/09/my-philosophy-of-abundance/.
So, what’s stopping you from asking for the support you need? People want to help you.
That’s right, people want to help you.
You know this to be true because you’ve felt the benefits of helping others. It feels good. There is scientific evidence1 that donating to charity or helping a friend releases “feel-good” neurotransmitters in our brains, which makes us want to keep helping others so we can get that “helper’s high.”
What prevents us from helping? We’re not asked. That’s right if you resist asking for support you deny your friends the opportunity to get a boost of “feel-good” oxytocin.
Actually, it goes a step further than that. Research2 shows that anyone who witnesses a friend helping you will also get a good feeling and that will in turn make them want to go out and do something altruistic.
Help get that cycle of good deeds going by asking for what you need!
Let me demonstrate.
There are a few ways you can support me as I grow my business…
- The focus of my business is to help people stop wasting time networking and start building great relationships. I particularly enjoy working with associations to help them retain membership through more engaging and welcoming conferences and conventions. I also work with consultants and salespeople whose livelihood depends on their ability to network. I would appreciate introductions to anyone who might be interested in learning more about my talks, webinars, or virtual group coaching program.
- Since you’ve already found value in my book “Croissants vs. Bagels: Strategic, Effective, and Inclusive Networking at Conferences” won’t you leave a review on Amazon? http://amzn.to/2eJRYfA
- Another thing you can do to help is visiting www.RobbieSamuels.com/ten-tips and join my email list and receive a PDF of my “Ten Tips for Conference Connections”. I really enjoy getting to know my listeners and subscribers. So hit reply to any email I send and you’ll get a personal response from me.
- If you haven’t already, connect with me on LinkedIn and then read, comment, like, and share my posts. You’ll find my profile at www.LinkedIn.com/in/RobbieSamuels.
Really awesome that you’re willing to take action to help me. Now, doesn’t that feel good? Thank you.
ABOUT ROBBIE: www.robbiesamuels.com/about
Business Growth Strategy Coach
Robbie coaches inspiring entrepreneurial women in their 50s and beyond (and a few awesome men) to grow their impact and income by building an audience before launching new revenue streams.
WHO YOU ARE:
You want to have a greater impact and increased income. The problem is that there are so many options for how to build your business that you can feel stuck, overwhelmed, and like you’re running out of time.
The reason options are overwhelming is that you’re looking at them as a series of disconnected steps when to make the most of your time, you need a strategy that connects only the most important and highest impact ones.
You know that if you try to do everything, you’ll accomplish nothing. This means, to achieve your goal, you have to invest in a strategy to put time on your side.
WAYS ROBBIE OFFERS SUPPORT:
As a relationship-based business growth strategist, Robbie will work with you one-on-one to design a year-long plan that consists of three 12-week sprints, each followed by 4 weeks of reflection/assessment, rejuvenation, learning, and strategic planning. This will allow you to sequence your goals, create momentum, and leverage your limited time.
Have a project that you want feedback on or need assistance with a specific strategy? He offers half-day strategy sessions.
Already selling but feeling stuck around how to increase your revenue? Sign up for a one-day mastermind with fellow entrepreneurs to break through to the next level.
Ready to dig into your network to validate a solution you’ve been working on to see if you can build an audience for it before launching? Sign up for 12 Weeks to Create Your Irresistible Offer program.
Want accountability, support, and guidance as you implement your strategic plan? Learn more about his year-long Wake Up Your Network mastermind program.
These are not right for everyone; they're personalized offerings and are priced accordingly.
WHAT MIGHT YOU WORK ON?
In his coaching work with entrepreneurs, his clients focus on the areas where they'd like to grow, which may include:
- Creating a strong sales conversation framework
- Building your referral network
- Lead generation through a relationships
- Growing your visibility in your industry
- Increasing your ability to attract the right kind of clients
- Identifying and launching a minimally viable offer
- Breaking through whatever bottleneck is holding you back from getting the results you want and deserve
- Becoming a published author and marketing your book successfully
- Improving your virtual presentation skills
LEARN MORE AND SCHEDULE A CHAT: www.robbiesamuels.com/coaching
Robbie is excited to support you in reaching or exceeding your goals.
Interested in booking Robbie to speak? At www.robbiesamuels.com/speaking you’ll find video clips and a description of his talks.
Watch his TEDx talk “Hate networking? Stop bageling and be the croissant!” at www.robbiesamuels.com/TEDx.
- Connect with Robbie on LinkedIn
- @RobbieSamuels on Twitter and Instagram
- New to his website? Start here
- On the Schmooze podcast archive – weekly since July 2016!
SIGN UP for his free weekly #NoMoreBadZoom Virtual Happy Hours – www.NoMoreBadZoom.com
Affiliate Links: Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links above are “affiliate links”. This means that if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products and services I use personally and believe will add value to my listeners. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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