Fortune Favors the Connected: How Building Relationships Builds Your Luck

A few years ago, a low sewer grate on York road broke my car's axle, halting me in traffic. The police and my boyfriend's father, a close friend, helped tow and repair it. Then, two years later, still with the same car but on a different road, I lost power steering. A quick call to a friend got my car towed for free to a local shop. Recently, in a different car, I slid into a ditch in a minor snowfall. After an unsuccessful attempt by a stranger to help, I once again relied on a friend's assistance.

So why am I telling you these stories? After all this is a business newsletter, this clearly has nothing to do with marketing or sales or efficiency! 

But it does. You see the reason I’m so lucky is this: I spend an inordinate amount of time focusing on my friendships and because of this *I always have help.*

I can never be homeless or hungry or stuck on the side of the road for very long because I make damn sure to give my friends whatever I can so that they are ok.

Ok but still what does this have to do with business???

Well, a few days ago, against the advice of a few trusted friends and family members, I quit my day job. I’d been planning on leaving for sometime but I was hoping to leave gradually and with notice. Well the moment I realized I couldn’t stay any longer I knew I had to do something to keep me afloat.

I made some calls, I had a meeting and in just four hours I’d secured myself enough contracted work to cover my salary and then some.

Founder and co-content creator of Conversion Chemstry, Dan Jones,  said to me at the time “I’m very impressed that you were able to get those contracts in place so quickly!” 

But the truth is it didn’t take me four hours of meetings and calls to get this done. It took months of conversations with no expectation of profit or deals or anything on my part just doing what I could to help people accomplish their goals for their business.

I’m sure you’re thinking, “Ok, that sounds great, but what the heck am I actually supposed to do?”

Just like in my friendships, I follow a few simple rules to turn interactions into connections:

1 - Always have the conversation. 
Maybe you’re at a BBQ with a neighbor or just having a random convo at the grocery store and someone brings up something- ANYTHING-that could be related to your business. This is your chance! Tell them how they’re goals relate to yours and get their contact information!

2- Follow up! 
I recently met someone at a sports gear store, our conversation had nothing to do with business but I learned what she did for a living and kep that info in my back pocket. A few weeks later, a business cohort needed an employee who could do everything that she was great at. I set up a meeting between them and and Viola! I look like a great source of business contacts to her and I added some goodwill to my basket with the business friend.

3 -Say yes 3 times! 
When I meet someone that I think will be a good connection, I follow this rule- the first three times they invite me somewhere I say YES and I show up!

4- Reciprocate the invitation!
 Are you going to a local networking meeting that your new connection might benefit from? Do you know someone who would love to use their business or be a help towards their goals? Set it up, send the invite, do whatever you can to help.

Networking might initially appear daunting, but by embracing these straightforward strategies, you'll not only expand your circle of support but also cultivate your own 'luck.' Just as I've been fortunate to have friends and connections ready to assist in times of need, you too will find that when you nurture your network, help and opportunities will be there waiting for you when you most need them.
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