Tuned In Coaching is celebrating its 3rd anniversary. Three years ago (50th birthdays usually cause one to take a serious look at one’s life!) I decided to try something different by completing professional certifications in coaching and corporate training, as well as traveling to upstate New York for a three day retreat with Marianne Williamson. A wonderful 50th birthday present to ME! This past Sunday I celebrated my 53rd birthday and once again I am taking a serious look at my business and my life.
I am spending more time in front of a computer; I have hundreds of new connections, friends, groups and circles. Honestly, I feel loved by those closest to me. I do appreciate Facebook birthday wishes and reconnecting with classmates all over the world but online relationships are not filling my need for deep human interaction.
One of the things I hated about online dating was the difference between connecting with random single men and spending quality time with men that you knew, trusted and felt comfortable with. Unfortunately, the men I enjoyed being with were happily married to my close friends! You have to set aside your desire for some previous connection like a mutual friend or co-worker to give you some sense of context in the online dating scene. While some people love the mystery, I always felt uneasy.
There are a lot of similarities between finding a new relationship or social circle and finding a new job. Every job I have ever had has come through a referral. Someone that knew me told someone else that I was the right person to hire. I always remind my clients that are searching for work;
“People hire people that are somehow connected; not just profiles, resumes or photo shopped pictures. “
Doctors, Dentists, Lawyers; almost every successful business and vibrant social life is in some way based on referrals and connections. At a time when we are spending so much time with social media, email and texting, are we actually moving further away from meaningful relationships in our personal and professional lives?
How do you build a successful referral-based business and a vibrant social life that is more than just a network of casual acquaintances?
- Invest your time and energy in a group of individuals that are ready to champion you and be ambassadors for you socially and in the business arena.
- Educate your clients, co-workers and people in your social groups about what you want and what you value.
- Always offer to help others by saying, “If there is anything I can do for you; just let me know!”
- Keep in touch consistently, personally and systematically. (The Referral of a Lifetime by Tim Templeton)
“When you go out of your way to be nice to a person; it will not soon be forgotten. You will be permanently on file in that person’s memory bank.”
(Letitia Baldrige’s Complete Guide to a Great Social Life, 1987)
This is where I have really dropped the ball. I have spent so much precious time investing in the connective power of cyberspace that I have forgotten how to pick up my phone and make a personal phone call. I have become lazy about sending a piece of hand addressed snail mail. I discount how great it feels to share a cup of hot tea or a simple meal with a friend. I have also missed the surprise phone call or visit from a friend or client that I have not talked with in a long time.
Make someone’s day. Pick up the phone, hand write a card, invite a friend or client out for coffee! Let’s get back to being in one another’s space in a way that is real, profitable and fun!
Create space for the right person at the right time to come into your life. Remember what the Fairy Godmother said to Cinderella,
“I would not have come if you were not expecting me!”
Some people come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime……when we invite them in!