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You know the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”? In business, this couldn’t be more true. If you’re an extrovert and come from a well-connected background, then you will have no problem building relationships. But what about the introverts? Or, what about those who do not come from well-connected families?

What if I told you there is a way to make people like and want to work with you?

I did not grow up in a family of entrepreneurs. I grew up in mixed lower income communities in Memphis, where most of my peers did not strive to build strong professional relationships. I know what it’s like to lack the support you need to advance your career. It’s time you take your destiny into your own hands.

Businessman Robert Kiyosaki says, “The richest people in the world look for and build networks, everyone else looks for work.” Do not miss out on a big opportunity because you are too focused on current work instead of future possibilities.

If you can develop the skills to build long-lasting relationships, you will become successful in business. Here are the keys for successful relationship building:

  1. Make a good first impression. If you’re at a networking event, place your name tag on your right shoulder. This makes it easy for people to see your name as they shake your hand. Look at them in the eyes, smile and give a firm handshake. Repeat their name after introducing yourself, and ask them questions to get to know them. Let them do most of the talking and actively pay attention. Nod along and ask questions when appropriate.

  2. Listen for opportunities. Ask them questions about their work like, “What is the biggest challenge you’re facing at the moment?” Do you have a skill or a connection that can help them? Suggest it to them. Offer your help and see if they would be interested in working with you.

  3. Follow-up. If they take you up on the offer, be sure to follow-up by exchanging business cards. Tell them you will reach out to them. Within 24 hours, send a personalized email. Be sure to include something specific from the conversation to make them remember you. Connect with them on LinkedIn to give them an opportunity to read about your professional experience. If they don’t take you up on your initial offer, you should still exchange business cards and connect on LinkedIn. The timing may not be right at the moment, but you don’t know what can happen in the future.

The secret to relationship building is having a genuine interest in the person you are meeting and a desire to help them. People can sense whether someone is phony or dishonest. Put effort into expanding your professional network with people who will push you to become better. Have an open mind and willingness to learn. The law of attraction states positive thinking attracts positive outcomes. For more business tips, subscribe to my YouTube page here.

Do you lie in bed each night unable to fall asleep because of a burning desire to start a business? Are you unfulfilled with your current job? Do you believe you are called to become a business owner?

This desire is unique. You are not called to live a traditional life. You have a once in a lifetime opportunity to make a change. To help others. Improve your community. And these habits will help you start your journey to entrepreneurship.

Were you the kid who would hustle and sell anything you could to anyone who would listen? Was this hustle buried as you became an adult? It’s not easy being the person who always goes against the grain. It’s lonely. You always feel out of place and question why you cannot just see things the same way as everyone else.

An anonymous quote says, “Be bold enough to use your voice, brave enough to listen to your heart, and strong enough to live the life you have always imagined.” You may be afraid to leave the comforts and security of your current life, but isn’t it scarier to think what you will miss out on if you never try to start your business?

They say most businesses fail within their first year. Entrepreneurship requires tenacity. It requires a tough skin and a passion to keep going when nothing seems to be going right. To become a successful entrepreneur, remember these three key habits:

  1. Reading. Books are the passageway to generations of lessons and ideas. Learn from the mistakes of others. Become enlightened by people from different industries. Think about how innovations from one industry can affect another. This is how disruption occurs. Sharpen your skills and deepen your expertise.

  2. Experimenting. Once you’ve gathered more knowledge about your new industry or venture, get out there and apply it. Create a prototype, beta test the market and see if your idea or venture is viable. Collect feedback from your customers and implement these changes. Keep selling and experimenting with your services/products to refine your business.

  3. Networking. Expand your professional network and connect with like-minded people. The people you surround yourself with will determine your future. Are your peers holding you accountable to achieve more? Do you exchange lessons and ideas of personal development? Or are they holding you back and do not understand your ambition? Spend your time wisely and with people who make you better.

Entrepreneurs never stop learning because they know they always feel like they are behind the game. We are always playing an offensive and defensive game, aware of our competition and armed with the latest technology and knowledge to advance our business. Are you ready to develop the habits of a successful entrepreneur? The choice is yours. Your time is now. For more advice, please subscribe to my YouTube page here.

Do you sit at work daydreaming about running your own business? Are you tired of office politics? Do you feel like your environment is stunting your growth, rather than enhancing it?

Picture this: you set your own schedule for the day, you pick the services you sell, you pick the clients you work with and your passion fuels you to grow at a rate you never experienced before. This is the life of a business owner.

This life can be yours.

Becoming a business owner will give you freedom of your time and income. Once you solidify a business plan and begin building your business, you will begin walking down the path towards freedom. Your biggest challenge will be overcoming your OWN mind!

The intense roller coaster ride of owning a business overwhelms new entrepreneurs. The highs are high and the lows are low. Oftentimes, your own mind will be the limiting factor between you and your success.

If you can learn to put your emotions aside, you will be able to focus on the facts of the matter. Consider your opportunity costs. The opportunity cost of not starting a business is greater than the work it takes to start a business. Any movement is good movement when you are building a business. Author John Maxwell urges, “Fail early, fail often, but always fail forward.” You must brace yourself to evolve within the market and to client’s needs.

Those who do, win.

If God has sown this dream in your heart and you’re looking for a sign to get started...this is IT! Life as a business owner requires sacrifices in the short-term in order to live a life that others dream about in the long-term. If you crave freedom of your time and income, then you need to start building your business to take control of your future.

Still not convinced? Here are three common signs you’re ready to start your own business:

  1. Your current bosses shut down all of your ideas. Do you love change? Do you love learning about new theories and technologies? Are your bosses intimidated by all of your new ideas? If so, you may have the DNA of an entrepreneur. Business owners have to stay on top of the latest trends and technologies to stay competitive. They must be paranoid. An entrepreneur never says, “Well this is the way it’s always been done.”

  2. It’s hard for you to focus at work because you’re passionate about another industry. Transitioning into entrepreneurship is a lot easier when you have a financial cushion to hold you up. If you need to keep working your current job to pay the bills, please keep working it. However, you should strive to save up a fund to help build your dream business. If your mind and heart are not passionate about your current work, you will never feel fulfilled. Using your talents to work in an industry you are passionate about will enable you to find your sweet spot and make a positive impact in the world.

  3. You don’t see a future for yourself at your current company. Have you tried to score a promotion and realized you are in a dead-end job? Leave! You need to surround yourself in an environment which will constantly challenge you to learn and grow. Fuel your soul by recognizing you were meant to do more in this world. Surround yourself with peers and mentors who recognize your talent and potential. Then, do everything you can to live up to it.

The first step to making anything come true is believing it can come true. So, do you believe you are ready to become an entrepreneur? The choice is yours. Your time is now. For more advice, please subscribe to my YouTube page here for more business and life tips.

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