What if you could have a group of business owners at your disposal? A group that could help you with challenges you might be facing in your business.
Better yet, wouldn’t it be a wonderful experience to help another business owner with their challenges by using your expertise?
You can have that and more when you join a group that’s structured as the “meeting of the minds.”
One of the networking groups I attend is about an hour and a half away. That’s not a typo. Why would I travel so far? To me, it’s about building business relationships and getting to know people who are interested in broadening their horizons.
Networking is not about joining “ a good old boys club” where no one will give you the time of day because you weren’t part of the group since it’s inception. You have to find your own ways to branch out and meet people
For me, that means visiting the Tampa Bay Area, which I have to say is beautiful. The value I gain from many of these meetings is the interactions of those who attend.
It’s fascinating to see how many people don’t “get” what networking really means. Can you believe I had one business owner tell me if I didn’t leave the event with at least three clients I was a failure! Wow! Talk about not understanding why you attend networking events. You can understand why I get super excited when I find groups that really know what it’s all about. Building business relationships.
So What is the “Meeting of the Minds”?
Here’s how it goes:
- One person states a challenge they are having in their business.
- Each person in the room asks a question for clarification.
- During this time, you are only to answer the question. Nothing more.
- Once that phase is done, each person now comes back with what they feel could be a solution to the problem.
It’s amazing to see what different people come up with. It could be something you’ve already tried, but then again, there might be golden nuggets that you can really use.
Even though it might not be your challenge two interesting things happen. First, you gain perspective into another person’s thought processes and the challenges they are facing. Second, you get to offer suggestions that could be exactly what they need to take their business to the next level. The best part? It’s done with a spirit of giving. No one is getting paid to do this.
Last week, we discussed one business owner’s challenge. He wants to offer a service to his clients, but he kept coming up with the objections they would have. What he was actually doing was talking himself out of offering this service because the bottom line was, he wasn’t really comfortable with it.
After attending that meeting, I have to say, I felt energized and exhilarated because I was able to offer my suggestions to someone who was open minded and willing to listen. I saw him a week later at another networking event and asked him how he was coming along with his challenge. You know what he said? He decided that the service he was going to offer wasn’t for him so he’s not going to offer it. Think of all the time and money he saved getting extra training, certifications, advertising etc. only to find it didn’t make him feel happy or comfortable offering the service.
When you can effect change in someone’s life, it makes you feel really good about the positive impact you can have. My hope is that you start looking at networking in a new and exciting light. Get out there and meet people. Help them make the changes they need. Build business relationships.