In past posts I’ve talked about the importance of not going it alone and about hiring help for your creative business. Yes, it’s valuable to have the right people supporting you in your entrepreneurial endeavors, but what if you’re not able to to identify the right folks? That’s okay. It just means you get to meet some new people.
Cultivating new connections expands your horizons, creates unexpected opportunities, and can surprise you with newfound colleagues, allies, and friends (plus, you never know who they might know). You’ll also be surprised to know that many people love hearing inspiring stories about the creative process and about go-getters like yourself who are living their dreams, so don’t shy away from sharing your entrepreneurial journey.
Here are some really simple ways to connect:
- Say hello to someone in the elevator or on the bus.
- Strike up a conversation with the cashier at the grocery store or with someone waiting in line with you.
- Comment on a blog that inspires you.
- Go to a networking event or class and get to know at least one new person (maybe she’s that cool gal next to you at yoga tonight).
- Introduce one of your friends to someone you think she should know, and spread the good connection karma.
- Set up a coffee date with someone at work you’ve wanted to get to know better.
- Make it a goal to talk to five new people each day for the next week.
Several years ago, I posted one of my paintings on the website of an online community for creative artists. A fellow coach and creative spirit named Jamie Ridler saw the image and felt compelled to send me a message letting me know how it touched her. From there we started to exchange emails, each time finding more things we have in common and are passionate about. We became fast friends and since then we’ve been supporting each other personally and professionally through Skype chats and our online connection. We’ve even had the chance to hang out in person when I visited the Toronto area and when she was out here in the Bay Area. This great example demonstrates the power of simply reaching out. The biggest key to cultivating connections is simply being open to those around you.
How can you stretch yourself to meet five new people today? What might that open up for you?