As an entrepreneur, you may have heard the saying, "It's not what you know, it's who you know." And while your skills, knowledge, and experience are undoubtedly important, the truth is that your network can make or break your success. In fact, studies have shown that up to 85% of jobs are filled through networking, and the same principle applies to entrepreneurship. So, if you're looking to build a thriving business, it's time to focus on the power of networking and start building your circle of influence today.
One of the wildest success stories that emphasizes the power of networking is the story of Brian Chesky, co-founder, and CEO of Airbnb. In the early days of Airbnb, Chesky and his co-founders were struggling to get their business off the ground. They had a handful of listings on their platform, but they weren't getting any traction.That's when Chesky decided to leverage his network. He reached out to a prominent tech entrepreneur and investor named Paul Graham, who had previously invested in companies like Dropbox and Reddit. Graham was impressed with Chesky's vision and agreed to invest $20,000 in Airbnb.
But Chesky didn't stop there. He continued to leverage his network to grow Airbnb's user base. He reached out to influential bloggers and tech reporters and convinced them to write about Airbnb. He also used social media to spread the word about Airbnb and encourage people to try it out.
These efforts paid off. Airbnb began to gain traction, and before long, it was one of the hottest startups in Silicon Valley. Today, Airbnb is worth billions of dollars and has revolutionized the travel industry.
The key takeaway from Chesky's story is that networking can be a powerful tool for entrepreneurs. By leveraging your connections and building relationships with influential people in your industry, you can open up new opportunities and take your business to the next level.
So here are some tips and takeaways so you can start building your powerhouse networking circle!
Expand Your Network: The more people you know, the more opportunities you'll have to grow your business. Attend networking events, join industry groups, and reach out to people you admire to start building your circle of influence.
Focus on Quality Over Quantity: While it's important to have a large network, it's equally important to focus on building quality relationships. Take the time to get to know the people in your network, find common ground, and seek out ways to add value to their lives.
Leverage Your Network: Once you've built a strong network, don't be afraid to leverage it to grow your business. Reach out to your connections for advice, introductions, and referrals. You never know where your next big opportunity might come from.
Here are three takeaways to help you start building or improve your circle of influence:
Attend Networking Events: Attend industry events, conferences, and meetups to meet new people and build relationships with others in your industry.
Join Professional Organizations: Joining professional organizations, such as the Chamber of Commerce (Brampton Board of Trade - Shameless plug *hehe*) or industry associations like FITT (the Forum of International Trade Training.) Organizations like these can be a great way to expand your network and gain access to valuable resources.
Use Social Media: Social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, can be a powerful tool for building your network. Use these platforms to connect with other professionals in your industry, share your expertise, and stay up-to-date on industry news and trends.
For example, let's say you're an aspiring entrepreneur in the tech industry. You could attend networking events hosted by your local tech community, join a professional organization like the National Association of Women in Technology, and use LinkedIn to connect with other tech professionals and showcase your skills and expertise.
In conclusion, as an entrepreneur, building your circle of influence through networking can be one of the most valuable investments you make in your business. By expanding your network, focusing on building quality relationships, and leveraging your connections, you can open up new opportunities and take your business to the next level.
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Until next time my friends!