‘Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are.’
Want to know how to grow a successful business?
HINT: It's not about you, it’s about the people you surround yourself with.
You’ve heard it before, you can’t do it alone and in actual fact it’s impossible. A key to building a successful business is networking. Finding your tribe, your dream team, and your number one fans. These are the ones who will tell you that you can do whatever you put your mind too, that your idea is shit and needs tweaking, who open the perfect door at the perfect time and who are prepared to do whatever it takes to help you propel your business to a level you never thought was possible.
In the early days of StartUp Creative I spent hours upon hours at douchebag networking events where everyone wore suits and ties, the walls were grey and the energy was stale. It was pretty much a game of shoving business cards into as many hands as possible whilst simultaneously interrogating them on how they could help you build your dream.
Over the years I’ve learned that when I surround myself with people and places that inspire me then every day becomes a ‘networking event’ with my perfect kind of people. From the friends I attract, the hotels I stay at and the coffee shops I frequent, I am constantly in awe of the people I encounter and the stories I hear of inspiring, creative entrepreneurs who are following their passion relentlessly.
Since landing at the Urban Cowboy B&B in New York, I’ve been surrounded by big thinking, creative genius' that have inspired me beyond belief and openly loved and supported my business in return.
Here’s a handful of people I’ve encountered in the last 2 weeks:
A woman from London who made an Emmy nominated documentary that is now on Netflix
A lady who ran Beyonce’ wardrobe department on her Lemonade tour
A professional photographer who gets paid thousands of dollars for an Instagram shoutout
A couple who started a remote camping social enterprise that works with building the economy of small communities around the world
A UK musician/reality TV show star
A professional Israeli baseball player and published author & screenwriter
Here are my top 3 tips for networking like a creative pro:
Surround yourself with people who get you and your business. You don’t need to waste your time trying to convince people that what you’re doing is epic. If you don’t gel with them and they don’t get your business from the get-go, keep moving. There are plenty of people out there who are ready to back you 110%, find them.
Only take advice from people who are living a life that inspires you. If the life they are living isn’t something you would want for your own life, why would you take advice from them? Listen to those who have proven they know how to do/get what you want for your own life and business.
Put yourself in a bigger pond. Being in New York City has shown me how small my thinking/goals were. I didn’t realise how much bigger I could dream until I saw what was possible here. Being surrounded by people who are doing amazing things with ease and creativity inspires me every day not to settle for anything less than extraordinary.
When you choose to align your entire life with your passion, purpose, and desire, every day becomes a magical encounter.