Many of us in business hear ourselves saying “Do you know anyone that can help with…?” It’s such a common need to find someone who can solve our problem… it is no wonder that the phrase “What if we knew you?” has stood the test of time within the Link4 family.
Having a trusted community of people that are great at what they do and are looking out for each other is amazing in itself but there is much more to running a business than getting referrals.
That is why Link4Business is known as the Business Development Network. It’s about (1) developing ourselves as individuals, (2) developing our personal network of trusted connections, (3) developing our business through learning and mentoring and… (4) being part of something that we can actually help to expand and share with others who may be struggling on their own.
Over the coming weeks we will be posting a series of these updates one for each of the areas mentioned above…
This post reveals how we can grow and develop ourselves through being part of Link4Business
Link4Business has a number of tools to help and support each other to grow. There is an old saying “To grow your business first grow yourself”. There are so many ways we can pick up information and ideas that can support us in how we take our business forward and below are the facets of the Business Development Network to support you in this.
Attending events, being present
Connecting with people is essential. Each person we meet has value, whether it is directly with business, a tip, a shortcut or a piece of useful information the potential is just limitless.
Each month there are opportunities to meet other members of the community to ‘be curious’ and really get to know other like minded local people who are passionate about what they do and can solve problems for you or… for others that you meet / know who need what they have to offer.
Only by meeting people regularly and by being present can we build up the levels of trust that are needed for people to recommend you to their connections (trusted network / friends). It is reckoned that you need to meet people 7 times at least before this trust level is attained. Combining Link4Business events with Link4Growth community events can accelerate this process.
It’s not just about what you can get… of course we all have needs… more business… more knowledge… more ideas… even more friends! … but giving to others is equally, if not more important…
Running a business these days involves a lot of technology as well as all the regular skills such as accounting, legal, tax, sales, marketing, stock, purchasing and staff management.
To be honest trying to do everything these days is a forlorn hope. We are going to need other people to help us. However, sometimes when we nail exactly what we are looking to do… it can often be done (with a bit of learning) quite inexpensively and quickly… all it requires is a bit of familiarity with some tool or other.
So learning sessions are not run to ‘tell you’ what to do… rather to explain why platforms and online tools exist and how you might be able to use them in such a way they can be of service to you… after all… the majority of them are free…
Also, once we become more familiar with Social media we are also much better equipped to stay in touch with our local Business Network… and… support our fellow business owners through sharing collectively what we are all up too!
Engagement online (forums)
Link4Growth used to have a forum… it was irreparably hacked a couple of years back now and so we have soldiered on without it.
Next week we plan to re-release the forums. The timing couldn’t be better. We now know why the forum was so important. It provided a rich central communication space that allowed us to connect with other like minded people irrespective of location.
The intent behind the forums is now much clearer than back in 2012…
- Make new friends with like minded people
- Share our stories and comment on other people’s
- Bring together our collective wisdom and enrich the community
- A space free from any profit, control, religious or political motive
- A place where you can be yourself
- A space to explore new ideas and push the boundaries
There will be both public and private areas… and one specifically for the Link4Business members.
All Link4Business members have “Free” access to OMG’s (Mentoring Groups). Peer support mentoring groups are reckoned to be amongst the most effective means to develop yourself and your business.
Having 5 other minds with all their collective knowledge, experience and expertise (plus access to their connections) focused on your particular problem is often a real revelation. Not only that… the ability to learn how to ask questions and really understand what someone is going through without attempting to fix it is a real skill we rarely have a chance to practice.
These mentoring groups are like having your own board of directors, and where everyone really wants each other to succeed… unbelievably good…
Working alone is one of the biggest challenges self employed people face. There are things we like doing… things we know we need to do but… we know we are likely to get into trouble and will need help… or we need to have some gentle accountability to get started. When we are alone we can be easily distracted or find things which don’t take us forward to consume our time… social media is a popular one!
Procrastination can stifle us… it can also severely hold us back… Jelly’s help us get over these difficulties… A Jelly is co-working in a room together with others, but getting on with our own projects. At the Jelly is one (or more) people who can support and help you if you run into trouble doing something… so that you are not spending hours trying to work out how to do something, then eventually giving up and adding it to the “too difficult” pile (we all have one of those).
Often we are “all consumed” by the need to meet new people and get more business. In reality we spend a huge amount of time doing things that are at a tangent to both of these.
If we knew 10 people who loved us, knew what we did, and told everyone how amazing we were we would never need to go out and network for business… plus… we would never need to sell as we would be referred all the time.
Link4Business and the Business Development Network provides us with a safe environment to grow ourselves, personally develop which takes us on a journey to business success… to have a successful business, first grow the people…