Do you ever feel like you are totally on your own in pursuing your goals? Most of us don’t have a big network or platform to lean on.
But, what if we have more than we think? What if there is a way to let (not “get” but “let”) other people help us?
What if you open up, take a risk, and tap into a network that you didn’t even know you had?
Greg, my network is too small to even matter, I don’t know anyone who could help me. I doubt if anyone but me would share my vision for asparagus ice cream anyway.
I thought the same thing (except for that asparagus ice cream thing). But, by stepping out of my comfort zone, I have had people I haven’t spoken with in years connect with me and offer to help me. This can happen for you, too. Stick with me through this story…
I launched my book Go! How to Find and Pursue Your Passionate Purpose this year.
When I first started thinking about “launching” the book I thought to myself, “Self, who is even going to know you wrote a book? Who is going to care? You don’t have a big following. Only family and friends will buy it.”
Yup, you can see I was really encouraging myself. I need to go back and read my own blog posts on the voices in my head and how to make them work for me.
Then, I calmed down and started thinking in a more positive way:
I have a radio show and many of those listeners will buy the book. (Don’t worry. You don’t have to host a radio show for this to work. It isn’t part of this story, but I wanted to be honest about the platform I have.) I have been increasing my activity on my blog, Twitter and Facebook. I try to add value and encourage people on those sites. I did that enough that posting about my book didn’t come off as pushy sales stuff.
I did some research and came up with the idea of building a “street team” for my book launch. I reached out to people on Facebook, Twitter and through my radio show. I let them know that I was creating a team of 100 people. I would give them a digital copy of my book before it was for sale. All they had to do was agree to write an honest review on Amazon, post about it on their social media accounts, and tell all their friends about the book.
Part of me was a little worried about telling my family, friends and acquaintances about my manuscript. Would they think I was just trying to make money off them? Would they be offended? Would they care?
But, at heart I am a dionarap. It’s a reverse paranoid (OK, you got me, it’s just paranoid spelled backwards). I believe everyone is out to help me, not to get me. The responses to my postings on Facebook supported that belief.
People I haven’t spoken to in years reached out to help me. One recommended my paperback to her book club. Another put it on the reading list for his clients and students. In fact, he called me up and we may end up collaborating on a book in the future. We found ways to help each other that we never even dreamed of before.
I had people offering to help me with my website and to proofread my book. I had people posting kind comments and encouraging me. It made me feel wonderful.
And all of this because I reached out to people and took a small risk. I didn’t even know the talents and interests that so many of my friends have. I bet you have connections that would love to help you. I bet they have skills you don’t know about. They are just waiting for you to let them help you.
Let them. Then, go one extra step. Let them know how much you want to help them. Ask them what goal they’re working on.
What skills do you have to help that they may not know about? What information or person might you connect them with that will help get them where they want to go?
When we start looking to help each other there’s no telling how much we can accomplish. And, the love it generates feels awesome. (But you might want to come up with a better goal than creating asparagus ice cream.)
Action step: Take a risk. Reach out to whatever network you have. Explain what you’re working on. Ask for help. Let me know what happens.
Question: What has worked for you in helping others and letting others help you? What’s the best way you’ve grown your network?