A few months ago I wrote to you about things I was learning working at our company, Leadership Vision Consulting, and what it was like to work in a startup, or small company environment.
Three months in, I have learned a lot, and still have lots to learn.
Maybe this is the new economy, and maybe it is an idea as old as time, but the biggest lesson I continue to learn is that is all about relationships. In my old job I was in a a large organization of 1,000 employees and I did a good amount of internal networking to try and be successful in my role. But, in some ways the networking was not super critical to my success. Do not get me wrong, it helped, but it was not nearly as crucial as it is for me now working at a company of 6 employees.
Networking and relationships is something that is so vital both personally and professionally. If you have read this blog, or my other iterations over the years you may have caught me talking about the importance of having mentors in your life. This remains critical to your success, but so do lateral relationships and people who you might be able to help as a mentor or guide.
How to Network
In networking the old adage applies, 100% - go with the goers. If someone is skeptical of your attempts to connect, do not waste your time unless you have to connect with that person from some reason. In the past I tried to connect with a very influential consultant who I knew I could learn a lot from. He was guarded with me, which is not unusual for highly successful people, and figured I was just trying to sell him something. I made it clear to him I wanted to hear why he was passionate about what he was doing, and some of he had learned over the years. It was clear he wanted me to try and fit into some demographic that I did not fit into and the connection did not take root. Move along to someone who will be generous with their time, and don’t waste it when they give it to you. What can you do right off the bat to help that person with something you are good at?
What are you good...
Do you want to be successful? Here is a huge secret key that is so obvious many people overlook it:You have to work harder than anybody else.
Let me repeat:You have to work harder than anybody else. Last year I read a quick tweet from Rory McIlroy, the former #1 golfer in the world talking about how he was on the range practicing for a playoff golf tournament this week in Indiana. Rory mentioned something about being the early bird on the range and that the range was not crowded.
Who is on that range at some early crack of dawn time? Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. Two of the best golfers in the world. Does that surprise me? No, not at all. The best work harder than everybody else. Period.
Do they have talent? Yes.
Do they use their strengths to their advantage? For sure.Does talent win? Not without hard work.
Are they in the right fit? Yes.
Does fit matter? Absolutely. If you are not in the right fit, you may never get a chance to do what you do best.
Rory and Tiger work harder than other golfers who may have similar talent levels. Tiger also is a victim of his own success because now young up and coming golfers also saw what he did and worked harder, practiced longer and now the whole level of golf on the PGA tour is better than it was years ago.
If you are in the right fit, and you are not working as hard as you can, do not complain about having less than excellent results. Work hard, be the early bird.Once you are in the right fit, it is not complicated....