“I really don’t know anyone.”
“I just moved to the area.”
“I’m changing careers and don’t have any contacts.”
Often when beginning to work with a coaching client, these are the statements I hear. They shortchange themselves with these examples of self-limiting beliefs.
When we moved to Southwest Florida from New York over twenty years ago, we didn’t know anyone else either. No family. No friends. All these years later, I’m part of a network of resources, friends and acquaintances. How did that happen?
Simple, really. I got out there! There are organizations everywhere and I joined one, more than one actually. Once you are part of something, you know a few people. By nature, some people will be warmer than others. If you volunteer (and what organizations don’t need volunteers?), people take an interest in you. Why? It’s simple, it demonstrates commitment to a project that they are interested in as well and begin to belong to something.
Need help with a resume? There are people who will take the time to review yours, even critique it. Need leads on job opportunities? Again, by nature, some people will extend themselves rather easily. They may not have a job for you but they will guide you to talking with people who might.
“Jim Rogers, Mary Jackson gave me your name and said you might take my call. I just moved to the area and am looking for……………” (Two days later.) “Kim Swanson, Jim Rogers and I met for coffee this morning and said that you may be interested in my resume.”
And so on, and so on. Doors open. Some close, but many open and before you know it, you’re meeting people exponentially. I won’t say that it’s easy or that every scenario leads to what you’re looking for but if you don’t immerse yourself in making some contacts initially, the ones, that you need, will not materialize. Some of those people may just be your champions, your cheerleaders for your success. Others may really go the extra mile and open important doors for you. And at some point in time, we all need a door opened for us, so it’s part of the cycle of life.
These techniques may work for the newcomer in town but what about someone who has already been established in their community. Then, I suggest that everyone they know can practically lead them to what they’re looking for. Create your “A” list, those people who are among your closest friends. Let them in on what you’re trying to achieve. If you have 5 – 10 people on that list and now you move on to a “B” list, each having given you at least two names, you’ll be looking at 10 – 20 people. It’s a numbers’ game, plain and simple. And from there, the list of names gets even longer. How long it takes is often a matter of luck. As William Jennings Bryan once said: “Destiny is not a matter of chance, but a matter of choice.” Your choice to increase your numbers.