One reality I have discovered about a hectic career is that it is very hard to find the time to keep up with your friends and other business acquaintances in your network. Meanwhile, having a network of people is very important to your future. And yet, the more people you come to know and respect, the less time there is to spend quality time with any of them. To keep the relationships thriving you must make the effort. I have found a great way to do this is to grab a cup of coffee in the morning and just sit and "BS" with another person about their business ventures, personal life and other topics of mutual interest.
This morning I met my friend Christa Kleinhans at Starbucks. Christa owns a successful marketing consulting firm called Launch Marketing, which she founded three years ago (www.launch-marketing.com). Before starting her own business she was the local Marketing Manager for a major venture capital fund. A downturn in the economy found her looking for new employment, and rather than compromise in a tough job market, she rolled up her sleeves and went out on her own. While most start-up businesses fail in the first year, Christa's company got off to a good start. She has now crossed the three year mark, and continues to thrive. She does this through a combination of hard work (she does a GREAT job for her clients), and her commitment to expand her reputation and network. Next week she is announcing a new name for her growing business, and I look forward to watching her company launch to new heights.
It is not only a good idea to take the time to stay connected to people in your network, it is also a lot of fun. I had a delightful time catching up with my friend and hearing about the new things she is doing in her life. It is also inspiring to see a local entrepreneur who is living the dream of building a business.
Look at your own network of personal and business friends. Whom do you need to spend time with? You are not too busy! Everyone can carve out one hour to have coffee or lunch (I am also a fan of Happy Hour!). Quit making excuses and just pick up the phone and schedule the appointment with someone in your network. You will be glad you did.
For more reasons on why it is important to make, grow and keep your business relationships, read my new book: Some Assembly Required (available later this summer). Available at www.thomsinger.com
Have a great day.