So I’m still basking in the glow of newly made memories from our trip to Europe that we recently returned from. I just can’t stop thinking about all the amazing contacts I’ve made, not just on this trip but on all my trips before. I know I’ve talked about getting out and meeting people quite a bit lately but I really can’t say it enough. Meeting new people can lead to such wonderful new adventures, friendships, and business opportunities. And you don’t have to travel the world to make such great new contacts.
It doesn’t matter where you are, what you’re doing, or where you’re headed. No matter what the circumstances, be bold, talk to strangers, strike up kindly conversations with anyone you have a chance to say hello to. Yes, some of them won’t care for your forward manner. Many people are too busy to stop and chat or they might be suspicious of what you’re after but don’t worry about those people. If you have such an encounter, just move on. Most people are actually happy to talk, especially if you ask them about themselves. Taking notice of them and having an interest in their life is flattering and encourages them to share.
I’m not saying you should put on an act either. You really should be interested in them. Everyone has a story that will help you understand the world better. Most people has some surprising ideas of their own, and they might even be the connection to other wonderful people. Just don’t let the possibility of getting a strange look or a curt rebuff deter you.
Some of the strangers I’ve meet over the years have not lead to ground breaking business ideas but they have become dear friends and enrich my life as much as, if not more than, those that have helped me in my successful business ventures. We meet up with our Danish friends, Karina and Mark, who then introduced us to several of their friends. We were also honored when a young man, Reto Moro, flew from Zurich to Paris with his daughter Ana just to go to dinner with us. Then we meet several more bright and interesting people from several countries on the ship we took from Copenhagen to Tallin.
There is no reason at all that you should deny yourself the rich opportunities that are but a handshake and a “hello” away. So this week, another challenge. See how many new people you can meet this week. Ask them about their lives and their stories and see what remarkable things come of reaching out and connecting with just a few more people in this world.
If you’ve been reading along with my blog for a while, you’ve heard me go on about getting out and exposing yourself to new and varied experiences. Most recently I’ve been touring Europe and it just amazes me how energizing and motivating it is to be among different people, seeing new sights, and being exposed to diverse mind-sets. Being that I was reminded again of the importance of exposing yourself to novelty, I thought I’d emphasis it again here with a few more specific ideas.
Now you don’t have to travel to Europe to find novel experiences but entrenching yourself in different cultures is an ideal way to jump-start your spirit, your mind, and your passion. Even where you live, there are probably cultural areas, shops, events, etc. that you have no experience with and may even be a little fearful of because of the lack of familiarity. But forcing yourself to walk into that strange store or spend a day at an unusual event, or, even better, visit another country (Mexico, Canada, Puerto Rico … these places aren’t far) will expose you to unexpected ideas, people, and sensations and you may find something new that you love!
So I challenge you to travel, be it near or far, to a place you may be hesitant to venture into. Go in with an open mind and actively look for new experiences, talk to new people, and make an effort to understand and appreciate cultural differences. You never know what you’ll find or whom you’ll meet. I invite you to come back here and tell me about your experience and inspire others to do the same.
If you sell merchandise or offer a service you’ve probably heard the “added value” phrase a few times. That term refers to adding something to your product that gives it more value but isn’t necessarily essential to its primary purpose. The hope is that it might sway a consumer into choosing what you are offering over your competitor. Simple concept really. But have you ever applied it to personal connections?
When you meet someone do you try connecting with the standard introduction followed by small talk and then a comment about your business to see if there is any interest? Even if what you do garners interest, that person could meet three other people that night that have the same type of business. What will make you stand out? If you follow the concept of added value, you might find out what the other person does first and offer to assist them in some small way. You might bring the keynote speaker a glass of water after a long talk. Or you can show up early to an event and help your host with their last minute set-up. You’ll be well remembered for your kindness and consideration.
So next time you’re out networking, consider what you can do for others first, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because you add value to the interaction you have with others. Amongst a group of people all looking for what others can offer them, your personal approach will make a definite impression. We are human beings first, business people second, and we’ll always react stronger to connections that speak to our human side.
Wealthy entrepreneurs seem to be a breed apart. But what makes them so different from the average Joe? A big part of it is their mindset, a way of thinking that just automatically aims big. They are ready, willing and able to make or move on large scale opportunities. Thinking big isn’t even an effort—it’s just habit.
I talk about mindset on page 107 of my book “How To Ignite Your Passion For Living”. This section explains how your mindset acts as a blueprint; how it directs what you do with your life. The people in this world who have amassed great wealth and success have a blueprint that is all about thinking big. If you want wealth or great success, you too have to work off a blueprint designed for thinking big.
Bill Gates is a well known example of super success. He’s also one of those people who has always had a ‘think big’ mindset. He was already embarking on his own business ventures at the age of 17. While an undergraduate at Harvard he managed to convince one of the first microcomputer manufactures to meet with him so he could sell them on something he hadn’t even tried yet. These crazy, untried, big ideas paid off and he eventually took a leave of absence from Harvard because of them. His big leap also started him down the path to starting what would end up being the largest software company in the world, Microsoft. It is also what made him a billionaire at the age of 31.
If Bill Gates had played it safe, it’s likely that very few of us would even know his name. Where will thinking big like this take you? If you want the big rewards, get your subconscious, as well as you intentions, working off the same big plans blueprint. Make thinking big a habit. Think big, think wealthy, think successful. If this truly becomes your mindset, it will lead to this also being your reality.