Be Open to Being Open

August 27, 2010 by  
Filed under blog

In the past few posts, I’ve been outlining the best ways to leverage yourself with networking. In addition to getting out there regularly and having a loaded business gun so you are ready to make the most of a new connection, you also need to have the proper, open-minded attitude. In other words, you need to toss preconceptions about what type of people you want to connect with or what kind of opportunities you’re hoping to find. Some of the best connections and opportunities arise where you least expect them.

For instance, a long, long time ago a candle maker and a soap maker found themselves married to sisters. As brothers-in-law, they saw each other frequently but never talked to each other about their businesses because they created two different things. It took their astute father-in-law knocking them over the head to realize that what they did was actually very similar—they both produced tallow and fat based products sold to the home retail market. They decided to go ahead and try combining their efforts by selling both products types at each sales call and putting their individual strengths where it would do the company the most good. Within a couple decades they were one of the largest companies in Cincinnati. The simple candle and soap makers became some of the richest men in the region, something they were not likely to accomplish on their own.

Now their company, Proctor and Gamble, is known around the world and boasts sales near the $40 billion mark. And to think that initially they didn’t believe they had anything to offer the other! Opportunities are plentiful. You just have to get past the standard assumptions, think creatively, and consider ideas from many angles.

So, the next time you’re introduced to someone or an idea comes your way that gives you that “not my thing” feeling, stop and give it a couple minutes and see if you can’t come up with a way you could benefit each other. You never know what you might come up with. Keeping an open mind gives you so many more chances to multiply your finances, as well as business partnerships and friendships. You’ll be surprised at how often positive things develop if you just give them a little consideration.


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