There’s a popular maxim in business that argues “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” While I believe both what you know and who you know are important, we all understand the point of that truism: When it comes to success in any endeavor, relationships matter. Given that we all agree on that, I wonder how many of us invest the time to consider or quantify just how much of a significant difference healthy relationships have made or could make in our lives and in our business endeavors.
This is not just theoretical for me. I’m walking through it right now. A few months ago, I found myself heading into a dark place. I was struggling with some issues, personal pain after losing someone very close to me, doubt, and ghosts from my past trying to cloud my vision for my future.
When we’re going through times like that, there may be a tendency to, falsely, believe our struggles disqualify us from growing, from moving toward and achieving our goals. In truth, what I needed was something bigger than me, something to immerse myself in and engage with that would cause me to grow. Because I was intentional about looking for that opportunity, I found an offer to join Paul Martinelli’s Think and Grow Rich program. I was grieving, struggling, and the temptation to isolate myself in my emotions was strong. I knew, though, that I needed to heal and grieve in the spirit of harmony with my community.
Choosing to join that community and commit to that work was difficult. I was still grieving, still struggling… Friends were asking me if this was what I really wanted or needed… Yet, I knew I was on the right track.
The Challenge to Persist
As part of the Think and Grow Rich program, we were reading through Napoleon Hill’s book. I got to the chapter on persistence. This was not the message I wanted at that time. I was hurting, so the last thing I wanted to be was focused and consistent and disciplined. I chose to be focused and disciplined anyway. And that choice was immediately tested. One of our study requirements was to read the chapter on persistence 14 days in a row. If we missed a day, we had to start over. Completing that challenge took me 31 days.
During our Think and Grow Rich program, Paul sent us a blurb sharing with all the participants what to do next. In that message, he asked: “Do you trust me?”
I sat there considering that question, because my honest answer was, “absolutely not.” Finally, that’s how I replied: “No, but that’s why I’m here, and that’s why I chose this program. To learn to trust you, because I realize it’s not you… It’s me.”
That honest confession released something in me. I realized what I had been telling myself had caused my distrust of Paul. When I gave up those limiting beliefs, my trust was fully present. A weight began to lift. The grief was still present, however, the mistrust of Paul completely disappeared, and the limitless love that was suppressed surfaced. With it came the freedom to honor my loved one through my actions, even though I still felt the loss.
A New Opportunity
Shortly after the program wrapped, I received a message: Would I be interested in being mentored by Paul? This question took my risk and my opportunity to another level. Without a doubt, my answer was “yes.” I also knew it would take a shift in my perspective, as well as personal sacrifice, in my time and my finances, to make it happen. I chose to take that risk, and it is transforming my life and clarifying my vision.
When I was at a very low point, it took self-awareness, courage, and faith to make the choice to reach out, to engage with my community. Through that, I was offered another, greater opportunity. Saying “yes” to that opportunity required even more self-awareness, courage, and a significant investment of my time and finances.
I chose to make these investments, because I understand the power of connection, and the incredible blessing and influence the right mentors have in our lives. After just a few short months nurturing these connections, new doors have opened, new opportunities have arisen, and a new, focused energy has filled me with excitement, motivation, and a clear vision.
I know the power of connection will do the same for you. Recently, a friend sent me a note thanking me for the connections I’d made for them. With their permission, here’s part of what they said:
“Trish, I just wanted to drop you a line to say ‘thank you’ for your heartfelt consideration of me and your enthusiastic support of my work. Over the past year, you have introduced me to a few different people, all of whom have made a major difference in my life and my business. I have several new, regular clients, because you took the time to send an email or make a phone call. That may have felt like a small investment to you, but your ‘small investment’ has made a specific, measurable increase in my business and my influence in the market. Thank you.”
Here’s what I love most about that note…
The person who sent that Thank You is also a connector. They have a level of awareness that includes being intentional about making connections in their day-to-day life. As a result, they have introduced me to several key people in the community as well, increasing my business and raising my influence lid. Both of us were flowing, being intentional and doing what we do, which includes choosing to be a connector, and that has benefitted each of us, and also everyone with whom we have connected.
So, here’s my question:
Who do you know? Think about it. You may feel like you’re in a position without a lot of influence. You may feel like you don’t know any “important” people, or you may feel that you’re so busy trying to maintain your own life and your own business that you would struggle to add any more responsibilities to your day. I understand.
Here’s the thing…
If we all agree that “who you know” matters to our success, then we already know that creating more connections for others is an important step in energizing our personal and professional growth. When we get caught up in limited thinking like “I don’t have time” or “I don’t know anyone,” we need to step back and ask ourselves what are we making up about this, and what are those “I don’ts” creating in our lives.
Because, when we are unaware of or unintentional about the choices we make, we allow those “I don’t” thoughts to get in the way of what we already know to be true: making healthy connections creates growth.
This is my challenge for all of us: Each day, invest some time considering our connections. Who do I know, and who do I know that they need to know? There may or may not be an immediate need, however, when we are intentional about being a connector, growth naturally happens in us, through us, and around us.
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Trish – This is so beautifully written, and your story is so relatable to others. I don’t know if I told you, but I joined the Chamber, so I am ready to start making those connections. I’ve been trying to do the same with my clients. I am so grateful for them and thank you for challenging me to reach out with the free offer. It has been as rewarding for me as I hope it has been for them. Hope you are well. Love you!