(photo cred: Will Burns)
When NorBella was in it’s infancy, with four employees and three very brave clients, I developed company goals for growth. This year we are at 18 employees and 20 clients, and I can credit much of this growth to relationship building and creating a strong network. There are so many “why’s” in relationship building, all of which are very important, overarching themes for me include the following:
- Advice giving and getting
- Sharing lessons learned
- Idea and resource sharing
- Constructive feedback (particularly when working together)
- Support system, aka, FREE THERAPY when things are going tough for either party
- Extending your network, through theirs
In those very early days of starting a business, we were identifying new potential partners and resources. I was hungry, scared and simply wanting to seek advice. I asked many agency and industry influentials to dinner, so I could pick their brains about their biggest lessons learned. I wanted to know the “what to do’s” and especially the “what not to do’s” from those who had first-hand experience. Many meetings started with my date telling me to RELAX (my energy level must have been a little overwhelming!), but in all of these meetings I made sure to ask really good questions and to be an even better listener. Fortunately, I’ve built such a strong network that I’m still in close contact with many of the folks I shared coffee, lunch and dinners with. Four years later, I’m now actually giving my own share of lessons learned on these types of meetings!
Meeting new people, making connections and building relationships has been a pillar in NorBella’s success. One of my weekly goals, which was a nugget of advice given to me during those infancy day dinner dates, meet one new person a week. Whether the outcome of a meeting is helping a friend make a new connection or new business, both outcomes feel good. I encourage you to get out there and start building relationships.