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5 Things To Remember When Reaching Out To Your Network

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Have you ever wanted something, but weren’t been sure about how exactly to get it? Sure you have, everyone has, whether it was getting to the cookie jar when you were a little kid or starting that new business. Sometimes, the best thing we can do is ask. Ask for help, guidance, support, funding — whatever it is you want, don’t be afraid to ask.

It all comes down to how you ask for whatever it is that you want. In December of 2015 I found out that billionaire serial entrepreneur Nik Halik was hosting an exclusive mastermind session on the remote island of Vanuatu. I wanted to be a part of that experience, so I did the most logical thing — I asked. However, there’s a bit more to it than just asking; many times you can’t just ask outright for what you want, particularly if it’s going to require some amount of effort from the party you’re asking. That will be seen as off-putting at best and rude at worst.

So maybe you know what you want, and you’re going to have to ask for something in order to get it, whether it’s the support of your friends, funding from investors, or an invitation to a party. This article will dish the secrets of how you can ask in a way that’s most likely to open that door for you — and maybe even a few others you didn’t realize were there!

Here are 5 tips that will help you when reaching out:

1. Make your message or story stick out

If you’re going to be asking for something, you need to have your story down. You need to be able to present who you are, what you want, and why you’re asking that specific person or organization for it. This is adaptable depending on who you’re asking and what you’re asking them for, of course.

If all you want is support from your friends and family for that new diet or exercise regime, then you won’t need to be so formal. However, if you’re launching that new business and need funding, your potential investors are going to want to know about the person behind the ask.

“Certainly all historical experience confirms the truth- that man would not have attained the possible unless time and again he had reached out for the impossible.” – Max Weber

2. Find a way to bring value whenever possible

Everything in life is give and take. If you’re asking someone to give something to you, you should be able to tell that person why it benefits them as well. Take a job application for example – if you want to get your dream job, you’re going to have to apply, which is just a very formal way of asking for it.

From your resume to your interview, you’re going to have to make it clear that hiring you isn’t just about your dreams and what you want, but that you will bring value to the organization in a manner that it would otherwise lack. Of course sometimes what you’re asking for really will just be a one-way transaction, but you may find surprising ways of making someone’s generosity pay off for them!

 

3. Know who you’re contacting

When you are reaching out to people, especially through an avenue such as email, you need to be able to customize your message. Make sure it fits with their values and beliefs. This means doing your homework and getting to know the person you are reaching out to.

Make sure your message is tailored, specifically to them. If they think you are sending the same type of message to every person you come in contact with, they likely won’t give you the time of day.

“I believe that we were meant to live as social creatures, to reach out and bless each other’s lives.” – Richard Paul Evans

4. Be authentic

If you are not authentic, people will see right through you. You need to be honest and authentic. People who are in power to open doors and give favors have likely seen it all before. They know the difference between someone who is authentic and someone who is being fake to get ahead.

This is just another part of crafting your story; you need to come off as sincere. Just be yourself and be forthcoming about what you want. Dishonesty can really only have negative repercussions here, because even if you do get what you want, there’s always the chance that it could come back to bite you in the future, which is simply not worth the risk.

 

5. Have a call to action

This is just a fancy way of dressing up your “ask.” This is a polite nudge for the party you’re addressing to grant you what you want. In your cover letter for a job, you would end by saying that you look forward to hearing from the hiring manager. That’s a clear sign that you’re asking for a response.

The key with a call to action is that it has to just be a nudge, you can’t say “so please give me X.” Unless you’re dealing with close friends or family, that’s the quickest way to get shut down. Rather, you politely suggest the outcome you would like — “I look forward to speaking with you about how I might be able to accompany you on your trip” — and let the ball rest thoroughly in their court.

“Do not fear mistakes.You will know failure. Continue to reach out.” – Benjamin Franklin

These guidelines can be applied to any sort of request, whether it’s for an invitation to an exclusive mastermind, funding for your next big project, or simply support on a commitment like exercising or eating healthy. Many people are afraid to ask because of the possibility of rejection, but the doors you can open just by asking for something might also surprise you.

Who are you going to reach out to? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Erik Wilson is a serial entrepreneur who is involved with many philanthropic endeavors and is continually devoted to making the world a more positive place. He is the founder and CEO of Pozify, a social networking app devoted to spreading positivity across the web.

Success Advice

10 Tips to Deal With Negativity While Starting a Business

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There are ups and downs in business but fearing failures can stop you from taking your first step towards excellence. With pandemic on tow, aspiring entrepreneurs feel a little stuck when ideating a business prospect. Here, we give you some actionable tips to deal with negativity while starting a business, even during situations like a pandemic. We also took the liberty to throw in some amazing book recommendations that’ll help you enjoy the process of being positive and achieving your business goals.

10 Tips to deal with negativity while starting a business in a pandemic

1. Get a mentor

The first thing to do as a new business owner is to find the right kind of mentor. That person could be someone in your industry or in general who you look up to. The guidance must be apt for your business, and it should be a mutual responsibility of sharing knowledge. 

2. Two big R’s – Routine and Refresh

Made a mess of something? Try to reboot the situation and make it work. Take a break once in a while and refresh yourself if you feel stuck or your ideas feel mundane. Plan a routine and stick to them – both personal and professional. Having a routine can increase productivity and engage in more activities apart from your pre-planned schedule. 

3. Inculcate problem-solving mentality

Do not panic once you are thrown a problem. Arrange a meeting with the respective party, listen to both sides of the stories, and make a decision that is more realistic and feasible. 

4. Hire half and half

Whenever you hire someone for your business. Make sure that half of the people contradict your ideas, and the other half have the same mindset as yours. The people who contradict can bring in more valuable points and their perspective might take the discussion to a whole new level.  Don’t take too much time finding the perfect one. Hire an apt person who can have the right attitude. 

5. Network, Network, and Network

Find like-minded people and mingle with them. Be more sportive in the learning process. Listen more and talk less – if you are a beginner. You can only be a constructive person who gives input to someone if you have listened to everyone’s point of view. If you feel down, your network might have something to uplift your mood and change your perspective on something. 

“Negativity, in general, is one of the things that holds people back, and you have to see what’s holding you back to get away from it.” – Lucy Dacus

6. Tech-savvy personnel

Learn a thing or two about the latest technology that you implement in your organization. Since the world revolves around technology, make sure your administrative authority knows as well.  

7. Don’t schedule a meeting, that could have been an email

Yes! I said it. Having unnecessary meetings will weaken the purpose of having a constructive discussion. Having back-to-back meetings drains the team members and yourself too. Always have a 10 to 15 minutes break between each meeting to feel refreshed and give your 100%. 

8. Have a pros and cons list

Always, I mean always have a pros and cons list. Let’s say one of your team members pitch an idea to improve the marketing strategies starting next month. Jot down the pros and cons before approving or rejecting it point-blank. It’s a systematic way of making a decision. 

9. Track your finances

Even if you have a team of accountants and auditors, make sure that you are present (both mentally and physically) – learn if you are not aware of it. Trusting your employees is a must, but not overseeing the records is a mistake that should be avoided. 

10. Remember your “why?”

At some point in your hectic schedule or not having ME time can get to you. During those tough times – ask yourself – “Why am I doing this?”. If you can answer this question with a valid explanation, you’ll feel energized. Because “A purpose drives you”. 

5 Best books to read to be more positive as an entrepreneur

Reading always puts me into perspective. Therefore, I took some liberty to give a sample of positivity and determination through words. 

These are the 5 books that’ll guide you to be a more positive and successful entrepreneur. 

  1. Attitude is everything by Jeff Keller – The decisions you make, the routine you set for yourself, and the affirmations you say to yourself every day are going to make a huge difference. If you feel tired, hopeless, and quitting – then this book is for you to boost you up!
  2. Mindset: The new psychology of success by Carol Dweck – You do what you think. In this book, the author talks about two mindsets: The growth mindset and the fixed mindset and what they’ll do to you respectively. She helps you recognize your mindset and change it for the better. 
  3. Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen – This book is about technology uprisings all over the world and businesses that adopted and implemented technology in their firm. The author teaches you that just because your competitors and others are adopting something into their businesses doesn’t mean that you have to as well. Make an informed decision. 
  4. As A Man Thinketh by James Allen – This book specifically is about the power of thought and how it shapes your life into a more meaningful and fulfilling one.
  5. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle – The author talks about how people always keep thinking about what the future holds but then forget to live and enjoy the present. And also helps us understand how to make decisions more efficiently based on the present. 

Working towards inner balance requires consistency and perseverance. So does hard and smart work. Being negative is a part of our lives. It’s important to channel it appropriately and make things happen despite the roller coaster ride that is our lives. Hope you overcome your fears and negativity to shine bigger and brighter. Cheers! 

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Defining Your Own Success: A Step by Step Guide

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Everyone wants success in their lives, but success can be defined in so many different ways that it can sometimes seem daunting. In this blog post, you will learn how to make success easier for yourself by defining what success means to you. (more…)

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5 Characteristics of Athletes You Need for Business Success

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Michigan State basketball coach, Tom Izzo, wrote “Players play. Tough players win.” I would add to that, “It’s tough to win.”I think if you, as a leader, are looking to build an organization that is successful – that wins – you first have to accept that it will be tough. There are no shortcuts to success. In my 44 years of coaching, I was fortunate to coach a lot of tough players. I believe the toughness I have seen in athletes corresponds well to any organization or business. (more…)

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5 Changes in Your Habits That Will Help You Thrive

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We’ve all found ourselves at the bottom at least once in our lives. We thought that everything’s ruined and there’s no going back. The truth is – there’s always going back. Moreover, it takes one to fall many times and feel like everything’s ruined to succeed in life. (more…)

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