Legacy Journal has always centered around making memories and connecting with those you love. Lately connecting has been challenging but just as important (if not more). Let’s be frank, the COVID pandemic has drastically changed our lives, but prioritizing family and stepping back to honor those special fleeting moments is still everything.
It is even more important during these times to leverage networks that are meaningful and beneficial to the multiple facets of your life. This could be hunting down your next career move, seeking financial guidance, or creating a new fitness routine. No matter the need, your network is a special tool in paving the way to realize your goals.
Networking may seem “mundane” so let’s shift our thinking a bit, think of finding your tribe instead. Your tribe points to your authentic self and how to grow in ways that are the most meaningful for you. They can hide in networks, mastermind groups, or even at your kid’s soccer game. The point is, get out there and do it bravely.
“It’s not what you know but who you know,” is probably something you’ve heard before. But how do you take those next steps? What are those next steps? Do you check the box and send out LinkedIn requests, wait it out, hope they want to “connect” too? I am going to share how harnessing the magic of networking can save time, establish efficient next steps to address challenges, and help you get back to your family. Here are four simple steps to get started:
Step One: Get Inspired
Networking doesn’t have to be awkward, uncomfortable, and filled with small talk. It can be a pivotal strategy to help your career, your family, yourself, and your dreams grow. It is also a great way to broaden your knowledge, tap into related fields, and expand your circles. This might sound a little lofty and that’s why it is key to start with who or what inspires you. In the interest of networking and getting that inspiration peaked, I’d like to introduce you to Tanya and Mike.
Tanya Menon is an Organizational Psychologist that delivered a great TED Talk, “The secret to great opportunities? The person you haven’t met yet.” It’s really worth a listen. Tanya illustrates how our greatest opportunities can lie outside of our immediate circles, comfort zones, and like-minded friends. What’s interesting is that, in a world of instant connectivity, we tend to filter our relationships down to a small social bubble. This can lead to feeling stuck as well as missing out on new people, ideas, and opportunities.
Mike McCarthy is one of my most inspiring tribe members. He is a father, author, speaker, and entrepreneur. Mike has co-founded and grown tribe builders such as GoBundance and FamBundance, both of which you should check out along your journey. Mike and I are also both members of an amazing tribe of men called Front Row Dads (another one you should definitely check out). You can listen to his interview on Millionaire Mindcast where he shares his entrepreneurial journey and how to unlock your full potential and live a balanced life. If you don’t have a chance to listen to the podcast, here are my favorite quotes to get your inspiration brewing:
You find your true self among the people you trust.
The people around you are a mirror that helps you see yourself more clearly.
The only way through and to connect in the group is to be who you are.
Step Two: Find Your Tribe
I say tribe because you are building mutually beneficial relationships, not handing out contact information. While it’s important not to underestimate traditional networking like LinkedIn, you must stay active and present even on platforms that encourage a canned congrats to a friend on their promotion.
As you form your tribe, think of these incredibly important drivers: you will find your true self amongst those you trust, and your future will be shaped by those around you. Consider what you want from life, how to change a lofty dream into a realistic goal, and how your tribe can help.
To start building your tribe ask yourself:
To start building your tribe ask yourself:
- What community are you attracted to? Who inspires you? Finding just one other person that is dreaming big can be a game changer. Cultivate a tribe that is part of your everyday, it needs to be a lifestyle and not a box to check.
- What’s missing for you right now? What challenges could you use help with? Establishing your personalized network provides meaningful conversations, experiences, and a bucket to fill those holes where you could use more support.
I’ll give you an example: mastermind groups (they aren’t just for business networking). These have been a life changing way for our family to surround ourselves with others who support and encourage us to grow together. Not only are these groups an incredible way to connect, but the events hosted also provide opportunities for us as a family to grow closer and relate to each other in a new way. We can set goals together, have real conversations, and learn more about one another.
Step Three: Avoid Sleepy Comfort Zones
Reaching outside of your comfort zone isn’t always easy and it might mean putting aside hidden prejudices. It is easy to nurture the “us versus them” perspective but subscribing to this means you are missing out on wider networks and opportunities. Take a deep breath and take the leap: walk away from the comfort of your immediate social circle and broaden your perspective.
As you start to learn more outside of these circles, make connections and create “buckets” (or tribes) to keep your strategy going. Organize contacts into “fitness friends,” or “work friends”, “new parents’ group,” “entrepreneurs” (you get the idea). Now you can start to visualize a strategy to connect: what skills do they bring, which groups overlap, what synergies can be created, what challenges are they experiencing?
Keep growing what you have so diligently started to piece together. Set targets with specific dates, what you want to realize, and how you are going to engage your tribe. You may start to build enough trust with your tribe to reach out for feedback on your milestones. Your tribe will help you stay accountable and announcing your goals makes them feel even more “real.”
Step Four: Be the Hungriest
The hungriest always show up, these are the people that aren’t afraid to establish a connection. Knowing the right people is important, but it’s not enough. Establish a true connection through common interests and build a relationship to stand out among a sea of faces. Maybe you overcame a similar challenge or know of new technology that could be useful? Again, as with any tribe, it’s not all business so your common ground might simply be a shared hobby.
Being the hungriest also means you aren’t afraid to give. This might not be your goal going in, but if you show you are willing to reciprocate you will be building a relationship and not just a contact. Showing that you are also there to help others highlights your value. But this means taking initiative, jump in as soon as you see the opportunity! This could be something as simple as passing along an interesting article or podcast. Valuable tribe members don’t just come knocking, be hungry enough to find them and show them what you’ve got.
I’ll tell you how I was hungry. A few years ago, I had the opportunity to spend the day with 15 successful entrepreneurs and Jeff Hoffman, founder of Priceline and currently worth over a billion dollars. (This opportunity was rare, unplanned, and unearthed through my tribe by the way.) At the event, I took pages and pages of notes, this was not something to take lightly. I was able to talk one-on-one with Jeff, and it was there that I told him about my idea for Legacy Journal. He validated the idea, really liked it, and told me to go for it. This is just one example of how valuable your network can be, and there were so many to choose from!
Our company, Legacy Journal, is all about connections and my hope is that I’ve inspired you to make more. Our app is something you might want to consider while balancing family and building a meaningful tribe. Start the habit of connection and save precious memories right in the app with photos, journal entries, voice memos, and videos. You can address each entry and compile decades of love just for them. The app organizes everything for you and stores it safely. Check out this video to learn more and, in the interest of networking, stay connected by signing up for our newsletter.