Four Steps to Connecting for Success

Connections can make you if you have them. They can make success take far longer to achieve, if you don’t. To connect for success and results, follow these four basic steps:

1. Strategize
2. Be creative
3. Be prepared to exchange
4. Plan ahead – things always take longer than you think they will

Let’s take a closer look at each step:

1. Strategize

You have a vision or goal (whether you realize it or not, you do).

Knowing that, what resources do you need for success? Of these resources that you need, which ones do you already have? What gap in resources is left that you must still fill?

Perhaps you need connections for these and other reasons:

– Build your market
– Find the right people to work with, or for, you
– Get the business or financial resources you need, in the right flow
– Find the right materials at the right price
– Get the right information easily
– Test and refine your product or service
– Figure out the easiest way to make your product or service

Once you know the reasons you need connections, you can start to plan where and how to get them.

2. Be creative

Remember a time in your life when you were especially resourceful, perhaps at a time when the odds seemed to be against you.

What connections did you need at that time to make success happen? How did you create or find these resources and connections?

You can be that creative and resourceful now.

3. Be prepared to exchange

There’s a big difference between reaching out and actually connecting with the people you need to know. And while you can attempt to make a connection, it’s not something you can control.

What’s in it for the person you’re trying to reach, to connect with, or help you?

To get their time and attention, consider what you have, or can offer, that can help them meet one of their goals.

Keep their needs as well, foremost in your mind as you try to create a connection that will serve both of you well.

4. Plan ahead – things always take longer than you think they will

Making connections, like many things in life, often takes longer than you expect.

For example:

– Someone you hope to meet and get advice from has a calendar that’s impossibly full.
– Another person turns out not to be the right resource at all, but knows someone else who may be able to help you.
– Still another person has a competing project, and can’t help you now.

You see how this goes.

Reaching, finding the time to try to connect, and then actually connecting in a meaningful way often takes far longer than you hope.

Start now to have the connections you need, when you need them.

Create the right conditions for connections to thrive. Your connections will grow when you’ve prepared and tended your grapevine well.' About Jan Richards

Principal of J. G. Richards Consulting, Jan helps companies improve profitability and revenue as they decrease business complexity and costs. This occurs in many ways, including: streamlining business operations; project management for major change and process improvement teams; coaching leaders of major change programs; creating long-range visions and strategic plans. A WIC Board member, Jan oversees WIC's strategic initiatives and mentoring programs.

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