This week – hell, this year and last – has been a shipturner for me. I’ve been making a change from my previous prior focus to my current and foreseeable future focus, Connectivity.
How does one turn a ship, you may ask?
Well, as an impatient person, not fast enough for my speed! All the same, the ship must be turned if you do want to go another direction. I grabbed the ships steering wheel, aka the helm, and leaned into it.
Not in the Sheryl Sandberg way. In my own way: with wide-eyed curiosity – “If it’s connectivity, what exactly is it? What do I have to say, how will I communicate it, who and how will I serve?” Along with a about a zillion other questions and uncertainties, I dove in.
The only way to turn a ship is to turn it.
In the turning, I know that one key element is communicating the turn to those who are supporters, interlopers and otherwise either interested in my success or at least curious.
So the question becomes, how do I share what I’m up to with those who I wish to know?
Here’s how I chose to do so:
This week I blocked time, got my Rolodex, business card binder, computer and paper + pencil and started emailing people in the aforementioned categories. I first drafted what I wanted to say in a separate word doc. As a writer I like to be really clear on what I want to say – practicing, massaging and editing it until it’s good enough (though not seeking perfection – that’s a wasted errand). I read the intended email outloud to myself to help ensure it also sounds like me as I’ve learned that the people who know you or at least have heard you speak want to read you like you speak.
Did this effort matter? Was my time ‘worth it’?
In short, YES. Unequivocally.
The responses I’ve been getting have been encouraging and fun, interesting and helpful. Encouraging because they reinforce that people do in fact care about other people. Fun because I’m learning what others are up to (at least those who are responding). Interesting because it helps me stay current with them and keep learning about our world and what’s important to others. And helpful because the previously “what’s important to others” then is top of my mind, helping me better serve others.
It matters because sometimes being in business for yourself and spending a LOT of time alone can feel isolating. When I feel itchy to see if what I do matters, then I know reaching out to others – caring and actively engaging in people connections – then the return I get feeds my mission, drive, energy and helps me keep going.
I’ll be continuing some of the conversations and letting others go, depending on how they answered. People will help you decide what they want and what they don’t want. Less is more for email, to me, so I want to keep it sweet and succinct, still acknowledging them and letting them know I’m here for them.
As a business person, I can only expect support when people clearly understand what I do and how I serve too. So giving them the heads up is helpful, all around.
For those whose emails bounced, I used our friend right here, LinkedIn.
Below is what I wrote.
Note: I personalized all of them with name and often a specific personal comment or question relevant to them only. I want them to know it’s an intentional communique.
“Good [appropriate day] [first name] –
Hope you’re well and February is off to a great start. What’s ahead of you for 2019 I can help support? Any big trips planned? Be fearless in asking when my help would be useful – you know I’m standing by.
Wanted to also check in and give an update from the HQ!
With my specialty of Connectivity & Connecting, speaking = primary service offered. It’s been incredibly invigorating to be focused on this concept, to help people lead better lives and have more gratifying careers due to knowing the specifics of truly connecting with other people.
Who I’m seeking to serve:
People and organizations who what to know the why & how of connecting with people on purpose, with the intent to serve others; people seeking skills to learn how to actually create and develop relationships – which fosters so many other things. Like leadership, growth, change and personal and business development.
When you’re seeking, as well as when you know of others who are seeking, to hire proficient professional speakers, I’d be grateful if you kept me in mind and forwarded my name.
As well, if you’ve been to impactful conferences and events where they bring in speakers, I’d love to know about them so I can investigate.
Conferences, team & sales meetings (connectivity is killer for sales!), pro development, keynotes…. Helping people be confident and comfortable, connecting with other people.
If you’re keen for more information, I’m glad to share – i.e. specific talk titles, previous clients. Travel’s always been part of my work, domestically and cross borders. I’ve a particular fondness for education institutions, hardware, retail and firefighting. For now, I’m building, so all suggestions, ideas and introductions are tremendously appreciated.
Any good reading and authors you’d recommend I check out?
Would love to get an update of what you’re up to. Happy to help as I best can. Thanks for letting me share too.
Be well, stay in touch. Glad to be connected. Keep helping people the way you do ~
Tell me below what you do to stay connected to people you care about and who care about you. What do you do to personally foster your connections?
Thanks for reading and sharing. Remember, it’s a great day to connect.
this post was also published on LinkedIn 021519