“There’s something to be learned from everyone.”
My father couldn’t have pushed the importance of talking to strangers enough – because you never know who or what you’re going to run into along the way…
Take yourself back to the last time you experienced that awkward silence in the room.
You notice everyone is glued to their phones.
But, what if you struck up conversation with the person next to you – yes, with the person who’s glued to the phone.
Where would that conversation take you?
If you’re a little nervous starting conversations, that’s okay.
I completely understand the hesitation.
But, I can assure you that speaking to strangers becomes much easier if you find common ground.
What I’m about to tell you will help you succeed in your career.
And, it was all because I spoke to the stranger who was sitting next to me:
June 14, 2016:
My headphones and my GoGo Movie app were set in place, and I nestled my pillow in the perfect spot.
The seat next to me was empty – more room for me! It was going to be a long ride to Portland, Oregon.
But, as we were about to take off, a small-statured, Taiwanese lady grabbed the seat next to me.
I couldn’t help but laugh out loud (LOL) at the commonality we shared:
We were both 5-feet short!
She reciprocated the joke, stating that we were the lucky ones on the plane because of all of the leftover seat space!
After an hour of non-stop simple talk, she explained that her purpose of travel was to teach her nieces and nephews how to successfully launch a business and sustain its success.
I also found out she was a well-recognized seamstress who specializes in tailoring clothes for professional sports teams, wedding goers, and red-carpet celebrities in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Her many Google Reviews confirmed her success:
“Christine’s Alterations has never let me down. Her work is perfect every time! I drive 1.5 hours just to get my work done by her!”
Well, obviously this lady must be doing something right, and I better listen to what she has to say…
If you’re struggling with what’s holding you back from starting your business, then imagine yourself sitting next to this lady and picking her brain!
I had to get my pen and paper out and take notes!
It was like getting a free business consultation…for 3 hours!
I admit: I interviewed Christine.
Here are the 4 successful business strategies Christine claimed was essential to succeeding in your entrepreneurial career:
1. JUST DIVE IN.
If you’ve ever struggled on how to even begin a business with something you’re passionate about or interested in but have no experience with, then you have to just simply go out there and start playing in the field and get your feet wet!
Be active in communities (both online and offline) that have anything to do with what your products or services are all about.
Talk to these people. Learn their needs.
Volunteer with or interview these businesses or people you admire who work in your field of interest.
What do you like that they’re doing? What don’t you like?
And, how can you apply these concepts to your business or your future endeavors?
The main takeaway:
You’ll learn from other people’s mistakes and also what works for their businesses.
By learning the field you’re playing in, there might be other doors that open for you.
2. DON’T QUIT YOUR “DAY JOB” JUST YET.
You have to put food on the table, so make that a priority. Then, fund your small business, even if it’s just a few bucks a month or a few hours a week.
This is what’s called “investing in your business.”
Christine said to pace yourself for what works for your schedule and your budget.
She exclaimed to NOT RUSH through your business venture because:
A. You can’t create success overnight.
B. You are where you need to be right now, and
C. You don’t want to throw something off balance if it doesn’t suit your life’s priorities at that moment.
“Just focus on one aspect at a time.”
The main takeaway:
Add to your business what you can, that’s affordable to you and that doesn’t offset balance in your life.
And, focus on one thing at a time and do it right, for example, rebranding or giving your website a makeover.
By strengthening one area, it will naturally help balance out the rest of your business.
3. BUILD RELATIONSHIPS WITH YOUR AUDIENCE AND THE BUSINESSES THEY ASSOCIATE WITH.
“Tell people who you are, what you’re offering, and why.”
For example, if you’re already supplying your handmade trial-size lotions to luxury vacation home companies, introduce yourself to local businesses who could carry your full-size stock so guests know where they can locally buy your product.
This expands your brand in the community it literally lives in.
4. EYE CONTACT
“Eye contact is THE MOST important business tool”
– because if you don’t do it, then it might give the impression that you don’t believe in yourself or the product/service you’re trying to sell.
(As a side note, if you struggle with the ability to create eye contact, there are other ways to exhibit your confidence. Find what works best for you and the person you’re connecting with).
So, how are you incorporating these four strategies into your business when it comes to talking with strangers?
Maybe you’re still thinking if your business idea would be marketable.
Here’s an idea:
Break the awkward silence, and ask the people you’re standing next to.
Listen to their input!
They might just be the ones who open the new door of opportunity for you!