Wake Up Call - Every Entrepreneur Has Had One
This morning I woke up to a good friend of mine who I had met 13 years prior through the Young Entrepeneurs Organisation sending me a text message. It actually woke me up which is highly unusual as normally I would have been up way before then.
It said, "I loved spending time with you yesterday. I loved our discussion last night. I loved your lentil soup. You're a great friend Mel. I am glad I got to spend time with you yesterday."
What a lovely message to wake up to. We have been good friends for many years. He is incredibly smart and a really good person. We both talk about the loves of our lives (mine, my dog) and largely about business. Most friends would find the continual talk on business quite boring, but we both get as excited as each other on developments with each others business lives, that we are like two peas in a pod. He gave valuable feedback to my business expansion plans and importantly my financial spreadsheets. Something I share with few others. His advice will not only save me money, but any chance of people stealing my ideas. For that I am very grateful.
Truly engaging with friends or clients for that matter brings a certain amount of meaning to the relationship. One quip he did make is that he has always admired how I build really strong relationships with people. Funnily enough, while I do do that with people I connect with, there is quite a few people out there that mistaken my shyness for being 'stuck up'.
It's hard to imagine that someone who writes such an open and honest blog and can get on a stage and talk for hours, could possibly be shy - but I am. I suffer from anxiety before I walk in a room and it cripples me with blindness. Fortunately, that is getting better, but I am still not there. I have to build up dutch courage to walk up and talk to a stranger, but yet when I am in full work mode, I walk into rooms with clients, and present myself in the way they expect; as a confident, business woman, capable of communicating with anyone.
My wake up call or text as it would be this morning, was a reminder of the importance of building relationships with people that deserve your time and that are like minded. I get more out of the relationships with friends and business colleagues because I invest in those relationships. Like most people, I am not perfect at keeping in contact, but hopefully, I am memorable enough to connect with people and pickup where we left off, should our paths cross or an opportunity to reconnect arise.
I have attached an image that many people have seen before by Demetri Martin, author of This is a Book. Someone who follows me on twitter and I them, shared it with me today and although I have seen it before, I had to chuckle. Some people do think success is just about going upwards and onwards, but like me, many people have some curly lines along the way that we have to deal with. Mine is anxiety and fear of failure (yes I said that dirty word that no entrepreneur should say). Yours I am sure is something that you have shared with a close friend, colleague or coach.
Today's message: Engagement at every level is key to being more successful and overcoming fear even if you have to put on your best acting skills, is the first step.