For the first year in my business, I filled my calendar with random connection calls.
Whenever anyone reached out to me to hop on a call, I always said yes.
You see, until I started my business, I had never done much networking.
The thought of it made me throw up in my mouth a little.
But I knew that to get clients, I needed to get out there. To make connections.
So that’s what I did.
I spent a lot of time reading people’s websites and social media posts, listening to their podcasts, and watching their videos.
When I reached out to them, I wanted to say what was true for me about their work. And that usually meant taking 30 minutes or more to get acquainted with their content.
I wasn’t so picky when it came to anyone who reached out to me. Even if their message was generic, I was grateful that someone else was making the first move.
My thinking was, you never know who might end up being a fruitful connection for my business. And even if they weren’t, isn’t it always good to make a new connection?
Many coaches and consultants will tell you that’s the way to go.
The more people you reach out to, the more chances of finding a few that are a fit. Be it as potential clients or partners.
But doing quality reach outs in larger quantities is super frustrating. And it’s freaking hard to sustain without getting resentful.
Time for a more intentional connection approach
About a month ago, I switched to a much more intentional connection approach.
It’s the approach I recommend my clients take.
But I didn’t do it for my own business because I second-guessed myself.
When things aren’t happening as quickly as you want, you can’t help but wonder if you shouldn’t be doing things differently.
Even though you know that things take time, it feels so damn uncomfortable.
And that’s when doing things intentionally sort of goes out the window.
You think you have to try something new.
That you have to be more aggressive.
That you have to buck up and do things you don’t like.
Intentionality is the first casualty when things aren’t going the way you want.
Reactivity – the opposite of intentionality – has a negative impact on your ability to reach goals and fulfill commitments.
And you’re more likely to slip into reactive mode when you are doing things completely on your own.
For example, here’s what a new connection shared with me on a call this week.
For 3 years, she worked with a VA. They had a system where every project and task was connected to key elements of a bigger-picture strategy in the business.
She was running the business intentionally and things were going well.
When her VA left about a year ago, my new friend was surprised to realize, after many many months, that she’d slipped back into reactive mode.
Without an intentional system and support, we will ‘forget’ to check in to make sure we are on track.
Intentionality is best done with support
You might know what your goals are in your mind but if you don’t check in regularly to see how your actions are mapping to those goals, you’ll end up way off course.
Checking in means having to pause.
It sometimes means taking a step or two back.
That’s the only way you can accurately assess where you are.
The longer you do things without intention, the harder it gets to get back on track.
This is why we need to work with others.
We need support to keep us from going into reactive mode.
We need support to be intentional.
I may be biased but I think that working with someone who understands your whole business is one of the best ways to help you grow intentionally – focused on the few things that matter most.
For 8 years, I worked closely with the founders of 5 different businesses. I knew those businesses inside and out. A good strategist knows that no project or tactic can ever be done in isolation. Because a business is an ecosystem and doing something in one part of that system will impact the whole.
Intentionality requires that you look at the whole.
This is how I work with my clients 1:1. I give whole business support.
So you can build your business in a way that feels good to you.
If this is the kind of support you’d like, let’s talk so you can tell me what’s happening in your business. I’d love to help you if I can.