Tuesday, December 23, 2014

How to Lifeschool? - Build a Community and Network

Connecting with Like Minded People

There is always another person who is passionate about similar things as you. There is always some body that thinks about the same things as you do. It is your responsibility to connect with such like minded people.

In the 1920’s in Paris, a group of writers were all present in the same city and benefitted from each other’s experience. This included Ernest Hemmingway, Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, James Joyce, Ezra Pound and Pablo Picasso. Similarly lots of the internet and technology entrepreneurs in the world get together in Silicon Valley where they can get benefit from the vast network of resources and like minded technology entrepreneurs.

You learn from the varied experiences of each person that has the same interest. You also find people that complement the skills you have. You can collaborate on projects together. For instance you are a good business person and writer. But you need an IT and technology head for a company you want to start. You will not hire another person with the same skills as you. Rather you will find a person with complementary skills but with a similar long term vision.

Two of the most important things you need to keep in mind for this are:-

1)  Ability to network effectively

In July 2012, I printed my business cards and started attending events in Mumbai. At these events I would exchange cards with people from different professions. Then I would ask them for their card and then see if there was some way they could help me. I would then immediately put forward my request. This was the wrong approach. Why in the world will they help me if I never helped them in the past?

I had absolutely no relationship with the other person and had no right to put forward the request I did put forward most often. When I got a business card, it was just the first step of the process. Now was when the effort really started to strengthen this relationship.

How do you strengthen relationships with like minded people?

You find a way to give back with no expectation of getting anything in return:-

·     Connect the person to somebody that would help them.
·     Send them an article or video that you read or saw and really enjoyed.
·     Send them a book you read that has had a real impact on your life.
·     Promote their work online among your community or among your work colleagues.
·     Based on your conversations with them, understand what projects they are working on at that moment and find a way to connect them to the people and resources that will help them fulfill their goals.

What if we want to contact some body that is very renowned in out field? Or some body that is known worldwide for the world he or she has done in a particular field?

2) Be specific and value their time

The very reason they got to the stage they are at, is because they value every second of their lives. You have to give them equal respect as well.

For instance you are an aspiring photographer and have got the email id of a renowned photographer in your field. If you want to ask the person a question, make sure you do not send him or her an email filled with paragraphs of text.

Rather just send them three lines

1)  Telling the renowned photographer who you are.
2)  Stating your query.
3)  Thanking the photographer for his or her time.

This will show the photographer you respect their time and will also show them you know what you are doing. It will also encourage them to answer your questions because it will not take too much of their time.

Let us Learn Together
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