There is an old saying – nothing make you crazy faster than hanging out with crazy people. The same could be said for being successful – nothing makes you more successful faster than hanging around with other successful people. One common thread with successful people is that they say that they had the help of the people they surrounded themselves with – few say they did it alone. Make it a point to associate with interesting and successful people.
Here are a few ideas on the types of people you should get to know:
- Other Creatives and Artists – Hopefully these associations will keep you abreast of what is going on in your craft and the marketplace. Don’t limit your creative friends to those who are just like you or those who have a similar style. Check out creatives and artists that you don’t like – you may get some great ideas and learn something new.
- Business Professionals – you need to get to know professionals such as accountants, lawyers, advertising and marketing professionals and consultants just to name a few. These people have a wealth of knowledge of the business world and can give you ideas on how to apply them to your business.
- Suppliers – Your suppliers can keep you informed to new products and technologies that go into your creative products and services. They can help you with ways to save money and time and are a great source of referrals.
- Customers – Keep a good relationships with your customers and prospects. Whether you sell to the consumer are have intermediaries such as galleries or wholesalers make it a point to make them part of your business relationships.
- Business Associations – A lot of creatives I meet totally miss out on why they should belong to business associations. A good start is to get involved with your local chamber of commerce. They are a wealth of business information and resources. Also check out groups or associations that your customers belong to.
- Social Media – Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin are great ways to start and maintain your business relationships. If you aren’t using these tools you need to start now! I suggest you target your business relationships and have an interesting and inviting profile. Get to know the people in your network, take an interest in what they have to say, make comments and give feedback on what they are saying. In short start making some friends and valuable contacts.
- Have a Story – Work on your story or elevator speech or whatever you want to call it. Concentrate on why you are unique and what benefit you provide to your customers – stay away from “I am a …. or I do ….”. What is your secret sauce?
Ok, now you have a few ideas. Go out and make some new acquaintances and friends. Surround yourself with smart and diverse people. Get out of your studio or workshop and participate in the world – you will find it a lot of fun and profitable.