How to Influence and Impact lives of others
One Life to Live
One of the greatest life lessons I have learnt results from attending more than forty funerals. At each funeral I have always listened intently to the eulogy.
Whether it has been the funeral of a five-year-old child whose parents’ hopes and dreams were crushed, or the celebration of life of my eighty-five-year-old mother, ninety-five-year-old mother-in-law, or my stepfather and friends taken too early by cancer, or young adults taking their own life, or sons and daughters of friends killed in accidents … it is connection and relationships that leave an indelible mark, not the amount of dollars they made or the material things they accrued.
We have one life to live, one chance to influence and impact lives of others.
Nurture Your Relationships
The online world can make it easier to stay in touch but harder to stay connected in a way that really sustains your relationships. We all get busy and distracted by our next priority. It’s so easy to let opportunities go because we feel we’ve left it too long and too much time has passed. I cannot emphasise enough—don’t let time and opportunities go to waste. Make the effort and reach out. Invest both personally and professionally in face-to-face situations
Relationships have the power to teach, persuade, inspire, motivate and propel us forward.
Your Time Matters
From the time that I started my business, it has evolved and grown, just like me. Originally it started as ‘a spare pair of hands’ for busy people to get things done.
In 2013, I realised that creating events and opportunities for people to learn was something I could achieve. I started organising and facilitating events for business owners and professionals to build authentic relationships face-to-face and offer more than a transactional card swap.
I know that small business can be a very lonely space and put enormous pressure on individuals and families. I grew up in a small business family. My parents marriage split up as their relationship broke down and I remember constant arguements about cashflow and other business struggles.
I wanted to create a supportive community for likeminded people allowing them to access the knowledge at a reasonable cost and boost their confidence, helping them build the business they desired and most importantly to create connections that provided the support they need.
My husband, Leigh, and I have now developed a dynamic program of business events, strategic workshops and think tanks for small business owners and professionals who seek professional development, community and growth.
Networking - More than a Business Tool
Networking is so much more than a business tool; it is a life skill and catalyst to change. Every encounter unlocks new opportunities and connections and allows us to make informed decisions. It transforms thinking and grows our awareness of the world around us and our part in it. It helps us decide if we actually want to change and grow or not. It helps us build sustainable relationships that provide our core needs.
The best relationships are those that are honest, sincere, of value to both parties, and bear the test of time. This should be your goal; to nurture mutual relationships and treasure your connections. One-sided relationships can be disheartening. Do not leave all the effort to one person. Participate with sincerity in the ebb and flow of your shared and individual needs.
I would have met so many people through my life and especially since I started my business. I am grateful and honoured to have had the opportunity to connect and was driven to share their stories in my book. These stories will prompt you to listen, share and make time to have conversations with new people, and form relationships to support you, as you will always benefit, personally and professionally.
Relationships strengthen our ability to learn about ourselves. We review and adjust our behaviour. We start to identify and understand individual difference, and then adjust how we relate to others. Over time we appreciate how one person may react differently to another faced with the same situation.
Different approaches and perspectives create interesting conversations and thought-provoking reflections. Sharing information provides opportunities for people to make informed choices about what to change, when to change and sometimes whether to change at all.
Support is Available
A supportive network can make all the difference. At some point all of us need the support of friends and family, and most of us have people we can lean on. But not everyone recognises that substantial support is available from unexpected sources; they are either unaware of the possibilities or so immersed in their situation they cannot see or think beyond barriers that are holding them back. I want you to know you do have a choice and there is opportunity to lean on others for support - you just have to know where to look.
Sometimes support is as simple as being able to share our concerns or say what we think to people who will listen and respond in a constructive way. I often think of the wise words J.K. Rowling wrote for Dumbledore, ‘Help will always be given to those who ask.’ The ‘help’ may not solve the problem, but it will make a difference and perhaps enough of a difference to trigger practical change.
Business owners regularly face into problems when growing their businesses and finding a way to turn these into opportunities is a valuable skill to acquire. Ever-changing conditions require us to be innovative and learning to adapt is particularly important in today’s competitive markets. You need to continually move forward. Doing nothing usually makes matters worse.
In my experience there are common themes to the problems faced by business owners. I urge you to have authentic conversations about the difficulties you might be facing in business at real time networking events. I am positive, you will not be alone. The opportunity to offer support and explore problems with other professionals and people who have managed similar challenges is so beneficial. I know that you will never be the only one facing into a particular issue. Yours might vary to some degree, but I am sure you will find from sharing that you are not alone. In effect, networking provides the perfect forum to join in, and to give and receive support.
Networks of strong relationships provide the support we need and can also cheer us up, make us laugh, challenge our beliefs, love us, inspire us and educate us. Our networks are there, often in the background, subtle and strong, and are often just what we need when we are challenged, personally and professionally.
Listen. Talk to others face-to-face, share stories together, amplify stories that inspire you and, most importantly, engage with your HEART. For when you do, your eyes are opened to endless possibilities: your visions, other people’s hopes and dreams, and the opportunity to help and support each other.
Don’t wait for a better time; start now … your influence and impact is important to your network…. and your time does matter. You have the ability to make a difference.
START NOW—arrange face-to-face conversations and explore the opportunities for relationships and support that surround you.
If you are needing support- reach out to your network or one of these organisations…no one needs to feel alone-
Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636
LifeLine 13 11 14
Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800
Headspace 1800 650 890
Mensline Australia 1300 78 99 78