Why Every Young Entrepreneur Needs to Invest in Their Network
In our recent blog, we talked about the importance of surrounding yourself with coworkers who supplement your own strengths and weaknesses. Your employees are the heartbeat of the company and the product it produces. So, if who you hire is that important to a company’s success, how do you build your network as a young entrepreneur? Here are some tips for building your network:
Stand out and be upstanding
There is no magic formula to building your network but the best place to start is with the people you know. Connect with family members and friends. Spark a conversation with professors and colleagues whom you may not have spoken to in awhile. Taking time to intentionally reach out to these people and foster long term relationships will greatly help in your professional career. Your reputation matters. If people like you and enjoy working with you, there is a lifelong business opportunity in that relationship if you are able to invest in it.
Don’t treat people like a transaction
One of the myths about networking is that you can only network when you are looking for something. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. Building a relationship takes time. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your connections and just ask them how they are doing or what they have been up to. Be sincere in creating a relationship that goes beyond the business world. As a young entrepreneur, you will need people who you know and can trust as you begin your career. The first people I hired to be part of my team were people I knew because I was confident in their abilities and in our relationship.
Invest, invest, invest (and we don’t just mean money!)
As an entrepreneur, investing time into building relationships is the key to success. Invest in relationships with your employees or coworkers, networks, and investors. These relationships don’t form overnight. It takes a lot of time and effort to let those relationships blossom. However, it is worth taking time to invest because once your company culture is defined from those relationships, people will be lining up to be a part of it.
It may seem crazy as a young entrepreneur to think of yourself as an investor but this role will set you up for success if done well. Humans thrive when they feel a personal connection to something. Building a network of trust can help your company hit the ground running. So start investing in the network even before you have the idea for your new startup. You never know where a connection or relationship can take you.