I remember the day I woke up and realized we had 50+ people working for our company. Only two years before, we were a four-person startup. How did we get here? I asked myself. The answer boiled down to two simple words: Attitude and Connections.
What did attitude and connections have to do with our success? Everything…as you’ll see below.
While I’ll share my experiences today exclusively from the business world, you can apply these principles to every area of your life.
The Right Attitude
By my count, seven of the people we hired at our business came as a result of chance meetings. The courteous cell phone salesperson, the waiter who went above and beyond the call of duty, or the daycare worker who radiated a positive, go-getter spirit.
They had no experience in our industry, but they had the right attitude.
You never know who is watching and what opportunities await. Always keep the right attitude.We didn’t hire people necessarily for their expertise. We hired them for their fit into our culture and their ability to be advocates for our service and message. People with great attitudes, regardless of where or when we met them, were potential hires. It didn’t matter if we even needed another team member. We often snatched up people with the right attitudes at seemingly wrong times, just to get them on our bus. (NOTE: I don’t suggest doing this unless you genuinely have the budget to do so)The Story of AnnieOne example of how the right attitude can lead to new opportunities is the story of Annie.Our CEO’s dad had a problem with his phone and Annie just happened to be the person who helped him at the cell phone store. She spent almost an hour helping him and was relentless in finding a solution to help him. He left the store and immediately called his son to tell him about Annie. Within a week, she interviewed for a job and was hired quickly. Almost immediately, this twenty-year old was making nearly 25% more than she was making at the cell phone store.Over the next few years, she moved around in the company, as we continually sought out the best seat on our bus for her. She excelled in each role and continued to see her salary increase.
The Right ConnectionsOf our first fifty or so hires, only one was hired as a result of an online résumé or search firm and that was for a very technical position.At least forty were hired as a direct result of our network. The reality is that if you want a job you love, filling out job applications all day is probably going to get you nowhere. And if you are looking for talented people with the right attitude, trying to cull through the mounds of applications isn’t the best use of your time.In her book, The Millionaire Zone: 7 Winning Steps to a Seven-Figure Fortune, Jennifer Openshaw cites research that shows that millionaires do a better job of leveraging their networks than non-millionaires. Whether it’s their friends, co-workers, people at their church, their gym, or anywhere, millionaires leverage their networks better than non-millionaires. The secret to their success is that they overcome the fears that all of us have:
The lesson: You never know who is watching and what opportunities await. Always keep the right attitude. Millionaires know this (and they knew it long before they were millionaires). It’s one of their secrets to success.
- Being rejected
- Looking like a kiss-up
- Not knowing what to say
- Not wanting to take advantage of others
Did you catch that? Millionaires (and all successful networkers) have the same fears you do. But they overcome those fears and do what it takes to build a powerful network.Our business growth was the direct result of the talented people we hired and the talented people we hired were the direct result of our powerful networks.
It’s Possible!The reality is that we live in a world where the right attitude and the right connections matter.Imagine if someone currently living in poverty applied these two simple lessons.I dare anyone to suggest they won’t advance financially. The reality is that we live in a world where the right attitude and the right connections matter. Smiling, making eye contact, giving a firm handshake, introducing yourself, serving with excellence, asking the right questions, giving of your time…those are the things that lead to “getting discovered.” Those are the things that get you a great job and help you build the right network.Those are the not-so secret success secrets that millionaires use and you can use too, regardless of your background. As I mentioned at the beginning, these principles don’t just apply to business, but every area of your life. The right attitude and the right connections will help you achieve whatever your dreams may be.How have the right attitude or right connections benefited you in the past?
The lesson: You’ve heard it said many times that your network is your net worth. Get over your fears of building the relationships that will benefit you in the future. Start building your networking today. If you need help, check out the live event I’m doing with John Corcoran and Mark Sieverkropp.