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Making Business Friends – Good News For Introverts
As an introvert, that unwelcome word makes me picture standing around at a busy event trying to talk to people when I’d rather be home reading.
But we know for a fact that relationships mean everything – in life and in business. Relationships can create emotional and material wealth, lift us, strengthen us, and give us new ideas and mediums for expression.
So it follows that as we create a new business, we’d be wise to create new relationships along with it.
Not just regular “vendor relationships” where we pay people to do things or make contracts with for mutual benefit.
Today, we’re talking about long-term, genuine business-related friendships that go beyond the immediate exchange and extend into the future.
But how do we do that? Especially if you’re like me and would rather stay home, minding your own business – literally?
My friend Jamie Swanson over at The Modern Tog has been slowly changing my mind about what forging new business friendships can look like.
That it doesn’t have to be hard, boring, or time-consuming.
I spoke with her last week and asked her to share some of her best tips. Today, in an unusual format for a P4P post, I’ve got a little something for you to listen to.
In this TED-talk-ish length conversation, we cover:
- Why bother creating new business friendships when you’re so busy?
- Navigating the awkward intersection of business + social rules
- The mistake people make when trying to start a new relationship
- Jamie – owner of multiple businesses and a homeschooling mother of 5 (with one on the way) – shares her exact practice for finding time to create and nurture business friendships
- The good news for introverts about “networking”
- The brilliant tip Jamie throws in at the end about how to reach super busy folks at bigger businesses
Just hit play below!
(If that doesn’t work for you, you can download the mp3 by right clicking here and selecting “save link as.”)
Pretty good stuff, huh?
If you want more info on contacting fellow business owners, this post might also interest you: How To Request Something From A Busy Person (And Get A Reply)
Let me know what you think in the comments – does this sound more manageable than just nebulous “networking”?
Haven’t listened yet but want to thank you already! The topic hits home.
Hope you got a chance to listen, and enjoyed! Thanks for writing.
Love this! Just the boost I needed to jump into my journey of networking with other businesses, thank you both so much!
Hooray! You’re welcome!
Wow. So, yeah, I get the introvert thing. Even thinking about relationship building, personal or business, can leave me feeling just exhausted. I mean, how does that stuff work, anyway? I think relationship building might feel a little predatory to people who are as (neurotically?) introverted as I am, so I have always been reluctant to appear like I am looking for quid pro quo. But you two really spoke to that in such a clear and helpful way. For the first time, I actually feel a little inspired to set up a blog. I *like* helping people and I would certainly love to feature business that I dig.
So, for the first time, I sort of see a path in the dark woods of networking. Thanks, Jenika and thanks, Jamie!
I get what you’re saying, and it does feel weird to people who aren’t naturally inclined to network. I’ve been surprised in the past year, though, how much meeting new people enables me to help others – both help them, and introducing them to others who can help. And when I have questions I have someone to call on – everyone wins. I wish you luck as you grow your own business friendships. 🙂
I have been networking in person for at least 5 years. It does get easier, and I have gotten jobs from it. Being a commercial photographer, this is even more important, because I meet a lot of people in business.
Fantastic! There really is something wonderful about face-to-face interaction and yes – in some industries it becomes even more important! The more you engage with someone the more info you have about them and it only makes sense that you’d want to hire people you’d interacted with in person over a relatively faceless submitted portfolio (or whatever)….thanks for your perspective.
Thank you Jenika and Jamie for this advice!! I have been actively trying to figure out how to build a relationship with other businesses on my own, which has been frustrating and slow going. I am of course also an introvert and find networking very daunting. This advice could not have come at a better time. Both of you are always so helpful, thank you!!
You’re most welcome, and I’m glad it was helpful!
Thank you ladies for your insights.
Gratitude always, Michelle