We’ve all been to a networking session either organised by the local business chamber, or similar organisation. And when used correctly they can hold great value. But what irks me, is that when you introduce yourself you’re defined by your SME as an entrepreneur, and people do business with people.
If I am looking for an accountant, I will look for someone who has similar values to me, someone who sees the purpose of being a business person as I do. If I can’t sit and have a cup of coffee with someone, how can you expect me to form a business relationship with them?
When presenting an elevator pitch some jump straight to their accomplishments and what their business does. The truth is, I’m interested in knowing your priorities. What defines you as a person? Are you someone I can do business with?
What your business does isn’t you, it’s a part of you. Few sit and consider what defines them as a person. And it’s incredibly valuable to sit and reflect. If you don’t identify what matters most to you, you’ll never know if you’re heading in the right direction, if you’re working with the right people to get you there, or if what you’re doing makes you truly happy.
Do you want success or happiness?
What are you willing to compromise on, to get what you want?
What could you eliminate in order to gain more?
Do you seek self-satisfaction or acceptance from others?
What percentage of your time is spent doing what you enjoy?
Do you do things because you want to, or because you have to?
What do you consider a higher priority: having more or being more?
Do work demands interfere with your personal life?
How much influence do others have on your priorities?
Do you value possessions more than relationships and experiences?
This list isn’t extensive, but it will provoke a feeling and an emotion in you, and that emotion will let you know if you’re on the right course or not.
Always remember to:
Be your own person and make yourpriorities a priority. Focussing other people’s happiness will see you sacrificing your happiness.
Don’t be afraid to make the tough choices.
Keep it simple. Don’t become blinded by ambition, power, or success.
Learn how to say, no.
Keep your promises.
Let your actions speak for themselves.
Make a life while you make a living
It’s easy to get so caught up in the day-to-day ‘busyness’ that we lose sight of the big picture – whatever that might be for you. And when you finally take a moment to catch your breath, you realise what you should have done. Unfortunately, life’s not a dress rehearsal.
So follow your passions, focus on the things that matter, and be grateful for what you have. Enrich your life and leave every room a little better than when you entered it.
Now, if someone asks you to “tell me about yourself,” what would you say? While career and entrepreneurial accomplishments are something, they’re not everything.