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  • Writer's pictureMichael McClanahan

Enabling the Entrepreneurial Mindset: Step 4 – Exploring Meaningful Relationships

Entrepreneurs are people who have the vision to identify and capitalize on risky and new business opportunities. However, underneath the veil lies abundant skills that allow the pioneering spirit to flourish. These skills are not necessarily something the individual is born with, but a conviction and willingness to seek out and exploit innovative ideas. Step 1 unleashes the mind to develop, create experiments in the mind, and generate potential opportunities. Step 2 emphasizes how a resilient mindset eschews setbacks and uses them as a learning experience. Step 3 points out the need for a highly tuned financial acumen and the ability to understand, interpret, and project a sound end-to-end approach that maximizes profitability while managing the necessary cash flow and investing in the future. The next step in a successful entrepreneurial mindset underscores the importance of cultivating meaningful relationships thoughtfully and responsibly.

The intent of establishing a successful relationship goes beyond traditional business networking methods of handshakes and name-dropping. The most beneficial approach creates a commitment to building, nurturing, and sustaining a long-term connection with one another. Seeking out and finding others to fill gaps, complement existing skills, or even find a mentor helps solidify and provide valuable insights and build camaraderie with others with similar professional interests. However, establishing a comprehensive business circle of allies takes time. The goal is not to have a Rolodex of contacts but a pool of diverse and sought-after colleagues that offer mutually impactful benefits.

Investing energy in one’s existing pool of friends and colleagues is crucial in establishing a solid foundation. Many of the people one knows can provide valuable insights, advice, and connections to others to expand upon an existing relationship. Former colleagues, friends, family and extended family members, and past and present classmates who work in a similar industry or capacity or related fields can help build upon their knowledge and connect themselves to others. Existing relationships might also allow the entrepreneur to access opportunities and expansion through referrals and crucial introductions to others that may exist.

Technological tools such as social media offer a broad spectrum of visibility by establishing individual connections and group affiliations. LinkedIn, X, and Facebook platforms are typical examples that provide opportunities to connect with diverse people with common interests. Sharing relevant content, direct engagement in conversations and threads, and aligning and joining specific groups can help build and establish the necessary DNA to build upon something that initially did not exist and has a global impact. Proactively creating and sharing information through articles and blogs about areas of interest can also help attract and build a more extensive network of people with common interests.

Joining professional organizations, chambers of commerce, and industry-specific organizations can help become an active voice in the community served and abroad. Serving as chair or participation in events also elevates visibility. Volunteering on committees and connecting with others routinely to share and drive change in the area served helps to show the devotion and commitment that can provide the social support to further one’s entrepreneurial dream.

Giving and offering help to others without expecting anything in return is an attribute found in a servant’s heart and a committed investment to improving the world. Sharing one’s time, talent, and treasure within one’s network demonstrates a willingness to share and sustain what matters to enable economic and social conditions to thrive. Serving as a means to connect others to people who can benefit from the connection and building rapport amongst one’s colleagues creates an aura of caring and a group commitment to one another that lasts a lifetime.

Authenticity and genuineness in the interest of others through openness, inclusiveness, and acceptance of new ideas demonstrate a willingness to embrace change and discover new paths that may enhance the entrepreneurial dream. Open and transparent relationships can open doors and help to drive meaningful and impactful opportunities through genuine collaborations with others. Active listening to the needs and perspectives of others will also open the door to new and innovative concepts that may have been sitting idle or not considered.

Staying in touch and actively engaging in building relationships is a continuous process. Reaching out through phone calls, email, social media, and in-person helps to strengthen the bond between others and show a genuine commitment to nurturing and maintaining the connection. Simply sending out updates on progress about one’s business ideas, sharing informative articles, and acknowledging and congratulating connections on their achievements help to show genuine empathy and care for one another.

Relationship building takes time, but with a bit of persistence and nurturing of the relationships, it can build lifelong connections and an opportunity to impact the individual and the world in which they live and operate. Relationships are always two-way, so proactively investing time and energy through support and commitment is imperative. The more one invests in making a difference in the lives of others, the more obvious it becomes in their life what matters and the impact their innovative dream can have on the lives of others.


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