It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know
In life, you never know who you are going to meet and who might launch your life and career into a completely different direction. Business really isn’t all about what you know, it’s about who you know.
A mentor should be somebody that you can look up to, and whose knowledge, experience, and values you respect. Someone that you can look to for guidance, and can bounce ideas off of and someone that you can look forward to for honest feedback. It is important for you to decide what you want to look for in a mentor. One of the most important things to do as an entrepreneur to be successful is to surround yourself with successful people. “If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room.” A mentor can guide you and teach you from his or her own experience is a valuable tool to have in the business world.
Networking is meeting and exchanging information with one person (or a group of individuals) for the purpose of cultivating productive business relationships. Usually, networking takes place face to face, but with today’s technology, you can network with people all over the world. There are many different organized networking groups, from chambers of commerce to small-industry-specific mastermind groups.
There are many contractors that are not aware that this opportunity exists and they do not realize what an asset a networking group can be. When you get into a networking group, you are not going to automatically start getting more business. Business and networking are all about building relationships. It is important to attend every week and put the effort in to build those relationships.
Once you get to know these people, you will start to form what we call “power groups.” Power groups are composed of similar, corresponding industries that complement each other’s businesses. An example of this would be a realtor, a mortgage lender, and an insurance agent. In the contracting and roofing industries, it is very important to network with realtors, insurance agents, solar companies, and general contractors who don’t specialize in roofing. It is important to connect with these people because a good relationship is what drives people to confidently make recommendations and give you referrals.