Career 27 February 2018
It’s a natural habit that when you’re over-the-moon excited about something, the first people you will turn to are your close friends and family members. You’ll find yourself itching with joy to spill all the details of your biggest accomplishments, gigantic moments of success, and the newest products or services you’ve decided to add to your Rolodex.
But one thing you might not realize, as you bask in your very own moment of career bliss, is that those closet to you could start to feel like you’re overwhelming them with business news, all the time, and they have tuned out. That’s why you might start to notice that you’re getting more Facebook love from your good pals when you post business things or that when you’re asking them to share, buy, attend, or take any other action to support you, you’re getting a very muted response.
Wondering what the best ways are to approach your personal network of friends and family are when you’re trying to promote your business? Here are five annoying-free ways to do just that.
1. Don’t Make it Just About You
Think about it like this: pretend you were at a party with all of your friends and family members. If you spent the entire time talking to them just about you and your accomplishments and your business asks, people would get bored and really frustrated. Make sure that your conversations with your close network of people are not always about you.
Ask them about what’s up in their life, see how you can help them out, and provide them with material that’s not just promotion all the time. Keep your promotional activity online and in person to a limited frequency every single month.
2. Give Your Personal Network Inside Access
One benefit you can provide your personal network so that they feel like they are part of your success, is to provide them with inside access to whatever it is you are promoting. Perhaps you offer them to sign up as beta testers, hand over exclusive promo codes to them, or let them try and review a product or service before it’s open to the public. Giving them an “in” to what you are releasing will make them feel special and like they mean something more to you than the general public.
3. Skip the Cold Calls & Emails
Go ahead and take your loved ones off your cold call and email list. Instead of pushing them to buy, buy, buy, make more times to have one-on-one conversations with them. Take them off any generic communication list you have and commit to spending the time to tell them about what it is you’re up to in a more personal way.
4. Give Them a Reason Why
The best way to tap into your personal network is to, of course, get personal. Be sure to give the people you know best an individual reason why they should support you and what benefit they will personally get from supporting you. That way, you are mending your “ask” to your audience and it will come off less like a script and more like something you’ve spent time thinking about and brainstorming per person.
5. Throw An Exclusive Party
Everyone enjoy a party, especially when there are free things at the party. Get the party catered with drinks, food, and even product or service demos too. Maybe there are even giveaways at the party so that those who are close to you can help celebrate and get in on our action too.
4 min read
One of the few things I remember from grade school biology is the concept of tropism. In plain language, tropism is the reaction of a living thing, like a plant, towards a stimulus like sunlight or heat. You've likely seen this before but just didn't recognize it for what it was. If you've ever seen the leaves of a potted plant bending towards a windowpane, that's tropism in action. The plant is bending towards the sunlight.
If you've ever seen the leaves of a potted plant bending towards a windowpane, that's tropism in action.
In our everyday lives, we are all inundated with stimuli throughout the day. The driver in front of us that stalls at the yellow light and zooms through the red light, leaving us behind to wait. Or the customer service rep that leaves us on hold for an ungodly amount of time, only for the call to prematurely drop. There are so many examples both common and unique to our individual lives. The trouble begins when we form the habit of responding to everything — particularly negative stimuli. By doing this, our mental peace is disrupted and diverted making us slaves to whatever happens to happen. Much like the plant bending towards sunlight, we oftentimes react and lean into whatever is happening around us. Now take that concept and multiply it by the number of things that can happen in a day, week, or month. What happens to you mentally with so many emotional pivots?
For me, the result is: Restlessness. Anxiety. Sleepness. Mindless Eating. Everything besides peace of mind.
Much like the plant bending towards sunlight, we oftentimes react and lean into whatever is happening around us.
Earlier this year, something pretty trivial happened to me. I'm sure this has happened to you at some point in your life also. I was walking through a door and, as I always do, glanced back and held the door longer and wider than normal for the person coming behind me. My gracious gesture was met with silence — no thank you, no smile, not even a nod. I remember being so annoyed at this travesty of justice. How dare they not acknowledge me and thank me for holding the door? After all, I didn't have to do it. I know I spent the next few hours thinking about it and probably even texted a few friends so that they could join in on my rant and tell me how right I was to be upset. In hindsight, I should not have allowed this pretty petty thing to occupy my mind and heart, but I did. I let it shake my peace.
I've since taken some classes on mindfulness and what I've learned (and I'm still learning) is the art of being aware — being aware of the present and my feelings. Recognizing when I'm triggered towards annoyance or anger gives me the opportunity to take a step back to understand why and assess whether it deserves my attention and energy. We're all human and having emotions is part of the deal but as mindful adults, it's critically important to choose what you're going to care about and let everything else pass along. There are several tools on the market to help with this but the Headspace app has really helped me in my mindfulness journey. The lessons are guided and coupled with some pretty cute animations.
Recognizing when I'm triggered towards annoyance or anger gives me the opportunity to take a step back to understand why and assess whether it deserves my attention and energy.
Over the course of the next week, I'd like to challenge you to pay more attention to your reactions. How aware are you of how you allow your environment to affect you? Are you highly reactive? Do you ruminate for hours or even days on events that are insignificant in your life? If so, practicing a bit of mindfulness may be the way to go.