Many of the networks that we relied upon for business, friendship and referrals don’t exist anymore, or at least they have demonstrably changed. The old coffee shop, the breakfast place where you used to meet. All of the old geographies, the emotional geographies we once relied upon, don’t exist anymore. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t networks to be had and relationships to be built.
Now might be a very good time to review your database of reliable contacts. Definitely be realistic. Relationships in networks take years to build; they’re not like friend-follows on Facebook and likes on Instagram. Networks are the things businesses and careers are founded upon.
Everybody has gone through unimaginable destruction and losses. The key to rebuilding anything is to go about it slowly and be ready to change as needed.
Remind yourself that everybody feels disconnected.
No one knows what the new business landscape is going to look like or how it’s going to work, so don’t expect things to go back to the way they were. But there are some things that may not change and that’s a good starting point.
And Then There Is Coffee
Sometimes even better than a glass of wine or beer, coffee can stimulate the right conversational atmosphere where business thrives. Especially a good cup of coffee. Some places just have the best Danish. Food is a great way to restart a relationship.
Another Factor: Changed Schedules
Since the kids are out of school, or some of them are being homeschooled, scheduling is really being tested. If someone is not available, don’t take it personally and don’t dig a negative pit for yourself. You don’t know what you don’t know.
Don’t Throw in the Towel / Don’t Slam the Door
The people you’re going to rely upon in the next few years may be different than those you have relied upon years ago.
Get dressed and showered every morning even if you’re working from home.
Learn how to become a Zoom business goddess or god.
Be willing to learn and integrate new technologies, especially video. There are all kinds of apps coming out that allow you to send short video messages. A small video can say a lot more than a very long email. And an invitation that comes through a video, if it is authentic and genuine, will result in a higher percentage of meetings.
The four dynamics that make for a great relationship: proximity, regular meaningful interactions, empathetic and compatible outlook, and commitment to the other person and their needs.
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