Are you collecting or connecting? You are better off connecting. No man is an island. We all need people. Acknowledging we need people is just as important as being clear as to why we need them. And there lies the rub.
It is really easy to go through life meeting people. Just go to any event happening near you. You don’t even have to go that far. If you schooled anywhere, it stands to reason to think you weren’t alone in the classroom at some point. You had classmates and teachers.
You have met people.
Every now and then, you meet someone and the only thing you can think is: where have you been all my life? I’m not even talking in a romantic capacity. I’m talking about meeting someone who helps your blurs become clearer, helps your edges becomes sharper, someone who puts the light on you in such a way that you cannot help but shine. You want to be better, not to impress them, but because they remind you that you can be more.
At almost every event, there’s that one person who knows everybody. And then, there’s that other one person who ‘knows’ everybody. You know the first. The second may require some clarification.
I’m referring to the person who name-drops popular people at every opportunity; that person who wants to be seen as ‘connected’, seen as though he knows people and, therefore, he must be someone by inference. This person in question hardly has meaningful conversations with these people he meets. He hardly actually talks to them. But he has their numbers, he’s friends with them on Facebook, he has their WhatsApp number, and so on.
The one huge difference between connecting and collecting is their usefulness. Collecting people may put you in a position to impress someone, but in the long run, it doesn’t come to anything. You cannot do much with the people in your collection because they do not ‘know’ you, have no reason to make any sort of investment in you, and therefore are not obliged to share anything with you. There’s no exchange of value; there’s no rallying point or common ground, which comes to a waste of time for the truly discerning.
Anything not growing is dead. That’s why we need people around us so we’re constantly reminded about evolving and growing, becoming better than we are. It’s not as though these people make us feel bad about ourselves, they just don’t let us rest on our laurels. They are there in our lives to push us when necessary and to remind us to rest – when necessary. That is what connecting is.
We need those kinds of people.
For someone who is in business for themselves, happy moments are few and far between – at least at the beginning. Things can become so bleak; getting out of bed and getting things done look Herculean. In those moments, the kind of people we have around us can make all the difference. There should be at least one person in everyone’s life that you can be yourself with and tell whatever because the connection you have with them goes beyond making money and enjoying the trappings of success.
People are important. If good will comes to a person, it will be via people – via someone. In the same vein, if evil will come to a person, it will be by a person. So how do we forge deep and meaningful connections with people we meet?
Sincerity. Honesty. Empathy. Actually knowing something helps too.
I’m sure you know people in the two groups we’ve spoken about – people who hang around because they see you headed somewhere and want to associate with your success and people who genuinely care about you and what you’re trying to build. The truth is: it is a risk to keep negative people and hangers-on around you.
A ship carrying too much dead weight will hardly get past the port before sinking. To keep going, you have to constantly and consistently review and evaluate your circle. I read somewhere that you’re a reflection of the five people closest to you. So, who do you have in your circle? Who are you connected with/to?
And more importantly, which one are you – a collector or a connector?
Want to learn how to genuinely connect to people, click here.
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