The simple things don’t require connections to people who have already “made it.”
Last week I touched on the power of simple hand-written notes.
Some of the responses I’ve received have been along the lines of not being able to obtain the contact information of well-known, “made” individuals or not physically being able to do the handwriting.
I get the latter. As I age, my hands tire. Gripping the pen is harder. Typing is easier. The point is just to connect. One reason I like Brett McKay so much, and often find myself referring people to his site “The Art of Manliness” is because every now and then I’ll receive an email from him, asking what’s up. How are things going? What’s new? It’s a bonus that what he shares on his site is great information. Who am I to Brett other than a publicist wanting to pitch clients, but . . . He keeps in touch and I very much appreciate the kindness.
As far as reaching out to made individuals goes . . . Don’t start there.
Start with a neighbor.
Start with a friend.
Start with a relative.
Don’t be fake.
Build a relationship with them. Don’t do it because you’re building up for an ask. Do it because it is a good thing to do. Friends and relatives and neighbors can be a great source of feedback in addition to being great supporters.
Invite them into your life—and take a genuine interest in their lives.
Over the past 17 years of working in a home-base office, this is the piece that I’ve struggled with the most. It takes time and energy—and when you’re working at home, you’re the employee and the boss, the secretary and the cleaning service, and so much more.
You have to be the relationship builder, too.
Go to lunch with a friend.
Meet a neighbor for coffee every now and then.
Call that aunt you haven’t seen since your were 8.
Create your own community and you’ll find that they’ll be there for you when it counts. Just be genuine and remember that it goes both ways.
AND THEN . . . After all that, expand your community. You’ve got to build a base first.