I was visiting with my friend Mandy Shoemaker and her sister-in-law and business partner, Michala Gibson, at their recent startup launch party. They have a terrific new venture, Prairie Elder Care, whereby they offer residential memory care and elder transition consulting services to seniors and their families.
In a conversation with Mandy’s brother, Jim Gibson, we talked about the way entrepreneurs identify support and resources to help them get their businesses off the ground. Jim’s comment, “Tell everyone everything.” I loved this perspective – the idea of opening oneself to others in order to share ideas, seek input, express needs for the business and identify necessary resources. It’s an opportunity to utilize word of mouth as a very powerful tool.
Oh, I know, it sounds so scary… what will others think? Will I be judged? Will my idea(s) sound stupid? Will they steal my idea(s)? Will I sound selfish? Will they laugh at me? Will I be heard? The questions and self-doubt and fear must seem endless. But, let’s flip the line of questioning…
Might this individual be excited about my idea(s)? Have they had an experience or do they possess information that might be useful to my cause? Does the person have access to resources that I need? Are they interested in investing in my business? Could this be a customer in the making? Yes!
So, whether you’re an entrepreneur, an associate of someone else’s organization, a professional volunteer or someone simply looking to connect, take a chance. Don’t hold things so close to the vest. Open up. You simply never know who you might be talking with right now who could prove a critical player in your future.