Human interaction is something I've noticed that keeps me striving for my end goal. Here are some key things I've found in the last year that matter to me and seem to have worked in creating opportunities.
+ EXPOSURE: no matter what it is we are striving to achieve it is important that we are seen and heard. Social Media has been a great facilitator in allowing us to access a larger audience at a smaller basic cost . Using Blogs, Twitter and Facebook profiles to raise our profile amongst friends, strangers, peers, potential business partners and, more importantly, mentors is, for me, an effective way of highlighting your interests and experience in a softer and engaging approach. Creating a profile on these platforms can give people you meet a place to come and find out more.
+ NETWORKING: is super important when having an online profile, you've basically created an interactive business card but you still have to physically exist to provide the reason for discovery. Meeting lots of people in one space is effective but also limits what we can say and do in the small time we may have with one person. Handing out a business card is a start but the business card should be more than a contact detail. It should create an opportunity for the receiver to research and look you up – with guidance on the information found!. We all look for ways to remember the person who's business card we have after meeting so many people, this just makes it that little bit easier and a good PR activity.
+ CLEAR IDENTITY: If you've read Identity Thrift then you'll note that I have multiple identities at present but my main goal is ensuring that each one is clear. My professional Facebook profile is clear, here my blogging identity is a little more general and is a place for my thoughts but is still important in my end goal and for what I want to achieve. I believe it to be absolutely essential to be clear and honest about what it is you're striving for with people you meet, chat to and talk at. Profiles that you've directed people from Networking events to should be consistent and relevant to the opportunity you're looking for. You wouldn't give someone the telephone number of a stripper if what they need Pain Au Chocolat!
+ SUPPORT NETWORK: Through networking, identity consistency and clarity, self-exposing (ooh er!) and lots of chat should start to build up a network of people you trust and can begin to rely on for advice, support and mutually beneficial business opportunities. Having a support network in different social circles has helped me pursue my own dreams to set-up a business
+ CONFIDENCE: Confidence in my ideas have come from understanding what it is I want and talking it over with people I trust, some have even offered to provide help and guidance for a very little more than a cup of coffee or just their own value of sharing experiences.
+ RESEARCH: My goodness this has been ridiculously important, if not obvious to even the most oblivious of people. Taking on advice and looking into avenues, systems, regulations, EVERYTHING, that you discuss and share has helped me develop my idea to be competitive, interesting and evolving. It has also helped me put substance behind the passion.
+ ACTIVITY: Ugh! It's easy to fall off the Radar if you become to inward, scared or contemplative about succeeding. JUST DO IT! If you feel your idea has changed or is changing, talk about it. Call up on a personal friend to chat about your emotional attachments and detachments. Email that technical friend who can help you pin-things down. Skype that amazing person who just knows exactly what you're doing wrong and can put you on track. Or, just blog about what you're going through! It helps to still create activity around your product to remind you why you're doing it. Remember, failure only occurs if you gave it everything and you learned nothing. Otherwise they're just set-backs and as we, as humans, have been able to make the most interesting opportunities with our lives for thousands of years! From discovering fire to building firefox, the wheel to flight and all our technology advancements, we can do anything that we set our mind to. You've just got to set your mind to it.
Building a business or developing an idea needs love and attention. You have to date your idea, show it your friends and introduce it to your family, then when it's ready, marry the bloody thing and commit to it with everything you have. You need human intervention, human emotions and human interactivity to make it work, and we're all human. Don't do anything alone, it's not fun!