Connection is Queen
The past ten weeks of being sheltered in place, coupled with the escalating pandemic fears, have interestingly created time for balance in our daily lives. Working remote, having more time with our immediate loved ones, forced the task of balancing work and home along with the increased need to personally and professionally connect. The way we conduct business, how we work, communicate and interact with our business clientele, associates and friends has changed dramatically. Gone were the face to face meetings, lunches and drop by’s replaced with more efforts to connect…empathetic listening, proactive outreach calls and virtual meetings.
It made us all the more mindful of the importance of establishing a routine, being super organized and instituting balance with respect to time management, self-motivation, self-critiquing results and adding more healthy mind, body and soul habits to our daily routines. It also had a profound effect on most everyone’s hunger for balance and connection, deeper purpose beyond our day to day professional life, and truly defined the fact that we really do need one another; not only in terms of social interaction and achieving our goals, but the human desire and needed time with and the energy of one another.
If Business is King than Connection is Queen! We all have many gifts to share with others and opportunities to grow. Giving back or as some refer to it as paying it forward, inspires and enriches others and also gives purpose. In today’s world, it has never been needed more. Here are five tips to get you started:
- Find your passion and give your time.
In addition to work responsibilities, finding your passion and giving back to your community enables you to do acts of giving and it expands your network, allows you to meet potential influencers, develop trust and grow personally and professionally. A big driver of successful business people is having purpose and significance. Volunteering on a business council, advisory board or a charity contributes greatly to helping them achieve their goals and provides deeper self purpose. In return, you will find inspiration and in time, develop valued inner circle contacts and clients. Nearly three years ago after moving to South Florida, I became a Certified Mentor volunteering at a local chapter of a nationally recognized mentoring organization which is part of the Small Business Administration (SBA). We provide confidential counseling, webinars and workshops to entrepreneurial leaders of small to mid-size firms when an established business is ready to move to the next level and with others who aspire and dream of starting a business. It is very fulfilling to me and allows me to make a positive impact; mentors of all kinds and to all populations are very much needed within all communities.
- Ask for Help.
The impact of COVID-19 on businesses resulted in more business owners reaching out for help in the form of calls, emails, video conferencing and through virtual educational forums seeking advice and guidance. I empathetically listened to my clients and mentees share their challenges, front line experiences, and inquiries pertaining to information needed on many topics such as human resource issues, strategic planning, legal support and loans referrals.
I certainly heard a fear in these calls of what was happening and the unknown impact on their business, but I saw no fear in their asking for help, welcoming ideas and their very strong desire to not only survive this challenge, but be stronger because of it. Asking for help and being open to change is not a weakness, it is a sign of strength. Revisiting your own business strategy, pivoting to a new market or way of servicing, knowing what your differentiator is will set you apart from your competition and put you and what you do on course. Seeing many of them receive loans, restructure and reset based on being able to refer them to alternative resources and experts was not only gratifying, but quite humbling.
- Reinvest in yourself – not only in times of need but in all times.
“You don’t know what you don’t know.” Learn from everyone around you. Each day, I continue to challenge myself to learn at least one new thing that will help my business and/or those I serve through volunteering. I listen to podcasts, read industry books, seek to brainstorm with industry leaders I respect, attend workshops and try to stay open to change. In today’s digital age we have unlimited access to webinars, podcasts, seminars and workshops from leaders in every industry. Keep learning, keep growing, keep educating others with what you learn and keep investing in your brand and in yourself.
- Success breeds Success.
Each time I mentor and volunteer, I’m reminded of the core values of the company I work for, the importance of giving back, engagement and relationship building. Bridge your knowledge, experience and your time with others. By volunteering your time with community-based not-for-profit organizations, you will bring hope and purpose to others. If you don’t already have several, find mentors who can be your resource. I call it my “brain trust” – I have several mentors that I’ve met from all walks of my life who take a personal interest in me, my well-being and growth. They hail from family, business, faith based, networking and volunteer connections which I deeply value and trust in their wisdom, counsel and support.
- The Key to Happiness.
Deepak Chopra says, “When mind, body and spirit are in harmony, happiness is the natural result.” Balance your passion for work with time for giving back, exercise, mediation, faith, fun and a restful sleep. Apply and balance these simple concepts into your daily life and true connection and happiness will radiate from you to others.
About the Author
Jeanine Banks, CSP, is the Executive Vice President of LLoyd South where she leads business development, operations and alliance partnerships. Jeanine is an advocate for community outreach and is involved in numerous regional and national causes, participated as a board member and advisor for academic forums. She is also a Certified Mentor for SCORE of Southern Palm Beach County, a local chapter of a national organization that is part of the SBA.