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The power of advocacy

Great Insite by Jason Ross 

Imagine your life in 5 years, sitting at your desk, having come in late and without any intention to stay longer than lunch.

Imagine the clients you have, or the people that you lead.

Imagine these people take your calls or quickly get back to you when you phone or email them. They complete their objectives and work with enthusiasm, pay their invoices on time or listen when you offer advice; the advice you are more than qualified to provide.

These aren’t an online collection of pseudo ‘friends’. You have deliberately surrounded yourself with people that make your life easier, not harder in real terms and it didn’t happen by accident. A great network doesn’t just ‘turn up’.

Imagine that this network of yours, of 50 or even 100 people. People who don’t just know what you do for money, but who you are as a person. 

More importantly, what if these great people actually opened doors for you into the relationships they valued. Introduced and referred you to people (and business) just like them; great people. Imagine this and then ask yourself; would I ever want for new clients, business, or career opportunities?

Of course you wouldn’t. Abundance would be a word you’d become very familiar with.

Now consider where you are today. You are (hopefully) clear that a strong network of genuine relationships and advocacy is the holy grail of success, in your career or business so you’re out networking at an event.

What would you prefer to walk into a room of 100 people and promote yourself, one to one, selling yourself and your wares? Repeating your ‘elevator pitch’ while assessing and being assessed based on the premise of ‘can we do business?’ Politely offering and collecting business cards to be discarded when you get home.

Wash, rinse and repeat. Over and over.

Or would you rather know 10, trusted advocates who know the other 90 people. Advocates who will deliberately and strategically know when to bring you into a conversation and their relationships?

Which would you choose?

Again, the choice is (or should be) obvious, because having people who advocate for you is far more time and energy effective, and advocacy comes with the power of trust. It’s the lubricant that smooths the pathway to results and opportunity.

This isn’t new. It’s common knowledge. Yet, even knowing this most people (rightly or wrongly) still pursue the strategy of self promotion. Investing time and energy in one on one coffee meetings and networking events where they rely on their own efforts and an elevator pitch.

Wash, rinse and repeat.

Advocacy is the key that opens the door to opportunity, but it requires a network founded on a basis of strong relationships. Relationships, that are themselves based on a culture of genuine collaboration between everyone involved, and that requires trust

The strength and reach of your personal network (not the business or organisation you work for) is directly related to the opportunity available to you and, the success you will achieve.

It is relevant if you’re an employee starting a career or new job, an entrepreneur with a new idea or business owner with a business that is growing or failing. It’s relevant if you are in a corporate environment or a not for profit. Everyone needs a network if they want more.

BUT if it’s just you searching for great connections, building new relationships, strengthening the trust and making the calls to connect to others, how on earth are you going to manage the time and energy to build strong and genuine relationships with 10 people, let alone 50 or 100?

Where are you going to find the time when you’re already working hard in your job or business, have a family, a social life or contribute to your community?

The answer; it depends.

It depends firstly on your desire to (incrementally) alter your short term focused strategy of wash, rinse and repeat (which only leads to more wash, rinse and repeat) into a long term one that provides an abundance of opportunity.

Secondly, it depends on if you’re prepared to actually be deliberate with your time and energy; which is always required, regardless of the endeavor.

Finally and most importantly, it depends on your ability to create leverage or “personal scale”, because if everything was down to you being the ‘magic’ that strength and reach is immediately going to be limited.

Posted on August 14, 2018

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