Our thoughts about money determine our successful connections

Newsletter 9

One of the most common questions I have received from my mentees in mentoring sessions is: How can I generate profit with my connections? Or Is it morally acceptable to use our connections to support the growth of our business? Both questions are logical, and both relate to our thoughts about money.

WHAT DOES PROFIT MEAN FOR YOU?

Profiting comes in various shapes and forms, not necessarily from a single transaction. So, the first question you must answer is what profit means for you. For some people, it’s about financial reward; for others, it’s about professional success, time saved or a combination of several things.

After answering the above question, you must discern why you want to be a connector and align your objectives.

WHAT IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH MONEY

It doesn’t matter what the profit means to you; the important thing is to understand that you can’t become a connector to earn a euro, although it is essential to have the right relationship with money. Money flows away from you when you don’t care about your finances or ignore them. But some people have a weird relationship with money.

In general, society has taught us to judge money as evil and want to accumulate it wrong, creating deep-seated beliefs that drive capital away from us or that we don’t use our connections to earn money lawfully.

THE TRUTH ABOUT MONEY

Money itself is a neutral exchange of energy. It’s neither inherently good nor bad because it depends on the intent of the person using it, like a pen or knife. In their book «The Power of Connecting«, Nicky Billou and Kai Bjorn highlight the example of Mother Theresa, an actual saint, who devoted much time and energy to raising money because she knew the power of money to help her do good in the world.

BRAKES TO OBTAIN BENEFITS WITH YOUR CONNECTIONS NETWORK

We recognize that having money is essential to take actions that help others.

But why aren’t we good at making a profit with our connections? Specifically, two significant issues block us:

WE DON’T USE OUR TIME WISELY WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE

Try to be everything to everyone; you will probably be nothing to anyone. As we saw in a previous article, time is our more valuable treasure. So, you must use your time wisely with the right people in your network if you want a return of value to you, the other person, your values and your mission.

We all know people who only call when they need something but disappear as soon as they get to where they need to be. With them, you will never do great things, let alone make a profit, so don’t waste your time with them.

The question is, how do I know who the right people are? The answer is simple, spend your time benefiting from your high-level connections. To do this, you must first sort your network of contacts into connection levels.

In her book «How to be a power connector. The 5+50+100 rule for turning your business network into profits» Judy Robinett recommends dividing our network of connections into the following types:

Top 5: These are usually family and close friends, including business associates you consider your friends. In this group, your personal and professional lives will overlap; it is important to have connections of both types in your inner circle.

Key 50 (or circle of influence): Are friends and associates you know you can call upon for all kinds of help and advice, and vice-versa. They can have different roles and be from other contexts in your life.

Vital 100: This group should represent various locations, contexts, and roles. You pay attention to them, add value, and regard them as essential team members.

Once you have ranked your connections, focus your time on generating profit on those classified under Key 50. Then, look to convert the Vital 100 to Key 50.

WE DON’T KNOW HOW TO ASK

Another brake to obtaining benefits with our connections network is that sometimes we don’t know how to ask.

Silvia Bueso’s book (in Spanish) «De darlo todo a pedir lo que te dé la gana» is an absolute must-read where you will learn how to stop giving and start asking for and getting everything you set your mind to.

Silvia defines seven stones that do not allow us to ask for and obtain benefits from our connections:

1. The insatiable generosity: We give, give, give and give. We are honoured by this action of reaching out to solve problems that many times we are not asked to solve. It consumes time we do not dedicate to our benefits. These actions make us less competitive and valuable to the people we want to help. To be generous with others, we must first be generous with ourselves and give ourselves time to grow personally and professionally.

2. The omnipresence: We do not stop doing things. We add new tasks to our schedule without asking for them. To have time to ask the right people in our network for what we need, we need to know how to delegate. Let go of responsibility and accept that whoever takes it on will do its way.

3. Addicted to the affection meter: The human being has an imperious need to be accepted, which comes from the first times of evolution, where those who were not accepted were separated from the group. And that meant death, the non-transmission of their genes. Approval is almost a necessary condition to dare to turn our ideas into facts.

4. No diminutives: We often do not ask for and do not generate benefits because we undervalue ourselves. We use a language full of diminutives that take us away from what we want («I’ll try«, «my company is too small«, «I don’t think my business matters«). Remember, you are what you think you are, and you define it with the words you say. Let them be marked with power!

5. Doormat thoughts: Silvia Bueso defines these thoughts as unfavourable, paralyzing, shrinking and undervaluing. Changing the conversation towards ourselves with positive words of encouragement and strength is necessary.

6. Invisible and mute: It may seem paradoxical, but if we do not ask, we will achieve nothing. If we create a network of connections, connect with them, and request. Let’s stop being invisible.

7. Not knowing how to say no: Why is it so hard for us to say no? For some people, it is because they have been educated to please others. However, knowing to say no mean that we are assertive. Assertiveness is a form of communication that consists of defending your opinions and making suggestions honestly, respecting your and others’ needs. Let’s learn to say no to focus on what is helpful for our professional and business growth.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

It is OK to think about money, but profit should result from doing good for our connections and not seeking to generate profit from the start.

As we have seen in this article and others in this newsletter, the most successful people are givers who have known whom to ask and have learned to say no sometimes. They are clever in thinking about who, how and when they help.

*** BEFORE YOU GO

Quote of the Week: «The lack of money is the root of all evil.»- Mark Twain

Jose Raul Vaquero is the founder of several international organisations that connect thousands of professionals in 24 countries. For this work, he has been recognised by governments and entities.