No matter what stage you’re at in your consulting, coaching or other service-based business, you simply can’t run a business effectively without getting outside input.

In fact, the quickest and most accessible way for you to make money out of the gates in start-up mode, and as you head down the track, is to connect with people you already know.

This means tapping into your network, expanding that network and meeting with lots of people.

Some could be potential clients. Others may refer to you people who could be your clients. And some may just give you some awesome insight or advice that could be a huge game-changer. Makes sense, right?

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Your network and networking groups are really important and definitely part of the process of getting clients and building a thriving and sustainable business.

However, as important as networking is, the type of networking that is the most powerful and ‘highest quality’ is the kind that helps you develop a community of like-minded colleagues.

These folks are dedicated to helping you succeed and are committed to each other’s success.

I call this your Inner Circle.

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Ideally you want to develop an “inner circle” of complementary business owners who will add value to your business by naturally co-promoting each other and referring leads.

I personally have a core group of 10 + people who are part of my Inner Circle community where we support big visions for each other. We’re aligned around our desire for living our life purpose and making a difference. I personally never experienced this type of connection when working in corporate, and I believe this Inner Circle of mine has made a huge difference in how successful I’ve been as a business owner.

I’ve not only had the pleasure of meeting some really incredibly talented people who have connected me to others, but they’ve also helped me through some challenges, shared resources, technologies and cheered with me whenever I’ve met a goal. They’re there for me, ready with a sympathetic ear or to give me a kick in the pants when I need it.

Simply said, they have my back.

I’d love to share a powerful story that demonstrates the power of having an Inner Circle who are committed to making things happen for each other.

Back in the 1950s, Ella Fitzgerald, like many African-American musicians at the time, encountered a significant amount of adversity due to her race. Regardless of her popularity, Ella was mostly limited to singing at small nightclubs, and often had to enter them through the back doors.

One of the most popular entertainment venues in North America during that time was Hollywood’s Mocambo, where Frank Sinatra made his Los Angeles debut. Of course, this was yet another place where Ella wasn’t allowed to sing.

Enter Marilyn Munroe, who was a fan of Ella’s singing. Marilyn took it upon herself to call the Mocambo’s owner and demanded Ella be booked immediately, promising that she would personally take a front table for every performance. Then she reminded the owner of her iconic status and how the media would jump at the opportunity.

The Mocambo’s owner agreed, Marilyn kept her promise, the press went wild, and Ella became a superstar overnight.

This is an extreme example of the “who you know” adage. But this is the way business works.

The same thing can happen when one of your trusted Inner Circle passes your name along.

Word gets around about what you can do. Next thing you know, the doors open to more business, more strategic partnerships, and a host of other business-building activities.

So if you haven’t consciously identified your Inner Circle, be sure to do this as soon as you can!

Do you have a story about the way one of your Inner Circle has made an amazing impact on your business? I’ve love to hear it!

About the author

Kim Chernecki helps high-performing freelance executives, consultants, coaches and other experts, land lucrative corporate contracts. She is the creator of the Land Corporate Contracts Fast-Track System, and is a top-rated sales performance executive, facilitator, coach, advisor, speaker and strategist. A 25-year entrepreneur, Kim has consulted with executives from 100+ leading North American and Fortune 1000 companies and has, herself, started up and helped grow 10 businesses and business divisions. She’s closed millions of dollars in corporate contracts, and provides powerful strategies and proven formulas to help her clients do the same.

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