One of our experts in networking, Lee Jackson shares his thoughts on managing our social and business networks:
Research says that on average we all know about 150 people. We have 3-5 close friends/family, then 15 people who are quite close to us, 50 people who are acquaintances and finally a large group who we know a bit and we just wave to in the street…
…But, because of social media, we can now easily keep tabs on hundreds or even thousands of people, this is great in many ways but it also can bring us stress too. If our brain is only really designed to hold the tension of a handful of people, then keeping tabs on hundreds means that there is – always someone ill, always someone struggling, always someone having a tough day, always someone who hates their job. And the flip-side too – there is always someone having a great time, on a great holiday, got a better job and earning more money than us that day. And all this can happen when we are sat in our dressing gown’s feeling sorry for ourselves!
When I first started my job as a pro speaker I used social media to grow my business as I still do now. But in the early days of self-employment, it can be very quiet! You don’t get as much work as you’d like, as things have to grow and the word about you has to spread. So for me, it became bad for me to see what I thought was that every other speaker and trainer I knew was working and I wasn’t! They all seemed to have bigger and better clients than me too. I think it really got to me for a while and certainly de-motivated me at times. It wasn’t good for me. So I made a few decisions and reminded myself that I was not seeing the world as it really was. Not everyone was working every day but because I followed 200 other speakers there would be always someone working but maybe 185 of them weren’t! But people rarely say online that they are doing nothing (unless it’s the old double hot dog leg shot from a foreign beach somewhere!).
When you have a “gig” based job like mine there is lots of marketing to do and contacts to make but there is also a part of my job where I’m waiting for the phone to ring or an email to arrive out of the blue. It’s just part of what I do. So I do still play the numbers game for business purposes but I also know that personally I should meaningfully connect to less, not more people and we should all, of course, choose those people very carefully.
We are designed to have a few really good friends not hundreds of vague acquaintances that always seem to be having more fun than us!”
– Don’t compare yourself to others
– Watch the numbers that you connect with (have an occasional cull and remember on Facebook you can stay ‘friends’ with people but ‘unfollow’ them and they will never know!)
– Let’s learn to live a deeper life with fewer people rather than a shallow life with hundreds online.
We’d find life a whole lot less stressful I reckon.
To book Lee contact Jane Farnham at Great British Speakers on 01753 439 289 firstname.lastname@example.org