Does the idea of forming new relationships with people you don’t already know sound terrifying?
Maybe you wait for others to come to you.
Or you haven’t made a new friend in forever.
Or you know your business could get to that next level with the right connections.
But it all just feels hard and a bit icky and generally just overwhelming?
Has it ever occurred to you that building beautiful relationships doesn’t have to be any of those things? That, in fact, you – in your own wonderful way – already have everything you need to form meaningful connections with the right people for you and you might even be doing it without realising.
Last month at the Beautiful You Inspiration Day in New York, I had the chance to listen to Selena Soo – Founder of S2Groupe who helps visionary entrepreneurs, experts and coaches get known & stand out.
And she’s an introvert.
To hear the way that she has built her career through making meaningful relationships was both inspiring and, frankly, it just made sense.
So I thought I would share some of the best bits I got from her, because I think it will help you to see that – whether in your life, career, or business – it’s possible to do what just feels right to you AND be successful and make an impact (amazing, right?)
1 – “Getting access to the right opportunities is about knowing the right people”
While this is a simple concept – and it’s pretty likely that you already know who the ‘right people’ are in your industry – Selena says there are two reasons why you aren’t already in with them.
– You reached out and got radio silence.
– You haven’t reached out at all.
I knew instantly which camp I fell into, and I daresay you’re the same (number 2, yes?)
If you can reach out to one new influencer per week, you would have 52 new people in your network. But, also, think about who those people could connect you with.
Who can you reach out to in your industry or network? It might feel scary, so start small by making a list and aiming to connect with just one person. It’s better to try and fail than never to try at all.
2 – “Being introverted doesn’t mean you can’t be successful”
It was really cool to hear Selena agree with me here – as she admitted that she is an introvert – and she basically said it’s about doing what works for you and, also, being so passionate about what you’re doing (or who you’re approaching) that you don’t even let being introverted or shy hold you back.
She said it can be as simple as connecting in real life or via email and saying, ‘I’m passionate about your work/what you do, and I just wanted to say hi.” and going from there.
There’s nothing wrong with being an introvert (or shy) but don’t let it hold you back from connections or success that you really want. What’s one thing you’ve been putting off and blaming your introversion on? What if you gave it a shot this week? What’s the worst that could happen?
3 – “We can connect with anyone if we bring value to their lives”
Selena told this incredible story about how she connected with incredible people like Marie Forleo and Danielle LaPorte before she even had a business. She contacted them via email, knowing that they had big projects coming up that she was excited about.
She knew straight up what she could do for them, and told them without messing around. She made it easy for them to say yes, and didn’t ask for anything in return. When she launched her business, she asked for a testimonial by gathering a line from previous email conversations and checking if it would be okay to use that.
She didn’t go in with that intention, she worked behind the scenes (it wasn’t about getting all the glory for her work), and – when the time was right – she had established good relationships to ask for a small favour that added instant credibility to her business.
So many of Selena’s more introverted qualities shine in a story like this. She looks for opportunities and then uses her strengths to make them happen.
What opportunities can you see where you can add value to someone else’s life or business.
4 – “Say yes to every opportunity at first, because they will help you learn and grow”
This is a conversation that has come up a bunch of times since Selena first said this in New York. It could be the fast-paced world we live in, or the ‘highlights reel’ of social media, or maybe just our generation, but we always want everything yesterday.
We want to get paid for our work. Important. But we also need to remember that some opportunities provide value other than money (see Selena’s above example as proof of this).
You might not want to speak at an event for free, or stay back at work for an important project without getting paid overtime, but what experience will you gain from this? You might not even know yet, but it could lead to something pretty wonderful you never even thought possible.
Is there an area you’d like to get more experience in? It could be your life, your business, career, or even a hobby? What (or who) could you say ‘yes’ to in order to get that experience and grow your confidence, even if you don’t get paid for it?
5 – “Connect with other introverts”
The question that I asked Selena was, how can you best build beautiful relationships if you are a more introverted person? Her response, connect with other introverts.
So simple. Yet so powerful.
You might have only noticed the more extroverted people in your orbit and be desperately wondering how to connect with them, but have you noticed those doing amazing things on a more quiet scale? When you go to events, do you get mesmerised in the light of bigger personalities? Could you, instead, look for those standing alone at the edge of the room who might be wondering how to connect with someone else?
Introvert/extrovert relationships are amazing, but there is something really deep and powerful about connecting with other introverts.
Next time you’re looking to make connections, seek out or be on the look out for other introverts to form relationships with. Think of how you’d like to be approached and, most likely, that’s what they’ll be comfortable with as well. It’s easy because you understand each other!
6 – “Get clear on who you want to connect with”
Intention and purpose are where it’s at. How can you start forming meaningful connections if you haven’t even thought about who you’d like to form them with!
When you get clarity on the ‘who’, you energetically create a bond with them. Then you will start to see opportunities everywhere.
Make a list. It’s that easy. Who, in your industry, or in your friendship circle, or even someone you just think is awesome can you connect with? And how. Could you write them a heartfelt letter or email (bonus points for snail mail)? Maybe send them an awesome tweet or share their work on social media? It might even be setting an intention to introduce yourself next time you see them in real life. Make a list, set an intention and be open to possibilities.
7 – Find your own way to build beautiful relationships
While Selena didn’t specifically say this, the sentiment of finding your own way to forge these connections was the biggest message I got from her presentation. Her story, her message, her way of approaching the work she does all resonated with me because she has found her own way to build relationships using her personality, skills, and experience to create something unique, special, and very, very effective.
This might be something to journal about or sit with for a while: What’s unique about you, what’s comfortable for you, and what can you do to form amazing relationships on your own terms?
As you can see, I loved Selena! Her stories about how she built her business out of college and the high profile entrepreneurs she’s had the pleasure of working with was inspiring, but she further confirmed my belief that anyone can be successful when they find their own way to shine.
If you want to learn more about Selena, you’ll find her over at S2 Groupe where she shares valuable content and has some great free training including her Ultimate Guide to Meeting People At Events (definitely check it out).
Thank you so much for sharing this Katherine. I have felt really drawn to Selena and her work for the past several months, and really wish I could have been there with you watching her speak live. What a treat. x
I didn’t know her work too well before seeing her speak, but I just love her genuine, more introverted style of building relationships and business. Hope that you could get something from this to make it ALMOST as good as being there 😉
Thank you for sharing your experience Katherine! I can only imagine how inspiring it was! Love the lessons and will do my best to apply them in my life/soul projects. xx
My pleasure, Marisa. It was pretty wonderful, I’m glad that you enjoyed it.
Wow Katherine! So much wisdom and useful insight here to help build genuine relationships. Thank you for sharing it with us. My favourite truthbomb from your post “being introverted doesn’t mean you can’t be successful”.
I’m so glad you found it helpful, Chloe! I completely believe it and I hope that you do too xx
Great post Katherine and super helpful! This is the number one sentiment that I’ve taken away from reading your article ‘It’s possible to do what just feels right to you AND be successful and make an impact.’ Yes, that is definitely amazing and such a great reminder! Thank you xx
I’m so glad you liked it, Ainslie! Yep, do what feels good to you and watch ‘your people’ flock your way!