I meet and connect with a lot of business owners both in person and online. Recently I attended a networking event with a friend of mine and I met every different business owner you could think of. Mortgage brokers, insurance agents, bakers, chiropractors, investment bankers, chartered accountants, OK you get the point.
When I attended this event something really hit home I have been seeing for a while, and I wanted to address it. That’s what inspired me to write this post. If I can help just one business owner to think differently by reading this post I’ll be ecstatic.
I’m at a point in my life where I have read a tonne of books, met super successful and influential people, worked at a big corporate company and even started my own company.
Throughout my successes and failures, I have tried to change one simple mindset of mine that has been instrumental in some of my recent successes.
Changing of the Mindset
This mindset I’ve implemented is simply “thinking big”. You read that right, “thinking big” has given me a lot to be thankful for these days.Now you might be thinking what exactly does that mean? Well, let me tell you what it means.
I found it fitting to post a quote from someone that I look up to and he goes by the name of Gary Vaynerchuk. He has started and grown a number of businesses, invested in tonnes, and currently has a digital agency valued in the 100’s of millions of dollars. Gary knows what he’s talking about, and a quote of his simplifies exactly what it means to “think big.”
“Think global, even when you’re local.”
This quote basically states that even if you are a small mom and pop corner store you should be thinking globally. Now you’re probably thinking that’s crazy talk but it really isn’t. With the amount of people on their phones these days, and the ability to purchase almost anything from their pockets, this presents a major opportunity for any business.
To explain my situation earlier about the networking event. I found it so troubling that a room full of 50 small business owners of all different levels and industries were relying on each other to provide them with referrals for their business. Don’t get me wrong this is a great way to get new business, but in the long run, it’s a recipe for disaster because you end up working in your business and not on your business.
The way I think about business and my companies is by asking myself one simple question.
How can I impact people all over the world?
How can I reach customers in other continents or countries? What would I need to do to get them to visit my website or store? With the emergence of social media and the internet, opportunities are endless and these business owners I met the other day were missing all of them.
The Power of Networking
The value that connecting and networking online has provided for myself and my business is amazing. I wouldn’t be able to do half of the things as good as I do if it wasn’t for social media and the internet.
Going back to “thinking big” and explaining how you can as a business owner think this way is just a change of mindset. I’ll put myself in your spot for a moment and let’s say I own a furniture store. Everyone needs furniture all around the world and if you have good enough products, people will buy from anywhere in the world.
The internet and e-commerce tools have allowed this to happen very easily with the implementation of shopping carts and online payment processing services like Paypal and Stripe. If I were you, I would want to think of how my business can produce something that other people around the world would want to purchase. Maybe it’s a certain kind of chair, or maybe you make the best custom wood kitchen tables in Seattle.
The problem with most business owners is that they offer great products or services, but choose to restrict themselves and only sell to people close to them. This is a terrible mistake in my opinion, and I noticed this first-hand at my networking event.
Most of the business owners in the room were not thinking big enough, and they were solely relying on referrals from others. Don’t get me wrong referrals are some of the best customers that any business can get. But the reality is with the efficiency of online networking tools, especially social media; the accessibility to reach customers and companies from anywhere in the world has never been better than it is today.
To build a great company you can’t just rely on referrals, which is where a lot of business owners go wrong. You need to be online where your customers are and start interacting with them to build those connections.
That’s the current landscape of business and the future, so it’s time to pick up your socks and get your business online.
Clinton Senkow is the Co-founder & COO of Influencive where he manages and oversee’s all business development and partnership activities for Influencive. He’s also the CEO of Senkow Ventures which is a digital consultancy for high-growth startups and SMB’s, a member of the invite-only Forbes Business Development Council, and was named a “Top 20 Speaker by Forbes”. He’s also a three-time Top G20 YEA Entrepreneur representing Canada.