As a Smart Cookie, your ability to live your richest life comes down to one thing: the people you surround yourself with. Today, Smart Cookie Andrea shares what she has learned about the importance of surrounding herself with trendsetters, influencer’s and connectors.
And speaking of trendsetters, this article was also featured on Design Sponge, a design blog, turned design empire, run by one of the most influential trendsetters we know, Grace Bonnie. Check her out – she is a Smart Cookie in every way. And you can read more at Design*Sponge.
Trendsetters – you probably have heard this term commonly used in the fashion industry. A ‘fashion trendsetter’ can be used to describe Patricia Field, Sarah Jessica Parker and Lady Gaga, but when it comes to business, trendsetters are the ones you want to watch out for, listen carefully to, ‘follow’ if you are an avid Twitter user and trust when it comes to their instincts. These people are the ones who are always on the cutting edge of business, politics, and social media . They can often be risky and stray from the ‘norm’ (but really, what is classified as normal these days?). They will often take the most risks because they believe in something, and believe in what they are doing and more importantly, don’t care as much about other people’s opinions. Talk about standing by your convictions! Others don’t sway these people easily because they are truly authentic and are not afraid to fail. They are the types of people who may feel the fear of failure, but embrace that feeling as a sign that they are doing something worth doing. You have to get on the bandwagon early when you find a trendsetter, and hang on tight, as their’s is a wild ride to follow!
Influencers – these people are who I find to be some of the most important. I have been influenced my many people in my life from parents, grandparents, former employers to good friends. They inspire me and they can often inspire you to do the things you are scared of in life. Taking the leap of faith to quit your high paying job and start your own company; taking a year off to travel and experience the world while leaving behind your security. Whatever it is, influencers will be some of the most amazing people (and best storytellers) you will surround yourself with and if you really want to succeed in life or business, they are the ones that will take you to the next level. If you need a little push in the right direction, start making a list of the best people who can influence you to make that move.
Connectors – from a business perspective, these people will literally rock your world. Ok, well they did for me anyway! This is one lesson I learned fairly early on in life: the people, who are good at connecting you with people you should know, are the people you should befriend and get to know really well. Don’t be afraid to get out there and introduce yourself. Doesn’t matter if you know them or not. One of the best ways you can succeed in business and connect yourself with others is to put yourself out there. Plain and simple. It’s very important in business because as you grow and succeed (whether it be as an entrepreneur or not) these are the people who will connect you with other influencers or people they believe will help you get to that next level. They are the ones who believe in you and have confidence in introducing you to others. One important note I want to mention is to make sure you connect with people who are worth connecting with. Don’t waste your time meeting people just for the sake of meeting people and “networking”. You want to make an effort in finding the right people who have your best interest at heart and will have a profoundly positive influence on your life.
A close friend of mine sent this to me when I asked her opinion on this topic. I agree with her 100%.
“The most important thing is to be seriously interested and curious about other people, believe that everyone has something of value to offer and that each one of us has qualities and/or talents that can assist someone else. Once you realize this it is easy to bring people together.” – Karen P.
Wow – this has been a big cookie for a Friday! But as we sign off for the weekend, we’de like to propose a challenge. By this time next week, set up a meeting with or coffee with one phenomneal trendsetter, influencer, or connector. Share your story below and next week we’ll all check in to share our stories about how these people have rocked our worlds!
Your Smart Cookies