Ep #202: The Communities of Your Business

Businesses thrive or die based on the communities they surround themselves with. So, have you ever thought about your business’s communities?

Communities are all about connections. Without these solid connections, it can be hard to keep your business growing. Erica Young is a life-long observer and student of networks. She brings those learnings to Anthemis as the Head of Community and Network and applies these principles to drive portfolio company growth, harnessing the power of the Anthemis network to cultivate change in the financial system.

Also the founder of The Reliants Project, Erica joins the show today to discuss the power of networks and how these networks influence our well-being, relationships, and communities.

Discover the 10 Limiting Beliefs That Are Holding You Back from Connecting with Others and why it’s Not Only Who We Know, It’s Who They Know

Read more about the increasing importance of how we interact with others through Adam Grant’s book Give and Take.

Share your thoughts on this episode or ask any questions you have in our Referrals Without Asking Facebook group!

Looking for Referral & Client Experience Resources:

Take the Referral Ninja Quiz to test your skills and abilities at generating referrals. (FREE)

Buy my book – Generating Business Referrals Without Asking – and learn how to generate referrals through my 5 steps. (LESS THAN $16)

Consider joining Building a Referable Business™ – a unique way to learn all of my referral strategies and tactics with ongoing weekly access to me to answer your questions and help hold you accountable!  Email me for more details.

Coming Up:

Next episode is #203, where I will be sharing my thoughts on the things that we discussed in the interview with Erica, including several points I want you to reflect on.

Download The Full Episode Transcript

Read the Transcript Below:

Stacey Brown Randall: Whether we like it or not, businesses thrive or die based on the communities they surround themselves with, but have you ever thought about your business’s communities? Let’s talk about it.

You are not just another hustling salesperson. You are the expert, the
resource, the valuable partner for your clients, and how you grow your
business should reflect how your clients see you.

Welcome to the Roadmap to Grow Your Business podcast. We generate
referrals without asking, build positive client experiences, and help
you take control of your business.

Here’s your charmingly sarcastic host, Stacey Brown Randall.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Hey there, and welcome to episode 202 of the Roadmap to Grow Your Business podcast. I’m your host, Stacey Brown Randall. It is a harsh reality, some very true information, when we think about how our businesses thrive or wilt away and die, based on the communities they surround themselves with. I’m talking beyond just your client community.

                           Have you really ever given much thought about your business’s communities? Communities are all about connections, making connections, being connected. Have you really given a lot of thought, though, to the different communities your business has?

                           Well, if you haven’t, and even if you have, I want you to buckle up for a great conversation with Erica Young. I wanted Erica on the podcast because what she teaches is rooted in science. You guys know how much I love the fact that it’s really tough to argue about science because it’s factual. She studies networks and communities, and she’s a pretty, pretty cool person, if I do say so myself. Let me officially introduce Erica to you, and then we’ll jump on over to the interview.

                           Erica is a lifelong student of networks. She now brings those learning to Anthemis as the Head of Community and Network. She applies these principles to drive portfolio company growth and harness the power of the Anthemis network to cultivate change in the financial system. She’s also the Founder of the Reliants Project, where she helps people and organizations understand how networks shape our well-being, relationships, and communities. That’s what we’re going to focus on in this interview today is the work that she is doing with the Reliants Project. She uses techniques developed in the field of computer science, physics, and sociology to map existing people and organizational networks to generate insight. These insights can be translated into habits, processes, products, and/or services to drive change. Okay, let’s go straight to the interview. I know you’re going to enjoy this one.

                           Erica, I’m so glad that we have the opportunity to have you on the podcast today because, as I mentioned this already in your intro, I was so glad when Jordan had actually connected us together, and then I spent some time looking at some of the work you did, and we got to have a call last year.

                           I think the work you do is brilliant and, to be honest, you’re probably the best one to truly explain it. I did a high level intro of you, but do you mind digging in for us and kind of explaining the brilliant work that you do and how it all came to be with the position that you have?

Erica Young:       Sure, sure. I can kind of explain it as a little bit of a story. I moved to London about six years ago, and I decided to keep track. I didn’t know many people when I moved here, and I decided to keep track of who I met, in what context I met them, and what kind of strength of relationship we achieved over time. I was… Just to figure out, well, what are some of the myths we tell ourselves about how we build a network, and what are some of the tactics that actually seem to work? When I started to try and figure out, how am I going to visualize and analyze this information, I stumbled down the rabbit hole of what’s called network science. That’s when I started learning about social capital and how you map networks, and that there’s really a whole science behind how we interact with each other as social animals.

                           Through my work, it became really obvious that… I work for a venture capital firm, as you mentioned, and I head up our community and network. I was really looking at all the ways in which networks drive outcomes for us as an organization and for the businesses that we support, and so I wanted to take some of that learning that I had done as the side project, called the Reliants Project, and really embed that in my day-to-day activities, and so today I actually do that for a living.

                           Some people call this the community function within an organization. That’s kind of a popular term, but the way I would describe what the work looks like is about a third of it is data science, where I’m trying to understand, based on the data we have, what’s happening in the network or in the community. Then product and service development, where I’m saying, “Okay, well, what habit, what process, what engagement, what tool, what should we do in order to nudge the network in a particular direction?” Then what I would call the hand-to-hand combat of community management. Those are the introductions. Those are facilitating conversations. Those are hosting dinners. What are the things that we do in order to nurture that community?

Stacey Brown Randall:          Do you sometimes just wake up, and you’re like, “Wow. I get to do some really cool stuff every day”?

Erica Young:       Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, of course, there’s always more mundane, like there’s data cleansing stuff, and there’s trying to figure out, well, how do I relate the MPS store to these other questions in a survey. There’s all those tactics, of course, but I think when you genuinely believe that networks and community and relationships are some of the most important aspects of our lives, then being able to think about that all the time is really great.

Stacey Brown Randall:          I mean, I think that’s awesome. Yeah, I always tell folks, “I love like 89% of my business,” but there is definitely-

Erica Young:       Exactly.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Right? The 11% that I’m like, I could totally do without that piece. Yes, right? We all have that, but I think what you do is fascinating. Obviously, if anybody just listened to the last statement you made about the importance and with you ending and hitting on the importance of relationships, then anybody who’s listened to my podcast for any length of time or has followed me for any length of time knows exactly why I wanted you on, and I wanted to interview you here on the podcast for the benefit of my listeners, because that’s what we believe when we’re generating referrals, right?

                           We are generating referrals for people to refer new clients, new potential clients, to us. One of the ways that I am a contrarian to all the advice that is out there, that has been out there for decades, and is still out there, about generating referrals is that I’m a contrarian because of the tactics I tell you to take, but also from the mindset and the philosophy we start with, which are these are relationships and they have to be nurtured.

Erica Young:       Exactly.

Stacey Brown Randall:          There’s a strategy and a framework of how we do that and how it works and all the pieces of it, but a lot of it comes down to some of this network science that you were talking about in terms of the strength and the power of your network, but not also believing that… There’s just so many pieces to it. I mean, I feel like I say the power of a network and it makes somebody feel like, if they don’t have a network, “Oh, I’m somehow missing something,” and that’s not what I mean by that.

                           I mean, this idea of networks and network mapping and relationships and all those pieces are… They’re just so relevant to what we think about and what we’re trying to build within our businesses. From my lens, it’s just the referral piece. I mean, you look at it in a lot of different other ways, which I think is awesome, but I love how… I love it when I can have somebody on the podcast where I have been talking about something, and they’re like, “Yeah, here’s the science behind that, Stacey,” and I’m like, “See? Sometimes I’m smarter than I thought I was.”

Erica Young:       Yeah, well, but I think there’s so many people who have a strong intuitive understanding of this, and so then they hear what the science is and they’re like, “Well, of course it’s that way,” but that’s because you have that bias, because you’ve always been that way, right? But there are lots of people where that is not intuitively obvious to them.

                           Another point that you’ve drawn, that I think is really important, is there is no such thing as a perfect network, period. A network can be, in a moment, optimized for a certain outcome, but there’s always trade-offs in terms of when it’s optimized for one thing, it’s usually lacking in another way.

Stacey Brown Randall:          So true. So true. We’re going to be able to pull out so many fun little tidbits that you say when we create the social media for this episode. It’ll be great to see, because yes, that’s… I mean, I’m going to… I can just see all these amazing golden nuggets that you’re going to drop on us today. I mean, you’ve already given us two, so this is awesome.

                           Okay, so one of your articles… After we first got connected and we had our conversation, you had sent me some of the work that you had done, as I was trying to prepare for how best to break down all the brilliance that you know of and do it in 20 minutes or less. One of the articles that you did that caught my attention, that I was like, yes, I really align with this thought process and the way that you see things from that network science perspective, but one of the articles that you wrote is, It’s Not Only Who We Know; It’s Who They Know, and then you break down who we know and how it influences different parts of us, like what we know, what we do, and the success that we have. I’m going to link to that article in the show notes, because that was the first article, other than our conversation, that kind of I got to start to understand the work that you do and how you do it, and then that… I will link to that article in the show notes for this episode.

                           That then took me to something else you had sent me, which is where I want us to dig in for today, which is 10 Limiting Beliefs That Are Holding You Back from Connecting with Others. This is another one of your articles. I will also link to that article in the show notes for this episode, as well, but The 10 Limiting Beliefs That Are Holding You Back from Connecting with Others are so good, but I did just pull out three.

                           It was really hard. There was like four that I was like, oh, if we have time we can talk about four, and maybe we’ll come back around, if we can, but I really wanted to dig into three. I was very like, okay, we are not having an episode without these three being discussed. What I want to do is I just want to read the limiting belief, right? I don’t think that needs to be explained, but for anybody listening that’s like, “Wait. Just make sure I know what a limiting belief is,” that’s something you believe that is usually not true, but we’ve convinced ourselves, usually, that it is true. That’s—

Erica Young:       And then it holds us back from achieving our goals.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Because we don’t do anything different, because we believe… Right? Exactly, that limiting belief. I’m going to… We’re going to dive into three of them. If we have time, I may loop back around with the other one that I really love, but we’re going to dive into these three first, and just have a conversation about each of these, because these are the things…

                           When I think about the people that I work with, when I think about my clients and those that are in either Building a Referable Business or they’re in one of my individual programs like Growth By Referrals or Referable Client Experience or Referring Machines… When I think about the people that I work with and those that I get to know, and then I think about the people who are considering working with me or just following and listening and growing, based on the content and the resources that we put out for free, or those that are somewhere in between, what I find is that these three jumped out at me because I know that there are definitely people who believe parts of these, maybe you believe all three of these, and so us dissecting them, I think, will be super helpful.

                           The first one is actually Limiting Belief Number One. That is making effort with your network is self-serving. The limiting belief is making effort with your network is self-serving, but that’s not true so, Erica, tell us about it.

Erica Young:       Well, I think what’s fundamentally the challenge here is that people think, typically, think about building relationships or cultivating community on a linear scale. You imagine a line. On one end is organic, which means you’re not putting any effort in, but you are developing a network organically, right? Everybody believes that that’s good and true and desirable.

                           At the other end of the spectrum is being calculating, and that means that you’re putting effort in, but you have some deception or you have some… You’re trying to extract value, right? If you think about it with only those two options, it’s quite limiting, right?

                           The reality of it is that it’s actually what I would call a two by two matrix, so there are four quadrants that you can imagine. Instead of from organic to calculated or calculating, you can think about it in terms of effort, but also whether you have only yourself in mind as well as, or both you and the other person in mind. When you do that, you can say, “Okay, well, if I’m putting no effort in, but I have all of us in mind, then I’m really thinking organically,” right? That’s… You’re not putting any effort in, but if something comes across your path, you’re really happy to support that network or that relationship.

                           You could also put no effort in and only have yourself in mind, and you might describe that as being opportunistic, so, oh, I can take advantage of that situation, right? I didn’t proactively seek it, but I could take advantage of it. That’s, I mean, that’s not a space we want to hang out in. As we previously discussed, there’s calculating, right? I only have myself in mind, and I’m being proactive, right? I’m seeking for opportunity to extract value.

                           The one we really want to hang out is cultivating, right? I have both you and I in mind, and I’m putting effort in. When you think about it from that perspective, it seems so obvious that putting effort in shouldn’t be a negative thing, but we tend to reduce it to a more simple set of options.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Yeah, and I think that what’s so key there is when you add in that dimension of intention. What is your intention in this space when it comes to your network? Is it purely self-serving, or are you looking at it like you said, cultivating those relationships with the intention of being mutually beneficial?

Erica Young:       Absolutely.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Yeah, and the truth is, it’s not like every conversation or every run-in with your network or every opportunity you have with a person in your network or a group of people in your network or your network just in general is always going to be mutually beneficial, right? I mean, at the end of the day sometimes it may just be more about them than it is about you, and sometimes it may be more about you than it is about them. That’s okay, but it does come from that intention perspective.

Erica Young:       Exactly.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Yeah, and what-

Erica Young:       Exactly, and it’s almost like you think about it… I mean, I don’t think people really think about it as a favor bank, but I think there is that sense of reciprocity that you notice over time, right? If someone is always letting you pay for lunch, at some point, you’re going to stop taking them out for lunch.

Stacey Brown Randall:          That’s so true. You know what it made me think of when you said like keeping track of the favors or whatever? I think that’s how you said it.

Erica Young:       Yeah.

Stacey Brown Randall:          It got me thinking, well, I think favors are still tracked in politics, but outside of that… because then, instantly, my head went to the show Billions, which that’s all it is, is keeping track of favors, in that show, Billions, from a political perspective. Yes, I think you’re right.

                           I think that if something consistently happens, and it’s always one way, the other person typically will pull away and be like, okay, this isn’t mutually beneficial, but most of the time, we go into these conversations and these opportunities, or they fall into our laps, and if we come at it from that perspective as just being open and intentional about how do we both win, and I don’t think we’re thinking those words, but that’s where our heart and our mind is, I think those are the moments that are sometimes where the best things happen that we could never have seen coming unless we just really took advantage of that moment, and to look at it from that intentionality to be mutually beneficial.

Erica Young:       Yeah, absolutely. I think, for the people, if you’re so lucky as to have someone in your life that hosts dinner parties and brings groups of their friends together or proactively makes introductions between the people that they know, you never look at them and think, oh gosh, they must be getting some kickback or some benefit for doing this; otherwise, they wouldn’t do it, right? The people who you notice in your community that are very good at cultivating networks and cultivating relationships are the sorts of people that you really value being around, because they take that workload off you.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Right, and they make that connection still happen, and all you have to do is show up.

Erica Young:       Exactly, exactly.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Let’s make it easy. I think, as this relates to the work that we do from the Referral Generation piece and the Referral Source piece, the people who refer other clients to us, is I always tell folks, “There’s a piece of this where we are going to take care of our referral sources in a different way than you’ve probably ever done it before.” You ultimately… Let’s be super honest here. We’re hoping that the way that we take care of these referral sources, and the language that we use in the work that we do, we’ll get them to obviously provide more referrals, but I always tell folks, “For this to ultimately work for you, you have to truly believe that the people who refer you deserve to be taken care of.”

                           It isn’t like you’re doing this to get more from them. You come at it from the heart of, “Oh my gosh, you put your reputation on the line every time you refer me, and you hand me a new client that I don’t have to pay thousands of dollars to get on my own as a lead. Of course, I value that, and of course, I want to thank you for that and show my thankfulness and my gratitude. I want to take care of you because I know that you are putting yourself, you’re putting your reputation out there on the line, and I want you to know I don’t take that for granted.”

                           I always tell folks, with the work that we do, that is the mindset you have to come at this from is the, “Of course, I want to take care of the people who take care of my business, because that’s…” I mean, from my perspective, that’s the right thing to do, but on the same token, most people… It’s like that natural thought process. They’re like, “Oh, yeah, that makes sense. Of course, I want to take care of the people who take care of my business.”

                           It’s not like we do it because we’re like we’re only here to get more referrals. Obviously, that is an end result of what we want to have happen, but we come at it from that mindset and that philosophy of, but I’m going to put them first, because I want… because that’s the right thing to do. That’s the thing that I need to do because of what they are doing for me. I think that’s why Limiting Belief Number One spoke to me so much is because I think when people are first dipping their toes into this whole referral space, and they’re like, “How do I get referrals?” a lot of the tactics that you’re taught about generating referrals, like asking and compensating and networking to just know a ton of people, to always be seen, those three sound very self-serving, because they are. They’re not focused on the who is going to do the referring and the relationship you have with them, and then the effort you’re going to put into cultivating that relationship.

                           That’s why I love Limiting Belief Number One is because a lot of people come in, and they’re like, wait, so what I’m doing… It’s a mindset shift to the… You’re not doing this to be self-serving. You’re doing this to serve others because, in this case, of what they’re doing, but that also doesn’t mean any effort you make is only for your pure intention. It’s for the good of the network. It’s for the good of the relationship.

Erica Young:       Yeah. Yeah, and the language that I would use is you’re not trying to be calculating. You’re trying to be cultivating in that context, which I think is quite a powerful mindset shift.

                           It’s also interesting because there is this huge movement within mostly startup land, called community-led business where, basically, businesses are realizing that cultivating a community around their business actually makes them more resilient and that investors are interested in seeing that you’ve built a community around your business, because they think that makes you more resilient as a business, as well. This is playing out in many different spaces right now.

Stacey Brown Randall:          That is awesome. Okay, let’s move on to the next limiting belief. Actually, we’re going to go to the end of the list, and we’re going to look at Limiting Belief Number Nine. This one is, if you keep track, you lose the magic. Okay, Erica, tell us about this one.

Erica Young:       I think it was an engagement party, and I was talking to this guy, and I started explaining what I do. He looked at me, and he goes, “You kind of seem like the sort of person that keeps your friends in a spreadsheet.” I started laughing, and I was like, “I do, in fact. That is correct.” I think his concern, or his pushback around it, was, well, does that make it kind of… Are you reducing it to ones and zeros? Are you making it… Are you losing the emotion? Are you losing the value and the kind of tactile aspects of the relationship because you’re reducing it down to spreadsheets?

                            I think, like so many other things that we… I’m a quantified selfer, which basically means that I like to track things about myself in order to improve. I have a Fitbit. I track my steps. I track my sleep. I track… At certain times in my life, I’ve tracked calories. I might track how much I’ve run. Whatever you track in your life, in order to make it better, here’s another place where, if relationships are the single biggest indicator of whether we live a long and happy life, gosh, wouldn’t you want to track that and make sure that you’re doing the best that you can to maintain high quality relationships?

                           I think that this losing the magic is a complete myth. I think the more you think about… Again, you wouldn’t be angry if somebody tracked your birthday and made sure to call you on your birthday, or that they noticed that you’ve given them three referrals and wanted to say thank you for having done that, right? Nobody’s going to be angry with that sort of tracking, so the idea that you lose the magic, I think, is something we need to discard as quickly as possible.

Stacey Brown Randall:          I mean, definitely, and I love that you said… What I heard was you track your friends in a… What you said was tracking friends in a spreadsheet. What I heard was spreadsheets are good, because if anybody knows, if anybody’s been in any of my… Any of my students right now, the clients that are in my programs are like, “Oh my gosh, Stacey and her spreadsheets. She just loves herself some spreadsheets.” A lot of the templates that we build for our clients to use, whether it’s tracking referrals or the top five metrics that we measure or whether it’s keeping that master list of who our referral sources are, who our potential referral sources are, or the plan of how we’re going to take care of them, we track all that stuff in a spreadsheet, because I know that it’s the simplest tool. Most people can manage that. We’re not trying to do fancy pivot tables.

                           I say that only because everybody that works with me is like, “Oh, Lord, Stacey and her spreadsheets.” To your point, so the actual point of this limiting belief is that I just love that when you were like, somehow if you were managing those relationships digitally, in that spreadsheet or somewhere else, that somehow that negates the magic of it or the value of it or the ability for it to deepen and strengthen a relationship. I think you’re right, because it’s impossible to keep all those things in your head, so obviously, if they’re important to you, tracking makes sense.

Erica Young:       Yeah, and you think about things like recency bias, right? One of the challenges, even… I’m referencing very personal examples, because I think that helps people connect with it easier than maybe in a business context, but if you’re on WhatsApp or iMessage or whatever tool you use to communicate with friends for text messages and people fall off the first page, you sometimes forget to contact them, right? Or you just don’t respond to their last message, because it’s what’s top of mind that gets the attention. I think, when you create systems and processes that help you capture what’s really relevant, what’s important but maybe not urgent, or that’s important but maybe not recent, I think that that’s really critical to maintaining really healthy relationships.

Stacey Brown Randall:          I could not agree more. I mean, there’s one of the things that we talk about when people are like, okay, I’m going to get serious about my referrals, and the number one thing I tell everybody to do is you have to know who your referral sources are. Who are the people who are your existing, current, or most recent referral sources, and I always tell folks, “But your anecdotal evidence of what you most likely remember from the last three months or the most recent…”

                           You know, I think I got this referral from this one person, and then we had beers, and so that’s when I’m thinking it happened, right? All of that anecdotal is not really actually where the truth lies. I always have to tell folks, “We’ve got to get into the data of where have our clients come from, not over the last three months, and not even over the last year, but if you’ve been in business longer than that, the last three or four years of who’s been referring you,” and then looking at it from that perspective of it’s usually not what you can remember, and it’s usually not what is most recent that is actually the data that will speak to the truth in your business of who’s been referring you. The memory is a beautiful, magical thing, but it does fail us from time to time.

Erica Young:       Yeah, and we’re very good at creating revisionist histories about that.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Oh, aren’t we? Yes, I’ve got a couple kids that are actually really good at that, too. Yes, most definitely. Okay, and so then, limiting belief… The last one we’ll talk about, unless we have a moment, and I may slip back around to another one, but the next one I wanted to make sure we talk about is actually number 10. It is, focus on your own problems to be happy.

Erica Young:       Yeah, so this one, I think… You know who does a really good job of talking about this is Adam Grant, with his book, Give and Take. I think, if you are in a network, and you are a natural giver, so you’re giving first, you’re asking how you can help, you can ask how you can support, et cetera, et cetera, then that karma comes back around and really benefits you. Also, it feels amazing to volunteer, to help somebody, to know that you were responsible for supporting a particular outcome or making something happen, right?

                           I think that noticing that we intrinsically enjoy that feeling, it makes us feel good to have helped, and also that that creates a wonderful kind of reinforcing pattern in the relationships and the networks that we build, I think, is really, really powerful. He does a really great job of explaining that.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Yeah, his book, Give and Take, I’ll link to it in the show notes, as well. It’s great. I mean, it’s really well done. He, like you, teaches things through story, which I think is really powerful at helping us connect with that, which is great.

                           I think, to your point about… This limiting belief, okay, so I think on the surface, when people hear this limiting belief, it’s like, focus on your own problems to be happy, and then realizing that’s not what you want to do, I think a lot of people probably trend very quickly with you on point, and they’re like, oh yeah, of course, right? It can be about others.

                           The reason why I brought this one up, specifically, as a limiting belief, within the world that I operate in and that my clients are here for and the listeners of this podcast are here for, is that what people forget is that when we go into relationships with people who aren’t referring us yet or with people who are, we still go at it with a them first mentality. We’ve got to put others first. It’s actually some of the platinum principles that I teach how we take care of our referral sources, right? It’s about them first.

                           I think that that doesn’t always mean that you aren’t ever focused on yourself, but it’s going in it with that mentality of how can I help them? How do I be other oriented? How do I focus on others? That will ultimately, in the long run, give me what I’m ultimately craving, what I ultimately want, but it’s that idea that sometimes you have to put others first before you put yourself first.

                           I think we all know that when you say it, in theory, but then it’s actually putting it into practice, where you show up for those conversations or you’re having those moments, in my case, with your referral sources, and you’re like, I’m not going to try to do anything with this moment, except be there for them and listen to them and see how I can help them. I always tell folks, when you help somebody, that is what turbocharges the process for everything else is when you can actually help them first.

                           Usually, I mean, Bob Burg said it best, “Givers receive.” He wasn’t wrong. The idea that those that are willing to give, and give genuinely, not because, well, I’m going to give until this point, and then it’s all going to come back to me, because it doesn’t work that way.

Erica Young:       No.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Those that give, I think, in the moment it feels like, but I’m not doing anything for myself, but ultimately, yes, you are. You are doing everything in that place by putting somebody else first is your ability to put them first will always come back around to you, not always in the way you expect, but that is the magic of how it works.

Erica Young:       Absolutely, and I think that one of the key points to think about here is there’s two bits to it. One is when you go with this kind of give first attitude, you’re able to get a lot of information, right? Problems/challenges that they’re facing, ways in which you can potentially help, but you’re sort of understanding, well, you’re the person who’s doing the referrals and ultimately the customer problem that you’re trying to solve. That data collection is incredibly valuable.

                           Also, if you go with the give first, and this is something that I do a lot and I see the benefits of in my own network, is that person is much more likely to introduce somebody else to you. They then become kind of a source for additional connections in the network that you can then give to, who then can generate more introductions, right? In terms of the best way to kind of suck a lot of people into your network, and the way I describe my network, for me, is an information gathering machine. I’m happy to meet lots of people and be referred to lots of people, because by helping them, I get a sense of… I can’t identify patterns that are happening in the world, right? That gives you a really powerful edge, in terms of developing your business.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Oh my gosh, absolutely, and just the fact that you’re aware. That’s sometimes just the first step, right? It’s half the battle is being aware of the things happening around you. It’s like pulling your head up out of the busyness, right? The 11% of our business part that we don’t love, right? Pulling your head out of that and paying attention to what’s happening around you, I think, is so important.

Erica Young:       Yeah.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Okay, so real quick. I just want you to give me the one or two sentences that would help someone overcome Limiting Belief Number Two. I know I said we were only going to talk about three, but I really feel like, for all the introverts that are out there in my, in this podcast listening land, that are listening to this, you know, we’ve already talked about personality and how it does not have an impact on referrals at all.

                           It’s about relationships. It’s not about how extroverted or introverted you are, but I just want to give a shout out to give the one or two understanding of… Limiting belief number two is cultivating a network is for extroverts only. That is like, absolutely not, right? Erica, give us the high level on that.

Erica Young:       Yeah, so I think that when people think networking, they have this image of a cocktail party with 50 people, where they’ve got to navigate a room of strangers, right? That is such a narrow definition of networking, so just get that out of your head and think about directly asking for one introduction or using a matchmaking service to like Lunchclub, or there’s a lot of services out there to facilitate one-to-one introductions with somebody out in the world. There’s so many other engaging on Slack channels or Discord channels or whatever the case may be. There are many different ways that you can cultivate community that don’t require you to walk into a roomful of strangers and have small talk. That’s all I’ll say about that.

Stacey Brown Randall:          I think that is brilliant, and people need to recognize that it’s… You’re right. We operate so much from like you say a word, and we have a visual. It’s probably the same visual of that one word that we’ve had for decades. Doesn’t mean it’s right. It just means it’s always been how we’ve thought about that, in this sense, the word networking, right? We see it in one way, but that is not necessarily the truth.

Erica Young:       Yeah.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Yeah.

Erica Young:       You just need to find the way that works best for you, if that’s having a friend that you know will happily invite you to a bunch of very small, intimate dinners, or that there’s a few people that you’re willing to ask for introductions to. Whatever the case may be, find what works for you, and acknowledge that there’s no one way to network.

Stacey Brown Randall:          So perfect. Oh, we’re going to leave it right there, because that was a perfect ending to this episode. Erica, before I let you go, I want to make sure that people know where to find you if they want to learn more. In the show notes page for this episode, folks, I’m going to include the link to The 10 Limiting Beliefs, so you can look at all 10 of them, even though we only hit four of them, and of course, some of the articles that I’ve mentioned, as well. Erica, make sure that everybody knows where they can find you. I’ll link to this, as well, in the show notes.

Erica Young:       Sure. It’s reliantsproject.com.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Awesome. You know what? Why don’t you spell that for everybody, just in case.

Erica Young:       Sure. R-E-L-I-A-N-T-S-P-R-O-J-E-C-T dot com.

Stacey Brown Randall:          People were already thinking, Stacey, we all know how to spell reliants, but just in case, right? I have to remind people to put the E in my name all the time. I just like the spelling sometimes to be out there.

Erica Young:       Yeah, no, no. If this helps as a trigger, so Reliant was a British car from the 1930s or something, but it’s the word that I use for people that I rely on. They are my reliants.

Stacey Brown Randall:          I love it. That’s fabulous. Well, Erica, thank you so much for being on. You have some more amazing work that you are doing, and we didn’t even dive into some of the other stuff that you’re doing, from the social mapping and the weak ties and all those things, so I would love to have you back on the podcast, and we can dig in and go a little deeper with some more great, great research that you’re doing.

Erica Young:       I’m happy to come back anytime. Thanks so much for having me.

Stacey Brown Randall:          How much did you enjoy that interview with Erica? She is amazing! I really enjoyed our conversation, and I’ve got to tell you. It was actually really hard when I was reading some of her articles that she’d sent to me, as I was preparing for this podcast interview. There were a lot of articles. I was like, oh my gosh, this one’s so good, and this one’s so good. Then, of course, I got to the one we ended up talking about, The 10 Limiting Beliefs That Are Holding You Back from Connecting with Others, and then, for the sake of time, I only picked out a couple that we could actually talked about, and there’s more.

                           As I mentioned in our interview, we are going to link to this article and more information on how you can connect with Erica on the show notes page for this episode. Again, the show notes page for this episode is staceybrownrandall.com/202, and Stacey has an E. You’ll be able to check out her article and the work that she’s doing with the Reliants Project.

                           I also want you guys to know that if you can just take a little bit of time and think through what we talked about today, I’m going to dive into this a little bit deeper next week. I’m just going to talk through my thoughts on interviewing her, and then my reflections on the interview, as well, next week.

                           I just want to say real quick, have you ever wanted to work with me personally? Then reach out via email or on social media, and let’s connect about what that would look like. I know I would love it. All right, next week is episode 203, and I am digging in deeper on the things that were in the interview with Erica to give you some points that I want you to reflect on and to think about, of course, as it relates back to your business, but specifically referrals. Until then, my friend, take control and grow your business. Bye for now.

Thanks for listening to the Roadmap to Grow Your Business podcast. To
access all resources and links mentioned in today’s show, and to
connect with Stacey, head over to www.staceybrownrandall.com.

Similar Posts