Connection is the secret sauce of success. It’s what makes living worthwhile and fun.
One of the greatest joys in my life is learning about yours. Yes, even if we’ve not yet met. I want to hear about your problems, joys, and challenges. What’s going on in your life, for real. Not the public “Social Media Smile” version. The raw, real, nitty-gritty truth of what is working and what is not in your business or professional life. Why? Because life, and business for that matter, is all about connection and relationships. And it is in sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of ourselves or our businesses — being vulnerable — that bonds are formed. It’s also how I have made a living and a life for the past thirty years and hopefully for many more.
Even though most of us crave connection on some level, how many of us have been burned or are reticent to share? To let others know what is really going on because if they knew they may they may think less of us.
I encounter this all the time while attempting to establish rapport with prospective new clients like you, especially if I have not yet earned your trust. But to properly come up with a solution, I need to know what’s really going on — what problems are you facing and what do you know or not know about the problem or how to fix it.
I attended a writing webinar the other day and the speaker implored the audience not to look for the first tool they found to solve a problem until they knew what problem they were trying to fix or what they were trying to accomplish. Seems like comment sense, right? But, as the speaker pointed out if you are going to build a table, Channellock’s are not going to be of much use. Can you relate? I know I can.
There is a lot of wisdom in what he said. In sales, in recovery, in relationships, and in life, the temptation to rummage through our toolbox at the first hint of a problem is like a bad habit — hard to break. It takes a lot of self-control to not reach for the first tool to solve a problem especially if we think we can fix it.
Healthy relationships are built on trust. And many are broken, because of a lack of trust or true connection. Healthy relationships in ANY area of our lives depend on the exchange of information, opportunities, problems, and shared wisdom and effort. And sometimes, especially in intimate relationships, that trust is built on just listening. Not solving a problem or trying to fix it. Just offering an empathetic ear if you will. Fortunately for me, I have a wife who reminds me of this fact anytime I put on my “Fix-it Man “ hat after she has shared something that is bothering her or causing her stress. Her willingness to teach me how to better connect has helped me become a better listener, mostly.
That’s important, but in a consulting, sales, or counseling position you need to temper listening, empathy, and rapport with wisdom, confidence, and trust if you are to be successful. It’s both a science and an art. That is one of the reasons I love what I do so much. I get to connect, troubleshoot, and help others. And when we solve a problem, everyone is happy. Doing so makes me feel useful. But trust and success require effort by all parties.
So why did I even take time out of a busy day that included multiple client appointments, a trip to the ER for my mom, and now a five-minute blog on the importance of connection to our happiness? Because it brings me joy to help others.
By helping others, I help myself. That’s the deal. It’s why I work with alcoholics in recovery. It’s why I reach out to new clients. It’s why I write and speak and lead and do all the things I do. Because I care. I care about you even if we never meet. And sometimes that’s enough to inspire someone else to do something they have been wanting to do but didn’t have the courage to try yet.
Because I want to connect with you. Whether it’s through this blog. Through my books, in a recovery meeting, or if you are a business owner who needs marketing help, I want to be there. It’s what I do. I help people identify and solve problems. I help others become better.
If you want to connect, reach out. I can be found at shawnlangwell.com. Let’s discuss what you may need and see if there is a fit. If not, that’s cool too. I hope that in some way this post made you think a little bit differently about connection and how easy it is to integrate all aspects of your life into a common thread that can provide joy, purpose, and a new level of significance to your life.
Until next time,
Never give up on your dream and never stop trying to connect. It’s the secret sauce of all success.