Chief Executive's Opinion

Beverly Inman-Ebel

One of the steps that TLC teaches in goal reaching is to identify the people that can help you. Of all of 12 steps, you may have a tendency to gloss over this one. Don’t. Instead, think of whom you know that are willing to help. I have a few of those people in my life and they are my go-to people when I need a think tank.

Since June of 1999, I have contributed as a communication expert to a syndicated talk show called the Small Business Network. Jim Blasingame is the host who has been widely recognized as a small business advocate. Each time after we go off the air, Jim asks, “What can I do for you?” I can tell by his tone that he really means it. On occasion, I have named something that I needed. He always has a reference to connect me to.

I have another friend in Baltimore, Malynda Madzel, who is known for her extensive database of contacts. Although I may not do much business in her fair city, she knows someone who can help.

I have learned from these people who know how to connect. Just a few weeks ago, a woman that I mentor asked me for a business connection to someone in a specific city in Germany. It only took two emails to get her the name, contact information, and background information. I simply knew someone who knew someone.

Who do you know with whom you are impressed? Keep in touch with them. Become a person who knows people. Sometimes you may need to ask them for a tip. Other times you may refer someone to them. I often say that businesses don’t do business with other businesses. People do business with other people.

Perhaps step nine of TLC’s 12-step program should read: Identify those people who can help you or whom you can help. If you can help them today, they will likely be able to help you in the near future.

Build your people connections and watch your goals become realities. So whom do you know that you can help? Who do you know that is able and willing to help you? Start your own database. The key is to “know” them, not just meet them. Invest your time in these relationships and the interest will pay dividends. Build relationships. Reach your goals. Live your dreams!

Beverly Inman-Ebel is founder and CEO of TLC, Talk Listen Communicate, LLC
Copyright 2007. All Rights Reserved.

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