When I first started out as an author, I naturally (like every other author) made my first attempts to network with other authors. In doing so, I found myself stuck with a bitter taste in my mouth and a negative energy all around me. You see, even when people do things in the name of positivity, often they are still forming a negative energy atmosphere around themselves that is churned out from the mechanical makings of competition, comparison, and "user-friendly" relationships. By "user-friendly", I mean: "Let's be friends because we can use each other to one another's advantage." So even if you gather together as a group of people for a positive motive, the energy that you produce around yourselves could very well be very negative for the other people in the vicinity. I became drained in that atmosphere of constant comparisons and constant competition between authors. That is when I decided that I would not even stop to look over my shoulder when I walked out that door. And I did walk out that door. And like I planned, I didn't even look over my shoulder.
I became a "grassroots author." I reconnected with those inner roots that are buried deeply into the soil stuff of WHY I was doing what I was doing, in the first place. Why was I writing? I was writing because I wanted to talk to people. End of story. And so that is exactly what I did. I wrote to people, I answered them when they wrote back to me, I listened to their stories, and I forgot about being an "author." The rest is history. The next time I checked, I was advising presidential candidates, movers and shakers, and people that I can't even name due to their involvement in national intelligence and defense services. The next time I looked, people were coming out of rehab after reading my books, people were having my words tattooed into their skin, people were thanking me for their life. Yes. For the reason why they are still breathing!
People are not going to trust you and come to you and open up to you because you have networked with enough big shots in the world to have earned a reputation. People are going to trust you and come to you and open up to you because they feel you, because you touch their hearts, because they know that's where their mind and soul is leading them— to you and to your work!
If you have a LinkedIn account and if you are an active user of this method of professional networking, you will probably be familiar with the whole user-friendly, look-at-me-I'm-so-great, look-at-me-I'm-competition scene. It's a place where people gather not just to do professional networking, but more often than not, it is a place where people gather to try and be something that they're not, or to prove what they are, to be validated by other people. To compete. They talk about positivity but while they build positivity projects together, they dispense an incredibly negative, competitive energy into the atmosphere around them.
The problem with focusing on your goals and forgetting about other people, is that you end up without other people. Simple. You end up (maybe) with your goal, but nobody actually loves you. Maybe the people who can get something from you will still be there in the end, but, do you ever stop to ask yourself if you are touching hearts? If you are healing lives? If you are hurting people? If you are forgetting people? People will run over others and forget about their word of honour, all in a bid to chase after their goals. Why? Because global society has placed such an immensely, immeasurably large amount of value on the goal itself (and on the process of reaching it), simultaneously forgetting about the human being, in the process. Both the human being going after the goal and the human beings surrounding that person going after the goal.
Seven years ago, I dropped the goal and I held hands with the people all around me. And I never left anyone behind. Before I knew it, I had attained goals that I didn't even know I wanted! I didn't even know such goals could exist! I didn't even dream of them! The goals dreamt of me, the goals attained me, the goals reached for me.
Sometimes, today, I can get caught up in the negative byproducts of positive projects and positive people (it happens more often than I would like to admit), and when that happens, I close my eyes and take a step back, I remind myself of the same things I reminded myself of when I first started out writing. I didn't look for anything, somehow everything looked for me. Why? Because I looked for people.
Going forward, I want to continue to be this way. I don't want to be "an inspirer", I don't want to be "a leader", I don't want to be "an influencer", I don't want to be "a thought leader" and I don't even want to be "a good person". Then what do I want? I want to be me, then I want to meet people, then I want people to tell me what/who I am to them. That is what I have done throughout my career and that is what I will continue to do. I have found out who I am, through what I have become to people. I will find people, and they will find me, and they will tell me who I am to them and I will discover who I truly am and who I am truly capable of becoming.
The next time you are told to "be who you want to be", answer that by saying, "I want to meet people, feel people, know people; and then I want them to tell me who I am to them". I believe we can change many things, simply by changing our workplaces through the renewal of our minds in this way. And yes, I am going to post this article to LinkedIn! Now, I hope this article has been helpful, do have a very wonderful day!