The Kindness of Strangers
I suffer from Imposter Syndrome. I’m convinced that one of these days I’ll be persona non grata in my networking groups, I’ll be accused of being the emperor sans clothes. My confidence level waxes and wanes. There are days when I'm sure no one will ever hire me and others when I'm convinced Gary V. will be looking to hire me soon. On the bright side, the waxes are outnumbering the wanes lately!
When I started my last business (The Divorcierge), I was coming off my own divorce and many years out of the workforce. I took several coaching certification programs before I dared try to coach anyone. Even then, I did it with great trepidation. Why would anyone want to work with me? Over time, as my client base started to grow and my clients came back to me more than once, I began to find the confidence I had lacked so much.
I joined professional organizations and networking groups. I started asking for meetings with other professionals and to my great surprise, they agreed. I was actually pleasantly surprised by how helpful those I met with wanted to be. In fact, many of them were rooting for me to succeed even though they barely knew me.
I’ve always been a connector. Within minutes of someone telling me what they do, I’m assessing who I know that I should introduce them to. I have a firm belief that what goes around comes around, and even if it doesn’t, it’s in my nature to offer. One of my core values is human connection.
When I decided to close my last business and open a new business as a consultant, I tapped into my network and started meeting with people (albeit virtually) again. Once again, I’m finding that many people are more than generous with their time regardless of their stature. Perhaps there’s more time in the day since we’re no longer commuting hours every day, or perhaps it’s the pandemic that has created a willingness in all of us that wasn’t there before. Whatever it is, I am truly appreciative.
Now more than ever, we need human connection however we can get it. With each conversation, my confidence grows as does my network. It’s not always easy to approach a stranger, pushing myself to do so has taught me that you can never underestimate the kindness of strangers and that I really do have something worthwhile to offer!