You are never alone in your business – not even as a solo preneur. From customers to wholesalers to investors, there is a larger ecosystem to support your dreams. Weaving all of these facets together so your business can thrive is an underrated skill. Entrepreneurs who do well aren’t just good at running a business; They are experts at building new relationships with the right people.
In this episode of Brilliant Thoughts, SUCCESS People Editor Tristan Ahumada talks to Carter Reum, co-founder of M13 Ventures, about how strong relationships underpin successful businesses. You will discuss the types of people entrepreneurs need to know and how to connect with investors and other breakthrough players in your industry.
You’ve probably heard that more than one business owner attributes their success to strong relationships. Here’s why they’re absolutely right.
A good relationship can lead you to better business decisions.
Personal development legend Jim Rohn once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend most of your time with.” He is right. Our closest family, friends and co-workers influence us more than we think. Therefore, choosing the right employees depends on one question: will these supporters challenge you or push you to be complacent?
It feels good when people agree with you and praise your ideas. But when you’re building a business, honest feedback is even better. Get rid of all the “yes” people in your life and surround yourself with authentic supporters – people who are not afraid to tell you the truth. This opens up new perspectives and better opportunities for you to grow.
Think of it like the Facebook algorithm. Using machine learning, the platform collects data from billions of users. Then it studies all the information and tries to provide meaningful content to everyone. The algorithm doesn’t always get it right, but that’s fine. It never stops learning and improving, and that is the mindset that Reum believes every entrepreneur should have.
“It’s a receptivity to different data points that hold different opinions and viewpoints, and then updates your opinions and thoughts because you constantly want to get better and make the best decision,” says Reum.
This is why it is important to know who to connect with (and why). If your professional network is just an echo room for your beliefs, you don’t have enough diversity of thoughts to make the best decisions.
You attract the best talent (and investors) by inspiring others
As an entrepreneur, sometimes customers are not the first group of people to inspire you. Most likely, before you sell anything, someone will most likely believe in and support your mission. That person could be your business partner or an investor who sees the magic in your pitch. Either way, building a business is about inspiring people to make your dreams come true. That requires you to build solid relationships and let each connection work for you.
“When we founded M13 Ventures, it was nothing more than a vision,” says Reum. “But then we were able to inspire some really talented people to join us on that vision. Suddenly it increased our likelihood that the vision would become a reality. And then, as we started to grow, we got more capital because we could be good storytellers for the people who funded us. “
Telling a good story is a must in today’s world. To attract customers, it helps to recreate their deepest imaginations and make them the main character of the story: the heroes. Liaising with investors is the same process. You still weave a fantasy, but the people you inspire, unlike most clients, have a significant stake in your business.
To get in touch with investors and attract them, Reum has two suggestions:
- Be clear about what you want to achieve in your company.
- Win their hearts and minds.
“Too many people either focus on the heart or the mind and forget that you are trying to win both … You have to make them feel emotionally engaged and excited, ”says Reum.
That means you go beyond the numbers and technical details of your business. Almost every industry is saturated. Investors want to know what your superpower is. Do you have an oversized lead in the market? Explain what that leverage is and you are on your way to a beneficial relationship.
If all else fails, sit back and listen. You can make new connections by absorbing information, especially people’s pain points. That’s why Reum recommends setting up fundraising meetings to find out what’s important to investors. Ask specific questions, such as “How big is the market for this product?” If so, pay attention to these subtle concerns. They are the key to connecting and persuading which will help you build strong relationships for your business.
Lydia Sweatt is a freelance writer, bookworm, and bass guitar enthusiast. When she goes outside, a bike goes with her.