Reaching Out without Freaking Out
One of the most common fears that comes up for my coaching clients is FOMO, the fear of missing out. I know that when I’m between acting jobs or my client appointments slow down, I start to freak out. But I’m here to tell you not to panic; the universe (and opportunities) are abundant.
To help avoid the added stress, I have put systems in place to help me feel connected even if I’m not busy. If there’s one thing I know, it’s that the best way to alleviate fear is to take action.
Building your own business is all about relationships and you since you probably already know a lot of people who can help you with your career, you need to reach out to them.
I bet you’re thinking, “That sounds great, Bret, but also terrifying! I don’t know what to say. Will I piss people off? I feel like it makes me look too needy or desperate.”
Those fears are understandable but if you’re afraid of being “that person,” trust me, you aren’t “that person.” You cannot let the fear of the unknown paralyze you from building relationships within your industry. So, take action by keeping in touch with the mentors, marketing experts, clients, collaborators, and fellow entrepreneurs. If not, you’re missing golden opportunities to nurture those essential relationships.
There are plenty of ways stay in touch with people without being sales-y or awkward, but here are my top four ways to push through the fear, build your own network of like-minded industry connections, and start working toward the career want.
1. ALWAYS SPEAK TO THE HUMAN BEING.
We can get so caught up in someone’s impressive resume that we forget they’re human beings first. So remember to ask them about their life outside of work. What do they enjoy doing in their free time? What causes are they passionate about? Even what you enjoy outside of work? People will be interested in that too, believe it or not.
2. USE COMMON SENSE ON SOCIAL MEDIA.
Social media is a must nowadays, but please get permission before friending people you don’t know. Getting a buy-in to connect over social media first builds trust. It shows you respect their boundaries, just like you’d want them to do for you.
3. USE SNAIL MAIL.
Postcards and letters may seem outdated and some people will tell you they hate them, but the payoff vs. the expense and effort is too worthwhile to pass up. These mailings keep you top of minds and are super unique and personal. Plus, with apps like Touchnote and Amazingmail, you don’t even have to get inventory now. If you’re still on the fence, trust your gut about how often to send them, but make this a habit.
4. INEVITABLY, E-MAIL.
OK, OK, you hate those newsletter e-mails you get from literally everyone (except mine, of course). But guess what? If you want to be top of mind with people you’ve worked with, you have to stay in touch. Everyone has email, it’s fast, and it’s free.
However you choose to stay in touch with people, do it regularly. People should hear from you every 6-12 weeks. Put reminders on your calendar or rely on your impulses. When I think of someone I’ve worked with, I email them instantly, even if it’s just to say, “I’m thinking about you, hope you’re well.” It’s real, it’s honest, and it’s human.
I challenge you today to reach out to that one person who keeps popping up in your head. If you’re nervous, having a mentor, career coach, or friend proofread your copy is a great way to get over your fear.
Once you make staying in touch with people a habit, you can kiss that FOMO goodbye.
This article was originally posted on Backstage.com.
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