So much of who we are in business comes down to how we interact with others.

When I say this, the first thing that comes to mind is interacting with customers or my team.  These are the essentials that keep the business running. Without customers, there’s no one to sell products to and without your team (even if it’s just you at the moment) there’s no one to make products to sell to your customers.

When put like this it’s pretty easy to forget the 3rd branch of the business people trinity. And personally, I’ve found this third head to be the most important over the years. That realm is your network. When I say network though, I don’t mean your list of 50,000 connections on LinkedIn that you don’t even know. Fuck that, that’s not a network that’s a lead generation strategy.

That has it's placed, but please don’t call that your network. If you are then we’ve got some perspective shifts that need to happen. Your network is the people you actually know and could reach out to for help.

Take a moment, but on your business hat and if your company has a problem who would you actually reach out to talk to? I have 5 people that come to mind. They know me as a human and me as a business owner very well. After these 5 people, there is a list that runs for days, they know me pretty well on both these fronts but not as these 5.

These are the folks I’d reach out to if there was a specific “technical” issue that I needed guidance on.

More than likely I’d pay for a consultation or implementation help from this circle. ...Then, of course, I have my social network following that is the final 3rd layer of my network that I am not always sure how we became friends and if I posted for help I could get responses but I’m not sure what the quality would be …

So perhaps your LinkedIn can be a network, but what I’m getting to is the difference in quality vs quantity. I think there is a time an a place for both. I think the big key is making sure you have a bit of both. This philosophy is deep in the Unicorn Exchange…

Knowing a lot of people is great, but really knowing your people is essential. Each person you meet in the Unicorn Exchange isn’t going to be your new BBF (business best friend) but the more people you meet, not only are you growing that 2nd circle but you’re increasing the chances of finding another one of those Unicorns that you keep for life.

The more risk you’re putting out in the world the deeper the more support you need both qualitatively and quantitatively.  If you’re going to grow you need more and deeper roots. And to end these thoughts, practice gratitude for these roots for those that keep you grounded because they are ultimately the ones that allow you to grow.

lauren andrews