We feel that this aspect of growing a business, especially a service- based business is vital, especially living on an island.
In order to grow your network and community, a few of the musts are:
You Must Add Value
You Must Reciprocate
Know that not everyone has the best intentions
Not everyone is going to be a good match/fit for your company, and vice versa.
And that's okay!
First and foremost, if your business isn't adding value to someone or something outside of yourself, you're not going to make it very far, and you will certainly make some enemies along the way.
This is not to say you cannot add value to your families lives or your life. However, a successful business model looks to add value to others or a greater purpose as the overarching goal.
"He who is greedy is always in want." -Unknown
Have you ever experienced giving so much to someone until you felt depleted because they weren't giving anything back, just always taking what you have to give?
Doesn't feel good, does it?
The same goes for running a business and building your network and community.
You should always strive to reciprocate all good deeds done onto you.
If someone is lending you a hand or sending you referrals or giving you valuable advice, you should always try your best to add value back to their lives, because they didn't have to do that nice thing for you, but they thought highly enough of you to do so. And most do so without the expectations of a return or reward, but it's just the right thing to do your best to reciprocate their thoughtfulness and show appreciation for their efforts.
And it's how we change the world.
Having owned multiple businesses and interacting with a lot of people and personalities, we've experienced the flip side of kindness. Not everyone who seems like they want to help is actually cheering for you and wanting you to succeed. There is still a lot of greed & selfishness in the world and it's important to be careful and also prepared.
This doesn't mean trust no one, but it does mean to look out for red flags and know when to stop ugliness in its tracks. Like we tell our kids, always trust your instincts and if something doesn't feel right, listen to that intuition and be mindful moving forward.
All of this to say, building a network of like-minded individuals, businesses & community is extremely valuable and necessary. And you never know who you'll meet and how you can help each other. Keep an open mind and an open heart to all interactions. You won't be disappointed.