This was an article I received from Sherri McConnell from the Smart Women’s Institute of Entrepreneurial Learning. It is an authorized reproduction.
Do you feel validated? I heard Oprah once say that she thinks everyone on this earth has one basic need—to be validated. I know when I started the National Assn of Women Writers it was because I needed to find other women who loved to write and create like me. I needed to learn with them and laugh with them because I yearned for the validation that I would receive as I in turn validated the writers too. Little did I realize at the time how many women all over the world needed their goals and dreams affirmed just as I did.
I too believe that validation or passionate connections as I like to call them are so important that I have built multiple companies with that vision in mind. Here are a five ways I have learned to create passionate connections and validate others over the last seven years as I grew the NAWW and my other companies (www.sherimcconnell.com). Even if you don’t want to start a business—whatever your goals are—I know you will accomplish them by reaching out to validate others and following the tips below. Enjoy the journey!
Tip 1: Be of Service—Do you know what Web 2.0 is? It is the evolution of the current state of the Internet… the trend of social networking and all of the technology that supports it. I love that the present culture of the Internet has evolved to focus on people and that the technology makes it even easier to be of service. Being of service and helping others feel good about themselves is not only rewarding, it allows you to grow exponentially. You grow internally as a person and externally because your influence will have a farther reach.
Tip 2: Be a Problem Solver—Focus on helping people with their problems in your writing and in your products/services (if you own a business) and you will build a strong foundation of support for yourself. Always connect by sharing a part of your personal life—but remember that creating passionate connections with others by solving their problems should be the focus in all that you do. I always tell me kiddos—solve problems—don’t create them.
Tip 3: Be Not Afraid—Taking risks and moving through fear is the only way I know how to accomplish big dreams. You know the dreams I am talking about. The ones we had when we were young, before we gave up and decided to be “practical”. Don’t be afraid of fear and the muddled mind feeling—as you reach out and help others, you will receive the resources you need. Take the risks you need to by basking in that uncomfortable feeling of trying something completely new. This is even harder if it isn’t something you do often. I now do it so often that taking risks seems a normal part of my day.
Tip 4: Be a Visionary—Use your creativity to craft life visions for yourself and others. Most people don’t spend any time at all on visioning what they want in their lives. Visioning is the key to making long-lasting passionate connections with everyone you come in contact with. Be a dreamer and then follow through with action. Trust me—this one simple tip will attract like-minded individuals into your life and together you will achieve more than you ever could have alone. And don’t worry if you get overwhelmed—being a visionary is supposed to be overwhelming to some extent. But visioning works on many different levels too. Try breaking it down by creating smaller visions for your family, your significant other, your work and/or business goals, and so on.
Tip 5: Be Real—This is my favorite tip for creating passionate connections because it helps others the most. Think about all the times someone was honest with you and it pushed you forward. When someone cared enough to validate you by showing you that you were worth the time to talk, laugh, and learn with. Remember when we were a kid—isn’t that all we wanted back then—relationships that were real and honest. Be real with those you come in contact with (personal or professional) and you will create a life-long stream of validated friends and/or customers to serve.
Let’s face it—what it all boils down to is that life is about making passionate connections—it is about validating others and allowing them to live dreams that touch other people’s lives too. When your dreams include serving others you can’t lose. Make sure you practice the tips above so that you are doing your part to make an incredible life happen for you.
Sheri McConnell is the CEO of Sheri McConnell Companies, Inc. and the president and founder of two global organizations, the Smart Women’s Institute of Entrepreneurial Learning (formerly the National Assn of Women Writers-2001) and the Global Institute of Associations-GIA. You can visit Sheri, access her free article archive, and grab lots of free stuff at http://www.smartwomeninstitute.com. Sheri lives in San Antonio, Texas with her husband, their four children, a weenie dog, and three hermit crabs.