What’s your plan to build profitable relationships this Year?

I remember back in January  2011, it was so darn cold, winter was surely coming in like a lion!  And we’d already gotten almost two feet of snow and I was torn on whether to travel or not the next two months, because itwas proving to be a bit of a challenge fly out of the New York/New Jersey area.  And I wrote this from writing from sunny and warm Phoenix, Arizona where I had just attended Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Manager (PM) Mastermind meeting. I almost didn’t make it because it snowed the morning I was supposed to leave and I was about 3 hours late to the meeting.  And now I’m getting ready to pack up and leave tomorrow to go back east and there’s another snow storm looming.  I hope I make it back… but being here in the warmth wouldn’t be so bad….

Yet, this is totally besides the point… The real reason I came here was because it’s my plan. (I mentioned how I create my plans in my “Find Your Hidden Money” blog from earlier this month.) My plan of how I will grow my business through attending workshops, conferences and meetings, and more specifically – building relationships with like-minded entrepreneurs and forming bonds to help our businesses grow.  This is really crucial to creating a more successful business and I ALWAYS plan out my travel schedule in January so I know exactly how it fits into my goals and the outcome I want for the year.

So how will this year be different from 2010?  What have I learned? What will I do differently in terms of building relationships?

  1. Plan 1 trip or less in a month – Last year I traveled way too much!  Some months I was away for  more than 10 days, it totally felt like I was back in corporate America. So I’m not doing that this year, with the exception of this month where I have two back to back trips.  In fact, I really just don’t like traveling as much anymore. I find as an entrepreneur I really like being in my home office.  This is a little red flag because I certainly don’t want to become isolated and a hermit working day to day, week to week, month to month alone in my office.  As my awesome Executive Coach Debbie Phillp’s always told me, “Isolation is a dream killer.” So you need to plan some travel and get out of your office and connect with like-minded people.
  2. Connect with more folks while I’m away – Last year because I traveled so much I just didn’t have time to connect with people before I left. So this year, I’m contacting friends, colleagues and clients before my trips to major cities to see if I can meet with them in person to connect and continue building my relationship with them.  This really has to do more with working smarter – not harder – and managing my time better when I’m on the road.
  3. Create Goals for my travel – This is another critical piece, to actually write down my goals for each of my trips.  On the plane, I simply took out a piece of paper and wrote down the outcome I wanted to get from this trip to Phoenix where I attended Jeff Walker’s PLM Mastermind.  And I’m happy to say I accomplished all the goals I set out for this meeting and then some. So always have a plan and goals when you travel to make your trips out of your office more productive and fun too.

So don’t spend all day every day at your computer, in your office or wherever. You need to get out and connect with other people. How about finding a conference in your business niche to attend this year? Ask your colleagues where they go to charge their business batteries each year?  Plan out your year, plan out the conferences, workshops or trips you will take that will help build and grow your business. Also, don’t forget to take some fun trips, or maybe tack on a day or so to a business trip to have some gun too.

Here was my Travel Plan For 2011 to Accomplish my Goals:

  • January 25 – 27 – heading to Las Vegas for Yanik Silver’s Mastermind meeting
  • February 21 – 27 – heading to LA for the Ultimate Internet Bootcamp
  • March 3 – 6 – heading to D.C. to Yanik Silver’s Underground 7
  • April 27 – May 1 – heading to Chicago for GKIC Superconference
  • June- 6 – 10 –heading to  Carmel, CA for some R&R
  • June 25 – July 9 – heading to Naples, ME for family vacation in our summer home

I’d encourage you to create your own strategic plan and goals around your travel this year which is really an incredibly important way for you to build relationships and to help grow your business and beyond.

So, get out your calendar now and plan the ways you will invest in yourself and your business to make your goals actually happen!