I got a call last week out of the blue from a gentleman in Iowa. He is in the process of doing some research with the intent of starting a business in the apparel industry. His business idea involved logo embroidered apparel and he found Thread Logic on the Internet. He wanted to ask me some questions.
I get call like this every once in a while. They all vary somewhat. Another time I was talking to a customer and he started asking me some questions about the Internet marketing we were doing.
I actually enjoy these conversations. While I may be able to help someone out, I usually learn something in the process as well. But that is not my primary motivation.
Some people may ask why I do this. Why do I take the time out of a busy schedule to talk to someone else who owns a business? Someone I have probably never met and may not even be a customer. It is a good question.
But I do it for a reason. You see, I got a lot of help when I was starting Thread Logic. There were people I called up to ask questions. I had a couple of mentors I could bounce ideas off of as I was building my business model.
These people had the business experience that I didn’t have and were willing to share it with me. They were invaluable to me. I really don’t think I could have made it this far without their help.
My willingness to help others in rooted in the help I got and continue to get. It is my way of paying it forward.
Recently, I had a human resources question that I needed to ask. I went to see someone I have known for a number of years who has a lot of experience in that area. We had an hour long conversation. It was very helpful in my decision making process.
We all have these networks of people we know. Take advantage of them. Now with tools like LinkedIn it is easy to find someone who you might be able to help you with a problem.
But more importantly, if you have the opportunity to help other business owners or those seeking to start a business, I encourage you to help them in any way you can.
Starting a new business is hard. Growing a business is hard. Running a business is hard. Take the opportunity tap the vast knowledge of your network and be willing to help if someone from out of the blue wants to tap your expertise.
The rewards will come back to you 10 times over.