Much is made of the power of networking and building your network. It is said that you are the sum of the five people you spend most time with.
If this is true, and I believe it is, then it makes sense to surround yourself with like minded people who add value to your life and you in turn add value to theirs.
If you think about it, have you ever found yourself being drained of energy by being in the company of someone who is constantly whining and moaning about how unfair life is, or how everything bad that is apparently happening to them is the fault of someone else?
When you are in this position, what do you do about it? Do you get drawn in and affirm what they are saying? Do you ask them to stop whinging because you don't want to be part of it? Do you walk away and remove yourself from the conversation or do you simply just put up with it and tell yourself that's just the way they are?
Being in business can be a lonely environment, particularly in the early days. Finding people who reflect how you think, who have similar values, who offer complementary services or products to yours, can be a great antedote to the dis-ease of getting involved in the "life's a downer" club. Furthermore, they can motivate and inspire you, support your projects and ideas, become an advocate of your work to others, or indeed form a partnership in which "two heads are better than one", creating a product or service far more powerful than each individual might have created on their own.
So next time you meet someone for the first time consider how you might be aligned and then ask yourself "is there an opportunity to form an alliance that is mutually supportive and potentially profitable, not only in terms of money but also in respect of motivation, inspiration and creation?".
When you do this you will often find that those you might have considered competitors previously, may in fact be your biggest allies.
When great minds come together the possibilities are endless!