We all tend to swim in familiar waters — and many of us are members of the same community of business professionals year over year. I know I’ve been guilty of that. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but, every once in a while, it would behoove you to step out of your comfort zone and engage with new groups of individuals. Doing so can afford you fresh perspectives, insights, ideas and new business relationships that can lead to greater opportunities and the ability to add to your network and cultivate new collaborators and friends.
I recently accepted an invite to join two new groups — one is called Thought Council, which is an elite ‘mastermind’ type group of members curated by Jeffrey Hayzlett (a notable business leader, author and speaker who also runs C-Suite Network for executives & thought leaders). I’ve been a member of mastermind groups before, and they don’t always work, but I like and trust Jeff and his judgment, and decided to give this one a try. I’m also a C-Suite Advisor to the C-Suite Network, and being a member of the Thought Council takes the whole experience up a notch. There are many benefits which you can read about if you’re curious, but the primary ones are that Jeff himself hand-picks & selects the individual members – invite only (which counts for a great deal) – and that we’re to learn from and exchange ideas with each other that hopefully will accelerate more deal flow and profits, and help each other to avoid mistakes and detours that detract our focus from doing the things that will have the most beneficial impact on our businesses and our brands in the most efficient manner.
The second group I was invited to join is ALSO by invite-only, and it’s called the Human Gathering. This is a group of cultivated influencers and high achievers who are passionate about making a mark in the world and who operate at a very high level in their daily round. It’s an elite group of roughly 125 of the top minds and leaders in business, technology, the arts and philanthropy. The first time I was invited to attend, I guess I ignored it; but a couple of years later they reached out again — and I’m going this year. It hasn’t happened yet, and what takes place will be highly confidential, but my point is it will be an opportunity to expand my network in an intimate environment in a room full of curated, like-minded peers where anything can happen. And for that reason alone, I’m very much looking forward to participating.
We all have limited time and money, so we need to invest wisely; but when opportunity knocks and you have a chance to expand your network with people who think and operate at a similar level as you do — it really merits your careful evaluation and consideration of whether or not to say “yes” as these invites arise. It seems the more successful you are, the more you are asked to participate in elite, invite-only gatherings — and yet, you still need to be discerning about which ones feel like a good fit for you. You won’t always know until you’ve tried them, but, in my experience, there are always gifts to stepping outside of your routine and comfort zone; and even magic at times!
People often ask how I became a super-connector, and saying ‘yes’ to select invites like these, and being willing to show up and meet new people and try new experiences is one of my secrets to success. So pay attention as these things come your way and be willing to go for it!