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Entrepreneurs Need to Network

LinkedIn

Job security is changing. “Safe” jobs with a guaranteed pension are a thing of the past. Owning a business is much more secure than a job, provided you know how to operate one successfully.

Reid Hoffman, Co-founder/CEO of LinkedIn, says that you should think of yourself as a permanent start-up company, or as he calls it, “permanent beta.” Big companies like Apple, Netflix, Google, and Amazon know that they are always in the test phase. Jeff Bezos, founder/CEO of Amazon concludes every annual letter to shareholders by reminding them that “it’s still Day 1.” This can vary from share to share, however. People who invest in nio shares as a part of their day trading may engage differently with those they bought into, but the sentiment is well understood. In other

words, great companies are always changing and evolving. And so is your life coaching business.

“Entrepreneurs deal with uncertainties, changes, and constraints head-on. They take stock of their assets, aspirations, and the market realities to develop a competitive advantage. They craft flexible, iterative plans. They build a network of relationships throughout their industry that outlives their start-up. They aggressively seek and create breakout opportunities that involve focused risk and actively manage that risk. They tap their network for the business intelligence to navigate tough challenges.” – from “The Start-up of You” by Reid Hoffman.

This quote brings us to the other important point I want to make about entrepreneurship…that is the importance of networks. You can tap into more opportunities by belonging to groups and associations, because information flows through groups of people. J.P. Morgan was one of the most successful entrepreneurs of his time and at his death he belonged to 24 associations.

For example, LinkedIn is a site that was originally set up mainly for freelancers, contractors, corporate workers, and other professionals who are looking for jobs. Now it has expanded to include people in all professions. Having connections in your field is always helpful. Even having only 25 contacts can put you within reach of over a million potential contacts because of the tiered contact structure.

There are over twelve million small-business people on LinkedIn, which is roughly 20 percent of its total user base. As a coach, you are a small business owner and you can use LinkedIn to promote your business.

Many coaches and potential coaching clients have established a presence on LinkedIn. You need to see if your clients and professional contacts use the site. See if your audience is there by doing a keyword search and see how many people come up. Examples of keywords to search for can be your area of expertise, terms related to your expertise, or descriptions of your ideal client such as divorced parents or cancer recovery patients.

There are plenty of groups online and offline that can supply you with a plethora of ideas, information, education, and opportunities. Be sure to take advantage of these groups, including the IAPLC.

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