Be well, do good work and keep in touch

(Repost of an article I wrote in March, 2007)

Garrison Keillor may not be the first person you think about when it comes to business. But, he has a lot to say about success in business and what it really takes to get booked solid.

From his perspective, success happens when you follow these three principles:

“Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.”

To me, the “be well” part is about taking great care of yourself and handling the personal problems, fears and challenges that keep you from getting booked solid. It’s about developing the confidence and courage you need to do your best work. The “do good work” part is about standing in the service of others - finding the clients you are meant to serve and doing great things out in the world. Or, as Michael says, it’s thinking bigger about who you are and what you offer the world.

Then, there’s the “keep in touch” part…

Most business owners know that keeping in touch is a critical part of growing their business. And, it is the key to building relationships - not to mention trust and credibility.

But, the sad fact is that most service professionals don’t keep in touch like they know they should. And, as a result, they miss out on opportunities, lose touch with prospects and fail to connect meaningfully with the people they are meant to serve.

And, when that happens, the opportunities to “do good work” are less and less. Which then negatively impacts the “be well” part.

This degenerative cycle repeats itself over and over again…until we break it by reconnecting with the people in our network and in our community.

We do this when we reach out to those who have the resources, ideas and connections we need to do our best work. And, when we find powerful and meaningful ways to reach our ideal clients and referral partners. And, in the process, we become that resource and point of connection for those around us as well.

Some people call that the “Three Foot Rule,” which says that everyone within three feet of you (literally or via the phone and web) either needs something you have or has something you need. I see it as something much more than that.

It’s the synergy..that spark of energy that manifests when we connect with others in a meaninful and powerful way. When that happens, opportunities are born, resulting in new relationships, new resources, new ideas and new ways to grow our business and serve our clients. We take that energy and then help others do the same (a far cry from the linear process often described when talking about keep-in-touch strategies).

That’s when the magic happens, as illustrated by the movie, Pay it Forward.

So, what would happen if we made a commitment to keep in touch? To reach out and build relationships in a meaningful way?

I believe that keeping in touch and giving back to our network has never been more important than it is right now - but not just for getting clients. Or, because it’s the “right” strategy for building a business. But, for what it can do to transform our work, our communities and our world.

Here’s my challenge to you:

Make a commitment to keep in touch with your network in a personal and meaningful way. If you don’t know how to do that, get a system like the one we use to help you personally connect with as many people as possible. Either way, decide to keep in touch and give back to your network each and every day.

Then, see what connections and opportunities life brings you in return. What it really means to keep in touch. And, why Keillor links “keep in touch” with “doing good work” and “being well.”

Let me know if you are ready to take the Keep-in-Touch (aka Connection) Challenge! Who knows…if enough of you respond, I might even create an official 30-day challenge like Andy has done for The Secret.

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