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317. How to Leverage Relationships to Grow Your Business

How to Leverage Relationships to Grow Your Business

Leveraging the Power of Relationships in Entrepreneurship

The Rise and Fall of Solo Entrepreneurship

Bailey points out a critical shift in business culture: the overwhelming emphasis on individualism and solo achievements. Entrepreneurs often believe that success must be achieved alone to be acknowledged, overlooking the fact that history’s most successful figures, like Oprah or LeBron James, thrive through teamwork. This section would delve deeper into why the myth of the 'solo-preneur' can be harmful and how embracing community can lead to greater success.

Building Genuine Connections: The Right Strategy

The conversation shifts towards practical strategies for relationship building. Bailey criticizes the common approach many take—reaching out only when in need, akin to harvesting without sowing. Instead, she advocates for a 'garden strategy' to networking: planting seeds and nurturing relationships long before you need to ask for help. This section will expand on effective networking techniques such as joining relevant communities, being purpose-driven, and the importance of offering value before expecting returns.

Cultivating Your Network: Nurturing Existing Relationships

Once connections are established, the next critical step is nurturing them. Bailey discusses her personal strategy of running weekly connection roundups, showcasing and supporting her network’s endeavors and maintaining visibility in her community. Highlighting the importance of this ongoing engagement, this portion of the blog would provide actionable advice on how entrepreneurs can keep their network active and engaged, ensuring a supportive community around their ventures.

Being Open to Give and Receive Help

A significant part of leveraging relationships effectively lies in the entrepreneurs' ability to be open to both giving and receiving help. Bailey mentions the difficulties many face with this due to ego or fear of appearing weak. This blog section would dissect these barriers and offer insights on overcoming them, emphasizing the mutual benefits of vulnerability and openness within professional networks.

Mastering the Art of the Ask: Engagement Beyond Transactions

One of the critical elements in networking that Bailey highlights is the approach to making requests. The direct ask right after making a new connection often feels transactional and can turn potential allies away. She proposes a more nuanced approach, building genuine interest and shared connections before moving to business discussions. This part of the blog will offer dos and don’ts for entrepreneurs to consider when they are ready to 'harvest' the rewards of their networking efforts.

Conclusion: A Reciprocal Approach to Business Growth

In conclusion, the podcast episode demonstrates that the path to entrepreneurial success doesn't have to be lonely or competitive. By strategically leveraging the power of relationships, entrepreneurs can not only enhance their business’s growth but also contribute to a vibrant, supportive community. The final section will inspire entrepreneurs to rethink their approach to relationships, viewing each connection as part of a collaborative journey toward mutual success.

Episode Links

Connect with Baily on Instagram @bailyhancock

You can also visit her website here.

DM: Drop in my DM’s over on Instagram @amytraugh and say hi! Yes, it’s actually me responding!

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Transcript for Episode 317.  How to Leverage Relationships to Grow Your Business

Amy [00:00:02]:

Did you know that there is a right way and a wrong way to leverage the power of relationships to grow your business? In today's episode, I have the coolest guest on Bailey Hancock, and we are talking all things strategically. Building relationships, going about it in a way that feels good, a way that's mutually beneficial, not the icky, slimy, sleazy DM's that we've all gotten, because, let's be honest, those are just so cringe worthy. And there's a better way. So buckle up, because this is going to be an incredible episode. But before we dive in, Bailey, I'm so excited that you're here with me today.

Baily [00:00:45]:

Thank you so much for having me, Amy. I cannot wait to talk to your people about my favorite subject.

Amy [00:00:51]:

Oh, my gosh. This is going to be such a good conversation. But first, share with us a little bit more about yourself. Who you are, what you do, and who you serve.

Baily [00:00:59]:

I am Bailey Hancock. I am Archie and Penny's mom. They are preschoolers. I'm also a connection facilitator and strategist who teaches primarily female entrepreneurs how to build, nurture, and leverage relationships to achieve their goals and succeed together. And that can usually take the form of harnessing the power of community, connection and collaboration to increase impact, increase visibility and increase credibility.

Amy [00:01:27]:

Yes, yes, yes. To all of that. I want to know, what is your opinion? Where in the world did we forget about the power of relationships? Because it's something that's so foundational yet so often overlooked when entrepreneurs are trying to grow their businesses. So where did we lose sight of this?

Baily [00:01:50]:

I think with the rise of kind of individualism in this country especially, and the rise of this idea of, you know, there could be only one, or if you don't do it alone, then it doesn't count somehow as your own success. But there has been no point in history and no successful person to ever have lived that did so in a vacuum. Right? Like, we survived in tribes then long, long after that, like, even the top athletes in the world, you know, LeBron pays millions for his support team and his coaches and his trainers and his physical therapists and all of that, we, every successful person, you know, Oprah's not out there doing Oprah's thing by herself. She has a huge team of people, the best in the world, that are supporting her so that she can be great at what she does. And this is what entrepreneurs often get wrong, myself and most of my friends included. If you're a solo preneur, which even that term is almost setting us up for failure. Because, again, you're not a solopreneur. You are an entrepreneur.

Baily [00:02:52]:

You have an idea. But in order to do most of anything, you do have to bring in support. And even if that support is just a strong group of fellow entrepreneur friends that you can commiserate with and complain to when things are hard or celebrate when something great happens that maybe your partner or your family or your friends who are not entrepreneurs might just not get. And so even just having that moral support with your connections is huge. Even if you're doing the work alone, technically, you will get so much farther if you do it with other people.

Amy [00:03:26]:

Such a great point. You will. You will get so much farther if you link arms with others, if you're willing to ask for and accept help, because you're absolutely right. When you look at these public figures that we consider wildly successful, they're not doing it alone. They've never done it alone. They're willing to receive help. They've learned it is a hard one to do because it's hard for us to admit it. I think it's almost our ego a little bit.

Baily [00:04:01]:

It's 100% our ego. It's 100% our ego, and it's society's expectations. And I think especially the millennial generation and beyond, we were raised to do all the things, speak multiple languages, be part of a million clubs, like, do so much, excel in school, work really hard. And I know for me, growing up, I felt like, okay, well, I have to be the best. I have to be top in the class. I have to succeed. There can be only one class president. There can be only one lacrosse team captain.

Baily [00:04:34]:

Right? And so I think all of those things made it seem like that was normal. And then as I've gotten older and as I've come in and out of entrepreneurship over the last decade plus, I realized that in the moments where I'm really excelling, whether it's as an employee or an entrepreneur, it's when I have a team of people, be it even just moral support or otherwise supporting me, and they're alongside me. And it feels so much less sad and lonely and stressful when you have people supporting you. But that part about accepting help is critical, and it's a two part piece. Asking for help feels uncomfortable, and accepting help feels uncomfortable. So if you're in that camp and you're like, yeah, I don't even know how to go about beginning to do that, you are so not alone. You are part of the majority. But I promise you, there is so much of a better way.

Amy [00:05:24]:

Gosh, you are speaking to my soul, because, yeah, I was at that same generation, and it was all based off of external validation and checking off somebody else's checkboxes. You know, like you said, there's always, like, this competition mindset that we were brought up with because you're right, there was only one class president. There was only one valedictorian. There was only, you know, there was always this, like, subconscious striving for more. And unless you achieved that one thing, like, you weren't going to be enough. So it really comes back to having the self awareness, doing the inner work, and realizing, you know what? The only validation I need is my own. And I spent years and I'm still working on it, unlearning those patterns that have been ingrained in us. But what you have taught us just now, like, is so powerful, the power of being open to receiving when you realize that there is no competition out there, that there are people there ready and willing to help you and to support you in different capacities, and that's going to look different for everyone.

Baily [00:06:38]:


Amy [00:06:39]:

And I think that's just so important to be open to receiving. And in order to build this, we really need to lean into the power of relationships.

Baily [00:06:51]:


Amy [00:06:51]:

So where do we even start? Because there's a really good way to do it, and there's a really cringey way to intentionally build these relationships. Could you speak upon that a little bit?

Baily [00:07:03]:

100%. Usually the way people go about it incorrectly is starting with asking. So starting to leverage the relationships versus building and nurturing first. It's a cyclical thing. I always think of a garden when it comes to my network because it's so relevant. Right. Like, you don't just one day go, oh, I'm hungry, I'm going to go out to my garden and pick some vegetables. If you've planted no seeds and you've not watered those seeds, there will be no vegetables to pick.

Baily [00:07:34]:

And if there are, it's like, what kind of nutrients are going to be in them if they're just randomly out there? Right. You haven't paid them any attention until you were hungry. So the time to start building and nurturing a network and relationships is long before you need to leverage them. Right. And so as an entrepreneur, this can look like joining communities of other entrepreneurs. It can look like building your online community, whether that's on LinkedIn or a number of virtual communities that are out there. There's so many ways that you can do this, and it really comes down to identifying what's your goal? Are you trying to make new friends? Are you trying to find people that have a similar phase of life or that they're in a similar phase of life to you, or that they have a kind of understanding of the sort of business or work that you do? Having the idea of what it is that you're hoping to gain from it from the beginning is super crucial. And then going to where those people are, and there's so many places to find them.

Baily [00:08:29]:

It's just a matter of taking your time and really being intentional about where your positioning yourself out in the world to be discoverable by other people and to find like minded souls that you're looking for.

Amy [00:08:41]:

Yes. They're out there. They are 100% out there. It's amazing.

Baily [00:08:45]:

And they're looking for you.

Amy [00:08:46]:

Yes. Yes. And when you're intentional about it, when you're strategic about it, that's when you start to see all of the amazing opportunities out there. So often we're focused on ourselves. Like you said, we're focused on, oh, gosh, I need this, I need that. That we're closing ourselves off. But when we realize, okay, there are opportunities, where can I find these? Where are my people at? And what is the goal? That right there is a game changer. Because now we can approach it strategically and with intent.

Amy [00:09:19]:

And something else you said, I love your garden analogy, that, you know, we have to build and nurture. We don't just go out there when we're hungry. Really being crystal clear on that goal and seeking to serve something that's really helped me is just being human, seeking to serve others, like, very difficult. It sure is, right? I mean, I've been on networking calls where immediately the person slides into my DM's and they're like, hey, buy my thing. Okay, that's very cringey. But hey, let's just get to know each other first on a human level. You know, let's talk about these things, these commonalities that we might share versus buy my thing right off the bat. Cause that just comes across desperate.

Baily [00:10:10]:

I think it's disingenuous too, right? Can you imagine going for coffee with that person one day? Never. The relationship is over before it began because they came in way too hot.

Amy [00:10:21]:

Right. Exactly. Which kind of leads us into something else I wanted to talk about was when we do get those weird DM's saying, okay, we just connected, let's hop on a coffee chat. Like we. What? What just happened? Please don't do that. Tell me your take. On it.

Baily [00:10:37]:

Don't do that. And, you know, and this is the thing, like, there can be quick relationships in DM's. And this year alone, I've had over 150 conversations with people since the end of last year, and the bulk of those are with new people to my network, and I'm finding them through connections with other people. So a lot of warm introductions right now are happening in world, and it will look like a friend who I've connected with or who's known me for a while connect to me in LinkedIn's DM, saying, hey, you should totally know this person. Here's why I say hello. And I will usually say, like, oh, my gosh, I read your bio. I totally resonate with this part. Or, oh my gosh, I went to school there, or, oh, my husband went to school.

Baily [00:11:20]:

You find a connection point, and I talk about connection points a ton. And effectively, it's the place where on your Venn diagram between you and the other person, your circles overlap. So my company is called overlap collective. My podcast in the works and my soon to be book are called seeking the overlap. And it's the crux of everything I do. It's like, what are the connection points between you and the people around you? Because that's where your humanity lives. That's where all of your commonalities live. That's where you can see each other as equals and as a fellow human being having a human experience on this earth, which is where everything begins from.

Baily [00:11:56]:

If you start close in at that overlap and then expand out, things are so much different than if you start in the outside and you're like, you need this thing. I checked out your website, and it's terrible. You need my. Like, that one always blows me away.

Amy [00:12:11]:

Yes, I get that all the time. Wow. Wow, thanks. Oh, great. Now I feel really bad about myself.

Baily [00:12:16]:

Yeah, exactly. It's like, this is a weird vibe you're coming in with, but if somebody comes in, very genuine, like, hey, this is how I approach it. If I get a warm introduction from somebody via email or LinkedIn DM, I will say, you know, any friend of Amy's is a friend of mine. I love what you said about this. Your work and my work seem to overlap here. If you're ever interested in taking this conversation to a zoom, you know, virtual coffee chat, here's my link. And there's never any pressure. There's never a, let's find time in the next week to chat.

Baily [00:12:45]:

It's like, here it is. I'm available if you're available. And I fully recognize that not everybody is in a headspace of connection at every point in time. I'm not even, and I'm a connection facilitator and strategist, but there are times in my life, and quarter two for me is sort of one of those where I'm pulling back a bit on the amount of connection, new connections, especially, that I'm doing, because I need to integrate what I've learned in the last quarter or two. I need to actually do some work. And there are seasons for all of this. So I go into every new relationship understanding that they may be in a totally different headspace than I'm in. I'm going to slide my business card effectively across the table and say, whenever you're ready, I'm available.

Baily [00:13:25]:

And I'm very interested. And then it happens. When it happens. I believe in timing fully. And I'm telling you, there have been times where somebody's booked a call right away and it's been rescheduled, like three times. And by the time we talk, it's like perfect timing for whatever reason. So I'm not offended if somebody's like, I like this, but not anytime soon. No problem.

Baily [00:13:45]:

And if they take me up on it right away and book a call for the next day, cool. I'm into that, too. But just coming in sort of understanding. You don't know where everybody's head space is. Be available. And I like what you said before, like, you have to sort of lead with value, too.

Amy [00:13:59]:

Yeah. So many good points you just made there. And that's what builds those deeper relationships. When you're finding the commonalities, when you're finding that overlap, that's what it's about. It's about connecting, because we all, at the end of the day, want to feel heard. We want to feel valued. We want to feel loved and accepted. Like you said at the very beginning, you know, we used to run in tribes.

Amy [00:14:24]:

Well, now we're still. We want that. We want to be accepted by the tribe. We want that deep connection to others. But to your point, you just made, you don't know what else is going on. And I think a lot of times we're afraid to ask because we're afraid of being rejected because, oh, rejection is.

Baily [00:14:43]:

At the core of all of it, right?

Amy [00:14:45]:

Fear of rejection. But when you realize it's nothing personal, you only know this little sliver of their life that you see on a post on social media. You don't know all of the things on the back end that are going on in their life that just because you hear a no, it just might be not be the right time right now. And exactly as you said, it's so crazy how the world works, how timing always works out. The stars align just as they're supposed to, and it's so cool when we can really lean into that and be like, okay, you know what? This is, this is all happening at the perfect pace for me. Because let's face it, you know, online, it's easy to get wrapped up into the, the on demand culture that, like, okay, I said I wanted to start a business. I should have a month business right now.

Baily [00:15:34]:

Oh my God.

Amy [00:15:37]:

That's not how it works.

Baily [00:15:39]:

Unfortunately, not how it works with anything, right? Like sustainably, intentionally building, nurturing, and leveraging relationships. It's not the smash and grab, like, oh, I need this. I need a new job right now, or I need clients. Let me go quickly, like, meet some people that can open doors for me. That does not work in the long run. It might work randomly every now and then, but that's, that's kind of out of your control. But if you can be thoughtful about consistently adding new people, I call it curating your community instead of just like growing your network, because growing your network implies just like a spray and pray methodology, right? Where it's like, I'll take anybody to my network and I won't. I actively prune.

Baily [00:16:22]:

To go back to the garden analogy, I prune my network all the time. And that looks like unfollowing certain people from my LinkedIn feed because it's not even anything against them, it's just not resonating with me. It's not the kind of content I want to surround myself with. I'm always thinking about, okay, if I'm in a season of wanting more, let's just say podcast guest opportunities, which was one of my goals this year, is to be on more podcasts so I can reach more people and, and meet more people. That way, I'm going to put myself in places where I can find more of those opportunities, right? I'm going to be meeting people who host their own podcasts. I'm going to be meeting people who also leverage that as strategy to increase their visibility. I'm going to put myself in places where that it, that goal is supported. I'm not going to be putting myself in places where I know that I'm going to be seeing a ton of sales content for SEO optimization because that's just not a priority for me.

Baily [00:17:14]:

And there's too much information on the Internet to not be intentional about what you are seeing every day, because you'll be inundated and overwhelmed all the time if you don't.

Amy [00:17:24]:

Yeah, 100%. It's all about being intentional. It's all about having that clarity. Why am I doing what I'm doing? When you make that shift, that's when growing a business becomes sustainable. Because now you know why. And you can say yes to those opportunities that are going to get you closer to that goal that you're working towards. And you can say no to the rest. That really helps you maintain those boundaries and makes business easier.

Amy [00:17:55]:

It makes it feel good. But I just love everything you're saying, and I want to know one more thing from you. So we're building all of these connections. We're growing our network. You said you take the time to intentionally prune your network. What are you doing to nurture your network? I think a lot of times people hop on a coffee chat and they're like, oh, you were great. But then you never hear from them again. It's like, okay, well, maybe this person follows me maybe every once in a blue moon, but what are you into? What are you doing to strategically nurture.

Baily [00:18:30]:

And fertilizer part of the process? Yeah, that nurture piece, it's the part I feel most comfortable in. Because if we think about what's actually happening in the build nurture leverage formula, build is an active pursuit. That's where I'm actively meeting new people. Whether it's at a co working space I just joined or, or it's virtual coffee dates, or it's in people's DM's, whatever. That is a lot of effort, right? To go out and meet new people. You sort of have to gear up to do that. You got to have the energy, you have to have the desire, you have to have like the extroversion capacity. And even an extrovert like myself, I'm not always in that headspace, right? I have two kids.

Baily [00:19:09]:

Like I mentioned, I was awake for 3 hours in the middle of the night last night. On a day like today, I'm likely not going to be in the mood to go out and meet new people. Right? It's. And they're not going to get my best. So the building piece takes a lot of effort and intentionality. The leveraging piece on the end, that's the asking for help. Okay? And even those of us that preach this have a hard time with asking for help. So that part can feel a little intimidating too.

Baily [00:19:35]:

The nurture part, though, that's the fun part for me, because I can just give and I can amplify other people's messages and their needs. One of my favorite things that I started doing at the beginning of 2024 was doing weekly connection roundup posts on LinkedIn. And because I meet with a lot of people every week, I realized early on. So I was laid off from my day job in November of 2023, which is what got me to come back to entrepreneurship very happily.

Amy [00:20:03]:


Baily [00:20:03]:

But I was a bit out of water. I was like, okay, what direction do I go in first? So what I did was what I do, which is start connecting with people, reaching back out to people I haven't talked to in a while, making new friends. So as I was going through the first months of 2024, where I was connecting with anywhere from five to ten people a week, I decided, well, you know what? Maybe I'll show my work. I'll show my work on all this connection that I'm doing and make sure that it's not just happening and then disappearing. To your point, right? You could have a great conversation and then never hear from somebody again because you didn't have a reason to. So my weekly connection roundup posts, I list every person that I chatted with that week. I'll usually say, oh, I know this person from back in this job, or I was introduced to this person by this person who I know through this person. So I'm like, showing the work in a way, like when you had to do math problems growing up.

Baily [00:20:53]:

I'm showing the work. I'm showing how I came to this number. And so I post once a week my connections from the week prior. And I also include a little blurb. Everybody knows now when I have a conversation with them, I'll say, what do you want included in the roundup post? People are like, am I going to be in the connection roundup post this week? So they get excited because they know it's going to be great visibility to my network for them. So I will link to a program they're launching. I'll link to a podcast episode they were on. I will link to something.

Baily [00:21:20]:

And I always include note at the end, if there's anybody you're interested in connecting with deeper, either send me a DM or say hello in the comments. I will make that warm introduction. So it's me practicing what I preach, showing my work, and also helping to amplify everybody in my network's voices, which is to your point. People want to be seen. They want to be received. They want to feel like anybody cares about what they're doing or paying attention. And so that's my favorite way to do that, is hand a microphone to my community, to all of these people.

Amy [00:21:53]:

Yeah. And that's something I love doing as well. It's just amplifying others. Like, doesn't it feel good? Like, I don't care about, like, the spotlight being on me. I'm like, let's put it on everyone else because I'm just one person. But if I can help amplify you, it's that law of reciprocity that when I have an ask, because I've come to them without any, like, you know, hey, I would love to share this out. Like, I just shared out five people to my email list today. They're hosting, like, free webinars doing all these cool things.

Amy [00:22:26]:

And I'm like, my network needs to know about these things, that these.

Baily [00:22:30]:

It's the kind thing to do.

Amy [00:22:32]:

Right, exactly. And even some of them are very similar niche wise. But it's like, okay, there's plenty for all of us. And I don't have the capacity to serve everyone every time. So, hey, maybe that person's a better fit. That's amazing. Let's amplify her. But by doing that, it really does create such.

Amy [00:22:53]:

That deep connection, and they just feel such gratitude. I feel good. They feel good that, you know, I really think that this was part of the reason I had such a successful launch. Back in March, when I first released my book, I had a huge launch team because I knew in order to make this a success, I need my voice amplified. So all of these people that I've connected with showed up for me, and it was just so cool seeing that reciprocity and like, hey, no, you support me all the time. Like, what do you need? I'll do whatever for you.

Baily [00:23:30]:


Amy [00:23:30]:

You know, just that, the power of, again, relationships, the power of being a human and just connecting and being willing to ask for and receive help. Bailey, you have shared so many mic drop moments, so much value. I love talking to you. I could talk to you all day, but in the interest of time, tell listeners where we can learn more about you and the amazing things that you're doing.

Baily [00:24:00]:

You can go to that has all of my things on there, and please connect with me on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is where I'm spending the bulk of my time these days, which just makes sense. And I think it's one of the platforms. It's maybe the only platform out there right now that feels like there's the most opportunity for connection with other people, which seems odd. I've been on LinkedIn for 17 years since it came out, and I feel differently about it today than I ever have before. It feels very optimistic and very hopeful and just a genuine place to connect with other people. So please find me on LinkedIn. You can get to that through as well and just send me a DM and say, hey, I heard you on Amy's podcast.

Baily [00:24:42]:

I'd love to connect. That's my favorite thing to do. So please come say hi. And Amy, thank you so much for letting me have this conversation with you, because I think it's one that can really help people in every facet of their lives. Business, personal, everything in between.

Amy [00:24:57]:

It truly is. It truly is. Thank you. I appreciate you.

Baily [00:25:00]:

My pleasure.

Amy [00:25:01]:

And until next time, cheers. To making the money you want so you can create the impact you desire.


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