Many times, I feel that we underestimate the power or influence that one connection can have on our entire lives. It only takes one person or relationship for your life to head in an entirely new direction.
Throughout the summer, I spent a lot of time travelling. And it wasn't just a "tourist" kind of travelling. I was doing the basic entrepreneur stuff. I was attending master classes all over the globe and meeting new people.
And, although I was in a lot of learning spaces, the most important thing I learnt wasn't in terms of market strategy or growth theory. The most important thing I learnt was that offline is the new online.
Since then, I've sort of had an epiphany. I've been trying to disconnect myself from social media, online platforms, courses and videos. Don't get me wrong. The internet is amazing, and connecting to people through the world wide web can be exciting, amazing and fulfilling. However, I've come to realize that it is never quite the same as connecting with people in real life.
Like I said at the beginning, your life can change just because of one person or relationship. In fact, in many cases, people have their success stories based on one encounter or relationship with another person. Sometimes, that's what gets the ball rolling in the first place.
That is one of the reasons why I believe it is necessary that people get out of their comfort zones, and go out to meet new people. Because just one relationship or person can be what you need to get to where you want to be.
I'll even go a step further. It is my strong belief that to live an extraordinary life, you have to live it with extraordinary people. And how else can you find these sort of people but by looking for them?
What Makes The New Online Offline
Spending a lot of time on the internet building virtual relationships means that we have less time to build real-life relationships. So basically, we're having a trade-off that isn't in our favor.
It is easy to build online relationships. It's easier to convince people through texts or videos. But people don't feel your energy online— you're, most likely, just a few lines of code that is represented by a picture, profile and snarky bio.
That isn't the same as the physical world. Out here, you have to get out of your shell and actually talk to people. People want to know you, the real you, not the easily crafted image on the internet. That, of course, leads to some easy advantages. The first is that you get to know yourself better. With real-life relationships, people tend to be more honest. That isn't so with online relationships.
That isn't all. Do you know that people who have deep social relationships (note that social here refers to real-life relationships which are offline, as opposed to online virtual relationships) have a fifty per cent chance of living longer than people who do not?
Let's look at what Bene Brown, a social connections expert from the University of Houston has to say. “We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong. When those needs are not met, we don’t function as we were meant to. We break. We fall apart. We numb. We ache. We hurt others. We get sick.”
What this basically means is that we biologically crave relationships with others. And if these relationships don't exist, or are weak, we feel it. We become weak as well.
This is what I've learnt to apply in my own life. I try not to attend virtual masterclasses— I try, whenever I can, to make these connections in person. I put myself in rooms of influential people because I believe that just one relationship or connection can be the turning point for me.
By investing my time and money into building these sort of real-life relationships, I've ensured that I'm building my social currency and developing an influential circle of people who will be of immense help to me, as I to them.
The Business Of Social Currency
Meeting people can be scary, especially if you're shy, but it is exactly these sort of relationships that can help you build a social currency quickly.
It is important not to underestimate the importance of social currency. Your social currency is extremely important, as there are opportunities that can only be gotten from certain people. It's great to be on the internet and all that, but one on one relationships have proven to be more important.
Look at it this way. The more successful people you know, the more successful you tend to be. The more successful the people in your circle are, the less likely you are to be unsuccessful. That is simply what it means. The opposite, of course, is also the case. The more unsuccessful your circle is, the more unsuccessful you tend to be.
Therefore it is not only important to establish offline relationships, but it is also important to establish these relationships with successful people you'd like to emulate as well.
It Only Takes One
What does it take to be successful? A lot of people say hard work. Some say smart work. Some say God. Some say innovation.
But not many people say connection. However, the truth is that opportunities are what gets you success. And how do you position yourself for the right opportunities? Simple, by knowing the right people. By having them in your circle.
Sadly, this isn't something that happens often online. It happens way more offline.