EXPANSION – My Word for 2023
Expansion. Per dictionary.com, “the state or quality of being expanded.” Now, that could mean a few different things. You might have eaten too much over the holidays and need those favorite sweats for a few days, or perhaps you are adding on or expanding the size of your home. It could even be a math equation (not my thing!). As I’ve thought about where I want to focus my time in the upcoming year, I plan to leverage “expansion” in the area of different opportunities. As a leader and mentor, I encourage people to be ready for new opportunities before the opportunities present themselves. But how to do that? What should you look for?
In my experience there are three things to consider when you want to expand your potential for opportunities. First, have a conversation with those who ask. If the person asking is seeking your knowledge, take the time. Even a thirty-minute conversation can be more impactful to you, and them, than you can ever imagine. Years ago, when I was moving states, I had 25 conversations with people I was personally referred to who didn’t know me. I am forever grateful to those people for spending time with me and what I learned from them, and many of them I still talk to.
If you are in a position where you are a purchaser of things, you may get a lot of asks. It may get really annoying. However, many times the people who ask are experts in their field. Leverage their knowledge! You may not need to buy what they are selling, but ask questions. Learn.
Second, join things outside your circle. When you become comfortable or routine it’s time to expand your boundaries. Network with a different group. Go to an event where you may not know anyone. Ask to be introduced to and talk with people who have had a path or experience vastly different from yours. I’m always intrigued by the journeys of others; how they got to where they are and the decision points they encountered.
Lastly, be willing to do the “extra” thing. I have a friend who over the years has repeatedly asked me to be a guest on his podcast. It’s always fun and great conversation. Recently, he wrote a chapter of a book that was being published and asked if I would review it. I opted not only to read his chapter, but the entire book. When we met so I could share my comments, he shared more about the publishing organization and asked if I would be interested in becoming more involved. All because I was willing to help my friend and not only do the work on his behalf but share my feedback and perspective on a larger scale. More to come there!
As 2023 begins I encourage you to intentionally expand your knowledge, your circle, and your horizons! You never know what may show up.