“Birds of a feather flock together,” the saying goes, reflecting the concept that people of similar tastes and interests hang with each other. Let’s put this in the context of health and fitness. If you want to make a lifestyle shift by establishing a regular workout schedule and eating healthier, then joining a gym or after-work running club, or training for a 10K will get you around people with similar health and fitness goals, and provide a forum to exchange support and motivation to stay on track with your goals.
As I’ve developed my fitness business in the past year, I’ve learned a lot about creating and cultivating relationships with others that can relate to my lifestyle and purpose. Here are some tips that I’ve picked up along the way:
Find Your Crowd. The best way I’ve met like-minded people is by joining professionals organizations or attending large conferences related to my interests in fitness, personal development, and entrepreneurship. A simple Internet search will turn up both locally and nationally recognized organizations, meetup groups, and associations that range from broad to niche topics. At each event, I strive to meet at least one new person that I follow up with afterwards. This forces me to interact with depth to make meaningful connections, rather than simply exchanging business cards.
Build Your Skill Set. Why not step out of your comfort zone by taking classes on topics related to your interest areas, or those that you’re just curious about? You’ll learn something new and have an instant connection point with your fellow classmates. I’ve made professional contacts and great friendships through healthy cooking courses, supplementary fitness certifications, and business networking events. Check nearby healthy restaurants or kitchenware stores for cooking class offerings, and look into your local Chamber of Commerce for business events.
Nurture Your Network. It has been said that your network is your net worth - not in a greedy, self-focused way but in the sense that a network of contacts that supports and enhances your life is a valuable asset to be nourished regularly. We should keep in mind that a network is a two-way exchange. We ideally receive and offer support and guidance to maximize the relationships with our contacts. How to go about this? By considering how to be of help to them by sharing an article or book they’d be interested in, setting up casual coffee chats, or attending events together. (I’ve often invited new contacts to try out my boot camp class!)
The people closest to us will determine our level of success in any endeavor. Therefore, it’s a good idea to be intentional about maintaining an inner circle that is aligned with and supportive of our goals. In the coming months, let’s seek out more of those relationships that are mutually beneficial to our personal and professional growth, and our life journeys.