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how-to-cultivate-a-professional-groupIdeas on how to expand a group of individuals who inspires you to have and build a better business.

If your company's vision is to create a sustainable and thriving business, expanding your circle of influence should be a natural progression.  And what does a circle of influence mean? Simply, a group of people who know, like, and trust you. This includes family, friends, current and former customers, peers, virtual contacts, and more. To cultivate your circle of influence, here are some great inspiration business ideas

Build a Solid Foundation

Think about the planning that goes into building a house. Contractors rely heavily on blueprints to construct it. The same principle applies to building your circle of influence.  It starts with having a solid business model. You need to ask yourself, "Are you meeting monthly expenses including payroll?", "Do you see a profit at the end of the year?", "How is your employee's morale?", "What systems do you have in place to run your business efficiently?"

There are many checks and balances to consider. Your mindset should be that of growth, so make it your business to lay the groundwork for long-term stability.

As people see the success of your company, they will naturally gravitate towards you.

Stand By Your Principles

So many times, we as women commit to things that we don't want to do. It's just so difficult to say "no"! We are naturally nurturers! Well, it is time to stand firm on your principles and be honest about what you will accept in life and what you won’t!

In business and life, you will be faced with many tempting opportunities, but if it means compromising your integrity, walk away as it is not worth it. By doing so, people will admire your tenacity and naturally connect with you.

Education is Key  

Education should be a lifetime commitment. In business, you want to be at the top of your game, so invest in yourself by earning a degree or regularly participate in various professional development courses. This ensures competency and adds a competitive advantage over your competitors. By investing in yourself, people tend to look at you as an expert. They will "like" your Facebook page, follow you on Twitter, subscribe to your e-zine, and ultimately request your services.

Volunteer Your Time

There is nothing like paying it forward because the experience feels very rewarding and empowering. People volunteer for many reasons. Whether you are volunteering to expand your network or trying to sharpen your skills, the goal is to give your time and talent to a worthy cause and ultimately, support your local community.

I am a volunteer business counselor for an organization called SCORE, a national program funded by the Small Business Administration. SCORE provides counseling, training, and mentorship to start-up, and existing small business owners. I've attained many opportunities due to my involvement.

Success Breeds Success

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”--Robert Kennedy

If you believe in yourself, others will believe in you. Success is about opportunity and your use between knowledge and experience. Successful people tend to be more optimistic and embrace change. They are also willing to take risks. People admire those attributes and are thrilled to become a part of that inner circle.  

In conclusion, there are many ways you can expand your reach. How have you grown your circle of influence?

For more professional tips, check out Sylvia Browder's blog!

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