The best byproduct of working in partnerships is developing the muscle for predicting someone’s potential for success.
By now I’ve connected with hundreds of 6 and 7 figure earners across a variety of industries and in every stage of growth…
And all of them share a few similarities that make them stand out from the crowd and attract opportunities that aren’t often available for others.
I was recently coaching a new team member on how to find and build powerful partnerships, and I was forced to boil down what has become second nature in my day-to-day.
And I realized—this isn’t just applicable at work. If these are the qualities that set apart ambitious, motivated, and successful people… then we should all put a little extra effort in embodying them.
If you want to stand out in a crowded world and open yourself to consistently attracting new opportunities, here are my non-negotiables:
Have an Optimistic Mindset
I don’t want this one to get glazed over too quickly because while most people think they have an optimistic mindset, they’re often far from it.
At Shopify, this becomes really obvious when we release new updates or changes for our partners. You can generally predict who will complain versus who will start adopting the new changes without making a fuss. I’m not saying stay quiet—we love feedback—but notice if you’re having an automatic negative response just because something is different or requires some effort to embrace.
The great (and I guess, terrible) thing with mindset is that it will reveal itself in the smallest moments, foreshadowing how you will act in bigger moments.
Think of the most recent Instagram (or any other social platform) update that was made. Was your reaction to immediately yell at Instagram... or to take a few weeks of curious exploration before forming your opinion?
The goal here is to build up a positive knee jerk reaction—one of curiosity to explore before judging—regardless of the situation.
When I connect with new partners who see every change as a fun experiment, I want to shower them with love, support, and any opportunities that will help them succeed further.
Let's make sure a crappy mindset isn't what's blocking us from success.
Take Initiative and Create Value
It’s hard to stand out from the crowd today.
When I worked in publishing, I received so many pitches daily that the lazy ones got glazed over. Those that caught my attention had gone out of their way to make my life easier: proving they were easy and fun to work with, would commit to the work ahead, and would bring long-term value. The details of how they did this never mattered, but what stood out was their initiative to become memorable in my eyes.
There are so many ambitious people actively working towards attracting new opportunities for themselves that playing passive will only get you leftovers at this point. So when I hear someone complain about not getting an opportunity, I have to restrain myself from asking if they've taken enough action to deserve it.
It’s something I’ve started modelling in my own life. If I want something, I focus entirely on how I can help the other person, trusting that if I’ve brought value to their life it will attract the right opportunity when it’s ready.
It's a competitive world, and you can’t wait for opportunities to come to you.
Build a Personal Brand
Having an online presence is becoming the standard, not a nice-to-have. It’s that extra effort that you show the world you are willing to put in.
When sussing out new partnerships, the lack of a coherent brand online is a red flag. It makes you wonder what other shortcomings you’ll find?!
It’s on us to build the narrative we want to be known for. It’s also on us to be top of mind when new opportunities come up.
You don’t need to be the next Gary Vee with 20 pieces of daily content. What matters is the act of coming out from behind the curtains. It could be in a small way and for a small audience… but be known for something! I’ve found that building my own personal brand has forced me to commit to an area I’m passionate about and start attracting like-minded people who nerd out over the same things. At the very least, it gets you connected to your tribe. And at the very best, you start attracting opportunities that can transform your life.
The best reward for writing these weekly articles has been the types of conversations I’m able to have more of and the new projects I’ve been able to get involved with.
I'd love to hear who else is working on mastering these skills?