Becoming successful requires hard work, dedication, and a significant amount of time focused on achieving your goals. Meeting new friends can be difficult if you’re a workaholic (like many successful entrepreneurs). Below are some ideas that can help you meet quality friends who have similar goals and dreams!
Join A Gym
Exercise is excellent for your health and your attitude. It can also help you meet others who are actively focused on self-improvement. There are many different types of workouts, classes, and fitness groups to fit your style and goals. Whether you find a local group to go biking or join a boxing gym to relieve stress, others are doing the same thing. Take an introductory class or free session, and you might find a friend for life!
Something else to remember: if you’re interested in meeting new friends, it’s probably not a good idea to wear headphones or earbuds. Hiding out on a stationary bike in the back makes you far less approachable. Don’t interrupt someone’s workout, but try to keep an open mind when you’re in a gym. Greet the front desk staff in a friendly manner. Ask how their day is going. You could be the “bump on a log” who just puts in time on the treadmill or the friendly member that newbies ask for advice. The choice is yours!
Visit A Local Community Hub Or Coworking Space
Many cities and even smaller towns offer community hubs and coworking spaces with high-speed internet access. Search the internet for “coworking spaces near me,” and you’ll get a comprehensive list of places to work and meet other entrepreneurs in your area! Many of these spaces can be accessed for free with your library card. Most of them offer community events or lectures on a variety of subjects. Go to listen or do a presentation on your expertise. You never know who might show up!
Join A Local Toastmasters Club
Toastmasters is an organization designed to help its members become confident public speakers and influential leaders. They offer a supportive learn-by-doing environment that allows members to accomplish goals at their own pace. Even if you aren’t a public speaker, the club provides excellent lessons that can help you grow and improve your communication skills. The people you meet at Toastmasters are looking to develop their skills.
Often, you’ll meet incredible people by volunteering. Becoming a volunteer can be an excellent way to meet genuine people and make great friends. A quick internet search can provide a vast number of places to volunteer in your area. Look for religious groups, local clubs, and other community organizations to get involved.
Join A Church Group
Many churches offer small groups to connect members with similar interests. Some groups enjoy working out, baking, playing music, biking, volunteering, community outreach programs, or lots of other activities. Although you may not attend church, you could still make a few calls to see which churches offer groups that might interest you.
Attend Personal Development Seminars
I’ve met some great people at personal growth seminars, local TED Talks, leadership conferences, and book signings. You might find a great event to attend by searching the internet for “motivational seminars near me.” These events offer not only great information and exposure to thought leaders but also a chance to network with like-minded people in your area.
Visit A Real Estate Open House
Look at dream homes in your area. Attend an open house and chat with others who are looking at dream homes. Shake hands. Exchange business cards. Make a friend!
Find A Hobby
I’ve recently gotten into mountain biking. For the first few rides, I rode by myself, practicing to improve endurance and stamina. After my 50th ride of the year, I joined a class taught by a category one cyclist who competes in more than 20 state and regional races every year. This weekly class improved my biking skills, but I’ve also met a lot of successful people who enjoy biking! Some of these new friends include surgeons, lawyers, orthodontists, business owners, real estate investors, franchise owners, and other like-minded people. This hobby has led to awesome night-rides, campfire meetings, and fun weekends that I’d have never known existed if I hadn’t joined that first mountain biking class.
Ignore Your Phone
This may sound absurd coming from the CEO of a cellphone company, but get off your phone! Smartphones and social media can be great ways to connect and make new friends, but they also make it easy to isolate yourself. Even when you’re feeling uncomfortable in a social situation, don’t let your smartphone take you away from a fantastic opportunity. If you’re in a group of people you don’t know, leave your phone in your pocket or purse. Don’t start checking Facebook or social media to look important. It sends the message that you want to block others out. Force yourself to smile and go say hi to someone. They’ll be glad you did!
Start a Conversation
Often the only barrier between you and connecting to amazing new friends is starting a conversation. Take the first step! People love talking about themselves, so all you need to do is get the ball rolling. You can do this using the FORD method.
- Family: For most of us, family members are the closest people in our lives. We have deep feelings about them, and they can impact our decisions. It might seem like “small talk” when you ask someone about their family, but you’re really asking them who they are as a person and how they treat their loved ones.
- Occupation: This is the go-to for most people, as in “what do you do for a living?” However, you can keep this from becoming a one-note response by commenting on their answer. How do you feel about their occupation? What do you know about that topic, or who do you know in that sphere?
- Recreation: Everyone loves to have fun. You will probably meet new friends at a recreational event, which includes a great conversation starter built-in! Find out how long they have been coming to this gym, class, etc. Ask them for tips on how to improve your experience. You might find a new teacher, or become a teacher yourself!
- Dreams: While the other topics listed are great at the beginning of a conversation, dreams dig a little deeper. Once you’ve established a good rapport, you can look for opportunities to find out what drives someone. It might be a business or personal goal. They could be building the next big tech company or wishing for a better way to explore the ocean’s depths. Whatever it is, many people aren’t actively pursuing their dreams. If you want to make friends, look for opportunities to help others with their goals. You might create a lifelong relationship in the process!
Use the simple FORD method to strike up a conversation and make new friends!