Lately I've been noticing how most things in life begin and end with talking to people. It's a refreshing observation.
I'm signed up with a small business training company called Fizzle. They advise engaging in customer conversations before creating a product or service to make sure you're on the right track and are making something people actually want and need. I love this idea because it gets you out of your own head and focuses you on service to others.
To this end, I've been making cold calls to various companies offering my copywriting and editing services as I work to build up my freelancing career. It was scary at first, but the response has been positive so far, even when it's been a no. And to be honest, it's nice to just chat a bit and find out what people need.
Similarly, I've been working on entering the world of journalism, sending pitches to a few magazines. When sending a story idea to a magazine, it's necessary to first talk to one or two people who have to do with that topic in order to make sure yours is a viable story idea, and then present that in the query letter. Again, the sources I've talked to so far for my query letters have been great, and we've had nice chats.
Talking to people, and really listening, is where the magic is, whether it's business, philanthropy, or your social life. We humans need each other. It's easy in today's world to get lost behind our computer screens and communicate that way (as I am now). It's entirely different to pick up the phone and call someone, or spend time with them face to face. I'm going to keep doing that.