Today, I wanted to talk to you about seven different strategies for making yourself successful in a new environment. I’m obviously in a new environment. We get a lot of questions and thoughts about how you can meet new people, how you can develop friendships or build a band of brothers, especially in a new environment. Now, this could be something like a new community or a new state. I’m all the way across the country. I hardly know anyone out here. I think I know, I don’t know, eight people maybe. Or it could be a new career, if you’re starting a new job and you’re in a new environment that way, or going into college, or wherever you may find yourself out of place because you’re not in with the crowd if you will.
And that’s what I wanted to talk with you about today because it’s my goal and my objective to get very familiar with the area that I’m in, get very, very familiar with the people that live here. In fact, I’ve had a lot of opportunity and success to do that already. And I’ve had to push outside of my comfort zone a little bit. It’s always awkward when you’re trying to meet new people. It’s definitely more comfortable to have an existing friendship or circle. But when you’re in a new place, that’s difficult. And I want to make sure that I really assimilate and embed myself into this community because it represents all sorts of opportunities. And that’s the biggest thing that you need to understand is that any opportunity that may present itself in life, in general, is always going to come because you have a connection with another individual. There’s no opportunity that I can think of that doesn’t come through your relationships, through networking efforts and opportunities that others will present to you.
So, if there’s one reason that you need to push yourself outside of your comfort zone, and I know this is easy for some of you. I also know that it’s very difficult for a lot of you because you are maybe introverted by nature. Again, it’s uncomfortable. I know this is going to sound weird because I do this podcast and we’re reaching millions and millions of men across the planet, but I tend to be, by default, a little bit more on the introverted side. I have no problem being here at the house and of course, spending time with my family or watching a show or reading a book and not having to go out into public and participate that way, but I do it because it’s good for me, it’s good for my soul. I recognize that opportunities come through other people, and so I deliberately and intentionally push myself outside of my comfort zone so that I can meet new people and I can have the friendships that I want.
So, I’m just going to jump right into the seven or eight points that I have listed here. I wrote these things down as I was thinking about what my strategy is for being successful in Maine, and I hope that it helps you to some capacity. If you’ve got other ideas or other thoughts on how to do this, please let me know. I’m very, very active on Instagram, which is @ryanmichler. I’m also active on Facebook and Twitter. And again, we’re going to have YouTube out, the channel up and running before too long. So, if you’re interested in that, head to YouTube.com/orderofman.
All right. Let’s get into this.
1. Join A Local Church
I think one way that you can definitely assimilate and get to know people is through some sort of spiritual organization or church function. In fact, we met some members of our congregation before we even moved here. One of the women in our congregation reached out to my wife before we moved in here and said how excited she was to have us out. And they came over, she and her husband and her friend came over the other day unannounced, which was fine with us, that was not a problem at all, and spent about an hour with us. We haven’t even gone to church yet. We’ll go this weekend. But I think having some sort of religious or spiritual organization that you can tap into is very, very key when it comes to meeting new people.
And the reason, one of the reasons I should say that this is so powerful is because you can be fairly certain that a lot of the principles and the way that you operate your life is very, very similar to the way these other individuals are probably operating theirs. Now, of course, there’s going to be differences, but it’s good to find people who believe in the same thing from a religious or philosophical standpoint. So, there happens to be a church, not our church necessarily, but a church just right across the street from where we’re living, which is kind of cool. And I can see these people on Sunday when we were here how many people are getting along and going to church and meeting and they’re friendly and they have friendships. And of course, they have the solid foundation of how they are to operate and live their lives.
So, number one is if you can find yourself in a spiritual or religious organization or a church or a chapel, or just go explore. Maybe you aren’t currently, but maybe that’s something you’re interested in, then bounce around. Try a lot of different congregations and denominations and see if something fits for you. But that’s certainly a way to develop friendships and connect with people who believe as you do. So that’s number one.
2. Join A Business Or Civic Organization
Look for business and or civic organizations. So, the couple that comes to mind right off hand is Chamber of Commerce. So, next week I’m going to be attending a Chamber of Commerce meeting. Now, whether I join the chamber or not is up for debate right now. I’ll see what I think of it and what I like and how I might be able to help. But I’m definitely going to go.
Now, when you go to a chamber event, who are you going to meet? You’re going to meet with business owners, you’re going to meet with executives in the area, you’re going to meet with probably some politicians, people who are well connected, who are fairly successful and who are interested in connecting and networking with other individuals. So, although you might go and feel awkward and uncomfortable, that’s why they’re there. They’re there to network. They’re there to meet other people and that eliminates one of the barriers to entry or at least brings the bar down a little bit because people are naturally going to be friendly and outgoing and want to introduce themselves. There’ll be other visitors besides you. So, the Chamber of Commerce is really good. Rotary is another good one. That’s more focused on the civic side of things. You have the Lions Club, Business Network International. These are all great ways to find people who are interested in business and specifically networking, and then also interested in giving back to the community and growing the community and serving your neighbors and people in the area.
So, if you’re not looking for these business opportunities, I should say networking opportunities, I think you’re really doing yourself a disservice. So, again, number one, spiritual organizations, religious congregations. Number two, business organizations, meetings, and civic organizations as well.
3. Find Friends In Your Area
Now, I’ve got my friend Pete Roberts and Brian Littlefield and a couple of others. These guys have been instrumental in introducing me to other people. And I’ve only been here for, gosh, I think four or five days now, but I have met probably a dozen contacts, maybe even more through Brian and through Pete. They’ve been gracious enough to open up their network and introduce me to other people who are influential in the community, who want to meet. I just met a very successful business owner in the area yesterday. He invited me over to his family’s place this weekend for graduation for one of his children, a graduation ceremony or a party, I should say, for one of his children.
Again, pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone, but I don’t want to say leverage necessarily because that gives it may be a negative connotation. It’s not that. But just utilizing your contacts and your friends for other opportunities, other introductions and then putting yourself in environments where you’re going to get those introductions and even potentially ask for it.
Also, in addition to friends in the area is neighbors. I mean, you have people that are surrounding you that you want to get to know. There’s a family just across the way here who bought a piece of property, young family, very similar to ours, five kids. And my son and I were out walking our property a couple of days ago and he drove by and he swung by and he said, “Hey, I know you’re moving into the area, and we’re moving into the area.” That’s a neighbor. We pulled the side by side out yesterday or a couple of days ago and I noticed that our neighbor across the street was out there and she was on her tippy toes looking over. So, my son and I drove the side by side over and introduced ourselves. Very nice woman. I didn’t get a chance to meet her husband yet, but I’m putting myself in the position where I’m meeting neighbors because I want to know the people around me. I want to look after them. I want them to look after me. And so, it takes a little effort.
It’s going to take you exerting yourself a little bit, putting yourself out there, stepping outside, again, of your comfort zone and getting to know the people in the community and in your neighborhood. And if you see somebody walking along, pull over and say hello, introduce yourself. Bring something over to somebody. People are bringing things over to us. I mean, it’s a great community that we live in. And I think most communities are like this, as long as you’re willing to open yourself up, let others know that you are receptive to expanding your network and to meet new people, I think you’re not going to have that big of a problem. So, you’ve got friends and neighbors as well.
4. Leverage Your Interests And Hobbies
There are other people in your community who are very, very interested in the same things you are, whether that’s shooting or hiking or painting or jiu-jitsu or archery, or whatever your hearts desire. There are people in your area who are very, very interested in the same things that you are. So, for me, that happens to be jiu-jitsu. There’s a lot of jiu-jitsu gyms here. I’m going to be going, in fact, this evening as of this recording to class tonight to train. And I’ll meet people who, again, they’re interested in the same things I am. So, we’re going to connect at that level at a minimum, if not more. And I’ll be consistent about going to these things.
I’ve been asking about archery shops in the area. Now, for whatever reason, there doesn’t seem to be any archery shops in this area. But if there was, that would definitely be an opportunity to connect. There are a couple of businesses that sell firearms and ammunition that I’m going to go meet as well because I want to know those people. That’s what I’m interested in. That’s what they’re interested in. And so, our ability to connect and have conversations and forge a new connection is going to be simplified because we tear those barriers down when we find people who are interested in the same things as us. So, what are your hobbies? What are your interests? If you don’t know what those things are, wherever you are, just ask. I was at the local hardware store this morning picking up some hardware for fixing some furniture that we had to repair. And I asked him about archery shops, I asked him about firearm shops. So, you just have those conversations and you’ll find people who are interested in what you are.
The other thing that you could is meetup.com. And if you go to meetup.com, you can type in whatever your activity is, whatever you’re interested in and it will pull up organizations. It will pull up people who are getting together, at least semi-formally, to participate in some of these activities. So, meetup.com is a great resource, although I personally have not tapped into it because I’ve found other ways to connect through hobbies and interests.
5. Go Where The People Are
Simply put, just go where the people are. Are there certain areas in your town? Or if it’s at work, there are certain people who are hanging out, whether it’s in the break room or by the water cooler, or whatever. Wherever people are, you just need to go there. Just go where the people are. And inevitably, if you go where they are, you’re going to find people to talk with. Most people are going to be inclusive. Most people know that you’re new or that this is an opportunity to connect with and talk with other people, but just go where they are. If you shell up or hole up in your house or your cubicle or wherever and you don’t put yourself in environments that are around other people, then, I mean, you’re not going to meet other people.
You’re just waiting for somebody to come to you and very rarely does that happen. I mean, it might happen because you have somebody who’s friendly and courteous, might come to introduce themselves. But you got to be assertive, just like any other facet of life. Just like we’ve been talking about for the past four, almost five years now is you’ve got to be very, very assertive. You’ve got to find out where people congregate and then you’ve got to go to those places and have a reason to be there, and then be able to have conversations and talk with these people. Again, I know it’s uncomfortable. I know it’s awkward. But if you want the opportunities, and you want to find yourself in a good position in a new place, a new environment, a new community, a new office, a new career, whatever that may be, then you’ve got to go where the people are.
6. Let People Know That You’re New
Tell other people that you’re new. Just open your mouth and just say, “Hey, I’m new here.” A very simple question that I’ve asked as I’ve gone around town, I went down to the local store a couple of times over the past week or so and I met one of the women there. And I said, “Hey, we’re just new into the area. Is there anything around here that I ought to be aware of? Are there any cool sights to visit? What do people do for fun?” These are questions that I’ve been asking and that’ll help me get in the know and help me see what’s going on and have my ear to the ground because I have no idea, but I’m going to ask people who have been here for a very, very long period of time.
I also tell people, this girl for example who’s at the convenient store, she talked to us about the house that we bought because there’s some history here. And she gave me a few pointers on the intersection because the intersection’s a little dicey where we are, people get into accidents like, she said one or two times a week. Fortunately, I haven’t had anybody get in an accident yet, but apparently, that’s bound to happen. But she lives just up the road and I said, “If you want to stop by and say hi, feel free to come by.”
We’ve had people who have come by unannounced. We had, in fact, one of our state senators lives just right down the road. He has a farm right down the road and he’s been leasing part of our property and he hays part of our property. Anyways, he came up this morning and introduced himself. Man, that’s a great person to know, somebody who’s got a relationship with the previous owner. He’s a state senator. And it’s just because I’m opening my mouth and I’m telling people where we are and letting them know that we’re new and we’re trying to find ways to serve and to help and be here.
7. Be Interested In Other People
You’ve got to be interested in what other people are interested in. If you come into an environment and you do your own thing and you’re the rebel and you’re the lone wolf and you put yourself on a mantle or above other people, you’re going to have a very, very difficult time connecting. I think a lot of the times, people have some, not problems necessarily, but reservations with new people because they don’t know. And if you distance yourself and be an a-hole, for example, then they’re not going to be attracted to you. They’re going to be repelled maybe even by you because you represent potentially a threat to their current way of living.
In fact, one of the neighbors that I met, he had just bought a new property. He’s from Maine, not from this area, and he said, “A lot of people have a hard time when outsiders,” he says, “from over there move into the area, is what they do is they start putting fences and no trespassing.” And he says, “You might get to that point, but I wouldn’t recommend doing that right away.” And we aren’t going to do that. I want to be interested in what other people are interested in. I’m a visitor. This is our home and we’re planning on making this our home, but this is not our place. This is their place.
And I think it’s on us as the visitors of these environments to assimilate into these communities and into these neighborhoods and be interested in what other people are interested in. And even serve other people. If you have information or have resources or have connections or ideas or whatever it may be, maybe somebody just needs to borrow some eggs or something, I don’t know, then be there and be interested in them and serve those other individuals and you’re much more likely to find yourself in a good environment.
Now I know this is not going to apply to all of you guys because you’re not all in new communities that you’re moving to, but it’s universal, whether, again, you’re at work or a lot of questions from guys who just took up new leadership positions who are wondering how to gain and garner attention and respect from the rest of the team, especially if they’re young or they advanced through the ranks very quickly. These are things that you can do every single day in order to earn respect, to develop and build connections, to have friendships, to build allies which is important as opposed to enemies. That’s what I’m looking for. I want everybody in this neighborhood, we live on a little intersection here, I want everybody in this neighborhood to be an ally of mine. I don’t need to make enemies in this area. I need to have allies and friends and people who are looking after us. And if I want that, then I have to be willing to do that for other people.
So, whether you’re moving or not, it doesn’t really matter. I want you to take what I share with you today, and here I’ll recap this here in a minute, and think about how you can imply this in your life to more adequately preside. And we’ve talked about this at length. If you’ve been with us for any amount of time, you know that a man’s primary functions are to protect, to provide and to preside. And I plan on being a leader. I am a leader in my home as a father and as a husband, but I plan to be a leader here, a leader on the street that we live on, a leader in this community. I plan on presiding. This is my domain. This is where I’ve planted my flag, and if I’m going to do that, then I’ve got to go out and develop opportunities. I’ve got to go out and network. I’ve got to create allies and I’ve got to learn to serve people in this area.
So, I know this one is very practical, it’s not that philosophical necessarily, 30,000 foot view, but this practicality is very important for those of who you are young, for those of you who are trying to find your way in a new set of circumstances, in a new environment these are seven things that you can do, again, every day that is going to help you assimilate, that is going to help you be successful, that is going to embed yourself, and then people are going to look at you favorably. And ultimately, that will foster confidence, that will foster credibility, certainly, and influence in others’ lives as well. So, I hope that helps, guys.
Again, I know it’s a short one today. I think we’ve got internet coming tomorrow as of this recording, so that’ll be nice because I’ll be able to get access back to my emails and try to get on some semblance of a routine, which has been a challenge up to this point. But it’s been good. It’s all been good stuff. A couple of little hiccups and snags and challenges here and there. But I want to thank you for being understanding with some fill-in guests and different things like that as we’ve tried to transition. I definitely want to thank you for being a part of the order, being a man of the order, if you will, because this opportunity that we have out here is absolutely incredible. And I know some of you have seen the property. And we’ll be doing some video here and things like that here soon and seeing the land. And we’re going to put together some events.
None of this would be possible without you, without you listening in, without you supporting us through the merchandise that we offer, without joining the Iron Council, which you can find at orderofman.com/ironcouncil, without coming to the events, you, yourself, and bringing your sons and participating and being assertive and everything that we’re doing here. And I hope that this has become a powerful tool and a resource for you in your own life to become more capable as a father and a husband, a business owner, a community leader, a coach, a mentor, a friend, a neighbor, a brother, a son, whatever, however you’re showing up. I hope this is the go-to resource for improving yourself as a man. That is my goal. That is my objective. And I think we’ll be able to do it here at our new headquarters in Maine.
And it isn’t lost on me that the opportunities that have presented themselves here are in large part, overwhelmingly large part to you tuning and being part of the order. So, I want to thank you for that. Anyways guys, got some good podcasts coming up. Make sure you are subscribed if you aren’t already. Also, if you would, please leave us a rating and review. I’ll have some details on an event coming up in August very, very shortly within the next couple of days, in fact, by the time this is released, I may have already announced those dates and activities and what we’ll be doing. So, stay tuned on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, wherever you’re doing that. And again, honored to be with you. So, until next week, guys, go out there, take action and become the man you are meant to be.