thoughtful networking with cara steinmann

In today’s episode, we delve into the topic of connective networking with our special guest, Cara Steinmann, the founder of The Ravel Collective and host of the Ravel Radio podcast. Cara helps purpose-driven women’s service entrepreneurs build strategic networks that lead to referrals, collaboration, visibility, and fun. 

Join us as we discuss: 

  • the importance of building true relationships online
  • the role of networking in marketing, and the 
  • value of thoughtful and intentional partnerships. 

We’ll explore the misconceptions around referrals, the concept of reciprocity, and how to find common ground in networking. Get ready to learn valuable insights and practical tips on how to navigate the world of networking to grow your business.

It’s so difficult for us to see the things about ourselves that we do with unconscious competence. It took having some women in my life that I was really close to, pointing [connection] out to me.

Cara Steinmann


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Highlights in this episode:

  • 00:02:58 Affiliates: Passive income sharing with reciprocity incentives.
  • 00:06:43 Trustworthy lawyer referral led to successful partnership.
  • 00:10:45 Differences in core values among clients.
  • 00:11:54 Different values create interesting dynamics in relationships.
  • 00:17:13 Connectedness, input, strategy learner, activator, Colby
  • 00:20:53 Skills aren’t visible; leverage connectedness for business.
  • 00:24:26 Ravel is an online community for women’s service entrepreneurs, specializing in B2B and B2C. They prioritize relationships and referrals over transactional connections.
  • 00:26:38 Great conversation, thank you Kara for sharing.

The Power of Core Values in Building Strong Referrals and Business Relationships

core values play into thoughtful networking and referrals

In our fast-paced world, shared core values often take a backseat when forming relationships, both personal and professional. However, these values play a vital role in establishing long-lasting and effective connections. Acting as a compass, core values guide our decisions and actions, becoming the common ground in referral and service exchange scenarios. Thoughtful networking expert and Ravel Collective leader Cara Steinmann offers the perspective that core values should be at the heart of strong business relationships to increase the quality of referrals.

What are Core Values and Why are They Important?

Core values are the principles that define us. They serve as a guide for our behavior, actions, and decisions. Not prioritizing any particular core value isn’t a mark-down against you – it simply highlights what you deem most important. Realizing these values helps us understand ourselves better and aids in aligning with people who share these values. This leads to more meaningful and effective exchanges, be it in personal referrals or business transactions.

When we’re doing what we should be doing in our strengths and we’re honoring who we are and how we like to work, it should be easy. It shouldn’t feel like work.

Cara Steinmann

The Influence of Core Values on Referrals

building relationships with core values

In the age of endless online recommendations and reviews, finding trustworthy referrals can be challenging. However, when it comes to seeking referrals for personal services or business relationships, the importance of shared core values cannot be overstated. The connection and trust we have with the referrer play a significant role in determining the reliability of the referral.

Personal referrals are built on trust. We trust an individual so we trust their recommendations. However, it’s crucial to consider the fact that trust alone isn’t ideal for a quality referral. People have different preferences and values. Therefore, even though we trust the referrer, the person they recommend might not cater to our specific needs or values.

Core values thrive at the center of this issue. When referring someone, people tend to consider individuals or services that align with their own values. If these values are shared with you, this referral stands chances of being fruitful. 

The people who refer me and appreciate my work and what I’m doing, they’re going to share a lot of the same core values that I have.

Cara Steinmann

Navigating the Online World

With the advent of online interactions and relationships, the rules have become a bit skewed. It’s harder to gauge shared values through a digital platform, and thus, it can be trickier to decode how effective a referral might be. Working towards unravelling these modified dynamics is a must to continue the culture of effective referal systems.

navigating an online world

Shared Core Values: The Key to Client Relationships

When shared, core values can act as the glue that binds a service provider and a client. The mechanic who values speed over quality will never truly satisfy a client willing to wait longer for a quality service, and vice versa. Therefore, aligning core values can lead to happier clients, fostering strong business relationships.

The same is true for referral relationships. If your clients value quality over speed, as in our mechanic example, they’ll value referrals to other service providers who value quality, too.

In this digital age, understanding that core values influence personal referrals and business relationships is crucial. When someone refers you to a service provider or business, knowing that they align with your core values creates trust and connection. This shared alignment gives you confidence in their recommendation because you know that they value the same things as you do.

The Goal Is Harmony, Not a “Right” Set of Values

It’s important to remember that core values differ from person to person, and there is no right or wrong set of values. We all prioritize different things. However, identifying our own core values and understanding how they shape our choices allows us to surround ourselves with people who share these values. This increases the likelihood of positive referrals and successful relationships.

The goal is not uniformity but harmony through shared core values. By understanding, recognizing, and respecting these differences, we pave the way for effective referrals and flourishing business relationships.

Furthermore, happy clients who share similar core values are more likely to make referrals. Satisfied clients naturally want to share their positive experiences with others, especially when they believe that the service provider or business aligns with their core values. This shared connection and sense of trust make it easier for them to refer you because they know you appreciate the values that matter to them.

speaking about core values with community

The Role of Core Values in Branding

Identifying and conveying your core values in your branding will attract and retain clients who resonate with those values. It also helps in avoiding potential clashes and ensures smoother transactions and relationships. By incorporating shared core values into your branding and content, your company becomes more appealing to those who share similar principles.

The whole networking and referrals thing feels icky because we think of it being transactional when it should be relational, and we should lead with that.

Cara Steinmann


Shared core values hold the key to building effective referrals and nurturing lasting business relationships. They act as a compass, guiding our decisions and actions, and ensure that exchanges are meaningful and aligned. By understanding and appreciating these values, we create an environment that fosters success and satisfaction for everyone involved.

Thoughtful Networking FAQ:

How can networking and building partnerships online enhance your marketing efforts?

Networking and building partnerships online can enhance your marketing efforts by expanding your reach and gaining access to new audiences. By collaborating with others in your industry, you can tap into their networks and benefit from their credibility and trust with their audience, leading to increased visibility and potential referrals.

What are some challenges or hesitations that people often have when it comes to referrals and networking?

Some see referrals as transactional or solely for personal gain. It’s important to approach them from a place of genuinely helping others. There’s a fine line between authentic networking and using someone solely for their network, so it’s essential to build relationships based on trust and shared core values.

building referral partners for online service providers

What are the benefits of having an affiliate program for your business, and how can it be done in a way that feels authentic?

Having an affiliate program can benefit both parties involved. It allows others to help you expand your reach. However, it’s crucial to ensure that the affiliates genuinely believe in your offering and have experienced it themselves. This authenticity creates a stronger connection and avoids the feeling of “icky” marketing.

How can you leverage the trust factor that gets transferred when someone refers your business to others?

When someone refers your business to others, there is a transfer of trust. They are essentially vouching for you and recommending your services. Leveraging this trust factor involves nurturing the relationship with the person making the referral and ensuring that you deliver exceptional value to the referred client.

Britney Gardner [00:00:07]: We are the content rebels. We've got zero time for busy work that masquerades as marketing, and we're done with losing the impact of our big message. just to satisfy some SEO or social media algorithm rules. This is a show about marketing for established soloist entrepreneurs, who wants to build real relationships with clients online. Join me each week as we make your content work for you. Alrighty, friends. We're gonna be talking about connective networking. And, if that sounds interesting, just wait. We have Kara Simon, founder of the Revel Collective and host of Revel Radio podcast on our show today. Kara helps purpose driven women's service entrepreneurs build strategic networks that lead to referrals, collaboration, visibility, and fun. And I wanna just acknowledge here. This is not the first time I've had someone on the podcast talking about how to build true relationships online, how to network how to build partnerships and collaborations. And the reason I keep asking people to fill this topic is because it is such an integral part of marketing online. And I will sing content and marketing and content strategy until the cows come home. I will never let that go. but it's not in a silo. It needs the collaborations to exist around it because you need eyes on your content. And one of the best ways to do that is thoughtful and intentional networking and building those partnerships of people who say, hey. You need to go see what Britney is saying about this. She's the person I trust on this subject. They go hand in hand. So with that, let's hop on into the interview with Kara. Welcome to the know, like, interest. So, Garrett, how are you doing?

Cara Steinmann [00:01:58]: I'm great. Thanks for having me.

Britney Gardner [00:02:00]: When we talk about, like, connections, and referrals. I think a lot of people get, I don't know, like, the Hankies. I don't really know a better way to say it, but, like, there's this there's this pressure. Right? Like, some people look at referrals as transactional. Other people look at it as, you know, helping a a friend out. And I feel like there's this whole in between zone where it gets kind of muddy and you're you're you're like, I don't know how you view it. I know how I view it, but, like, how do we find common ground. So if it's okay, I'd love to start the conversation there.

Cara Steinmann [00:02:33]: Yeah. Absolutely. So it gives you the hinkies.

Britney Gardner [00:02:36]: Well, There's been plenty of times it has. And I think for me, from my end, right? Like, I come from a world where a lot of people are heavy into funnels. So, you know, it's like Oh, hey. what's your affiliate link for that product? I'm not above. Like, I I think it's fine. Affiliates are fine. But wouldn't it be nice if someone would just say, I know the perfect person for you. It's Britney. She has this product.

Cara Steinmann [00:02:58]: Yeah. It would be. And I think in a lot of scenarios, that's what it should be. I'm also not against affiliates. In fact, I know a really one of the thousand in our community ravel, she is an affiliate strategist, and she's amazing, and she's helping me set up an affiliate link for a product, a digital product that I am gonna be offering. It's a non Ick LinkedIn networking playbook that I currently only offer to the Ravel members. But I wanna bring it out because I keep getting requests to license it or white label it, and it's full of my IP, so I don't wanna do that. But so in that sense, it makes sense that somebody has a community full of people who want this thing, they're doing half the sales for me. Why would I not share the profit with them? It's totally passive income for me at that point. But then you also kinda close the circle of reciprocity. And that's what drives good referrals is that reciprocity. So Why would I not wanna leverage the trust factor that gets transferred when someone says, which you kind of are with the affiliates too, right? Somebody's saying, hey, check this out. but it does slice into it just a little bit where you're like, well, what are they getting out of it? when I make an introduction or refer someone, I'm getting a dopamine hit from solving the problem. I realized. So I'm like, my job is done here. I'm happy. Everybody's happy. And sometimes people will be like, oh, well, I'll give you, you know, let me pay you for that referral. And I turn I say no. No. Thank you. Because I don't want you to then forget that I did this nice thing for you.

Britney Gardner [00:04:24]: You know, and I I love that. Right? So you said 2 things that I'd I'd love to circle back on, and we can pick the order later. one is the dopamine hit you that you from, like, doing a good thing and helping someone out. Right? I think that's so important to acknowledge the earlier what you said about, you know, affiliates and that, you know, there there's something to be said when someone's doing marketing for you. I I'm totally okay with sharing sharing my profits. I think where it gets kind of funky is I'm sure you've been the recipient of emails like this, but I had one just maybe 2 weeks ago from someone who's been on my list for well over a year. Never purchased product, which is fine. I don't expect everyone to to purchase anything, but sends me an email and he's like, hey. Do you have an affiliate program? And I was like, gosh, I don't recognize this name. So I wouldn't look. And they've never not even one of my free offers. Right? Like, Why would you want my affiliate program if you haven't experienced any of the things? I don't necessarily want you marketing if you don't believe in my product. or know what it is. Exactly. Right? And those are the things that feel kind of not even kind of. They just feel illicky. Yeah. Straight up.

Cara Steinmann [00:05:32]: Absolutely. And we have to watch out for this when we're giving referrals also. And, like, just to clarify, let me back up for a second, because affiliate the scenario where you have an affiliate relationship that makes sense is is gonna usually be different than the one where you have where referrals make a lot of sense because referrals are not something you can just, like, -- on demand. It you have to build relationships. It takes a minute. It has to be strategic, which is where you don't need a whole bunch of referral relationships if it's strategic. But then you go deep with the relationships. So you you kinda have to have a business where you don't need a ton of clients. It's a it's a retainer business. Usually, like bookkeepers, accountants, marketing -- agencies that have refer retainer clients that that they're, you know, the lifetime value of a client is relatively big. Large however you wanna say it. so they only need a handful of clients a year if that. So in that scenario, a referral can come less frequently and be higher quality, and that's when it's really valuable. Because if you're working directly with your clients, like person to person, and you don't know, like, and trust that person, you're gonna have problems.

Britney Gardner [00:06:43]: A 100%. I have been in a mastermind with a lawyer for a while. She's now someone who's I've actually hired to work for my business. Right? She's helped me miss some trademark stuff for this podcast, actually. And I have referred her Happily so mind you, both before I've actually worked with her and after because I know her as a person. I know how she thinks. I know what she puts out for her clients and and how how far she's willing to go for them. So even though I had not personally worked with her, I already had that know, like, and trust factor with her. And then when it came time for me to use her services, like, obviously, it was the natural go to. It never even occurred to me to use anybody else. Right? And and to me, that's what a good referral relationship looks like. I I want to feel good about the name that I am passing on. It's that's I mean, it's that way in the real world. We're, too. Right? Like, we bought a car. it was somewhat used for, oh gosh, couple years ago now. And our realtor was like, oh, you gotta take it to my guy to make sure it's actually as good as you think it is before you do the thing. I trust that relationship because of my realtor who's also a friend would not lead me astray with a bad mechanic who was gonna, you know, throw us under the bus. And I think that personal kind of referral, we've always understood, you know, hey, who's your housekeeper? I need a housekeeper. But when it comes to the online world, it's like some of the rules kind of got muddled.

Cara Steinmann [00:08:11]: They did. And I think it's gonna take a while still before we can kinda unravel it, but it's kind of about the company that you keep. When someone sends me a referral, I'm looking first at who's sending that referral. Does this and core values play a lot into it as well because if I share core values with somebody, I know that they're looking at the same types of things. that they value in that transaction. So they're saying, well, I value these things because your your mechanic, you might you might refer someone. And if you value like, time over quality or something like that. You might have gotten your car back really quickly, and it still got a little something wrong with it. But whatever, you know, caret fast. You got back to what you needed. But if that other person values quality, they'd rather leave the car for longer and have a high quality because they're you can't have it all. Right? Like, you're there's always going to be something you're compromising when you have a relationship, a service relationship with somebody, values playing to personality. And happy clients make referrals. Happy people who know you and like you are going to refer you. It's not gonna be a problem.

Britney Gardner [00:09:13]: Bringing the court values an extra really strong point. It's like the the 3 part men diagram. Right? Like, you can have something good, faster sheep.

Cara Steinmann [00:09:22]: Yeah. Pick

Britney Gardner [00:09:24]: 2. Pick 2. Exactly. I mean, personally, we might have differing viewpoints on on on which mechanic you want. I mean, I would probably prefer someone good and fast over cheap personally.

Cara Steinmann [00:09:38]: Yep.

Britney Gardner [00:09:38]: But other people might be, like, good and cheap. and be okay with waiting a little bit longer. I'm I'm usually not I I need my stuff done. I don't have time to mess around.

Cara Steinmann [00:09:47]: Yeah. Exactly. There's There it just depends on what you value. And that's not to say that anybody's values are wrong, but and I always had such a hard time with core values because never wanted to leave any of them out. I never wanted to say, like, if you're making a list and you're narrowing this thing down to, like,

Britney Gardner [00:10:04]: 2

Cara Steinmann [00:10:04]: or 3 things that you hold above everything else, How do you like what if you don't what if family's not at the top of

Britney Gardner [00:10:09]: your list? How do you say that

Cara Steinmann [00:10:10]: if you've got, like, kids at home? Right? Like, I'm whispering because my kids in the living room, and I don't want him to know this. Right? But Minor like authenticity, freedom, and connection. And family falls probably under connection. Right? But it's not at the top. And so if we can identify our core values and what they mean to us and how they show up in our lives, then we can surround ourselves with people who also share those those core values. I still appreciate other people's values and and how they might be different than mine, but the people who refer me and appreciate my work and what I'm doing They're going to share probably a lot of the same core values that I have.

Britney Gardner [00:10:45]: It's interesting that you say that. I've done a lot of core value work with clients in the past when I had more of a branding focus and less of a a content focus. And I often found that there were a couple values that I shared with many of my clients. And then the other ones were never anywhere close. So, like, you know, if we if we look, I I always looked at core values as, like, there's one overarching core value and then, you know, 4 kind of pillar, you know, core values that hold up that overarching one. And I know that everyone, you know, views core value worked a little bit differently, but I often found that that overarching one was very similar. and then, like, 2 of the other ones were pretty close, and then 2 of the other ones were, like, way out in left field. And it always made me wonder. Right? I was like, why am I working with so many people who are in one way very similar? But in other ways, very different. And I think One of the reasons is that, you know, I I actually value exploration very highly in my world, like curiosity. And I think I am genuinely curious about working with other people who aren't necessarily exactly the same as me, but that's because it's one of my core values. So if you full circle it, It all makes sense. Right?

Cara Steinmann [00:11:54]: Yeah. Core values are so interesting in terms of our behavior. So, like, I value freedom And so I I find that I am surrounded by a lot of people often that don't share my core values or who are very different than me because I believe that they should be free to be who they are and work with within their strengths and value what they wanna value. Like, my husband We obviously have some similar values. We've been married for 18 years, but he values, like, structure and consistent And those are nowhere near the top of my list. I'm like, give me all the chaos, give me, like, I wanna change my mind whenever I want. I want the freedom. Right? Freedom shows up nowhere on his list. I'm pretty sure. But I love him, and I I appreciate the way that he operates within his core values. I don't know. I think probably that's probably the most valuable thing any any person, but primarily service entrepreneurs who are dealing with other people. and have to get along with other people and have other people appreciate their work and respect who they are and how they operate, they should know their core values and how they show up in their lives. When I was doing retainer work in content marketing, I changed a lot of my structure of my business around once I realized that I had these core values because I realized that I should not be working with clients who have a an extremely rigid or structured mindset who pea who people who really were really high in -- conscientiousness, really highly conscientious people who in, like, really prized structure and consistency in planning and knowing what's gonna happen, aren't gonna enjoy working with me. I'm gonna change my mind. I'm gonna take the information as it comes. I can't make you a plan for 6 months out. I don't know where we're gonna be in 6 but some people really need that to feel safe. And so that would be a great opportunity for me to refer that person to somebody in my network who I know is more conscientious. Like, appreciates conscientious as more than I do. And I wouldn't take a referral fee for it because they're gonna hopefully run into somebody -- who is more freedom loving and not so planning and conscientious. And then they can refer them to me because everybody wins. There's no competition.

Britney Gardner [00:13:59]: I love that you went there because I was actually going to ask a few minutes ago, you know, okay. So we have core values. We have people that you know, or in a network, how do we, like, actually apply that to, you know, referring? And you beautifully well, if that ends, so thank you. But When it comes to that no competition piece, I'm really glad that you touched on that because I have often said Right? There is a unique kaleidoscope of of facets, right, that we all bring to the table. And you and I or different people, but let's just assume you and I do the exact same service, you know, offer the exact same package, if we wanna call it that, to our clients And maybe we even went to the same school where we, like, learned some of these skills, we could still have entirely different businesses. with entirely different clientele because what we bring to the table within our personality and within our our worldview is gonna inform so much of how we work with people and how we deliver whatever service that we're talking about, that it it really isn't competitive. in the end. I I love talking with other content strategists. And sometimes I agree with them, and sometimes I don't. And when I don't, I take note. because that might be something I need to refer in the future.

Cara Steinmann [00:15:17]: Absolutely. There's no way that someone's gonna come to the table with exactly the same strengths and values and backstory and way of operating. The Colby a index is a it's not a personality test, but you know what it is?

Britney Gardner [00:15:31]: Yeah. Yeah.

Cara Steinmann [00:15:32]: Yeah. Okay. So I did it a few years ago for the first time, and it blew my mind because I'm a quick start. one of their facets is like, as quick start in it, it kind of measures how how well you stick to a plan. And I don't. And I've always been really critical of that in myself, and I've had people be critical of it. Like, oh, she's flaky or she changed your mind or whatever, but that That test reframed it for me in a way that helped me not only appreciate that about myself, but it helped me restructure my life and my business so that it could be something that I could leverage instead of load.

Britney Gardner [00:16:13]: I just went to my about page to look whether I had I have, like, all my personality type.

Cara Steinmann [00:16:18]: You do? I didn't see that.

Britney Gardner [00:16:21]: I don't have my Colby on there, and I don't remember what I am. And I'm so sad about that right now, because this could be oh my gosh.

Cara Steinmann [00:16:25]: I'm minor so extreme. I'm a

Britney Gardner [00:16:27]: 5194,

Cara Steinmann [00:16:28]: and the one in the 9 Ravel made it really difficult for me to function in traditional business, like, in a traditional business sense because your support is everybody wants you to be consistent. Consistency is the Right? But what if it makes your brain go wacky and you don't like, I I'm neurodivergent and I don't like consistency unless it's the easiest it has to be the easiest thing for me to do. Sometimes it's really easy for me to be consistent, but I'm not trying to be. It's because it's something I'm doing naturally. that's so innate that I can't not do it. And that's when it becomes consistent, not when I'm trying to do something that I don't wanna do or I'm not good at. Do you know what your, Clifton strengths are?

Britney Gardner [00:17:07]: Yes. Activator, ideation, command, input, relator.

Cara Steinmann [00:17:13]: Oh, we have a couple similar ones. My first one is connectedness and then input and then strategy learner and activator. So that in combination with my Colby are the 2 that really helped me figure out what I should be doing and what I shouldn't be doing and how I should be doing it. so that I could have a business that made me feel good and that served my audience or my clients in a way that was the best that I could possibly do. because you wanna be good at what you're doing if you wanna get referrals too. Right? And if you're kinda crappy at what you do, but you're really cool when you get along with people, your product still not gonna be as good as it can be. If somebody likes you and you have a kick ass product or result, you're gonna get referrals.

Britney Gardner [00:17:52]: And when you combine that with, like, the going back to, like, the dopamine hit, like, surge, especially if you're neurodivergent. Like, that probably is a huge thing. Right?

Cara Steinmann [00:18:02]: That plays into it.

Britney Gardner [00:18:04]: when you combine that with genuinely wanting to give that same quality of referral to other people. I think it kind of just magically works. I mean, you I mean, obviously, connectedness, you said, was, you know, one of your top strengths. Right? But, like, it's no it's no surprise that you have, like, created a container to make this all work for for you and the people that you love because if you're good at it, you're passionate about it, and it serves your personality and your body's unique chemistry in this case as well. Like, of course, it's gonna work.

Cara Steinmann [00:18:33]: What's funny though is that I didn't see that about myself. It's so difficult for us to see the things about ourselves that we do with unconscious competence. It took having some women in my life that I was really close to pointed out to me in, you know, in times when I was really -- with, like, how do I restructure my business? I don't like what I'm doing. I'm feeling so stuck. And and they would point out to me things that I was doing that They're like, not everybody you know, not everybody does that. Right? Like, that's kinda unique. And I was like, what? Really? I thought everybody did that because it's so innate to what I do and the way that I do it And then you can examine it, but that doesn't happen if you're living in a bubble doing your business as so many of us are as solo printers or with a small team of support. We're looking around and we're seeing, like, everybody looks like they've got it together, and they're all winning. And maybe we're struggling because we see the, you know, it's not nobody's got it together. Nobody's got it figured out. We all have our updates and our down days. And when we're alone, we don't see that. And so it's really easy for us to think that we should just be trying harder or pushing more. And that's not helping any of us. I think it should be easy. When we're doing what we should be doing in our strengths and we're you know, honoring who we are and how we like to work, it should be easy. It shouldn't feel like work.

Britney Gardner [00:19:46]: Oh, gosh. So many good, like, snippets right there. I'm not a sound bite person, typically, but you just nailed a few. So I really like what you said, though, because I ended up doing, but I do now as, like, my my core offer for my people, largely because of a similar group of women. Right? I was like, yeah. You just do this and you do this. and Debbie Alaire, who was one of my first clients for for services like this, actually said, You make it sound so easy, Britney, but I don't have time to be everywhere like you do. And I was like, oh, sweetie, I don't have the time. I have a toddler that's difficult. A kid I'm homeschooling, like, no. I don't have the time. I just do it. And she's like, then then do it. because I can't talk.

Cara Steinmann [00:20:29]: Yeah.

Britney Gardner [00:20:30]: And and it was, you know, an an accountability group call that just kind of brought that out to me. And I was like, oh, do this for myself, and it's just part of what I do, and it's so easy. It took other people pointing out those skills. that really kind of helped me, you know, 4 years ago kind of move into what I have been doing ever since, and and I've loved it. I loved it so much more than any other iteration of my business.

Cara Steinmann [00:20:53]: And I think it's difficult when you have something like a set of skills that aren't really -- visible. Like, if you are strategic or if, like, in my case, connectedness, how do you leverage connectedness into a business. I I thought everybody was doing what I was doing, but how do you how do you monetize, like, introducing people? And I did have a retainer offer for a little while where I introduced people to each other for on who are on retainer with me, but I found that it squashed all the reciprocity. I would have rather had the reciprocity long term. And, also, it took the joy out of it for me because then I had to do it. And I don't know if you've taken Gretchen Rubin's quiz, the core tendencies, that one's funny. You should do it. It's free, and it categorizes people into 4 different categories. They're either upholders who are intrinsically motivated to do what they said they were gonna do and what other other people them to do, questioners who are primarily motivated by what they think they should do, but I'm the rebel. Their motto is you can't make me and neither can I. And so as soon as somebody tells me I have to do something, I'm like, oh, well, I don't wanna do that anymore. Like, as soon as I made that strength of mine into a requirement, -- then I was rebelling against it because it didn't feel natural. But with Ravel in this community, I key every once in a while, someone will be like, Gosh, Carrie. I hope you're not burning out. I hope you don't do too much. Like, you're doing so much. You know, I hope you have enough help or whatever. And I'm like, this is the easiest thing I've ever done in my life. I am having so much fun. It should be illegal, but it's because it's it's built for me. And the way that I'm doing it is not the way somebody else would do it. And that's okay, but that also means that we're gonna have all kinds of different communities for women online. There's I love connecting with other women who are building who are doing something similar to what I'm doing because if they're as self aware as I am and they know that their community might be providing a similar transformation in a different way, then I can share that with people who are not a great fit for Ravel and everybody wins. Everybody needs a place to be in community.

Britney Gardner [00:22:50]: You know, and I think I'm in another community, data driven rebel, and it's it's a wonderful place. I've had such good discussions in that community, and I probably serves a similar similar function to me, not so much in the referral aspect, but in in terms of some of the other things that we've been talking about here, And one of the things we talked about a couple couple months ago, I wanna say, is that this year has been interesting for a lot of people in business, interesting bad, in some cases, interesting in exploratory and other ways as well. But the overwhelming kind of theme that we kind of settled on was people are just starving for a connection. You know, 2020 happened. A lot of people entered the online business world. Some of us had already been there. Right? But there was so much new and so much stuff and, you know, lots of programs and maybe not quite enough, like, people time. And even for people who have always identified on the introvert side of things like me. Right? We we still want, like, an introvert doesn't mean you do issue all people. It doesn't mean you're antisocial. It means that you want deeper connection. And I felt kind of starved for that. And a lot of people, as it turns out, were feeling the same ways, which is what I found in some of these conversations. And it was so lovely to find that out, but think we're kind of getting to a place where we can wrap up. I love that you already mentioned, Rabel, but will you tell us a little bit more about all links in the show notes? All of that fun stuff I really want people to hear about it because I love your philosophy on how you kind of handle these things, but also just in, like, intrinsically, there is so much to offer people who are looking for good connections and good conversation out there.

Cara Steinmann [00:24:26]: Yeah. So Ravel is an online community. It's a referral networking community for women's service entrepreneurs specifically or women identifying. And so it's b2bserviceentrepreneurs. There's another community out there called the Anima Collective in the they're out of Florida, but they're you know, international. And they are mostly B2C. So when I met her, we distinguished right away. Like, oh, your members are mostly B2C service entrepreneurs. you know, shamans and energy healers and stuff and, coaches and minor most B2B. A lot of marketers, a lot of bookkeepers, and some coaches. podcast pitching, you know, that kind of thing. There's a lot of different people in there, but they all share similar core values to me. And when I ceded the community, that was something that was really important, was making sure that anybody who's in there would protect the safe community space that we were creating. And so what's ended up happening is we're actually spending time in there getting to know each other, some of us are going to Mexico together in November. I've never met 3 of the gals who are meeting there, and we're prioritizing relationships and connect over the business part. As entrepreneurs, the business part of it is so much of who we are anyway, it comes up. But it's not what we're leading with. And what ends up happening because of that is that we are more invested in each other's success and more likely to refer one another. I didn't even make this a rule, but at one point, after about 6 months of having this community space, somebody said, oh, any, hey, does anybody know somebody who does this or that? And half a dozen people chime in and they're like, oh, yeah. Talk to so and so, and they'll tag somebody in the group. Right? But a couple of members tagged people out, or they they mentioned, hey, I've got somebody who can do that, but they weren't in the group. And what came back was the poster had said, how thanks so much. I'd love to I'm gonna go with whoever's in the community first, but If that doesn't work out, I'll reach out to you. So there was a loyalty that was sort of developing. And I don't know. I think to circle back to what you said in the very beginning, The whole networking and referrals thing, it it has gotten icky. It feels icky when we think about it because we think of it being transactional when it should be relational. and we should lead with that. We don't need a bazillion referral partners. We need a half a dozen really good friends who are in a strategic position to refer us if they need to.

Britney Gardner [00:26:38]: That is perfect. Thank you. Everyone that listens knows where they can find all the the links for for your places in the show notes. Kara, thank you so much. This has been a very thoughtful conversation, which I I so very much appreciate.

Cara Steinmann [00:26:52]: I appreciate the intimate conversations as well. I'm an ambivert, so I get that part. yeah, it was really fun talking to you. Thank you.

Music by Michael De La Torre. Thanks, Mikey!