How and Where people Network

 

There are countless online networking activities we could participate in but it’s not always clear which online networking sites are truly beneficial. Plus, it can be difficult to figure out how much time we should devote to online networking in order for it to be effective.

One of the things that’s changed over the last five or six years is that people no longer trust the experts very much; instead we trust our peers. Therefore–in order to try to get some answers to our questions about how much time we should spend networking and where we should network (face-to-face and online)–we thought the best thing route would be to ask our colleagues.

So last autumn we created a questionnaire, asking people like ourselves how much time they spent networking, what specific marketing tools they used and how they balanced online and real world networking. The last questions we asked pertained to how they liked to network, which events worked best, what size group proved was most beneficial for them and how the process of trust development played out. In the end, 650 people completed the questionnaire; mostly entrepreneurs found through BNI, Ecademy or LinkedIn.

The results of the questionnaire provide very useful information to consider when contemplating a networking strategy.

  • The average amount of time business owners spend promoting their business is 12-15 hours. Promotion activities include everything from sales to networking to online and conventional marketing.
  • While face-to-face networking activity proved to be overwhelmingly important to respondents, it’s also clear that LinkedIn has become an important networking tool, especially for small businesses.
  • Other popular tools include workshops, PR, online advertising, and e-mail (more than 25 percent of respondents did one or all of these activities regularly or said they depended on them).
  • On the internet side of networking, LinkedIn and Ecademy were favored sites. In the physical world, BNI and other structured events seem to be where people are focusing their networking efforts.

Most people reported that they prefer to network in groups of 20 to 40 people, but there were some that reported a preference for much larger groups. Larger networking groups appear to be more popular among employees of larger companies, European companies, high growth and global companies.

The people who most effectively utilize online media are also good face to face networkers; it seems they’re using technology to as an alternative to conventional growth business models.

We also investigated the effects of scalability–whether or not the business is limited by demand rather than its ability to supply or whether a local, national or global orientation has any effect on how people network. It turns out whether or not the business considers itself local (defined as getting 80 percent of its business within a 50 mile radius) or national in scope has a pronounced effect on networking strategies.

Entrepreneurs that think of their companies as national are:

 

  • Twice as likely to use LinkedIn; 40 percent vs. 20 percent,
  • More likely to use Twitter; 10 percent vs. 2 percent,
  • Twice as likely to use online social networks; 30 percent vs. 15 percent,
  • More than twice as likely to have a blog; 25 percent vs. 10 percent,
  • More likely to value chance encounters; 22 percent vs. 14 percent,
  • Three times as likely to prefer big networking groups of 100 to 1000 members; 16 percent vs. 5 percent.

Thomas Power, chairman of Ecademy, says the key challenge in marketing is to meet and become liked by the 50 people who can most affect your business. An analysis of the data from our survey suggests if you have a local, non-scalable business–like a small, community-oriented organic vegetable business–you can better find those 50 people by conventional, local networking.

However, if you’re trying to promote ideas or scalable services nationally, you’ll benefit from the random connections that internet networking offers.

Our survey also revealed commonalities across the various groups. All networkers spoke of the importance of a core, local support group. Further, most people prefer to face-to-face networking groups of 20 to 30 individuals.

In addition, all survey participants believe that trust is generated by listening, practicing Givers Gain®and following up with people quickly. A good reputation is based on the opinions of others, evidence of enthusiasm and commitment and the ability to give referrals before expecting them.

Most important to building a good reputation–you must develop the characteristic of clarity. Be clear about what you do, what you stand for and what benefits you and your business offers people who might use your services. Only after peers like you, trust you and clearly know what you do will they give you referrals; regardless of whether you’re dealing in online or face-to-face networking.

Since the overwhelming majority of our survey respondents offer business services, and since most business in that industry comes by referral or recommendation, this is real food for thought.

So, where does your business fit into these findings? Do you feel that spending more time online would benefit you or not?

The importance of networking for your business – in person and through social media

Written by: Aga Gordon Follow me @acgtranslation

Networking is a powerful marketing tool and can be very beneficial for your business. Assisted by the right strategy, it can create word-of-mouth referrals for you, known to be the most effective marketing tool. Faced with a choice, most people prefer a trusted recommendation when looking for a product or services.

Thanks to the rapid development of technology, we now have a plethora of online networking tools at our disposal. In addition to attending face to face business networking events, you have endless opportunities for expanding your customer network through the appropriate use of social media.

Although there is an abundance of these to choose from, you should be selective in order to ensure you don’t spend more time marketing your offering than carrying out paid work. Nevertheless, integrating personal networking with Facebook, Twitter, blogging, LinkedIn and your businesswebsite, along with an appropriate marketing strategy, can be extremely effective if applied correctly.

You should remember that networking does not simply mean personal promotion and getting more customers. It is more about expanding on your existing network of friends, acquaintances and customers, and leveraging on their networks. It is about creating, building and nurturing relationships, gaining credibility and trust, and showing off your professionalism, knowledge and expertise. This means that it is a long term strategy, so do not expect results overnight. It requires time and effort to be successful, with lots of pro-activity and patience from your side.

So where to start? There are several types of face to face networking events, and it is good to try at least some of them to see which one suits your personal style. Good examples of established organisations are BNI, 4Networking and the Business over Breakfast Club. Business events such as The Canterbury Tweetup or similar business networking event in Whitstable are less formal, and potentially less intimidating for people inexperienced in this kind of networking. I would encourage you to try as many as you feel appropriate, using them to meet people, engage in introductory conversations, and where appropriate to follow up your leads to get to know some people better. Networking does not finish after the first handshake: it is useful to send a follow-up email, meet for a coffee, and definitely connect on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Integrating social media into your standard networking strategy will take you to the next level of interaction with potential customers.

A good approach for showing off your expertise and what you can offer is to include a blog on your website. This will help your expanding network to know you better, and also to benefit from your knowledge. You should then recommend every blog post you write through Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.

Overall, I believe that Twitter is your best marketing friend. Its advantages are copious: in particular it is used every day by millions of people who create, discover and share ideas. Both small and large enterprises find great value in the connections they establish on Twitter. Although for some people Twitter is a medium for meaningless chat, this is not true nowadays. Do not miss out on this very powerful marketing tool: ‘Innovate or die‘, as the business guru Tom Peters once said.

Twitter, similarly to Facebook page, will help you to connect with your current and prospective customers, facilitate two-way communication and promete easy feedback. It will assist you with branding and marketing strategy, will expose your coupons and giveaways, and help you share your knowledge and expertise from your blog.

Where Twitter is, in my opinion, more powerful than Facebook, is its viral nature (that is the ability to spread in an uncontrolled manner – potentially an advantage or disadvantage, but very useful if the message is positive for you), and the fact that your messages are visible to users worldwide, not just your friends. It therefore helps you to benchmark against your competitors, and so aids your efforts to add value. It not only allows you to receive instant customer feedback, but can also multiply your networking at an incredible rate. Provided your tweets are frequent and meaningful, you will gain exposure and build relationships at an incredible speed. Twitter also enables you to conduct free market research, as any question you ask is rapidly answered (often by many people), provided you use a proper hashtag.

On which subject, what is a hashtag? It is a label with the hash (#) symbol aiming to group the tweets so they can be found easier and faster. You can create your own hashtag and put it in any of your tweets. Alternatively, you can use established ones, so make sure you search for the hashtag you have in mind before you put it into your tweet. If the one you have used has already been used for something else this could create confusion at best, or extreme embarrassment at worst!

Both Twitter and Facebook are also great for your search engine optimisation (SEO). This simply means how easily you are found by the search engines such as Google. In general, the more fresh content you generate, the better your SEO. Therefore, writing your blog posts frequently, and publicising them on Twitter and Facebook, increases your SEO, provided the content is not the same each time. Search engines dislike repetitions and will punish you for that, moving you to the bottom of the search.

Frequent and interesting tweets and Facebook posts will also act to your benefit in terms of SEO. Twitter is also great for the public relations (PR) community, because many journalists use Twitter looking for stories. Your post might just attract their attention (should you desire it!).

One important aspect to bear in mind is that your social media posts are truly professional. This means avoiding an aggressive sales pitches, bragging, and meaningless messages. It is useful to share valuable business related content and knowledge, for example what you wrote on your blog, interesting articles, events, or promotions. It is always good to retweet or share interesting content posted by other people: this is a form of networking in its own right. In this way you can engage in online conversations, and help others with your knowledge and expertise, form long term, strong relationships, and build trust and engage in partnerships.

I hope to have convinced you of the power and importance of an integrated social media strategy for your business development and growth. In this article I have only concentrated on Twitter and Facebook, but there are many more. The one to watch in the near future is Google+: this has great potential and has just introduced pages, but its relative novelty takes it out of scope for this short article. At present, however, becoming a regular business user of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn can be a powerful way to generate word-of-mouth referrals, and will build your network rapidly, provided you offer an interesting and meaningful content. Combine a social media networking strategy with a face-to-face approach, and you will both have fun and the potential to gain loyal customers for the long term.

What is foot Reflexology?

Reflexology is a science based on the principal that there are reflexes in the feet which corresponds to all parts of the body. Through proper stimulation of these reflexes, reflexology reduces tensions, improve circulation and helps your body to function normally. Reflexology is a serious advance in the natural health field.

Is Reflexology New?

No, It is based on techniques that have been practised for over 4000 years. Sinde the 1930’s it has been used and researched in North America and is rapidly gaining in status as an alternative therapy.

Does Reflexology Diagnose or treat disease?

No. Revlexology does not replace health care, offered by medical doctord, chiropractors or naturopaths and does not prescribe for any disease or ailment. Rather it compiments their care.

What can it do for me?

Seventy five per cent of our health problems can be linked to nervous and physical tension. Reflexology can reduce tension in your body and promote full circulation, so that abnormal physical conditions can often be relieved

(Yes that’s me and no I’m not dead, rumours of my death have been grossly exagerrated, I am merely in Bliss from My Reflexology)

What can I expect from a reflexolohgy session?

As the Reflexologist works on your fee, you may feel some tenderness. This indicates congestion somewhere in your body and will disappear in time, as your feet are worked on and as circulation improves.

If it hurts, tell your reflexogolist and they will decrease the pressure.

You may feel like falling asleep or feel brink and alert. Yout experience3 will be unique to your body’s condition.

Can Reflexology make a condition worse?

No Rfelexology is comletely safe.

Regularity with Reflexology get resuls

ENSEMBLE WELLNESS SERVICES

SUE TROUGHTON

WWW.facebook.com/EnsembleWellness

www.ensemblewellness.com

Phone 778-426-4449 sue@ensemblewellness.com

Is

Is it really better to give then to Receive?

I was recently asked to write an article on “giving” and realized in a nano second that this is a sensitive subject for me. I’ve been accused of giving too much, bending over backwards, giving more than I receive. Sometimes, my giving is caregiving and co-dependent.

As I considered my relationship with giving, I realized the issue is not with giving too much but with receiving too little, a common problem in our society. It’s more difficult simply because of cultural conditioning. Giving is modeled by our parents, taught in church or synagogue. It’s an especially familiar role for women who are conditioned to be caregivers. Giving is generally viewed as honorable and praiseworthy. Even the Bible says, “It is better to give than receive.” (Acts 20:35) No wonder many of us feel better about ourselves when we give. No wonder we have enormous confusion in this area.

I’ve always been a giver, a doer and caretaker. It’s easy for me to listen, to advise and to guide. One day, my rabbi friend asked me to practice listening as my weekly assignment so I could be a good giver. “What,” I cocked my head in confusion, declaring, “I am a good listener. I help people all the time.” And he replied, “This week, listen consciously.”

Throughout the week, on many occasions, friends and clients would ask for help, advice or just a good listening ear. My readiness to help would cause me to lean into them and offer my opinion or observation. But then, I remembered my assignment and watched as my body language changed. To listen and to help consciously, I had to lean back — taking in more than I was giving. To truly help and give counsel, I had to take a step back to receive the information and the totality of the person before me. Only then could I truly give what was needed in the moment. I had an “Aha!” experience and realized that to give, I must become present in the moment, take a new stance, create more space, receive, and then, in true service to the other, I can give.

Author and spiritual teacher Shakti Gawain said, “Receiving and giving are opposite energies that are inextricably linked together in the natural flow of life, like inhaling and exhaling. If one aspect of that cycle doesn’t function, the entire cycle ceases to function and the life force cannot move freely.” It is all about a balance between giving and receiving. As Walt Whitman said, “When I give, I give to myself.”

It is great to give, and it can feel like an elixir. We give of ourselves, we give gifts, we give advice and we give our love. It is easy to address giving. The real opportunity is to feel into receiving. From there, we can truly understand Maya Angelou’s statement, “I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.” Yay, to conscious giving and receiving — a great GPS for the Soul!

The Importance of Follow-Up

Following up with clients is crucial, according to Adrienne Zoble, principal of Adrienne Zoble Associates Inc., located in Fort Collins, Colorado. “The key to organized, diligent follow-up is prioritizing,” said Zoble, a business owner who since 1977 has been teaching business owners and executives how to sell more in less time.

Zoble said the frequency and amount of follow up needed depended on the complexity of what was sold to the customer and its life span. Research shows that most prospects don’t buy the first time. They have to encounter a marketing message multiple times before making a purchasing decision. This makes follow-up an essential ingredient in the selling process.

“It doesn’t mean I have to do the same thing with everybody,” Zoble explained. “Some people will get phone calls and some will get emails. I tell people you should check in probably once a quarter or once a month if the product or service is complicated,” said Zoble. “For example, I will check in monthly if I write a marketing plan for a client.”

Follow-Up Situations

Sales follow-up is one of the most common and important types of follow-up situations. This type of follow-up positions you away from the competition so you can generate more business from your existing customers. It shows that your company has its act together and really cares about satisfying customers.

According to Zoble, approximately 55 to 65 percent of salespeople do not conduct sales follow-up. They often say they don’t have the time but they’re really afraid of what they’ll hear. Sales follow-up can result in a positive experience, even if customers were slightly displeased with your product or service.

“If the client is marginally pleased, it shows you’re there after the sale and you’re attentive,” she explained. “But if there’s something marginally wrong and you don’t follow-up, then your customer won’t call you when they go to buy the next time around; they will buy from someone else.”

Sales follow-up also makes good financial sense. Getting business from new customers can consume 100 percent of your marketing costs. It will only cost 15 percent of your marketing budget however, to secure additional business from existing customers.

Another typical follow-up method involves placing call-backs to prospects after submitting a bid or proposal. During follow-up, it’s important to ask open-ended questions and then listen. To create an open-ended question, just put an adverb at the beginning of the sentence — but don’t ask “why” because it’s antagonistic. You could ask: What did you think of the quote? Or how did you feel about what was included? Asking open-ended questions gives you an opportunity to gather more information from the prospect to pinpoint his or her needs accurately.

“You’re not selling what you have, you’re selling what they need,” Zoble said. “Usually, they’re close to being the same; but there’s a different spin on it.”

Unfortunately, too many business people don’t follow up on sales quotes. Some become overwhelmed by having sent out too many quotes or they simply may be afraid to follow-up. To that, Zoble said, “Why take the time to send out the quote if you don’t follow up?”

Tips for Following-Up

Follow-up isn’t just about selling. It’s about building relationships and allowing the sale to happen. Here is some additional follow-up advice from Zoble:

Do what you can. When it comes to following up, you don’t have to take an all-or-nothing approach. Doing something is better than nothing, so follow-up as frequently and best as you can.

Don’t ever ask yes-or-no questions. Ask who, what, when or how many. Anything that will get prospects talking. Before you pick up the phone to make that follow-up call, write down three open-ended questions to ask prospects. If you start your call with an open-ended question, you’ll be amazed at how easily the rest of the conversation flows.

Make sure the right person follows up. The person making the follow up call should be the person who has worked with that company. Keep in mind that there are certain calls that are more appropriate coming specifically from inside customer service, an outside salesperson or the boss.

Space out your phone calls. Don’t slot a long, uninterrupted block of time to make calls because your approach can become dull. Instead, place a call here and there to keep things fresh.

Using eNewsletters can greatly enhance your follow-up efforts with prospects and customers. Because of their inherent tracking technology, eNewsletters can tell you which topics and what parts of your web site are most interesting to your readers. It’s an incredible tool you can turn over to your sales staff and say, “when is the last time you made follow-up efforts?”

For more information about capitalizing on the benefit of follow up, email Adrienne Zoble or call 970-282-1150 or 866-282-1150.

To get additional information on eNewsletters, email Proven Systems or call 970-223-6565.

The Importance of Follow-Up

Following up with clients is crucial, according to Adrienne Zoble, principal of Adrienne Zoble Associates Inc., located in Fort Collins, Colorado. “The key to organized, diligent follow-up is prioritizing,” said Zoble, a business owner who since 1977 has been teaching business owners and executives how to sell more in less time.

Zoble said the frequency and amount of follow up needed depended on the complexity of what was sold to the customer and its life span. Research shows that most prospects don’t buy the first time. They have to encounter a marketing message multiple times before making a purchasing decision. This makes follow-up an essential ingredient in the selling process.

“It doesn’t mean I have to do the same thing with everybody,” Zoble explained. “Some people will get phone calls and some will get emails. I tell people you should check in probably once a quarter or once a month if the product or service is complicated,” said Zoble. “For example, I will check in monthly if I write a marketing plan for a client.”

Follow-Up Situations

Sales follow-up is one of the most common and important types of follow-up situations. This type of follow-up positions you away from the competition so you can generate more business from your existing customers. It shows that your company has its act together and really cares about satisfying customers.

According to Zoble, approximately 55 to 65 percent of salespeople do not conduct sales follow-up. They often say they don’t have the time but they’re really afraid of what they’ll hear. Sales follow-up can result in a positive experience, even if customers were slightly displeased with your product or service.

“If the client is marginally pleased, it shows you’re there after the sale and you’re attentive,” she explained. “But if there’s something marginally wrong and you don’t follow-up, then your customer won’t call you when they go to buy the next time around; they will buy from someone else.”

Sales follow-up also makes good financial sense. Getting business from new customers can consume 100 percent of your marketing costs. It will only cost 15 percent of your marketing budget however, to secure additional business from existing customers.

Another typical follow-up method involves placing call-backs to prospects after submitting a bid or proposal. During follow-up, it’s important to ask open-ended questions and then listen. To create an open-ended question, just put an adverb at the beginning of the sentence — but don’t ask “why” because it’s antagonistic. You could ask: What did you think of the quote? Or how did you feel about what was included? Asking open-ended questions gives you an opportunity to gather more information from the prospect to pinpoint his or her needs accurately.

“You’re not selling what you have, you’re selling what they need,” Zoble said. “Usually, they’re close to being the same; but there’s a different spin on it.”

Unfortunately, too many business people don’t follow up on sales quotes. Some become overwhelmed by having sent out too many quotes or they simply may be afraid to follow-up. To that, Zoble said, “Why take the time to send out the quote if you don’t follow up?”

Tips for Following-Up

Follow-up isn’t just about selling. It’s about building relationships and allowing the sale to happen. Here is some additional follow-up advice from Zoble:

Do what you can. When it comes to following up, you don’t have to take an all-or-nothing approach. Doing something is better than nothing, so follow-up as frequently and best as you can.

Don’t ever ask yes-or-no questions. Ask who, what, when or how many. Anything that will get prospects talking. Before you pick up the phone to make that follow-up call, write down three open-ended questions to ask prospects. If you start your call with an open-ended question, you’ll be amazed at how easily the rest of the conversation flows.

Make sure the right person follows up. The person making the follow up call should be the person who has worked with that company. Keep in mind that there are certain calls that are more appropriate coming specifically from inside customer service, an outside salesperson or the boss.

Space out your phone calls. Don’t slot a long, uninterrupted block of time to make calls because your approach can become dull. Instead, place a call here and there to keep things fresh.

Using eNewsletters can greatly enhance your follow-up efforts with prospects and customers. Because of their inherent tracking technology, eNewsletters can tell you which topics and what parts of your web site are most interesting to your readers. It’s an incredible tool you can turn over to your sales staff and say, “when is the last time you made follow-up efforts?”

For more information about capitalizing on the benefit of follow up, email Adrienne Zoble or call 970-282-1150 or 866-282-1150.

To get additional information on eNewsletters, email Proven Systems or call 970-223-6565.

The Importance of Follow-Up

Following up with clients is crucial, according to Adrienne Zoble, principal of Adrienne Zoble Associates Inc., located in Fort Collins, Colorado. “The key to organized, diligent follow-up is prioritizing,” said Zoble, a business owner who since 1977 has been teaching business owners and executives how to sell more in less time.

Zoble said the frequency and amount of follow up needed depended on the complexity of what was sold to the customer and its life span. Research shows that most prospects don’t buy the first time. They have to encounter a marketing message multiple times before making a purchasing decision. This makes follow-up an essential ingredient in the selling process.

“It doesn’t mean I have to do the same thing with everybody,” Zoble explained. “Some people will get phone calls and some will get emails. I tell people you should check in probably once a quarter or once a month if the product or service is complicated,” said Zoble. “For example, I will check in monthly if I write a marketing plan for a client.”

Follow-Up Situations

Sales follow-up is one of the most common and important types of follow-up situations. This type of follow-up positions you away from the competition so you can generate more business from your existing customers. It shows that your company has its act together and really cares about satisfying customers.

According to Zoble, approximately 55 to 65 percent of salespeople do not conduct sales follow-up. They often say they don’t have the time but they’re really afraid of what they’ll hear. Sales follow-up can result in a positive experience, even if customers were slightly displeased with your product or service.

“If the client is marginally pleased, it shows you’re there after the sale and you’re attentive,” she explained. “But if there’s something marginally wrong and you don’t follow-up, then your customer won’t call you when they go to buy the next time around; they will buy from someone else.”

Sales follow-up also makes good financial sense. Getting business from new customers can consume 100 percent of your marketing costs. It will only cost 15 percent of your marketing budget however, to secure additional business from existing customers.

Another typical follow-up method involves placing call-backs to prospects after submitting a bid or proposal. During follow-up, it’s important to ask open-ended questions and then listen. To create an open-ended question, just put an adverb at the beginning of the sentence — but don’t ask “why” because it’s antagonistic. You could ask: What did you think of the quote? Or how did you feel about what was included? Asking open-ended questions gives you an opportunity to gather more information from the prospect to pinpoint his or her needs accurately.

“You’re not selling what you have, you’re selling what they need,” Zoble said. “Usually, they’re close to being the same; but there’s a different spin on it.”

Unfortunately, too many business people don’t follow up on sales quotes. Some become overwhelmed by having sent out too many quotes or they simply may be afraid to follow-up. To that, Zoble said, “Why take the time to send out the quote if you don’t follow up?”

Tips for Following-Up

Follow-up isn’t just about selling. It’s about building relationships and allowing the sale to happen. Here is some additional follow-up advice from Zoble:

Do what you can. When it comes to following up, you don’t have to take an all-or-nothing approach. Doing something is better than nothing, so follow-up as frequently and best as you can.

Don’t ever ask yes-or-no questions. Ask who, what, when or how many. Anything that will get prospects talking. Before you pick up the phone to make that follow-up call, write down three open-ended questions to ask prospects. If you start your call with an open-ended question, you’ll be amazed at how easily the rest of the conversation flows.

Make sure the right person follows up. The person making the follow up call should be the person who has worked with that company. Keep in mind that there are certain calls that are more appropriate coming specifically from inside customer service, an outside salesperson or the boss.

Space out your phone calls. Don’t slot a long, uninterrupted block of time to make calls because your approach can become dull. Instead, place a call here and there to keep things fresh.

Using eNewsletters can greatly enhance your follow-up efforts with prospects and customers. Because of their inherent tracking technology, eNewsletters can tell you which topics and what parts of your web site are most interesting to your readers. It’s an incredible tool you can turn over to your sales staff and say, “when is the last time you made follow-up efforts?”

For more information about capitalizing on the benefit of follow up, email Adrienne Zoble or call 970-282-1150 or 866-282-1150.

To get additional information on eNewsletters, email Proven Systems or call 970-223-6565.

The Importance of Follow-Up

Following up with clients is crucial, according to Adrienne Zoble, principal of Adrienne Zoble Associates Inc., located in Fort Collins, Colorado. “The key to organized, diligent follow-up is prioritizing,” said Zoble, a business owner who since 1977 has been teaching business owners and executives how to sell more in less time.

Zoble said the frequency and amount of follow up needed depended on the complexity of what was sold to the customer and its life span. Research shows that most prospects don’t buy the first time. They have to encounter a marketing message multiple times before making a purchasing decision. This makes follow-up an essential ingredient in the selling process.

“It doesn’t mean I have to do the same thing with everybody,” Zoble explained. “Some people will get phone calls and some will get emails. I tell people you should check in probably once a quarter or once a month if the product or service is complicated,” said Zoble. “For example, I will check in monthly if I write a marketing plan for a client.”

Follow-Up Situations

Sales follow-up is one of the most common and important types of follow-up situations. This type of follow-up positions you away from the competition so you can generate more business from your existing customers. It shows that your company has its act together and really cares about satisfying customers.

According to Zoble, approximately 55 to 65 percent of salespeople do not conduct sales follow-up. They often say they don’t have the time but they’re really afraid of what they’ll hear. Sales follow-up can result in a positive experience, even if customers were slightly displeased with your product or service.

“If the client is marginally pleased, it shows you’re there after the sale and you’re attentive,” she explained. “But if there’s something marginally wrong and you don’t follow-up, then your customer won’t call you when they go to buy the next time around; they will buy from someone else.”

Sales follow-up also makes good financial sense. Getting business from new customers can consume 100 percent of your marketing costs. It will only cost 15 percent of your marketing budget however, to secure additional business from existing customers.

Another typical follow-up method involves placing call-backs to prospects after submitting a bid or proposal. During follow-up, it’s important to ask open-ended questions and then listen. To create an open-ended question, just put an adverb at the beginning of the sentence — but don’t ask “why” because it’s antagonistic. You could ask: What did you think of the quote? Or how did you feel about what was included? Asking open-ended questions gives you an opportunity to gather more information from the prospect to pinpoint his or her needs accurately.

“You’re not selling what you have, you’re selling what they need,” Zoble said. “Usually, they’re close to being the same; but there’s a different spin on it.”

Unfortunately, too many business people don’t follow up on sales quotes. Some become overwhelmed by having sent out too many quotes or they simply may be afraid to follow-up. To that, Zoble said, “Why take the time to send out the quote if you don’t follow up?”

Tips for Following-Up

Follow-up isn’t just about selling. It’s about building relationships and allowing the sale to happen. Here is some additional follow-up advice from Zoble:

Do what you can. When it comes to following up, you don’t have to take an all-or-nothing approach. Doing something is better than nothing, so follow-up as frequently and best as you can.

Don’t ever ask yes-or-no questions. Ask who, what, when or how many. Anything that will get prospects talking. Before you pick up the phone to make that follow-up call, write down three open-ended questions to ask prospects. If you start your call with an open-ended question, you’ll be amazed at how easily the rest of the conversation flows.

Make sure the right person follows up. The person making the follow up call should be the person who has worked with that company. Keep in mind that there are certain calls that are more appropriate coming specifically from inside customer service, an outside salesperson or the boss.

Space out your phone calls. Don’t slot a long, uninterrupted block of time to make calls because your approach can become dull. Instead, place a call here and there to keep things fresh.

Using eNewsletters can greatly enhance your follow-up efforts with prospects and customers. Because of their inherent tracking technology, eNewsletters can tell you which topics and what parts of your web site are most interesting to your readers. It’s an incredible tool you can turn over to your sales staff and say, “when is the last time you made follow-up efforts?”

For more information about capitalizing on the benefit of follow up, email Adrienne Zoble or call 970-282-1150 or 866-282-1150.

To get additional information on eNewsletters, email Proven Systems or call 970-223-6565.

Histrionic personality disorder (HPD) is defined by the American Psychiatric Association as a personality disorder characterized by a pattern of excessive emotionality and attention-seeking, including an excessive need for approval and inappropriately seductive behavior, usually beginning in early adulthood. These individuals are lively, dramatic, vivacious, enthusiastic, and flirtatious. HPD affects four times as many women as men.[1] It has a prevalence of 2–3% in the general population, and 10–15% in inpatient and outpatient mental health institutions.

HPD lies in the dramatic cluster of personality disorders.

People with HPD have a high need for attention, make loud and inappropriate appearances, exaggerate their behaviors and emotions, and crave stimulation.

They may exhibit sexually provocative behavior, express strong emotions with an impressionistic style, and can be easily influenced by others. Associated features include egocentrism, self-indulgence, continuous longing for appreciation, and persistent manipulative behavior to achieve their own needs.

Characteristics

People with HPD are usually able to function at high levels and can be successful socially and professionally. They usually have good social skills, though they tend to use these skills to manipulate other people and become the center of attention.[

Furthermore, histrionic personality disorder may affect a person’s social or romantic relationships and their ability to cope with losses or failures. They may seek treatment for depression when romantic relationships end.

Individuals with HPD often fail to see their own personal situation realistically and instead dramatize and exaggerate their difficulties. They may go through frequent job changes, as they become easily bored and have trouble dealing with frustration. Because they tend to crave novelty and excitement, they may place themselves in risky situations. All of these factors may lead to greater risk of developing depression. [5] Additional characteristics may include:

  • Exhibitionist behavior

  • Constant seeking of reassurance or approval

  • Excessive sensitivity to criticism or disapproval

  • Pride of own personality and unwillingness to change, viewing any change as a threat

  • Inappropriately seductive appearance or behavior

  • Using somatic symptoms (of physical illness) as a means of garnering attention

  • A need to be the center of attention

  • Low tolerance for frustration or delayed gratification

  • Rapidly shifting emotional states that may appear superficial or exaggerated to others

  • Tendency to believe that relationships are more intimate than they actually are

  • Making rash decisions

Some histrionics change their seduction technique into a more maternal or paternal style as they age

Mnemonic

A mnemonic that can be used to remember the characteristics of histrionic personality disorder is “PRAISE ME”:[7][8]

  • Provocative (or seductive) behavior

  • Relationships are considered more intimate than they actually are

  • Attention-seeking

  • Influenced easily

  • Speech (style) wants to impress; lacks detail

  • Emotional lability; shallowness

  • Make-up; physical appearance is used to draw attention to self

  • Exaggerated emotions; theatrical

Causes

The cause of histrionic personality disorder is unknown, but childhood events such as deaths or illnesses in the immediate family (which present constant anxiety), divorce of parents, and genetics may be involved. HPD is more often diagnosed in women than men; men with some similar symptoms are often diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder.

Little research has been conducted to determine the biological sources, if any, of this disorder. Psychoanalytic theories incriminate authoritarian or distant attitudes by one (mainly the mother) or both of parents, along with conditional love based on expectations the child can never fully meet.

Diagnosis

The person’s appearance, behavior, and history, along with a psychological evaluation, are usually sufficient to establish a diagnosis. There is no test to confirm this diagnosis. Because the criteria are subjective, some people may be wrongly diagnosed.

DSM-IV-TR

The most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM IV-TR, defines histrionic personality disorder (in Cluster B) as:

A pervasive pattern of excessive emotionality and attention-seeking, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

  • is uncomfortable in situations in which he or she is not the center of attention
  • interaction with others is often characterized by inappropriate sexually seductive or provocative behavior
  • displays rapidly shifting and shallow expression of emotions
  • consistently uses physical appearance to draw attention to self
  • has a style of speech that is excessively impressionistic and lacking in detail
  • shows self-dramatization, theatricality, and exaggeratedexpression of emotion
  • is suggestible, i.e., easily influenced by others or circumstances
  • considers relationships to be more intimate than they actually are

The DSM-IV requires that a diagnosis for any specific personality disorder also satisfies a set of general personality disorder criteria.

ICD-10

The World Health Organization‘s ICD-10 lists histrionic personality disorder as:[10]

[A] personality disorder characterized by:

  • shallow and labile affectivity,
  • self-dramatization,
  • theatricality,
  • exaggerated expression of emotions,
  • suggestibility,
  • egocentricity,
  • self-indulgence,
  • lack of consideration for others,
  • easily hurt feelings, and
  • continuous seeking for appreciation, excitement and attention.

It is a requirement of ICD-10 that a diagnosis of any specific personality disorder also satisfies a set of general personality disorder criteria.

Both Narcissistic and Histrionic personality disorders have to do with inferiority of
people.

Histrionic people can’t help but feel that they themselves are inferior. To everyone else
the feel as though they are worthless and cannot live up to other people.
However, they express & show the exact opposite.

Whereas people that suffer from narcissistic behaviour believe that everyone else is
inferior to them. The world’s most famous narcissistic person is the Serial Killer,
Ted Bundy.

Histrionic’s need attention both negative and positive attention. For them” attention is
attention.”

Narcissistic’s need all positive attention.

Isn’t this interesting?

The word “histrionic” comes from the latin word………theatre, acting , DRAMA!

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The Dangerous Sport of Ad-libbing!

 

I recently attended a monthly business meeting that featured an opportunity for one business person

to showcase their business through a 7 minute presentation to the group.

I assumed the person who would volunteer to do this would be well-prepared for their time in the spotlight.

I was eager to hear the presenter.

The presenter told the group how he got into business and the products he provides.

I can’t say he did a great job – he spoke way too fast and barely made eye contact with the audience.

It was clear to me he didn’t give much (or any) advance thought to what he would say.

It was a big mistake not to think ahead and practice – but that wasn’t his biggest mistake.

After just 2 minutes, he turned to the emcee and said, “I’m done.”

The emcee looked at him with disappointed eyes and said, “But I allotted you 7 minutes.”

This is when the speaker made his BIGGEST MISTAKE! He told the emcee he would

just “fill in” the extra 5 minutes.

During his extra 5 minutes he shared way too much information – some of it casting doubt on his abilities

as a business owner.

He told the audience how one of his business partnerships had gone awry due to lack of communication,

how he had always wanted to be in another line of work but his dreams were sadly dashed due to

lack of education, and how his marriage had failed due to his lack of business success.

Seriously, after those 5 minutes were up, I knew more about this man than I know about some of my friends!

Why on earth would someone willingly share such personal information?

When we ad-lib, we get into a different zone in our heads and we start to ramble.

If you’ve ever had that out of body experience of knowing you are talking, but not having a hot clue

what you are saying yet you continue talking in spite of that then you’ve been in that zone.

Sometimes we can’t seem to turn ourselves off! I think that is what happened to this person.

I recommend you avoid this situation by:

– Asking in advance how long you are expected to speak.

Plan for that time.

Going well over – or well under – creates havoc on a well-planned agenda.

– Practise what you will say and how you will say it.

– If you have a tendency to speak so quickly you will likely go under-time,

DO NOT ATTEMPT TO FILL IN THAT TIME WITH ANYTHING UNREHEARSED.

Consider the wise words of Dorothy Sarnoff:

“Make sure you have finished speaking before your audience has finished listening.”

Copyright 2012 by Piece of Cake Communications. All rights reserved.

This article may NOT be copied or used in any way without permission from Piece of Cake Communications. ______________________________________________________________________________________

Great businesses, groups and people to know:

– I recommend SearchWise – visit: www.searchwise.ca

– I recommend Island Gals Magazine – visit: www.islandgals.ca

– If you are unemployed or under-employed, have a disability or chronic health problem and are interested in becoming self-employed or starting a business, EntreActive may be for you! Visit: www.entreactive.com

Past articles:

– Why You Shouldn’t Wear a Crop Top To Your Next Presentation
– Overheard Conversations
– Controlling Emotions While Public Speaking
– Finding a Calming Technique That Works for You
– What To Do When You Accidentally Say Something Inappropriate

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Manners and etiquette – a load of old-fashioned nonsense?… Or two crucial parts of your life?

Manners and etiquette are both critical to functioning in society. Both of these are about how we behave, but they are slightly different, and involve different skills. They are also culturally dictated, so what we consider good manners or appropriate etiquette may not be considered so in other cultures.

Etiquette:

Etiquette is about protocol, and requires knowledge of rules of behaviour in certain defined situations.

It is about knowing how to behave at, for example, a shooting party, a funeral, a business meeting, a formal dinner party, or dinner with the Queen.

There is appropriate etiquette for a whole host of activities like cricket, croquet or rock-climbing.

There is also an elaborate system of etiquette related to social class.

People can learn the rules of etiquette through formal training, or by reading books about it.

Knowledge of etiquette is never wasted. Good etiquette training provides the skills (and therefore the confidence) to cope with any occasion with ease.

However, etiquette, because it involved rules for behaviour which have to be learnt, very rarely allows for personal variations and individual concerns.

One of the important things to note about mistakes in etiquette is that they immediately clearly identify a person as an ‘outsider’ to the group in question.

For example, not knowing the right piece of cutlery to use for a particular course at a dinner party might immediately make it obvious that you are not from the same social class as the rest of the group.

Knowledge of etiquette helps us to fit in!

Manners:

Having good manners is more fundamental and relates to the way we treat people generally.

To have good manners is to treat other people in the way we ourselves would like to be treated.

Although a kind caring disposition will be helpful in producing good mannered behaviour, good manners are a learnt behaviour and will sometimes involve a degree of acting.

We may feel in a lousy mood but we can still smile and exchange pleasantries with a work colleague.

Good manners could be thought of as a kind of social lubricant, making our social interactions much smoother and pleasanter.

They are also enormously effective in getting others to do things we want them to, simply because they will inevitably feel warm and positive about us.

If we have bad manners or no manners, they will feel uncomfortable with us, dislike us, or possibly even feel contempt for us.

Where do good manners come from?

We learn manners from our parents and from the formal education we receive.

We can also, if we take the time, learn them by observation of others.

However, there is hardly anyone whose manners cannot be improved, often by a large amount, and if this is the case, organised study seems to offer the best solution.

Why is knowledge of etiquette useful?

Knowledge of etiquette enables us to fit in comfortably with an often formal activity that involves other people.

Rather than feeling stressed and worrying about whether we are using the correct fork, we can relax and focus, fully participating in the occasion.

For example, business etiquette is now big business and important for those moving up the corporate ladder.

Spouses are often invited along to interviews which can include receptions and dinners, so both the interviewee and their spouse will need a knowledge of the appropriate etiquette.

The difference between manners and etiquette

Etiquette and manners do overlap considerably, and often both words can be used about the same thing.

What is considered good manners is often also considered to be appropriate etiquette.

The primary difference between etiquette and manners is that etiquette involves the knowledge of specific rules of conduct, and manners is more generalised.

Good manners go beyond socially acceptable behaviour and are much more about treating people with respect and kindness, and making other people feel comfortable whatever the social situation.

Good manners are under our control because they about showing concern for others.

It is entirely possible to have a vast knowledge of etiquette and no manners at all (perhaps you have met people like that?).

On the other hand, there are a large number of people who have wonderful manners, but are a bit wobbly about etiquette at certain social occasions (most of us have probably been at a social occasion where we have worried about which piece of cutlery to use, or where we stand).

Ideally, we need a knowledge of both, but good manners will get us further.

After all, we can always watch carefully what others do before we pick up a piece of cutlery, or even ask the person next to us (because, if they are well-mannered, they will care about how you feel, and kindly tell you which one to use!).

How a knowledge of etiquette and good manners helps us

Confidence is a vital attribute in life, as it enables us to step into new situations without fear.

It therefore gives us choices and a sense of control.

Research has demonstrated that a sense of control is vital for good emotional well-being.

A knowledge of etiquette and the ability to interact with others with good manners are important skills to possess.

They will ease our path through life – knowing what to do and when (etiquette) means you can relax and enjoy the occasion, and being considerate to others and showing concern about their well-being (manners) means that people will enjoy being around you and think highly of you!

What is the Definition of a Referral?

An open door to discuss your business.

By Dr. Ivan Misner

A BNI member recently asked me to define a legitimate referral. It’s been a long time since I wrote about this, so I thought I’d share it with everyone in this month’s column.

What is a referral? It’s not as simple as it’s sometimes made out to be. We leave college and go into business knowing little about referrals, because referral marketing is rarely part of the curriculum. We know what a great thing it is to get a referral, because it generally means lucrative business with a reliable client.

We understand that referrals are the best kind of business. What we don’t fully understand is how to make them happen.

In the BNI Member Success Program training we state that a referral is the opportunity to do business with someone who is in the market to buy your product or service. It’s not a guaranteed sale, but an open door to discuss your business.

The whole process of giving referrals can be somewhat subjective. Our goal is to make a “subjective” process as “objective” as possible. Here are six points to generally follow when giving a referral***:

  1. Listen for a need from someone you’ve met. A good networker has two ears and one mouth and uses them proportionately.

  2. Tell the individual that you know someone who can provide that service.

  3. If you’ve done business with the member, share your experience.

  4. Give out the business card of the person you are referring and ask for the individual’s card.

  5. Ask if it’s okay to have the member call.

  6. If the answer is yes, fill out a referral slip and give it to the chapter member at the next meeting.

So, a referral is a referral right? Once a referral source has given you the name of a person to call, it’s up to you to do the rest. A referral is better than a cold call, because you have the name of the prospect. And if you’re fortunate, you can use the name of the referral source to open the door. What more could you hope for?

Grade-A Referrals
Actually, there’s quite a bit more you can expect from referrals that have been properly developed by their sources.

Referrals come in many different grades. On one end of the spectrum they may go from simply a name and number of someone who’s expecting your call all the way to an in-person introduction that follows a serious commitment of time and energy from your referral partner.

Both may be legitimate referrals. However, the latter is much more likely to lead to closed business. The further along the referral spectrum that you can follow in your referral giving – the more likely you are giving truly high quality referrals to your networking partners.

*** Please note – some professions have different ethical guidelines about referrals (for example medical practitioners, counselors, and attorneys). Formal professional standards for any profession supersede the information outlined above.

Called the “father of modern networking” by CNN, Dr. Ivan Misner is a New York Times bestselling author. He is the Founder and Chairman of BNI, the world’s largest business networking organization and the Sr. Partner for the Referral Institute. His newest book, Networking Like a Pro, can be viewed at www.IvanMisner.com.

What Successful People Do With The First Hour Of Their Work Day

By Kevin Purdy

|

August 22, 2012

How much does the first hour of every day matter? As it turns out, a lot. It can be the hour you see everything clearly, get one real thing done, and focus on the human side of work rather than your task list.

Remember when you used to have a period at the beginning of every day to think about your schedule, catch up with friends, maybe knock out a few tasks? It was called home room, and it went away after high school. But many successful people schedule themselves a kind of grown-up home room every day. You should too.

The first hour of the workday goes a bit differently for Craig Newmark of Craigslist, David Karp of Tumblr, motivational speaker Tony Robbins, career writer (and Fast Company blogger) Brian Tracy, and others, and they’ll tell you it makes a big difference. Here are the first items on their daily to-do list.

Don’t Check Your Email for the First Hour. Seriously. Stop That.

Tumblr founder David Karp will “try hard” not to check his email until 9:30 or 10 a.m., according to an Inc. profile of him. “Reading e-mails at home never feels good or productive,” Karp said. “If something urgently needs my attention, someone will call or text me.”

Not all of us can roll into the office whenever our Vespa happens to get us there, but most of us with jobs that don’t require constant on-call awareness can trade e-mail for organization and single-focus work. It’s an idea that serves as the title of Julie Morgenstern’s work management book Never Check Email In The Morning, and it’s a fine strategy for leaving the office with the feeling that, even on the most over-booked days, you got at least one real thing done.

If you need to make sure the most important messages from select people come through instantly, AwayFind can monitor your inbox and get your attention when something notable arrives. Otherwise, it’s a gradual but rewarding process of training interruptors and coworkers not to expect instantaneous morning response to anything they send in your off-hours.

Gain Awareness, Be Grateful

One smart, simple question on curated Q & A site Quora asked “How do the most successful people start their day?”. The most popular response came from a devotee of Tony Robbins, the self-help guru who pitched the power of mindful first-hour rituals long before we all had little computers next to our beds.

Robbins suggests setting up an “Hour of Power,” “30 Minutes to Thrive,” or at least “Fifteen Minutes to Fulfillment.” Part of it involves light exercise, part of it involves motivational incantations, but the most accessible piece involves 10 minutes of thinking of everything you’re grateful for: in yourself, among your family and friends, in your career, and the like. After that, visualize “everything you want in your life as if you had it today.”

Robbins offers the “Hour of Power” segment of his Ultimate Edge series as a free audio stream (here’s the direct MP3 download). Blogger Mike McGrath also wrote a concise summary of the Hour of Power). You can be sure that at least some of the more driven people you’ve met in your career are working on Robbins’ plan.

Do the Big, Shoulder-Sagging Stuff First

Brian Tracy’s classic time-management book Eat That Frog gets its title from a Mark Twain saying that, if you eat a live frog first thing in the morning, you’ve got it behind you for the rest of the day, and nothing else looks so bad. Gina Trapani explained it well in a video for her Work Smart series). Combine that with the concept of getting one thing done before you wade into email, and you’ve got a day-to-day system in place. Here’s how to force yourself to stick to it:

Choose Your Frog

“Choose your frog, and write it down on a piece of paper that you’ll see when you arrive back at your desk in the morning, Tripani advises.“If you can, gather together the material you’ll need to get it done and have that out, too.”

One benefit to tackling that terrible, weighty thing you don’t want to do first thing in the morning is that you get some space from the other people involved in that thing–the people who often make the thing more complicated and frustrating. Without their literal or figurative eyes over your shoulder, the terrible thing often feels less complex, and you can get more done.

Ask Yourself If You’re Doing What You Want to Do

Feeling unfulfilled at work shouldn’t be something you realize months too late, or even years. Consider making an earnest attempt every morning at what the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs told a graduating class at Stanford to do:

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

“Customer Service” (or Your Own Equivalent)

Craigslist founder Craig Newmark answered the first hour question succinctly: “Customer service.” He went on to explain (or expand) that he also worked on current projects, services for military families and veterans, and protecting voting rights. But customer service is what Newmark does every single day at Craigslist, responding to user complaints and smiting scammers and spammers. He almost certainly has bigger fish he could pitch in on every day, but Newmark says customers service “anchors me to reality.”

Your own version of customer service might be keeping in touch with contacts from year-ago projects, checking in with coworkers you don’t regularly interact with, asking questions of mentors, and just generally handling the human side of work that quickly gets lost between task list items. But do your customer service on the regular, and you’ll have a more reliable roster of helpers when the time comes.

12 Simple Ways Marketers Can Humanize Their Brand

Posted by Corey Eridon

Fri, Aug 24, 2012 @ 08:00 AM

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humanize brand marketingintermediate

Companies are not people.

Boom. How’s that for a controversial opening line?

For the sake of harmony (and the point of this blog post), let’s try to remove the political implications from that statement, and consider what it means for us as marketers.

How would most people describe their relationship with your company? Is it purely transactional, making you just a place they go to get something they need? Or do you elicit more personal feelings from your leads and customers? In an inbound marketing age where businesses are expected to get to know their target audience, develop personas, maintain an active social media presence, and be genuinely helpful to their leads and customers, it seems like there’s room to develop a relationship between companies and consumers beyond just the transactional.

The fact is, people do business with people they like and trust, and it’s really, really hard to trust a company. But you know when it’s way easier to trust a company? When your audience is reminded there are real life humans working behind the scenes … and maybe they can even get to know them a bit. So if your company comes off as cold, corporate, or faceless, it might be time to find a way to humanize your brand a little more. Here’s how.

1) Write an ‘About Us’ page that’s actually good.

The ‘About Us’ page is one of the most frequently flubbed up pages on the internet. Which is a bummer, really, because what better way to humanize your brand than a page dedicated to telling people about who you are?

So, who do you want to be? A faceless corporation? Or do you want to tell people about what you do, who you are, and why you think it might be interesting to them? I went looking for an example to show off here that’s an extraordinary example of someone humanizing their company through their ‘About Us’ page, and thanks to Blog Tyrant, I found two examples for you.

First, I recommend you check out SEOmoz. Their page includes several sections that explain what they do and why they’re valuable, as well as a timeline that explains how their company came to be — written in a light-hearted yet professional way. Giving the backstory of how the company was founded gives readers insight into the founders’ motivations, and also presents it in a way that shows the reader what value SEOmoz brings to the table for their customers.

The other example of a killer ‘About Us’ Page I highly recommend is Andrew Reifman of Andrew Reifman Graphic Design. This page is notable because of its simplicity. Who he is, what he does, and the value he brings is all clear in just a few words. Plus you actually feel like you know the guy when you’re done reading it! That makes it far easier for leads to determine whether he’s someone they want to do business with, and you can bet the ones with whom this page resonates are going to be extremely eager leads.

about us page

2) Kill the business babble.

Just. Speak. Clearly. Business and industry-specific jargon is just another way of talking over people’s heads, and although you think you sound super smart and important, you’re really just coming off as inaccessible. Is that how you’d talk to someone in real life? No way. Unless you don’t want any friends. Speak like a human being, and your brand will feel more relatable, too.

Hint: ‘About Us’ pages are often one of the biggest business babble offenders!

3) Inject a sense of humor into your content.

It’s easy for B2C companies to create hilarious content — and you certainly should! Everyone loves a laugh. This tip, however, is geared more strongly towards B2B companies; particularly those in kind of “boring” industries.

Look, you can get your point across really well with clear, concise, straightforward copy. That’s fine. But you can get your point across and humanize your brand — even delight readers — if you can infuse a sense of humor into your content once in a while. Frankly, nobody expects it from you. And if you’re one of the few brands doing it, it makes you look just awesome. Go ahead. Try to make someone crack a smile. What’s more human than unbridled laughter?

4) Publish photos of your team being themselves.

Let your fans and followers get to know your employees a bit better by posting photos of them doing things “out in the wild.” We did this on our own Facebook page with the aptly named album “HubSpotters in the Wild,” but I’m a fan of how Deloitte did this on its Facebook cover photo, too. Take a look:

Deloitte facebook resized 600

That’s the Deloitte China Dragon Boat team. Who knew Deloitte had such cool employees? Well, we all do now! Deloitte (or any company for that matter) could take this one step further by venturing to replace its social media avatars with pictures of real people, as opposed to its logo, too.

You don’t need to limit yourself to just social media, either. You could find other places to introduce your employees to the world. At HubSpot, we’ve leveraged the space on our login screen (check it out!) so that when you sign in to your account, you’re greeted with a random HubSpotter’s smiling face, name, and role in the organization!

hubspot login

5) Introduce your community manager.

If you have a dedicated community manager running your social channels — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, even forums — let people know who that person is. Take Uber, for example. They have an entire photo album on Facebook that introduces each city’s dedicated community manager:

uber community managers

When you click into each photo, you get to learn more about the person that’s representing the company. Take a look at Boston’s community manager, Nick:

uber boston community manager

Uber has been so effective at humanizing ita that when my co-worker had a question about Uber this morning, I actually told her to tweet at Nick. Not Uber. Nick. Because when I use social media to get Uber customer support, I’ve always talked to a person — Nick, specifically, — as opposed to who-on-earth-knows at most other companies.

6) Sign your social updates.

If you don’t have just one dedicated community manager, it may seem unwieldy to introduce the entire team — this is a common problem faced by enterprise organizations. Consider signing your social media updates if you’re one of many posting to a social account, particularly if you’re using it for customer support. Take a look at how Verizon support does it on their Twitter account:

humanizing brands twitter

This helps remind people that even though they can’t hear your voice, there’s one real, live, breathing person that’s dedicated to helping them.

7) Have conversations with fans, followers, and commenters.

But make sure they aren’t all just about your company or industry — although those are important, too. When you venture outside of your usual topics once in a while, it makes people feel comfortable being themselves … because you’re being yourself, too! You can also add more structure to these conversations if you like and periodically host Twitter chats, conversations about a particular topic at a specific date and time, held together by a pre-designated hashtag.

8) Encourage employees to be social on behalf of your company.

When employees post social media updates about or on behalf of their company, it does a few things:

  • It lets people know that person gives a hoot about the company they work for.

  • It lets people get to know the names, faces, and personalities behind a company.

  • It gives the company’s content way, way, way more reach.

While some companies, due to the nature of their industry, may need to keep a tighter lid on their social media networks, most businesses could really benefit from encouraging employees to use their social media accounts to share company content. And yes, they should even be able to do that during work hours! The times, they are a-changin’.

9) Admit your mistakes.

Everyone screws up. It’s human. I’m not saying you should seek out mistakes to humanize your brand, but no one expects you to be perfect. Just like your mama told you, it’s how you respond to your mistakes that matters! If you’ve suffered a public faux pas, just own up to it and apologize. Be genuine, and don’t place blame elsewhere — accept it on your own. People will move on quicker than you expect, and you’ll emerge looking like a company that truly cares about what their audience thinks.

10) Poke fun at yourself.

Eventually, some of those mistakes you made will actually be funny — “some” being the operative word. Take our blog post from a couple months ago, “Marketing Hall of Shame: HubSpot’s Worst Marketing Mistakes, Revisited,” for example. A lot of those mistakes weren’t very funny at the time, but we took our public shaming and enough time had elapsed that we could poke a little fun at ourselves. If you don’t take yourself too seriously, even make fun of yourself from time to time in a manner that isn’t too self-deprecating, you remind your audience that you’re just like them.

11) Sign your emails with your name. Like, your name.

Not your company name. A company can’t send an email. A person at your company, however, can. For instance, what does your signature look like in your email marketing? Consider including a real person’s name in your email signature, along with their role at your company, and maybe even a small headshot to make the message more personal.

You could also experiment with a more personal “From” field, including the email sender’s real name alongside your company’s name. Your results may vary, so we recommend conducting your own test, but when we A/B tested the inclusion of an employee’s name alongside our company name, the results were fantastic!

sender name test1 resized 600

12) Take off your marketer hat once in a while.

Ultimately, you’re doing all this to get more traffic, leads, and customers. We know that. But it can be helpful to approach your efforts with a little less of a methodical marketer mindset, and more of a … human one. For example, not every single tweet needs to be to a landing page. It’s okay to throw in something you think your audience would just plain enjoy sometimes — no link to your blog, lead-capture form, or transaction on the other end. The more you get to know your buyer persones as you interact with them every day, the more naturally you’ll be able to do this; the content will practically roll off your tongue! Once you’ve established this natural rapport with your community, your relationship will be more akin to two friends hanging out — and that makes for customers with higher lifetime value (aaaand the marketer hat is back on).

How else can brands make themselves seem less corporate, and more relatable to the world?

Image credit: twm1340

Persona Template

Read more: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/33525/12-Simple-Ways-Marketers-Can-Humanize-Their-Brand.aspx#ixzz24Tmdko39

Leadership

The 7 Success Principles of Steve Jobs

As we kick off the New Year, leaders, entrepreneurs and business owners are looking for new and innovative ways to grow their brands.

Who better to turn to than one of the most innovative leaders of our time—Apple CEO Steve Jobs?

Through first-person interviews with Apple employees, experts, and analysts, as well as Steve Jobs’ own words over the past thirty years, I discovered that there are 7 principles largely responsible for Jobs’ breakthrough success.

These are described in my new book, The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs, and they are principles that I will discuss in blog posts over the coming weeks.

Briefly, here are the principles that anyone can use to “think differently” about their service, product or brand.

Principle One:

Do what you love. Steve Jobs once told a group of employees, “People with passion can change the world for the better.”

Jobs has followed his heart his entire life and that passion, he says, has made all the difference.

It’s very difficult to come up with new, creative, and novel ideas unless you are passionate about moving society forward.

Principle Two:

Put a dent in the universe. Passion fuels the rocket, but vision directs the rocket to its ultimate destination.

In 1976, when Jobs and Steve Wozniak co-founded Apple, Jobs’ vision was to put a computer in the hands of everyday people.

In 1979, Jobs saw an early and crude graphical user interface being demonstrated at the Xerox research facility in Palo Alto, California.

He knew immediately that the technology would make computers appealing to “everyday people.”

That technology eventually became The Macintosh, which changed everything about the way we interact with computers. Xerox scientists didn’t realize its potential because their “vision” was limited to making new copiers.

Two people can see the exactly the same thing, but perceive it differently based on their vision.

Principle Three:

Kick start your brain. Steve Jobs once said “Creativity is connecting things.”

Connecting things means seeking inspiration from other industries.

At various times, Jobs has found inspiration in a phone book, Zen meditation, visiting India, a food processor at Macy’s, or The Four Seasons hotel chain.

Jobs doesn’t “steal” ideas as much as he uses ideas from other industries to inspire his own creativity.

Principle Four:

Sell dreams, not products. To Steve Jobs, people who buy Apple products are not “consumers.”

They are people with hopes, dreams and ambitions.

He builds products to help people achieve their dreams.

He once said, “some people think you’ve got to be crazy to buy a Mac, but in that craziness we see genius.”

How do you see your customers? Help them unleash their inner genius and you’ll win over their hearts and minds.

Principle Five:

Say no to 1,000 things. Steve Jobs once said, “I’m as proud of what we don’t do as I am of what we do.”

He is committed to building products with simple, uncluttered design.

And that commitment extends beyond products.

From the design of the iPod to the iPad, from the packaging of Apple’s products, to the functionality of the Web site, in Apple’s world, innovation means eliminating the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.

Principle Six:

Create insanely great experiences. The Apple store has become the world’s best retailer by introducing simple innovations any business can adopt to create deeper, more emotional connections with their customers.

For example, there are no cashiers in an Apple store.

There are experts, consultants, even geniuses, but no cashiers.

Why? Because Apple is not in the business of moving boxes; they are in the business of enriching lives.

Big difference.

Principle Seven:

Master the message.

Steve Jobs is the world’s greatest corporate storyteller, turning product launches into an art form.

You can have the most innovative idea in the world, but if you can’t get people excited about it, it doesn’t matter.

Simply put, innovation is a new way of doing things that results in positive change.

Innovation is attainable by anyone at any organization, regardless of title or position.

Make innovation a part of your brands’ DNA by thinking differently about your business challenges.

Carmine Gallo is the communications coach for the world’s most admired brands.

He is a popular keynote speaker and author of several books including the bestsellers, The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs and The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs. Follow him on Twitter: @Carminegallo

How to Repair a Bad Reputation

Damaged reputation?

It’s not easy to recover or repair (which is why it’s so important to protect your reputation).

Sometimes, the loss of your reputation is through no fault of yours, but because of lies and scuttlebutt.

Sometimes it’s your own mistakes. Getting your good name back is not always easy — but it can be done, with patience, determination, and perseverance.

Steps

Know your true friends. Don’t defend yourself against lies, especially to your real friends.

Simply say that those things are not true.

Remember that your true friends won’t believe lies about you – and those who don’t know you may believe those untruths at first, but if you are patient and willing to demonstrate your good qualities, even those who don’t know you well will doubt those lies.

Don’t defend against gossip, and don’t participate in gossiping about others.

If someone has told lies about you, unless it is a situation where you simply have to justify your action, say nothing, or very little.

If you start explaining, more people will get drawn in and take sides, and in the end you realise it’s all been made worse.

Gossip is best left to die on its own – and if it’s based on lies, it will almost always do so.

Own up to your mistakes and make them right.

If you’ve actually done something unwise and now wish you hadn’t (because your reputation is in pieces as a result), think about ways of making good.

Can you, first and foremost, do the right thing: go admit what you’ve done and apologize?

It’s hard to do, but necessary. Be humble and sincere. Afterwards, try to do nice things for people, help out somewhere, be a thoughtful friend or companion – repair your reputation by covering over the unwise thing with lots of good deeds.

That way, more people will hear good about you than bad.

Seek help. If you’ve got yourself into serious trouble, tell someone who can help.

It can be parents, a religious adviser (as long as they are not going to give you a big deal about morals and make things worse), a trusted teacher, or even a complete stranger on a helpline.

Most of the time, however bad the trouble, there IS a way out of it in time.

Know that everyone makes mistakes.

Remember that within a few weeks or months at the very most, no one will remember your misdeeds because they’ll be too busy coping with their own.

Nobody’s perfect – we all live and learn from our mistakes, and we try to do better as we learn.

Don’t beat yourself up too much, but also, don’t forget what happened, and how hard it has been to restore yourself to a good opinion in the eyes of all those people you care about.

Give yourself enough time to make amends.

Too often, we make a mistake and then want it to be immediately erased.

Unfortunately, things don’t work that way – that’s why it’s smart to protect your reputation carefully by being a person of good character.

Once you’ve restored your reputation somewhat, protect it.

Don’t allow people to spread lies about you – but rather than just telling whoever told you about hearing an untrue thing about you, go and find the person who told that person.

Root it out until you find the source of the untruths. Confront that person – usually it’s most effective to simply ask why.

“What have I done to earn your hate?

Why are you saying this about me?”

Once you know where it’s coming from, you have a chance to put a stop to it entirely.

Remember that it’s very hard to “prove a negative.”

When someone says you did something, it’s hard for you to prove that you didn’t do it, unless someone knows for certain (they were with you at the time you were supposed to have done this thing).

Rather than trying to “prove or disprove” this incident, simply state your innocence and leave it at that.

In the future, be very careful to demonstrate your good character, so that when people hear that you failed to do something, the first thing they think is, “That doesn’t sound like Jay.

Something must have come up, or there must be a good reason, if that’s true.”

Warnings

You can’t make some things right.

No apology will satisfy certain types of people – instead, they enjoy playing the victim and painting you as a villain. In those cases, it’s best to move on.

Richard Branson on How to Network. Hint: Early and Often

Richard Branson on How to Network Hint Early and Often

Mark Royce

When I started networking on behalf of Virgin Music –- meeting with agents, persuading musicians to sign with us, finding distributors -– it often involved swapping phone numbers scrawled on napkins.

It was the ’70s, after all!

These days it’s much easier to connect with people who can help you launch and grow your business. Just think: LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter all provide opportunities for you to meet and interact with fellow entrepreneurs, experts in the field and innovative newcomers.

However you go about making connections, from the very first moment you begin to realize that your idea is worth pursuing, the first step on the road to success is building a network.

To get started, attend industry events and meet key players; join regional business associations and start learning about local market conditions.

Also remember that you can meet potential mentors at schools, clubs and business groups. Someday, when you get stuck or when something goes wrong, these contacts will be the people you’ll turn to for help.

(Finding investors is a step that follows: People buy from people, so if you’re limited in terms of who you can access, talk to and sell to, well, you probably won’t get very far.)

Related: Richard Branson on Branding

Launching a startup is tough and scary, so it is important that as you build your network, you look for smart, supportive partners and employees who understand and share your goals for the business.

When I started Student magazine as a teenager, I worked with a small group of other students.

Their tireless support and our camaraderie was invaluable as we got the magazine going.

Some of us continued to work together for decades, and I count these people among my closest friends.

My parents were also very important to that project (Yes, your family is part of your network too — don’t underestimate their ability to help you), and without their backing we probably would not have succeeded.

Finally, you’re also going to need a network of peers, so don’t be wary of making friends with your competition.

When you see other people achieving similar goals, you will be reminded that your own plans and dreams are possible.

And if you are feeling daunted by a task, there’s no better encouragement than learning that somebody else has already achieved something similar.

In my experience, moments like those have been the tipping point for many a new business venture, and there’s nothing wrong with a bit of healthy competition!

Related: 6 Steps to Better Networking for Young Entrepreneurs

Almost 50 years after the launch of Student, the team at Virgin Media started up the Pioneers program with the goal of helping young entrepreneurs to create their own networks.

As operators of and investors in many businesses, our group also wanted to understand how the digital generation would go about it -– whether or not tech-savvy young entrepreneurs could use social networks to unlock valuable business connections.

So Virgin Media decided to partner with them to create a fun social platform showcasing their ideas.

Virgin Media Pioneers started with 100 people in March 2010.

We gave each of them a laptop, a flip camera, a broadband connection and some space on our website to use as they wished.

Without our prompting, the Pioneers started connecting, sharing their ideas about their businesses and making them happen in ways they probably would have never considered before.

Jammin Designs started up when Pioneers Dowa Ojarikre and Nathaniel Peat met at one of our events and decided to combine their talents, working together on designing smartphone and iPad cases celebrating the Jamaican Olympic team.

They managed to get their wares stocked in outlets near London’s Olympic Park and also in Jamaica House, the center of all activity for those cheering on the Jamaican team during this summer’s Olympic Games.

The Pioneers community has now grown to more than 3,000 people and it is attracting many more who want to connect and discover new ways of doing business. We are using the site to help entrepreneurs, no matter what stage they’re at.

For those who are kicking around ideas or who dream about opening a business someday, we’re providing inspiration; for those trying to expand their businesses, we provide information and resources to help them get ahead.

Last year, Virgin Media also invited some Pioneers to pitch their ideas as part of our Innovation Challenge, a number of which are now being considered for development.

Related: Richard Branson on Thinking Big

Once you’re a successful business leader, it’s time to start championing undiscovered talent yourself.

I get a real sense of pleasure from seeing talented people realize their ambitions and grow professionally and personally.

As I’ve learned, in the process you can gain new insights and discover fresh approaches to doing business by simply discussing how things work.

After all, continuing to network means continuing to grow.

Read more stories about: Networking, Richard Branson, Growing a business

How to Start Conversations That Make Instant Connections

How to Start Conversations That Make Instant Connections

For entrepreneurs, knowing how to communicate clearly and effectively is critical in leading a company — and selling your business ideas.

But the words you speak and hear are only a small part of getting your message across to your employees, customers and investors.

It is the way you speak and listen that makes all the difference in the world.

Consider these 12 steps for starting conversations that click and, ultimately, lead to more productive relationships:

Step 1: Relax. Stress generates irritability, which leads to anger, and anger shuts down communication. Studies have shown that a one-minute relaxation exercise will increase activity in the brain that is essential for communication and decision making.

So before you enter any conversation, do this:

First notice which parts of your body are tense based on a scale of one to 10 (1 = completely relaxed; 10 = extremely tense).

Write it down. For 30 seconds, breathe in slowly to the count of five, and then exhale slowly to the count of five.

Repeat this three times.

Now, yawn a few times and notice if it relaxes you. Assign it a number between one and 10 and write it down.

Now stretch your body, beginning with the muscles of your face, scrunching them up, then stretching them out.

Then gently move your head from side to side and front to back.

Scrunch your shoulders up and then push them down. Next tighten your arms and legs for a count of 10; then relax and shake it out.

Take a few more deep breaths.

Once more assign a number to your state of relaxation and write it down, noticing any improvement.

Related: The Biggest Mistake Small Businesses Make in Brainstorming

Step 2: Stay present.

When you focus on your breathing and relaxation, your attention is pulled into the present moment and inner speech stops, at least momentarily.

If we bring this “presentness” into a conversation, we hear the subtle tones of voice that give emotional meaning to the speaker’s words.

Being in the present moment will allow you to quickly recognize when a conversation begins to go astray.

Step 3: Get quiet.

Developing the skill to remain silent helps you give full attention to what other people say.

To hone that skill, try an exercise with this online bell. Push the button to “strike” it then focus on the sound.

As it fades, listen more closely. Ring the bell several more times, and listen more closely.

This is the attentiveness you need when listening to someone.

Related: How to Sell Your Startup’s Long-Term Vision

Step 4: Be positive.

Take a mental inventory of your mood.

Are you tired or alert, anxious or calm?

Then, ask yourself: do I feel optimistic about this conversation?

If there’s any doubt, anxiety, or frustration—postpone it.

If you can’t, then at least mentally rehearse the conversation first, which will help you spot statements you might make that would undermine your goal.

Step 5: Confirm values.

To make a conversation balanced and fair, everyone has to be clear and up front, about values, intentions, and goals.

If your values are not aligned with those of the person you’re trying to do business with, trouble is unavoidable.

So learn about the person’s values as soon as you can.

But beware: some people will mask the nonverbal cues of deceit and just tell you exactly what you hope to hear.

Related: Four Rules for Innovative Leadership

Step 6: Evoke memories.

Enter the conversation with an expression that conveys kindness, compassion, and interest.

But it cannot be faked.

So if you’re not feeling it, tap into a pleasant memory of people you love and respect.

It will soften the muscles around your eyes and evoke a gentle half smile on your face, which stimulates a feeling of trust in the other person’s brain.

Step 7: Watch nonverbal cues.

Keep your eyes on the person you’re speaking with, but don’t stare.

And stay focused, making sure you aren’t distracted by inner thoughts.

If a person wants to conceal a feeling— out of embarrassment or the desire to deceive— it might only appear for a quarter of second.

But remember that micro-expressions can only tell you that a true emotion is hidden, it won’t tell you why or whether the person is purposefully concealing it.

Step 8: Be appreciative.

The first words you speak set the tone for the conversation, so begin with a compliment and end it with another compliment that expresses appreciation.

Of course they must be genuine.

Ask yourself: what do I really value about this person?

Then, ask yourself which of those attributes you respect most.

Remember this as you talk, too, and listen for an opportunity to share it.

Related: A Secret to Creative Problem Solving

Step 9: Speak warmly.

If you drop the pitch of your voice and talk more slowly, the listener will respond with greater trust.

When we are angry, excited, or frightened, we raise the pitch and intensity of our voices, and it varies a lot in speed and tone.

On the other hand, a warm supportive voice is the sign of leadership and will generate more satisfaction, commitment, and cooperation between members of your team.

Step 10: Slow down.

Slowing down your speech actually helps people understand what you are saying and deepens their respect for you.

It’s not as intuitive as it may seem, and as children we automatically speak fast.

But you can teach a child to slow down by speaking slowly yourself because they’ll match you.

A slow voice has a calming effect on a person who is feeling anxious, whereas a loud, fast voice stimulates excitement, anger, or fear.

Related Video: The Esquire Guy’s Rules for Small Talk

Step 11: Be brief.

Limit your speaking to 30 seconds or less. Our conscious minds retain only a tiny bit of information.

If you need to communicate something essential, share it in even smaller segments— a sentence or two— then wait for the person to acknowledge they’ve understood.

If the person remains silent, say another sentence or two, and then pause again.

It also helps to write down major points before the conversation.

Step 12: Listen deeply.

Stay focused on the person who is speaking: their words, tone, gestures, facial cues— everything.

When they pause, you’ll need to respond to what they just said.

If they go and on, then just study them and watch how your own inner speech reacts, without worrying about what you may remember or forget.

You’ll actually be practicing a form of meditation that is neurologically enhancing and emotionally relaxing— a far cry from what we usually feel when we are bored by someone speaking.

Adapted excerpt from Words Can Change Your Brain by Andrew Newberg, M.D. and Mark Robert Waldman (Hudson Street Press, Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 2012).

Read more stories about: Leadership, Networking, Communication strategies

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Thanks for making Entrepreneur better for everyone

Things to Say in a Thank-You Letter for Business

Receiving a thank-you letter will brighten just about anyone's day.

Sending thank-you letters is not only a good way to make people feel appreciated for their deeds, it also makes the sender look good.

Whether you are a business owner composing a thank-you letter to your biggest customer, a company marketing director composing a form thank-you letter for new clients, or you want to thank a business for its work, include the newspaper-writing fundamentals of who, what and why to make the thank-you letter effective.

Thank You

The letter should start by including a sentence structured around “thank you.”

This sentence should come after the salutation but before the explanation of why you are thanking that person.

For example, if you are composing a thank-you letter that will be sent to the first buyer for your new boutique coffee-roasting business, you might start it out by writing, “To the staff of the Green Limpet Coffee House, I am writing to say thank you.” Alternately, you could write, “Thank you for” or “We deeply appreciate.”

Specific Reason

It’s important to spell out the specific reason you are writing the thank-you letter in the first place.

Without a reason or with a vague reason like, “We appreciate your business,” the letter will lack emotional impact.

Instead, write, “Thank you for allowing us to serve you for 10 years,” or “Thank you for sticking with us through last month’s supply-chain issues due to hurricane disruption.”

If you are writing a letter to thank a business, you might write, “Thank you for reducing my phone bill from when my daughter was hospitalized overseas.”

Benefit

Name the major benefit or impact of the reason for which you are writing the thank-you letter.

For example, you could write, “Knowing that you were waiving the international calling fees allowed me to concentrate on helping my daughter recover instead of worrying about the expense of calling South Korea every day.”

Or, for a letter from a nonprofit organization to a business donor, you could write, “Your support last year allowed us to launch a mentoring program for underprivileged kids.

Your generosity will help our community thrive.”

Alternately, if enclosing a gift card or other gift, describe what enjoyment you hope the receiver will get out of it.

Hope for the Future

Inspiring, thought-provoking notes in thank-you letters include a thought or hope for the future — related to the benefit you spelled out.

Tie this hope into the letter recipient’s current endeavors.

For example, you might write, “I hope that we may continue to serve your computer maintenance needs as you open your new facility in San Antonio.”

Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart, to give yourself to it

Buddha

Discover the Work you love to do

We all know that work we enjoy brings satisfaction, self-respect and meaning to our lives.

Did you know that finding work that is meaningful to you is one of your responsibilities?

To find what your meaningful work is, ask yourself the following questions this week?

1. What do I love to do?

2. What am I good at

3. What do I want to become the best at?

4. What gets me charged up?

5. What am I passionate about?

Finding work, you love will fill your life with excitement and reward. Lose yourself in your work!

Happiness and success willl mkraculously follow.

This Week – Give Your Heart To Your Work

Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do.

It comes from not finishing what you start

If you start something . Finish it!

Unfinished tasks weigh us down. without us even realizing it.

If you have undone tasks you wish were don, you might try the following pland

List all of your unfinished tasks-just pour them all out of your head onto paper or your computer.

classify and transfer these tasks unto various Project lists

Limit the project to 4-6 so you’re not overwhelmed

Decide when you want do your projects by putting them on your daily or Weekly List and commit to doing them.

Envision the project completed and feel how wonderful it will feel to have the project finished.

Before you know if you’ll have a clear life and calm mind!

Make it your Motto to “Finish What You Start”

What’s the perfect friend?

Do you have one?

I sometimes wonder about that?

A one-sided friendship will leave you feeling used and unloved.

In order for a friendship to last there must be give and take from both sides.

Friendship is defined as a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.

Friendship is a wonderful thing and a true friend is invaluable.

A true friend is someone you can depend on, that you know will be there for you when you really need them.

They are someone you trust with your inner most feelings and thoughts.

A friend is someone you can be vulnerable with, without feeling afraid that they will betray you. Without friends life would be very lonely.

Usually, you have “good” friends and “bad” friends.

Bad friends are those that do not put the same value on your relationship that you do.

When there is this imbalance it makes the relationship one-sided.

If you are completely dedicated to the friendship and willing to put in the time and effort to build the friendship, but the other person is not, you will only be so close to them.

You will only know them to the level that they allow you to.

Often these one-sided relationships result in the person that is more dedicated to the friendship being or feeling used.

If you are constantly giving but do not feel that equal effort is being given over time this results in a build up of resentment and bitter feelings.

Some people have a longer tolerance for one-sided friendships than others and can go on for months or even years before they are fed up with the relationship, but eventually all one-sided friendships come to a point where the giver has had enough.

It is hard to give constantly and not get anything back. If you are sharing your most vulnerable feelings and thoughts, or you are always rushing to the aid of a friend when they call, but you don’t get the same from them over time you stop wanting to give.

These friendships are not ones worth pouring a ton of time and energy into.

This does not mean that you need to cut this person out of your life but just be aware of the limitations there are in this friendship.

If you have a firendship that is one-sided realizing and accepting that can help you determine how much you are willing to give.

It does not mean you never speak to them again but maybe you don’t put as much effort in to building the friendship.

You don’t respond to their every request and you don’t share everything with them.

Put your time and energy into those friends that are giving back to you.

There will be times in every relationship where one person is giving more – it is hard to keep an equal balance forever – but with a true friend it should shift back and forth so that you are not always the one giving.

Sometimes you will be in the place
where you are giving more at other times your friend will.

A real friendship, one that is worth investing in, will be a give and take relationship.

A real friend does not take you for granted or only expect to be given to.

Friendships that are one-sided are limited and can cause bad feelings, limit your time and effort with these people so you don’t end up feeling used and growing bitter.

We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about..i feel, think &act enthusiastic about

Enthusiasm! Yes!! Doesn’t it feel good when you’re feeling enthusiastic about something?

It is nice to know that enthusiasm is a wonderful and natural part of us.

NOTICE HOW CHILDREN SPARKLE WITH EXCITEMENT-PLAYING SHOUTING, BOUNCING, GIGGLING, LAUGHING, LIVING WITH JOY & ALIVENESS.

As adults we often subdue the enthusiasm within ourselves unnecessarily.

But it is always within us and can be uncovered.

When we allow enthusiasm to live within us, we become alive with joy.

We are more creative, f to be with and more productive.

Think of a time when you were really, really enthusiastic about something.

Replay this in your mind often and picture yourself enthusiastically through your day greeting others enthusiastically with a smile,

Effective Networking for Busy People

Think you don’t have time to network, Think aghain

With all the demands on our time made by our business, professional and personal lives, it is tempting to assign a lower priority to networking as an activity designed to meet new people.

After all, we have so many commitments at the office and at home — to colleagues, family and friends – that it is difficult to set aside extra time to bring even more people into our lives.

This thinking would be wrong, however, on two levels.

For one, we are constantly being introduced to new people anyway, every day, with no disruption to our schedules.

Secondly, by not consistently widening our circles of acquaintances and contacts, we may be severely curtailing our chances for advancement and success.

It is estimated that the average person knows about 250 people.

And each of those people knows, in turn, another 250 or so people.

This means that for each new person you meet, you gain access to a potential pool of 62,500 people separated from you by just two degrees!

Imagine the odds, then, that out of so many people, you would NOT find one person who would be a source of information about a better job, additional clients or customers, a speaking engagement or writing assignment, an investment opportunity, where to shop for better value, and much more. In all likelihood, you would find many more than one.

Do these numbers sound staggering?

At the end of this article, I will prove the multiplier effect to you!

Networking, therefore, is one of the most profitable activities in which one can engage.

Fortunately, like any endeavor, one can get more proficient at it with practice. Moreover, it takes very little time or effort to get it right.

It takes only a moment’s conscious decision to become a networker, with no interference to one’s daily routine.

All it requires is a slight shift in attitude, and adopting one simple trifurcated rule:

Greet each new acquaintance with an openness to learn more about that person, a willingness to help, and an offer to stay in touch.

This approach is equally applicable to every form of networking, whether in business or social contexts, and whether the encounter takes place in person or, as frequently happens today, online.

It pays to network in person, not only to meet new people, but also to keep your vital communications skills sharp.

Practice making friendly conversation; even if no relationship develops with that person, he or she will likely remember you as a “nice guy/lady” if asked about you at some point in the future.

If you feel you are too busy to go to networking events, attend only those vital to your professional or business standing.

Make the best of chance and casual meetings that occur during the course of your normal workday.

Also, take more business cards than you give out.

That way, you are more in control of the tempo of developing relationships.

If you’d like to network from the comfort of your home or office, or during down time on weekends, join an online business networking community.

Many of them have sub-networks focused on topics of particular interest to you.

In addition, you can look at others’ profiles and prioritize accordingly.

The power of online networking is in the viral effect so unique to the Internet.

I belong to an online networking community that has tens of thousands of members.

As members invite friends to join, this network’s rate of exponential growth is now up to an average of more than 2,750 new members a week.

As an individual member, over eight months, I have linked directly and mutually to 208 online “friends.”

Amazingly, this translates into 8,138 “friends of friends!”

These are all people I can access with a few clicks of a mouse, and without disturbing my first circle of friends at all.

It is mind-boggling to imagine the number of “friends of friends of friends” I have – and this figure grows every hour, with no more effort on my part.

It is worth noting that all this is free – and for just a small upgrade fee, I can search the entire network for individuals who work in a specific industry or company, live in a city I plan to visit, are experts in a field in which I am seeking advice, etc. And there is a very good chance they would respond to me, since we are members of the same community of networkers.

Lack of time is no longer an excuse for failing to “reach out and find someone” who can possibly be on your side in the business of life

Kelley Robertson

Kelley Robertson, President of Robertson Training Group, a sales and business skills training firm

Business Networking Tips

Sales are frequently developed through the relationships we have created with other people.

Networking functions provide the opportunity to expand our contact list, particularly when we create and nurture quality relationships.

It is not enough to visit a networking group, talk to dozens of people and gather as many business cards possible.

However, every networking function has tremendous potential for new business leads.

Here are five strategies to make networking profitable:

1. Choose the right networking group or event.

The best results come from attending the appropriate networking events for your particular industry.

This should include trade shows, conferences, and associations dedicated to your type of business.

For example, if your target market is a Fortune 500 company, it does not make sense to join a group whose primary membership consists of individual business owners.

You can also participate in groups where your potential clients meet.

A friend of mine helps people negotiate leases with their landlords.

He joined the local franchise association because most franchisors lease their properties.

2. Focus on quality contacts versus quantity.

Most people have experienced the person who, while talking to you, keeps his eyes roving around the room, seeking his next victim.

This individual is more interested in passing out and collecting business cards than establishing a relationship.

My approach is to make between two and five new contacts at each networking meeting I attend.

Focus on the quality of the connection and people will become much more trusting of you.

3. Make a positive first impression.

You have EXACTLY one opportunity to make a great first impression.

Factors that influence this initial impact are your handshake, facial expressions, eye contact, interest in the other person and your overall attentiveness.

Develop a great handshake, approach people with a natural, genuine smile and make good eye contact.

Notice the colour of the other person’s eyes as you introduce yourself.

Listen carefully to their name.

If you don’t hear them or understand exactly what they say, ask them to repeat it.

Many people do not speak clearly or loudly enough and others are very nervous at networking events.

Make a powerful impression by asking them what they do before talking about yourself or your business.

As Stephen Covey states, “Seek first to understand and then to be understood.”

Comment on their business, ask them to elaborate, or have them explain something in more detail.

As they continue, make sure you listen intently to what they tell you.

Once you have demonstrated interest in someone else, they will – in most cases – become more interested in you.

When that occurs, follow the step outline in the next point.

A Pocket Full of Business Cards

Timely and consistent follow-up is the key to successful marketing

From , former About.com Guide

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Meeting new people in person is still one of the best ways to market your services.

If you do a good job at this, you will quickly end up with a desk drawer filled with business cards.

But then what do you do with them?

Timely and consistent follow-up is the key to successful marketing.

Meeting someone once is rarely enough to bring you business — repeated contacts are what do the trick.

You always want to follow up with prospective customers, of course, but you should also follow up with potential referral sources.

A good referral source is someone who interacts with your desired customers on a regular basis.

For example, as a business coach who works with many start-ups, I look for referrals from accountants, attorneys, career counselors, and people who teach small business classes.

There are three avenues you might choose to follow up with people you have met: by phone, by mail, or in person. Let’s look at the uses of each one.

Phone

With prospective customers, you can phone them to see how interested they are in what you do and try to set up a meeting.

The meeting might be in person or by phone, depending on the nature of your business.

You can mail them a marketing letter, or a brochure with a personal note.

You could also call or write to refer them to your web site or invite them to your next presentation.

The most effective way to contact prospects is usually call-mail-call.

Call first to develop interest, and if you can’t reach them to set up a meeting on the first try, send them something by mail or e-mail.

Then call again to see if they are ready to take the next step.

If someone is a potential referral source rather than a prospect, your best approach is to establish a reciprocal relationship.

You might call to begin getting acquainted, exchange information about yourselves by mail, or arrange to meet in person to find out more about each other’s work.

It is completely appropriate to call another business person you have met and say, “I think we might be serving the same type of customers; could we get to know each other better so maybe we could exchange referrals?”

Another easy and friendly way to follow up with anyone you meet is to send a handwritten “nice to meet you” note with only your card enclosed.

E-mail/Fax

Be careful when making contact by fax or e-mail.

Many people are offended by faxes or e-mail messages that are essentially generic marketing letters.

It’s more advisable to use these media as tools to communicate more personally with people you have already opened a dialogue with.

If you choose to fax or e-mail someone who isn’t expecting to hear from you, be sure to personalize what you write for each prospect.

After your initial contact, think of ways to keep in touch on a regular basis.

Call to see how people are doing, or to tell them what’s new with you.

Send a note with a clipping or cartoon, or e-mail a link to an interesting web site

. Don’t forward jokes or inspirational stories, though, unless you know for sure the recipient will appreciate them.

In person

To follow up in person, schedule lunch or coffee, or invite your contacts to an upcoming event you plan to attend.

Once you have a large follow-up list, consider a regular newsletter, ezine, or postcard mailing.

To manage your follow-up activities, you need a contact management system.

When your list is short, you can use a notebook or 3 x 5 cards.

You will quickly outgrow a manual system, however. By the time you reach 200 contacts or so, you’ll be ready to graduate to a computerized system designed for contact management, such as Microsoft Outlook or ACT!

However you choose to keep track of your contacts, the important thing is to stay organized.

Always have one central place where you record who you meet, what contact you have had so far, and when it will be time to follow up next.

If a business card you have collected doesn’t belong to a prospective customer or referral source, throw it away.

There’s no point in keeping the card of someone you don’t plan to follow up with.

__________________________________
C.J. Hayden is the author of Get Clients Now! Thousands of business owners and salespeople have used her simple sales and marketing system to double or triple their income.

Get a free copy of “Five Secrets to Finding All the Clients You’ll Ever Need” at GetClientsNow.com.

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING MEMORABLE IN YOUR NETWORKING

Have you ever attended a networking event, collected a bunch of business cards, and when you go through them the next day, you can’t remember who many of them are?

Or try to think of someone you met and had a conversation with, but you can’t remember their name or their business to look them up?

Well, you certainly don’t want to be one of those that other people can’t remember, do you?

It’s all well and good to pass out business cards, but if people don’t remember you well, they probably won’t be calling you to follow up, and they certainly won’t keep you in mind for their future needs or possible referrals.

Here are five tips on how to make yourself memorable (in a good way) when meeting other people face-to-face:

1. Be distinctive.

A brightly-colored, hand-painted tie, an unusual necklace or other jewelry, a good (but not overpowering) cologne, even just impeccable grooming can all help you stand out in a good way

.It’s not that you want to be remembered and identified for that, but anything that helps people separate you from the crowd helps them remember the rest of you.

You don’t have to be outlandish — although some people work that quite well — just don’t blend in completely with the crowd.

2. Be fully present.

Be fully engaged and fully aware of the people you interact with.

You can break this down into smaller, somewhat mechanical pieces — listen well, respond promptly, maintain eye contact, etc. — but if you are truly present in the moment, those things will happen naturally.

Many people only seem to be “half there”, so being fully engaged helps you stand out

3. Ask thought-provoking questions.

Networking expert Bob Burg has some good suggested questions in his book Endless Referrals: Network Your Everyday Contacts into Sales, such as “How did you get started?” or “What do you enjoy most about what you do?” But the very best questions can’t be communicated in a book because they’re specific to the person you’re interacting with and will arise in response to your initial conversation.

Do #2 and this will flow naturally. As Dale Carnegie suggested, you must “take a genuine interest in other people”

.4. Reinforce your keywords.

People aren’t going to remember long descriptions of what you do, or likely even that 15-second intro that many experts teach you to make.People will at best remember a few key things about you:

  • Your name

  • Your company name

  • Your business/industry (in three words or less)

  • Your product

  • Your location

What you want to do is find ways to unobtrusively increase the occurrence of these things in your conversation.

For example, is there some kind of story behind your name?

Have it ready to use if there’s an opportunity.Does your business have an unusual name?

What’s the story behind it – what does it mean?Refer to your place of business when telling an incident that occurred (“I was driving down 17th Street leaving my store, when…”).Anything you say that reinforces one of the five items above helps make you more memorable.And if they can remember just three of them — “Joe the barber from Soho” or “Maria the translator who wrote ‘Spanish in Six Weeks'” — you’re doing great.

5. Contribute to the group conversation.

Don’t hog it, and don’t say just anything in order to say something publicly, but saying one really smart thing at your table or in front of the whole group will make you much more memorable than half an hour of semi-conscious small talk.

Create value for others and you create value for yourself.When we look at brand strategy in marketing, one of the most important concepts is that a brand is not just a memorable name or logo — it’s an experience.

A great brand communicates values and emotions that get called to mind whenever someone thinks of the name or logo.

Here we’re talking about your personal brand. Remember that you are your business.

The impression that you make on people is the impression they will have of your business, so make it good and make it memorable.

10 Habits of Remarkably Charismatic People

Charisma isn’t something you have. It’s something you earn. Here’s how.

charisma

Some people instantly make us feel important. Some people instantly make us feel special.

Some people light up a room just by walking in.

We can’t always define it, but some people have it: They’re naturally charismatic.

Unfortunately, natural charisma quickly loses its impact. Familiarity breeds, well, familiarity.

But some people are remarkably charismatic:

They build and maintain great relationships, consistently influence (in a good way) the people around them, consistently make people feel better about themselves–they’re the kind of people everyone wants to be around…and wants to be.

Fortunately we can, because being remarkably charismatic isn’t about our level of success or our presentation skills or how we dress or the image we project–it’s about what we do.

Here are the 10 habits of remarkably charismatic people:

1. They listen way more than they talk.

Ask questions. Maintain eye contact. Smile. Frown. Nod. Respond–not so much verbally, but nonverbally.

That’s all it takes to show the other person they’re important.

Then when you do speak, don’t offer advice unless you’re asked.

Listening shows you care a lot more than offering advice, because when you offer advice in most cases you make the conversation about you, not them.

Don’t believe me? Who is “Here’s what I would do…” about: you or the other person?

Only speak when you have something important to say–and always define important as what matters to the other person, not to you.

2. They don’t practice selective hearing.

Some people–I guarantee you know people like this–are incapable of hearing anything said by the people they feel are somehow beneath them.

Sure, you speak to them, but that particular falling tree doesn’t make a sound in the forest, because there’s no one actually listening.

Remarkably charismatic people listen closely to everyone, and they make all of us, regardless of our position or social status or “level,” feel like we have something in common with them.

Because we do: We’re all people.

3. They put their stuff away.

Don’t check your phone. Don’t glance at your monitor. Don’t focus on anything else, even for a moment.

You can never connect with others if you’re busy connecting with your stuff, too.

Give the gift of your full attention. That’s a gift few people give. That gift alone will make others want to be around you and remember you.

4. They give before they receive–and often they never receive.

Never think about what you can get. Focus on what you can provide. Giving is the only way to establish a real connection and relationship.

Focus, even in part and even for a moment, on what you can get out of the other person, and you show that the only person who really matters is you.

5. They don’t act self-important…

The only people who are impressed by your stuffy, pretentious, self-important self are other stuffy, pretentious, self-important people.

The rest of us aren’t impressed. We’re irritated, put off, and uncomfortable.

And we hate when you walk in the room.

6. …Because they realize other people are more important.

You already know what you know. You know your opinions. You know your perspectives and points of view.

That stuff isn’t important, because it’s already yours. You can’t learn anything from yourself.

But you don’t know what other people know, and everyone, no matter who they are, knows things you don’t know.

That makes them a lot more important than you–because they’re people you can learn from.

7. They shine the spotlight on others.

No one receives enough praise. No one. Tell people what they did well.

Wait, you say you don’t know what they did well?

Shame on you–it’s your job to know. It’s your job to find out ahead of time.

Not only will people appreciate your praise, they’ll appreciate the fact you care enough to pay attention to what they’re doing.

Then they’ll feel a little more accomplished and a lot more important.

8. They choose their words.

The words you use impact the attitude of others.

For example, you don’t have to go to a meeting; you get to go meet with other people.

You don’t have to create a presentation for a new client; you get to share cool stuff with other people.

You don’t have to go to the gym; you get to work out and improve your health and fitness.

You don’t have to interview job candidates; you get to select a great person to join your team.

We all want to associate with happy, enthusiastic, fulfilled people.

The words you choose can help other people feel better about themselves–and make you feel better about yourself, too.

9. They don’t discuss the failings of others…

Granted, we all like hearing a little gossip. We all like hearing a little dirt.

The problem is, we don’t necessarily like–and we definitely don’t respect–the people who dish that dirt.Don’t laugh at other people.

When you do, the people around you wonder if you sometimes laugh at them.

10. …But they readily admit their failings.

Incredibly successful people are often assumed to have charisma simply because they’re successful.

Their success seems to create a halo effect, almost like a glow.

Keyword is seem.

You don’t have to be incredibly successful to be remarkably charismatic. Scratch the shiny surface, and many successful people have all the charisma of a rock.

But you do have to be incredibly genuine to be remarkably charismatic.

Be humble. Share your screwups. Admit your mistakes. Be the cautionary tale. And laugh at yourself.

While you should never laugh at other people, you should always laugh at yourself.

People won’t laugh at you. People will laugh laugh with you.

They’ll like you better for it–

How to Craft a Killer Elevator Pitch That Will Land You Big Business


What is an Elevator Pitch?

 

This is the 30-60 second business description of what you do and why someone should work with you. It’s called an “Elevator Pitch” because it describes the challenge: “How would you explain your business and make a sale if fate placed you in an elevator with your dream prospect and you only had the time it takes to get from the top of the building to the bottom?”

This article will explain the elements of a powerful elevator pitch and then walk you through how to craft yours.

Why Is Having an Elevator Pitch So Important?

 

You only have 30-60 seconds to make a powerful first impression. The attention span of the average person is just 30 seconds before their mind starts wandering. The other reason is people have less time today. You need to grab them quickly or lose them forever.

Essential Elements of a Powerful Elevator Pitch

  1. Concise. Your pitch should take no longer than 30-60 seconds.

  2. Clear. Use language that everyone understands. Don’t use fancy words thinking it will make you sound smarter. Your listener won’t understand you and you’ll have lost your opportunity to hook them.

  3. Powerful. Use words that are powerful and strong. Deliver the “Sis-Boom-Bang” to grab their attention!

  4. Visual. Use words that create a visual image in your listeners mind. This will make your message memorable.

  5. Tell a Story. A short story, that is. A good story is essentially this: someone with a problem either finds a solution or faces tragedy. Either type of story can be used to illuminate what you do.

  6. Targeted. A great elevator pitch is aimed for a specific audience. If you have target audiences that are vastly different, you might want to have a unique pitch for each.

  7. Goal Oriented. A kick-ass elevator pitch is designed with a specific outcome in mind. What is your desired outcome? You may have different pitches depending on different objectives. For instance do you want to: make a sale, gain a prospect, enlist support for an idea, or earn a referral.

  8. Has a Hook. This is the element that literally snags your listener’s interest and makes them want to know more. This is the phrase or words that strike a chord in your listener.

How to Craft Your Killer Elevator Pitch

  • Write down what you do. Write it several different ways. Try writing it at least 10-20 different ways. Don’t edit yourself at all. You will edit later. This first step is for generating ideas. Don’t hold back. Ideas can be goofy, serious, wild, funny, or conservative. It doesn’t matter. The goal is to get at many ideas as possible down on paper.

  • Write a very short story that illustrates what you do for people. If necessary, the story can be long. You will boil it down later. Paint a picture with words.

  • Write down your objective or goal. Do you want to make a sale, gain a prospect, enlist support for an idea, earn a referral, or something else?

  • Write 10-20 action statements. This is a statement or question designed to spur the action associated with your goal.

  • Record yourself. You can use Jott if you don’t have a recording device. Jott is a free phone based service that translates your messages into text as well as providing an online link to the original audio.

  • Let it sit. Come back to what you’ve written with fresh eyes and ears the next day or later on in the same day.

  • Highlight the good stuff. Listen and read through what you’ve recorded and written. Then either highlight or circle the phrases that hook you with clear, powerful, and visual words. Obviously not all the words will fall into these categories. You still need connector words, but you want them to be as few as possible.

  • Put the best pieces together. Again you’ll want to write down several versions of this much tighter pitch. Tell us what you do and why people should want to do business with you. Include elements from your story if you can fit it in.

  • Record these new ones.

  • Do a final edit cutting as many unnecessary words as possible. Rearrange words and phrases until it sounds just right. Again, the goal is 30-60 seconds maximum.

  • Dress Rehearsal. Run it by as many people as you can get to listen to you. Get feedback from colleagues, clients you trust, friends and family.

  • Done for now. Take your final elevator pitch and write it down. Memorize and practice it until it just slides off your tongue naturally.

  • Continue to improve. Over time, always be on the listen for phrases that you think could make your elevator pitch more clear and impactful. And then test it out. Every once in a while you will probably benefit by starting from scratch because things always change: you, your business, your goals, and your clients’ needs.

What’s your elevator pitch? Share it with us in the comments!

Effective Networking Skills to take the Awkwardness of out Business mixing and mingling

Kristin Marquet

Before I started working in the fashion and public relations’ industries, I felt uncomfortable in social situations, was petrified of meeting and talking to new people, and hated public speaking for many reasons but shyness topped the list. Yet, once I learned effective networking skills, my network of fashion and media contacts exploded.

Networking can be scary especially if you feel uncomfortable in social situations. However, effective networking skills are essential to meeting other individuals, generating good contacts, and building solid and relationships.

When you have a solid network you can rely on, connecting with potential clients, partners, and employees becomes much easier because you don’t have to wait for an awkward introduction. Additionally, the more individuals that view you and your business positively, the more leverage you will have.

Follow these tips to build a strong network:

1. Sincerity is a must. Most business people can smell phoniness from a mile away.

2. Determine your goals and objectives. Before attending any networking event – conference, luncheon, holiday party or any other business or social event, make sure it is for the right reason. Some events are for making contacts, while others are for learning a certain trade or industry. If you are a make up artist, I don’t think you would attend the American Bar Association Mid Winter Conference for Surety and Fidelity.

3. Join as many associations and groups to expand your professional circle. Many groups allow prospective members to preview how groups are organized by sitting in a seminar or attending an event.

4. Offer to volunteer in different organizations and events.

5. While networking, ask questions – who, what, where, when and how as opposed to questions that can answered with a simple “yes” or “no.”

6. By joining different groups and associations, your brand becomes transparent and you become a resource to others. It will also help you become an expert within your industry.

7. If you have a certain person that would like to speak to, make sure you have a clear approach. You don’t want to sound like you have no idea what you are talking about when you open the conversation.

8. Have a clear mission of how you can help networking professionals.

9. Respond quickly and efficiently to referrals. Don’t make others look bad by not delivering results that you promised.

10. Don’t try to sell yourself. Networking is about gaining leverage by building relationships with other professionals within your industry.

11. Dress appropriately for the occasion. Most networking events require business attire. Remember, first impressions are the only impressions that count.

In this day and age, networking is a must. It doesn’t matter whether you are looking to expand your business network or looking for a job, networking is critical to a healthy career. The more resources you have, the more leverage and opportunities will be readily available.

Image of people

It’s a busy life.

You’re working hard at building your career, balancing your family obligations, staying in shape, pursuing hobbies and finding time to walk the dog.

Is it really worth trying to find an extra few hours each week to volunteer for an organization in your community?

Yes! There are many benefits to volunteering, not the least of which is that those volunteer hours can contribute to job satisfaction and can open new horizons in your career.

In the past, volunteering was seen to be a pastime for people who were retired or had lots of time on their hands.

This is no longer the case.

Not-for-profit organizations recognize that today’s volunteers are busy people who are looking for volunteer opportunities which not only allow them to make a contribution to their community, but also provide them with personal growth and make good use of their time and talents

. You can organize or supervise events, fundraise, teach, educate, mentor or sit on committees or boards.

Employers are increasingly recognizing the value of encouraging employees to volunteer in the community.

Volunteering has many benefits which are reflected in the workplace in the form of increased interpersonal, communication and organizational skills.

Volunteering can contribute to your career development in many ways:

  1. Grow Your Network. Many volunteer opportunities provide the chance to build relationships with people from a wide range of fields and professions. Make new connections and increase your contact base!

  2. Learn New Skills and Explore New Possibilities.Want to try something new or wondering if a particular career direction is right for you? Volunteering gives you a chance to test new waters or gain skills in areas which aren’t part of your regular workday.

  3. Use Your Skills in New Ways. Expand your reach, stretch yourself. Maybe you can put together a great presentation at work, but you’d really like to try your hand at writing a newsletter….

  4. Get to know your community. Especially if you’re new to the area, but even if you’ve lived here all your life, volunteering can give you new insight into neighbourhoods, demographics and the heartbeat of your community.

  5. Refresh, renew, recharge your passion. Spending a little time each week pursuing a passion, making a difference and creating positive change can go a long way towards refueling your energy and enthusiasm for your job. Come back to your desk feeling revitalized, optimistic and ready to face the challenges of your workday.

  6. Build your resume. Does your resume reflect a person who lives a balanced life, takes an interest in the world beyond their job and is always looking for ways to grow? A good volunteer history adds depth and breadth to your resume and demonstrates that you are an employee

Although previous generations of volunteers donated services for a pat on the back, today’s bleak job market forces volunteers to be more opportunistic than altruistic.

The newest trend is to use volunteer work as a means to “try on” a new career, get free on-the-job training and look for job leads and industry contacts.

Volunteer Work Helps You While Helping Others

The fact that volunteers are helping themselves while helping others doesn’t really matter in the larger scheme of things. Regardless of their reasons for getting involved in volunteer work, they are still providing a valuable service to the company, offering their skills free of charge to those who need them

Getting the Most From Trade Shows

Don’t show up empty-handed. Make sure you’re fully prepared to maximize your time at this annual event.

Trade shows can be a tremendously powerful marketing tool or a tremendous drain on your time and resources.

There are many excellent reasons to exhibit at trade shows. They’re great way to connect with customers and prospects, launch new products and catch up on the industry buzz.

But never attend a trade show “because we go every year,” or just because you think it’s expected. Always have a specific goal in mind and prepare a strategy for achieving it.

After all, exhibiting at a trade show represents a large investment for a small business. It entails all kind of expenses, from preparing and shipping your booth and materials to travel and entertainment costs, not to mention your lost work time.

To get something out of a trade show, put something into it. Plan your trade show activities from start to finish, before, during and after the event.

Before the Show
Before you even register, identify your trade show goals. This makes all your future decision-making easier; all the choices you make afterward should be geared toward achieving your objective. In addition:

Promote your attendance at the show through e-mails, newsletters and on your website. Encourage customers to visit your booth through a contest or promotion.

  • If your goal is meeting with clients, don’t leave it to chance. Set up those appointments well in advance, including time and meeting place.

  • Don’t wait until the last minute to check out your booth. If you need to spiff it up, you’ll need time to do it right. A shoddy, outdated booth is a real liability.

  • Ditto your marketing materials. Are they current? Do you have enough? If you need a particular marketing piece, now’s the time to do it. Be sure to give yourself enough time to do a good job.

  • Between the event ad book and expanded trade pub circulation, trade shows offer unique, once-a-year advertising opportunities. Determine if advertising will help achieve your goal, and if so, have a compelling ad ready before that deadline sneaks up on you.

  • Devise a strategy for collecting contact information at the show. For example, a prize drawing–with a trendy, sought-after prize–motivates prospects to part with their business cards.

It’s Showtime
If you’ve done your planning, you’ll be well positioned to make the most of the event. Keep your goal in mind throughout the show. For example, while it’s tempting to socialize with your pals, don’t be sidetracked from connecting with new prospects.

Because you’re talking to so many people, it’s easy to forget parts of conversations. After meeting with each contact, take a moment to jot down some quick notes. At the end of each day, review and expand your notes. It’s important to do it while everything’s fresh in your mind. If you’re a scribbler, transcribe them onto your laptop. That way, once you get back to your office, you won’t be scratching your head and wondering what you were trying to tell yourself.

After the Show
Plan in advance to spend your first days back fulfilling all the commitments you made. Do it first, before you get drawn back into your day-to-day activities.

Follow up with prospects or clients who asked for information. If you do it while the subject’s still in their heads, it’s more meaningful–plus you get points for follow-through.

Hopefully, you collected some business cards during the show. Follow up on them right away, too. A smart way to do this is to create an e-mail template or follow-up packet before you go, and all you need to do is personalize it upon your return.

It’s essential that you do some Monday morning quarterbacking and review your trade show performance as objectively as possible.

  • Did your booth do its job? Are improvements required?

  • Were your materials effective? Does something need to be changed or added?

  • Was your advertising worth the investment?

  • Were your meetings effective, or is there something you should do differently next time? Did you miss anyone?

  • Most importantly, did you achieve your goal?

This isn’t a rhetorical exercise. Think deeply about each question and commit your notes to paper. Start a “trade show” file. This way, you’ll have a place to begin when the next show rolls around and you start the process all

It’s Not Who YOU Know, It’s “Who Knows YOU!”

by Jermaine

Most large companies start out as small companies — even Walmart started as a thought in the mind of Sam Walton.

Getting from here to there requires time, effort, planning and a little luck. Some business leaders focus their planning on how to grow the company, without planning for how essential networking (internally and externally) is to their success.

It’s Not Who YOU Know, It’s “Who Knows YOU!”

One of my favorite co-workers says this phrase at least twice every week.

I didn’t fully appreciate it’s power until I got into my current role in August.

Get rid of the guilt

Through my entire professional working career I have tried to build strong relationships with my bosses, co-workers, and clients.

Yet, I never really tried to leverage these relationships to birth new opportunities. I always felt that it may backfire and hurt my existing relationship(s).

I also felt kind of guilty asking for help from people.

It wasn’t until I reached out to an old friend in hopes of helping a person I had just met that I saw the TRUE power of networking.

What are the benefits of Networking?

Networking with purpose can save you tons of time, make you lots of friends, and open countless doors.

I won’t even attempt to give a comprehensive list of all the things that can birth out of networking.

I’ll just say that a co-worker of mine just got back from Philadelphia because he had box seats to a Colts/Eagles game that he received from someone his wife met through networking!

They couldn’t go themselves and wanted to give them to someone who would use them.

Think, those tickets could have been offered to you if you were in the same network, lol.

How to Network

On an average day I come in contact with at least four or five people that I didn’t know before. Many of these chance encounters are coupled with conversations…

How many times have you sparked a conversation with a person but never wrote down their name or got their business card?

Even worse, you didn’t even give them your business card. Probably too many times to count. Each of these meetings were missed opportunities to build your network.

If you are aggresively networking your goal should be to add at least two people to your network each and every day.

Who’s in your network?

Of course you start with immediate family, extended family and then friends. From there you build out to old classmates, previous co-workers, current co-workers, bosses, etc.

If you are drawing a blank, stop and take some time to write down every job you’ve ever had.

After creating this list, start to fill in the names of as many people as you can remember. If you stumble upon someone that you really had great rapport with in the past then it is time to set up a lunch, grab a cup of coffee, or make a phone call.

Don’t ask for anything. Just get the lines of communication reestablished and catch up.

Sam Walton built his network by building his employee base. Sam believed that “individuals don’t win, teams do.”

Thus he made all his employee stock holders in his success (by making them stockholders in his dream, Walmart).

How many people have you invited to be stockholders in your personal and professional success? Who have you asked for advice?

What wise person(s) have you told about your dreams?

If there is someone, have you taken the time to show proper gratitude?

Have you recently told your most influential uncle, “I appreciate your help?” If not, it is time to make that happen. Stockholdersalways receive dividends.

Never leave loose ends.

If you are serious about strategic growth then you need to get serious about relationship building. People who know you, have invested in your dreams, and are willing to support you will continue to hold you up even if more traditional planning fails.

For further reading on this topic click the link below.

Strategic Growth

COMMUNICATING WITH DIPLOMACY

AND TACT ASSESSMENT By Dale Carnagie

How Tactful & Diplomatic Are You?

Mastering communication skills can improve your professional image and expand your authority. Your ability to navigate through difficult situations, build consensus, and manage change can create powerful results for your organization.

Knowing your strengths and weakness can help establish more effective communication with your co-workers and colleagues.

Take the quick 10 question assessment below and fi nd out you have the skills to effectively communicate with your co-workers and colleagues.

Please answer the questions the way you personally would react.

Not the ‘ideal’ way to react.”

1 A colleague of yours, in a fun way, gives your boss

the impression that you spend too much time on

personal business.

1. You say nothing to your colleague.

2. You tell your colleague that you know he was only

kidding but you would appreciate it if he would not do

this again.

3. You make a point to tell the boss that this colleague

left early on Tuesday to play golf.

2 A customer tells you how disappointed she is that

you did not return the message she left with your

assistant. You realize you never got the message.

1. You apologize to the customer and say nothing to your

assistant.

2. You let your assistant save face by telling him you

spoke to the client. You understand how the message

might have fallen through the cracks given how busy

he is.

3. You tell your assistant that this is unacceptable and it

better not happen again.

3 Your manager/supervisor/boss gives you a less

than average review that surprises you.

1. You go home and vent to family and friends.

2. You calmly discuss the review and ask for clarification.

You come up with an action plan and incremental

review times so you are not caught off-guard again.

3. You storm out of the office and tell your colleague how

unfair your boss is.

4 One of your team members comes to work

inappropriately dressed.

1. You don’t say anything except behind his back.

2. You hold a private conversation with this person and

explain the office dress policy for the future, assuring

him that you know he did not intend to make a bad

impression.

3. You tell this person, in front of everyone, that his

appearance is unacceptable.

5 You are berated in a meeting for being late. The

reason you are late is that your carpool ride did not

show up on time.

1. You take the blame.

2. You apologize for the disruption, briefly explain the

carpool situation, and commit to re-evaluating whether

this is a good idea, particularly on days of important

meetings.

3. You insist this is not your fault and explain that you are

just trying to save gas.

6 Your department of 10 people decides to order

pizza for lunch and you give the person getting it

more than enough money. He does not give you any

change.

1. You assume it was very expensive pizza and there was

no change, or he thought you were treating.

2. You ask if he had enough money and if there was any

change.

3. You accuse this person of trying to rip you off.

7 The company has announced that bonuses will be

given out today, and later that day a colleague asks

you how much yours was.

1. You tell her even though you know you should not.

2. You tell her you are uncomfortable sharing this because

it is supposed to be kept confidential.

3. You tell her that asking this question is very

unprofessional.

8 You catch a typographical error on a letter that

your assistant has prepared for you.

1. You ignore it—it’s just a little one and the customer

probably won’t notice.

2. You bring the mistake to your assistant’s attention and

ask her to redo it.

3. You tell the assistant that there is no excuse for these

types of mistakes.

9 A vital member of your team has called in sick on

the last day of the week for the past three weeks.

1. You don’t say anything and continue to cover for him.

2. You hold a private meeting with him, show concern for

his pattern, and ask for input on a solution.

3. You tell him that thi

s looks very suspicious and he

better not do it again.

10 A person in your offce tells an inappropriate joke

in the lunch room.

1. You walk away.

2. You pull this person aside and tell her that you know

she didn’t mean to offend anyone, but she should be

more sensitive and professional in such a diverse

environment.

3. You tell this person, in front of everyone, that this was

completely inappropriate.

If you scored below 15 on the assessment it indicates that you tend to interact timidly or passively with

others.

You run little risk of offending anyone, but you tend to have difficulty being honest and conveying

your message.

You tend to hold things in and complain about situations to non-involved parties.

This often builds your sense of frustration which may exhibit itself in less than professional

behavior at the wrong times.

To improve in this area, consider participating in training to help you build your self-confidence

and help you disagree in an agreeable manner.

Appreciate that standing up for yourself, when done with good human relations, does not offend others; rather it strengthens your professional relationship with them and allows each of you to achieve positive results.

If you scored over 22 on the assessment it indicates that you might have a tendency

to be aggressive or combative in your communications with others.

You are at high risk of offending others.

You may have a tendency to lash out at others and place blame on others

quickly when things don’t go as you desire.

This may be viewed as demeaning by colleagues and cause unnecessary conflict.

Appreciate that other people may make unintentional mistakes which can be easily

corrected with positive coaching, training, and reinforcement.

Rather than becoming argumentative, consider approaching others with calmness

and a belief that they can improve.

If you scored between 16 and 22 on the assessment it indicates that you generally

have a confident and assertive interpersonal style.

You possess the ability to be flexible in difficult situations and balance your

approach with those who tend to be more timid and those who tend to be more aggressive.

Continue demonstrating an open and understanding attitude toward other.

This “benef t of the doubt” mentality

is often reciprocated and allows others to step in to help when things are not going well

Today’s Special!

Winning With Influence!

The Secrets of the Most Successful People in the World are About to be Revealed to You!

  • Imagine if the dream you have could actually come true.

  • Imagine if you could transform your attitude and maintain optimism all of the time.

  • Imagine if you could escape the life that you currently live and instead live the life of your dreams.

  • Imagine having the respect and admiration you desire from others.

  • Imagine if you could accomplish the things you desire.

  • Imagine if you could make the kind of money you want.

  • Imagine if you could develop successful relationships.

  • Imagine yourself at the top of your profession or field.

  • Imagine what it would be like to have no goal go unfulfilled.

  • Imagine what it would be like to know how to stay motivated all the time!

  • Imagine making a difference in the world around you and leaving a lasting legacy.

Winning with Influence: The Real Way to Influence Others

This new program is based on the Keynote address that Chris Widener gives to organizations all over the world, produced solely to help you learn what the successful already know – how to earn wealth, power, recognition and influence that will change your life forever and allow you to live the life of your dreams!

Topics include: Chris’ Story, What is Influence, Influencing Others, Benefits of Influence, Transformational Leadership, The Power of Compounding Influence, Magnetic Influence and Leadership, Hunting and Fishing, Character and Skills, Integrity, Attitude, The Five Attitudes, Relationships, Excellence, Communications, Persuasion, Goal-Setting, Time Management, Prioritization, Self-Discipline, Self-Motivation, Decision-Making, Commitment, Self-Confidence, Charisma, G-Cubed and the Ability to Influence other People

In this powerful 8 CD program, you’ll discover:

  • How to attract people rather than repel them

  • The difference between “hunting” and “fishing”

  • How to set and achieve your goals

  • The key to connecting with people at the heart level rather than just the mind level

  • How to make a GREAT first impression

  • The secrets to successful relationships with the ones you love and the ones you work with

  • The 12 Character Traits/Skills of Top Performers

  • The secrets of persuasion that have lasted thousands of years and passed the test of time, originally taught by Aristotle himself!

Hey Everybody!

I read an old story the other day. It is one that almost everyone is familiar with, and as I read it, I realized that it is filled with a strategy for successfully defeating giants. Yes, giants. We all have them in our lives: Self-doubt, bad habits, financial difficulty, bad relationships etc, can all be giants in our lives.

Slaying Your Own Giants!

The story? David and Goliath. Take a journey back in time with me and see if there isn’t a great deal of truth in this story that we can apply to our own lives today.

Here are the timeless principles I see in this story of the little guy beating the giant:

Expect giants to block the way to the Promised Land. Too many times we go for our dreams expecting that it will be like a cakewalk at the county fair. Not true! If you want to get to something as great as the promise land you imagine for your life, realize that the world isn’t just going to roll over and die. No, competitors will do anything they can to keep you out. Naysayers will stand before you and tell you it can’t be done. Giants will appear and you will have to go through them to get where you want to go. Don’t go into your journey with your eyes closed. Expect to battle a giant or two!

Attack your giant for a reason bigger than your own victory. For David, his reason was to defend the honor of God, since the giant was taunting God. Yes, he heard that he would get a wife out of the deal, but his biggest reason wasn’t personal. The same is true with us. Yes, we will gain a lot from our successes but I have found that personal gain is usually fleeting in regard to long-term joy and happiness. Those things that bring a deep sense of personal satisfaction come from accomplishing something positive for an altruistic reason, or for some cause that transcends us!

Recognize your own strengths. When asked if he thought if he could really defeat the giant, David reflected on his past successes. He thought about all those times that he was guarding his father’s sheep and had to ward off animal attackers. Surely if he had killed both a lion and a bear, this human – even if he was nine feet tall! – wouldn’t be much to do a way with. David knew his strengths. He knew what he could do, and he would do it again and again until he reached his goal.

Don’t use someone else’s armor. Okay, the king was convinced: David could go ahead, but first, the king put his armor on David. Like a 10 year old in his father’s suit, David walked around in the armor. “No thanks,” said David. He knew what he needed and it wasn’t what worked for someone else. Yes, we need to take advice, but what works for one doesn’t always work for everyone else. There is no cookie cutter path to success. There is more than one way to skin a cat (By the way, who came up with that disgusting analogy? But I digress…). “Dance with the one that brung ya,” they say. So on your way to success, stick with what works, not someone else’s plan or strategy. David knew a slingshot would work just fine thank you.

Take five weapons, though you may only need one. This was one of the really fascinating parts of the story. David obviously knew that he was good with a slingshot. Good enough to kill a giant, at least. So there was some assurance and self-confidence there. But he also knew that sometimes things go awry. He knew that sometimes it takes a few shots to kill the giants. So, even though eventually he only needed one smooth stone to do the job, he had four others for backup! What about you? Are you five deep in the resource pocket? If not, find a few more stones to do battle with your giant with.

Run toward the giant, not away from it.
Here was another interesting point. The story is sure to mention that David ran toward the giant. Why? To get a good shot! S many of us run away from our giants, hoping that if we do we will be able to avoid giants all together. Not true. We will just have to do battle with another giant somewhere else, and all we have chosen to do is go the circuitous route rather than the direct one. Move in close to your giant, and let him have it!

Make sure it is dead after it falls.
One shot and David’s giant took a tumble. Did David party? Nope, he went and made sure that Giant wouldn’t rise to haunt him another day. He went in close and with a big swipe of his sword, took the giant’s head off! Giants have way of coming back to life, so be sure that you have really conquered your giant before you move on!

Just like David, you CAN conquer your giants! You CAN move past them into your own promised land! Just stick with these age-old guidelines and you will be well on your way!

Here they are again!

1. Expect giants to block the way to the Promised Land.
2. Attack your giant for a reason bigger than your own victory.
3. Recognize your own strengths.
4. Don’t use someone else’s armor.
5. Take five weapons, though you may only need one.
6. Run toward the giant, not away from it.
7. Make sure it is dead after it falls.

Take up your slingshot and take a few throws at your giant today!

Chris Widener

Article by Peter Murphy

Staying enthusiastic while going for your dreams can be difficult at times. The

events of life, at times, have a way of interfering with our goals and can discourage us.

However, if you are to achieve your goals, remaining enthusiastic and motivated is vitally important, especially in moments of discouragement.

If you lack enthusiasm, you will give up, and your dreams will come to nothing.

Enthusiasm originates from the Greek word ‘enthousiasmos’, which basically means to be inspired. Enthusiasm is inspiration and is a powerful way to create momentum and motivation.

Enthusiasm can generate the energy and willpower to help us accomplish those things in life we have set out to do.

Enthusiasm also can create within us a feeling of well-being and happiness.

Throughout our lives we are constantly bombarded with messages of fear, tragedy, and pessimism, especially from the media.

Newspapers and periodicals abound with bad news. Moreover, the negative people around us discourage us even further.

With so much of it around us we have a tendency to adapt that input into our own ways of thinking, allowing this negativity to taint our own thoughts and behaviors.

Enthusiasm is a skill that is learned like any other skill. Enthusiasm is seldom a natural development, but rather a result of conscious effort.

Enthusiasm takes practice and with continual exercise you can stay excited and motivated to accomplish your goals, even when unfortunate circumstances do arise.

But how do we create enthusiasm within ourselves?

First and foremost you must become passionate about your life and your goals.

Most people can become temporarily excited about practically anything, but to maintain a sustained enthusiasm can only be achieved by becoming passionate about something.

When we talk about passion we are taking about having a deep care for something.

If you are not interested and don’t care about something you will not be able to create enthusiasm for it.

All successful people are passionate about something and they spend minimal amounts of time on things they have no passion for.

Don’t waste your valuable time pursuing things you are not passionate about.

You will feel little satisfaction from those endeavors and then you will wonder why your motivation is diminishing.

It’s because your energy is being applied in the wrong direction.

Passion is the fuel of enthusiasm.

Enthusiasm and energy are very closely related. If you come home tired from a hard day’s work you are likely not be too enthused or excited.

Maintaining a high energy level will help you be more enthused.

And the more enthusiasm you have the more energy you are likely to have.

Both enthusiasm and energy work hand in hand.

You can’t have one without having the other.

Proper diet and the right amount of rest can help you maintain a higher energy level, which of course will increase your enthusiasm.

Maintaining enthusiasm also requires you to build motivation.

Motivation is intrinsically related to energy.

Energy is required to move and motivation generates movement.

This means taking action, moving, and doing something toward accomplishing your goals, even when you might not be so enthused.

By tapping into motivation you will become enthused.

If you just sit around and wait for life to come to you, you will eventually lose energy and then motivation becomes nothing more than something you talk about.

Moreover, when you lose motivation you also run the risk of losing passion.

You can create enthusiasm just by acting enthused.

You don’t necessarily have to have an external stimulus to create enthusiasm within yourself.

In fact, enthusiasm is something that comes from within and can be encouraged to develop just by the practice of acting enthused and doing something positive toward your goals.

About the Author

Peter Murphy is a peak performance expert. He recently produced a very popular free report: 10 Simple Steps to Developing Communication Confidence. This report reveals the secret strategies all high achievers use to communicate with charm and impact. Apply now because it is available for a limited time only at: http://www.howtotalkwithconfidence.com/blog

Build Trust – Keep Your Commitments

 

Dr. Stephen Covey, a well-known and compelling speaker and mentor on leadership, ethics, trust and enhanced performance, has spoken to viewers and audiences all over the globe.

Dr. Covey is also a best-selling author of many books, including The SPEED of Trust (if you have not read this, you need to!).

Dr. Covey shared the #1 behavior to build trust in a video on iLearningGlobal.

Do you know what #1 behavior is? Read on…

Dr. Covey was asked out of the 13 behaviors, if you could only pick one behavior to work on, what is the most important to build trust?

All 13 are important, but according to Dr. Covey, keeping commitments builds trust faster in a new relationship and creates long-lasting relationships.

Making commitments, keeping commitments, and repeating this cycle will increase trust and do it quickly. You need to do what you say you are going to do.

However, this can also be a dangerous behavior if you over-compromise and do not deliver.

If you do this repeatedly, you may not have a second or third chance to regain the trust of your customers, prospects, colleagues, family members, or friends. And, you will lose all credibility and this can attract a lot of attention.

Now, do not let this scare you… You can not be afraid to make commitments as this is not the nature of our crazy world today.

Commitments are part of everyday life and business. Making commitments builds hope; keeping commitments builds trust.

So, how do you earn new business and trust with a new prospect?

Make and keep commitments and the trust level will increase and it will increase fast. Find commitments that create and add value for your prospects.

And, tell your prospects what to look for (signal your behavior).

Dr. Covey talked about a friend of his who is a CEO of a company and this CEO has a philosophy and strategy when starting any new relationship.

The CEO states to his new prospect that any good relationship is based on trust.

When he makes a commitment, you can count on that and he will deliver.

He is signaling his behavior and when he delivers on his commitments, the relationship develops and grows quickly.

So, if you say you are going to do something, then DO IT! Keeping commitments is a great behavior to build trust and build it fast.

Remember, this is not just about business…

You can do this with your family members, friends, co-workers, networking groups, prospects, and customers.

Making and keeping commitments is THE fastest way to build trust and when you do this over time, you will build a reputation of “wow… he/she does what he/she said she was going to do” and guess what?

This kind of reputation is money in the marketplace!

To your success and dreams,
Andrea

Why It Pays To Advertise

“You can have the most wonderful product in the world, but if people don’t know about it, it’s not going to be worth much.

There are singers in the world with voices as good as Frank Sinatra’s, but they’re singing in their garages because no one has ever heard of them. You need to generate interest, and you need to create excitement.”

Donald Trump, American real-estate tycoon

Advertising doesn’t cost, it pays! And good advertising can pay you well. Bad advertising, or no advertising at all, invites disaster.

You have to advertise if people are to be made aware of your business and the benefits it offers them.

Without advertising you rely on word of mouth recommendation or press editorial, both extremely effective, but slow and generally unpredictable.

Advertising takes many different forms, from painting your name on the side of a van to delivering leaflets door-to-door or posting printed cards in shop and post office windows.

More often the term applies to classified and display promotions in appropriate media, usually newspapers and magazines, and it is with this definition we concern ourselves here.

Advertising by itself does not sell. It will not sell a bad product (customers will ask for refunds) and it won’t open up new markets.

It is not a miracle cure that can generate sales for a dying product. Conversely, advertising will not sell your must successful products to people who simply don’t want them.

Main Points About Effective Advertising

* It reduces the entire population to your target audience and reaches as many of those people as possible at least available cost.

* It must always have an objective. This means having a clear idea about what you want to accomplish in your advertisement. Reasons for advertising include:

* To invite orders or enquiries

* To launch new products

* To publicise price changes.

* The message must attract your target audience, it must interest them, create a desire for your product and prompt people to act (order or ask for further information). This acronym AIDA is one you will encounter many times in advertising.

* It must be truthful and straightforward. The nearer your advertisement is to reality, the more effective it is.

* Sufficient resources must be allocated to accomplish your advertising objectives.

* Testing is crucial to effective advertising, allowing good promotions to be repeated and bad ones to be eliminated.

* Every aspect of your advertisement must be prepared from the customer’s point of view. That person wants to know how you and your product can benefit him. The most important feature of any advertisement is the benefits it contains.

* It must be placed in the appropriate media.

Newcomers to business tend to confuse the real benefits of advertising, frequently considering it a necessary, and expensive, evil, not the long-term investment it really is. In short, effective advertising is the lifeblood of your business. Without it you will surely fail!

Deciding When and How

Advertising can be a major headache for many firms, not just new businesses or those without specialist advertising departments.

But it isn’t always costs that are to blame as much as making that vital choice between classified or generally more costly display advertising.

Returning to basics, all advertisements must follow the general AIDA principle. They must attract attention, generate and retain interest, create desire, and stimulate action.

But what will best achieve this objective: classified or display?

The answer depends on a number of things, not least of all an understanding of what these two methods involve, how they differ and what similarities, even overlap, might exist.

Classified advertising, sometimes called ‘lineage’, generally employs just words, without embellishment, other than perhaps a few words emboldened, and sometimes impact lines or boxes around the advertisement.

Where these minor forms of decoration are included, the format is frequently referred to as ‘semi-display’.

Display advertisements, on the other hand, are designed to stand out from the crowd, using a variety of techniques including: occupying a set position on the page, taking up a specified amount of space, including graphics and illustrations, adopting a variety of fonts, and so on.

The argument is that display advertisements are more noticeable, more profitable than their counterparts buried amongst countless others in the classified columns. Hence the far higher cost of display advertising.

The following main points will help you decide:

* Classified ads are usually cheap and are excellent for generating enquiries.

Many successful classified advertisers use the two-stage enquiry method, allowing the customer to obtain further information before placing an order.

A major benefit for dealers is the chance to build a useful mailing list for future offers.

* Display advertising is best for selling straight from the page.

Readers are more likely to trust their money to someone who has paid for a larger advertisement than someone whose advertisement occupies a tiny space among so many competing entries. Classified advertising is rarely effective for selling off-the-page except for very low cost items, commonly £10 or less.

* Classified advertising can be used to test interest in your product before venturing into more costly display advertising.

* Classifieds can be used to test and compare advertising sources.

* Classified advertising is generally unsuitable for anything that requires a lot of ‘telling’ to accomplish the task of selling.

Too much grey matters in classifieds is boring and readers can easily lose interest halfway. If it can’t be said in a few words, try display advertising.

* For classified advertisements, the words themselves must do the job of selling. Sometimes a maximum wordcount is set and every word must pay its way.

Conversely, display advertising allows a variety of other techniques to be used to attract and retain reader interest. Based on what they say about a picture being worth ten thousand words, it follows that, if the design, style or appearance of your product is important to the potential customer, display advertising is usually best.

If the product markets well ‘sight unseen’, classified ads might be appropriate.

* Classified ads usually focus on a single offer. Display advertisements can include several products, or an invitation to send for further information, obtain a catalogue, send for samples, and so on.

What Is Networking and Why Should I Do It

network

Networking is a common term in the IT industry. It can have two meanings – the process of linking computers and other devices together so they can communicate, and the process of meeting and talking to other people to help your IT career.

This article is about the latter.

What Is Networking?

Networking is the process of meeting people, talking to people and getting to know them, with a long term aim of helping your career.

It’s done by a lot of people and it’s good to know what’s involved and why you need to do it.

Why Should I Network?

One of the most popular phrases in the working world (which you’ve probably heard before), is the phrase “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”.

This means that knowing and associating with the right people can be more important than what you know or what you do.

It aims to remind you of the importance of people skills and networking.

There are many reasons why networking is a good idea:

  • Keep informed of career opportunities in your industry

  • Learn about ideas and trends in the industry

  • Meeting new people

  • Understand more about other areas

  • Developing your communication and listening skills

If you’re considering a career change, or looking for new opportunities for a promotion, you should be looking to network whenever and wherever you can.

You don’t always get a promotion or change that’s just handed to you – you need to be able to find out where they are and take your own steps to get there.

How Can I Network?

Well, the answer to this is to get out there and talk to people.

You can do this at work, at social events, at different meetings, wherever people in your industry or workplace are together.

You don’t even need to be in a group situation – you could be talking to a single person.

Essentially, you make conversation with people and get to know them.

It doesn’t always have to be work or business related – it can be a personal conversation. However, you need to know why you’re networking and why you’re there, in order to have an appropriate conversation.

How Can I Get Better at Networking?

There are a few things you can do to be more effective at talking to colleagues.

Some of these could be:

  • Think of the reason you’re meeting people. Is it to find out what’s happening in your company?

  • Are you looking for any new job offerings? Or something else?

  • Knowing why you’re there will help your discussions.

  • Networking is about being mutually beneficial to both people.

  • Realising what you have to offer is a good thing to do.

  • Get a business card made for yourself, if you don’t have one already.

  • It should, at the very least, have your name, email address, and phone number on it.

  • Practice your “soft skills”, which include listening, body language, and conversation skills.

  • These come with practice and experience – in a future article I’ll write about how you can do this.

Hope this article helps with your networking. What are your thoughts?

Start now and make the next 4 weeks about “Back to School”

Make this August about learing a new skill, sharpening up and old one,

There is no reason we should ever stop learing and you can make a committment to begin this September

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Books, Reading and Your Personal Library

Miss a meal if you have to, but don’t miss a book.

Some people claim that it is okay to read trashy novels because sometimes you can find something valuable in them. You can also find a crust of bread in a garbage can, if you search long enough, but there is a better way.

Most homes valued at over $250,000 have a library. That should tell us something.

Everything you need for your better future and success has already been written. And guess what? It’s all available. All you have to do is go to the library. But would you believe that only three percent of the people in America have a library card. Wow, they must be expensive! No, they’re free. And there’s probably a library in every neighborhood. Only three percent!

Some people read so little they have rickets of the mind.

I now have one of the better libraries. I admit that I haven’t read everything in my library, but I feel smarter just walking in it.

Don’t just read the easy stuff. You may entertained by it, but you will never grow from it.

The book you don’t read won’t help.

Books are easy to find and easy to buy. A paperback these days only costs six or seven dollars. You can borrow that from your kids!

It isn’t what the book costs; it’s what it will cost if you don’t read it.

Please include the following Credit Statement when reprinting in any form:

Quotes by Jim Rohn, America’s Foremost Business Philosopher, reprinted with permission from Jim Rohn International ©2011.
As a world-renowned author and success expert, Jim Rohn touched millions of lives during his 46-year career as a motivational speaker and messenger of positive life change.
For more information on Jim and his popular personal achievement resources or to subscribe to the weekly Jim Rohn Newsletter, visit www.JimRohn.com.

back

LOOKING FOR A NEW MARKETING TOOL FOR AUGUST?

Looking for a way to boost your business..August you should focus on “Back to School” Gear your advertising to this, it doesn’t have to be about the kids..Mom and Dad deserve to treat themselves after all it’s been a rough summer, promote your product and offer it as a special treat for Mom and Dad…an example

1. go on a kayaking trip www.apaddleinthepark.com

2. Mom, make a gourmet dinner for you and dad..spices

3. dad, treat mom to some new beauty products..facial scrubs, creams etc,

4, nothing says yipee the kids are back in school like a piece of jewelery

5.how about that trip you have been putting off for years..Get a babysitter and GO 6. Don’t forget Fido, he’s exhaused so send him to a day spa for being such a good boy all summer. Do you get the idea?

Want to Achieve Networking Success with the Opposite Sex?–Advice for Women


Last week I posted a summary of the conclusions my Business Networking and Sexco-authors and I came to after surveying over 12,000 people and conducting months of research. I promised that this week I would post advice for both women and men in achieving networking success with the opposite sex so below I’ve outlined some key tips Frank De Raffele, Hazel Walker, and I put together.

We Say . . .

We’re all trying to get to the same place. It will be much more profitable for all of us if we can help each other along the way. Here are a few things to guide your success in networking with the complementary gender:

For the Ladies

  • Don’t get stuck in the credibility phase of the VCP Process®. Ask for what you want.

  • When asking for help, communicate clearly exactly what it is that you want.

  • Make time for networking.

  • When speaking to men, try to impress them and share your accomplishments.

  • When spoken to inappropriately, speak up about it immediately.

  • Dress for business at business events.

  • Put systems in place to track your business.

  • Stay in contact with and follow up on leads, referrals, and acquaintances made.

  • Diversify your networks.

  • Remember that networking is ultimately about getting business, so ask for both business and referrals.

  • Convey an image to others that you are a serious businessperson, in all that you do.

  • Get educated about referral systems.

  • Don’t lump all men into the same group

Trade shows and exhibitions

Using a trade fair to promote your product or service

At their most effective, trade fairs can be an important promotional tool for your business. Trade fairs can help to build new business by offering:

  • a chance to demonstrate your product or service to customers face to face

  • a direct way to test new markets or launch new products and services

  • a chance to find out what customers want

  • good opportunities for networking

  • many potential customers concentrated in one place

  • many potential suppliers concentrated in one place

As well as buyers and sellers, trade fairs can attract journalists, media, politicians and other ‘movers and shakers’ in particular fields. It can be a good idea to invite your existing customers to visit your stand too, as face-to-face contact can revitalise relationships that exist mostly through email or on the phone.

At their least effective, trade fairs can be an expensive waste of time. Make sure you know what you want to achieve. Make your goals specific and measurable – for example, ‘sell £x of products directly from the stand’, or ‘get 50 new sales leads’. Choose your fair carefully and give yourself plenty of time to plan. When it’s over, follow up the contacts you made.

Evaluate what you got out of the trade fair (based on your goals) so you can build on your experience for next time.

Subjects covered in this guide

10 Tips to Help You Achieve Your Goals

Listen to the Podcast

How would you like to increase the odds of achieving your goals? Whether you desire to lose weight, create financial independence, build a healthy marriage, or raise responsible children, the formula for achieving any goal is the same.

Here are 10 tips in sequential order that will help you increase the odds of achieving your goals: (Each link is one of my related lessons.)

1. Identify what’s important to you! The only goals you will succeed in reaching are those that are truly important to you. If a goal is not meaningful or significant to you, you will quit when faced with obstacles. Take 30 minutes and make a list of the things that are truly essential in your life; those that you highly value. Then highlight the most important points on that list and set your goals.

2. Learn from those who have already achieved “your” goals. Once you are clear on what you truly want to achieve, your next step is to learn what you need to know. The best source of knowledge will come from those who have already reached goals similar to yours. Identify people you respect and admire, who have achieved the goals you desire, and learn as much as you can from them.

3. Determine the person you need to become. Far too often people focus on what they need to do to achieve their goals and fail to consider who they must become. To accomplish something you have never accomplished before, you must be willing to do what you’ve never done before; go where you’ve never been before; become someone you’ve never been before.

As you learn from those who have achieved “your” goals, pay as much attention to their personal attributes and characteristics as you do to what they did to realize their goals.

4. Put together a plan. After learning from and studying those who have been successful in reaching similar goals, your next step is to put together your plan. You need to clearly outline what you need to do and when, step-by-step, and then reduce those steps into daily activities. Knowing exactly what you need to do every day is critical to achieving any worthwhile goal.

5. Ask, “Am I willing to pay the price required to achieve my goal? After you complete your plan, be honest with yourself and determine if your goal is important enough to you that you will discipline yourself to do what’s required each day to achieve your goal. One of the biggest reasons people fail to reach their goals is because they are not willing to do what’s required over a sustained period of time. How about you.

6. Allocate the time required. Your next step is to block out the time necessary each day to work your plan. If you are like most people (and that includes me), you will need to give something up that’s less important so you have the time to achieve what’s more important. Blocking out time each day to work your plan is vital. Success comes from consistent daily action!

7. Get started. Once you have learned what you need to know, divided your plan into daily activities, and blocked out time each day to do the assigned tasks, it’s time to Work Your Plan. Start tomorrow! When the time you’ve blocked out arrives, push yourself to do what you know you should do without any further delay. It’s time for action. You could continue to study dozens of books, listen to CDs, and interview successful people (all helpful), but the greatest, most practical knowledge comes from implementing what you’ve learned.

8. Make wise decisions. Your odds of achieving your goals dramatically improve when you follow a logical process of making your decisions, both big and small. With each decision you make, consider all your options; write down the pros and cons of each option. From there, the right decision is usually obvious.

9. Refuse to allow excuses. The No.1 reason people fail to achieve their goals is because they allow themselves to make excuses for not doing what they know they should do. One of the most crucial keys to success is doing what you know you should do, every day, even when you don’t feel like doing it. This means NEVER allowing yourself to justify not doing what you know you should do. Make a commitment that you will not make excuses under any circumstances!

10. Strive for excellence. The No.1 key to my success over the last 31 years is that I have always strived (and I still strive) for excellence in whatever I do. I analyze everything I’ve done and consider how I can do it better. As you work your plan each day, evaluate everything you are doing and consider how you can refine what you are doing so that your results improve. The compounding effect of small daily improvements is powerful. The best of the best are those who strive for constant and never-ending improvement.

If you will take the time to study each of the above tips and the corresponding lesson highlighted in many of them, you will significantly increase your odds of achieving your goals. The reason many people fail to achieve their goals is because they are unwilling to do what is necessary over the required period of time. If you’re like most people (and that includes me), you will go through periods of discouragement and disappointment. That’s normal.

When you get down, remember “Quitters never win and Winners never quit.” Remind yourself that the reason you will achieve your goals is because you are a winner, not a quitter! Step out from the crowd and build a life for yourself that makes you proud!

Click here to visit the site and/or comment on this post.

About the Author: Todd Smith is a successful entrepreneur of 31 years and founder of Little Things Matter. To receive Todd’s lessons, subscribe here. All Todd’s lessons are also available on iTunes asdownloadable podcasts. (Todd’s podcasts are ranked #19 in America’s top 100 podcasts and #1 in the personal and development field.)

10 Tips to Help You Achieve Your Goals

Listen to the Podcast

How would you like to increase the odds of achieving your goals? Whether you desire to lose weight, create financial independence, build a healthy marriage, or raise responsible children, the formula for achieving any goal is the same.

Here are 10 tips in sequential order that will help you increase the odds of achieving your goals: (Each link is one of my related lessons.)

1. Identify what’s important to you! The only goals you will succeed in reaching are those that are truly important to you. If a goal is not meaningful or significant to you, you will quit when faced with obstacles. Take 30 minutes and make a list of the things that are truly essential in your life; those that you highly value. Then highlight the most important points on that list and set your goals.

2. Learn from those who have already achieved “your” goals. Once you are clear on what you truly want to achieve, your next step is to learn what you need to know. The best source of knowledge will come from those who have already reached goals similar to yours. Identify people you respect and admire, who have achieved the goals you desire, and learn as much as you can from them.

3. Determine the person you need to become. Far too often people focus on what they need to do to achieve their goals and fail to consider who they must become. To accomplish something you have never accomplished before, you must be willing to do what you’ve never done before; go where you’ve never been before; become someone you’ve never been before.

As you learn from those who have achieved “your” goals, pay as much attention to their personal attributes and characteristics as you do to what they did to realize their goals.

4. Put together a plan. After learning from and studying those who have been successful in reaching similar goals, your next step is to put together your plan. You need to clearly outline what you need to do and when, step-by-step, and then reduce those steps into daily activities. Knowing exactly what you need to do every day is critical to achieving any worthwhile goal.

5. Ask, “Am I willing to pay the price required to achieve my goal? After you complete your plan, be honest with yourself and determine if your goal is important enough to you that you will discipline yourself to do what’s required each day to achieve your goal. One of the biggest reasons people fail to reach their goals is because they are not willing to do what’s required over a sustained period of time. How about you.

6. Allocate the time required. Your next step is to block out the time necessary each day to work your plan. If you are like most people (and that includes me), you will need to give something up that’s less important so you have the time to achieve what’s more important. Blocking out time each day to work your plan is vital. Success comes from consistent daily action!

7. Get started. Once you have learned what you need to know, divided your plan into daily activities, and blocked out time each day to do the assigned tasks, it’s time to Work Your Plan. Start tomorrow! When the time you’ve blocked out arrives, push yourself to do what you know you should do without any further delay. It’s time for action. You could continue to study dozens of books, listen to CDs, and interview successful people (all helpful), but the greatest, most practical knowledge comes from implementing what you’ve learned.

8. Make wise decisions. Your odds of achieving your goals dramatically improve when you follow a logical process of making your decisions, both big and small. With each decision you make, consider all your options; write down the pros and cons of each option. From there, the right decision is usually obvious.

9. Refuse to allow excuses. The No.1 reason people fail to achieve their goals is because they allow themselves to make excuses for not doing what they know they should do. One of the most crucial keys to success is doing what you know you should do, every day, even when you don’t feel like doing it. This means NEVER allowing yourself to justify not doing what you know you should do. Make a commitment that you will not make excuses under any circumstances!

10. Strive for excellence. The No.1 key to my success over the last 31 years is that I have always strived (and I still strive) for excellence in whatever I do. I analyze everything I’ve done and consider how I can do it better. As you work your plan each day, evaluate everything you are doing and consider how you can refine what you are doing so that your results improve. The compounding effect of small daily improvements is powerful. The best of the best are those who strive for constant and never-ending improvement.

If you will take the time to study each of the above tips and the corresponding lesson highlighted in many of them, you will significantly increase your odds of achieving your goals. The reason many people fail to achieve their goals is because they are unwilling to do what is necessary over the required period of time. If you’re like most people (and that includes me), you will go through periods of discouragement and disappointment. That’s normal.

When you get down, remember “Quitters never win and Winners never quit.” Remind yourself that the reason you will achieve your goals is because you are a winner, not a quitter! Step out from the crowd and build a life for yourself that makes you proud!

Click here to visit the site and/or comment on this post.

About the Author: Todd Smith is a successful entrepreneur of 31 years and founder of Little Things Matter. To receive Todd’s lessons, subscribe here. All Todd’s lessons are also available on iTunes asdownloadable podcasts. (Todd’s podcasts are ranked #19 in America’s top 100 podcasts and #1 in the personal and development field.)

10 Tips to Help You Achieve Your Goals

Listen to the Podcast

How would you like to increase the odds of achieving your goals? Whether you desire to lose weight, create financial independence, build a healthy marriage, or raise responsible children, the formula for achieving any goal is the same.

Here are 10 tips in sequential order that will help you increase the odds of achieving your goals: (Each link is one of my related lessons.)

1. Identify what’s important to you! The only goals you will succeed in reaching are those that are truly important to you. If a goal is not meaningful or significant to you, you will quit when faced with obstacles. Take 30 minutes and make a list of the things that are truly essential in your life; those that you highly value. Then highlight the most important points on that list and set your goals.

2. Learn from those who have already achieved “your” goals. Once you are clear on what you truly want to achieve, your next step is to learn what you need to know. The best source of knowledge will come from those who have already reached goals similar to yours. Identify people you respect and admire, who have achieved the goals you desire, and learn as much as you can from them.

3. Determine the person you need to become. Far too often people focus on what they need to do to achieve their goals and fail to consider who they must become. To accomplish something you have never accomplished before, you must be willing to do what you’ve never done before; go where you’ve never been before; become someone you’ve never been before.

As you learn from those who have achieved “your” goals, pay as much attention to their personal attributes and characteristics as you do to what they did to realize their goals.

4. Put together a plan. After learning from and studying those who have been successful in reaching similar goals, your next step is to put together your plan. You need to clearly outline what you need to do and when, step-by-step, and then reduce those steps into daily activities. Knowing exactly what you need to do every day is critical to achieving any worthwhile goal.

5. Ask, “Am I willing to pay the price required to achieve my goal? After you complete your plan, be honest with yourself and determine if your goal is important enough to you that you will discipline yourself to do what’s required each day to achieve your goal. One of the biggest reasons people fail to reach their goals is because they are not willing to do what’s required over a sustained period of time. How about you.

6. Allocate the time required. Your next step is to block out the time necessary each day to work your plan. If you are like most people (and that includes me), you will need to give something up that’s less important so you have the time to achieve what’s more important. Blocking out time each day to work your plan is vital. Success comes from consistent daily action!

7. Get started. Once you have learned what you need to know, divided your plan into daily activities, and blocked out time each day to do the assigned tasks, it’s time to Work Your Plan. Start tomorrow! When the time you’ve blocked out arrives, push yourself to do what you know you should do without any further delay. It’s time for action. You could continue to study dozens of books, listen to CDs, and interview successful people (all helpful), but the greatest, most practical knowledge comes from implementing what you’ve learned.

8. Make wise decisions. Your odds of achieving your goals dramatically improve when you follow a logical process of making your decisions, both big and small. With each decision you make, consider all your options; write down the pros and cons of each option. From there, the right decision is usually obvious.

9. Refuse to allow excuses. The No.1 reason people fail to achieve their goals is because they allow themselves to make excuses for not doing what they know they should do. One of the most crucial keys to success is doing what you know you should do, every day, even when you don’t feel like doing it. This means NEVER allowing yourself to justify not doing what you know you should do. Make a commitment that you will not make excuses under any circumstances!

10. Strive for excellence. The No.1 key to my success over the last 31 years is that I have always strived (and I still strive) for excellence in whatever I do. I analyze everything I’ve done and consider how I can do it better. As you work your plan each day, evaluate everything you are doing and consider how you can refine what you are doing so that your results improve. The compounding effect of small daily improvements is powerful. The best of the best are those who strive for constant and never-ending improvement.

If you will take the time to study each of the above tips and the corresponding lesson highlighted in many of them, you will significantly increase your odds of achieving your goals. The reason many people fail to achieve their goals is because they are unwilling to do what is necessary over the required period of time. If you’re like most people (and that includes me), you will go through periods of discouragement and disappointment. That’s normal.

When you get down, remember “Quitters never win and Winners never quit.” Remind yourself that the reason you will achieve your goals is because you are a winner, not a quitter! Step out from the crowd and build a life for yourself that makes you proud!

Click here to visit the site and/or comment on this post.

About the Author: Todd Smith is a successful entrepreneur of 31 years and founder of Little Things Matter. To receive Todd’s lessons, subscribe here. All Todd’s lessons are also available on iTunes asdownloadable podcasts. (Todd’s podcasts are ranked #19 in America’s top 100 podcasts and #1 in the personal and development field.)

10 Tips to Help You Achieve Your Goals

Listen to the Podcast

How would you like to increase the odds of achieving your goals? Whether you desire to lose weight, create financial independence, build a healthy marriage, or raise responsible children, the formula for achieving any goal is the same.

Here are 10 tips in sequential order that will help you increase the odds of achieving your goals: (Each link is one of my related lessons.)

1. Identify what’s important to you! The only goals you will succeed in reaching are those that are truly important to you. If a goal is not meaningful or significant to you, you will quit when faced with obstacles. Take 30 minutes and make a list of the things that are truly essential in your life; those that you highly value. Then highlight the most important points on that list and set your goals.

2. Learn from those who have already achieved “your” goals. Once you are clear on what you truly want to achieve, your next step is to learn what you need to know. The best source of knowledge will come from those who have already reached goals similar to yours. Identify people you respect and admire, who have achieved the goals you desire, and learn as much as you can from them.

3. Determine the person you need to become. Far too often people focus on what they need to do to achieve their goals and fail to consider who they must become. To accomplish something you have never accomplished before, you must be willing to do what you’ve never done before; go where you’ve never been before; become someone you’ve never been before.

As you learn from those who have achieved “your” goals, pay as much attention to their personal attributes and characteristics as you do to what they did to realize their goals.

4. Put together a plan. After learning from and studying those who have been successful in reaching similar goals, your next step is to put together your plan. You need to clearly outline what you need to do and when, step-by-step, and then reduce those steps into daily activities. Knowing exactly what you need to do every day is critical to achieving any worthwhile goal.

5. Ask, “Am I willing to pay the price required to achieve my goal? After you complete your plan, be honest with yourself and determine if your goal is important enough to you that you will discipline yourself to do what’s required each day to achieve your goal. One of the biggest reasons people fail to reach their goals is because they are not willing to do what’s required over a sustained period of time. How about you.

6. Allocate the time required. Your next step is to block out the time necessary each day to work your plan. If you are like most people (and that includes me), you will need to give something up that’s less important so you have the time to achieve what’s more important. Blocking out time each day to work your plan is vital. Success comes from consistent daily action!

7. Get started. Once you have learned what you need to know, divided your plan into daily activities, and blocked out time each day to do the assigned tasks, it’s time to Work Your Plan. Start tomorrow! When the time you’ve blocked out arrives, push yourself to do what you know you should do without any further delay. It’s time for action. You could continue to study dozens of books, listen to CDs, and interview successful people (all helpful), but the greatest, most practical knowledge comes from implementing what you’ve learned.

8. Make wise decisions. Your odds of achieving your goals dramatically improve when you follow a logical process of making your decisions, both big and small. With each decision you make, consider all your options; write down the pros and cons of each option. From there, the right decision is usually obvious.

9. Refuse to allow excuses. The No.1 reason people fail to achieve their goals is because they allow themselves to make excuses for not doing what they know they should do. One of the most crucial keys to success is doing what you know you should do, every day, even when you don’t feel like doing it. This means NEVER allowing yourself to justify not doing what you know you should do. Make a commitment that you will not make excuses under any circumstances!

10. Strive for excellence. The No.1 key to my success over the last 31 years is that I have always strived (and I still strive) for excellence in whatever I do. I analyze everything I’ve done and consider how I can do it better. As you work your plan each day, evaluate everything you are doing and consider how you can refine what you are doing so that your results improve. The compounding effect of small daily improvements is powerful. The best of the best are those who strive for constant and never-ending improvement.

If you will take the time to study each of the above tips and the corresponding lesson highlighted in many of them, you will significantly increase your odds of achieving your goals. The reason many people fail to achieve their goals is because they are unwilling to do what is necessary over the required period of time. If you’re like most people (and that includes me), you will go through periods of discouragement and disappointment. That’s normal.

When you get down, remember “Quitters never win and Winners never quit.” Remind yourself that the reason you will achieve your goals is because you are a winner, not a quitter! Step out from the crowd and build a life for yourself that makes you proud!

Click here to visit the site and/or comment on this post.

About the Author: Todd Smith is a successful entrepreneur of 31 years and founder of Little Things Matter. To receive Todd’s lessons, subscribe here. All Todd’s lessons are also available on iTunes asdownloadable podcasts. (Todd’s podcasts are ranked #19 in America’s top 100 podcasts and #1 in the personal and development field.)

10 Tips to Help You Achieve Your Goals

Listen to the Podcast

How would you like to increase the odds of achieving your goals? Whether you desire to lose weight, create financial independence, build a healthy marriage, or raise responsible children, the formula for achieving any goal is the same.

Here are 10 tips in sequential order that will help you increase the odds of achieving your goals: (Each link is one of my related lessons.)

1. Identify what’s important to you! The only goals you will succeed in reaching are those that are truly important to you. If a goal is not meaningful or significant to you, you will quit when faced with obstacles. Take 30 minutes and make a list of the things that are truly essential in your life; those that you highly value. Then highlight the most important points on that list and set your goals.

2. Learn from those who have already achieved “your” goals. Once you are clear on what you truly want to achieve, your next step is to learn what you need to know. The best source of knowledge will come from those who have already reached goals similar to yours. Identify people you respect and admire, who have achieved the goals you desire, and learn as much as you can from them.

3. Determine the person you need to become. Far too often people focus on what they need to do to achieve their goals and fail to consider who they must become. To accomplish something you have never accomplished before, you must be willing to do what you’ve never done before; go where you’ve never been before; become someone you’ve never been before.

As you learn from those who have achieved “your” goals, pay as much attention to their personal attributes and characteristics as you do to what they did to realize their goals.

4. Put together a plan. After learning from and studying those who have been successful in reaching similar goals, your next step is to put together your plan. You need to clearly outline what you need to do and when, step-by-step, and then reduce those steps into daily activities. Knowing exactly what you need to do every day is critical to achieving any worthwhile goal.

5. Ask, “Am I willing to pay the price required to achieve my goal? After you complete your plan, be honest with yourself and determine if your goal is important enough to you that you will discipline yourself to do what’s required each day to achieve your goal. One of the biggest reasons people fail to reach their goals is because they are not willing to do what’s required over a sustained period of time. How about you.

6. Allocate the time required. Your next step is to block out the time necessary each day to work your plan. If you are like most people (and that includes me), you will need to give something up that’s less important so you have the time to achieve what’s more important. Blocking out time each day to work your plan is vital. Success comes from consistent daily action!

7. Get started. Once you have learned what you need to know, divided your plan into daily activities, and blocked out time each day to do the assigned tasks, it’s time to Work Your Plan. Start tomorrow! When the time you’ve blocked out arrives, push yourself to do what you know you should do without any further delay. It’s time for action. You could continue to study dozens of books, listen to CDs, and interview successful people (all helpful), but the greatest, most practical knowledge comes from implementing what you’ve learned.

8. Make wise decisions. Your odds of achieving your goals dramatically improve when you follow a logical process of making your decisions, both big and small. With each decision you make, consider all your options; write down the pros and cons of each option. From there, the right decision is usually obvious.

9. Refuse to allow excuses. The No.1 reason people fail to achieve their goals is because they allow themselves to make excuses for not doing what they know they should do. One of the most crucial keys to success is doing what you know you should do, every day, even when you don’t feel like doing it. This means NEVER allowing yourself to justify not doing what you know you should do. Make a commitment that you will not make excuses under any circumstances!

10. Strive for excellence. The No.1 key to my success over the last 31 years is that I have always strived (and I still strive) for excellence in whatever I do. I analyze everything I’ve done and consider how I can do it better. As you work your plan each day, evaluate everything you are doing and consider how you can refine what you are doing so that your results improve. The compounding effect of small daily improvements is powerful. The best of the best are those who strive for constant and never-ending improvement.

If you will take the time to study each of the above tips and the corresponding lesson highlighted in many of them, you will significantly increase your odds of achieving your goals. The reason many people fail to achieve their goals is because they are unwilling to do what is necessary over the required period of time. If you’re like most people (and that includes me), you will go through periods of discouragement and disappointment. That’s normal.

When you get down, remember “Quitters never win and Winners never quit.” Remind yourself that the reason you will achieve your goals is because you are a winner, not a quitter! Step out from the crowd and build a life for yourself that makes you proud!

Click here to visit the site and/or comment on this post.

About the Author: Todd Smith is a successful entrepreneur of 31 years and founder of Little Things Matter. To receive Todd’s lessons, subscribe here. All Todd’s lessons are also available on iTunes asdownloadable podcasts. (Todd’s podcasts are ranked #19 in America’s top 100 podcasts and #1 in the personal and development field.)

Who of us doesn’t admire that business person who can deliver a punchline like it’s nobody’s business?

Or the person who can defuse a tense situation with a quick, witty comment?

Early in my career, I worked with a person whose stories always drew a circle of fans around her.

She was hilarious.

We felt good listening to her tell her tales of familiar human dilemmas and absurdities.

Her humour was confident, bold, unabashed, some might say slightly reckless.

But we all, from the mail kid to the senior partners, ENJOYED it.

She made us laugh and we loved her for it.

She created a playful cushion between us and our work deadlines and stresses.

Her humor made us feel a bit lighter, more cohesive, and perhaps better able to cope with the everyday pressures of our office.

Did her sense of humor help her career?

Well, it didn’t hurt…she eventually worked her way up to become Chief Financial Officer of the firm.

Research shows that laughter and humor induce the natural release of endorphins into the body.

Endorphins are the same powerful chemical that’s released from strenuous exercise and exhilarates the body,

giving it positive energy.

And we all know that positive energy can stimulate your work performance.

Humor can also be a great connector of people which leads to more effective social communication.

Good communication is necessary to maximize performance between employers and employees, salespeople and their customers, engineers and marketing.

Sharing a laugh in the workplace can bring us closer, allowing us to get to know each other just that much more.

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101 Ways To Live Your Life To The Full

Live life to the fullest

“Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs (101 Most Inspiring Quotes of All Time)

How do you feel about your life today? Are you living every day in exuberance? Do you love what you’re doing? Are you excited every single moment? Are you looking forward to what’s coming up next? Are you living your best life?

If your answer to any of the above is a no, maybe or not sure, that means you’re not living your life to the fullest. Which really shouldn’t be the case, because your life experience is up to you to create. Why settle for anything less than what you can get? You deserve nothing but the best. In the past years of my life, especially since after I pursued my passion in ’08, I’ve been living every day to the fullest, filled with joy, passion and rigor. It’s an amazing experience that I want you to experience that too.

This is a list of 101 timeless principles I use to live my best life, and I hope they’ll help you to do so too. As you live in alignment with them, you’ll find yourself becoming more conscious, more alive, and more importantly, experiencing life on a whole new level. Be sure to bookmark or even print out this page and refer to it daily to guide you to your best life. :D

Here are 101 ways to live your life to the fullest:

  1. Live every day on a fresh new start. Don’t be held back by what happened yesterday, the day before, the week before, the year before, and so on.


  2. Be true to who you are. Stop trying to please other people or be someone else. It’s better to be an original version of yourself than an exact duplicate of someone else.

  3. Quit complaining. Don’t be like the howling dog, always howling and never doing anything. Stop complaining about your problems and work on them instead.

  4. Be proactive. Stop waiting for others around you to do something and take action yourself instead.

  5. Rather than think “what if”, think “next time”. Don’t think about things you can’t change (namely what has happened and thoughts of other people) or unhappy things because these are disempowering.Instead focus on the things you can action upon. That’s the most constructive thing you can do in any situation.

  6. Focus on WHAT vs. How. Focus on WHAT you want first, before you think about HOW to do it. Anything is possible, as long as you set your mind, heart and soul to it.

  7. Create your own opportunities. You can wait for opportunities to drop in life. Or, you can go out there and create your own opportunities. The latter is definite and much more empowering.

  8. Live more consciously each day. Stop sleepwalking through life. Your life is something to be experienced, not coasted through.

  9. Be committed to your growth. In the Map of Consciousness, there are 17 levels of consciousness – from Shame to Enlightenment. The higher level of consciousness you are in, the richer your life experience. Achieving higher consciousness comes from your commitment to growth.

  10. Know your inner self. This means knowing who you are and what you represent. Be clear of your personal identity.


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  11. Discover your life purpose. Set the mission statement for your life; one that will drive you to life your life to the fullest.

  12. Live in alignment with your purpose. What can you start doing immediately that will let you live 100% in alignment with your purpose? How can you live true to your purpose within every context/situation/environment you are in, every second of the day?

  13. Set your life commandments. Define your personal commandments to live your best life. What adages and principles do you want to follow in your life?

  14. Discover your values. Values are the essence of what makes you, you. Read article #11: Discover Your Values in Personal Excellence Book (Volume 1) on the importance of values, my values and how you can create your own.

  15. Hold yourself to the highest conduct. Every one of us have our own set of ethics, principles and moral codes. Live true to them every day. Also, live in full alignment with your purpose (#11), commandments (#13) and values (#14).

  16. Design your ideal life. What is your ideal life? Design it. First, assess your life at the moment via the life wheel. Then, ask yourself what it takes to live a 10/10 life (in all 10 areas – career, health, love, social, etc…). What is the life that will make you the best person you can ever be? Set your BHAGs – big, hairy and audacious goals! There are no limits in life – only those you set for yourself!

  17. Stop putting life on hold. Are you putting any parts of your life on hold? What is one area of your life you have been putting off/avoiding/denying? Uncover it and start working on it.

  18. Create your life handbook. Your life handbook is your life-long personal manual to live your best life – from your mission statement, your values, your long-term goals, short-term goals, personal strengths, blind spots to address, plans, among others. Create your book first then build on from there.

  19. Set your goals. After you design your ideal life, set your 5-year, 3-year and 1-year goals. The more specific your goals, the better! Read the 10 principles on how to get winning goals.


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  20. Take action on your goals and dreams. Create an action plan with your strategy, plan and immediate next steps. ESPER: 7-part Goal Achievement series is a great tool to get you started.

  21. Create your bucket list, i.e. things to do before you die. Then, get out to achieve them.

  22. Don’t do things for the sake of doing them. Always evaluate what you’re doing and only do it if there is meaning behind them. Don’t be afraid to quit the things that don’t serve your path.

  23. Do the things you love, because life is too precious to spend it doing anything else. If you don’t enjoy something, then don’t do it. Spend your time and energy on things that bring you fulfillment and happiness.

  24. Discover your passion in life. What sets you on fire? Go out there (and explore inward) to know what you love to do.

  25. Make your passion a full-fledged career. Then, start pursuing it. Stop working in a job you are passionless toward. Quit your job when you are ready to do it full-time.

  26. Turn your passion into a huge success. Turn your passion into a multi-million dollar business. Better yet, make it a multi-billion dollar one.

  27. Learn from criticism. Be open to criticism but don’t be affected by it. Criticism is meant to help you be a better person. Learn from it.

  28. Be positive. Is the glass half empty or half full? How about neither? It’s actually all-full – the bottom half is water, the top half is air. It’s all a matter of perception. Take on empowering perceptions, not those that bind you. If you can see the positive sides of every thing, you’ll be able to live a much richer life than others. Purge unnecessary negativity from your life.


  29. Don’t badmouth other people. If there’s anything you don’t like about someone, say it to him/her in the face – otherwise, don’t say it at all. It’s not nice to do that.

  30. Be empathetic. If everyone only see life from his/her own perspective, we’ll forever be close-minded and insular. See things from others’ shoes.

  31. Be a compassionate person. Show compassion and kindness to everyone around you

  32. Develop 100% self-belief. Believe in yourself and your abilities. Remove your limiting beliefs and replace them with empowering ones (In Days 26-27 of Be a Better Me in 30 Days Program, you identify your limiting beliefs and replace them with empowering ones). If you don’t believe in yourself, how can you expect others to believe in you?

  33. Let go of unhappy past. This means past grievances, heartbreaks, sadness, disappointments, etc.

  34. Forgive those who may have done you wrong in the past. “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and realize it was you.” – Lewis B. Smedes

  35. Let go of attachments. Don’t fixate yourself with a certain status, fame, wealth or material possessions. These are impermanent and will ultimately disappear one day when you die. Focus on growing and living life to the fullest instead.

  36. Let go of relationships that do not serve you. That means negative people, dishonest people, people who don’t respect you, people are overly critical and relationships that prevent you from growing.

  37. Spend more time with people who enable you. Hang out with people who you compatible with, like-minded people, people who are positive, successful, strong achievers and positive for your growth. You are after all the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.


  38. Build genuine, authentic connections with people around you – strangers, friends, family, colleagues, business partners, customers/clients, etc. Spend more time to know them better and foster stronger connections.

  39. Connect with an old friend. There is no end to the number of friends you can have. Reach out to people from the past.

  40. Do a kind deed a day. What is something you can do today that will make the world a better place? Go and do it.

  41. Help other people who are in need. Voluntarism is one outlet. You can also start with your friends and family.

  42. Help people when they least expect it, without reason. You don’t need any reason to help others. Do it because you want to. Share the love with everyone.

  43. Go dating (if you’re single).

    Dating

  44. Fall in love:D

  45. Review your life. Set a weekly review session to assess how you are doing for your goals and your life. Review your purpose once every 3-6 months too so you know you’re on the right path.

  46. Overcome procrastination. Procrastination is a huge waste of your time (and your life). Get rid of it once and for all.

  47. 30 minutes a day. Set aside at least 30 minutes every day to work on a quadrant 2 goal that, when you achieve it, will bring about the biggest source of fulfillment and happiness in your life

  48. Get out there and make new friends – whether in your workplace, online, friends’ friends, social groups, etc. Read: 10 Tips To Make New Friends

  49. Make deeper connections. Beyond making new friends, aim to make deeper connections out of them. Read: How To Have More Best Friends in Life

  50. Be your advisor (from the future). Imagine you’re the future you, 5 years later. How would you advise yourself? Write it down. Now, apply them. Check out Future Prediction Exercise article in Personal Excellence Book (Volume 1), which teaches you to predict your future, then learn from it.

  51. Write a letter to your future self. Actually, write 3 letters – for yourself in 1, 3 and 5 years. The longer the letters, the better. Envision how you’ll be like in the future. Make each letter a minimum 2 pages long. Now, seal them and put them in a safe place. Set it in your calendar so you’ll know to open them when it’s time. This will inspire you to work your hardest and achieve your maximum results in the time period.


  52. Declutter. Start from your computer, then your table, your room, your bag/wallet, and your home. The more you throw the unwanted and old stuff away, the more room you’re creating for new things to enter.

  53. Keep learning. There is something to learn from everything you see, hear and experience. This includes your mistakes and past misshaps (if any). Learn to interpret each event objectively. Focus on what you can learn from it so you can apply them moving forward.

  54. Keep developing yourself. Equip yourself with a huge breadth of knowledge. Learn different skills, pick up different hobbies, study different fields.

  55. Keep upgrading yourself. Equip yourself with a huge depth of knowledge. While you can usually only level up to 99 in video games, in real life you can level up to infinity. Go for further studies if need be. Develop your skills. Level up. Build your >10,000 hours in each skill.

  56. Try new things. What’s something you’d normally not do? Get out of your comfort zone try something different. It can be something simple like taking a new bus route, trying a new food item, picking up a new hobby, or something bigger like studying a different field, picking a new skill, traveling to a country you’ll never visit, etc. You set your own limits.

  57. Get yourself out there. This applies for everything. (a) Get out there geographically. Go out, travel and explore the world. Set sail into the sea. Go backpacking by yourself and visit as many countries as possible. Get on a road trip and visit the different places that come out. (B) Get out there situationally. Stop sticking to routines and comfort zones. Try something different. (c) Get out there in life. Stop watching TV and living vicariously through the TV characters. Go and live the life of your dreams.

  58. Be the absolute best in what you do. Go for the #1 position in what you do. If you want to spend your time doing something, you might as well be the best in it. Strive for the best – you don’t deserve anything lesser than that.

  59. Don’t settle. In the same lines as #58, don’t settle for less. Don’t settle for someone you don’t like as your partner. Don’t settle for a job you don’t like #25). Don’t settle for friends who make you feel like a lesser person (#37). Don’t settle for a weight you are unhappy with. Go for what you really want.

  60. Stretch yourself. What are you doing now? How can you achieve more? Set bigger goals. Explore your limits and break them.

  61. Embrace new ideas. Don’t mentally limit yourself; Let your mind be a breeding ground for new ideas. Read: 25 Brainstorming Techniques.


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  62. Create your inspirational haven. Turn your room into a place you love. Do the same for your work desk. Get rid of things that make you unproductive. Surround it with things that inspire you and trigger you to action. Read more: How To Create An Inspiring Room

  63. Behave as your ideal self will. All of us have an ideal vision of who we want to be. How is your ideal self like? How can you start to be that ideal self now?

  64. Set your role models in life. With role models, you become much better than you can be by yourself. I personally am inspired by Tyra Banks (for her passion for helping women build their self-esteem and changing notions of beauty), Ivanka Trump (for her success, intellect and beauty), Donald Trump (for his success and drive in life), Oprah (for being who she is), Lady Gaga (for her talent and not being afraid to be different), and many more. Seeing them and what they do reminds me of what I can be and what I can do, so they drive me on to greater heights.

  65. Get mentors and/or coaches. There’s no faster way to improve than to have someone work with you on your goals. Not only will they drive you to achieve more for yourself, they’ll also share with you important advice which you can use to create even more success for yourself. Many of my clients approach me to coach them and the net result: they achieve significantly more progress and results in their life than if they had worked alone.

  66. Uncover your blind spots. The more you uncover, the more you grow, the better you become.

  67. Increase your consciousness. The more conscious you are, the more evolved you become.

  68. Ask for feedback. As much as we try to uncover our blind spots(#66), there will be areas we cannot identify. Asking for feedback gives us an additional perspective. Some people to approach will be friends, family, colleagues, boss, or even acquaintances, since they will have no preset bias and can give their feedback objectively. Day 19 of Be a Better Me in 30 Days Program: Get Feedback From Others is about getting feedback from others so as to uncover our blind spots.

  69. Generate passive income. Create passive income streams so your income is not tied to the time you spend on your work. Of course you’ll still continue to work, but only because you want to and not because you have to.

  70. Help others live their best lives. There is no better way to grow than to help others grow. Ultimately, the world is one. We are all in this together.

  71. Get married / Start your family / Have kids!

  72. Improve the world. There are many things in the world that need your attention and help. Poverty. Disaster recovery. Illiteracy. Children in need. Depleting rainforests. Animal rescue. Endangered species. How can you do your part?


  73. Spearhead a humanitarian cause/organization you are passionate about.

  74. Give more value than you receive. There is so much unspeakable joy that comes from giving. And when you keep giving, you’ll find that you actually receive a lot more in return, in spades.

  75. Be big picture focus. You can either set your eyes on the big things or get hung up by the nitty gritty details. The former will help you get a lot more out of life than the latter. Focus on the big rocks in life and put first things first (Quadrant 2 tasks). Practice the 80/20 rule – focus on the 20% things that give you the 80% fulfillment in life.

  76. Be clear of your end objective. What is the end goal you seek? Is what you’re doing bringing you there? If not, put it aside. As long as you keep taking on things that meet your end goal, you’ll eventually reach there.

  77. Go the 80/20 route. For every goal you have, there are different paths to achieve it. Pick out the 80/20 path, i.e. the most effective path that brings you there the fastest with least amount of effort.

  78. Prioritize (80/20 actions). As you embark on the 80/20 path for your goals, focus on the important tasks and cut out the less important ones. That means do the 20% actions that give you the 80% results.

  79. Live in the moment. Are your thoughts wandering around all the time? Calm your mind down. Be present. The only time you’re ever living is in this moment. Meditation helps to remove mental clutter.

  80. Relish in the little moments. Snuggling under warm covers on a rainy day. Ice cream on a hot day. A kiss with your loved one. Being with your best friend. A walk by the park. The breeze on your face. Quiet, alone time. Watching the sun rise/set. Soak in all these little moments of life. They are what make up your life.

  81. Take a break. Being the best also requires you to take breaks when needed. Make sure you rest when needed. Doing so lets you walk the longer mile ahead.

  82. Stop wanting things a certain way. I wrote a 3-part series before on the downsides of perfectionism and how to overcome them. Be firm on your end goals (your objective goals) and your ideals, but let go of the fixation that things have to be a certain way. You’ll realize it’s by doing that that you achieve what you want.

    Overcoming Perfectionism Image ©

  83. Focus on creation. Think about what you can bring to the world, and create that.

  84. Don’t criticize or judge others. Respect others for who they are.

  85. The only person you can change is yourself. Stop expecting others to behave in a certain way. Rather than demand that others around you change, focus on changing yourself. You’ll be happier and live a more fulfilling life this way.

  86. Embrace gratitude. Be grateful for everything you have today, and everything you will get in the future.

  87. Express gratitude. Let the people who’ve touched you know of your gratitude toward them. You’ll be surprised what a little act like this can do. If you don’t tell them, they’ll never know.

  88. Let loose and have fun. Sing at the top of your lungs. Dance in the rain. :D Run barefoot and feel the ground underneath your feet. Release of your self-imposed shackles and be free :D.

  89. Get into nature. Many of us live in concrete jungles. Soak in the beauty of nature.

  90. You have a choice. Recognize you always have a choice in how to live your life.

  91. Laugh more. :D Are you reading this with a straight face? Smile and have fun :D.

  92. Embrace change. The only thing that’s constant is change. Change means growth. Rather than resist change, learn to versatile such that you can make the best out of the changes that come. In fact, become an agent of change.

  93. Be more risk-inclined. Don’t be afraid to take risks. The bigger your risks, the bigger your return.

  94. Embrace mistakes. The more mistakes you make, the faster you learn. Make sure to draw lessons so you can build on them. (#53)

  95. Embrace disappointments. Many people try to avoid feeling disappointed. They develop a resistant relationship with disappointment. However, disappointment is part and parcel of being human – it reflects your real passions. Don’t resist it – instead, embrace it. Understand it, then channel into it to create more in life. Read: How To Overcome Disappointment (4-part series)


  96. Challenge your fears. All of us have fears. Fear of uncertainty, fear of public speaking, fear of risk… All our fears keep us in the same position and prevent us from growing. Rather than avoid your fears, recognize they are the compass for growth. Address and overcome them. Read: How To Overcome Fear (3-Part Series).

  97. Maximize your mind, body, heart and soul. Living your best life requires you to maximize yourself mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. If you’re highly successful, very materially abundant, have a big circle of friends, very spiritually aware but you neglect your physical health, that’s not living your life to the fullest. The same for other scenarios where a part of you is blocked off. Maximize all 4 aspects of you.

  98. Be your best self. Essentially all the articles here at Personal Excellence are about being your best self and achieving your highest potential. It’s only through being the best we can be that we live our life to the fullest. This is why the motto of the site is “Be your best self, Live your best life“.

  99. Love yourself. You are the person you have to live with for the rest with your life. Treasure and love yourself. :)

  100. Love others. Be grateful for all the people around you because they help you to grow. They enrich your life experience. Without them, your life would not have been the same.

  101. Last but not least: Love life. I always find living to be a fascinating experience. How we’re all on earth, with millions of species, 30,000 different life forms, over 7 billion people, and all thriving in its own way, existing, co-existing and in co-creation mode. There’s so much we don’t know out there, so much

Winning On Purpose.

“The purpose of life is a life of purpose.”
– Inspirational quote by Robert Byrne –

“Each of us has a fire in our heart for something. It’s our goal in life to find it and keep it.”

We do indeed hold a special something inside us all – a special something that is unique to each of us. That special something gives our lives a sense of meaning and direction. That special something inspires us, excites us and makes us feel alive. That special something is capable of taking us anywhere we have ever dreamed of going and making our lives the exciting adventures they should be.

“Where your talents and the needs of the world cross lies your calling.”
– Quotation about purpose by Aristotle –

What is this “special something” we are talking about here? It is your purpose in life – the thing or things you were born to do.

“Every calling is great when greatly pursued.”
– Inspirational quote by Oliver Wendell Holmes

Every one of us possess a variety of talents, interests and gifts that are decidedly unique in nature. The most successful people in the world have always been those individuals that discovered their purpose in life – then pursued that purpose like their very lives depended on it. These self made champions took those things they loved to do, those activities that they loved so much that they would gladly do them for free, and then fashioned a lifetime of achievement around them. These winners learned how to win “on purpose” and so must we if we’re going to start making our dreams come true.

“The great thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving.”
– Inspirational quote by Oliver Wendell Holmes –

What about you? Have you too tapped into your purpose? Are you living the life you’ve always imagined, filled with happiness, excitement and fulfillment? You can still unleash the immense potential stored inside of you and ignite a spark that can take your life to unimagined heights, when you start living your life with purpose — passionately pursuing those special things that turn you on and turn you loose. By simply following your heart, you can easily identify your purpose in life.

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

It is never too late or too early to discover your distinctive purpose in life. Finding your true purpose or calling is a simple process, yet we are often so busy doing what we have to do that we leave precious little time to do those things we love to do. Instead of living the lives we love and loving the lives we live, we all too often needlessly put our hopes, dreams and aspirations on the back burner as we wage life’s daily battles.

“Each of our acts makes a statement as to our purpose

In order to live the life you were destined to live, you must find your unique niche in life – and then fill it. Simply put, you need to identify what you love to do and then find a way to make it your life’s work.

“There are two great days in a person’s life – the day we are born and the day we discover why.”

Regardless of whether you know it or not, you have already uncovered your purpose in life. Yes, you have! After all, deep down inside you hold a special something that brings a smile to your face, a skip to your step and a song to your heart, don’t you? Come on, isn’t there one or two things that turbo-charge you with emotion and make you feel happy and fulfilled? Absolutely! This is your purpose calling out to you, begging for the chance to make your life the exciting adventure it can be.

“Success demands singleness of purpose.”

Your life’s adventure, where your fondest dreams can come true, begins the moment you take that bold first step and fulfill your purpose. You have a beautiful song inside of yourself that desperately needs to be sung. It’s your turn – and your time – to live the life you have longed to live every day since your birth. You have now arrived and your future awaits. Mother Theresa advised us, “Life is a promise. Fulfill it.” Indeed we must.

Og Mandini, once said “I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain, not to shrink to a grain of sand. Henceforth will I apply all my efforts to become the highest mountain of all and I will strain my potential until it cries for mercy.”

When you decide once and for all to boldly step up and forcefully rededicate yourself to a lifetime of winning, you will reawaken and unleash that powerful purpose inside of you. You can turn your life around. You can start living life on your terms. You can have anything and everything you have ever dreamed of having. Yes, you can – when you start winning on purpose. Your new life, a positively charged life where there are no longer any limits on how far you can go and how high you can fly, begins right here and right now.

Cheryl Young SIDNEY MEETUP WOMENS NETWORKING www.sidneymeetup.com

Workplace Gossip

Discover how high performance leaders can stop workplace gossip in its tracks.

Have you ever tried going seven days without talking about another person, period? Try it, but don’t be surprised if you can’t get past the first hour without finding yourself talking about someone who isn’t a part of the conversation!

Most of us intuitively realize that people who are gossips, do not have an inner world that is healthy and rich. Do you get, that if someone is a workplace gossip, it is because they feel insecure/inadequate and/or have a low sense of self-worth and are desperate to find some way of feeling better about themselves. Contrast this with a person why shys away from gossip … these people are too busy focusing being the best they can, on making their personal dent in the universe.

Think of someone you know who seems to stay away from workplace gossip.

  • Would you say that that person is fairly secure within their own self?

  • Is this a person who seems to have a good sense of their own self?

  • Is this person quite successful?

  • Do others look upon him or her with high regard and is s/he well liked?

  • Is this a happy person?

Contrast that with a person who is a known workplace gossip.

  • Does this person seem to constantly try to find fault with others to make him or herself look better?

  • Is this person well liked and trusted?

  • Is the vibe around this person pleasant or unpleasant?

  • Do you think this is a happy person?

Workplace Gossip Causes Lack of Trust in a Relationship

Gossipmongers aren’t trusted. I bet you’ve caught yourself wondering, as you walk away from a gossiper: “I wonder what s/he says about me when I’m not around?”

workplace gossip

Every great relationship is built upon a foundation of trust, reliability, honour and integrity.

As a leader you are responsible for developing healthy relationships, both with your direct reports, your colleagues and your senior leaders. Involving yourself in workplace gossip is a surefire way to undermine your credibility as a person and as a leader.

So as tempting as it is to talk about others … STOP IT! It doesn’t serve you or them.

Gossip Stops Performance Improvement

A big problem, when you take part in workplace gossip, is that you are telling the wrong person. Invariably you are telling a person who can’t improve the performance.

Gossiping may make you feel good in the moment, (you got some frustration off your chest) but it doesn’t really make the issue go away, does it? Nor does it build powerful performance!

If your workplace is filled with gossip, you can almost guarantee that it is under-performing.

Gossip is one of the greatest causes of distrust and consequently under-performance in any business.

What sets high performance leaders apart from others is that they:

  • Accept responsibility for developing healthy relationships.

  • Always goes directly to the person with whom they have an issue and discusses it.

  • Is focused on getting the relationship and the performance back on track fast.

High Performance Leaders Teach Others How To Resolve Issues In A Safe Way

As a leader, it is not your role to be a sounding board for complaining and gossip in the workplace … nor to solve people’s issues for them. Rather, it is your role to coach and guide people to resolve their issues with others quickly and successfully.

Allowing People To Complain To You Encourages Under-Performance.

Here is an example of one of the skills you will learn in the “Influence Your Way To Success ebook. (Purchase Influence Your Way to Success or get it free as a member of the Align-Lead-Inspire Club)

Imagine Mary is complaining to you about something Jim has done.

A High Performance Leader would ask a question such as: “Are you telling me this so I can coach you in how to work through this problem with Jim, or shall we find him so we can all discuss it together?”

Do this in a supportive way: your intent being to develop the skills within your team so that issues are resolved quickly – not to punish, nor to let issues bubble and fester until they turn into volcanic proportions.

If the person’s response is, “No I just want to vent”, then your response could be something along the lines of “Look, that doesn’t serve you, me or Jim, I’m happy to work with you to find some solutions you could take to Jim and discuss, but I don’t want to get caught up in venting sessions”.

When you do this consistently, your people will know that they can trust you. That you won’t talk about them unless they are present. It will be one of the greatest acts of leadership that you can do – also one of the most unusual!

There are two things you want to be aware of when listening to workplace gossip:

  1. You are hearing the other person’s rule book, (for members only … join today) their interpretations, prejudices, biases and fears etc. You don’t know what other events have passed between Jim and Mary that may have caused Mary to be complaining to you about Jim.

  2. Once you have listened to Mary’s gossip, you may now have been contaminated about Jim – even if you didn’t want to be. Some part of you may believe the gossip – and you may very well start to look for those negative traits in Jim and find them!

What Type Of Leader and Person Are You?

You will be able to find a lot of well-justified reasons for gossiping (or whatever name you want to call it), however if you are truly dedicated to High-Performance, then ask yourself:

  • “Is this gossip bringing out the best in me, the best in the person I am gossiping to and the best in the person we are gossiping about?”

  • “How much more powerful will I be if I speak only with integrity?”

  • “How much stronger will I lead when I choose to not listen to gossip?”

In the Moment Of Choice (members only … join today) you need to decide who am I? Am I a Message or a Warning? (members only … join today)

What To Do When You Find Yourself Involved in Workplace Gossip

Should you find yourself talking negatively about someone else, forgive yourself your humanity – none of us are perfect. However, be mindful to own your part of the story. Maybe you could say something like:

“I know this is unhealthy and I am gossiping, I am stepping out of my integrity but I just need to vent. Can you listen to me and then offer me an alternative viewpoint or help me to develop a strategy so I can raise my concerns with the other person in a more constructive way.”

Truthfully though, the best advice is: keep your mouth closed until you can find a way to speak about the other person, no matter what they have done, in a way that honors both yourself and the other person.

The question I constantly ask myself when I find I’m fuming about someone is “If I am being the best possible version of myself, what positive things would I look for in this person and what would I do in this moment?”

Admittedly at times that can be very, challenging, particularly if someone has done something that is hurtful or very annoying. However, the definition of unconditional love is to “look through the eyes of your higher source and find the good”. It’s always there – just sometimes buried underneath the gunk that is life and which causes us to sometimes behave in ways that isn’t us being at our best.

And asking a question like this doesn’t meant that you give in/give up. It simply starts to put you in a mindset where you can set the tone and vibe of any conversation/interaction you might have with this person, that will lead to positive result …. rather than an escalation of the problems.

Gossip in the Workplace Awareness Activity

  1. How do you justify in your own mind the reason you are discussing someone’s behaviour with another person?

  2. How do you respond when someone starts gossiping to you?

  3. What is your intent in gossiping? To bring someone else down, (consequently making you feel superior/better) or to resolve the situation?

  4. How does workplace gossip affect your relationships with others?

  5. What do you think of people who gossip to you? Do you trust them?

  6. As you gossip about another person ask yourself, what poison am I spreading? What will this person now think of the person I am gossiping about?

  7. How do you feel after you have gossiped about someone?

  8. List the reasons why it feels good to gossip about others. Are these reasons like chocolate or chips – feel good but not the healthiest of choices?

Commitments – Five Tips to Make and Keep Them

By Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, PhD

Have you wondered what sets the highly successful people ahead of others? One key factor is keeping commitments.

It is astonishing that 90% of the world’s problems result from people failing to keep their commitments. Heads of state, CEO’s, family members and friends, every missed goal or uncompleted task can be traced back to someone not keeping their end of the bargain.

We all make commitments every day. Some seem small and insignificant-agreed upon time to meet, a promise to run an errand or a promise to follow-up. Others are ostensibly bigger and more important-a formal contract or legal document, etc. It is important to consider all commitments equally important, because this is the way trust is built and maintained. A person’s reputation is built upon their ability to make and keep commitments. Your life will work better when commitments are carefully made and diligently kept.

There are five key factors in making and keeping commitments.

o All Commitments Are Important: When you agree to do something-do it as agreed. When you agree to meet someone, be there on time. When you fail to keep a commitment you fail yourself first and the other person second.

o Be Careful What You Agree To: Many people find it easier to say yes instead of no. It is far better to agree to what you can do, than saying yes to please someone at the moment and later fail your commitment because of being over-committed or because you have difficulty saying no.

o Manage Your Commitments: Keep a log of your commitments-Write them down. You may have great intentions, but if you forget to do what you agreed to do, the result is the same as your ‘Choosing’ not to keep your commitment.

o Renegotiate When You Are Unable to Keep Your Commitment: When you discover you are unable or unwilling to complete an agreement, go to the other party/parties and renegotiate.

o Manage By Agreement: Instead of telling someone to do something, ask if they would agree to doing it and by when. You have a greater chance it will get done if you ask rather than tell.

By paying careful attention to the commitments you make, tracking them and developing the habit of keeping all your commitments you will be known as a person of integrity. Your life and the world around you work in direct proportion to the quality of your commitments.

Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, PhD, author, motivatinal speaker, and inspirational leader specializes in: Mind, Body, Spirit healing and Physical/Sexual Abuse Prevention and Recovery. Dr. Neddermeyer empowers people to view life’s challenges as an opportunity for Personal/Professional Growth and Spiritual Awakening. http://www.drdorothy.net

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