Choose Your Attitude

Have you ever read Attitude is Everything?

It serves as a constant reminder to me that I get to choose who I am and how I feel. Too often society tells us to blame someone or something for our lot in life. “It’s the economy”, “my mom was mean”, “cold calling doesn’t work”, “if only my employee’s worked harder and longer”, “”If only my prospects and clients would ___________”(I could fill in that black with a few dozen excuses) “If traffic wasn’t so bad I could see more prospects”, Positive or best of all “Everyone around me is negative, it’s hard not to be”. All of these excuses play on our attitude. So, what to do?

  1. Choose to be optimistic. Jack Canfield, in his book The Success Principles, calls it “inverse paranoia”.  Simply put, believe that the world is out to do good for you and you for it. The sky is not falling, your boss doesn’t hate you, customers WANT to buy, etc. This comes with creating the habit of starting every day with a decision to have a positive mental attitude or a foundation. A positive attitude should drive your beliefs, behaviors and ultimately dictate your outcomes.

  2. Believe that people are your strongest resource and source of accomplishment. Technology puts us into our cubes, walking with our head down, our nose in phone, picking up our devices instead of engaging with the world around us. We were created to be a community and to interact. Most people inherently want to do good and help one another. Find your allies, invest in them and shed the negative people.

  3. Know that your past does not dictate your future. Whether you’re overcoming a bad childhood or overcoming a streak of ineffective cold calling, you get to decide where to go next. Get the help you need to get better. But you need to chose to do it!  Help comes in many forms and from many sources. Especially if you BELIEVE that the world is out to do you good...you inverse paranoid!

  4. Fear nothing! Do you remember when you were little and afraid of the dark or what was under your bed? Silly when you look back on it, right? Well it’s mostly the same with today’s fears; there’s usually not much to be afraid of. It’s the games we play in our head, it’s the irrationality of our imagination. Folks, I’ve made hundreds of cold calls and door knocks and I still have all my teeth. If I had a nickle for every “No” I’ve heard, I’d be retired. Shed the fear and replace it with persistence.

  5. Act as if! What does that mean? A great mentor of mine, Joe Murzanski used to tell me; “Jim, act as if you have a million dollars in your pocket, that you haven’t a care in the world and that you have the solution to your customer’s problems” (at the time I sold advertising for the Tribune Company’s spanish language papers). That bit of advice allowed me to not worry about closing out of desperation because I told myself I wasn’t desperate, and it also gave me great confidence in what I sold. As my customers businesses were positively impacted and their sales rose, I only became more emboldened to sell more. The result was, 4 consecutive years of award winning highest production in both revenue and column inches sold.

The bottom line is, as Dr. Charles Stanley said, I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me, and 90 percent how I react to it.

And so it is with you... We are in charge of our attitudes.


Facilitating Powerful Networking Events

Facilitating Powerful Networking Events

After facilitating high-level networking groups for a decade, I must say, I LOVE THEM. Why, because I control the environment to ensure success. That might sound arrogant or "controlling" but it's not, it's what's needed.

A few tips about running great networking events are:

1. Facilitate your own so you can set the tone.

I run lunches that have 8 members that come every month.
Each member commits, on a contract, to be there every month with a decision maker level or deeply networked guest. We spend 1.5 hours in a highly structured but fun environment getting to know one another's business. And before I close the lunch, I ask EVERY attendee to publicly announce with whom they can help and how.

I've personally generated Hundreds of Thousands of dollars from these events over the years.

2. Host as few drinking events as you can.

I always tell my clients that they need to understand, "networking is work. It's not net-drinking, it's networking!" These events rarely result in a return on the investment of time and effort. If you’re going to have one, host it as a party more than a networking event.

Having said that, a nice structured dinner and wine event from time to time is always nice for those clients/contacts that will appreciate them.

3. Be picky about who attends.

There is not always strength in numbers. I recommend “purposeful networking”. Think about who you want to invite and then scrub your network to find purposeful guests. This is an instant winner for your attendees and sets you apart as a force in the networking world.


 

A few tips when attending an event.

4. Have a plan before the event.

With whom do you want to spend time? Recruiters, business owners, accountants, etc. Be purposeful about how you execute your plan by focusing your time on the right people that you can help and that can help you.

5. Go to give.

Don't go with the mindset of "I'm going to find business today". Instead, go with a determination to enhance others networks by making strong connections. This mentality will set you apart from many at the event. And I guarantee, if you go with that mindset, business will come and you will not be disappointed.

6. Understand that networking is not a leads group.

Many people attend events with skewed expectations. Networking is about identifying strong likable people to whom you want to open your network and who want to reciprocate for you. This can take a follow-up call, a personal 1:1 meeting and a concerted effort to identify and introduce people to one another. Expecting to get business by dealing out 50 business cards will only set you up to frown upon networking. It doesn’t work!

7. Don't give up too easily.

Unrealistic expectations lead to disappointment, disappointment often leads to giving up. If you plan to join a group, be picky. Once you find one that makes sense, make a commitment to give it all you have for a year.

8. Offer solutions, don't point fingers.

We've all been to bad events. If you have a suggestion to make one better, talk to the facilitator. If they are real networkers, they will appreciate the input. If not, go build your own with best practices.

9. Track your Return on Investment.

I recommend to my clients and I insist for my members to track the ROI. Return on Investment or Results, Outcome, Impact. Sometimes connections add value in other ways than the bottom line. They find you a new office space, a deal on furniture or travel, etc. ROI may not be just dollars.  But if you add up your financial investment in a group, the time you spend, measured at a reasonable rate and then you run the numbers for a year, you BETTER be getting an ROI. If not, stop it, and find something that works. Like starting your own group and then running it like a machine.

As you can probably tell, I am deeply passionate about networking and the powerful impact that it can have. Being a coach and the co-founder of @revenue, www.atRevenue.com, I’m happy to talk more about my passion for making networking work for you.


Leadership 4 Musts For An Effective One-On-One Meeting

Leadership 4 Musts For An Effective One-On-One Meeting

I’m often asked to coach leaders on the art of conducting a powerful one-on-one meeting.

One-on-one's are extremely important. They offer the leader/coach an opportunity to very specifically address the needs of each person on their team.  It also gives permission to the employee/coachee to be open and honest both in a safe environment that avoids putting him/her in a vulnerable position with other teammates. Look at it this way, we all have strengths and weaknesses, but do we all want them addressed in public? Of course not. So one-on-one meetings are important in today’s work world.

  1. A disciplined schedule for one-on-one's is critical. A recurring event should exist in both parties calendars and it should be held as sacred as any other appointment. DON'T CANCEL! If you, a leader, cancels, misses or minimizes the importance of the one-on-one, the employee will feel it. It's like being stood up on date night when you're 18. When the recurring time is not honored, there are hurt feelings coupled with short and long-term negative impact. However, When done properly, one-on-one's give confidence, build deep relationships and positively impact culture and revenue.
  2. A productive one-on-one meeting looks almost the same every time. There should be high accountability to expectations that are scored on a consistent scale (1-5 for example) with clearly documented next steps that both parties agree to do before the next one-on-one. And then on the next one-on-one, review documented changes and repeat! A very clear picture is painted of an employee and managers committed to getting better and contributing more if the benchmark is clearly communicated and accountability is in place.
  3. Leave time for digging into each person. We’re all wired differently and what is important to them and you vary from month to month. For instance, If your employee just had a baby you want time to see how that’s impacting your employee. Both personally and professionally. Their productivity, attendance (if needed in the office), attitude, etc. may be impacted and therefore impacting the business. This may affect expectations, requirements, etc.  Another necessary component is to dig into a person's head-trash (which is what I call the garbage we all carry around that often times impacts our willingness or ability to do our work effectively).
  4. Whether your role is a leader or a brand new hire in the mailroom, at the conclusion of every one-on-one the following question should be humbly asked by both parties and the answer humbly received. "Is there anything you would like to see me start doing, stop doing, do more of or less of?” This question will almost always expose a nugget or two that will help your organization strive. Listen to the answer, take action and get to your revenue.

Quotes from this article are featured in this ebook and this great article on O'Reilly's.com