Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Skinny on The Spirit of “NetworthLessness”

Filed under: Guest Author Articles,Networking Tip — Larry James @ 8:00 am
Tags:

Susan RoAne, Guest Author

“Networthless”, an amalgam word, was featured in a recent Sprit Magazine’s Business Dictionary . It was created from network, net worth and worthless and, I’ll admit, is clever in a wordsmithy way. Thanks to author and speaker, Joanne Black, for bringing it to my attention.

chalkboardNails on a Networking Chalkboard

As I read the definitions and “usage” I could hear and feel nails scraping on a chalk board. The definitions: 1. Lacking in networking value 2. A term used to describe a conversation at a convention or conference that yields no career benefit. Really??? The spirit and concept of “you never know” networking/serendipity/chance encounters play an important role in professional and personal endeavors. Who among us has not had an chance encounter and what seemed to be a casual conversation, yield an unexpected reward?

Pejoratively Speaking

The example of usage was even more irksome to this lifelong connector and networker who wrote one of the classics: The Secrets of Savvy Networking. “Skillful opportunists avoid networthless encounters…”

For those who doubt the rewards of casual, even irrelevant conversation, watch The Big Kahuna with Kevin Spacey and Danny DeVito.

The Opportunist of a Lifetime

A number of years ago a colleague and I attended a San Francisco business event and met an impeccably dressed and accessorized perfectly pleasant fellow, He held a PH.D and intended to expand his consulting into the business arena and world of professional speaking.

After several encounters, my friend concluded he was an opportunist. Over the years, I’ve read in the society pages about his trajectory in San Francisco social circles via two subsequent (opportunistic) marriages. My friend nailed his intentions and networking methods and more importantly, his character.

However, there are those who create, see, seize and SHARE opportunities. They are an inspiration and I featured them in How To Create Your Own Luck. But, there are those whom we know to be opportunists; a pejorative and richly deserved term to describe those who MUST see an immediate benefit in all they do. They are the people who give “networking” a bad name.

My question about this term “networthless” is: How do you know the long range effect of an interaction?

More to the point: How can you predict the worth of something you chose to avoid?

HowtoworkaroomCopyright 2011 – Susan RoAne – Reprinted with permission. Susan RoAne is the leading authority and original expert on how to work a room. She is a speaker and author who has worked trade shows, conventions, planes, and the bleachers at Wrigley Field, and taught others to do the same. Her latest book, How to Create Your Own Luck: The You Never Know Approach to Networking, Taking Chances, and Opening Yourself to Opportunity, is out and her other books include How to Work a Room and The Secrets of Savvy Networking. To learn more call 415-239-2224. For further information: www.SusanRoAne.com, or e-mail @: Susan@SusanRoAne.com

netHQLarry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: Larry James, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Sunday, March 25, 2012

5 Deadly Mistakes to Avoid When Answering the Question, “What Do You Do?”

Filed under: Networking — Larry James @ 7:00 am
Tags:

Sue Clement, Guest Author

Is your networking… NOT working? Are you attending plenty of events, both social and the typical business events, but just don’t seem to get much of a response or make solid contacts – you know, those connections that lead to referrals and prospects showing interest in what you do?

Chances are the trouble lies in how you’re answering the typical “What do you do?” question. It seems that you can’t go anywhere without being asked that question. Perhaps you’ve come to dread even answering it or you just mumble some quick response.

whatdoyoudoYou’re probably committing one or more of the five deadly sins that can transform your answer to the question “What do you do?” into a missed opportunity!

Don’t feel too bad. You’re far from alone. But if you’d like to get better results from networking, keep reading to see if you’re guilty of any of these five deadly networking introduction mistakes. Here they are…

1. Being too literal – using your label

The most common mistake in answering that “What do you do?” question is to just say your label – job or position title. So you might say, for example, that you’re a mortgage broker, a house painter, a consultant, an accountant and so on.

So what’s the problem with that? Isn’t that what you are? Well, sure, you and a few thousand others in your city. Which makes it all too easy to clump you in with the featureless competition, and that’s not good. You want to make sure people perceive your uniqueness, yet unless you differentiate yourself, that’s not going to happen.

And that’s not all. Most people will likely think to themselves, “Do I need that service?” And if they don’t, they’ll dismiss you as not being important.

There’s also room for misunderstandings, especially if they’re not familiar with the label you use, such as spinal care practitioner or color consultant. As well, they can make assumptions based on past experiences which may not reflect positively on your services.

2. Describe what you do… in detail!

The next deadly mistake is to describe what you DO – in detail. Again, being a bit too literal as you outline your process and all the nitty-gritty. It might be interesting to you that you have a 27-step process to help your clients, but now is not the time to share that information. Because guess what? They don’t really care!

So instead of listening, they’ll start backing away from you while looking for someone more interesting to talk to. Remember, people don’t buy what you DO – they buy what they NEED – the solution to their problem.

InsiderSecrets

To order, click book cover!

3. Being too sales-y

The third deadly mistake is to be too sales-y! This happens all too often. When someone displays even a polite interest, you could easily misinterpret that interest as a sales opportunity and try to sell your new contact on your services. You might do that, for example, by giving out brochures or invitations to your showroom, pushing to get an appointment or making special offers. I’ve even had someone go so far as to say “What would it take to get you to sign on the dotted line right now?” Yikes!!

This is not going to work! Instead, they feel like you’re putting a bulls-eye on them and use them for target practice! People will back away and avoid you like the plague. And you’ll have missed a chance to engage them in a meaningful conversation – one that may have lead to a sale or referral.

4. Being too vague about whom you work with

Some people believe that if they make their ideal target clients broad enough, they’ll have more prospects & more sales. That’s just not the case!

If you’re not clear or too vague about WHO your services are for, i.e., anyone who breathes and will pay you, you’re not going to attract anyone because no one will feel spoken to. Trying to attract everyone – will usually get you no one.

Unless people know exactly who your product or services are for, they’ll be confused and you won’t get referrals or attract prospects to you.

5. You don’t communicate the key problems you solve

If you don’t focus on your potential clients’ needs and can’t communicate clearly the key problems you solve as well as the benefits of your services specifically, you won’t attract anyone.

People are looking for solutions and so it’s important you’re able to talk about your services in a solution-focused manner. They’re also looking for social proof – so make sure to have a few interesting client success stories you can share. This will help you be remembered and appear more credible.

Recognize yourself in any of these? Maybe you’re guilty of a few of these deadly networking introduction mistakes.

Since networking happens everywhere, it’s critical to be able to introduce yourself and talk about what you do in a compelling way in any situation – yes even standing in line at Starbucks!

So don’t think you can escape these mistakes by avoiding the typical business networking events. I’ve gotten clients and referrals in all sorts of situations: from walking Darby, my wire fox terrier, to waiting in line at Safeway to attending sporting events, social outings, and, of course, the typical business events. You see, networking is all about making connections, and having a powerful and compelling answer to “What do you do?” is the key to attracting prospects and referrals.

Copyright © 2012 – Sue Clement. A dynamic speaker, author, referral expert, and business coach Sue Clement is known for expediting business success. With over 30 years experience in management and sales, Sue brings a depth of real world experience to her clients and audiences. After building a local employment agency from concept into a multi-million dollar enterprise, she is no stranger to the challenges of owning a business and is an expert in marketing, sales and customer service. Sue is an advocate of building powerful networks to leverage one’s success. Visit her Website at: http://www.SueClement.com/

netHQLarry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. Larry James presents networking seminars nationally and offers Networking coaching; one-on-one or for your Networking Group! Invite Larry James to speak to your group! His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: Larry James, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Why Entrepreneurs Need To Network

Filed under: Networking Tip — Larry James @ 7:00 am
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Thom Singer, Guest Author

Growing a business can be an all encompassing experience. Many entrepreneurs put so much attention into their venture that they fail to honor the time to make, grow and keep their business relationships. The immediacy of issues surrounding funding, clients, employees, vendors, regulations, and product specifications leaves little space for things that do not scream traceable “ROI”.

There is much written about productivity and protecting time for leaders. Much of this advice involves identifying the purpose of every activity on the calendar. With limited hours in the day, and the intensity necessary to run a company it become easy for an entrepreneur to push the cultivation of relationships to a “nice to have” activity instead of a “must have activity”. While time is limited and precious, it is important for the entrepreneur to remember that all opportunities come from people. If you have the right network in place, most of the challenges faced will quickly be solved through a few well through out phone calls.

However, you cannot wait until you have a need to try to build a relationship. If the only time you show up at business events or place calls to those you already know is when you have need, you will find it difficult to get the responses you desire. Building a network takes time, and even in our fast paced digital world you cannot create a friendship through sending a LinkedIn request.

ThomSinger1

For info click book cover

The introductions made by those with whom you have established long-term and mutually beneficial relationships can instantly lead you to the right investor, lawyer, banker, accountant, or other vendor. It is through people that you can quickly find the necessary employee you need to hire to take your business to the next level. There are not short cuts to meaningful connections with people who know, like, and trust you and that understand your business.

Entrepreneurs sometimes make the mistake of only wanting to network with other entrepreneurs. CEO’s often seek out groups that only admit other CEO’s, but that can be very limiting. Another business owner will not tell you that they have the best receptionist or sales manager, for fear they may get lured away to other companies. Plus, you cannot grow and learn when everyone is just like you. There must be diversity in your network that includes not just race, religions, sex, and age. You must include diversity of job titles and industries in your network if you want there to be a variety of access to information.

Out of sight is out of mind. Even when you are busy launching the business or a new product you cannot disappear from your community. There will come a time when you will need other people, and you cannot expect people to be sitting around waiting for you to call. You must cultivate the connection always.

Copyright © 2012 -Thom Singer. Thom Singer is passionate about his philosophy of “Cooperative Significance” and shares his message via speaking, entrepreneurship, sales training, mentoring, consulting, and through his eight books on the power of business relationships, networking and presentation skills. He is also the president of NYP Speakers (A Division of New Year Publishing). He regularly speaks at conventions, conferences, law firm retreats, trade shows, company meetings and other events. He is the author of “Some Assembly Required: How to Make, Grow and Keep Your Business Relationships.” Visit Thom’s Website and Blog.

netHQ

Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: Larry James, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
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Saturday, March 17, 2012

“What’s in it for me?”

Filed under: Attitude,Change — Larry James @ 7:00 am

I hope this is not the attitude you have when you are networking!

Sadly, this is often the norm. Often typical of self-centered business people.

BrianTracySome say we live in a time when too many people ignore the wants and needs of others and instantly wonder about their own loss or gain in every situation.

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” ~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

That means catch yourself shrugging off another person at a networking event and make an effort to smile and say hello. If you give up on the attitude of “what’s in it for me,” and contribute… the entire dynamic changes.

Contribute means digging a little deeper than a smile and a hello; it means finding ways that you might be able to assist them in their struggle. It means opening up to the possibility that coming from a place of authenticity will ultimately be a great gift to yourself and all those you come into contact with.

I like to engage others at networking events with the attitude of “how can I use some of my experience and resources to help those who truly need help.” The result? More genuine friends to add to my network of support. To me that is what networking is truly about.

“Seek those whose first reaction is collaboration, not those whose first reaction is ‘what’s in it for me!'” – Thom Singer

Encourage others to jump on this bandwagon. When you reach out to others in a sincere effort to help, you both benefit from the encounter.

Engagement has to start before people become part of your network of support. Engagement needs to happen from the start of the potential relationship; it needs to happen as part of your intent to give assistance and to get involved.

Can you see how you both will quickly recognize the benefits being offered? People are cautious to the point that we are missing opportunities. A gentle shift in an attitude can swiftly change the relationship to one of collaboration.

It is your role to improve and innovate the networking experience, and to incite and encourage others to learn how networking can be done better.

That is what’s in it for you!

Larry’s Note: A special “thank you” to Marcia Mauskopf, Photographer, for posting the Brian Tracy quote on Facebook. It was the inspiration for this article!

netHQ

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. From the chapter, “Be Coachable!” in Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: Larry James, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Be Seen!

Filed under: Get Noticed,Networking Tip — Larry James @ 8:00 am

Don’t keep yourself a secret! Be seen – and heard! Put your fears aside, your intimidation in the closet, and your insecurities to rest. If you want to be successful in business networking, you must put yourself out there – be engaged. Get out of your comfort zone. Be genuinely interested in the people who are there. Smile and relax. Shake hands with people. Introduce yourself.

BEseenAll types of personalities – both introverted and extroverted – attend networking events. All it takes is good listening skills, good conversation, and the willingness to start building long-lasting business relationships. Feeling anxious, nervous, self-conscious, and exposed? Sorry, but you need to get over that. Proceed with confidence. My friend, Tom Hopkins says, “practice, drill and rehearse.” I say, “practice does not make you perfect, it makes you much better!”

There are several people that you always want to be sure to network with at an event: the speaker (if any), the event host/organizer, and the person doing registration and sign-in. Why? Because they see and usually know who is there and who it is important to hang out with. Make sure they know who you are – from the beginning of the event. Get involved. Participate.

“The physical act of walking into the event may be the hardest part, especially if you don’t know a soul. So take a deep breath, stand tall, and walk into the center of the room, rather than stopping just inside the door to clog traffic or bee-lining for a dark corner.” ~ Susan RoAne, author of “How to Work a Room

When you enter an event, never head straight for the bar, the buffet, or your seat. It’s best to eat before you arrive so you can devote all your time to making yourself known. By not eating you won’t talk with your mouth full. By not drinking alcohol, you won’t stumble over your words or end up with a lampshade on your head. Have a Pepsi. Hold it in your left hand so when you shake hands you won’t have to apologize for your cold hand. Image and how you present yourself is high on the list of things you must learn to manage when networking.

You must develop a strategy for being seen at networking events. Hang out by the door. Watch who enters. Read name tags. Look for people you have want to connect with. Do something to really stand out. To make an even bigger splash, offer to present at an event. Never be pushy or arrogant to be seen or be heard. Think outside the box. Demonstrating your creatively is often a good call.

standOUTIf given the opportunity to introduce yourself – do it with pizazz. Don’t be ordinary. Be extra-ordinary! Up the ante – jazz up your “30 second” connection. Focus on your Unique Selling Point (USP) – it is what sets you and your business — or you as an individual — apart from your competition. It can be an actual fact or a perceived difference or specialty. Every networker needs one.

“Observe people you consider to be good shmoozers. Note what behaviors are effective and try to add them to your skill set. The art here is to still be yourself at the same time. Think of it as an adjustment to your approach rather than a complete redo.” ~ Mark Meshulam

It is important to not sell your services or products or talk about them in an effort to be seen. Hmmm. Ignore this and you are on your way to becoming a nuisance. This turns people off. It’s the wrong kind of attention you want. The only thing you should be selling is yourself.

“My advice is to start networking to get noticed, but remember that (at first), no one cares about you. It’s a harsh reality but I’m willing to bet that aside from your family or significant other, no one–not your boss, colleagues or friends–are staying up late thinking, “I wonder how I can help Julie make more money, find new customers, grow her biz…” If you want it, you have to make it happen. ~ Bryan Elliott

Never go up to others at a networking and start talking of all your amazing achievements – you should be able to spin this through a conversation that ideally starts with a question. Learn to come across as intellectually curious in others. If you really want to call attention to yourself, ask other people a little bit about themselves… and really listen!

BONUS Article: Do You Have an Effective “30 Second Connection?”
Shy, eh? Get Over It!
At a Networking Event, BE the Host!

netHQ

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. From the chapter, “Be Coachable!” in Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: Larry James, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://www.AuthorsandSpeakerNetwork.wordpress.com/

Monday, March 5, 2012

When You are Coachable, Criticism Disappears!

Filed under: Coaching — Larry James @ 7:00 am

When you are a request for coaching, it doesn’t make any difference what people say. You can learn to roll with the punches. You can learn to let criticism roll off you like water off a duck’s back.

alphabetSoupThink about this. How do you react when people offer suggestions that differ from the way you feel about things? Many people react negatively. They turn off the other person by changing the subject or starting an argument about it. We sometimes call these suggestions criticism. No one likes to be criticized.

Often, the other person, in an attempt to make you feel better, may tell you that he or she is only offering “constructive” criticism to be helpful. We will hear them say something like, “I am only telling you this for your own good.” They mean well. Usually their criticism is not requested. In this context we seldom listen to and often become offended by criticism that wasn’t requested. Calling it “constructive” is a joke.

Let’s examine constructive criticism. Constructive is defined as “to build, improve or advance, resulting in a positive conclusion.” Sounds great, so far. Right? On the other hand, to criticize is to judge severely or to censure. To censure is to demonstrate an expression of disapproval. I have a question for you. How can you get a positive conclusion from an expression of disapproval?

Constructive criticism is only destructive. Those two words don’t belong together. There is no such thing as constructive criticism.

Let’s dispel this myth once and for all.

When someone criticizes you, or as we can now say, offers coaching, smile and give them a thoughtful, warm response. Thank them for sharing. The warmer your answer to their criticism, the more dignified you become. Be warm, be friendly and be non-defensive. When you are coachable you can learn to listen to someone elses extremely different point of view and know that you are perfectly okay and so are they. Unless you have made a commitment to be coachable this is not easy. Although your first reaction may be to disregard their criticism, when you are coachable, and especially if it is something you don’t want to hear, you will pay attention to it.

Keep in mind that what the other person says that you call criticism is only their assessment; only their opinion. Criticism is not personal. It is only the “stuff” of the person who criticizes. It doesn’t mean anything. It isn’t right or wrong. It is only their point of view. There is no right or wrong. There is only your perception of right or wrong and there are consequences.

It’s an attitude. It’s how you listen that makes the difference. It’s being open at the top. How can you expect to be contributed to if you are always listening to criticism as criticism? Here’s a “what if” for you. What if when someone offers “constructive criticism,” you could listen to it like it was assistance that you requested? Would that make a difference in your life? Of course. And, what if they were right? All we are saying here is don’t discount ideas, suggestions, criticism, advice and other people’s offers to help. If you do, you may miss an opportunity for constructive coaching.

When criticism shows up you get to listen to it anyway you want. Put aside your personal feelings and focus on what you find useful to you. You get to make the choice about whether you implement their “constructive criticism” or not. You may not accept what they say as truth and you may want to take a closer look at it. Play with the idea. If it works for you, use it. If not, discard it and move on to what’s next. When you are coachable, you listen to criticism like coaching. Doing this can change your perception of the way things appear. Criticism dies when there is no listening for it.

coachableYou don’t have to agree with everything your coaches say. I have found that in my own experience of coaching and being coachable, a good question to ask yourself is, “What if what they said worked?” What if they were right? Usually when I am confronted by what has been said, I know that the confrontation has hit a sore spot that needs my attention. I pay attention to that one even more.

Another truth is, some people love to criticize. Even when you are coachable, it is still often difficult to deal with people who are totally committed to being critical. Be strong. Be brave. You can do it.

Remember, all winners have coaches. If you are going to be successful at networking, you would be wise to get a coach. Be different. Be a winner. Have everyone show up as a coach for you. When you are coachable, coaches show up everywhere. When help comes from an unlikely source, be grateful. People who are coachable listen for opportunities to be coached. They listen to what people say like a quarterback listens to a coach – like what the coach says may make a difference in their game next week.

netHQ

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. From the chapter, “Be Coachable!” in Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: Larry James, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://www.AuthorsandSpeakerNetwork.wordpress.com/

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Finding Your Purpose by Living On Purpose

Filed under: Goals,What is Your Purpose? — Larry James @ 7:00 am
Tags: ,

Daniel Decker, Guest Author

Purpose is a curious thing isn’t it?

Bestselling books have been written about it, speeches and sermons are given regularly on it… yet… still millions of people continue to search for it.

ConfusedaboutPurposeWhy does it appear to be so elusive for some and so clear for others?

Personally I think it has more to do with how many of us look at or perceive Purpose to be.

In one of the small groups I was in a few years back we talked about Purpose a lot. One night everyone was asked about their Purpose and I was quite surprised by the answers. Most felt they had no clue of their purpose and as a result, were admittedly struggling with their feelings. When prodded a little more, many opened up and shared how they’d hear about others “finding their purpose” and wonder why they couldn’t seem to find theirs, at least with the same sort of clarity. They were frustrated. They desperately wanted to know their Purpose so they could determine if they were on the right track to fulfilling it, but not knowing (for sure) left them with more questions than answers.

Maybe you can relate?

It’s easy to try and put Purpose into a box, as if it has defined lines and is easily understood, but it’s not (at least for most of us). Yes, there are some people who knew from the time they were born that they they were meant to do – or become – or achieve – but for the majority of us, that just doesn’t appear to be the case.

Here’s where I think the problem really exists with Purpose.

It’s easy to look at your life and try to think that you have ONE grand purpose and try to seek it, but what if you don’t? What if you have multiple purposes and God simply wants you to live your life on Purpose in order to find your Purpose?

Let me unpack that a little…

I’m convinced that many of us get trapped by the pursuit of Purpose. We build it up as if it’s that one big thing that we are meant to achieve but I don’t think purpose is one big thing at all. I think Purpose is the sum of many little things that make up the whole of who we are, who we become, and what impact we are able to make in this world.

purposeWhat I see happen in too many people is that they become almost paralyzed by Purpose. They don’t “think” they know it so they just go through the motions, hoping that one day it will be revealed to them but I’m not sure that Purpose is like that. It’s not a treasure box buried in the woods that we go digging for.

I believe that Finding our Purpose starts by Living on Purpose.

It’s done by us choosing every day to make decisions that better us and better those around us. It’s revealed in deciding not to let fear hijack our potential. It’s saying no to the mediocrity that poisons who we can become and the contribution that we can make. Its recognizing that we are active participants in God’s plan, that we are all called, and that as a result we have a responsibility to step forward in faith, action and intentionality.

Don’t let another day go by merely seeking Purpose. Instead, make the choice to live your life on Purpose.

And, as my friend Jon Gordon says, “your purpose will then find you.”

That simple shift changes everything.

Larry’s Note: I agree! I wrote about “Purpose” at length in my book, “Ten Commitments of Networking” in the very first chapter, “Blueprint You Life!” I am continually amazed at people I meet at Networking Events who have no goals. Confusion about your purpose always causes confusion about setting goals. No wonder setting goals is so difficult for most people.

No purpose? No goals. – Know purpose! Know Goals!

For me, it’s just that simple. High achievers always know there purpose! If you life is on a crooked path… think about what Daniel has said.

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Daniel Decker

Copyright © 2012 – Daniel Decker. Reprinted with permission. Daniel Decker is President of Higher Level Group, Inc., a strategic marketing and development firm that helps authors, professional speakers, and organizations who are doing good (making a positive difference in the world) to expand their influence. Visit Daniel’s Website.

netHQLarry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. Larry James presents networking seminars nationally and offers Networking coaching; one-on-one or for your Networking Group! Invite Larry James to speak to your group! His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

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