Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Your Work… Is It the Right Work for You?

Filed under: Attitude,Belief,Comfort Zone,Networking — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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Recently, after presenting my “10 Commitments of Networking” talk to a networking group, I was talking to a networker who told me that she subscribes to this blog and reads every article, but no matter what she does, nothing seems to work. I asked her if she loved what she did. The answer was an emphatic, “No!”

No wonder networking was not working for her!

I hate my jobSo… the question is, if you don’t love what you do, how can you be successful at it and how do you expect to make networking work for you? People can tell. They can look at you and know that you don’t believe in what you do. It’s nearly impossible to be successful if your thinking about your work is off track.

It’s tough to go to work every day when you hate it, but don’t tell the world – especially on social media, because the wrong person is probably going to see what you posted. Keep it to yourself as you look for something better. You don’t want to lose your job before you start looking for a new one. Do your best to make the job work while you are there.

Get ready to leave. Don’t obviously pack your bags and head for the door, but lay the groundwork for your departure. When you do find better work, leave gracefully, giving at least a two weeks notice and never mention to them that you hated your job. Companies check references. They ask about previous employers in interviews and what you say really does matter.

The truth is, you are only limited by what you think about most of the time. What you think about and speak about, you bring about. If you do not love what you do, most likely that is what your mind is focused on. You’re stuck! It’s like your foot is nailed to the floor. You dug the hole with your stinkin’ thinking! Now it’s time to get the heck out of the hole. That means getting out of your discomfort zone.

If you think you cannot find a better line of work… you’re right! You can look and pray for a new opportunity, however you must be intent upon actively “looking” for something new. It rarely just drops into your lap. Be honest. Figure out if it’s you or the job that’s making your life miserable.

Some will say that you could network for a new job. I agree. However, a definite change in your attitude about yourself and your job must come first. You will be surprised how much of a difference that will make. Never talk about how you hate your job, and don’t lead with the fact that you are looking. Ask questions about them, if you like what you hear you may say something like, “If you hear of anything like that opening up, I’d love to to know about it!” and go from there.

I do not feel sorry for people who stay stuck because they are the cause of the problem and only they get do something about it.

Read the following quote by Steve Jobs several times. (That means: More than once!). 😉 Print it and put it on your mirror as a reminder to find work that you love and that provides a worthwhile service to others – work that you can love and be proud of. Then watch what happens!

YourWork:SteveJobs

“People often stay in jobs they don’t like because they don’t realize what else they can do,” says Maggie Mistal, a career consultant, radio host and speaker. “They haven’t taken the time to identify what makes them happy or where their talents lie. They haven’t clarified their values and thought about how they’d like to use their abilities to make a difference and align their work with their purpose. Too often people assume work is supposed to be a chore so they don’t even look for anything other than that when embarking on a career.”

Still stuck? You’ve got some work to do! Get busy!

BONUS Article: Pay Attention to What You’re Thinking About

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Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. Adapted from Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Networking 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 “Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James” and receive a fresh networking article or tip every 4th day by e-mail. Click on the “Email Subscription” link on the right under the “search” box. You can unsubscribe anytime!

commentSubscribe 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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Monday, May 27, 2013

Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone

Filed under: Comfort Zone,Networking Events — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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Donna Fisher, Guest Author

Every year thousands of events are held in cities all across the country, giving people the opportunity to network. By attending a conference or convention of your industry you place yourself in a fertile networking environment. That experience can be fun, productive, and valuable or it can be uncomfortable, unproductive, and time-consuming. It’s all up to you — how well you prepare for and conduct yourself at the event.

netEVENTPreparation for a Networking Event

Learn everything you can about the event — activities, attendees, schedule, etc. Then determine what will make you feel comfortable: Should you go with someone you know who’s also attending? Is it appropriate to bring a friend, associate, or client? Would it be more profitable for you to be an attendee or an exhibitor?

Identify the People You Want to Visit

A convention is a great opportunity to strengthen existing relationships and expand your network. Think about who will likely be there and make a mental note of the new contacts and reconnections you want to make.

exchangeBusCardsParticipation at a Networking Event

• Get Involved One way to put yourself at ease is to give yourself something to do. Volunteering not only gives you a job to do, but gets you involved and naturally connects you with other volunteers and participants.

• Focus on Others Rather than worrying about what you’re going to say, focus on what others are saying. When you have your attention on something or someone other than yourself, your self-consciousness will disappear and others will be more likely to remember and appreciate you.

• Listen and Gather Information Good conversationalists know the importance of listening. It conveys a natural interest in others and enables you to be more aware of what to say and talk about in order to keep the conversation flowing.

• Use People’s Names Pay attention as people introduce themselves so that you can address them by name during the current conversation and increase chances of remembering their name at a later date.

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More info click cover!

• Move on Graciously A networking event is a place to meet and mingle. Yet, people often feel uncomfortable ending a conversation so they can mingle and talk with others. Just be gracious, with a closing comment such as “Nice to meet you. Have a good afternoon.” “Good luck with your new venture.”

• Exchange Business Cards Business cards are best exchanged when there’s some stated reason to do so, such as “I’ll call about scheduling a time to get together for lunch” or “Give me a card and I’ll send that information to you tomorrow.”

• Relax, Have Fun and Enjoy Yourself People often get uptight about attending networking events because they feel they have to find a new prospect, make a sale, or accomplish some significant goal. Networking is meant to be fun. Relax. The more at ease you feel, the more likely it is you’ll make some good solid contacts. The goal shouldn’t be the quantity of interactions, but the quality.

There are possibilities all around you — people are just waiting for someone to break the ice. That someone could be you!

DonnaFisherCopyright 2013 – Donna Fisher – Reprinted with permission. Donna Fisher, CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), is a professional speaker, trainer and author of Power Networking: 59 Secrets for Personal & Professional Success. She teaches people skills essential for business success. For further information: www.DonnaFisher.com or 800-934-9675.

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netHQLarry 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
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Think Faster…

Filed under: Attitude,Change,Comfort Zone — Larry James @ 8:00 am

It is a waste of time and rather discouraging to continue to network if you are not having success with how you are doing it.

What do I mean when I say, “Think faster?”

STOPIt’s simple. Be quick to analyze what isn’t working when you network! Then stop doing it and do something different. This means getting out of your comfort zone. Stop making excuses! It means changing how you react and how you respond to others in your network. If what you’re doing isn’t working, perhaps it’s because you believe you don’t deserve it. Time for an attitude adjustment.

So many people I know go to networking meetings and events nearly every day of the week. They keep going hoping that something will change and someone will buy their product or service and maybe give them a business lead. They spend lots of time and energy doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. Some say that is the definition of insanity. I agree. The real cost in terms of time, stress and frustration is usually much more than simply admitting that an incorrect choice was made and that it needs to be fixed.

They expend more effort – which only saps their energy – on what is not working or they make attempts to justify their action as the only correct way of networking. In such a situation, what they need most is flexibility. Never get stuck with only one viewpoint. Try out as many perspectives as you can if you intend on being flexible. People who fail at flexibility are usually afraid to fail and to change. They don’t realize that change is the engine of fulfillment.

We all need to learn to think faster when we are in a networking conversation. Think on your feet. It about improv. Adapting to any given situation that arises and shifting the conversation to the direction you want it to go. Not like manipulation, but like a professional salesperson would to design a better outcome for everyone concerned. It must have direction and purpose. You may want to enroll in a class on improvisation.

“Using ‘yes… and’ can also help you direct a conversation to where you want it to go. Here’s an example: Your son says, “I hate my math teacher.” Instead of saying, “Well, that’s just silly” or, distractedly, “Aha,” and ending the conversation right there, you could say, “Yes, you hate your math teacher. And that reminds me of how much you hated your history teacher — until you started to love her. Remember? I mean, things can change, right?” ~ CNNLiving.com

Intuitive thought is usually the best way to keep the conversation going. Trust your intuition and its ability to bring to you the right thoughts at the right times. Sometimes you have to make it up as you keep going. Be careful not to say something that you will regret later. Always tell the truth. You must learn to trust your instinct. Be outrageous. Engage in positive reinforcement, not debate. You don’t have to prove yourself to be the smartest person in the room. Your brain does not have a speed limit. You just need to think faster and smarter.

A great business network is crucial for your career and business success. Even though most of us know this, we seldom spend enough time building and maintaining our network. You must have access to diverse networking skill sets.

Communication skills come with practice. It’s important to find common points of interest to talk about. What you say must add value to the conversation. You don’t have to say anything brilliant. You have to be brave, allow your inner voice to open up your mouth and speak encouraging words; not the same old stuff you’ve been saying that isn’t working. It takes practice. Lots of it. You don’t have to be the smartest, wittiest or brightest star in the room to make your mark. While some people naturally exude qualities that help them stand out in a crowd, making an impact on someone is a skill that is learned.

thePastLet go of the stuff that doesn’t work. Let it remain in the past.

You will learn from your mistakes AND that is HOW you learn. Do your best to tune your intuition so that you make perceptive leaps of logic to get where you want to be. Engage is new ideas and different perspectives that move each conversation you have with other networkers forward. Have a balanced conversation. Anyone who’s been on the silent end of a one-sided conversation knows how unpleasant it is, so be sure not to monopolize things. Think fast. Be interested and interesting. Ask questions to learn what your contact cares about. People become interested in you as a result of your interest in them.

“Be like a farmer. He prepares the soil for months before ever planting the seeds. He tends the seedlings with care, feeding and watering them regularly, putting up a scarecrow to keep pesky birds away. It’s a long, drawn-out process to go from seeding a field to harvesting the crops. There’s no quick return.” ~ Ivan Misner

May I have your attention please? Success isn’t just about how long or how hard you work – it’s about what you work at; it’s about working smart and knowing when something you are doing in business networking isn’t working. To succeed, you need to let other people help you. You can never get there by schmoozing, selling yourself and sucking up to people. That’s why the first rule in business networking is building relationships. Business networking doesn’t happen by itself. The kind of support you get from a network of support is immeasurable. That’s working smart.

Be flexible – if what you’re doing isn’t working, do something different. If you want something wonderful to happen as you network, you will have to do something different, and continue to vary your behaviors until you get the result you really want. It requires effort. It also requires you to think faster at discovering that you MUST do something different.

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Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. Adapted from 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
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://www.AuthorsandSpeakerNetwork.wordpress.com/

Monday, April 2, 2012

Want Networking Success? Get Out of Your Comfort Zone!

Filed under: Comfort Zone,Networking — Larry James @ 7:00 am

Playing it safe and avoiding any risk has never worked for me. There is no greater time to buck traditions and move outside your comfort zone than now. Your comfort zone is that psychological place you retreat to so you can feel comfortable in an otherwise uncomfortable situation you may be faced with.

For me, safe is boring. Where there is lack of challenge, there is usually very little opportunity. We need challenges to help us grow – to help us maintain the energy to keep going. If you want to be successful at business networking you must put yourself out there. By that I mean to do things that are important to networking success even when it feels uncomfortable. Raise your own bar. Be brave.

You begin by learning the subtle necessities of business networking. Next put what you have learned to use. Dare to do something different the next time to attend a networking meeting or event.

If you dread approaching others and engaging them in conversation at events, Neil Munz-Jones, author of “The Reluctant Networker” has a way around that. “The best way to find people to talk to at an event is to be a guest speaker,” he says. “Find a subject on which you are an expert and offer to speak. Organizers are always looking for speakers and it is a great way to raise your profile. For some of you that puts you waaaay out of your comfort zone. (Review the image above!) That’s where the networking magic happens!

No time to be shy when networking. Face your fear and NEVER take counsel from your fears. Be what I call a “glad-hander” – someone who is not afraid to walk up to a total stranger and begin a conversation. Look for and approach the person standing alone. (Note: If you ARE the person standing alone… “Snap out of it!” That will get you nowhere!) If you notice something special about the person you are approaching, begin with a compliment. Smile. (By the way, a smile or a simple “hello” is a brilliant icebreaker.)

risktakerIntroduce yourself and begin asking about “their” business, not talking about yours. The one asking the questions is in control of the conversation. Ask lots of questions. Search for what you have in common with them. See if you can discover a way to be helpful to them in their business. Remember: Small talk is how we learn about our common interests, experiences and connections.

Effective networkers spend as much time helping others as being helped. Always be on the lookout for ways you can help your contacts such as interesting articles, people for them to meet and more. It feels good to help others and you never know when they will return the favor.

“If you want to make a positive memorable impression, treat people like people not like prospects!” ~ Susan RoAne

Be a “giver” and/or a connector. When you focus on “giving” and being helpful to others, the “getting” will come later… and it will usually come in unexpected ways. Be generous with your giving. Networking is about building relationships with people who will be happy to tell others about who you are and what you do.

The simple act of introducing several people to each other or giving a testimonial about someone and their services to someone that you are unable to help will cause people to remember you. Explain who this person is, what they do, and something about them personally that the other person might be interested in. All of these acts allow you to focus on the “other” and grows your social capital in the group.

Be a committed listener – someone who truly pays attention to what’s going on in the conversation. Focus. Don’t let anything distract you. Spend more time listening than talking.

Walsh“It’s imperative that you understand when your time is up,” says Mark Jeffries, author of “What’s Up With Your Handshake?” “You win in the social world if you ‘release people first,’ so if you see a slow crossing of the arms, an increase in the amount of time they’re looking over your shoulder, or a sudden obsession with the word ‘anyway,’ they are giving you not-so-subtle hints that they’d like to move on. Say what you have to say and then graciously release them. It adds to your influence and it helps you sell without selling!”

Next… it’s time to expand your comfort zone. Not doing so will cripple your networking success. To help you expand your comfort zone, you must learn to expand the comfort level of your mind. Putting your fame of mind within the correct context to help you grow as a person is key to expanding your comfort level. To do this you must look within yourself and identify your fears and learn to deal with them. Feel the fear and do it anyway! You must get out of your comfort zone to achieve great things in business networking.

“You must set aside your fears and any social reluctance in order to connect with other people. It takes boldness to reach out and introduce yourself to people of greater power and influence than yourself – people who might be able to help you accomplish your career and business goals. Heck, I think it takes a certain amount of boldness to talk to strangers. And that is just what you need to do.” ~ Kathy McAfee

Now, it’s time to get to work. Like my friend, Jerry, once said, “Don’t back off in the curves!” Green lights and straight ahead!

You begin by showing up at networking meetings and events and always finish by following up!

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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
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://www.AuthorsandSpeakerNetwork.wordpress.com/

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