Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Reinvent Yourself!

Many people who talk about reinventing yourself are talking about reinventing your business. I’d like to point out that the biggest percentage of those who come to me with a business problem do, in fact, need to reinvent their business, but first they fail to see that they need to reinvent themselves from the inside out first.

One of the most powerful and challenging crossroads is where personal and business sometimes collides. When your business is not working like you know it should, it’s time to take an honest look at yourself instead of blaming the market, your spouse, your boss, etc. Problems at home? Start there if you want business to work better. You’ve heard it before and I will say it again, your overall attitude about how your life is going has an enormous effect on how your business progresses.

NET-ReInventReinvention is easier said than done! Reinventing yourself can be exciting and scary and seldom ever smooth, but rewarding beyond what you can imagine.

“What would it be like to start living the life you’d love to live, and becoming the person who belongs in that life?” ~ Sharon Good

Most people just need a swift kick in the pants to get their attention. To be a driving force in business, you must first determine what it takes to propel your potential forward. That’s you. Not your business. There are so many things in our personal lives that affect nearly every aspect of the business side of things. Getting those things under control in your personal life gives you more choices and more control over your business interests.

For example: I spoke recently to a friend who was having trouble following up with clients who had already shown an interest in her business. To me, that’s a transaction that is about to be made. When I asked her what made her feel that way, she said she could never be sure how they were going to react or what they might say, etc., etc. “I feel like I am soliciting.” That’s because when you are selling your product or service, you are soliciting their business. Realizing that you cannot predict or control what others might say or do, you only need to move forward and follow-up regardless. A lack of effective follow-up is, in my opinion, one of the biggest mistakes salespeople make.

It is the possibility of failure – the anticipation of failure – that paralyses action and becomes the primary reason for failure and ineffective problem solving. The real problem is working past the fear and accepting that for you to make the sale, you have to ask for the order! Time to muster up some courage. True courage isn’t about not feeling fear; it’s about feeling fear and doing what needs to be done in spite what or how you feel.

When you have your act together in your personal life, you can very quickly begin to realize that you can maximize the benefits of what you have learned because the path you take to complete recovery affects the direction your business will grow.

Remember, we are talking about reinventing yourself from the “inside out” first. When you do that you begin to make some noise in business that will arouse interest in what you are doing business wise. You will notice small increments of positive change that can often baffle your competition. You feel better about yourself. You pay closer attention to your customers and clients and your business begins to blossom. It recharges your creativity. You let go of fear or anything else that keeps you stuck which creates a space for the unknown to work its magic. Staying stuck dims your sparkle. You discover new ways of being, sometimes on your own and often with a coach.

“Anger and negative emotions of all kinds are dependent upon blame for their very existence. As soon as you stop blaming other people for what has happened and take responsibility for the future, your negative emotions cease, your mind becomes calm and clear, and you begin to make better decisions.” ~ Brian Tracy

butterflyTake a break and get your life together! You are sure to emerge all charged up and ready for whatever is next.

Every person faces the challenges of quickly moving from what they are now to what they need to become to be competitive. Focusing on getting your personal act together can accelerate change, the single most important strategic weapon for business success.

I know from personal experience that when people and new ideas all come together, business can move further, faster. The time you invest in your own personal growth goes from a cost of doing business to something that can transform your entire business perspective.

Your company’s greatest strategic resource is you. To move up in the world you must make sure that your company sees progress in you and that not only will you do a better job for them, but you will empower others along the way and even surpass their expectations.

Sometimes your eureka moment is when you give up a stance – “I can do this by myself. I don’t need any help!” – and try something new like giving up having to be right! We often struggle with limiting beliefs or stories about ourselves that hold us back from trying new things. It’s important to take control of who we will become or risk never reaching our full potential.

You have the power to solve whatever challenges you are facing. Believe me. You do. And… you may need to ask for help! There is no shame is asking for assistance when you need it. Every business person should have several close friends, confidents, that they can go to for help. Having that kind of network of support is important to put together before you need it.

Things may happen around you and things may happen to you, but the only things that really count are the things that happen within you.

BONUS Articles: Making the Networking Follow-Up Call
How to Be a Red Ferrari in a Sea of Silver Cars
Feeling Like A Fraud? Stop Self Sabotage With This Unexpected Technique!
Don’t Push! – Pull

netHQCopyright © 2015 – 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!”

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

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/
Visit Larry James on LinkedIn
Follow Larry’s Networking on Facebook: https://www.Facebook.com/NetworkingHeadquarters/timeline
Follow Larry’s Networking Pinterest Page @ http://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/networking-blog/!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Overcome Social Anxiety with the 3-Second Rule

Shy people… pay attention. This idea could put your career on fast forward. If you are someone who is reluctant to meet and talk to new people you meet at networking events, you must stop hanging out on the sidelines and begin making small talk with the people you meet. Do you see yourself as awkward, self-conscious, insecure and bumbling? Okay! Now is the time to get in the game and play!

SocialAnxietyNETWhat is social anxiety? With no intention to over simplify it, social anxiety is basically the fear of interaction with other people that brings on self-consciousness, feelings of being negatively judged and evaluated, and, as a result, leads to avoidance. People who suffer from social anxiety disorders have a fear they will act in an embarrassing way or their anxiety will manifest outward in a fashion that will bring attention to them.

Learning to relax in social situations such as networking events is the key. Once you feel more calm socially, then thoughts like: “What do I say next?” disappear. It doesn’t matter how you feel or whether you’re blushing or sweating in a social situation, here is another key to overcoming social anxiety when networking: “Avoid the stress by making the decision to go up to the person you want to talk with within 3 seconds!” You must actually speak up.

Seek out social situations where your intention is to meet and talk with a few new people.

social-anxietycartoon“Remember, the more we avoid something, the more we send the message to the unconscious mind that: “This is dangerous, that is why I am avoiding it.” So your mind, trying to be helpful, builds up the fear (of what it is you’re avoiding) even more.” ~ Mark Tyrrell

Over at Live Your Legend, Scott Dinsmore gives 32 tips for attending large events. His 3-second rule is great if you have trouble approaching strangers:

When you see someone interesting to talk to, you have three seconds to walk up and say hello. Wait longer and you’ll either overthink it and screw it up or overthink it and never approach. Not sure what to say? It doesn’t matter. Anything is better than nothing, because it takes you from being a no-name in a sea of faces to being an actual person with a story (who had the courage to say hello). If it’s someone you’ve always wanted to meet, you’ll at least be able to open by thanking them for their work and how it’s impacted you.

Be sure to read, “32 Ways to Easily Befriend Strangers at Live Events (& how an introvert met 70 people in 12 hours)” @ www.LiveYourLegend.net

Larry’s NOTE: A special “Thank you” to Scott Dimsmore for introducing me to “The 3-Second Rule.”

BONUS Article: Networking Relationships Begin With “Hello!”
Don’t be a Networking Wallflower
Networking for Introverts – Video
Working a Room If You’re SHY – No Pills Required

netHQ

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.

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/
Visit Larry James on LinkedIn

Friday, April 4, 2014

Don’t be a Networking Wallflower

Filed under: Overcoming Fear,Self-Image,Shyness — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: , , ,

If networking is to work for you… there is no time to be shy! It’s a social phobia you cannot afford!

WasllflowerWallflowers can blossom even in networking meetings. Some adults are truly crippled by timidity. They blend in with the wall. Others I call, “shy extroverts.” They are the shy people who push ahead and even though they may be a little fearful or anxious, make themselves known by masking their shyness by putting their hand out there, offering a firm handshake, and introducing themselves to strangers. Many are anxious because they are afraid they won’t meet expectations of others in some way. At extremes, anxiety can cause palpitations, excessive sweating and an occasional panic attack.

The networking jitters when you are on wallflower duty can cause your nervous system to ruin your career. Put yourself out there. This seems obvious – the best way to meet people is to actively seek places out where you can meet people! Here are a few tips that may help.

Stop saying your are shy! That is the recommended first step. It’s debilitating and often causes the situation to be more negative than it really is. You must change your mantra. Recite positive messages to yourself before engaging in situations you dread. See yourself being calm and in control.

Take a moment to look at yourself. Do you look like someone who others would like to meet? Some professionals recommend that you Wear brighter clothes by brightening up your wardrobe.

Remember to breathe. Take an oxygen break. Taking deep, measured breaths before you enter the networking meeting or event can help you to literally calm your nerves long enough to stay focused and in control. I recommend breathing in your your nose and out through your mouth. Breathing this way has a calming effect because it short-circuits your brain and causes you to think about something other than what you’re nervous about.

One of the most important aspects of shyness and social phobia is to focus your attention outward… not on yourself. Always be interested and interesting by paying attention to others. If you see something or someone that you can compliment sincerely, say so.

Look for others that may be standing on the sidelines. Dare to strike up a conversation with them. Most likely they will welcome the company. Share a few personal things about yourself, e.g., hobbies or something interesting that you have done, etc. Avoid controversial political issues or your resent divorce. Such topics are too emotionally charged to make for productive small talk. Need some ammunition? Be up on local issues or the latest score of the Arizona Diamondback game.

My friend, Susan RoAne, another networking professional and author of “How to Work a Room” says, “I’ve heard so many people denigrate small talk but small talk is how we learn about the little things that help us decide whether or not we want to pursue a relationship with someone.” Small talk often results in bid rewards.

Begin the conversation by asking questions. “How may I help you?” is a good one to ask after you’ve commented on the hors d’oeuvers and introduced yourself. Be more assertive and be approachable. Always wear your best smile. People tend to avoid people with a sour expression on their face.

What do you do in your personal life to bolster your confidence? You can overcome shyness. The quickest way is to feel the fear and do it anyway! Join Toastmasters or enroll in the Dale Carnegie course. That will help you to come out of your shell and be more at ease.

BONUS Articles: “How Can I Help You?”
Do You Fade Into the Wall?
Networking for Introverts – Video
How Will They Remember You?

Larry’s NOTE: A special “Thank you” to Lisa Cahn for contributing ideas to this article.

netHQ

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.

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/

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Networking How-to: Overcome Fear and Just Be Yourself

Filed under: Fear,Guest Author Articles,Overcoming Fear — Larry James @ 8:30 am
Tags: , , ,

Kathy McAfee, Guest Author

Last week I had lunch with Allison, who is a member of my referral network team. We had seen each other at three team meetings over the past year or so, but we really didn’t know each other very well. I set a goal in 2013 that I was going to have a one-on-one networking meeting with each member of this important professional group. I have systematically worked my way through the roster and Allison was my last meeting. It’s been so rewarding that I think I’ll start from the beginning again.

F-E-A-RI have given similar advice to people who serve on nonprofit boards. Don’t just show up at meetings and do the work of the board. You need to make the effort to get to know each member of the board by sharing a one-on-one networking coffee, lunch or dinner. In addition to contributing your talent and lending your social capital to benefit the mission of the nonprofit organization, you benefit by building meaningful connections with influential people in the community.

Don’t personalize it

To my surprise, Allison told me that she was shy by nature and that in the past, she would get pretty worked up before going to large networking events. She shared with me the feeling that she had as she sat in her car in the parking lot of the event, “I would rather die than go inside and network.”

I asked Allison how she overcame her reluctance and fear of networking. She shared that it all got better for her when she realized that it’s not personal. “Everyone is in the same boat; everyone feels a similar level of anxiety about networking.” With that perspective, she was able to find her inner strength, get out of the car, and walk into the business networking event.

Understand their values and motivations

When networking Allison spends her energy talking with people and trying to learn about their values and motivations; what matters to them. These may not be questions you should start with right away, especially after meeting people for the first time. But, you can ask “what do you do in your free time? What was the last book you read?” to learn about what makes them tick.

Check out these more interesting questions that you can use at networking events- conversation starters.

In networking, people will often express their values and motivations indirectly to you by the things that they share and how they treat other people. Learning what is important to people (i.e., their values) and why they do what they do (i.e., their motivations) can give you a terrific platform to connect with them.

Be still

People often think that they have to be charismatic, outgoing and expressive at networking events. That can be quite scary and exhausting for people who are shy by nature or have an introspective personality type. The good news is that you don’t have to constantly be on the entertainment committee to be successful in networking.

Being still when you network means that you are not constantly moving, thinking, doing. You have freed yourself from the burden of multitasking. If you have five minutes before the meeting starts or your contact arrives, you are not busing yourself with emails, phone calls and other activity that gives you a temporary sense of productivity and self-importance.

You are still, in mind and body. You observe without judgment. You check in with your body to see what is going on inside of you. You are aware of your breathing. This state of stillness is a powerful place to be, and it will result in better networking connections for you.

You might also try what Allison does when she networks. She shared her secret with me: “If you look for what other people value and then communicate with them in a way that they understand, you will generally be successful with them.” She also told me, with some relief, “You don’t have to do all the talking yourself.” “You can be quiet, listen and be still. In fact, these are some of the most powerful things you can do when you network.”

BEyourselfBe yourself

During lunch, Allison expressed in interest in learning more about me. “Who is Kathy McAfee?” she asked me. All I could say is “I am.”

This may come as a surprise to many of you to know me as the professional who teaches other professionals how to perfect their pitch. I could have given her a compelling thirty-second elevator pitch that would position me and my business so clearly that she’d know exactly who to recommend me to. But I wasn’t in the mood to put on a show. I just wanted to be myself and to let this connection and this moment play out naturally.

As a result, my networking lunch with Allison was an inspiring and energizing moment that naturally yielded new opportunities. We connected, really connected. And we did so without having to be on our best behavior or presenting some kind of marketing illusion of success and brilliance. I wish all my networking encounters were this easy, natural and gratifying.

Be present

What does it mean to simply say “I am”? It means that you free yourself from your labels, objects and other forms that your ego has convinced you is your self-identity.

I remember once getting let go from my job as Vice President of Marketing Services. For weeks, I walked around in a cloud of confusion, unsure of who I really was. For so many years, I had identified myself as “Vice President of Marketing Services” and nothing more. Once that was gone, I didn’t have anything. My identity was lost. I had no value… or so I thought.

Eckhart Tolle, whose written work I am absorbed in right now, has an insightful passage in his book, “A New Earth,” that could easily be applied to business networking.

”You are most powerful, most effective, when you are completely yourself. But don’t try to be yourself. That’s another role. It’s called ‘natural, spontaneous me.’ As soon as you are trying to be this or that, you are playing a role. ‘Just be yourself’ is good advice, but it can also be misleading.” (page 108)

NetAhead

Click book for info!

“Give up on defining yourself – to yourself or to others. You won’t die. You will come to life. And don’t be concerned with how others define you. When they define you, they are limiting themselves, so it’s their problem. Whenever you interact with people, don’t be there primarily as a function or a role, but as a field of conscious Presence.” (page 109)

“In essence, you are neither inferior nor superior to anyone. True self-esteem and true humility arise out of that realization. In the eyes of the ego, self-esteem and humility are contradictory. In truth, they are one and the same.” (page 109)

Your Networking Goal for the Week

When you are networking with people this week and they ask you, “Who are you?” or “Tell me about yourself,” I want you to answer them “I am me.” That’s it. Take a deep breath and allow yourself to share yourself without the guard rails up. Trust that whatever comes up is meant to be and is perfect just the way it is. Your words are not you. Your title is not you. Your possessions are not you. Your life circumstance is not you. You are you. And you are perfect just the way you are. Share that when you next network.

kathyCopyright 2013 – Kathy McAfee. Kathy McAfee is America’s Marketing Motivator and author of the book, “Networking Ahead for Business.” In her role as an Executive Presentation Coach and Motivational Speaker, Kathy helps her clients become the recognized leaders in their field by mastering the arts of high engagement presentations and more effective networking. Learn more at her Website: MarketingMotivator.net and NetworkingAhead.com.

ljspacer

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.

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/

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.