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.

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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
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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.

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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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Monday, May 31, 2010

Shy, eh? Get Over It!

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

Are you standing on the sidelines at networking events simply watching the action, feeling too shy or unimportant to get in the game?

If you are afraid of talking to people, how do you think they feel about talking to you? Many of them are just as afraid of you as you are of them. Afraid that you might ask them to step outside their comfort zone.

Business networking is all about creating rapport with others in the business world, the process involves direct interaction between people.

Fear of people and shyness are very real. It holds you back and prevents you from realizing your dreams and ambitions. If you’re sitting on the sidelines, whose fault is that? Hmmm.

Too bad! You don’t know what you’re missing. It’s time to get over that shyness and move forward with confidence and finesse.

Be Yourself – Just do what YOU do and don’t be afraid. I know. The first time is scary but if you keep going to networking events and never really put yourself out there you will never know the wonderful world of business networking. If you never make the effort to speak to others you will never become a part of their network. You’ll be all by yourself. Now that’s scary!

Introduce Yourself – “Hi. My name is Jenn. What do you do?” That didn’t hurt, did it? The key is to get the other person talking first. Listen for a connection to what you do. Ask questions. When you notice a connection and respond, you create a relationship bond. The other person will most likely ask you about your business, and you have the basis for future conversations.

Educate Yourself – Read networking articles and good networking books. What do you want to know? Do a Google.com search with a key word on a subject you would like to learn more about.

Be Brave – Dale Carnegie in his book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” once said, “Do the thing you fear to do and the death of fear is certain!” You should always very carefully examine the reasons why you choose not to do something. As long as something doesn’t harm you in some way, you can do it! You just have to face your fear and do it anyway. Once you have started, the fear you felt before will begin to disappear. Studies show that at least 85% or more of the world’s people suffer from some degree of a lack of self-esteem. Read, “The Impact of Lacking Self-Esteem on Business Professionals.”

Don’t Stop – Once you get started and introduce yourself to a few people and begin to ask questions, I feel certain that you will begin to see the benefits and they will far outweigh any fear that you once had.

Breaking out of your shy shell is strictly a solo act.

BONUS Article: Working a Room If You’re SHY – No Pills Required
Networking for Introverts

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Copyright © 2010 – Larry James. 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! Visit ” 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

Add Larry James 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

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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