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

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Networking: A Crash Course in Personal Development

There is a multitude of things you can learn about yourself, others who network and personal growth when you are an active networker. How is networking a crash course in personal development? If you pay attention, you can learn to be a better you. You can also learn from others how “not” to network.

Your business will only grow as fast as you grow! If you have spent some time on your personal growth, you learn very quickly to look for a solution to a problem rather than giving up. Personal growth is about expanding your horizons and enjoying what you do so you can achieve more of what you want. Personal development and growth is rarely thought of in terms of business, but this is changing.

Personal growth is not something that can be rushed. It is not a technique or tool to make a quick fix. Personal growth is the attitude you have that you are constantly improving your life. Personal growth is driven by your desire to constantly improve yourself and to become the person that you were meant to be.

Many people think business networking is just about mailing out brochures or circulating around a meeting room and handing out business cards, but it is really about building long-lasting, personal relationships over time. Because networking is about building and maintaining relationships, credibility is a key element. Helping others is one sure-fire way to establish credibility. New contacts won’t necessarily start sending business your way or give you referrals until they know you better. Networking will teach you patience. Networking like personal growth cannot be rushed.

Networking requires you to grow personally and get out of your comfort zone. I challenge you to hold in high regard the value of personal development.

Becoming the best you can be so as to accelerate with impact your business and personal growth should be high on your priority list. The brief ideas listed below will assist you to fulfill several objectives to improve the quality of your life and to help your achieve maximum results when networking and. . . we have only scratched the surface.

I suppose we could begin by saying that you must treat others like you like to be treated. Networking and personal growth are intertwined. One supports the other. The better person you become, the better the odds of being more successful, not just in networking but in relationships and everything.

What you seek with these methods of personal development is to create a new way of living. To be happy. To make new connections and to grow your business. But your mind deceives you. It convinces you to stop trying to create change because its happy in it’s misery. It knows that cherished self deceptions will have to be released. The process of personal development and growth will help.

Networking with other people is a powerful process, and can be an integral part of your success. I believe it is important to seek out groups that not only give you the opportunity to network but offer educational opportunities as well as support from other members. Does your group encourage personal growth?

Get the support and validation you need. Find a mentor; someone who will take you under his/her wings and teach you the networking ropes. Book a breakfast or lunch with someone who has been effectively networking for a long time and pick their brain. Learn the do’s and don’ts from the experts. Without the necessary support, it’s very easy for individual differences and preferences to come in, thereby diluting the correct way to network and even corrupting it. Hire a networking coach.

He that won’t be counseled can’t be helped – Benjamin Franklin

Look for the people in the group who lean more to the positive side. As my friend, Zig Ziglar said, “Beware of those with stinkin’ thinking!” It is no longer possible to deny the fact that positive thinking benefits everyone, regardless of their goals. If “know how” is one of your weaknesses, follow people who know how. People who complain, who are always looking at the dark side of things eventually will pull you down to their level. Not good.

Watch how the “movers and shakers” network. Emulate their style and actions. It may feel awkward at first, however the more you hone your skills the better you will become at accomplishing what you need to do to be an effective networker. By the way, contrary to popular belief, practice does not make you perfect. It only makes you better.

Build rapport by connecting with people when you don’t need anything. It makes it easier to be as ease when talking with them and will help you develop a much closer business relationship. Not good at building rapport? Learn how. Watch others. Read books about it. Do a Google search for “How to Build Rapport” and see what comes up. After you’ve met someone knowledgeable and interesting, send a quick e-mail or a handwritten note saying how much you enjoyed meeting them. If you want to learn more from him or her, propose lunch or coffee and remember to follow up.

Many years ago the Dale Carnagie course taught me that if you do the thing you fear the most, the death of fear is certain. Some say it takes 21 to 30 days to develop a new habit. Afraid to speak in public? Get over it. Feel the fear and do it anyway. When networking you “must” learn to speak in public! You need to tell how you can assist others, talk about your business and more or you are likely to become a wallflower and nothing good will happen.

Develop a good “30-second connection,” often called an “elevator speech.” It’s a brief summary of who you are and what you do professionally. Practice in front of a mirror until you feel comfortable enough that you can deliver it without stumbling, becoming distracted or getting off track. When given the opportunity to introduce yourself, jump up first. Put yourself out there. The second time you introduce yourself in this way will be a little easier.

Learn how to recover from your mistakes. Everyone makes them. Just remember to never put yourself down when you do. Look for a solution that will make it work next time. Mistakes can be the very things that lead you in the new direction that turns out to be the better way than you had previously believed. What is inspiring about life is that we always have the choice to learn from our past mistakes as well as our successes.

Be creative. Ask yourself, “how can I make networking fun?” then go about coming up with creative ideas to make it fun and make others smile. Look for the funny side of things and reward yourself with laughter. Laughing opens up both your mind and your heart and restores the quality of your thinking.

If you have not quite got the hang of setting effective goals, begin now. Set some networking goals. Occasionally revisit your “why.” Why am I doing this? What do I want to accomplishment? How many new friends can you make in 30 days? Having a specific intention makes it easier. The very concept of intention implies that you are intent on doing something. It’s a statement of fact to our own subconscious mind that you are ready and willing to take action. New directions unfold when you exercise the power of intention. Getting clear on who you are and what you really want is a requirement for business and networking success.

“To understand the Heart and Mind of a person, look not at what they have achieved already, but at what they Aspire to do” – Kahlil Gibran

Learn persistence. If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Learn the difference between being persistent and being aggressive.

Master self-confidence. If you continue to loathe and belittle yourself, others are going to do and believe likewise. Personal growth is not “just” about achieving confidence, although that is a big part of this process. This new freedom and confidence are like a snowball that keeps growing as you continue to roll it. You will start to see personal development in many other areas of your life. You will begin to appreciate yourself and as a result and others will appreciate you. There’s no quick fix. Be patient. Do something everyday that will help you to build your self-confidence.

When you’re feeling insecure, write down a list of things that are good about you. Identify your successes. Then read the list – out loud – in front of a mirror to yourself. Watch yourself smile! Everyone is good at something, so discover the things at which you excel. You will be surprised at all the good stuff you can come up with. Recognize your insecurities. Work to overcome them. Remember, no one is perfect. Even the most confident people have occasional insecurities. If you don’t believe in yourself, find someone who does and hang around them until what they have rubs off on you.

When you’re following your passion – what you truly believe in – not only will it have a therapeutic effect on you, but you will feel special, unique and accomplished, all of which can help build your self confidence.

“Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” – Mark Victor Hansen

Accept compliments gracefully. Don’t roll your eyes and say, “Yeah, right,” or shrug it off. Learn to say say “Thank You” when someone says something good about you. Never say, “Oh, it’s nothing. Anyone could have done that?” Practice accepting praise sincerely without adding excuses. A simple “Thank you” will do.

If you’re smart you will find that networking will sharpen your listening skills. Opportunity isn’t always obvious. Watch for it and listen for it. Stop talking so much and begin listening more.

Read good books. Not a reader? Become one. Don’t just read books about your business. Read networking book, books on self-promotion, marketing, personal development and more. If you only read for about 15 minutes each day you can read at least 15 average sized books a year. Don’t tell me you can’t spare 15 minutes a day to become a better you. Reading will help you develop a strong belief system. Become a self-help junkie!

You can listen to tapes, CDs, read articles, watch videos of people who may inspire you and motivate you. The internet has an abundance of books and videos you can watch and read for free. Do a search on YouTube.

If you watched “The Secret” DVD a few years ago, you would know something about the Law of Attraction. Some think this is “woo-woo.” I know it works. The law of attraction states “that which is like unto itself is drawn”. This means we all get whatever we think about, whether it’s something we want or something we don’t want. If you read more about this law and learn more about getting what you want, this could lead you to becoming more successful in all areas of your life.

If you think that business networking is all about the money, think again. Most of those who have succeeded in networking find that they gain more from learning new skills and meeting new people than anything else. Personal growth will make you a better and more confident person who feels comfortable with yourself. Once you feel comfortable with who you are then you will start to attract those people who will help you and support you in building your business.

And finally, reflect often on your successes. It helps develop your sense of well being.

BONUS Article: Read, “Personal Development and Growth for Business and Higher Pursuits.”

netHQ

Copyright © 2009 – 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! Can’t find my book in your bookstore, order a signed copy from Larry James. Visit Larry’s “Networking HQ” Website; articles, tips, networking books and more!

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
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

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG 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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