Step 1: Decide which audience you need to target.
Step 2: Start Networking – Socially!
Step 3: Keep at It!
by Craig Rice, President Redlands Power Partners Chapter
Maybe you’ve heard, being constantly busy is bad for your brain. “Many important mental processes seem to require what we call downtime and other forms of rest during the day,” claims a Scientific American article rounding up the research on the subject. Doing nothing now and then is required to replenish motivation and attention, and to form stable memories, science shows.
It’s also required for maximum creativity, according to new research.
The study comes out of Bar-Ilan University in Israel where researchers Shira Baror and Moshe Bar asked a group of volunteers to complete a creativity-gauging word association task. For instance, if the researchers said ‘white,’ the participants were asked to name whatever related word first popped into their heads.
Now here’s the twist. The participants had to do this while carrying various mental ‘loads’. Some were simultaneously asked to remember a string of seven digits, while others had to commit only two to memory. How did their performance differ?
“We found that a high mental load consistently diminished the originality and creativity of the response: Participants with seven digits to recall resorted to the most statistically common responses (e.g., white/black), whereas participants with two digits gave less typical, more varied pairings (e.g., white/cloud),” writes Bar in a New York Times article explaining the research.
That was true no matter how long the participants took to respond, so it wasn’t the case that those with a lot on their minds were simply slower to come up with answers. And this finding isn’t just relevant in the lab. It’s important to understand how this effect plays out in real life too, Bar insists.
“In everyday life, you may find yourself ‘loading’ your mind in various ways: memorizing a list of groceries to buy later at the supermarket, rehearsing the name of someone you just met so you don’t forget it, practicing your pitch before entering an important meeting,” he writes. “These loads can consume mental capacity, leading to dull thought and anhedonia–a flattened ability to experience pleasure.” In short, your cluttered mind is a creativity and happiness killer.
To clear some space for creativity, Bar offers a simple (and incredibly common) prescription — try meditation. That’s no doubt a great suggestion, but there are plenty of other less structured, everyday ways to unclutter your mind as well (personally, I go in for running).
And there’s always the most old school fix of all – simply seize control of your schedule and guiltlessly do nothing for an hour, a day, or even a week to get away from all those grocery lists and presentations, giving your creativity space to run wild.
Plus, New York Magazine’s Science of Us offers another thoughtful takeaway from this research. “The originality–or lack of it–that came with mental load demonstrates how creativity isn’t entirely a fixed, inborn trait,” the blog’s write-up notes. It’s a helpful reminder that you are largely in control of your own creativity.
It’s a question you hear at the start of a meeting, while lingering in a waiting room, in line while waiting for coffee, and hundreds of times at conferences and networking events.
The dreaded “What do you do?”
It has some close relatives, like “Where do you work?” and “What’s your role at Company X?”, but no matter the variety, these glorified “What’s your job title” questions are a huge missed opportunity to have a genuine conversation.
And if your goal is to connect with someone, find common ground, and potentially explore a way to partner with them, then these types of surface-level questions will consistently fail to elicit the response you are likely looking for.
For most people you meet, a job title or day job may not be representative of the things they are most passionate about, interested in, dedicated to, invested in, or motivated by. As the intro of The Side Hustle Show, one of the top digital marketing podcasts, says: “Your 9-to-5 may make you a living, but your 5-to-9 keeps you alive.”
This is especially true for those with an entrepreneurial streak, a creative spirit, or a dedication to a cause. By asking them what they do for work, you’re effectively asking how they pay the bills, versus inviting them into a conversation about what’s really important to them.
When you swap out you standard “What do you do?” questions for a more open ended inquiry, you create the space for someone to share a passion that may run deeper than their profession, and increase your chances of making an authentic connection.
John Lee Dumas is host of Entrepreneur On Fire, a daily podcast featuring interviews with successful entrepreneurs, and because the goal is for guests to share the intimate details of their entrepreneurial journey and experience with the listeners, Dumas has never once asked “What do you do?”
In keeping with the show’s titular theme, Dumas always ends his show by asking his guests “What’s the one thing that’s got you most fired up?” which often leads to a surprising and impassioned answer, offering a snapshot of the guest’s priorities in life and giving them a chance to share something personal that a “strictly business” conversation might not allow for.
But throughout the show, Dumas invites his guests to “tell a story” about their best moment, or their worst, or an “aha moment” that was transformative for them. Questions like these allow respondents to choose the depth and direction of the conversation, and Dumas’s #FireNation listeners benefit from his approach.
“Entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint,” Dumas said in an email interview, “and those who find success have passion co-mingled with expertise, allowing them to add value to an audience that is growing to know, like, and trust them a little more each and every day.”
You may be asking…why?
Why wouldn’t we want an outside speaker coming into a chapter meeting to speak?
Won’t they provide great information to our members?
Doesn’t it “change up” the meeting to bring someone in to take up the speaker(s) time slot?
Isn’t TEAM all about providing great business education as a part of the TEAM program?
The short answer to these questions is yes and no.
The “yes” part is, certainly most speakers (or those who speak to promote their business) aim to provide great content; and the routine of a weekly meeting could get predictable; and TEAM loves to bring business education to our members.
Let’s dig a little deeper about the “no” part – most chapters take 3-6 meetings off per year due to major holidays. That leaves approximately 47-48 meetings per year. On average a chapter of 15 has one member as the featured speaker per meeting, that means a member would give their presentation about 3-4 times per year. This doesn’t include adding new members too, which might make your opportunity to speak closer to 3 times per year.
Your speaker time slot is a big part of what you have paid for in your TEAM membership. It’s the time allotted for the focus to be on YOU, what YOU do, what YOU need next in your business. Do you really want to give that time away to someone who is not interested in bringing you referrals and may (or may not) deliver good content?
In fact, most outside speakers want to present to your chapter for one reason – they want to SELL you something. Does it really make sense to give up your marketing and relationship building time to a stranger who wants to sell you something?
TEAM members want to give awesome, compelling presentations. Help each other grow in their speaker skills by getting as much “face time” with you as possible! Don’t give it away to a stranger.
We really believe in great business education. It’s why we do workshops, Lunch & Learns, Success Series and the annual BIG Event. We also invite our members to special events produced by other speakers and organizations that we know provide great information and are friends of TEAM.
So, the next time you hear about a speaker who “really wants to come to your TEAM meeting and speak to all your members”… let them know how much you would enjoy introducing them as a visitor at your chapter; that you have a great group of professionals you network with weekly that they can meet and consider joining your TEAM.
Membership has its privileges!
By: Brian Tracy
Entrepreneurship is the art of finding profitable solutions to problems. Every successful entrepreneur or business person has been able to identify a problem and come up with a solution to it before someone else did. Here are the five rules for success.
1. Find a Need and Fill It
Human needs and wants are unlimited. Therefore, the opportunities for entrepreneurship and financial success are unlimited as well. The only constraint on the business opportunities available to you are the limits you place on your own imagination.
2. Find a Problem and Solve It
Wherever there is a widespread and unsolved customer problem, there is an opportunity for you to start and build a successful business.
Once upon a time, before photocopies, the only way to type multiple copies of a letter was with carbon paper places between sheets of stationary. But a single mistake would require the typist to go through and erase the mistakes on every single copy. This was enormously clumsy and time consuming.
Then a secretary working for small company in Minneapolis began mixing flour with nail varnish in order to white out the mistake she was making in her typing. Soon, people in other offices began asking for it. The demand became so great that she quit her job and began working full-time manufacturing what she called “Liquid Paper.” A few years later, the Gillette Corporation came along and bought her out for $47 million cash.
3. Unlimited Opportunities
There are problems everywhere. Your job is to find one of these problems and solve it better than it has been solved in the past. Find a problem that everyone has and see if you can’t come up with a solution for it. Find a way to supply a product or service better, cheaper, faster, or easier. Use your imagination.
4. Focus on the Customer
The key to success in business is to focus on the customer. Become obsessed with your customer. Become fixated on your customer’s wants, needs, and desires. Think of your customer all the time. Think of what your customer is willing to pay for. Think about your customer’s problems. See yourself as if you were working for your customer.
5. Bootstrap Your Way to Success
Once you have come up with a problem or idea, resolve to invest your time, talent, and energy instead of your money to get started. Most great personal fortunes in the United States were started with an idea and with the sale of personal services.
Most great fortunes were started by people with no money, resources, or backing. They were started by individuals who came up with an idea and who then put their whole heart into producing a product or service that someone else would buy.
Look for business opportunities everywhere, develop, an entrepreneurial mind-set, and continually be open and curious about the needs not satisfied and problems not solved.
One idea is all you need to make your first million.
by Lolly Daskal
Unless you’re naturally gregarious, meeting new people is a challenge–and anetworking event, which is all about meeting new people–can be downright grueling. You want to sound intelligent but you don’t know what to say, and you dread the thought of a long awkward silence or a statement that falls flat.
But if you can get people started talking about themselves, you’re off to the races–and they come away thinking you’re an excellent conversationalist.
Here are 11 smart things to say at your next networking event:
Even beyond networking, building good conversational skills is one of the best things you can do for your career and your personal life. Even if you rely on memorized starter phrases at first, get over your self-consciousness and jump in!
By Barry Eisen
Below are 24 great ideas designed to give you back your time and life. Managing time, rather than letting it manage you is an art form. Little changes can make huge differences. Look at what is offered below and incorporate 1 or 2 ideas that make sense to do. You can always come back to the list for more when you’re ready for more.
♦ It’s important now. Use it and then put it in its home (where it’s supposed to be).
♦ It will be important. Put it in its home (where it’s supposed to be).
♦ It’s not important. Get rid of it: Toss it or if possible, consider donating it.
♦ Create rules for recurring emails that don’t require an action to be archived in a particular folder.
♦ Set rigorous anti-spam settings to block unwanted email from reaching your inbox.
♦ Form a habit of touching an email once: If you open it, you have to address it (e.g., respond and file).
By Kelli C. Holmes
Networking // Pronunciation Key[net-wur-king] (as defined by the Small Business Glossary):
Developing business contacts to form business relationships; increase your knowledge; expand your business base; and serve the community.
Wow – I don’t know about you, but I think that is an AWESOME definition of networking!
Let’s break it down and review how to be really effective in our networking:
Developing business contacts…
Lots of us do this ALL the time. We are out at networking events in our community, meeting people, collecting business cards, making connections. Then what?
…to form business relationships
Oh, you mean actual RELATIONSHIPS! Developing relationships takes time and effort! You need to reach out to those you want to have a relationship with!
…increase your knowledge
Peter Drucker, that sage of business management said “if you’re not growing you’re dying”. That not only applies to business, but to our minds as well.
…expand your business base
We must be continually adding to our prospects. We need a constant source of new business possibilities in order to increase our opportunities!
…and serve the community
This is the really important part and often the overlooked part of networking. We all have a responsibility to give back to the community we take from. Why not incorporate it into your daily marketing activities?
Effective Networking –
For some time, marketers have suspected that certain opinions matter more than others when it comes to swaying consumers’ buying habits. Influence is far from a level playing field, but it isn’t necessarily for the reasons you might expect—fame, fortune, and celebrity status. Influence is about authenticity, access to information and the drive to empower others.
Micro-influencers are not traditional celebrities, but rather individuals who work in their category or are truly knowledgeable, passionate and authentic and are seen as a trusted source when it comes to recommendations for what to buy. Micro-influencers may not have the flashy appeal of celebrities, but they have something even more valuable: their audience’s trust. But how much and to what extent, exactly? The answer to this question isn’t well studied or known. Experticity commissioned Dr. Jonah Berger, marketing professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and author of the bestselling book Contagious: Why Things Catch On, and Keller Fay Group, the leading authority on word of mouth marketing research, to examine how micro-influencers are driving buying behavior by measuring the volume and impact of their recommendations on consumers.
So what is the power of a micro-influencer versus the general population, and are their recommendations worth more than those from the average consumer? We challenged Berger and Keller Fay to find out. They conducted a study specifically designed to examine how and why micro-influencers are more influential than the average consumer. This unprecedented study format randomly surveyed Experticity’s unpaid network of micro-influencers from across the United States about the number of product-related conversations they have with consumers each week compared to a control group of average consumers. Researchers then surveyed consumers who received those recommendations to measure the weight of the recommendation and the outcome.
One of the most interesting study findings was that according to the data, these influencers have up to 22.2 times more conversations each week regarding recommendations on what to buy versus an average consumer. If this stat reflects a week of time, imagine the media channel a given influencer represents over the course of an entire year. And consider how many average consumers you would need to have spreading your brand message to represent the power of just one micro-influencer. Demonstrating the high impact of these recommendations, 82 percent of consumers who were surveyed for the study, reported they were highly likely to follow a recommendation made by a micro influencer.
What’s the takeaway? Start thinking about micro-influencers as an ongoing media channel. Don’t cut your influencers short by just measuring their one-off posts. Brands need to engage in continuous dialogue, build engaging content, and empower influencers as strategic partners and content contributors.
Additional key findings from the study included:
With the concept of influencer marketing quickly growing from a buzz word to a full-fledged industry, the results of this study will be important to marketers struggling to find a more holistic view of how micro-influencers directly impact consumer buying behavior and shows that micro-influencers are a reliable and credible channel that has real impact in swaying consumer behavior.