Monday, May 22, 2017

As A Business Owner - Always Remember it is a Two-Way Street - Always Respect Each Other

With the widespread use of social media as a quick and easy way to speak your mind regarding a product, service, restaurant or political figure,  the old saying to think before your speak is more important than ever.

Case in point, my company was approached a while back from a future business owner that needed a website and some social media help for their new business.    Just like any service provider, I asked the business owner a few questions to get an idea what they are looking for, so I can create an adequate proposal and price it according to their budget.  About one minute into the discussion, the owner got very inpatient and started yelling at the phone complaining,  I was asking two many questions and screamed "what does it cost for a website, just give me a cost, I have no time!".   I stayed calm and collected, and patiently stated that in order for me to provide a cost I need to gather information about your business.   The business owner acted if he was hiding something and got very agitated with me, so I gave him an option and a ballpark cost to think about and then asked he can call back when he was ready.    After he hung up, I was thinking to myself, was this client worth the aggravation?

The business owner called the next day and wanted to know when his website can be ready, since his business was opening in three weeks and he wanted a website up and running.   Keep in mind, I had no content to go by, so I guess I had to make something up to get this website activated.   I mentioned this to him and again, he got all defensive and started screaming in the phone that I didn't understand how important he is and that I was too nosy asking him all these questions about his business.  Again, the conversation ended.    At this point, I did not want to take any calls and hoped to never hear from this person again.

Months and months went by and this new business never opened.  It finally opened last month, eight months after I had the last conversation.   From what I heard through some channels was that this business owner treated everyone he came across like dirt and was not able to get his business going since he was so difficult to work with.  Needless to say, there are a bunch of people that do not want to have anything to do with this person.

So what is the lesson here?

Had this new business owner demonstrated more patience and had been more collaborative, he would have gotten his business off the ground faster.  He would have also started to build a sizable referral network and become known as the hot new business owner in town.    The irony is that we are in the social media era and word travels fast and we are not trying to compete with each other trying to be tough kid on the block anymore.   This business owner had the "Don't Mess With Me" approach with everyone he came across, which doesn't work in today's business climate.

I will leave this with some recommendations:

- Always treat your business colleagues with respect and dignity.  Everyone you meet has a talent that you need or knows someone that has a talent you need.

- Don't ever think that you are better than the person you are talking to.   You would turn this person off and they will talk about how difficult you are to others.

- Remember, you want people to recommend your product/service/business.  If you are rude and obnoxious, guess what, you will not be recommended.

- All it takes is one bad post on Twitter, Yelp or Google about your business, and instantly you can be out of business.

- Be positive, all the time.   Positive  vibes get you through any challenge and difficult people.

- Think Karma.  What goes around comes around.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Are You Scared of Business Networking? - How to Work the Room.

Do you ever get anxious when you are about to embark on an adventure attending a business networking event?   What, I need to talk to people?   I need to take a shower? What!  I need a plan or some business cards?  I need to go into the city and park my car!  Ugh..

Business Networking today is essential for survival in the ever increasing entrepreneurial world, but it is important to not network aimlessly.    With my group Mass Professional Networking, we aim to help all professionals make the best of their business networking efforts via our events and coaching.  The whole idea of networking should be fun and worthwhile, so let's chat about how to work the room!

How to Work A Room at a Business Networking Event:

1)   Don't go in cold - Do a little research on the people attending the event that you want to meet and use that information to break the ice with them.

2) Travel Light - Leave the pocketbooks at home, don't bring your laptop.  Just bring some business cards and a smile.

3) Walk The Walk - Walk through the event with confidence and look like you are having a good time.

4) Start With Some Appetizers - You know that most attendees hang out by the food or the bar, it is a great place to start at the event.

5) Who's Who - Don't read name tags on people first.  Maintain eye contact when talking to people  If you look all around at name tags, it makes you look furtive and shifty.

6) Approach VIPs First -  If there is a Keynote Speaker or a Host of the Event, chat with them at the beginning of the event since once the event gets going, they will be very busy attending to their guests.

7) Spot the Lone Wolves - When the room is crowded, it is harder to integrate into a group.  One-on-one networking is the most effective.

8)  And You Are? - The Goal is to ask others about themselves so you can connect to their interests and lives.  Mention your name at the beginning and the end of your conversation.

9) Press The Flesh - Always shake hands with a firm grip and no hugging.  It is uncomfortable hugging in a professional environment.

10) Be Curious -  While talking to new attendees, ask open ended questions to assess right off whether they will be of any help.  Real leaders are curious.

11) Card Exchange - Develop a system where you keep your cards in one pocket and the cards you collect in another pocket, so you don't mix and match.

12) Get an Introduction -  Grab a mutual acquaintance to provide an introduction for you.  Takes away the shyness.

13)  Give and Take - Always try to be a connector, the person that brings people together.

14) It's a Wrap - Summarize a list of you would like to follow-up with, and FOLLOW UP!


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Top Ten Reasons Going to Business Networking Events Beats Staying Home and Watching the News

If you still watch the nightly news or in the case of Channel 7 here in Boston, the half-hour news on the hour every hour, you tend to get overly depressed at all the negative news, whether it is the latest episode of Donald Trump or the latest house fire in some suburb of Boston.  Face it today's news is not news-worthy, it is more like a horror show on a HD TV in your living room.

So what if you like to get out of that living room and go to a business networking event at your local restaurant, pub, workplace or mall?    Going to a Business Networking Event gets you out there into the world of positive energy and you will feel a difference in yourself and your purpose in life!

So what are the Top Ten Reasons Going to a Business Networking Event is Better Than Watching The News on TV.

10,   Your Heart Rate will be more relaxed due to that nice glass of Merlot you are drinking, while mingling with some successful professionals.  It beats staying home drinking scotch watching the news.  You know what they say about those anti-oxidants found in wine!

9.  If you are single, you may meet your future partner at a business networking event!   The great thing is that most people at events are successful or have a hunger for being successful.   The only thing you will be hungry for watching TV is a gallon of ice cream and some potato chips.   How is that pot belly doing?

8. You may meet your future boss or business partner in a new venture!   For example, you are out there meeting people and then suddenly you meet someone that is looking for someone with the same exact expertise and soft-skills as you have!  So what do you do?  You connect and follow-up!     When was the last time you got a job while watching the news on TV?

7. Since most events are held at local restaurants or pubs, you get to check them out and perhaps take your loved one out to the place for a future date.  You will be cool and become the expert of your city's hot spots!!   You think watching TV is cool?  Sure if you will be an expert of those fast food restaurant commercials, that just make you fatter just watching them!

6. There are no awful commercials or ads of furniture stores or Dunkin Donuts at a business networking event.   Instead you may meet some amazing entrepreneurs trying to develop the next great product or service!  No need for commercials, this is the real deal.

5. You can become more popular than your mayor if you go to a lot of business networking events!   Just think, you are walking down the street of your city, and you keep bumping into people you know.  Finally, your colleague goes "Gee" what you are you the mayor?    Not sure if anyone has been elected mayor watching the news at home!!

4.  You only live one life.   Why waste it watching horrible negative news, when you can make a difference and meet people that will make your life more fulfilling!   Everyone at networking events are looking to help you!

3.  You can become a millionaire going to a business networking event since you become more positive, innovative and more the right connections with successful people.   You cannot become a millionaire watching the news on TV.

2. You get so depressed watching the news that you start yelling your TV and cursing the newscasters.   At at networking event, you feel so positive and happy, you start singing Pharrell's classic song "Happy" to anyone that listens.

1.  Finally, you want a change, it is up to you.   You can live a life in front of your TV or you can get out there and make a difference.  A business networking event is a great place to start!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Health/Wellness - What Can You With a Couple of Dumbbells?

When people think of starting an exercise program, they normally stress out about selecting a gym, selecting what exercises to do and most of all consistently going to gym and seeing results.   



We are all busy, so how about I demonstrate a few easy exercises that you can simply do with a couple of dumbbells?    


Chances are, you can find a couple of dumbbells at your local sports store, your basement or at a hotel.  No excuses so let's get started!

First you can start with a nice Vitamin B shot of Awake Energy, then move onto some great exercises for your Shoulders, Arms, Back and Legs.   



For each exercise, do 3 sets of 10 reps and always have control of the weight and with consistent form.  When you are done with your full body workout, end off your program with a healthy TLS Protein Shake!   

Do this three or four days a week and see results!

Here is a detailed description on how to do each exercise, which is the picture diagram and a step-by-step tip how to do each exercise.


Bicep Curls Using Dumbbells:

  1. Stand up straight with a dumbbell in each hand at arm's length. Keep your elbows close to your torso and rotate the palms of your hands until they are facing forward. This will be your starting position.
  2. Now, keeping the upper arms stationary, exhale and curl the weights while contracting your biceps. Continue to raise the weights until your biceps are fully contracted and the dumbbells are at shoulder level. Hold the contracted position for a brief pause as you squeeze your biceps.
  3. Then, inhale and slowly begin to lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.


Two-Arm Dumbbells Rows:
  1. Grab a dumbbell securely in each hand. 
  2. Slowly bend forward at your waist so that your chest is leaning forward over your feet. Keep a slight bend in your knees while keeping your feet at about shoulder width apart. 
  3. Start with your arms fully extended, allowing the dumbbells to naturally hang down at about mid-shin level. 
  4. Hold the dumbbells so that your thumbs point in toward one another and your palms face your body. Next, lift or “row” the dumbbells up to the top and close to your stomach.
  5. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat. 
  6. Be sure to keep your head up, back straight and your shoulders back throughout this exercise to keep your back secure and stable at all times.

Shoulder Press:

  1. 1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and sit on a bench with back support.Plant your feet firmly on the floor about hip-width apart.
  2. 2. Bend your elbows and raise your upper arms to shoulder height so the dumbbells are at ear level.
  3. 3. Pull your abdomens in so there is a slight gap between the small of your back and the bench.
  4. 4. Place the back of your head against the pad.
  5. 5. Push the dumbbells up and in until the ends of the dumbbells touch lightly, directly over your head, and then lower the dumbbells back to ear level.

Chest Fly:

1. Raise the dumbbells up like you're pressing them, but stop and hold just before you lock out. This will be your starting position. 

2. With a slight bend on your elbows in order to prevent stress at the biceps tendon, lower your arms out at both sides in a wide arc until you feel a stretch on your chest.


Leg Squats:

  1. Stand up straight while holding a dumbbell on each hand (palms facing the side of your legs).
  2. Position your legs using a shoulder width medium stance with the toes slightly pointed out. Keep your head up at all times as looking down will get you off balance and also maintain a straight back. This will be your starting position. 
  3. Begin to slowly lower your torso by bending the knees as you maintain a straight posture with the head up. Continue down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. 
  4. Begin to raise your torso as you exhale by pushing the floor with the heel of your foot mainly as you straighten the legs again and go back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.


So, there you go!   With a couple of dumbbells, you will have no excuses to get in shape this summer season and look great on the beach!!




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