Tuesday, October 31, 2017

An Entrepreneur NEVER Asks How Much Money You Make

I was at a networking event last evening and was chatting with someone and after some small talk, the topic turned to what I have been working on.    I mentioned one of my ventures to be my Market America business, which I started around nine years ago.   As in any business, I have had my challenges and successes and have valued what I have learned over the years understanding what works and doesn't work.    Eventually, my colleague asked me about my MA business and that dreaded question - "How Much Money Do You Make with Market America?"


My first impression of this person is that they do not understand business ownership, and the art of risk taking.   Typically, if you have a job, you are paid hourly or a salary for your time working at your employer.   You may get that 2% raise every once and a while for the overtime that you work.  Even though the question "How Much Money You Make" has a straight answer at your corporate job, it is still a ballsy question to ask someone.

The difference between a corporate job and owning your own business is how much you control your financial flexibility. 

You see if you and I owned the same business, selling the same products and service while participating in the same compensation plan,  it is very likely we would not be making the same amount of money.   Just because I make six-figures in my business, does not mean that you will make six-figures in yours.    That is the beauty of owning your own business.  You can dictate how much you earn, by how hard you work, how great you are leveraging your time and how self-sufficient you are leading the pack and building your own empire.  The ones that take action, simply succeed.

Now, there is a little more to being successful in your own business than working hard.   You would also need the ability to be a risk taker as mentioned earlier.  Corporate Employees are not risk takers.  They like comfort.   Entrepreneurs/Business Owners win the battle all the time since they are self aware and acknowledge what is happening in today's world and are fully aware there is more to life than a salary and performance raises.  Entrepreneurs set the bar in terms of how much money they make and also understand it is unfair to ask other entrepreneurs what they make.   They are risk takers that know social media is important, that age is not a factor in success and taking action is the most important road to success.

Finally, in summary, understand that in business, there is no cap on what you can accomplish whether it is financial or personal goals. 

Don't get defensive if someone asks you how much money you make with your business.  Instead educate that person that is depends on how much risk, how hard you work, how you leverage your time working your business and your willingness and patience to answer questions like the dreaded money question.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

How to Make the Best of Your Next Networking Event - Your Approach & Additional Guidelines

Ah, the old business networking event is coming up and you are freaking out about attending.   So during the day of the event, you pace around your house or your office, practicing your pitch till you drop, hoping you make that one big catch of the day.  You start to wonder why do you have to network anyway.  Can't I just pick up the phone and call people.   Nada.

Attending networking events should be a never-ending part of life as a business professional.  They provide a platform for you to meet like-minded individuals and make important business connections and they may even net you a much-needed job or contract.
Despite the potential benefits of networking, few of us plan ahead and think about how to make the most of the opportunity.  But there are at least 16 strategies that successful networkers can use to connect and impress at business events.

Have a purpose. 

People use networking events for a myriad of reasons, including finding a job, meeting potential clients or just socializing.   Think "Before you arrive at an event, ask yourself what you're hoping to achieve and what you need to do to achieve it."

Research key attendees before the event.

For all Mass Professional Networking events, we provide the attendee list on the Eventbrite page for the event.
If there are individuals you're hoping to meet (and impress) at your next event, do some pre-meeting research online. Scope out these individuals' LinkedIn profiles to learn the basics about them and look for common connections.

Prepare your elevator pitch.

There's nothing worse than being asked the question, "What do you do?" and suddenly coming up blank. The idea of a traditional elevator pitch is a bit outdated, but the underlying strategy is still a good one: Come up with a few sentences you can use to accurately describe yourself or your business.  But keep it short (under 30 seconds) and then turn it around and ask questions.

Bring business cards and other supplementary info. 

This is a no-brainer, right? But it's good to have a reminder. Depending on the type of event, you may also want to bring pamphlets or other supplementary material to hand out.  But remember, people don't want to be carrying around your pamphlet so we actually advise not bringing any paper documents and send a copy of the phamplet as a follow-up with the attendee.

Introduce yourself. 

Networking events can be awkward. Particularly if you're an introvert, starting conversations may not come naturally. Vow to overcome your natural temptation to blend into the woodwork, and make a point of introducing yourself to at least five people.  When introducing yourself, shake their hand and look them in the eye with a smile.   Past research has shown that shaking someone's hand and smiling may increase the chances of having a positive interaction.

Discuss commonalities. 

When first entering into a networking event, people tend to gravitate toward those with whom they share similarities or who they know.  Think of this as the ice breaker.  When meeting others with shared traits or experiences, be sure to point out the similarities you have to increase perceived social compatibility.

Ask questions (lots of them). 

Too often I encounter people who are interested only in talking about themselves. Instead of wasting golden opportunities by blabbing about yourself, ask thoughtful questions -- and actually listen to the answers.  An idea is instead of saying "I sell this product", ask "Have you heard of this product".

Be a connector. 

Instead of focusing only on making your own connections, make an effort to connect others. When speaking with someone, think about whether there's someone else at the event who could help (or be helped) by this person, and then make an introduction.  In my own work life all I do is connect.   Be a connector, yourself.  At our events, we are always looking for attendees to help host.  It helps break the ice once again and the networking comes easy.

Be a listener. 

Ask a person's name, and then actually listen to it and make a mental note to remember it. Most people at these events are talkers, so being a thoughtful listener can set you apart from the pack."

Keep an open posture. 

An "open" posture -- head up, arms and legs uncrossed -- conveys an openness to being approached. Looking at the floor or crossing your arms, on the other hand, can convey shyness, unfriendliness or even hostility.

Focus on quality, not quantity when it comes to your new connections. 

Spending time engaging in meaningful conversations with a few people is often better than floating around the room engaging in short, superficial conversations. Aim to make real connections by asking questions, listening intently and moving beyond small talk, where appropriate.

Focus on how people feel when they're with you.

 You can do this through being a great listener, asking thoughtful questions and giving your undivided attention. After the event, people are more likely to remember those individuals who made them feel good about themselves."

Don't be a product-pusher.

Nobody likes that person who attends events to push products on to people.   Networking events may result in leads, but should never be used as a way to directly sell or promote products.   The exception is if you are a paying vendor at an event.

Give your full attention. 

It's tempting to continue scanning the room while you talk with someone, but this is a great way to make that person feel 2 inches tall. When you're with someone, give him or her your undivided attention, just as you would expect them to do with you.   We understand there may be temptation to weasel your way out of a dead-end conversation in order to talk with that important CEO or Business Owner who just walked in the room, but it if you end a conversation abruptly to talk to that other person, you will leave a bad impression to the person you were originally talking to.

Take notes. 

Immediately following an event (please, not during!), jot down helpful information you gleaned. These details will quickly fade in the days following an event, so taking physical notes can help.

Follow up within 48 hours. 

If you've promised to send information or connect with someone, a good rule of thumb is to do it within 48 hours after the event.  Waiting any longer may unintentionally convey disinterest.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Putting It All Together - What is This DeSocial Connector Thing?

I debuted my DeSocial Connector Blog and You Tube Channel this past year and with 20 videos and 44 blogs and counting, we are well on our way to our mission of connecting people to products, services and people!

Before I dive into all of the resources available to my connections, I like to share what led up to the debut of the DeSocial Connector!

I have been in Corporate America in Information Technology for many years and after initially starting to attending business networking events back in 2007, I decided to dip my toes into entrepreneurship, by starting a new business venture in Internet Marketing.   I was living "two professional lives", the 9-to-5 life of Corporate America and then the 5-to-9 life of an entrepreneur/networker with that "side gig".  The difference in environments was stunning.    Negative energy versus Positive Energy.  Looking for Problems versus Looking for Solutions.   There are many comparisons of the two lives, but at the end of the day, I needed both to pay the bills and to build my empire.

My first dip into entrepreneurship was registering an unfranchise business with Market America.   Ok, what is an unfranchise?   Inquiring minds want to know.   I started my businesses with the mission to build an on-going income while I am not working.   I also started my first business to also learn about running your my own business and learn from failure.  Yes, learn from failure! 

This "unfranchise" I registered evolved into multiple businesses over time and two business networking groups.   The mission was to of course build an on-going income, think the right side of the CashFlow Quadrant but most of all to connect people to products, services and other people.

Ok, for the next section,  I am going to list my resources by product, services and people in a question format and hopefully one or more can be of help to you or other people you know.  This is meant to be a reference with a marketing/sales twist!  Just click the respective link to continue to the resource.

Let's start with products!

Do you take vitamins?   We got Isotonix!
You don't know what vitamins to take?  We got Nutriphysical!
Do you need to eat healthy?  We got TLS Weight Management!
You don't know where to start your Weight Loss?
Do you want to look amazing?  We got Motives Cosmetics!
Do you have a pet?  We got Pet Health!

Do you like to clean?  We got SNAP!
Do you like a nice car?  We got Autoworks!
Do you have a baby or young child?  We got DNA Miracles!
Do you shop for Groceries?  We got a store!
Do you like Coffee?
Do you like to shop online and earn?  We got an amazing shopping site that has it all!!

Now onto Services!!

Do you need a website for your business?  Think AIMC Business Solutions!
Do you want to do your own marketing?
Do you need help with your digital marketing?
Do you want to save on Merchant Services? Think iTransact!
Do you like to SHOP Local?
Do you want to expand your customer base?  Think SHOP Local again!
Do you need IT Help? 
Do you want to own your own business just like me?

Ok, now it is onto People via Networking!

We have a business networking group called Mass Professional Networking for all professionals and hold monthly events in Greater Boston.  We have a group both on Linkedin and Facebook.

For you techies, we got Mass Tech Networking on Linkedin and Facebook with our own events!

Finally we have a few social media groups, just click the link to go to the page and follow it:
AIMC - Internet Marketing Group on Linkedin
AIMC - Social Media Group on Linkedin
AIMC Business Solutions Company Page on Linkedin
All in My Cart Facebook Page
AIMC Health Solutions Facebook Page
AIMC Business Solutions Facebook Page
AIMC Business Entrepreneur Group
AIMC Music & Entertainment & The Scene Facebook Page

There you have it.   A bunch of links and lots of opportunity.   By the way, I still sleep eight hours a day!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Life is Precious - So Live It and Be Positive

Today was a very tragic day here in America, with the events in Las Vegas and with in the unconfirmed (at the time of this writing) passing of the rock legend, Tom Petty.

In both cases, just yesterday for the attendees of the Route91 Festival in Las Vegas and for Tom Petty, life was moving along and was fun.    Twenty thousand country music fans were singing along to Jason Aldean songs and Tom Petty and his band was celebrating a great tour with three shows at the Hollywood Bowl just last week.

And then just like that, today things changed.

It makes you think how precious life is and why is it so important to take advantage of it the best way you can.  Whether it is taking that trip to Europe, starting your own business or simply giving back to society, life is too short to let time pass by.   It really took me to heart today and I am thinking it did the same to a lot of other people.

One of the worst words in the dictionary is tomorrow.   We will take that trip tomorrow, we will start that business tomorrow or I will visit my ailing relative that needs me tomorrow.   Tomorrow may never come, so if you have a chance, take a chance, today.   Another saying that is the worst is "I'm so busy".  Busy doing what?   How are you spending your time?  How are you leveraging time?  Are you doing result producing activities?    Unfortunately, with access to social media today, a lot of people are busy being negative and controversial on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms.   It is fact.

I wanted to share a few quick business tips that may help you become more successful.  These are tips that some successful business owners have followed and have reaped the rewards, understanding that life is precious and short, and to take advantage of their life now, not later.

1. Take control of your life as best you can.   For example, if you want to start your own business, start one.   If you live the 9-to-5 life working for someone else, you will one day look back with regret that you had no control on your life and career.  Another aspect of your life is your health.  Start today taking care of yourself by exercising and eating the right foods.    Again, don't look back if one day you are told your life is limited and you have a pill box full of meds to take.

2. Plan and be strategic, whatever your life or career can be.   Always, be planning your next gig.  The worst thing I have seen is, is someone that is settled in a job, or in a bad family situation or in poor health and they are not thinking about their next step.   Always, be ready and plan your next step in life whether it is your career, your health or your relationships.

3. Work hard on result producing activities.   In other words, don't procrastinate, or spend time on negative activities that would do nothing toward reaching your goals.    Cut out spending time on social media responding to controversial posts on your news feed.   Believe me, I am guilty of this and am getting help, but it is a serious issue today, where the "I'm busy" person is actually busy doing Instagram and Facebook posts all day on nothing other than some political statement.

4. Stop talking, discussing and debating.   Just do it.   In other words, don't be a politician.   The more you talk, debate and re-thinking, the longer you will go with no action.   I see this a lot in business, where someone may be presented with a great opportunity and they think about, wait till tomorrow or next month, and then the next thing they know, time passed them by.   Go on your instinct and just do it.   If you have the mindset mention in #2 above to be always planning, you may not have to discuss and debate every opportunity.

Mount Washington Auto Road New Hampshire w/ DeSocial Connector

Travel down the mountain from the Summit of Mount Washington in the White Mountains of New Hampshire on an amazing clear day. Thanks ...