Friday, November 24, 2017

Why Networking During the Holiday Season is the Most Important Time of the Year w/ Nine Tips

You hear it all the time in business, once the holiday season is upon us.
Let's connect after the holidays. 
I am really busy with holiday shopping and family events.   
We are doing our finances for the year and can't do any events. 

Or finally, I need to chill out in front of a TV, since it is getting too cold to go out.

Actually, the months of November and December is the absolute best time of year to network with all of the holiday parties, events and family visits.    First, you are being proactive going into the new year, getting a head start with building your network, and you are also networking at a time where everyone is more into enjoying the time of the year and may be more inclined to talk to you versus January or February.

The following are some tips for business and social networking during the holiday season and why it is the best time.

1 - Don't be a schmuck and say Yes to those Holiday Parties and Events.

If you are trying to fill your pipeline with new people, you will have the opportunity to meet them at everything from the neighborhood holiday party to the office party as well as those special holiday business networking events.   The holiday is a great time to follow-up with connections and clients.

2 - Host your own holiday party or business networking event.

This is a great way to take initiative and reach out to your network.

3 -  Prepare the event and ask for introductions before the networking event.

Prepare for the event and know who you want to meet and don't be afraid to ask your friends and/or acquaintances for introductions.   Bring business cards and have your calendar ready to book a follow-up.

4 -  When meeting someone at an event, ask questions - DO NOT do a sales pitch!

Here are some sample questions:

  • How do you know the host/hostess of the event?
  • What has been the highlights of your year?
  • How is your family?
  • What plans do you have for the next year?
  • How was business this year?
  • What kind of clients are you looking for these days?
(Also be prepared to answer the above questions)

5 -  When meeting someone at an event, talk about something else besides business.

In building relationships, which is what networking is all about, you want to get to know people on a personal level, as well as a professional level.   It shows the human side and builds trust.   The holidays are a great time to relax and socialize and get to know people better.

6 -  Focus on other people and again DO NOT do a sales pitch and ramble on about your company.

Listen at least as much as you talk.   It is better to err on the side of listening too much rather than talking too much about yourself and your business.

7 -  Dress Professionally

Whether it is a holiday party, an office party, a business networking event or an open house, dress to impress with your best professional attire.   Ladies, this is not a dance club so no need to show off your goods!

8 -  Act Professionally

It's the holidays and the cheer is flowing, so relax and enjoy yourself.   It is fine to have a good time but keep the alcohol intake in check and act professionally at all times.

9 -  Follow-up! 

You are ahead of a lot of professionals by networking during the holiday season.    Follow-up with everyone you met this past year and wish them a Happy Holiday Season.   You will have a head start going into the new year and your business will grow!!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Your 9-to-5 Corporate Job is Killing You. Really. Some Helpful Tips to Stay Healthy.

It was yet another epic commute into downtown Boston this morning crawling at the top speed of 20 miles per hour on the Mass Pike, when lucky.  It made me think how awful commuting is, not only for our mental health but also for the environment, for our productivity and our wallet.   So why do we still commute in the age of personal computers and VPN, I wonder?

We are in the world of the 9-to-5 and it is not going to shake soon.   We are entrenched with being stressed in the morning, sitting it traffic and then plopping ourselves into a desk chair for eight hours then getting even more stressed with the afternoon commute home hoping that you see your family before they hit the sack.  Yes, there is flex time, and working from home, however, judging by traffic patterns, they have not made a dent changing reality.

It is not that you probably hate your job and we are not bashing the 9-to-5 job.  After all, you may be doing some interesting work, making some interesting phone calls or working on that cutting edge project.

However sitting at your desk is killing you.    You have muscles for a reason.  They need to be worked to stay fresh.   But we sit, sit and sit again.   In our office, at the endless meetings and your body is stressed out from not moving.  You are in front of computer screen or a phone and your eyes start getting blurry from the glare of the screens.

Then lunchtime rolls around and what do you do?  You take the elevator to the cafeteria and order that salad with blue cheese dressing and some onion rings and proceed to go back to your desk and eat your lunch in front of your computer screen getting stressed out over the latest string of emails.   Not exactly the mission to health & wellness.

By the end of the afternoon, you would have to be pried from your chair so you can get into your car and take on that afternoon rush hour at the breakneck speed of 15 miles per hour out of the city.

Between the stress of our commute, the lack of movement at your desk sitting in front of a glaring computer screen, worrying about deadlines and our bad lunch diets, we are killing ourselves as if we are better off smoking a pack of cigarettes dangling from a crane high above the city below.

Again, I am not recommending quitting your corporate job.  After all the bills need to be paid.   I would however recommend planning your exit from the traditional 9-to-5, but that is a story for another blog.

So here are some suggestions to tackle the health habits of the Corporate 9-to-5 day in timely order -

-  Before you leave for work - Start off your day with Exercise -  The best time to go to the gym is in the morning, bottom line.   It sets the tone for the day, it de-stresses you and you end up feeling awesome.   If you cannot make it to the gym, do some exercises at your house.   I have a great video on what to do with a couple of dumbbells that can help.

- OK it is commute time - Don't look at the traffic report.  It stressed you out.   Instead either queue up some upbeat music or listen to an inspirational audio in your car.   It would allow the time to past by and the next thing you know, you are pulling into the office garage.   If you have a hands free phone in your car, catch up with some people that make you happy.   

- Now you are at the office and that office chair is calling your name.  If you are on calls, stand up in your office and periodically move your muscles.  Try to sit as little as possible.    Do some stretches every once in a while to keep your body alive.    Snack on something healthy like raisins or trail mix instead of a sugary snack.

- Of you are off to a meeting five floors above you.  You guessed it, I am going to suggest taking the stairs whenever possible.  Stair climbing is amazing exercise.  If you are having a 1-on-1 meeting or a small group, I suggest a walking meeting.   I like to do my 1-on-1 meetings taking a walk outside to a nearby park.  Walking and exercise in general, kicks the creative thinking in gear and you would be amazed how much you can accomplish versus if you just sat in your office.

- OK it is lunch time.   Step AWAY from your office and go out.  Get fresh air and a light lunch low on sodium and sugars and high on protein and Vitamin B & D.   Lean meat, dark vegetables and a nutritious juice is ideal.    Everyone is busy, but believe me you will get more accomplish away from your desk at lunch versus sitting there stressing over emails.

- The afternoon is nap time.  Yes, you heard me.   Take a quick five minute nap if you can and then have a healthy tea or snack and repeat your morning activities of periodically standing up when taking calls and stretching in your office to keep your body moving.    Before you know it, your work day is over and you will feel as great as you did at the beginning of the day.

- Now you are ready for that commute home and the traffic is just as bad as the morning only in all directions.   Put on that relaxing Jack Johnson song or listen to an inspiring JR Ridinger or Tony Robbins talk and take your mind on all those red lights in front of you, and before you know it,  you are home in the arms of your family.

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 ...