Monday, December 31, 2018

A Perspective on 2018 and Looking Ahead to Great Success in 2019 w/ DeSocial Connector

By now, you have probably received your share of Happy New Year wishes and email newsletters providing great advice on how to start the new year off on a positive and successful note.    As soon as the Christmas and Chanukah holidays are over, the next focus is the New Year ahead.

2018 was a challenging year from me personally and professionally in a good way.  But through adversity, I learned how to navigate through the bumps in life by always looking ahead and not to dwell on the past.   I made some mistakes, but rather looking at them from a negative perspective, I learn and spin it into a positive outcome.

Through my various business ventures, I am involved with Health/Wellness, Digital Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Business Networking.  What I like to do is provide a tip for each venture for you to focus on in 2019.

Health/Wellness:    Exercise in the morning whether it is at home, at the gym or going for a run and take a multi-vitamin supplement.

By exercising in the morning, you are kick starting your day by being less stressed, more alert, and full of positive energy.   If you wait till after work, you are more likely to skip working out and go through a stressful day.   I have noticed since I have been exclusively working out in the morning,  I have leveraged my time for resulting producing activities in the evening.

Finally, take a multi-vitamin supplement in the morning.    By taking a good vitamin, you are strengthening your immune system and will allow your body to recover from your workout and the stresses of the previous day.   Unfortunately, most food today and especially your breakfast cereal do not have the vitamins you need to get through the day.

Digital Marketing:   Keep it positive and offer advice to your social media connections.

Unfortunately events in 2018 brought out the worst in people especially with the political situation going on and it was reflected in the social media posts..  Social Media has exposed the worst side of the First Amendment.

Going into 2019, follow a simple strategy, if what you like to post is negative and can offend anyone, do not post it.  It is that simple.   Instead post something that is positive and encouraging.   If you have a skill such as financial advice or how to exercise, provide some tips for your connections.

Entrepreneurship:  Even if you have a day job, start a side business.

You hear the stats all the time.  3 out of 4 millionaires have multiple streams of income or no job is safe anymore.   We are now in an entrepreneur economy and we are not going back.   The days of working 9 to 5 at the same job and then going home to watch TV or have a hobby and expecting Social Security and that 401k to cover retirement are OVER.   I experience it all the time, good friends of mine at the same job for years and years and they look at me like I am some crazy unstable person with multiple ventures and going from job to job.   But that is today's reality.

Do you have a hobby or a drive to dictate what you earn.  Do you want to have control of your own financial destiny?   If so, start a side business alongside your day job.  It is that simple.  With the internet today, you can do anything from anywhere.   What the side business will allow you to do is build another income that can be used toward retirement or investments such as real estate while the day job pays the bills.   There are so many options out there for side businesses whether it is consulting or network marketing or even owning a traditional business.   If you like, contact me if you like to discuss some options.

Business Networking:  Go to networking events even if you have never been and make friends.

Just like I mentioned in the entrepreneur section of my blog, we are in a different economy now.  The traditional way to connect with people and to look for work has changed.   Gone are the days of looking through a newspaper or on for your next opportunity.   You have to network at events to meet professionals and build great relationships.  It is extremely likely that your next opportunity will come from someone you met at a networking event.

Everyone at networking events are there for the same reason, to meet professionals and build relationships with like minded professionals.  So with the new year upon us, make 2019 the year you attend at least one networking event a month and build that contact list.   Linkedin is the best social network to track the people you meet and stay connected to them.  Finally, join my group on Facebook and contact me if you need help getting started in the world of business networking.
So hopefully,  I was able to provide some great tips to start the year for you.  It will be exciting year ahead with lots of great change.  Let's connect and help each other out and be successful together!

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Networking is a Waste of Time - If You Do It The Wrong Way

It is hard to believe that 2018 is coming to a close and my business networking group Mass Professional Networking is closing on its sixth year of existence.    Since it is the end of the year, I am not going to bore you with some end of the year formal list of business networking tips, but I like to provide some feedback of what I have learned over the last few years why networking is actually a waste of time for some people, if you do it the wrong way.

Business Networking is the #1 way to build a trustful leads database.  Now I am not talking about some names list, but simply a list of people that you know.   You hear it all the time from sales training education to "make a list" but in reality, if you use social media, you already have a list by default.

I would like to provide you some approaches to how you can network that will help make the most of your events and the time you spend before, during and after an event.

The first tip is the most important.  You need to serve the people that you meet, not sell to them.
Everyone has a skill or a service, but not everyone needs you or your service.   That is why you need to lose the elevator pitch now and just go into a networking event with the mentality that you are going to serve the people you meet, or in other words, help them.  If you don't want to help people, then networking is a waste of time.

The second tip is easy, lose the elevator pitch.

I have met thousands of professionals over the years, and at least 80% of the people I meet, start with a fifteen minute story about their company, their business or simply themselves before they even ask me my name or even what I do.    I understand that time is money and your boss wants you to make appointments, but a networking event is not the place to do this.   For this reason, networking is a waste of time, and you are better off dialing for dollars doing cold calling.

The third tip is more of an online tip, what you do after an event or after connecting to someone on Linkedin.     I have thousands of Linkedin connections as a result of all the networking.  The biggest pet peeve I have is the elevator pitch follow-up message from someone I met at an event or even from someone I connected to on Linkedin.   For example, I connected to this IT professional from Denver since I figured they had similar skills and perhaps I wanted to expand in Colorado someday.   Five minutes after I connected, the person proceeded to send me a long elevator pitch message asking if I had any computers that need to be recycled.   Gee, can you wait a few days?   If you intend to use social media to mass message your elevator pitch, then online networking is a waste of time.

Finally, there is the networkers that think a networking event is a dating event.   I am a very happily married man and because I am an extrovert and run business networking events, I have no problem going up to people.   So one day, I went up to a very attractive woman to introduce myself and she proceeded to turn her back on me pretending to be on her phone.   She proceeded to do this to anyone that came up to her.   Again, I am there for business and part of the deal at events is that everyone is supposed to be friendly and look for ways to help each other professionally.   So if you go to a networking event with the thought that if some guy or girl goes up to you to introduce themselves for non-professional reasons, then for you, networking events are a waste of time.

So hopefully some of these tips will help you and provide some insight.   To summarize, help one another,  stick to business and hold the elevator pitch, and you will notice that networking events are no longer a waste of time.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Why Having a Side Hustle is Good For You

My life totally changed in 2007.   I was at the end of my tenure at a large retail company in IT and I was getting antsy.  I needed something different and thought there was more to life than going to a 9-to-5 job, go home and watch TV or blow time at the local bar sipping cheap beer talking about the drama at the 9-to-5 gig.

One day, I decided to go to a networking event at my alma mater just to try out something new and meet some different people.   At my first event, I knew I was in a different environment.   The other professionals in the room were positive, friendly and they all had something different.   They all seemed to have something they were passionnate about.   Most of them worked a 9-to-5, but it was what they were doing after 5pm that got them all excited and positive about what life will bring.

So what was it that got them all excited?   The side hustle!

In 2018, research has shown that more American millenials have a side hustle than ever before.  And it is not just millenials, baby boomers are doing it to, since they know the corporate world is in their rear view mirror.  The side hustles may be freelancing, teaching, doing Uber or starting a side business in real estate, network marketing or franchising.   Studies have shown that having a side hustle provides a lot of mental health benefits since it is something to look forward to and indulge in your entrepreneurial spirit.

Here are five benefits I have experienced since I have started my side hustles alongside my day job.

1. I have gained control of my life.

When you care deeply about your work as I do, it can be frustrating when you aren't able to call the shots or make an impact the leaves you feeling fulfilled.  This might be especially true if you feel stunted in a toxic culture, are miserable as the result of a bad boss, or are stuck in a situation where you simply don't have the freedom to do things the way you want to on the job.  I am familiar with these struggles firsthand, and by having my side hustles, I have the ability to call the shots and control my own domain.

2.  I have grown personally and professionally since I started my side hustles.

Professional learning opportunities are one of a job's best perks, whether you have teammates who teach you new skills or enjoy access to books and classes throught your company.   Sure, that was great back in the 1990s when I travelled all over the world for classes and seminars that my company paid for.   Unfortunately today, the information you need to know to do your job well might not always be of interest to you.   Having a side hustle that challenges you in an area you're genuinely interested in is exciting and give you a sense of purpose.  I have done my share of reading and have enrolled in numerous classes on digital marketing and health/wellness which are my passions.

3.  I am not so stressed anymore.

I am now doing something that makes me feel energized, proud, and confident that helps me combat any work worries at the 9-to-5.   If you are doing something you enjoy while making money doing it, you won't be as stressed as if all you do is go to your job and then go home and stress about your job.  Working on your passion brings you a much needed  mental break from day-job-related stress.

4. I am definitely not bored with life, far from it.

If you have been in your current role for a long time but love what you do but crave more variety?   A side hustle can you explore skills or talents that you enjoy but don't get to use nearly enough.  You should keep things interesting by pursuing a side hustle that is a complete departure from your usual work routine.   I have a great example.  By day I manage an IT organization at a health care company.  By evening, I run a digital marketing company as well as a health/wellness company.   I don't stop there.  I also run one of Boston's most successful business networking groups.   Like I mentioned, I am not bored.   Because of my side hustles, I come back to my 9-to-5 more refreshed.

5.  I have built some amazing relationships since I have started my side hustles.

Sure, your day job might introduce you to plenty of smart people in your industry but believe me when you explore your entrepreneurial pursuit, the new friends and contacts that you make are a whole different mindset.  The old saying is it is all about who you hang with.   Since I have tapped into my new social circles, I feel much more connected, fulfilled and happy.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

For Entrepreneurs - Top Tips for Networking this Holiday Season

Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way, oh what fun it is to have some prospects in my sleigh! Hey!

The Holiday Season is a time that brings people together, so enjoy it. Live, laugh and love during this holiday season. But what does this mean for you the entrepreneur? It simply means you should take advantage of any potential gatherings.
You will find that stores extend their hours over the holidays, why? Because it’s the busiest time of the year for them. And being an entrepreneur there is no exception, if anything this is your time to shine. With countless interactions, social events, celebrations and more – there has never been an easier time to start networking.
Your first conversation is your gateway to meeting more people. It can be intimidating, but with the right approach you can ease your way into. Don’t focus on the fear, for you introverts out there I know how intimidating this can be.
Here’s the key to networking during the holidays – confidence. You have nothing to be afraid of, because you have the key to something incredible; opportunity. You can offer people an opportunity. Whether it be to improve their health, to turn their spending into earning, to shop online and earn cashback, to make some extra money on the side in retailing, or to become an entrepreneur and run their own business – all opportunities. So, don’t go into this with a list of things you want, go into it with a list of things you can offer. The goal here should not be to desperately grow your business, it should be to listen. Simply, listen.
Be genuine and personal. You should not be focusing the same statement to each individual person, as this will come across “salesy”. Each person you approach should lead to a personal conversation that relates to their story.

1. Introduce yourself, and most importantly remember their name – during the conversation use it to address them a few times to develop a relationship.
2. Ask and care about what they do – this breaks the ice and allows them to welcome you into their world.
3. Be able to talk about topics other than work, so find a similar interest – not only is it a great way to keep the conversation going but it allows you to bond over something common.
4. Continue to maintain that confidence and start to think about what solution you may be able to offer them
5. Most importantly – the last 5 minutes of your conversation are what people remember the most, so when you are closing focus on what you want them to remember the most!

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 ...