What To Do While at a Networking Meeting

What To Do at a Meeting to Make the Most of The Networking Opportunities

Exchange business cards at networking meetings.

Networking meetings can feel like a waste of time if you don’t have a good strategy. If you are going to take the time and effort to go to a meeting, you want to maximize the benefits. Here are three easy ideas to help you make the most of the networking at the event.

  1. Go with the mindset to meet and talk with several people. If you are spending your time and perhaps your money to go to a networking meeting, you might as well get some good benefits from it. Don’t aim to talk with every person in the room. That just feels overwhelming and sets you up for frustration and disappointment. Aim to meet and talk with three to seven people, depending on the amount of time available.
  2. Aim to take a few minutes with each person to get acquainted. Ask them about themselves. You can ask about what they do, or where they are from, or how they found out about the meeting. These are easy questions to get a conversation started. You can go a step further and ask if there are other networking meetings they enjoy attending, what is the best thing that happened to them that day, or what project they are working on that is most exciting and energizing to them at this time. All of these are open-ended questions that invite the other person to answer with more than just a word or two. All of them will help you to get to know them a little bit better.
  3. Another great strategy is to go with the intention to be helpful to other people. This could include looking around the room to see if there is someone who looks like they might be new. Go over and say “Hello” to them and perhaps introduce them to another person or two. Of, if you arrive early, ask the host or the organizer if there is anything you can help with. This is always appreciated and it gives you a way to contribute as well as to meet them.
  4. Take business cards with you and ask each person you meet for one of their cards. Ask if you can give them one of yours as well. Most people will be gracious and exchange cards if you ask. If they don’t have a card with them, ask them to write their contact information on the back of one of your cards. Bring extra cards with you for this purpose and be ready to offer a pen if they need one. Then, draw a line through the front of that card, to help you remember to not accidentally give it to someone else later.

These are some easy strategies that can help you meet people when you are in any networking situation. For some additional tips about what to do before you go to the meeting, check out my other article on this topic.

What are your favorite strategies that help you develop relationships and feel comfortable when you are networking? I’d love for you to add your comments or questions about this in the comments area below.

What To Do Before a Networking Event

Easy Steps Before a Networking Event

Easy Networking PreparationsWhen you invest your time and energy to go to a live event or a networking group meeting, you want to make the most of it. One of the best things you can do is to take a few minutes to prepare for the event before you go. Here are some suggestions to help you get ready for your next networking opportunity.

  1. Find out some of the details about the group and the event. What is the structure of the meeting? Is there a speaker? Is there an opportunity for each person to say a few words of introduction? Sometimes the website will reveal this information. Or you may be able to find a contact name or phone  number so you can ask these questions before you go to the meeting. Get the address and check out the location on a map app or GPS  ahead of time. This will help you plan your route and the amount of travel time needed to get to the event.
  2. Plan what you’ll wear and what you’ll take. It’s always smart to dress professionally. Even when it’s a more casual event, choose sharp casual. Take plenty of business cards. Aim for twice as many cards as you think you may need. This gives you extras in case some of the people you meet don’t have a card. You can ask them to write their contact info on the back of one of your cards. (Draw a diagonal line across the front of those cards so you don’t accidentally give them to someone else.)
  3. Set a couple of goals or intentions for the meeting. For example, aim to meet three to five new people. Don’t try to meet everyone. That’s not a realistic goal and it sets you up for frustration and disappointment. Another great goal is to listen for a way you can help at least one person that you meet. You can also set a goal to listen for a resource that would help you right now. This could be finding other network meetings, finding the name of a good person to meet, or asking for recommendations for a resource you need.

Taking these three steps will only take a few minutes and they will position you well as you go to your next meeting or event. It will increase the benefits you receive from attending events, as well as the value you can contribute to the people you meet there.

What are your preparation steps before you go to networking events? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Also, in future blog posts I’ll share ideas and strategies for what to do when you are at events, and after events as well. What questions would you like me to address in those posts?

Overcome Procrastination and Get More Done Now

You can overcome procrastination by getting startedYou Can Overcome Procrastination And Get More Done Now

Just about everyone struggles with procrastination at one time or another.  You may only have occasional challenges with it, or you may find yourself wrestling with procrastination almost every day. But the challenge is always how to overcome procrastination and make progress on your important goals and tasks.

I want to share three great strategies that can help you with this. These are techniques that work for me and I would love to know if you find them helpful too. I hope you will try them out, experiment with them to see which ones will work best for you.

By definition, procrastination is putting off a task or a project.  The opposite of this is to take action.  And even more, it is just getting started on your task. Even taking a single small step is a way to move out of procrastination and into action.  Here are some ways to help yourself get started on a task.

  1. Choose an action that is very small and easy to do. Just knowing that it is not big or difficult can help you feel more confident about getting it started.  Think about all of the little actions that you could do now to make progress on your projects.  Pick the smallest, easiest step that can be done now.  Once you have done that little step, you will probably feel pleased that you have made some progress on your project.  If you can, look for another small step and complete it.  Even if you only do a few steps now, you are still taking action and overcoming the procrastination.
  2. Wait to take a break until after you have completed at least one step on the project you have been putting off. As with the strategy above, it is okay to choose a small step.  But make some progress on it before you shift gears into something more enjoyable.  Knowing that you have the positive experience coming in a few minutes can help you jump in and take action.  This is an simple strategy that you can use every day and it doesn’t require anything fancy or expensive.
  3. Make it part of your regular routine. If you have a task that you need to do regularly, plan a particular time for it in your daily or weekly routine. For example, I do a short set of simple exercises each day as I wait for my morning tea to brew. It takes less than five minutes to do. And because it is now part of my everyday routine, I don’t have to spend time or energy thinking about when to do it. Because it has become a regular part of my routine I rarely procrastinate about it, so I don’t have to experience feeling bad about procrastinating about doing it.

These are three of my favorite simple ways to overcome procrastination. Think about actions you have been putting off.  Choose one of these techniques and see how you can use it to help you take more action on the thing that matter most to you.

Coaching Question:  What small action or task could you build into your daily routine to overcome procrastination, so that you don’t have to make the decision about doing it again and again?

I would love to hear about your successes as you put these methods into action in your personal and professional life! Please share your experience in the comment area below. {Continue Reading… }

Grow Your Business and Make It Bloom

Grow Your Business Now

Is your business growing and “blooming” beautifully?  A business is a lot like a plant.  It is growing and changing and it needs certain things to help it really flourish and bloom.

A plant needs the right combination of sunlight and good soil and nutrients and water in order to grow and bloom.  Your business needs things to help it grow and thrive and “bloom” too.

For example, your business needs to be visible.  You need to make your business visible in a variety of ways so that potential customers can find you and learn about how you can help them.  Your business also needs ideas and the time and attention to implement the ideas.  Your business needs good resources to help you provide services and to meet the day to day needs of keeping the business functioning.  Your business may need shaping and pruning too, to help it to grow in productive directions over time.

So, just as you will need to nurture and tend the plants in your garden to have them grow and bloom, you will need to nurture and tend your business to keep it growing and “blooming” too.  With the right attention and a bit of luck, it can grow and bloom and thrive!

Attract More Clients: How to Find Them and How They Find You

I was taking a business class last week and one of the ideas that
really caught my attention was that if you have 100 core ideas
you may be able to build a revenue stream or even a whole
business around it. That got me to thinking about one of the
favorite topics that I coach and teach my clients about, and that
is ways to grow your business and attract more clients.

I started to think about whether I have, or could create, one
hundred or more ideas on this topic. I found that I already have
a pretty big list of ideas on this topic, and I decided it would
be a great goal to aim for one hundred. So, I am going to start
building this list of ideas, techniques, books, resources, and
strategies. And I would like to share some of those ideas with
you as I build the list. Let’s start with one today, to help you
grow your business.

This technique is a simple one, but don’t underestimate it
because it can be very powerful. And it is always a great place
to start when you want to attract more customers and clients.
To do this, open your calendar and your client files, and look at
the past six to twelve months to see all the clients you have
served. Make a list of all of the different ways they have found
you, or you have found them. For example, did you receive
referrals from current or past clients? Did you meet them at
networking meetings? Did you give talks and speeches or teach a
class? Did they find you through a Google search online? List

Then, analyze your list to see what you can learn from it. Which
methods brought the most clients? Which methods did you enjoy
most? Which methods were your least favorites? Which methods
were the most and least expensive? Which methods were the
easiest for you to use? And, which were the most difficult or
complex to use?

After you have analyzed your list of the various ways that
customers and clients have come to you, you can begin to see
which methods might be good to expand and do more of, and which
methods you may want to do less of in the future. Identify the
top three methods that are working best for you. Look to see if
you might be able to attract more clients by doing more of these
methods, or by giving them more emphasis. By focusing on the
things that are working well for you, you may be able to attract
more clients more easily than by having to invest time and effort
to experiment with something completely new.

I would love to know what you discover when you try this
technique. Which methods are working best for your business to
attract clients to you now?

Refresh your goals

Springtime is a great time to take a fresh look at your goals.  There is fresh energy all around and I hope you are feeling some of this energy too.  One of the smartest things you can do is to make use of the things that are already happening in your environment and this is a perfect example of that.  You can use this natural springtime feeling of new growth and energy to help you achieve succes in your personal and professional life.  Here are a great way to do that:

1.  Take a fresh look at your goals for the year.  Choose three to five key goals that you will focus on.  Even if you already set goals for yourself at the beginning of the year, take a few minutes now to review and update those goals, based on how things are going now.  You may need to adjust your list, dropping a goal from the list, or adding a goal, to make the goals fit your life as it is now.

2.  Then, for each goal, make a list of three steps you could take to move forward with each of your goals.  Make these very small, very easy steps that you know you can accomplish.  If you need to, take a larger action step and break it down into smaller elements.  Small steps are great because your sense of confidence about them can help you to stay in action.

3.  The third thing that I would like you to do is to schedule at least one action step for each goal into your calendar so you will take action on it in the next week.  The idea is to build that great feeling of accomplishment and to see progress on each of your goals.

4.  Finally, set up some type of structure to support you in taking action and acknowledging your progress.  A simple way to do this is to choose a partner or a friend and agree to check in with each other briefly each day to let them know your progress.  You can do this with a quick phone call, an email, or a text message.  Ask about their goals and their progress too…cheer each other to success.  Another option is to work with a coach to help you achieve your goals.

Take five or ten minutes today to do this quick exercise and use the fresh energy of springtime to your natural advantage to help you achieve your key goals for this year.



Appreciation for your current work situation

When you think about your career plan there are two main elements to consider.  The first is how to maximize where you are now.  The second is exploring and planning for your next career steps.   Both elements are important for a successful career.  For today, I want to focus just on the first part, making the most of your current work situation.

This first step, maximizing where you are now, acknowledges that whatever your current circumstances may be, there are positive aspects and even opportunities available to you there.  Even if your current work situation is less than ideal, there are likely a few aspects that are positive even if you have to look to find them.  Look closely and see if you can find them!
Coaching Action:  I would like you to do a little experiment with me…. {Continue Reading… }

Take a Class or Workshop

A great way to grow your business is to take a class or workshop  to increase your skills.   Learning can spark your energy, broaden your perspective, and help you move forward to new levels of business success. 

You have many options for learning…you can attend a class in a regular classroom setting, or you can learn in a variety of other formats. 

Your professional association can be a good source for workshops and classes.  The association meetings themselves often include an educational component, whether it is at a local meeting, or at a regional or international conference.  

Chambers of Commerce are another good learning resource.  Attending classes sponsored by the Chamber offers opportunities to network with a variety of other business owners too.

Local colleges, universities, and Community Education departments are more good sources for learning opportunities.  Browse through their class listings to see if their offering will help you expand your business skills.

Teleseminars, webinars, and home study courses are good options if you want to be able to learn from your home or your office without having to travel. 

You can also create your own classroom on the go, if you have the option to download a recording of a teleseminar, or to listen to an audiobook.   Learning from an audio recording allows you to listen while you are driving or exercising   It also lets you start and stop the recording, or go back and re-listen to a segment for more clarity. 

With all of these options for learning, which format and which topic would most help you to grow your business now?   The most successful people I know are always learning.  I hope you will join their ranks and have fun learning skills that can help your business grow! 


Plan Time for Tech Learning–Part Two

In the last post, I shared the first three tips for including time for technical learning in your week as a strategy for growing your business. I promised more in this post. Here are some strategies that have helped me find greater enjoyment and less resistance to the process of learning tech-y things. See if they might be useful for you too:

4. Ask for a bit of help from a friend, colleague, neighbor, (or teenager) who has the technical knowledge you want to learn. Sometimes they can help you with a quick answer, or they may be able to guide you to a good resource. Be willing to return the favor and help them in some way, or at least express your gratitude and appreciation.

5. Try shifting your mindset. Look at the tech learning process as an ongoing exploration and adventure, part of staying current, a way to keep your mind agile and flexible, and part of keeping your business moving forward.

6. Keep things in perspective. Generally, you don’t need (or want) to be out on the extreme leading edge of technology, but you don’t want to be completely out of the flow either. And it is easier to keep taking small steps forward with your technical learning than to stop and then have to make a big effort to catch up!

So I am wondering…what is the next little tech-y thing you will learn this week? And I would love to know your favorite way to learn new technical things or to stay current with tech-y things! I invite you to share a comment about this.

Plan Time For Tech Learning

It may seem like a contradiction, but a great way to grow your business is to include time for learning tech-y things. You might think that you would be wiser to spend your time doing your core work or your regular marketing activities. It might seem like time for tech learning would be a distraction, or just a necessity to be endured. But investing some of your time each week learning technical things really can help you grow your business.

I have to confess that learning technical things is not always my favorite thing to do, but I have found some ways to make it easier. Here are some ideas that have helped me…I hope some of them will be helpful to you too:

1. Choose technical skills that will help you do important tasks faster or easier. An example might be spending a hour or two learning how to use your new telephone and some of its features. You will be able to use the phone more quickly and easily. You will likely feel less frustration too.

2. Choose technical skills where it will be helpful to have at least a broad understanding of what is possible. For example, you may not need to become an expert with Excel, but it can be very helpful to have at least an introduction to the program and to have a sense for what can be done with the program. You may still choose (and perhaps wisely) to outsource Excel tasks to an assistant. But you will have a better knowledge of and an appreciation for what your assistant can do for you with Excel.

3. Start a list of technical things you need or want to learn. Add to the list as more ideas occur to you. Each week, choose at least one item from your list and schedule a bit of time to start learning about it. You don’t have to master it, just take a small step forward in your knowledge or skill level.

Let’s start with these three ideas for today…I will share some more in the next blog post. In the meantime, I would love to know what you would put on your current list of tech-y things to learn.