Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The 9 Things You Need to Let Go of For Success in 2017


As an entrepreneur, you are your best friend and your worst enemy. You vacillate between believing in your ability to take on the world, making it better as only you can, and doubting your worth, self-sabotaging through procrastination and unnecessary spending. You can make 2017 your best year yet, but in order to do so, you'll need to let go of a few nasty habits.

1. Having a sense of entitlement.

Yes, you are a special snowflake with a unique combination of skills and vision, but that doesn't mean the world owes you anything, especially as an entrepreneur. If you want success, you need to make it happen. You want a new client or your company featured in a great publication, then you'd better start hustling to make it happen.

2. Trying to do everything alone.

That said, don't try to do everything alone. It's okay to ask for help and advice, and you can even hire someone to take some of the burden off your shoulders. You have a whole network of friends and fellow entrepreneurs who will be happy to help you, whether it's because you've helped them or because they just want to see you succeed. Entrepreneurship is hard enough -- don't make it unnecessarily harder.

3. Trying to be perfect.

Everyone fails sometimes. A successful person is the one who keeps getting up until eventually, life stops knocking her down. Trying to be perfect will keep you from making the mistakes and riding the learning curve that you need to in order to reach success.

4. Comparing yourself with others. 

Successful people are meant to be inspirations. Their success can be a potential roadmap to help you avoid the same blocks they stumbled over on their way to the top. You are not supposed to look at them and castigate yourself for not being equally successful. They started and made their way with hard work, and if you focus on the lessons you can learn from them instead of where they are now, you'll get there too.

http://wnfp.org/excel-program


5. Procrastinating. 

Certain parts of your business aren't fun. You might hate dealing with email campaigns or formatting your website. No many people enjoy preparing contracts or invoices, but every single step is important and needs to get done. Don't let procrastination be the reason you're behind meeting your targets and reaching your goals.

6. Being underprepared.

Whether it's the result of procrastination or overconfidence, being underprepared can ruin client pitches, client work and your reputation -- which, once tarnished, is so very hard to fix. No matter how confident you are that you know your stuff, prepare for everything. Have a "plan B" and a "worst case scenario plan." You may never need them, but you'll be glad you have them if you do.

7. Constantly complaining. 

Not only is it exhausting to always be miserable, but you'll turn off other people who might have otherwise wanted to help or work with you. If all you do is complain, you'll be too busy to see opportunities. You will be so focused on the negative that you won't appreciate what you do have. If something isn't right, fix it. Don't complain.

8. Buying things you don't need.

While it might be exciting to buy all the new toys, focus instead on ways to spend your money that will get you closer to your dreams. A new computer might be flashy and fun, but the course on Google Analytics or revamping your website might be a better use of your money. Or you could always tuck that money away for a rainy day -- they do happen eventually.

9. Thinking you're not ready.

No one is ever really ready for the big things in life -- starting a business, having a baby, etc. You just have to figure out things as you go. That isn't to say that you shouldn't have a knowledge base and a plan, but as they say in programming “if you're not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you've launched too late.” Don't wait for the perfect moment. Do it now.

There are plenty of things that can be roadbumps in your business. Don't let the things you have control over be one of them. Fix these bad habits and bad mindsets, and go into 2017 ready to accomplish your dreams.




Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com
Image credit: Getty images

ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business organization focused on providing our members and guests with an extraordinary networking experience, bringing business professionals together for the sole purpose of generating new relationships and developing new business opportunities. Not a member, learn how you can become a member and join this awesome group of professionals to connect and grow your business.

Stay Connected with WNFP!
Join WNFP Communities!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Fastest Way To Achieve Success Is To First Help Others Succeed


Without a doubt, the fastest way to achieve success is to first help others succeed. Yet, there seems to be a belief in the business world that the only way to get ahead is to only watch out for ‘number one’. That is simply not the case. Brian Tracy explained it best when he said, "Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, 'What's in it for me?'" The fact is that our greatest successes in life often come through helping others to succeed, and without question, when you focus on helping others succeed your eventual payoff will always be far greater than your investment.

Here are five ways that everyone can help others to succeed, and in turn find greater success themselves:

Pay attention to the details of other people’s lives.

When you make the effort to remember the important details of others’ lives, such as their spouse’s name, their children, their hobbies, etc. your ability to be a positive impact in their life increases tremendously. It lets the other person know how important they are to you. It lets them know that you truly care about their life. The more a person knows that you genuinely care about them, the more they will in turn move heaven and earth to help you with the things you want. And with the contact tracking tools available on our electronic devices today, it is incredibly simple to make quick notes about people so your memory can always be fresh.

Help people connect by sharing your network with others.

Be willing to introduce people to others you know who can help advance or forward their goals. When you have a networking event to attend, invite people to come with you that could benefit from expanding their network as well. The more you open up your network to others, the more you will find your own network expanding, and you might just be amazed at the incredible contacts you end up receiving from the most unlikely people.


Inspiring a person is worth far more than motivating a person.

You can motivate an employee with a raise, or a fancy title, and for a period of time they will feel motivated to work harder to show their appreciation. But after a little time passes they begin to forget the additional money and the fancier title because those have now become the “norm” and you’ll find that, once again, they are back to needing added motivation to take their performance to the next level. On the other hand if you inspire an employee by treating them with respect and frequently letting them know, in a sincere way, just how much you appreciate them and the contribution they are making, you will find that they are constantly motivated to continually increase their efforts on an ongoing basis. Inspiring others is the ultimate form of perpetual motivation.


Give honest feedback in a respectful and constructive way.


This is one of the most difficult things for people to learn to do well. Many people don’t like confronting issues and would rather dance around them, while those who do like confrontation often aren’t respectful or constructive in the way they give it. But those who can learn the skill of giving honest and open feedback in a constructive and uplifting way can have a tremendous impact on improving the lives of others. One trick that has helped me with giving good feedback is to always make sure that I am walking into the conversation with the mindset of truly caring about this person and wanting to genuinely help them to improve. If I go into the conversation with that motivation then my words naturally come out better. The more you give feedback to helps others improve, the more you will find that they will, in turn, open up to you and give you feedback that helps you to improve as well.



You have to be willing to put the needs of others first, even when it means you have to overlook your own wants.


“Marine leaders are expected to eat last because the true price of leadership is the willingness to place the needs of others above your own.” –Simon Sinek.

This particular point can be one of the most intimidating things to actually do because in the moment it feels so counterintuitive to put others needs above your own when doing so appears to require you to set aside your own desires. But as counterintuitive as it sounds, the fact is that it genuinely works. Perhaps not instantly, but over time it eventually leads to getting you everything you want and more. I can say this with absolute conviction because I have seen it in my own life. As a CEO I found that the more I focused on helping my employees to personally succeed both in their professional and personal lives, the more my entire company succeeded - and as a result, I personally succeeded far more than I ever would have imagined.


http://wnfp.org/excel-program




Source: http;//inc.com

ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business organization focused on providing our members and guests with an extraordinary networking experience, bringing business professionals together for the sole purpose of generating new relationships and developing new business opportunities. Not a member, learn how you can become a member and join this awesome group of professionals to connect and grow your business.

Stay Connected with WNFP!
Join WNFP Communities!

Get Connected: How to Expand Your Offline Social Network




We are living in times of massive change.

Looking at some of the problems we are facing—the crumbling economy, environmental pollution, wars over scarce resources—sometimes the idea of moving far away to a remote mountain top seems very attractive. Or hiding in that small space behind the computer screen. Anything that helps us avoid real life and all its challenges.

But of course, if everybody thought that way, who would actually get up and do something about our situation? And is it enough to receive words of comfort through an email? We also need a smile and a good hug.

Shouldn’t we move closer together in times of hardship?

Despite accelerating globalization, which is connecting everybody and everything in an ever-growing web, there is a worrying development: People are feeling more and more isolated.

We have hundreds of friends on Facebook, but hardly anybody knows the names of their neighbors. All the social online sites are great, no doubt about it. But does the exchange happening there provide the human warmth we so desperately need?

Recently there was a fire in the head office of my internet provider. Over 100,000 customers went involuntarily offline for three days. Lots of people complained, many panicked, and almost everybody suffered from some kind of withdrawal symptoms within the first day.

Imagine you were suddenly without Internet for a week. No email, no Facebook, and no chat rooms. An important question arises: Do you have enough friends left who live nearby?

Do you have enough friends you can connect with when you need advice, encouragement, or simply somebody who listens?

The majority of my family lives a 3–hour flight away. We are perfectly linked through text messages, emails, and regular video calls on Skype—technology at its best! However, what I really miss is being able to pop by for a cup of tea.

Who knows—maybe one day I’ll return to live in my home country. But right now, I’m in a different place, and so I need to make sure that I am well-connected to my local community. Because in times of trouble, I need to rely on people who are physically close to me.

You have to make an effort, but ultimately it’s your own choice whether you want to feel like a stranger in the place where you live or you want to start making a strong offline network.

http://www.wnfp.org 


Here are 5 great ways to connect to your local community.

1. Make offline visits.


How much time do you spend looking at some kind of screen—computer, telephone, television? And how often do you have a face-to-face conversation with a good friend?

Usually it’s laziness that keeps us from leaving the house. We’d rather stay comfortably on the sofa than go outside. Yet friendships are like the plants in a garden. If you don’t care for them, you won’t get anything in return.

You will only receive if you give in the first place, whether it’s money, time or joy.
So the next time you are tempted to check your email for the 5th time, switch off your computer and visit somebody who lives near you.

2. Organize a neighborhood party.


Every week I get various party invitations through Facebook. Great, but the problem is that most of those parties take place in a different town, a different country, or even on a different continent. And as you look through the list of the other people who are invited, you are likely to find that most don’t live close by either.

So why not have a party where you invite everybody you know who lives in your vicinity—friends, neighbors, and even strangers. It’s the perfect way to strengthen your local network of real human beings. You’ll crease new relationships, organize communal projects, and most importantly, have fun!

3. Join a club, band, or course.

How many new friends have you made online in the last year, and how many offline?
Many people believe that the only place to meet others is in a bar, but that’s obviously not true.

Depending on your interests, the chances are actually quite small that you will meet any like-minded people at midnight when everybody is drunk.

Instead, think about something you really enjoy doing and then find out who else is doing it. There are lots of opportunities.

If you love music take up dancing classes or join a band. If you like a particular sport, become a member of a club. If there is a subject you have always been interested, enroll for a course and learn about it.

Sharing common interests is the best way to make new friends!

4. Buy your food from local shops.


It always saddens me when I see that shopping is becoming more and more a totally anonymous experience. Supermarkets and malls often have a cold atmosphere. The formally vibrant and social market places have been reduced to centers of pure consumerism. No wonder online shops are booming.

More recently, there has been a revival of the local shop, which comes as no surprise if you look at the numerous advantages:

  • The money you spend stays in your town with local people, rather than enriching some unknown managers in far away cities.
  • Most little shops tend to sell more local products, which supports local businesses.
  • You know more about where your food comes from.
  • Instead of being a rather stressful experience, which is usually the case when you go to big supermarkets, shopping locally gives you a chance to slow down and turn a needed trip into a pleasant task.
  • And of course: Small shops provide a great place for social interaction! It’s a great opportunity to make new connections with the people that live around you, to chat—offline!

5. Offer a helping hand.

In every town or village there are many people and organizations that could really do with your help: charities, cultural associations, people who are ill or handicapped, children, stressed parents, neighbors. The list is almost endless.

The good thing is that when you offer help to people who need it, that they don’t care so much whether you are a friend or stranger. So if you want to find access to a local community, this is a great point to start.

Furthermore: What goes around comes around! When you help others, you’re rewarded with new social connections and new opportunities, not to mention a really good feeling.

We are currently facing the biggest challenge ever. Every day we have more difficulties to deal with, and I believe this will continue until we learn that the only solution for all of our problems is true coexistence.

We need to share instead of take away, listen instead of ignoring, and help instead of hurting.

No matter how big the crisis: We can only solve it together!




Source: https://tinybuddha.com
Image Credit: www.flickr.com
“Strangers are friends you have yet to meet.” ~Unknown
We are living in times of massive change.
Looking at some of the problems we are facing—the crumbling economy, environmental pollution, wars over scarce resources—sometimes the idea of moving far away to a remote mountain top seems very attractive. Or hiding in that small space behind the computer screen. Anything that helps us avoid real life and all its challenges.
But of course, if everybody thought that way, who would actually get up and do something about our situation? And is it enough to receive words of comfort through an email? We also need a smile and a good hug.
Shouldn’t we move closer together in times of hardship?
Despite accelerating globalization, which is connecting everybody and everything in an ever-growing web, there is a worrying development: People are feeling more and more isolated.
We have hundreds of friends on Facebook, but hardly anybody knows the names of their neighbors. All the social online sites are great, no doubt about it. But does the exchange happening there provide the human warmth we so desperately need?
Recently there was a fire in the head office of my internet provider. Over 100,000 customers went involuntarily offline for three days. Lots of people complained, many panicked, and almost everybody suffered from some kind of withdrawal symptoms within the first day.
Imagine you were suddenly without Internet for a week. No email, no Facebook, and no chat rooms. An important question arises: Do you have enough friends left who live nearby?
Do you have enough friends you can connect with when you need advice, encouragement, or simply somebody who listens?
The majority of my family lives a 3–hour flight away. We are perfectly linked through text messages, emails, and regular video calls on Skype—technology at its best! However, what I really miss is being able to pop by for a cup of tea.
Who knows—maybe one day I’ll return to live in my home country. But right now, I’m in a different place, and so I need to make sure that I am well-connected to my local community. Because in times of trouble, I need to rely on people who are physically close to me.
You have to make an effort, but ultimately it’s your own choice whether you want to feel like a stranger in the place where you live or you want to start making a strong offline network.

ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business organization focused on providing our members and guests with an extraordinary networking experience, bringing business professionals together for the sole purpose of generating new relationships and developing new business opportunities. Not a member, learn how you can become a member and join this awesome group of professionals to connect and grow your business.

Stay Connected with WNFP!
Join WNFP Communities!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Want to Train Yourself to Succeed? Science Says These 3 Things Matter Most


 Henry Ford once famously said: "Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right.".

It's a pithy quote (Ford was a quote machine), but now, just over 70 years after his death, a new research project funded by the National Science Foundation points to a wealth of evidence that backs him up.

The research focused on college students, specifically studying factors that made them more likely to good grades, stay in school, and graduate. There were three findings that together make up what I'm going to go ahead and call the Henry Ford rule: Learning to believe in yourself and your abilities, empirical research suggests, makes you more likely to succeed in and of itself.

Here's the research project, the takeaways, and how you can use them to improve your life--whether you're still a student or have long since left the classroom.

Not just a study: a study of studies.

The NSF-funded project involved 12 psychologists and other PhDs from universities and think tanks around the country, who reviewed reports on a total of 61 other experimental studies on college students and success.

Across the board, the report found, there were three main factors that foretold greater achievement across disciplines and regardless of factors like the students' test scores or socioeconomic status. The factors included:

1. Developing a sense of belonging.


This first factor has to do with the degree to which students believe they "belong in college, fit in well, and are socially integrated," according to a summary that quoted one of the study's co-authors, Fred Oswald, a professor of psychology at Rice University. Of the 61 studies involved, more than 50 found that simply feeling like they belonged in school had a positive impact on students' grades.

2. Enabling a "growth mindset.


"
Regular readers of this column will know that we're all about the growth mindset. Embracing the belief that intelligence is not a fixed attribute--that it can be strengthened through use, like a muscle--had a firm impact on students' success. Of the 61 studies, 75 percent found that embracing a growth mindset improved students' GPAs.

3. Having articulable personal goals and values.


Finally, 83 percent of the studies--by my math, that makes either 50 or 51--found that students who embraced "personal goals and values that [they] perceive[d] to be directly linked to the achievement of a future, desired end" were more likely to succeed. Again, this was measured mostly by comparing the students' GPAs.

http://wnfp.org/excel-program

Improving each factor, when they seem like common sense.


These three factors do sound like common sense when laid out like this--but that doesn't make them any less valid. And, just because they make sense to us doesn't necessarily mean that we're good at developing them.

So how can you make that happen? The key is to truly come to believe these three factors--and it turns out one way to do that may be writing them down.

According to Oswald, the studies in the NSF project often included practical exercises that students could use to improve their sense of belonging, their embrace of a growth mindset, and their adherence to core values. One "remarkable finding," according to the study, was the degree to which "brief writing exercises [improved] these intra- and interpersonal competencies."

For example, students who were required to "write about the relevance of course topics to their own life or to the life of a family member or close friend" saw positive development. Another remedy involved what sounds like a bit of benevolent manipulation--making students feel more at home on campus by having them write stories and reflections that "fram[ed] social adversity as common and transient."

Simply put, having them write in a way that emphasizes that everyone feels out of place sometimes, and that most of us manage to get over it, will improve the situation. And this suggests that making a conscious effort to examine these beliefs, perhaps by journaling or other written exercises, might help internalize them.

As the writer Flannery O'Connor once said, "I write because I don't know what I think until I read what I say."



Source: www.Inc.com      
Image Credit: Getty Images


ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business organization focused on providing our members and guests with an extraordinary networking experience, bringing business professionals together for the sole purpose of generating new relationships and developing new business opportunities. Not a member, learn how you can become a member and join this awesome group of professionals to connect and grow your business.

Stay Connected with WNFP!
Join WNFP Communities!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Why Helping Others Succeed Can Be Your Greatest Success




This past week I sent an e-mail to a friend. I thanked him for helping me over the years and being a significant factor in Becoming Minimalist’s success. He wrote back, “If I have helped you succeed, I am happy.” It was a short e-mail response, but it communicated an important truth: Our greatest successes in life are often found in helping others succeed. Our most lasting and fulfilling achievements are often earned by helping others fulfill theirs.

This is foreign thinking to a culture that often sees the world as one giant competition. In their mind, there is a set number of winners and losers. And if somebody else wins, that’s one less opportunity for me. But I have come to realize the mindset of competition is based on a faulty premise. It assumes there is a finite sized pie – that one more success in another’s life equals one less success in mine. But quite frankly, this thinking is incorrect.

There is wonderful freedom and grace in realizing the size of the pie is not finite – that in reality, the pie keeps growing. Another’s success does not mean I have less opportunity. In fact, another’s success can actually be my success if I had opportunity to enable, encourage, and promote them along the way!

Consider how helping another achieve success (however you/they decide to define it) results in significant benefits in a number of directions:

  • The receiver has reached a far greater potential than they could have on their own.
  • The world has been bettered and has been given a life-giving model to emulate.
  • The giver is remembered fondly and is often publicly (and privately) thanked for their contribution.
  • A stranger is likely to be the recipient of the original receiver “paying it forward.”
  • And the cycle begins again.

Now, just to be clear, I am starting with an assumption that our greatest joys in life are rarely found in the relentless pursuit of selfish ambition – that selfish desires always leave us lacking and searching for more. Some may think that line of thinking is too unrealistic, far-fetched, or old-fashioned. They believe that in a dog-eat-dog-world if I’m not looking out for #1, nobody is. But that line of thinking is short-sighted.

Inherently, we know we have been designed to live for something greater than ourselves. Our contribution to this world has to be measured by something more meaningful than the size of our house or the neighborhood where it is located. And our lives are going to find lasting significance in how we choose to live them… and how we enable others to live theirs.

http://wnfp.org/excel-program








 Source: http://www.becomingminimalist.com


ABOUT WNFP

Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business organization focused on providing our members and guests with an extraordinary networking experience, bringing business professionals together for the sole purpose of generating new relationships and developing new business opportunities. Not a member, learn how you can become a member and join this awesome group of professionals to connect and grow your business.

Stay Connected with WNFP!
Join WNFP Communities!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

5 Keys to Entrepreneurial Success in 2017

Gamblers trust to luck, entrepreneurs trust in their own hard work.  



If you are ready to experience entrepreneurial success in 2017, be prepared to work. There aren’t any $37 eBooks or $97/month programs that are going to magically eliminate or reduce the workload that is required to be successful.

The other day I overheard a business owner say, “Hopefully, luck will be on my side next year and business will take a turn for the better.” Sadly, that way of thinking isn’t going to help him one bit -- if I were to make a bet, I would let it ride on him failing again.

If you are banking on luck, you might as well hit the casino and let it all ride on red or black at the roulette wheel. Here are five very simple, yet seemingly overlooked key points you need to address if you want to experience a successful 2017.

1. Put past failures behind you.

There are far more failures than there are success stories when it comes to startups and new businesses. Most fail, and that’s just how it is. It’s very rare that you will find a successful entrepreneur that hit a home run at his or her first at bat.

In order to eventually get your win, you need to learn from your past mistakes, but also put them behind you. Don’t dwell on them or waste time looking back. focus all your energy and momentum on what’s in front of you. I had several failures before I found success with my marketing agency.

2. Show up daily ready to hustle.

The minute you start to slack or switch into cruise control mode, you immediately lose valuable momentum. Go into each day knowing you must hustle hard and take full advantage of every available minute.

My company just did a soft launch of the first of a half-dozen consumer brands we are bringing to market in 2017 and we also have a new influencer marketing agency, blerrp, launching in the new year. My plate is beyond full -- it’s overflowing, and if I don’t show up every day ready to give 100 percent it’s going to be a disaster. Commit and then hold yourself accountable -- your success depends on it.

3. Work on your business daily.

Work “on” your business, not “in” your business.

Once you understand there is a huge difference, you will experience the type of growth that is needed to succeed. Learning to delegate responsibilities was one of the reasons my marketing agency succeeded, while past ventures failed. I used to think that I could do it all -- trust was a big factor. I would rather work 18-hour days and try to do it all rather than delegate to someone capable of handling the tasks.

Hire freelancers and virtual assistants to handle simple, yet time-sucking tasks. This allows you to focus on more important tasks, like strategy and growth. Use these tips to make your freelancer hiring process as smooth as possible.

4. Learn and improve daily.

Strive to become a better entrepreneur every single day. There are several ways to learn -- industry conferences, mentors, coaches, etc. -- but there is something you can do every morning that will have a huge impact on your success -- reading.

Reading allows us to absorb information from some of the smartest people in the world who share their expertise and logic, helping us to become better entrepreneurs. While it can be difficult at first, try to dedicate a part of your morning ritual to reading, even if it’s just 15 minutes. Over time you will discover that this can be one of the most beneficial parts of your day.

5. Refuse to quit.

Giving up is for cowards -- it’s the easy way out.

It’s going to be difficult. There are going to be times that it seems impossible. When faced with obstacles, take a step back and be grateful that you have this opportunity. There is no better time to start a business than right now. You can start with very little to no capital and you don’t even need a physical office location.

Promise yourself that you will not quit, no matter how difficult the journey becomes and the odds that you succeed improve drastically.


http://wnfp.org/excel-program




 Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com

ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business organization focused on providing our members and guests with an extraordinary networking experience, bringing business professionals together for the sole purpose of generating new relationships and developing new business opportunities. Not a member, learn how you can become a member and join this awesome group of professionals to connect and grow your business.

Stay Connected with WNFP!
Join WNFP Communities!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

3 Strategies and Reasons to Expand Your Network




As an entrepreneur, you should always be trying to expand your network. You never know whom you’ll be able to connect with and where that connection will lead. As relationships become more and more essential to business, successful entrepreneurs need to be at the forefront, doing what they can to grow their networks.

Certainly, the very thought of "networking" may leave a bad taste in our mouths, as many of us don’t know where to start or even why we should even be networking in the first place. Yet networking should stem from your desires and needs.

For example, I was recently looking to learn more about digital marketing; instead of finding what I could online, I decided to attend the San Diego Digital Marketers Expert group offered on Meetup.com. After attending one meeting, I felt I'd obtained a strong understanding for digital marketing that I wouldn’t have fully comprehended online.

So, before connecting with someone, always have a reason to make it count. Networking with no goals in mind is like starting a business without an exit strategy. Below are three essential reasons to connect with others:

1. Network based on products you like.


Have you ever admired a company so much that you wanted to know the founder? Think Yvon Chouinard of Patagonia or Will Caldwell of Dizzle. In today's digital world, you may actually be able to connect with these founders if you reach out in the right way.

For example, I love eating the beef jerky made by Krave. I was so into the product that I wanted to know who the founder was. A day later, I was connected with Jonathan Sebastiani, the founder of Krave, on Linkedin. All I did was send him this short message, “Hey, Jonathan! Read your story, then tried some of your jerky and had to reach out. Amazing story, truly inspirational, and your product is awesome. Hope to connect as a fellow entrepreneur! Cheers -- Nathan.”

2. Network for future goals.


Networking can be a means to move toward your future endeavors. If you’ve ever wanted to start a company in a different industry, it's crucial to first understand how that industry operates. You can always join a Linkedin or Facebook group that covers your interests, but that won’t be as inclusive for you as attending an actual event.

While doing research for my upcoming backpack company, Corked, I attended a tradeshow that I knew major backpack brands like Jansport and Herschel would attend. From this event, I grasped an understanding of how to establish a backpack brand.
 
3. Network through your industry.


Almost every industry has events encompassing topics specifically relative to your market. Attending these conventions can be a plus for expanding your business, as people like to work with familiar faces. Once you establish yourself as a regular attendee, you may see your business blossom in that industry.

As an example, earlier this year I attended the Magic tradeshow, a major show for brands and retailers. Walking around, I could see the industry was fueled by relationships, as retail buyers were more comfortable ordering from brands that they had seen before.

To make networking easier, then, find a reason to connect with someone before starting the conversation. This goal-setting attitude will add purpose to the events you attend and the people you meet. Though many relationships may never directly benefit you, you never know whom you can help through your network and how that person you helped may be of assistance to you.
Entrepreneurship is becoming more relationship-focused, and networking should be a central tool you utilize to move your startup forward. 






Source: www.entrepreneur.com
Image Credit: Grant Wickes | Flickr

ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business organization focused on providing our members and guests with an extraordinary networking experience, bringing business professionals together for the sole purpose of generating new relationships and developing new business opportunities. Not a member, learn how you can become a member and join this awesome group of professionals to connect and grow your business.

Stay Connected with WNFP!
Join WNFP Communities!

How to Grow Your Business, Even When You're on Vacation



Can you believe it’s summer already?

If you’re like many small business owners and marketers, you’ve been working hard all year to grow your business.

And now you’re looking forward to a well-deserved vacation.

Or maybe you — like 43 percent of small business owners — struggle to take time away from your business.  

If you’re worried that stepping away from your business could stunt your business’s growth, it’s time to look into some new tools to automate your marketing efforts.

Constant Contact has tools and integrations to make staying on top of customer relationships easy no matter where you are. 

If you’re wondering how to grow your business, even while you’re away, give these tools a try!

1. Autoresponder
Worried about following up with new leads and customers while you’re on vacation?  

With Constant Contact’s Autoresponder feature, you can create an automated welcome series to send to all new email subscribers.

Customize your welcome email, and schedule one or two follow-up messages to drive engagement and sales on an ongoing basis.  



You can also engage your existing customers by setting up automated Birthday or Anniversary emails.

2. Gazella Wifi
With your email marketing sending on autopilot, make sure you’re continuing to grow your email list even while you’re taking time off.

Using Gazella Wifi, your customers will be asked to provide their email address in order to access wifi at your business. The integration then automatically adds contacts to your Constant Contact account.

Gazella Wifi’s platform also gives you the ability to create a custom landing page that matches your brand or create a redirect so guests are driven to your website first.


Once you set up your wifi, you won’t have to worry about asking for email addresses in person.

3. MailMunch

Don’t forget to grow your email list online, as well.

MailMunch helps grow your list by converting website visitors into subscribers and customers. Their beautiful opt-in forms allow you to catch visitors before they leave.


With a variety of forms like Popups, Top Bar, and Scroll Box —  all of which are optimized for mobile devices and integrate with Constant Contact  — your website leads go directly into your contact list.

Looking for more tools to grow your business?
The more marketing tasks you successfully automate, the more comfortable you’ll be taking some much needed time off.

You’ll also free up some time to focus on the areas of your business that need your attention the most. 

Visit the Constant Contact MarketPlace to find the right Apps, Integrations, and Services to keep your business’s marketing running smoothly all year long. 



Be a Marketer.
All it takes is Constant Contact.
Start your FREE trial to experience our easy-to-use email marketing tools and more. You'll also have access to personal coaching and resources to get you real business results.





Source: https://www.constantcontact.com

ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business organization focused on providing our members and guests with an extraordinary networking experience, bringing business professionals together for the sole purpose of generating new relationships and developing new business opportunities. Not a member, learn how you can become a member and join this awesome group of professionals to connect and grow your business.

Stay Connected with WNFP!
Join WNFP Communities!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

8 Ways to Expand Your Network Today


Unconventional ways to meet more people and expand your professional connections
Unconventional ways to meet more people and expand your professional connections
Unconventional ways to meet more people and expand your professional connections

Unconventional ways to meet more people and expand your professional connections
Unconventional ways to meet more people and expand your professional connections
Unconventional ways to meet more people and expand your professional connections
Unconventional ways to meet more people and expand your professional connections.

The next time you’re standing at yet another industry happy hour, put down the Chardonnay and try these tips to start meeting people outside your niche.

Networking is about building relationships, sharing information and finding sources of support. Often people play it safe, staying inside their industry walls— failing to pop that comfort-zone bubble and venture into new territory of new faces and new ideas. It’s time to go beyond the familiar to expand your network and knowledge and meet more contacts who could help get you that much closer to your goals.

We asked eight entrepreneurs from the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) to give us their tips for mastering the art of meeting people beyond the boundaries of your business interests and connections: 
 

1. Volunteer.

Find an organization working on a cause you care about, and volunteer a few hours a month. It's great to step outside of your day-to-day work and contribute to a different mission, and you'll meet people who care about similar things but most likely work in different industries.

­—Martina Welke, Zealyst


2. Find a networking wingperson.

For any networking event, it can be helpful to have a networking “wingperson.” Together, you can naturally draw others into your conversation. This is particularly true if your networking wingperson is knowledgeable about an industry you are unfamiliar with. If nothing else, the event will provide you with an opportunity to get to know your networking wingperson better.

—Doug Bend, Bend Law Group, PC




3. Use alumni networks.

Alumni chapters are a great way to stay connected and network outside your own company and niche. They often include graduates from different majors, and it's a fun way to learn from people you don't normally interact with. You have a shared interest in your school, and it's an easy way to meet new people.

—Andrew Thomas, SkyBell Technologies Inc.



4. Host events.


Rather than attending events, where you are one of many and may be out of your niche, host events outside of your industry. As host, you and your space are a natural focal point. In addition to this added prominence, your shifted role—from attendee to host—makes conversation easier and removes the pressure of being at the event with a specific agenda or mission.

—Brennan White, Watchtower


5. Just start.

Honestly, all you need to do is get started. Don't even think about it, just get started. If you want to become influential at anything, start by reading everything out there. Then start networking with people in that niche. Then start going to events. Then start writing about it. Then start speaking about it. Then become the expert in that niche. This is a sure way to build your network!

—John Rampton, Adog


1. Volunteer.

Find an organization working on a cause you care about, and volunteer a few hours a month. It's great to step outside of your day-to-day work and contribute to a different mission, and you'll meet people who care about similar things but most likely work in different industries.
­—Martina Welke, Zealyst

2. Find a networking wingperson.

For any networking event, it can be helpful to have a networking “wingperson.” Together, you can naturally draw others into your conversation. This is particularly true if your networking wingperson is knowledgeable about an industry you are unfamiliar with. If nothing else, the event will provide you with an opportunity to get to know your networking wingperson better.
—Doug Bend, Bend Law Group, PC

3. Use alumni networks.

Alumni chapters are a great way to stay connected and network outside your own company and niche. They often include graduates from different majors, and it's a fun way to learn from people you don't normally interact with. You have a shared interest in your school, and it's an easy way to meet new people.
—Andrew Thomas, SkyBell Technologies Inc.

4. Host events.

Rather than attending events, where you are one of many and may be out of your niche, host events outside of your industry. As host, you and your space are a natural focal point. In addition to this added prominence, your shifted role—from attendee to host—makes conversation easier and removes the pressure of being at the event with a specific agenda or mission.
—Brennan White, Watchtower

5. Just start.

Honestly, all you need to do is get started. Don't even think about it, just get started. If you want to become influential at anything, start by reading everything out there. Then start networking with people in that niche. Then start going to events. Then start writing about it. Then start speaking about it. Then become the expert in that niche. This is a sure way to build your network!
—John Rampton, Adog

1. Volunteer.

Find an organization working on a cause you care about, and volunteer a few hours a month. It's great to step outside of your day-to-day work and contribute to a different mission, and you'll meet people who care about similar things but most likely work in different industries.
­—Martina Welke, Zealyst

2. Find a networking wingperson.

For any networking event, it can be helpful to have a networking “wingperson.” Together, you can naturally draw others into your conversation. This is particularly true if your networking wingperson is knowledgeable about an industry you are unfamiliar with. If nothing else, the event will provide you with an opportunity to get to know your networking wingperson better.
—Doug Bend, Bend Law Group, PC

3. Use alumni networks.

Alumni chapters are a great way to stay connected and network outside your own company and niche. They often include graduates from different majors, and it's a fun way to learn from people you don't normally interact with. You have a shared interest in your school, and it's an easy way to meet new people.
—Andrew Thomas, SkyBell Technologies Inc.

4. Host events.

Rather than attending events, where you are one of many and may be out of your niche, host events outside of your industry. As host, you and your space are a natural focal point. In addition to this added prominence, your shifted role—from attendee to host—makes conversation easier and removes the pressure of being at the event with a specific agenda or mission.
—Brennan White, Watchtower

5. Just start.

Honestly, all you need to do is get started. Don't even think about it, just get started. If you want to become influential at anything, start by reading everything out there. Then start networking with people in that niche. Then start going to events. Then start writing about it. Then start speaking about it. Then become the expert in that niche. This is a sure way to build your network!
—John Rampton, Adog
The next time you’re standing at yet another industry happy hour, put down the Chardonnay and try these tips to start meeting people outside your niche.
Networking is about building relationships, sharing information and finding sources of support. Often people play it safe, staying inside their industry walls— failing to pop that comfort-zone bubble and venture into new territory of new faces and new ideas. It’s time to go beyond the familiar to expand your network and knowledge and meet more contacts who could help get you that much closer to your goals.
6. Approach a VC for recommendations.

Ask the venture capitalists who you meet which entrepreneurs they really admire. They always have a wide portfolio of companies they work with, and they’ll be able to connect you with entrepreneurs at different companies and ventures who you might not otherwise meet.

—Katrina Lake, Stitch Fix


7. Become active on Instagram and Pinterest.

We have been successful with Instagram and Pinterest for helping reach fans beyond our natural products niche. With beautiful photos, you can quickly up your following on both Instagram and Pinterest. Provide your audience with great content that they want to look at and the buzz will spread.

—Emily Doubilet, Susty Party


8. Join a business organization.

Outside of your company and even your industry, you can build relationships and network by joining a business group like Vistage, which brings together leaders of businesses from diverse markets. It's a good mental exercise and helps you to get feedback on how your business is perceived by others outside of your industry.

—Michael Seiman, CPX


http://www.wnfp.org 




Source: http://www.success.com
Image Credit: Shuttershock.xom


ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business organization focused on providing our members and guests with an extraordinary networking experience, bringing business professionals together for the sole purpose of generating new relationships and developing new business opportunities. Not a member, learn how you can become a member and join this awesome group of professionals to connect and grow your business.

Stay Connected with WNFP!
Join WNFP Communities!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Want to Get Better at Networking? Think Smaller.

To expand their professional networks, entrepreneurs are seeking smaller and smaller crowds.  



In 2008, Sol Orwell, the co-founder of the nutrition company Examine.com, was at a loss. He was attending a big digital marketing conference in Seattle, hoping to expand his network, but the event was so packed that he didn't know where to start. His friend had no such hesitation. He told Orwell he was going to "meet some friends." Twenty minutes later, he returned holding a stack of 40 business cards. "At the time, I was blown away," recalls Orwell, who thought his friend was a networking genius. "But now I think, Did he do anything more than have short conversations?"

Today Orwell has a much different idea of successful networking. He still attends at least one large conference a year, but that's not how he builds his relationships. Instead, he hosts monthly dinners of six to 12 entrepreneurs, where conversations might jump from business to culinary trends to travel hot spots. And every Friday, he parks himself at a coffee shop in his hometown of Toronto and invites local entrepreneurs to join him for leisurely conversations.

Orwell is not alone in questioning the conventional approaches to networking. Because frankly, those approaches -- abetted by technology and hype -- don't work that well. The rise of social media and digital communication means your entrepreneurial hero is just a tweet or an email away, but it also means successful entrepreneurs are bombarded by so many networking requests that they delete most of them on sight. And the boom in massive, circus-like conferences makes it easier than ever to harvest large numbers of business cards, but the sheer numbers of attendees make forming real connections harder.

As a result, in the past decade, small-scale, invite-only events for entrepreneurs -- from monthly dinner salons of fewer than a dozen people to upscale weekend retreats that cap out at 150 guests -- have begun to redefine the networking landscape. Entrepreneurs are willing to spend anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 for access to smart, like-minded people who are also in search of reciprocal, long-lasting relationships. As Orwell explains, these conferences and retreats are "a lot more welcoming" than the huge conventions. "There won't be wantrepreneurs, but people you can have actual conversations with," he says.

Shane Parrish, whose productivity and decision-making newsletter, Farnam Street, has a devoted following of more than 100,000 subscribers, was one of those business people frustrated by the state of networking. (He estimates he personally gets 300 networking requests a month.) So in 2014, he started offering annual three-day workshops. These events, which cost about $2,300, are open to the public but are strictly capped at 50 people. Even just a few more, Parrish says, makes it harder for attendees to break out of their comfort zones. When they do break out, he says, the payoff is significant. "Everyone is struggling through similar problems, but they're smart and they're not your friends, so they're not telling you what you want to hear," he says. "You can grow a ton."


http://www.wnfp.org 


Parrish also hosts much smaller and costlier retreats for 10 to 15 people in places like Hawaii and Paris, in which each participant has one hour to troubleshoot some problem -- be it personal or business-related -- with the group. "To me, that's real networking," Parrish says. "You're getting to understand people and their context so you can help them achieve their goals."

"Everyone is struggling through similar problems, but they're smart, and they're not your friends, so they're not telling you what you want to hear," says one organizer. "You can grow a ton."
The organizers behind these sorts of small-scale conferences say the ideas exchanged from this casual back-and-forth are a lot more useful than the promised "content" that many large conferences advertise. "You don't get value from big-name speakers," says Jayson Gaignard, the founder of MastermindTalks, an invite-only community for entrepreneurs, which includes an annual three-day conference of roughly 150 people. If you want to sit there as someone talks at you, Gaignard says, you can "listen to a podcast on the way to the gym."

MastermindTalks has become famous for its exclusivity ("a lower acceptance rate than Harvard" boasts Gaignard's LinkedIn profile) and price tag (about $10,000), and so participants have come to expect at least some access to the superstars of their profession. Gary Vaynerchuk, James Altucher and Damien Escobar have all attended, but their appearances -- unannounced until the last minute -- feel impromptu and informal. As Gaignard explains, standing around and drinking beers while peppering Vaynerchuk, the marketing guru, with questions is a much different experience than listening to him give a talk from a podium.

James Clear, who pens a popular newsletter on human potential and runs eight-person retreats in destinations like Sedona, Ariz. and Breckenridge, Colo., eschews big names altogether. "I want people to feel like they're with peers," he says. Clear organizes his retreats around a specific theme or profession and is highly selective in terms of the people he invites.

Referrals, it seems, are how most people gain access to these events. And how do they get referred? Orwell says this happens by building relationships, over time, with people who either lead these retreats or have attended them. "People just try to rush everything," he says. "They try to befriend everyone. Instead, follow the people you really find interesting, and that will naturally let you have conversations with them." Once you've formed a genuine bond with someone who is connected, he says, you're more likely to be referred.

It's a chicken-and-egg problem, to be sure: You need to connect to the right people in order to be invited to a conference that will help you connect to the right people. But because these events tend to be very small, hosts say they have to be very particular about whom they invite in order to ensure a positive experience. "If there are 100 people and there's one annoying person, you can move on," Clear says. "But in a retreat for three or four days with eight people, one person can really ruin the chemistry." Therefore, he invites only people he has met in person or with whom he has had multiple Skype calls.

Gaignard is even more methodical. When considering new invitees -- again, usually through referrals -- he either meets with them personally or has a 30-minute "triage" call, in which he "gathers intel" about the individual and subscribes to "all updates" on every member's Facebook feed, which he says "helps me keep a pulse on anything and everything about them." Once accepted, attendees fill out two intake forms totaling 80 questions. These strategies help Gaignard connect people with overlapping strengths and needs. "If you're having trouble with culture in your business and there's someone who's really killing it with culture, I'll seat them next to you," he says.

For the most part, event hosts say their guests come not to promote themselves but to share their expertise and learn something in return. Yes, there's a professional ROI; attendees might partner in new projects, pass along contacts and cross-promote each other's work. But they are also filling an existential need. "Entrepreneurship by definition is a lonely venture," says Clear. "It makes sense that these conferences would be popping up in this space." Or as Gaignard explains it, "Ways to connect are abundant; community is scarce."





Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com
Image Credit: Andrea Ucini

 
ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business organization focused on providing our members and guests with an extraordinary networking experience, bringing business professionals together for the sole purpose of generating new relationships and developing new business opportunities. Not a member, learn how you can become a member and join this awesome group of professionals to connect and grow your business.

Stay Connected with WNFP!
Join WNFP Communities!