Monday, July 31, 2017

Why Women Aren't Networking And 7 Ways To Fix It


When I was in my twenties, two things would happen when my then-boyfriend and I went to dinner with another couple. The men would talk about their careers at length and often agree to follow up on something work related. They'd exchange business cards within minutes of being introduced. Women never volunteered their cards and the men didn’t collect cards from any women.

When I confronted my boyfriend about why he never exchanged information even with women in his field, he admitted that he didn’t feel comfortable asking the women for their cards because he wouldn’t want them to think he was hitting on them. So the women weren’t asking the women for cards and the men weren’t asking the women for cards. Whether from their own doing or the men’s, the result was the same; the women were left out of the business conversation.


Years later I graduated from Harvard Business School, which was only 27% women at the time. Within the first year of graduating, a women’s trip was planned for 25 of us to meet in New Orleans. As soon as we settled into the van from the airport to the hotel, one woman, the de facto leader of the group, announced, “There is one rule for this trip. We can’t talk about work.” Can you imagine a group of male business school graduates having a reunion weekend with the same rule? It wouldn’t happen.


 Last year my husband and I were at our son’s new-parent night, a social for the kindergarten parents. We came home after having a series of conversations. My husband and I traded stories. Not one man or woman had asked me about my work even when I asked about theirs. In contrast, my husband’s work was the subject of most of his conversations.

I then asked my husband if he had asked the women he had met about their jobs. He said that because of my past prompting he did, but doing so led to a lot of very awkward conversations because none of the women he asked had jobs. I encouraged him to ask a follow up next time: “What did you do before having kids?” I assured him that this would be a welcome question and would open up a new well of conversation.

When I give talks to rooms full of women, I like to ask: “How many of you are good at networking?” If there are hundreds of women in the room, I might see five raised hands. Then I ask, “How many of you are good at helping?” Almost every hand shoots up. Then I explain that networking is just a fancy word for helping. So if you are good at helping, you will inevitably be good at networking. When you introduce two people, you are networking. When you extend an invitation to other women, you are networking. Reframing networking made it less intimidating for these women.


Why is networking important? Because networking leads to job offers, networking leads to industry knowledge, networking leads to client acquisition, and networking leads to sales. When we don’t extend ourselves beyond our own worlds, we wither. The farther out we extend ourselves, the farther our opportunities reach.


So how do we fix this?


If You Are a Man


1. Ask women what they do for a living, not just in business settings, but in social ones, too.
 

2. Identify the number of women who are in your network. Aim to increase it by 20% this year by striking up conversations with women at business events, by thinking of women as potential work contacts, and by paying attention to the gender ratio as you plan your docket of business lunches.
 

3. Encourage the women on your team to network more frequently and in new ways. Open up discussions about how they network and share your own strategies.
 

If You Are a Woman
 

1. Start by helping. Introduce as many people as you can to one another. Neighbors, friends, colleagues. Be a connector.
 

2. Be open-source about your contacts but also be smart. Don’t repeatedly ask for favors without giving back. It is important to give at least as much as you get.
 

3. Network with women and men. Don’t limit yourself to women, but do make an effort to elevate other women.

4. Leave your comfort zone. Accept the off-the-beaten-path invitation, go to a conference and introduce yourself to the people you don’t know. Build new relationships and watch your career flourish.







Source: http://www.forbes.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 28, 2017

11 Strategies for Getting Social Media Fans Onto Your Email Lists

Having trouble getting more email subscribers? Social media could be your remedy.


Building up your email list is one of the most stable ways to construct a foundation of loyal fans for your business.

The problem is, it's hard to collect email addresses without the trust and attention of a dedicated audience. Luckily, social media can provide both of these components when done right.
 

Here are 11 creative ways to use social media to beef up your email list:
 

1. Link up your newsletter in Instagram Stories.
 
Using Instagram Stories, showcase some behind-the-scenes content. This could be about a new product release, exclusive feature, or anything else. In the story, include a link to your newsletter.


Make it clear to your audience why they should visit the web page. If you're showing a new product with the Instagram Story, tell them how your newsletter will keep them up to speed on all product updates.


2. Write a compelling Medium article.

 
If you play your cards right, Medium is a fantastic venue for collecting email addresses. To do this, first write an article. At the bottom of the piece, include a call to action.


Within the call to action, there should be a link to your newsletter or to a free resource you've created related to the content of the article. For example, if your article covered how to run a 5 minute mile, the free resource could be a Runner's Checklist.


If you don't have a freebie to give away, try tools like Rabbut and Upscribe that help directly collect emails on Medium.


3. Leverage DMs on Instagram.

 
Authenticity works. In an Instagram post, tell your audience how you're trying to build up your email list. A fun way to incentivize them to sign up is to offer a joke, compliment, or fun fact in exchange for them sending their email address to you through a Direct Message.


Why would others be more willing to do this? Easy: it's more intimate and fun than signing up for a newsletter.


While this wouldn't be appropriate for all industries and businesses, it would work in more than you might think.


4. Host a Facebook Live or IG Live Show.

 
Try hosting a Facebook Live or Instagram Live show where you give actionable tips and strategies on a particular topic. Then, create a handout that contains all of the show's information.


To be able to download this handout, your audience would give their email address in exchange for the content.


5. Utilize Facebook and LinkedIn Groups.

 
Building community is one of the best ways to build trust. In today's social media landscape, one of the most effective ways to build community is through creating Facebook Groups, as well as LinkedIn Groups.


Once you build trust in your community by continually providing them with with value, you'll be a good position to ask for your members to sign up for your newsletter.


6. Use YouTube cards.


YouTube cards are the little buttons that pop up on the screen when you're watching a YouTube video. They allow creators to direct their viewers to outside web pages.


To increase email subscribers using YouTube, be sure to mention your newsletter in your video and include a YouTube card that links to it.


7. Include a Sign up button on your Facebook page.

 
On your Facebook business page, you're able to include a "Sign up" button that can direct your audience to your squeeze page, newsletter, or any other destination. This will allow you to capitalize on your Facebook Fans.


8. Send posts to promote your free products or downloads regularly.

 
Sometimes, the best way to convince is to be persistent. By consistently promoting free products available for download to your audience, you could be increasing your chances that existing followers check out the content, and are certainly increasing your chances that new followers do.


To do this, use tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, or Agorapulse to pre-schedule these posts a week in advance. This will save you time and energy.


9. Host a contest or giveaway.

A contest is a great way to beef up your email list. Who doesn't like free stuff? Just be sure participants have to include their email in order to enter the contest.

Promote the contest on all your social media platforms and watch the emails start rolling in.


10. Instagram multiple image posts.


Using Instagram's multiple image posts, highlight why your audience should sign up for your email newsletter. Then, include a link in your bio to the respective web page.


Using the multiple image feature, you can also tell a story that would compel viewers to sign up for your email list.


For instance, if you're a yoga instructor who has a Weekly Namaste Newsletter, you could tell a story about how yoga helped fix a student's back pain that unfolds as viewers swipe through each image on the post.


11. Run a social media ad campaign.


Running a social media advertising campaign to promote your email newsletter is one of the simplest, yet surprisingly underused, ways to build your email list.


In the ad, be sure to let prospects know about all of the value, tips, and insights they'll receive in your respective topic. This ad campaign could be on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn or Pinterest.





Source: https://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!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

An Introvert's Guide to Highly Effective Networking

You can still get great results without draining your social batteries.



What are some effective networking tips for introverts?

Answer by Helen Min, Head of Marketing at Quora:

Everyone will tell you networking is important, but for introverts, networking is an especially effective way to increase the number of inbound opportunities which decreases the number of times you'll have to "put yourself out there" to reach a professional objective.

It's not an option to skip networking, so find ways to grow your network that you can live with. In general, find ways to redirect in-person networking to online interactions:

  • Get really good at connecting people through email. Don't skimp on introductions, get initial contact off to an enthusiastic start, and make clear that the two parties should take it from there.
  • Develop meaningful 1-on-1 relationships with master networkers. Invest in the relationship and share thoughtful analysis with them each time you meet. Because they enjoy networking, they will appreciate having smart analysis to pass on with proper attribution.
  • Ask thought-provoking questions and share perspectives with people you want to reach online. Quora is obviously a great place for this.
  • Fill out your social media bios. Make it easy for others to identify common interests you may share and possibly reach out as a result. This means fighting against your natural tendency to be private.
  • Do a talk on a topic that you can absolutely nail. Reach the audience you want to network with through this form of one-way communication and end the talk with a clear way to reach you online (it's fine to ghost immediately after you give the talk, don't feel pressured to stick around for 1-on-1 questions).






 Source: http://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!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

This 25-Year Old Found Success When He Started Helping Others Succeed

Three years ago Scott Oldford was deeply in debt. When he shifted focus from himself to serving his audience, everything changed for the better.  




Success is the prime focus of so many people. I did a simple Amazon book search to see and there are 272,519 books about success. Success is often focused inwardly. In fact, the drive for success is a need to go from where you are now to where you want to be. Look at that sentence… it is all about you.

In my opinion, we put too much emphasis on success. In my journey of life and business, I have achieved great success and still asked “is this it?” In other words, I was not fulfilled. I ended up losing it all and making my comeback.

I have been researching what is beyond success. It is not just more success. I keep hearing the need for significance in the hundreds of interviews with amazing leaders and entrepreneurs. Significance kept coming up as a need to matter in the world. Significance is external to you and it's all about you too.

Here is the story of one visionary leader that understands what it takes to face a turning moment in life. If fact, he considered giving up on life. I sat down with Scott Oldford, founder of Infinitus, to discuss his failure and his breakthrough. Scott woke up in early 2013 with a mountain of debt, $726,000 to be exact. Looking at today, Scott has turned it around to be on target for $2.8 million in revenue this year. At 25 years old, he no longer runs a traditional interactive agency. Scott shows entrepreneurs how to develop effective online marketing funnels, using a method developed under thousands of hours of pressure testing. Now he has had more than 5,000 entrepreneurs join him in this new approach to lead a generation.

When you talk to those that have created something from nothing, you hear words like grit and determination. But the fact remains that doing something new requires you to weather the storm. And the storm provides the path forward.


Failure is part of the journey.


As a teenager, Scott was already running his business racking up accolades like the American Express Innovator Award. But after years of moderate success, Scott had not figured out how to make money. In Scott’s third attempt to entrepreneurship, he realized it was not working out as planned. He thought about giving up.

He continued to do what he had always done in business. He relied on referrals, networking and proposals. Scott’s marketing firm was rolling along on luck. All three of those strategies are not in his control. I say this because when Scott and I talked about the moment he realized it was not working, he was embarrassed. He could finally see how his mindset shaped his current business and caused his massive debt.


The shift.


Scott’s shift came to him in the frustration of paying for a tank of gas using his final remaining reward points on his credit card. For years, Scott focused on traditional success. Let me be clear. Scott focused on his success. He saw everything from his point of view, and he realized that he had to change his thinking to break the pattern. It happened in a moment. He saw that he needed to turn his focus to the success of the people he was serving instead of just his own. In Scott’s exact words, “I was trying to serve myself instead of serving my audience.”


The new way.


One major principle that he realized was right in front of him. It was to stop depending on luck. Scott concluded that his biggest problem had been failing to bring in a consistent stream of qualified leads for his business. He relied on others to recommend him, which didn’t happen at the pace he needed to stabilized the losses with his company.

The only way to get out of this mess was to find something that worked and leverage the hell out of it. So that’s what he did. With years of experience in online marketing and a new perspective, he saw that traditional marketing is flat-out broken.

It seemed that even though people talk about personalization and segmentation in marketing, the reality was that marketers treated each person (a new lead) the same no matter who they are. In other words, a complete disregard for the buyer’s journey.

The secret was in the mindset of the prospect. This is the core beliefs of the people that consumed the content he created. The innovation was that he saw that there were three distinct mindsets of those that engaged with content before they decide to do business with him.

The mindset of the person matters. For example, if you try to pitch or sell someone before they are ready, you will push them away. And this is the common path for marketers that have not yet adopted what Scott calls the SSF Method. The SSF Method is short for the “Sidewalk, Slow Lane, Fast Lane Method.”

Scott and I discussed the benefits of letting go of the outdated strategy to push everyone through a single marketing experience. Scott’s failures caused him to think about how he searches content online and made buying decisions. This innovation to marketing may seem similar to what you are currently doing. To dig deeper into how to engage with people as they want to interact with your company check out the full interview with Scott where we look at the SSF Method’s new approach to lead generation.


Do you remember how Scott had to change his beliefs to change his company? 


He began to surround himself with mentors, coaches and others that thought more about significance than success. It worked. Scott discovered that his struggle was the key to a monumental change in all of marketing. This is how Scott turned around the struggling company and developed an innovation to marketing.



http://wnfp.org/excel-program


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!

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!
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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!
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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!