Put Away Your Excel Spreadsheet (Just for 30 days…)

Put Away Your Excel Spreadsheet (Just for 30 days…)

‘Tis the season of giving and goodwill…so today I want to offer to buy you a coffee (or two…I don’t drink coffee, so I’m not sure how much it costs ) We’ll get to that in a minute, but first I want to ask you a question. Have you ever waited to do or buy something that makes you life sooo much easier and when you finally do, you ask yourself, “Why in the world did I wait so long to do that???” Yup, me too…more times that I actually care to admit! Even with as much value as I place on relationships and keeping in touch with my contacts, I still waited waaaay too long to put a system in place to help me manage my growing network. You see, for some reason I thought I could cobble together a system that would let me efficiently manage and follow up with all my contacts. I could keep all my contacts in an Excel spreadsheet…and I could use my Google Calendar to send me reminders about following up…and Gmail has a great search feature that would let me go back and look at past conversations! That is all true.  It could work that way. But you know what I found? I found that I get busy…and when I get busy, the first thing that goes is taking time to update my spreadsheet with new people I’ve met or emailed.  The second thing that goes is an email reminder to send an email or follow up with someone.  And the final thing to go is my motivation…and when that goes,...

Who is Your Gatekeeper? (This guy gets it!)

I got about 2 paragraphs into the article when I stopped reading, sat back and said to myself, This guy gets it! It probably would not surprise you that I spend a fair amount of time looking for and reading content about connecting, relationships and networking.  It probably would also not surprise you to hear that 90% of what I read is the same thing over and over again. I’m not saying that it’s not good…I’m just saying you can pretty much guess what they are going to say.  But this was different.  This was refreshing! Maybe it’s because it wasn’t from a business writer or someone who talks about networking all the time.  But this post by Jeff Goins is fantastic.  It describes perfectly the role of building relationships in being successful in any endeavor.  And–in true Jeff Goins fashion–the stories Jeff weaves into the lesson are masterfully told and illustrate the point in a wonderful way. My favorite part of the article is the idea that there are gatekeepers that you must present your work to if you are going to be successful in an industry. Now, I know how that sounds…it sounds like you’re bowing at the alter of someone’s ego.  It’s not that it at all!  But think about it.  Who are the people that everyone in your industry looks to?  Every industry has them.  The person (or people) that everyone listens to when they speak.  These are the people that deliver the keynotes at industry conferences, the people who write books about your industry, the people who everyone follows on Twitter or listens to...

Quick Favor…

Hi, I’m VERY close to finishing my long-awaited course on becoming a better conversationalist. I have been working on this for more than 6 months now, but I am finally going to get it wrapped up.  I will be releasing it in early August. This course will be entirely focused on avoiding “awkward conversations” and how to prepare for any conversation so that you don’t end up “looking stupid.”  It will include 4 video modules, (at least) two exclusive interviews with first-class connectors, and a resource guide full of tips, tactics, worksheets and scripts.  It is going to be a complete brain dump on everything I have learned about starting and developing new business relationships. I am going to cover all aspects of preparing to have an initial conversation with someone you are just meeting for the first time, how to have a fun and confident conversation with them and how to follow up with them afterwards. HOWEVER, I need your help.  Before I finalize everything and finalize the format, topics and structure, I need to make sure that I have covered everything. That is where you come in.  Please take a few minutes to answer this super-short survey — there is really only one thing I want to ask you… What are your two top questions about starting and developing business relationships that I absolutely NEED to answer in my...
You’ll Never Guess What Coaching Soccer Taught Me About Connecting…

You’ll Never Guess What Coaching Soccer Taught Me About Connecting…

listen to ‘You’ll Never Guess What Coaching Soccer Taught Me About Connecting…’ on audioBoom I love soccer.  Anyone that knows me knows that! I played soccer all through my childhood, I’ve coached soccer since I was 16 years old and I spent 10 years as a soccer referee.  I just love the game.  It’s often called “The Beautiful Game”….and let me tell you what, If you ever watch a game live in Europe or in Seattle Washington, you’ll know why!  Soccer games (unlike they are sometimes characterized) are far from boring!  You spend the entire game standing up, chanting, cheering, yelling.  It’s amazing! Currently I coach my daughter Brooklynn’s team.  Brooklynn is 6.  When the kids are 5-7 years old, soccer really isn’t that beautiful.  It’s just a jumbled mess of trying to get all the kids on your team to go the same way, at the same time, and take the ball with them! Before the start of each game I ask my kids two questions.  The first question I ask is, “Which goal are we trying to score in?” and the second question is if the other team is kicking off, I ask, “What do we do when they kick the ball?” I want to talk about that first question today.  Even though we are all facing towards one goal, invariably one of the three kids on the field will point to the goal behind them when I ask the question…so I have to quickly correct him or her before the game starts…and even once the games started I have to yell more than once throughout the...

20 Questions To Ask In Your Next Conversation…

listen to ‘20 Questions To Use In Your Next Conversation’ on audioBoom If conversations are the vehicle that takes you to a bigger network, then questions are the fuel that power that vehicle. Seriously.  Think about it.   You cannot, literally cannot, grow your network without having conversations, agreed? Adding connections on LinkedIn, followers on Twitter or “friends” on Facebook does not increase the size of your network unless you actually have conversations with those people.  Until you have a conversation you’re kidding yourself if you think you’re expanding your network. The funny thing is, I had this realization as a result of a lunch meeting I had a while back.  (This post, brought to you by…Networking! haha) My friend Dave Specht is the best question-asker (is that an actual title??) I’ve ever met…As a matter of fact, he’s the creator of the awesome app, Inspired Questions, which is available here. Dave created this app for financial advisers and other professionals that need to build rapport with their clients.  But after our lunch, I started thinking that if there ever was a place where good, inspired questions would be beneficial it would be in trying to build a strong, responsive network of connections! I’ve talked with several people who say that they struggle to carry on a conversation with someone they’ve just met.  One of the best ways to effectively do this is to ask questions. NOTE: The questions listed below are an excerpt of a list of 54 questions you can ask during your next conversation.  You can get the full list of 54 Questions here . Below are 20 of the questions,...
How to Skip All the Lines at the Movie Theater (and in life…)

How to Skip All the Lines at the Movie Theater (and in life…)

listen to ‘How to Skip All the Lines at the Movie Theater (and in life…)’ on audioBoom I LOVE movies.  Seriously, I absolutely love them!  I would go to the movies every single weekend if I could!  But you know what I hate?  I absolutely HATE standing in line.  UGH!  Is there anywhere you stand in line more than the movie theater?? Movie theater’s make the Department of Motor Vehicles office look like an express lane! You wait in line to buy your ticket, then you wait in line for your popcorn and soda, then you wait in line to hand the guy your ticket, then you wait in line to find a seat, then you finally get to watch the movie…and is it worth it?? YES!! Of course it is! It was absolutely worth it.  The movie was great and you forget all about the lines…until after the movie…then you wait in line to get out your seat, then you wait in line to get out of the theater, then you wait in line at the bathroom to dispose of the 44oz Mt. Dew you just drank, then you wait in line to get outside, then you wait in line in your car to get out of the stupid parking lot…UGH!! LINES!! But what if you could skip a lot of those lines?  Would it make the end result (the movie) any better?  No, not necessarily…but it would allow you to avoid all the frustrations associated with all of those dang lines!!  Like seriously, what if you didn’t have to wait in line?  What if you could just...