Let’s talk! Actually--let’s listen.
I have been in a couple of networking situations recently and was a bit surprised by the behavior by some of the attendees. With a bit of disbelief I watched as people clambered to be heard, talked over one another and flat out ignored what was being said by the others in their circle.
We all have a story to tell. When we are out networking, our purpose for being there is to bring awareness to our business. Right? BUT! There is an art to networking. The people you are networking with also have a story to tell and they want to be heard. How do you balance hearing their story and telling yours? Here are three tips:
Bottom line is this--if you are so desperate to tell your story that you are talking over another person, you are going to miss key opportunities. Be the one to ask the questions and offer help and referrals. This will make you a networking superstar and those you meet will remember you when the time comes.
I heard once that the difference between a dream and a goal is that a dream is simply an idea. A goal is something you write down and commit to accomplish. I’ve let that thought bump around in my head for a while.
Recently when talking with my husband about the current state of our startup, and Jerri Glover Consulting, and my Toastmasters activities, and several other things we would like to do, I decided I was going to actually write down my goals and give this theory a try. Since I am writing them down, I decided I would share them with all of you and REALLY put myself out there.
This discussion took place two weekends ago. Since that time I have created four workshops to be offered in October. I have also been offered a contract position writing lessons on customer service for an online education company. The lesson gig pays professional rates and allows me to use the degree that I worked so very hard to get many years ago. (I have a Bachelor of Science in Management Studies with emphasis on customer service.) I am encouraged to see what difference writing these goals down will make. I can already see how it makes them more tangible--more real.
I encourage you to turn your dreams into goals. What are they? Write them down. Share them with us on Facebook or Twitter. Let’s commit!
Last week I shared with you the magic of The Noodle Dream. I hope you have had some time to noodle and come up with some great ideas for projects and future successes.
What happens when your noodle gets overcooked? Burned? Soggy? Done? What do you do when you have to scrap your plan and start over?
Recently my husband and I took big risks, bet the farm and invested big money in our Noodle Dream. Just as we were getting ready to serve our dish to our customers, the cost of the main ingredient skyrocketed to the point we figuratively saw our dream go up in a crispy puff of smoke. It is heart breaking. We took care to add all the best ingredients into our dish. However, the thing that was not in our control was the thing that did it in. Now what?
We order pizza! While it doesn’t look like what we had planned to serve, we will have something to offer our customers. We were able to learn from what we did. We may not have the noodles we dreamed of, but we are saving the salad and moving forward.
The savory details of the problem goes like this. We had been seeing a per hour charge of 12 cents give or take a few cents for the server time with Amazon. Days before we were going to launch we saw a spike in costs. Not a little spike--a BIG spike. We saw prices as high as $7 per hour. Yeah. That’s what we said. OUCH! The prices did come down, but not enough. We pushed ahead and launched anyway. The good news--the customers came pouring in--almost 2,000 over the weekend. The bad news--the customers came pouring in--almost 2,000. We had offered a free trial and were hemorrhaging money on the backend. We had to shut down and regroup. We are still down. We are close to coming back up, but the plan we wanted to offer (a monthly plan offering “all you can eat” for one monthly price) will not be what we can offer. What we will offer will be a certain number of hours for a monthly price and an option to purchase more time. Even with this very necessary adjustment the business model (you know, the thing that is supposed to make us money) doesn’t exist. Any income will go to cover the costs of our backend partner. We will be the best volunteers ever to serve our customers, but we will be volunteers.
The noodling continues. When was the last time you had an ugly surprise in business? How did you handle it? Did you scrap the dish or reinvent it?
I recently saw a Meme on a social media site. There was a picture of two pool noodles floating in water and the text read something like “If anyone ever tells you your dreams are silly, remember there is a millionaire walking around who invited these.”
For years now my husband and I have participated in an activity we call noodling. Noodling is our own special form of brainstorming. This is how you noodle. (Feel free to adjust or adapt the process to whatever works for you.)
As for “The Noodle Dream”--you must watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDUMVQpCoo8