Category Archives: Networking

Thanks, Donald!

Talking With Donald Yap Knocked Something Lose In My Unconscious!

Why WordPress?

Now that I’ve been doing “morning pages” for 30 days I’m going to write more each day than I have in the past month. I’ll finish my exercise for Authors, Offers And Others and then write something for my new business blog or some fiction.

Some people might say that in taking 30 days to get to this point I have taken too long. The thing to remember about this exercise is that you want to reserve judgement. I am here because I did what I could every day for 30 days. Could I have done more? Yes. But here I am and I haven’t stopped. I keep going.

WordPress has something to do with my continuing on. There’s just something about the ease of use and the look that seems simple to me and a little bit elegant.

If you check out BigManWalking or one of my other blogs you’ll see a big difference. It’s not just that I was talking more specifically about walking, exercise and goals. To each his own, but I think more and more people are using WordPress and WP is changing to help us, too. They are making it easier for us to interact with social media.

For my money (What do you say when it’s free?), WordPress has created something pretty incredible and I still can’t believe it’s free. I look forward to exploring it further as I have a new blog that’s just about up at YouAddValue.com. What ELSE can I do when I own the domain name and I’m using WordPress.org? Stay tuned…

Is what you’re attempting to do happening? Are you making it happen? What do you need to get there?

Over 10 years ago I discovered a group of entrepreneurs who ask each other these types of questions. What do you need next most? Why kind of person do you need to meet? What service do you need?

I think writers and creative people could benefit from that kind of language and interaction with each other. Lots of people in our society have lost touch with the entrepreneurial spirit. When you think in terms of creating value and cooperative interaction, you can get stuff done faster.

Some who aren’t so inclined to make a profit can take solace in the idea that there is more than one kind of value. Most people think of monetary value when they ask or answer those questions, but spiritual value is another possibility. I don’t mean to imply that you shouldn’t figure out how to make money, because most people still need to figure that out. That’s just the planet we live on.

But if you’re somehow not ready for that, then you would do well to consider spiritual value. How can you and I add value?

What makes it more worthwhile to other people?

This isn’t a primer, just some observations. Though you might want to pay attention to my new blog when it’s up to see if there’s someone there who can help you.

Just reach out and touch someone. Like the old phone commercials.

Many problems or challenges are pretty solveable. You just need to figure out who to look to.

I’ve even heard of a man finding a wife in this type of conversation. When he went through the exercise with a group of entrepreneurs who were almost all there for business reasons, he asked for an introduction to a specific type of woman and he got a few referrals. Two people directed him to the same person and they later married.

If you’ve gotten in the habit of not believing that you can get to where you want to go, this may seem like nonsense.

The truth is that if you don’t tell someone what you need, they aren’t psychically going to figure it out.

If you do and you are clear and specific, they can figure out if they know someone who might be able to help or if they don’t know someone like that.

If you need a writing coach, I can refer you. She has helped over 250 published authors.

Some may wonder about how much something like that costs.

Well, there are ways to structure deals so that you can get money before you write a book if that money is going towards that book being published.

You have to be willing to learn. It’s not unlike learning French. You might even learn the rudimentary skills more quickly than you could learn French.

BUT, if you are predisposed to believe that making money is bad or you don’t deserve to make money or anyone who makes over x dollars in a year is a bad person or doing something wrong, you will take a while longer to get there.

You’ll have to unlearn that kind of judgemental thinking.

Or you could just hold onto those beliefs and take that much longer to get there. It’s your choice.

How Do I Get My WordPress Blog On The Right Date?

Now I’ve been blogging since late January and I’ve blogged every day this month. I’m pretty sure this is the 28th day in a row that I’ve posted. The thing is that WordPress starts the new day at 4 pm my time. Can anyone help me change this? It looks like I’ve missed some days and that’s not the case. If I blog at 7 am one day and the next day I don’t post until 5 pm, it will look like I skipped a day. I’d simply like my time and date to be correct. Help!?

Now that I’ve put that out there I want to talk a little about networking.

For those of you who just put up your defenses – I’m not referring to network marketing. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Many people like to refer to social networking and I guess the reason that I refer to it as simply networking is that IMHO, too many people put so much emphasis on social that they often don’t get anything done. And I can be as social as the next guy or gal.

Today I spent over three hours meeting with someone I met at a networking event. By the way, did you know that you’re not supposed to verbally vomit about your business or career at a networking event? Here’s some awesome advice, really! When you meet someone at a networking event, that is just step one. You are learning just a brief bit about what each of you do and then you can set up a time to get together one on one. If you’re really good at it, you might meet in groups of three or four later on. But only if that style works for you.

I’ve been networking longer than most of the younger ones have been adults. I know of where I speak.

How about building a network of people that you really get along with well?

Think about it. You can choose who you want in your network. I don’t mean to sound exclusive, but if someone is really a PITA, maybe you don’t want to encounter that often or at all.

Recently I’ve started developing some relationships with people on Twitter. I think it’s an underutilized resource for many people, but you have to be willing to put in a little time. I thought of Dane Cook building his career by chatting over the internet. Many people think he’s not that funny when you get down to it. Yet he’s got a big fan base.

He was being productively social as he built that fan base. I’m sure there was very little Farmville being played if it existed back then.

That brings me to Facebook. There is a great strength in Facebook which is that it is designed for people who have relationships of relative equals. I’m not making value judgements here. I’m talking about how they interact. If you want to build a group of followers, maybe Twitter is better suited for that. Many people don’t expect the level of interaction on Twitter. Many seem to be ok with following you for whatever information you’re putting out.

Counterintuitively, Twitter seems to be shaping up as a place to meet people who you can do business with. I think because so many people try to behave on Facebook like it’s Twitter that that is getting in the way of the possible two-way effectiveness of Facebook. And many people are on Facebook to simply play. I find that when you start a conversation with someone on Twitter, it’s much easier to reach a point where you might then send email back and forth sooner. On Facebook I actually had someone infer that I was spamming him the other day when I sent him a website during a chat. I was talking about Kiva.org. I’m glad that he was sharing that with me instead of simply accusing me of it to Facebook itself, but I told him perhaps we shouldn’t connect anymore.

When he didn’t want me to chat with him or message him or post to his wall or connect with him through email or by phone, I questioned why we should be connected since he isn’t related to me and doesn’t go to church with me. Nor is he someone I used to work with or go to school with.

Two things. I don’t spam people. I do sometimes share stuff that I’m excited about. I like to post music videos on my wall and sometimes I post music videos on someone else’s wall if it’s their birthday. I try to send a message directly to someone (individually) if I want to share something with them that I feel they will find relevant based on what they know of me and what I know of them. If the mere act of sharing something is not welcome, then what are we doing here? (I don’t have a problem with someone saying that they would rather not hear about a particular thing, but I don’t appreciate it if they accuse me of spam.) Rarely someone will let me know not to post a music video on their birthday, but most people like it or love it! Also, anyone is free to believe what they like, but please do me the courtesy of communicating with me directly if there is a problem.

That brings me back to what I said to this guy. If no communication is welcome of any kind, then I would rather just unfriend. Why? Well, what is the point? Some people are simply connecting with other people so that they can talk to the connections of those people. That in itself I don’t find too bad, EXCEPT, that particular phenomenon is usually related to them SOLICITING your connections in some way. So if they don’t want to talk to you, then they either want to talk to your connections and exclude you or they are taking up space. Sometime in the next couple of years I will hit 5000 followers on Facebook and I’m pretty sure that’s the limit. If you don’t ever want to talk to me or me to you, then you are welcome to follow my pubic figure page on Facebook, rather than my profile. Does this seem fair to you? I am interested in honest feedback.

Are You Networking Effectively?

I’m adding a new category on this blog today – Networking!

I’ve been networking regularly or semi-regularly for 15 years. I really learned how to be more effective networking in December, 2000. If you are not “into” networking please keep in mind that that is a choice. I believe not networking is a pretty bad choice. There are exceptions. Joe Eszterhas, who has written very successful screenplays, says that you need to focus on your craft or some similar word. But he is very successful already. He has an agent who I’m sure is networking on his behalf.

People who are incredibly successful at this point when you do not have the same level of success may have different habits. Did NOT networking get Joe Ezsterhas where he is? He is definitely talented and bold, but there must have been a time when he had to network more than he does now. Again, at the very least, he must have had an agent networking for him.

Your habits may need to be different than his habits at this point in your life. At least ONE of them. Does this make sense?

Warren Buffett says, “Put all your eggs in one basket and then WATCH that basket!” That’s great if you’re already incredibly wealthy. Are you incredibly wealthy? I would like to suggest that just like with Joe Eszterhas, Warren Buffett is at a different place in his life than you or I are right now. Right now I’ll bet a better strategy would be for you to diversify if you are making investments.

But this is not about investments. It’s about networking. You need to meet people face-to-face or at least over the phone or Skype.

Email-only relationships that are very productive in moving your career or job or aspirations forward are rare. Steven King did a musical collaboration with someone whose name I should remember and don’t right now. They collaborated through email and sent files back and forth.

While I don’t know everything about everybody, this is the ONLY case of a truly PRODUCTIVE email-only relationship of which I have ever heard.

I know the name of the musician will come to me. Perhaps not before I finish this post…

You need to care about other’s success in order to network most effectively. Really.

Is it all about you when you meet someone?

You might not like to hear this, but there is really something to: What’s In It For Me?

So, when you meet someone you want to be interested in what their goals are.

Actually, if they have learned to network effectively, you can be interested in one thing to be of help to them.

What’s that one thing? What cuts to the chase?

Here’s the question:

What do you need next?

or

What do you need next most?

When you can answer that for someone else, you can find out quickly whether or not they know someone who can be of help to you.

OF COURSE, you want to be able to ask that question of them.

It’s not all about making people do for you.

I’ve seen some people online say, “If there’s ever anything I can help you with, please let me know.”

That’s great. If it’s really true. And I hope those you “meet” or meet are completely sincere when they say that.

BUT, what some of them actually mean is…

You see my profile. You see what I do. If you would like me to help you through the services that I provide, please contact me.

I will be happy to help you within that context and only within that context.

Many (not all) of these people are not offering to network with you and for you.

How do I network?

If you let me know “What you need next,” I keep you in mind when I see other people so I can say, “Bill, you know, I think you ought to meet Anya because she’s doing something that you might be able to help with.” See the difference?

AND, before I do that, when you’ve told me what you need next most, I will have thought of who I know so that AT THAT MOMENT I can connect you with someone if I do.

If I don’t have the contact information right there, I will get back to you with it, BUT, I prefer to introduce you in a three-way call.

THAT, my friends, is networking.

It’s not all there is too it, but it’s a GREAT start.

If I simply hand you someone’s contact information and let you call them or take yours and give it to the other person, it’s not really a warm introduction.

When I introduce you face-to-face or over the phone, we can all have a conversation or I can leave the conversation to the two of you after a little bit.

When you network in this way, wise people will want to network with you.

Think of being in a room of people where everyone is coming up to you saying (SINCERELY) “How can I help you? Who do you need to meet?”

If you can’t get done what you want to get done with a bunch of people like that, then you need clarity about what your next step is or where you are going.

I know people that can help with that, too. I might be one of them!

It’s important to give credit where credit is due. I learned about more effective networking through people like Janet Honek, Fran Cannon, Robert Johnson and people at what is now called CEO Space. But you can do that type of networking anywhere.

Zig Ziglar said:

If you go looking for a friend, you’re going to find they’re very scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.

AND!

If you can dream it, then you can achieve it. You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.

Come network with me! (NO LURKERS!!) 🙂

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