Here’s my card, let’s talk numbers

30 Second Networking Tip #67

Making sure your conversations match your environment will help you to keep people interested… and not running for the door.

 

Please leave a comment below and tell me what you think… I really want to know!

How New Year’s Resolutions Can Keep You From Keeping New Year’s Resolutions

IMG_8463-91-smIt’s mid-January, how are you doing with your New Year’s Resolutions? Are you still feeling the flush of optimism from New Year’s Eve?

Statistically 76% of you made it through week one, but only 71% of you will make it past this week. To help keep you from falling off that list here are some things to think about.
Remember you’re already ahead of the curve! You’re 10 times more likely to keep those goals if you actually make the resolution in the first place. Keep your momentum and you’re in a good position to keep that resolution. Each day you keep with the program the easier it becomes to stay with it from a brain science perspective. Keep reminding yourself about the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow… positive reinforcement really does work, especially this early in the process.
If you’re starting to feel the pull to drop your resolution already then try re-evaluating the resolutions you made. Maybe the problem isn’t that you can’t keep resolutions. It’s quite possible you are focusing on the wrong area, or taking the “hard road” to get to your destination. Many times will power isn’t enough by itself to get you to your goal. Trying to force yourself to achieve something without a solid, reliable plan can lead to giving up too soon.
Often the problem is the number of things you are trying to achieve. Setting too many resolutions at once, or having too many goals you’re trying to work towards can dilute your energy and prevent you from succeeding.  Take a hard look at the goals you set and ask yourself the following question: “If I could only choose one of these  goals, which would it be?” If there is one that stands above the rest then perhaps you would be better off just working on that one resolution. It’s easy to lose sight of how reality will impact your goals when you originally set them. Our enthusiasm makes us overly optimistic. Now is a great time to pare down your list to the core changes you want to make, or the top goal you want to achieve this year. That’s not defeat, that’s flexibility.
If you haven’t set a resolution for the year yet, don’t worry. It’s not too late to make your resolution now. It’s still January so technically you can tell anyone who raises an eyebrow that you’re just a thoughtful starter. Then write your resolution down and create a plan. If you need some help you can always use my “How to Finally Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions” online course as a resource. But even if you don’t get my help, the only way you move forward is to stretch yourself and try new things. So go ahead, be bold and make a resolution to improve or change something this year. Big or small, making a goal and achieving it can have lots of positive impact on your life.
Let me know what you think of this post. Was it useful? I really want to know!

Do you know a good proctologist?

30 Second Networking Tip #66

Asking questions when you network is critical. But asking the wrong ones too soon can get you in hot water fast.

 

Please leave a comment below and tell me what you think… I really want to know!

5 Things You Need to Know About Things You Need to Know Lists

I have to be honest, I’m not sure what to think of the “online list” craze. But I have to admit that people sure do love them. Every website is full of lists. They’re everywhere… and they make us want to click to find out what’s number one.

Professional WomanWhile these lists can be fun and easy to consume, keep in mind they my not be as useful as they seem at first glance. In a world where you can “google” anything don’t fall into the trap of thinking information is knowledge. Lists can be useful, but they can also give you a false sense that you are learning more than you really are. They are the cliff’s notes of learning, so treat them with care.

In my business, business training and coaching, these lists are particularly popular. It seems like every magazine, blog or social media site is full of articles that include numbers. Not just research numbers or financial numbers… list numbers. Expert’s top 10 this, and 6 hot ways to do that. You can find lists to tell you about how to find a job, what to say in an interview, how to close a sale, or the tips for networking.

I assume you’re going to continue to click on the lists… frankly, so am I. So to help you out I’ve compiled my own Top 5 List. Here are some things to keep in mind as you consume those enticing lists. While you’re clicking through them think about how you might really use the information they provide you. Again, lists are not good or bad. Just be thoughtful about what you’re truly getting.

  1. Lists are going to be pretty basic. They are lists, not chapters. Let’s face it you can only say so much in a 600 to 1000 word article anyway. As writers we are taught to use bullet points to draw your eye down the page. That’s a big purpose of those lists. It makes an article faster and easier to read. As attention spans dwindle it’s a way to keep you, the reader, engaged so you don’t click off the page. It also means you won’t be given anything too in depth. Bullet points are by nature short and sweet. So they will also only deliver the basic information about a subject. There isn’t time to do much more.
  2. The list may not really help you unless you already know something about the topic. I first noticed this when I was researching my “Network with Ease” course. There are many lists that give you pointers on how to network. But I found that it was a bit like learning to ride a bike. When someone is on the bike for the first time if you tell them to “balance”, “pedal faster to stay up” or “lean to turn” they may yell at you in a panic. Those tips are meaningless to them at that point. They sound like gibberish. However, once they get a feel for the bike and actually experience some of those things, like balancing, your suggestions will start to make sense. They need to know something about riding before  your instructions for riding really make sense. Online lists can be similar.
  3. Lists can help get you started but rarely fill in the details. This follows #2. Lists may tell you “what” you need to do, but that is only half the story. You also need to know “how” to do those things for the list to have any true meaning. It’s the bike riding thing again. It I tell you that you shouldn’t just talk to people you already know when you network, but you are totally anxious about introducing yourself to strangers is that tip really helpful? Sure, you now know you need to do it… but without the “how” you’re still stuck feeling anxious. Without the how, the what is only marginally helpful. It can actually be discouraging.
  4. Anyone can come up with a list by googling any topic. Full disclosure: I’ve used this one myself (and probably will again). Now, in my defense I only do that to find examples or quotes about a topic I’m writing about. But that’s not the case for everyone. It’s easy to grab a couple of info-bites online and throw a post together around them when you’re on a deadline. I see this happen all the time. People reuse each others information all over the Internet. I know, it’s not always a bad thing. Just please keep in mind that if you’re looking for in depth information you’re probably going to have to read more than a glorified David Letterman Top 10 List. Having the headline is not going to help you discuss the story in depth with someone. So watch out thinking you’re an expert on what’s going on after you read a list. Check the source for this particular list before you pull out the information to a client or your boss.
  5. Usually lists are a way to get you to keep reading. Lists and bullet points are designed to keep you on a page so you see the click through ads on a page. It’s what allows a sites advertisers to have viewers… it’s about eyeballs. This is just the way of the Internet. I use it, HuffPo uses it, as do all the leading news and entertainment t sites. I’m not saying you can’t get some interesting and useful information in a “List Post” (hopefully this post is an example). If you’re looking for tidbits to use in a conversation then have at it. Be careful relying on the information too much though. If you expect to get any depth of information you’ll need to move beyond that top 7 list. People who really know a subject can see through you if you try to pass off that list info as real experience or knowledge.

Please use those “listacles” responsibly in business conversation. Keep these tips in mind and you should get more out of your list surfing. And yes, I’m aware of the irony of saying this in a “5 things” list post. I didn’t say they don’t work. You’re here reading it aren’t you? If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Why fight the rising tide. Maybe my next post should be “The 10 reasons I should write more 10 reasons posts”.

Feel free to connect with me directly at www.linkedin.com/in/ericbyrd.