How to Turn Your Rolodex into Cash

One of my pet peeves is the use of a Rolodex. In many cases they are not utilized effectively as an important business development tool. And in the modern era, the Rolodex has been reduced to little more than an electronic repository for business cards.

Note: For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a Rolodex is a rotating file device used to share business contact information. However, to clarify for this article I consider the Rolodex, business card file and Contacts list interchangeably to mean the same thing.

For years in the corporate world, I listened to executives talk about their “who’s who” list of contacts and the size of their Rolodex, like this somehow made them more important. However, when it came to helping a sales team member with an executive introduction, closing a sale or resolving a customer problem, their Rolodex of business contacts was rarely of any value in helping move things along. Continue reading…

8 Tips to Put Fun Back Into Your Workplace

In the business world, we are notorious for putting fun last on our list of priorities and as a result, never getting to it. We’re so busy during the year trying to meet our sales, revenue, expense, quality and customer satisfaction goals that we don’t schedule time to have fun. That needs to change.

Are you having fun yet? If not, here are some things to consider in order to put fun back into your workplace. Continue reading…

Doing Business the R.I.G.H.T. Way

There is only one way to do business, the right way. But, what exactly does that mean for your particular business situation?

Don Hicks, founder of the Hispanic American Business Development Group in Fort Worth, Texas http://bit.ly/10bL07 got me thinking about this topic recently when he posed the question “Would you do business with yourself?” to the group at a networking breakfast. It’s one of those great defining questions that every business owner should take time to reflect upon. Continue reading…

Tips for Starting a Mastermind Group – Part 2

Part 1 of this two-part article focused primarily on the pre-launch planning and preparation necessary to develop a successful mastermind program. Part 2 will provide you with additional tips, suggestions and strategies to consider for both your pre- and post-launch planning endeavors as you and your new mastermind group participants begin to focus on the major elements of the program that will ultimately deliver business value to the members.

A sincere willingness by all members to provide open, honest and respectful communication is an absolute must to enrich the mastermind experience. An open platform for discussion enables business leaders to engage in an active dialogue and information exchange, without reservations. As participants become more comfortable with each other, the group will begin to function as a peer-to-peer Executive Board, offering expert knowledge, guidance, inspiration and support to benefit each member’s particular business situation. Continue reading…

Tips for Starting a Mastermind Group – Part 1

In his book, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill described his concept of a mastermind group as, “A friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage one another to follow through with both plan and purpose.” Today, like-minded professionals come together through a plethora of available mastermind programs to help each other achieve success, thanks in part to Napoleon Hill’s original idea.

Note: This two-part article is intended to offer some valuable tips, suggestions and observations for those readers who are planning to start a mastermind group, or seeking to become an active member of a mastermind group in the near future. Continue reading…

10 Basic Tenets of Great Companies

Is your company a “great” company today? What constitutes a great company? Are there established criteria, like the Good Housekeeping Seal, that all great companies must adhere to in order to be deemed great?

Each year Fortune magazine completes the most extensive employer survey in the corporate world and publishes its list of the “100 Best Companies To Work For”. The survey ranks the top companies in a variety of major categories including size, job growth, low turnover, no layoffs, women, diversity, etc. Continue reading…

Connect Your Message With Your Audience

Although it is widely stated that 93% of communication is non-verbal, getting the remaining 7% that is verbal right is essential in building credibility and trust with your target audience.

This year I have been speaking to various networking groups about “How to Improve Your 30-Second Elevator Pitch” as a part of our Back to Basics 2.0 business series. These presentations emphasize the importance of constructing the right message(s) in communicating your customer value proposition to a diverse audience, and building new alliances and business relationships. Continue reading…

Are You Stuck in the Friendly Networking Trap?

Many of the business owners I have met with during this past year have told me that traditional networking does not work for them, and as a result they are seeking alternatives in an effort to generate more leads, referrals and new business.

Some networking groups tend to be little more than social clubs where friends hang-out for breakfast, lunch or after-hour drinks, rather than venues to build business relationships, share referrals, and establish new partnerships and alliances that will enable them to successfully grow their respective businesses.

Are you stuck in the friendly networking trap? Continue reading…

Have a Personal Plan for Success in 2010

The ball dropped in Times Square at the stroke of midnight, and the tartan-clad gnomes have erased the blackboards, officially ushering in the New Year. It is time to start anew … new hopes, new dreams, and a new list of New Year’s resolutions, goals and challenges awaits each of us.

Yes, it’s hard to believe we are already well into the first full week of 2010. So, what’s next for you? Do you have a personal plan to prepare you for success in 2010 and the new decade ahead? Continue reading…

Top 5 DO and Top 5 DON’T Lists for 2010

The holiday season is a great time for both reflection and renewal, and a perfect time to work on your “lists” of things to accomplish in the new calendar year, while enjoying quality time with family and friends. So, let’s get started on your lists.

Here are my suggested Top 5 DO and Top 5 DON’T lists that I hope will serve as a guide to help you put together your New Year’s resolutions and 2010 goals. Continue reading…