Networking: Stop ‘Bobbing for Apples’

If you sign-on to Meetup.com, you’ll find there are approximately 130,000 Meetups (884 within 25 miles of my office) happening at any given time that represent opportunities to network and build great new relationships.

With this over-abundance of networking opportunities at our disposal, why do many small business owners struggle to make networking work for them?

The short answer is that most are not prepared for success when they walk through the door. Yes, networking can be time-consuming, frustrating and expensive if you don’t take the time to adequately prepare in advance.

Bobbing for Apples

As my good friend Jeff Klein, the author of ’30 Seconds to Success’ and the founder of Speaker Coop says, “There are only two reasons to network – to get referrals and give referrals”. Continue reading…

Get Your Head Out of the Cloud

Get your head out of the Cloud! Yeah, I’m talking to you (and me) and everyone else out there. Whether your business is online, offline or both, we all need time away from the keyboard and out in the ‘real world’ in order to effectively grow our businesses.

Although it has been said many times over that advancements in technology have brought us closer together, I contend that it has done just the opposite. While technology has made it easier for us to engage machine-to-machine and automate various aspects of our daily work lives, it has also diminished the “human touch” in the process.

The Cloud2

At the end of the day, however, building a profitable, scalable and sustainable business still comes down to people and the human interaction that happens in the marketplace between consumers and suppliers. That personal connection is still a key differentiator. Continue reading…

Let the 2nd Half Begin …

“Every success is built on the ability to do better than good enough.” – Unknown

Let the 2nd half begin … and so it has!! Sorry all of you raving NFL fans, it is not football season just yet. We’re talking about the 2nd half of the calendar year and you know what that means? It is time to step up the action!!!

 

Time to get serious about closing out the year strong and setting the stage for an even better new year to follow. Much the same as in sports, why do we humans always seem to have a greater sense of urgency in the 2nd half (of the year) than we do in the first half?

Most would say it’s a result of their efforts to recover from a slow start, an unexpected downturn in business or a major setback that put them behind in reaching their annual goals. I say it is simply human nature. We all go through cycles in life and business, ebbs and flows, much like the four seasons. As a result, our pace or sense of urgency is largely influenced by the cycle we are currently in, and how we are performing.

How can we create a greater sense of urgency for ourselves and our respective teams regardless of the business cycle? Continue reading…

Competition Is Not a Bloodsport

Unlike the early days of the industrial revolution, competition is not a bloodsport in the rapidly evolving, global marketplace of today. Instead, coopetition and collaboration have become the watchwords for this new era of global expansion and commerce.

When AT&T first entered the computer industry in the mid-1980s, it was their clear intent to dominate an industry controlled by IBM, Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), Unisys, Wang, Data General and others. Although AT&T had been the defacto market leader in telecommunications since its inception, they soon learned that different rules of engagement applied in the computer business.

Fencing Sport

In order to survive and thrive as a new entry into the computer industry, AT&T had to learn to “plug and play” with everyone, including its direct competitors. To meet their over-arching business goals it was no longer about crushing the competition, but more about developing collaborative solutions that addressed the needs of the marketplace, by working together.

You don’t become a market leader in today’s fast-paced global economy by attempting to lord over the competition or your customers. Continue reading…

Let’s Stop Talking About Goals

Let’s stop talking about goals. There I said it. Like many of you, I’ve seen far too many articles posted these days that focus on goal-setting. Be honest, goal-setting is a total waste of time, unless it leads to results. It is time to shift the conversation.

Success Planning

There is an ancient Chinese proverb that says, “The best goal is no goal at all”. I would not go quite that far. However, what it means is that we should stop allowing ourselves to be limited by certain goals, and stay open to the possibilities ahead of us. Continue reading…

Time to Ring the Bell

Ring the BellYes, it is that time again … time to “ring the bell”!

The holidays are officially over. The Christmas tree has been placed at the curb for pick-up. The decorations are packed away in the attic. The new calendar reads 2015. So, it’s time to get back to business, right?

WAIT … hold on a minute! I am not ready for the New Year just yet. Let’s slow down a bit. Does this sound familiar?

For many of us, the New Year seems to have arrived early this year. And while we are struggling to catch up, time continues to march on. Last night, I attended my first networking event of 2015, and you could see it on many of the attendees faces, the dreaded “holiday hang-over”. Their thoughts were clearly somewhere else, not on business. To be totally honest, I was right there with them.

Why is it so hard to get started up again after the holidays? Continue reading…

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Before we scoot off to celebrate the holidays with our families and friends, I want to take this opportunity to say ‘THANK YOU’ for your business, friendship, prayers and support. It has meant so much to us this year, as our family has had to overcome some difficult challenges.

The holiday season is a magical time of the year that we always look forward to. It is a time for family, a time for reflection and introspection, a time for planning, a time for renewal, a time for hope and most of all, it’s a time to count our many blessings and to celebrate the birth of our savior Jesus Christ.

A Christmas version of Hallelujah

We feel particularly blessed this year to be able to celebrate the holidays as a family. As many of you know, my wife Laura was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer earlier this year and the prognosis for a full recovery at the outset was not promising. However, after months of cancer treatments, surgery, your prayers and God’s grace, she has battled through it.

Thank you to all of the special people (you know who you are) for being there for our family when your prayers, love and support were needed the most. We really appreciate you!

“May God send you good fortune, contentment and peace, and may all your blessings forever increase.” –  An Irish Blessing for Christmas and the New Year.

Wishing you and your loved ones a very, Merry Christmas and a Happy, Prosperous New Year.

Enjoy the journey!

John

 

COPYRIGHT © 2014 John Carroll

 

The Value of One More Day

The value of one more day. If you were granted one more day, what would you do with it and what value would you place on it?

Value of LifeIt is an age-old question, “what is the value of a human life”? The calculation seems to be fairly straightforward, or is it? Back in 2008, Stanford economists demonstrated that the average value of a year of quality human life is about $129,000 vs. $50,000 for the insurance industry.

So, just take this figure and multiple it by the average life span in years, and there you have it – the value of a human life. However, real life doesn’t work that way and the answer to the value of one more day would certainly vary for each individual.

“When you realize the value of all life, you dwell less on what is past and concentrate more on the preservation of the future.” – Dian Fossey

So back to the original question, if you were granted one more day, what would you do with it and what value would you place on it? Continue reading…

Relaunch of the Business Leaders Forum℠

Are You Passionate About Spending More Time Working ON Your Business And Learning Strategies To Help You Achieve The Results To Move Beyond Your Vision?

Growing a business in today’s challenging economic climate can be a daunting task for any business leader. Are you struggling to find the right formula for success to take your business to the next level and beyond? Do you need expert advice to help you …

  1. Develop a “game plan” to improve your sales and profits outlook, launch new products or services, and/or marketing initiatives?
  2. Change your business direction, enter new geographic markets or develop new sales channels?
  3. Get a new business venture started and develop the blueprint that will lead to future prosperity and growth?
  4. Develop new leadership skills and competencies, and discover YOUR personal plan for success?

The Business Leaders Forum mastermind program can help you address these critical business challenges, and achieve the results to move beyond your vision in a balanced way!

I know what you’re thinking … here we go again with yet another hollow sales pitch that makes wild claims but delivers little to no value in return. Well, not this time! The Business Leaders Forum℠ is a proven strategic mastermind program first launched in September, 2009 that has helped numerous entrepreneurs, small business owners and business leaders over the past several years dramatically improve business performance, while helping them achieve their personal and professional goals.

NOW, we have incorporated the very best elements of this highly regarded mastermind program into a new, advanced business leaders’ series. Continue reading…

Prospecting: Like Hunting for Werewolves

Prospecting can sometimes feel like hunting for werewolves, particularly if there is no full moon. And what better time to talk about werewolves than at Halloween, right?

Yes, prospecting can be a scary, time consuming and frustrating process. There are lots of ghouls, goblins and things that go bump in the night out there that can derail your efforts to secure new business and achieve your revenue goals. If you don’t have a solid game plan to reach your intended targets, you can spend a lot of time, energy and resources chasing your tail, with little or no return on investment (ROI).

Werewolf Marketing

So, what is the best way to maximize the return on your prospecting investment, and avoid getting caught in the jaws of the prospecting beast? Continue reading…