Comfortable vs remarkable

‘Hey Charlie, I think I’m getting comfortable with this networking ‘thing’ now. I do understand when you say that it’s all about spending time, being familiar with the expectation, you’re right, it takes a while.’

Good things take time Ben …

the key is to stay the course and following through.

‘Well, I’m managing the routine now, gradually booking the appointments and I’m learning, so feeling happier.’

I can tell that Ben, just by you opening up and discussing the situation tends to show you are growing in confidence, understanding the process.

‘The process?’

The referral process. This is your ‘realisation,’ Ben, others are beginning to appreciate you as they see you grow, they come to understand your character, ask your advice and how you work. Just as you do with others.

Just now is the start of the process.

Continue with the visibility, book the meetings, the one to one and understand your marketplace. Learn from others and keep the antenna flying for possible introductions for others. The more you help, the better your ‘bizability.’

‘But I’m just getting comfortable Charlie, I’m happy where I am now.’

Where you are is great Ben. Not too comfortable now though because ‘comfortable’ brings stagnation and this is something that should never happen within your network.

Stay the course Ben, follow through, continue your path. If you are happy then the ‘process’ is working.

Next step is to begin to lose the comfort zone Ben… go the extra mile and actively pursue business on behalf of others – don’t just wait for it to happen, be the referral process you would like to see happening for you.

Nothing remarkable ever comes from being comfortable …

You. The Individual

It’s been 12 weeks since Ben asked me to help with his individual ‘offer.’

He has worked hard in the transition from back-room support act to become Managing Director of the family firm, the organisation that had earned his mum and dad a reputable business, a healthy clientele and a good living.

We had just left a brand new prospect for business. ‘Smithy’ and his board, are now asking for more. More on prices, more about deadlines and more about styles from Ben’s bespoke product range – always a sign of good things to come.

So I thought.

No regrets, no more looking back Ben?

‘I do understand the legacy I’ve inherited Charlie although I’m all too aware that I’m not my father! I feel inadequate that I can’t deliver his depth of knowledge, his connectivity or the rapport that I feel I need to deliver on behalf of those prospects looking for more.’

Ben, who was that in there? Smithy and his team don’t even know your father, they know the family reputation and now it’s all about you! Just have faith in the follow-up and your abilities.

Bring the individual offer to the table, be prepared to make stupid mistakes, do boring stuff, make idle conversation and be the difference that separates you and dad.

Self-confidence comes with the qualification of success Ben, you are certainly not your father (a strong character with an overriding presence) and although you should, of course, follow his example … it’s equally important to develop your own persona – clients like ‘Smithy’ are indeed asking for more, that’s great – more from Ben, no-one else.

Your existing customers already know the company, right?

The exciting thing is, after three short months they’re starting to get to know you now Ben – just as you are finding your feet, your own network is learning too. Be different … please … try NOT to fit in, you don’t have to ‘fit in’ everywhere, right?

It’s ok to be individual Ben, don’t compare yourself to anyone else, they just don’t come close.

People buy from people, be the change you represent and people will love you for it.

He’s no one hit wonder

 

Ben, it’s great to hear you enjoyed the holiday. Welcome back.

 

“Thanks, Charlie, I did enjoy the time away from the factory, I took the opportunity to do a lot of thinking …”

Holidays are good for thinking Ben, have another biscuit with the tea … what do we need to discuss?

Ok, I’m thinking of offering our tailor made line online, you know, the additional income stream you talked about? Networking is great although I’m not getting a lot of ‘hits’ with my engagement – any reason why do you think?”

Hits Ben? The online store is a great idea …

The efforts you put into your business, your people and your network are a progressive development of the ‘reliable, dependable, Ben.’ It’s about you becoming the person your contacts can rely on, not only for the so-called ‘hits’ but for direction, advice and support.

Sure, you will find and always welcome the odd single order for your fine, bespoke footwear although is that the end game here?

What do you mean? Of course, I want orders, that’s what I’m networking for isn’t it?”

Ben, anyone can buy a pair of shoes that suit the budget, we get free financial advice, accountancy solutions or websites in a box, logos for not much more than a fiver, it’s all ‘out there’ Ben.

The meaningful partnerships in business surpass all of the above. The reason those ‘in the know’ are networking is the fact that the road to fruition is that much shorter with the help of our colleagues. Even if your network is the slow-burn, the odd order here, the single referral there … think about what you are cultivating Ben.

Your scope of contacts – even over a short time networking while developing the relationships and trust is enormous. Think of the connections others have and who they are able to refer you to given the relationship. Never underestimate leverage. Think also of the advice and support, the range of services at your fingertips for the sake of caring about others a couple of hours per week.

It’s not about the ‘hits’ Ben, it’s about your leverage and quality of connections, who knows you and who may then introduce you to others.

Have faith Ben, you are no ‘one hit wonder.’

So, what else did you do on holiday apart from thinking about work?

MAY. Amanda says … it’s in the stars

 

Aries 20th March -19th April

May is promising to be a month of opportunity for many but it is equally full of surprises. After Mercury’s about turn into direct motion on the 3rd, you can expect many obstacles to start clearing away. Better still you can also expect the things that you thought would cause you trouble, in fact, end up doing the exact opposite! This will be a month that by its close you could, in fact, find yourself in an even better and stronger position than you had anticipated in many respects. This is a month of positive change.

Thought for the Month ‘Expect the unexpected’

Taurus April 19th April – 20th May

In your mind, you have already left the past behind therefore you are ready for Mays promising opportunities. This is good as they will be forthcoming. Not only that with your new open-minded ‘let’s just see where life takes me’ attitude you will be well placed to savour all that is on offer. This will have a very positive impact on your life going forward. With Venus also direct now you will be ready to renew your affections or take a new romantic journey, start a new career or project and throw all your passion into it. Enjoy!

Thought for the Month ‘Luck is preparation meeting opportunity’

Gemini May 20th- June 20th

With your ruling planet Mercury’s recent retrograde motion, which changes on the 3rd everything has been in chaos! In fact, it is difficult to know where to start and what is more urgent. Thrown into the mix that everybody’s life is changing then it is little wonder you could do with a period of calm! While May cannot promise you this it can promise you some very pleasant and surprising opportunities. Most of which will unfold after the Gemini New Moon on the 25th and into June. In the meantime, stay open to everything!

Thought for the Month ‘You never know your luck till the ball stops rolling’

Cancer June 20th – July 22nd

Cancer’s being a fixed sign enjoy stability and certainty all of which have been in very short supply lately. Still, there is no denying that there have been some wonderful opportunities of late and some very real potential for future happiness. Therefore, to a degree maybe you should just relax and let this changing climate unfold with all its twists, turns and offers. It seems that the tides of change are slowly turning in your favour so try to weather the tensions of others and just trust the journey it promises to be good!

Thought for the Month ‘All in a day’s work’

Leo July 22nd – August 22nd

Recent stressful situations have forced you to lie low and stay distant from the drama. While that has been exhausting, it has the advantage that you are now free to consider your own opportunity. With both Venus and Mercury now direct it seems you will be able to pursue your objectives rather than those of others. While some opportunities may take you out of your comfort zone you are advised to give it a go! What unfolds because of some strange and auspicious twists of fate could be well worth any effort involved

Thought for the Month ‘As one door closes another opens’

Virgo August 22nd – September 22nd

This month as your ruling planet Mercury turns direct on the 3rd you will be eating humble pie. Something a fastidious, methodical Virgo never usually does! Mind you the good thing about Mercury retrograde is that it will highlight some facts that you had previously missed. This will make you change your whole approach to certain individuals and situations. It seems however that with times changing so quickly you may have to just take some chances. The good news is later you will be glad you did!

Thought for the month ‘There is no such thing as perfect’

Libra September 22nd – October 23rd

Life has been tricky for some time now and Mercury has not helped over the last couple of weeks. It feels impossible to complete anything satisfactorily. However, its direct turn on the 3rd. That and Venus recent about turn should now help to get the wheels of life oiled and moving again. Expect results toward the end of the month when a Gemini New Moon broadens your horizon’s. That is not just for now, but it opens doors that will change your life! This is a time you will look back on and recognise a turning point.

Thought for the Month ‘You have to speculate to accumulate’

Scorpio October 23rd – November 21st

A Full Moon in your sign promises tensions will build until the 10th when they reach a head! It’s fair to say with so many planets doing recent retrograde turns you have been going over things! Just when you think you have something sorted fate has thrown a spanner in the works. Still, while this has been testing perhaps retrospectively it will have been good and tested your commitment to certain projects and people. Remain open-minded especially as offers late month may offer yet another better perspective.

Thought for the Month ‘The game is not over until the ball stops’

Sagittarius November 21st – December 21st

With Saturn in your sign, there has been a lot of opportunities for self-improvement. While some of this has been stressful and very exhausting you have been achieving a lot and must be pleased with some of your advances. However, its seems some things and some people have been holding you back. With a New Moon, late month in your opposite house of partners the time has come to clear the decks of what and whom no longer works well with you. You need to move on and things cannot stay as they are!

Thought for the Month ‘It’s hard dragging a stubborn donkey uphill!’

Capricorn December 22nd – January 20th

May promises to be a month of opportunity for Capricorn. There are many changes in the pipeline for others and therefore you could be on the receiving end of some surprising offers! While at first, you will have some reservations, you would be wise to check everything out. Capricorn rarely shy away from a gamble and it seems that future lucky breaks require you to take a chance and do just that. It seems that better times are ahead and in a place and with people you may never have previously considered!

Thought for the Month ‘Never say never’

Aquarius January 20th – February 19th

May is promising to be a pivotal month for positive change. This may surprise you as all you can see is risk and people acting out of character. More importantly, you are a bit sick and tired of all the changes and feel the need for some stability. Still, even you can see that the current status quo is not sustainable. Even more, you have been saying so for some time! For now, just let things unfold, don’t be too quick to judge. The trends are all positive. Just for now trust others to take the lead. Later you will be glad you did!

Thought for the Month ‘There are many ways to peel an Orange’

Pisces February 19th – March 20th

Pisces are often a sign that allows the tides of life to ebb and flow over them. Still with so much now in a state of flux and with so many serious important decisions in the balance you feel uneasy. Others, emotions are familiar territory for you and you can see the dubiousness in one or two individual’s decisions now. Still, we cannot live others’ lives for them. More, we can never be sure whether what we think will suit someone will! Often fate plays a hand and unfolds a surprise! Therefore, let life unfold, it will anyway!

Thought for the Month ‘Live and let live’

~ Amanda Corrick

The human experience

I’ve been around a while, discovered some success and I’m blessed to have been working with some wonderfully talented people.

Over time I’ve also discovered that success is powered by three fundamentals.

Your know-how, your reputation and your network of contacts.

Sounds simple don’t you think? Isn’t that how it should be though?

Hey, you can take away all my money, all my assets and investments, you can take away my customer list as well but if you leave me my business relationships and with my reputation in place … I’ll have the ability to work at successfully replacing everything you’ve taken away.

Having knowledge, social capital and trust is the ultimate security blanket whether we’re heading into good times or bad.

This is why I believe that if we’re in business, any time is an excellent time to increase market share. Whether we’re engaging new prospects, building better relationships with existing customers, we’re developing trust, that’s essentially what we’re about, are we not?

Engaging, building and relating …

Contrary to popular opinion though, building social capital is not about sitting alone in front of the PC, tablet or locked into your i-phone trying to come up with a winning marketing formula all on your own …

No one who is successful creating their meaningful marketing presence works in isolation.

Successful people may have started out on their own sure enough. After all, we need to start to reach the end. But it’s what you do when you recognise your marketing is starting to work for you that counts. That’s when you begin to leverage your ambitions with like-minded people, real humans and combine your ideas with others, leveraging experiences and relationships.

By developing trust within your community, delivering consistent messages … and leveraging that trust is where we may ultimately be successful.

Doubt your happiness ?

‘Thanks Charlie, I’m back in a fortnight, without the doubt I promise, and we can follow up then, ok by you?’

Ben was away for a well-deserved holiday. Together we’ve put in place a short-term strategy for success, something Ben is more than capable of achieving if only he could lose his doubt.

Stepping out of the shadows of his parents business was hard for him. Finding himself now in charge, the dynamic had changed for him. Ben found all this uncomfortable and he needed to swap those shoes.

Considering his was the successful business of footwear – as a Cordwainer – you’d be right to suggest it shouldn’t be too difficult …

Ben was indeed a ‘worry-guts.’

 

‘The existing clients love mum and dad. What if they don’t like me, Charlie? How do I maintain the relationships, the status-quo in the community? I know not a lot about sales either, what happens if I don’t hit the targets?’

Ben’s expectation of life was scuppering his happiness – it was time for a holiday.

As a young man, unclear about how he should follow in mum and dad’s footsteps, Ben was beset with doubt. You know, the kind of uncertain feelings we all collide with from time to time, for whatever reason.

Ben … I replied, we have the contingency in place – no doubt you and half the population are taking a break this time of year, you have a trusted support staff who know the business. Your only concern should be how to cope with the business of ‘holiday mindset.’

What do you mean?”

When we’re away from site Ben, ‘off the familiar patch,’ life works the magic, releasing the not so important ‘stuff’ enabling us to realise what is most valuable …

Our happiness.

Success Ben, is the progressive realisation of a worthy ideal.

Take some time, enjoy the holiday and understand that each small step takes you closer to those goals of personal and professional happiness.