community network

Community-focused networking has lots of benefits, some are immediately evident, others need clarification and I was witness to this just recently as around twenty met over ‘brunch.’

Our guest was Michael has a lot of domestic responsibility, being the ‘office at home’ and supporting two young kids. He loved the idea of opportunity through engagement, connecting with others in business. The same for many sharing a similar routine these days …

‘Great business today Charlie, met some good people and so glad I accepted your invitation.’

It’s taking that first step, isn’t it? That’s where the intimidation lies, right? Stepping outside of the ‘comfort zone’ into an alien landscape, we all become moulded by our routines and I think Michael was no exception.

With a greater number working from the home office, we soon realise the value of people.

‘I didn’t know what to expect really. Although, I was half expecting the selly-sell, and/or the ‘sign-up’ so today was a refreshing change.’

‘Yes Michael, it is good to have you with us and course there are those who come along fishing for business, with focus on the referral. Others Michael, are just as happy to engage views, share the dialogue, focus on areas of passion, of need and the point of view, not to mention collaboration and to ultimately sample the ‘culture.’

Business is at times a secondary consideration – or ‘the bonus’ as some put it.

Seems to me, the development of community engagement is important, not least because it inspires better efficiencies by creating belonging. Along with a clear infrastructure, community helps us all, in whatever line business.

Most especially, those working from the home office.

‘Happy people mean a happy business, right?’

True Michael, cultivating the community network has enabled many to plan for the realisation of longer-term goals, the chance to step away from the monthly/quarterly led management figures and visualise the ‘bigger picture’.

Cultivating community delivers so much more. Community inspires relationships, affinity, infrastructure and ultimately the trust – then comes referral.

Blame the Leonids!!

With those bright spark Leonids visiting us all, we’ve been super busy, apologies from us and Leonid for the late delivery of November!

We shall all try harder! x


ARIES – The November 3 full moon lights up the money and material possessions in your life. Someone, or an unusual situation, could lead to an influx of cash or earning opportunity. It may take time, but it can start now. The moon-Mars conjunction on the fourteenth makes it easy to get what you want, if you know what that is. The new moon on November 18 suggests that nothing will be a problem for you during the next month. You have a clear view of a situation that may have been a bother for a while. Resources and helpful advice are at your fingertips. 
Standout days: 5, 10, 25
Challenging days: 1, 19

TAURUS – You’re totally conspicuous around the full moon on November 3, and in all the best ways. If you have wanted a boost for a special project, helping hands and brilliant ideas are on their way. You won’t even need to ask. Venus enters Scorpio on the seventh. Watch for love to get deep and for romance to get serious. A spectacular new love or romantic interest comes your way with the new moon on November 18. Or a current partnership may deepen and become rich beyond either of your wildest dreams. Be inundated with random acts of kindness and generosity.
Standout days: 13, 16, 21
Challenging days: 4, 26

GEMINI – Feel appreciated and cuddled around the full moon on November 3. Enjoy your personal space and private time. If feeling restless or still thinking of what else you should have or be doing, set all that aside and love your life here and now. Feel good about yourself with the new moon on the eighteenth. Feel good about your day job, and let your co-workers feel good about you, too. If there have been any doubts about anything, they will be resolved and disappear now. The Mercury-Saturn conjunction on November 27 can help you understand a piece of cryptic but valuable advice.
Standout days: 5, 17, 25
Challenging days: 1, 13

CANCER – The spotlight is on your social life during the November 3 full moon. Step into a bigger, perhaps faster social set. Don’t feel shy or awkward. Let others do the crazy stuff if they like. Dance to your own music, but dance. On the new moon on the eighteenth, pour your feelings into something creative. Paint, decorate, cook, play or write music, and soak yourself in all the things that you love best. Surround yourself with your best-loved company, too. The moon-Uranus conjunction on November 30 could reopen – or settle – an old argument. Be emotional but also reasonable, and heal an old wound.
Standout days: 7, 13, 21
Challenging days: 9, 19

LEO  – Career options and opportunities are blazing under the full moon on November 3. Feel secure and solid in your talents, skills, and experience. Friends or family may encourage you beyond your comfort level, but really, they’re right. Be brave if not bold. The new moon on the eighteenth makes home the best place to be. Spoil yourself and have a party if you like. Change something and make your environment luxurious and beautiful. Let friends and family visit and be jealous of your great space. The sun enters Sagittarius on November 21. If it wasn’t party time before, it is now.
Standout days: 3, 9, 29
Challenging days: 16, 28

VIRGO – If you’re feeling limited or constrained, the full moon on November 3 lets you break out and run free. You may not want to do anything extreme, but you have plenty of support and people cheering you on if you do. Mercury enters Sagittarius on the fifth, and it might be hard to concentrate on the important small stuff. Do your best. Stay near to home during the new moon on November 18. There will be a lot that you want to do with your friends. If siblings show up, let them figure out how to fit in with what’s going on.
Standout days: 9, 17, 28
Challenging days: 12, 24

LIBRA – On the full moon of November 3, resolve something that has been annoying or worrying you. It may not be important in the long run, but it could feel that way now. You have more than enough resources and lots of moral support. On the thirteenth, Venus conjoins Jupiter in Scorpio. Something or someone could touch or steal your heart. Money and material possessions are highlighted with the new moon on November 18. Pretty things look prettier and more desirable than usual. You might be tempted to go on a spending spree. Maybe leave your plastic at home and do some serious window-shopping.
Standout days: 7, 16, 28
Challenging days: 9, 26

SCORPIO – A rise in love and romance is highlighted by the full moon on November 3. Get sexy and sensual with someone who already worships the air you breathe. Don’t let any socializing get too extravagant because it might. The new moon on the eighteenth gives you the chance to do and say things that you would normally keep private. Be tactful, keep it nice, and people will understand and probably agree. You could alter your appearance now, too, with no negative criticism. On November 21, the Venus-Pluto sextile could smooth the rough edges on a relationship that shows promise of becoming valuable.
Standout days: 5, 12, 22
Challenging days: 19, 29

SAGITTARIUS – Health and happiness are spotlighted by the full moon on November 3. Take pleasure in taking care of yourself. You may also have a friend or a pet who needs a little extra pampering. Pamper away! On the thirteenth, the Venus-Jupiter conjunction shows you just how loved and cherished you really are. During the new moon on November 18, your private life and interior landscape may be much more interesting and richer than anything in the outside world. Indulge in deep thoughts, read a heavy book, get philosophical, and talk with your soul mate, real or yet to be manifested.
Standout days: 7, 16, 21
Challenging days: 4, 26

CAPRICORN – Around the November 3 full moon, get creative and spruce up your home, wardrobe, or anything else that you value and would like to give a fresh look. Get daring and have some wild and crazy fun with a lot of friends. The new moon on the eighteenth says to get ready for a fantastic social life in the coming weeks. Be popular and be treated extremely well. It’s OK to be pampered, so long as you appreciate it. On November 27, the Mercury-Saturn conjunction could slow down the pace and maybe change the direction of a developing relationship. 
Standout days: 11, 15, 20
Challenging days: 2, 13

AQUARIUS – Family or home life could tug at your heart with the full moon on November 3. There may be good news at work that makes time at home better and better. It’s so nice when home and work are not in fierce competition. The new moon on the eighteenth could open a door for your career or public presence that puts you on the fast track to success and popularity. Enjoy a burst of charm that brings someone or something to help you make the next big leap. On November 25, the Mercury-Uranus trine could reveal something powerful and useful that has long been concealed.
Standout days: 2, 11, 20
Challenging days: 4, 17

PISCES – Friends and neighbors are prominent, in all the best ways, during the full moon on November 3. Generosity from afar may be shared with you and your besties. It may not be party time, but it could be close. Break out of your shell with the new moon on the eighteenth. If you’ve been hunkered down with one specific job or project, you can now widen your range and have a fuller perspective without sacrificing your concentration. You will make success look easy. On November 26, the Moon-Neptune conjunction exposes hidden emotions and lets you talk openly about them.
Standout days: 13, 16, 22
Challenging days: 9, 19

Love beyond November!

Why pay me?

Hey, I can do better than that, why should I pay you?

‘Why should I pay you, when I know I could produce the same, just as well, if not even better than you?’”

Friends, do you ever have one of ‘those’ days where everyone seems to be the expert with an opinion?

The following excerpt came via a recent conversation with Tracey Bloxham, Tracey is a highly reputable photographer and a friend of our Friday forum.

I’d barely broken a sweat this Monday morning (what is it with Monday?) when this particular local wise-ass, know-it-all surfaced. He also happened to be a new client.

Let’s identify him as ‘the WAKA.’

I went ahead and offered ‘wise ass know it all’ use of my preferred tool of trade, the latest Nikon (very expensive) DSLR.

‘Please, take the camera, ideal for the interior portraits you called me in for. See if you think you can use this Mr WAKA.’

Nah, far too complicated, besides I’m supposed to be in the picture.”

‘Take the camera, let’s see your skills.’

No, don’t bother, photography is not my trade, besides that’s why I’m employing you.”

Correct.

You have asked me over to visit your home on a Saturday to take portraits of your family. You know I am qualified, I’ve had 20 years experience with plenty of recommendations.

I haven’t the time to do the job myself, besides …’ began our friendly WAKA.

‘Yes, I know, you’re supposed to be in the photo …ok, so you book me here (I continued) to spend 4 hours of my time with the skills I’ve honed and developed over years in my professional industry, skills and time that you simply do not have …

I know I do ‘rant’ at times although our WAKA needed to know this so I went on…

You see, when we engage or pay for professional services, we’re not simply buying the product. We buy the person who is celebrated for what they do. We buy solutions. Someone with the skills and craftsmanship that we don’t necessarily have or which we are unable to use efficiently ourselves.

Beware the WAKA folks, they could cost you your sanity at the very least …

Plant with care

Plant with care, weed with purpose

Long ago I was advised I should be hanging on to those business cards … ‘you never know when it may come in useful.’

Trouble is, I’ve just taken a look at around 25yrs worth of hanging on to business cards and I’ve come to the conclusion that 60% of these need to go…

‘Have you reached-out?’ I hear you say.

‘Don’t wait for the business, drop them a line with an update … include them in your newsletter, stay in mind.’ Yes, yes and I hear you again… but no.

Hey, I’ve been there, done that and I’m not so sure today’s networker has intentions for the long-term. Taking the advice though, half of those I included in updates had moved on, or sadly died. Half again seem to be only ‘in it’ for the now, so no. I’ve new purpose.

These days there are a core bunch of connections with whom I have a natural affinity. I see most of them on a regular basis and I value their advice and support.

I’ve learned over the years to select your close connections and cultivate with care. I look past the commercial engagement and seek more intrinsic values. I’m happy now to be comfortable in my shoes, happy where I sit in this place. Is this so bad?

So selecting my mates, my business connections, those whom I am prepared to spend time with in getting to know and trust is important to me. These are the people I can count on ‘for the journey.’

‘So what happens when someone else reaches out to you, do you accept the invitation?’ I hear you ask.

Sure, we need to engage and be prepared to offer help when it’s required, I believe that’s part of human nature, although if in ‘follow-up’ (and we all follow-up, don’t we?) the communication is lost, then I’m a little more mercenary on with whom I gift my time these days.

For me, cultivating new connections in business is a little like gardening. I’m more prone to plant and care more selectively, I’ve also developed a passion for recovering the space taken up by anything/anyone simply coming along for the ride …