Get Away From The Edges

Get Away From The Edges

Communication, Featured
When you walk into a room, one thing you should notice is where people are standing in a room. At the edges are people who are more tentative. They appear unsure of themselves. Seasoned networkers tend to be closer to the center of the room. The best networkers not only don't stay at the edges, they actively bring people in from the edges. The idea of networking is to interact. To do this effectively, you need to get in the thick of things. Pull yourself away from the edges. The more you do this, the easier it gets.
Read More
Surround Yourself with People Who Will Push You to Grow

Surround Yourself with People Who Will Push You to Grow

Featured, Improvement
When it comes to planning our careers, we carefully choose our companies and jobs. But rarely are we deliberate about selecting the advisers and confidantes who help us succeed. Cultivate a support group for your career by thinking about whose advice and expertise you wish you had on speed dial. Consider who you feel inspired by, whether they’re colleagues, senior leaders, or peers in your field. Seek these individuals out, and be candid about why you admire them and why you want to connect. Focus on building a relationship that will benefit both of you. As you get to know each other, don’t be afraid to explore big life questions: What do you want to do with your life? What motivates you? What are you doing that you really don’t…
Read More
Build A Network That Challenges Your Point Of View

Build A Network That Challenges Your Point Of View

Attitude and Mindset, Featured
When your network is mostly people whose backgrounds and skill sets are similar to yours, it’s unlikely to help you find new ideas or creative solutions. Diversify your network by connecting with people whose viewpoints, insights, and experiences differ from your own. When you meet someone new, talk about what you don’t have in common. Ask friends to introduce you to their contacts who have an interesting job or who work in a unique space. In particular, try to meet people who will challenge your assumptions and biases. If you’re struggling to build your network in the usual ways, create a reason to bring a diverse group together. For example, a monthly book club can give you the chance to hear a variety of perspectives, as well as to read authors you…
Read More
Know Your Strengths

Know Your Strengths

Evaluate, Featured
To get ahead in your business or career, whether you are trying to get a  job, a promotion, or a new venture off the ground you need to know your strengths. If you can’t articulate them, you can’t expect your boss or potential employers, partners, or customers to either. Here’s a four-step process to identifying what makes you great: List your strengths. Include skills and knowledge you’ve acquired through experience and education as well as softer intrinsic strengths, such as insightfulness or empathy.Ask for input. Ask colleagues for honest feedback.Revisit past feedback. Reread old performance reviews or think back on coaching from previous bosses.Modify your list. Adjust your original list to reflect what you’ve learned. Make sure the strengths are specific so that they are credible and useful.
Read More
The Balance Between Learning And Doing

The Balance Between Learning And Doing

Featured, Improvement
To achieve success it is crucial that you continue to learn. Whether you are learning new skills, reading to keep up with changes in your industry, or simply continuing your education learning is crucial to achieve your goals. However, that learning must be balanced with actually doing tasks and following through. Aside from the obvious reason that you have to get things done, there is a big difference between practical application and learning. There is an old saying, "In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is." Someone who studies something will never have the proficiency of someone that studies AND does it. Someone who understands how an internal combustion engine works is not necessarily able to fix one. The other major reason to move…
Read More
The Solution to a Tough Problem Isn’t to Overthink It

The Solution to a Tough Problem Isn’t to Overthink It

Attitude and Mindset, Evaluate, Featured
We all like to consider ourselves smart, but raw intelligence isn’t everything. When we get stuck on a problem, sometimes it’s because we’re overthinking it. Pay attention to when focused thinking isn’t getting you anywhere; perhaps it has turned into obsessing over the same answers or approaches. Consider whether experimenting with a new strategy or talking ideas through with others might be more likely to result in success. Take breaks to let your brain relax and get unstuck. Expand your range of skills for reaching insights and coming up with new ideas; don’t be someone who sees every problem as a nail because your only tool is a hammer. And when you do find yourself ruminating, disrupt it by doing a few minutes of an absorbing activity, such as a…
Read More
Stress Doesn’t Have to Short-Circuit Your Creativity

Stress Doesn’t Have to Short-Circuit Your Creativity

Attitude and Mindset, Featured
When you’re stressed out, it’s hard to decide what to eat for dinner, let alone get work done. How can you produce ideas when you’re feeling this way? First, take a breath and relax. Trying to force yourself to be creative will only lead to more frustration. Instead of thinking, “I must be creative right now,” tell yourself, “I’m going to play around with some ideas.” Then do an activity that will let your mind wander. Going for a walk or napping, for example, naturally loosens up your brain, which can lead to new insights. If you still feel stuck, give yourself more material to work with: Read about the topic you’re tackling, take a field trip to observe other people’s solutions to similar problems, or talk to experts. Above…
Read More
Your Business Needs To Go Organic (and we don’t mean food)

Your Business Needs To Go Organic (and we don’t mean food)

Communication, Featured
Advertising platforms are getting better at targeting audiences, but when it comes to search and social media organic beats paid every time. To be clear, organic search and social means SEO and content marketing rather than paid ads. While paid ads have their place in any marketing campaign, there are several reasons for you to focus more on organic. Ad blockers: Ad blockers are becoming more prevalent. Some browsers are building them into the software. With fewer ads being seen, you need to work around these.The ignore factor: Especially in search results, people are being conditioned to skip the ads at the top of the results and go right to the organic search. When you get to the top of search organically you have more credibility than if you bought…
Read More
Build Relationships Around What You Care About

Build Relationships Around What You Care About

Attitude and Mindset, Featured
When business people network, they tend to look for people with complimentary jobs or people in their target markets. While this is a good short-term way to connect with people, if you want to build lasting relationships you should connect around topics of interest. If you have an interest in animal welfare, gardening, or gourmet foods for example find people who share that interest. Sharing a topic of interest gives you more to talk about than just business. It also helps you stand out. If a person knows several people in your industry, what will make you stand apart? If you have had conversations about something they care about. they will remember you. More importantly, if you are discussing something that interests you, you are more animated and passionate than…
Read More
Be Lazy

Be Lazy

Attitude and Mindset, Featured
Every book and article on success tells you that you have to get things done, get started, get moving, etc. We're going to postulate that the true key to success is to be lazy. In all fairness, we're not talking about procrastinating or spending days in bed. There is an old joke that says give a difficult job to a lazy man and he will find the easiest way to do it. That's what we are talking about. Being lazy is about finding the easiest way to accomplish tasks. This isn't limited to the tasks you need to accomplish. Your product or service should allow your customers to get their tasks done as easily as possible. Customer service should provide assistance as easily as possible. If you are not making…
Read More