Master connector, author and dream coach Karen Hoffman opens her presentation inviting the audience to consider the difference between a single transaction and a relationship that involves an ongoing set of transactions, monetary and otherwise.
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During a recent episode of Shark Tank, all of the sharks told a budding entrepreneur that his idea wouldn’t work. The sharks went on to explain why the idea wasn’t viable.
Reasons to listen
There are a number of reasons why this entrepreneur should listen to the sharks.
- They’re incredibly successful business people.
- They have experience in a lot of different industries with a lot of different markets.
- They don’t hide their mistakes; indeed, they readily admit their failures hoping to help others avoid making the same mistakes.
- Their mission is to promote innovation and entrepreneurship, not quash them.
I have to admit I shared the shark’s opinion of the idea, although I‘ve been wrong before. This raises some interesting questions “When do you listen to naysayers? When do you ignore their advice? Is this an either/or decision?”
One of the things I’ve learned over the years is that just because someone says “It can’t be done” doesn’t mean I should abandon the idea.
A few years back I pitched a book idea to my literary agent. She responded saying “You’re not known for that topic so it’ll be a nearly impossible sale.” And she was right. One of the things publishers want to see are credentials that lend credibility to the book’s message. I didn’t possess those credentials. I set the idea aside and didn’t do anything with it for over a year.
During that year my mind was continuously drawn back to that topic through conversations with friends, through questions I got from people who were suffering a crisis of confidence or some personal pain. Eventually it became obvious to me I needed to write this book and I did. The title is “Lead a Life of CONFIDENCE...Free yourself of fear, anxiety and frustration.”
While it hasn’t yet (note the yet) become a best seller, it has laid the foundation for me to become known for this topic. Indeed, within the past few weeks a whole new market has opened for me to promote the book, and more importantly, the message.
A follow-on book will be released this month, “Stand Out From The Crowd...Without having people point and laugh,” and I’ve just completed the outline for the third book in the series. I’ve decided to self-publish all three as a way to build the credibility that may or may not lead to a future book deal with a major publishing house.
My point in sharing this story with you is that when you’re told “it won’t work” by naysayers, listen to what they have to say, then figure out a way to overcome the obstacles they see.
When to listen
It pays to listen to people with more experience than we have. It’s counterintuitive, but it doesn’t mean we have to abandon our idea.
Typically when experienced people say “That won’t work” what they mean is that it won’t work as you outlined it. It’s your job to ask “Why won’t it work and how do I overcome the obstacles you’re seeing?” Let them help you find solutions, they have more experience than you do. But don’t give up on the dream. You may have to make major adjustments to make the idea work, but if you want that dream badly enough, you will make it work - simply not in the form you originally envisioned.
When not to listen
Don’t listen to people who have little or no experience in what you’re trying to accomplish. Many of them become naysayers simply because they can’t dream as big as you are dreaming. I learned this lesson from having seen an interview of the Williams sisters.
They said that when they told their friends their dreams of being tennis champions, they were told they couldn’t do it. The sisters said that at some point you have to leave old friends behind because they aren’t dreaming as big as you are. They went on to say you have to develop friendships with people who believe in you and encourage you during the inevitable dark hours that accompany the pursuit of any significant dream.
My mastermind group encouraged me to go forward with the confidence book despite the fact that my agent said I wasn’t known for the topic. Their advice? “You’re not known yet.”
By all means, pay attention to what people are saying. There’s almost certainly some sage advice to be found in their comments. Don’t, however, let them dissuade you from your dream. There’s a reason why you’re being drawn in that direction. You may have to make course corrections and the ultimate form your dream takes may be dramatically different than the one you currently envision, but if you’re dreaming it - it is possible.
Dale Furtwengler is the author of the internationally acclaimed book, Pricing for Profit as well as six other books
- Lead a Life of Confidence: Free yourself of fear, anxiety and frustration
- Making the Exceptional Normal
- The Uniqueness Myth and other misconceptions that derail businesses,
- Become a Maverick: Grow your business using the unconventional strategies of world-class companies
- 10-Minute Guide to Performance Appraisals and
- Stand Out From the Crowd: Without having people point and laugh.
Dale's company, Furtwengler & Associates, Inc., helps companies get higher prices regardless of what their competitors or the economy are doing.
Practical neuroscientist Stephen Hager uses a highly witty, playful example of childhood experiences with Santa Claus to communicate keenly how standardization helps people and businesses. He describes how to use new, mindful thinking in order to adopt new behaviors and get new results. In his presentation, he helps participants think about, focus on and improve results, making the connection between what a person thinks and why that is highly related to results.
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Successful business owner and organizational development expert Jim Canada opens his presentation with the truism that if you are not moving ahead, you are falling behind. He asserts change is key to how well you grow and succeed in your personal and professional life. He also maintains that cultivating resiliency in the face of change is key to making changes positively and effectively.
In his talk, Jim describes that when capability is greater than challenge, people get bored. When challenge is greater than capability, people get overwhelmed and stressed. The ideal is to maintain an equal balance between capability and challenge. Then people can weather the myriad of feelings they have as they go through change. If people do not develop resiliency, they can get thrown by some of the negative thoughts, feelings and struggles that are a natural part of the change process.
People feel in control when expectations match experiences. Developing personal resilience helps people maintain a sense of control. Jim describes it as the ability to absorb high levels of disruptive change while displaying minimal dysfunctional behavior. Those who are resilient maintain their equilibrium, high productivity, good health, success and rebound well from setbacks. Resilient people are:
Jim Canada ends his presentation by stressing the importance of creating a strong workplace culture in which your people are able to find a new normal occurs easily because you effectively communicate the positive consequences of change and they remain inspired to stay the course through discomfort. The bottom line: learn how to be resilient and promote resilience so you and your business can move ahead successfully.
To learn more about how to enact positive changes in your workplace culture, contact Jim Canada at: http://www.alliancetechnologiesllc.com/contact-us
Barter can extend our cash reserves, increase our spending capacity, and help us attract new customers and opportunities.
Barter expert and author Karen Hoffman shares over 20 years of experience, including national and international perspectives on bartering. In her presentation and her book, The Art of Barter, she describes trades of just a few dollars up to those involving millions of dollars. While most people are comfortable using cash, layaway, credit cards or borrowing from a bank or family, she describes the many ways bartering can impacts our lives and can minimize use of cash and stretch the assets we have all while attracting new customers and opportunities.
In her presentation, Karen clarifies:
- Ways we barter - direct one-on-one, a broker or barter company, trade dollars
- Reasons we barter – to increase cash reserves, gain new customers
- What we barter – goods, services, benefits
- How to identify trade-worthy products or services
- Communications when we barter – the importance of clarity and structure
- Timing - when to introduce barter
- Why to barter – incentives, networking, stretch goals and giving to the community
Making the impossible possible is a trademark of Karen Hoffman, often referred to as the queen of possibilities. In this presentation, she demonstrates the power of creating opportunities where they are typically not unrecognized.
Karen Hoffman is founder of Gateway to Dreams, an organization designed to connect and promote people so they can live their dreams and provide their valuable services to the world. Call her today at 314.503.6376 or email her at Karen@cityofexperts.com
Presentations normally scare us even though they are the doorway leading to business, career and leadership opportunities. Get your recipe for confidence and success
Speaker, author and presentation expert Fred Miller is as delicious in his speaking delivery as the cake he discusses and shows you at the opening of his presentation. He packs a wealth of valuable ideas and practices into this brief topic on creating a repeatable, successful presentation every time you speak. In it, he addresses the importance of:
- Compelling your audience to be open, charmed and curious within the first minutes
- Crafting your title and slides using images and text effectively
- Impacting your audience immediately with an introduction that speaks to the needs and desires of your audience and gets their attention
- Using questions to make a strong bid for audience participation and engagement
- Providing valuable points and reinforcing them with powerful and humorous stories to make you irresistible to your target market
- Using your presentation slides as a support tool without them being a crutch
- Demonstrating cohesiveness in your message through a solid construction of your topic
- Managing audience questions strategically with timing and composition of your invitation
- Ending on a positive, memorable and engaging note so your audience remembers what’s best about you and your services.
Fred E. Miller is an entertaining, intelligent and thought-provoking speaker, author, and presentation coach. His website iswww.NoSweatPublicSpeaking.com and you can contact him at Fred@NoSweatPublicSpeaking.com
So you've decided to start a graphic design project. Great! But how do you get from your initial idea to a finished, printed product?
So you've decided to start a graphic design project. Great! But how do you get from your initial idea to a finished, printed product? If you decide to forgo the recommendation of seeking professional graphic design help, you are probably in the market for some software. It doesn't matter if you are trying to create a logo, banner, sign, or brochure, it can be difficult getting from the project's conception to the final product if you lack the proper tools.
SEO and website development expert Will Hanke speaks from experience and provides valuable information outlining today’s hottest graphic design programs, some known and some more obscure.
Adobe Creative Suite is probably the most known graphic design package, and it contains a lot of different software programs including InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop. If you buy the entire suite, it will set you back a pretty penny. You do, however, have the option of buying individual components of the package. The following are some of the more popular components to help you with your project.
Adobe InDesign is great for making flyers and posters. It even has tools to help guide you in making your own brochure. The tools allow you to do a little bit of image editing, and help you layout your brochure and put text on top of an image.
Adobe Illustrator, on the other hand, is simply a program allowing you to create or edit your own image files. It is essentially a blank canvas and provides you with tools to sketch, paint, erase, and scale a picture. If you are a talented digital artist, then this is a must have for your graphic design projects.
Lastly, I imagine everyone knows about Photoshop. The popularity of this program is so immense it has become a verb in the English language! Still, this photo manipulation software is considered an industry standard by many, and can help you touch up photos before you send them to be printed.
Corel is a software company and a competitor to Adobe products. Corel Draw even has handy brochure templates, and can really save you time. Some people prefer Adobe over Corel or vice versa, but the important thing to remember about Corel products is they are comparable software products and provide almost the exact same features at a fraction of the price.
GIMP, or GNU Image Manipulation Program, is part of the open source GNU project and a great piece of software. Software under the GNU license is free to use, copy, distribute and you could even change the source code. It's incredible because it competes with top image manipulation and graphic design programs, yet is still completely free! However, unless you already know how to use similar tools, you are going to need to learn a lot before you can use this program very well. Its learning curve is relatively steep.
These known and not-so-well known programs are great aids for many graphic design projects. Fair warning: they have a tough learning curve to them and some have a hefty price tag, so if you feel uncomfortable or overwhelmed creating your own logo or design, seek the help of acustom printing company. On the other hand, if you absolutely need to do the design portion yourself, these programs will aid you in making your idea a reality!
SEO expert Will Hanke is a Jack-of-all-trades and understands a spectrum of tools available to do a variety of tasks, including those related to graphic design. He informs readers by describing the relative strengths and weaknesses of each product outlined. For SEO and website development tips, subscribe to his newsletter or check out his blog.
Content specialist Cynthia Correll begins her presentation with the startling fact that 90% of all information has been created within the last two years and that a barrage of data challenges us all. Because of this, visuals, stories and intriguing concepts are more effective than conventional ways of communicating.
The shape and messaging of content is changing dramatically. The days of white papers, lengthy descriptions of product features and other analytical forms of communication originating from the left side of the brain are a thing of the past. They are being replaced by concepts and images from the creative right side of the brain because the result is personal relationships with prospects and customers.
Cynthia recommends using images, shapes, colors and engaging methods to create fast, personal connections. In this masterful, example-rich video, she provides and demonstrates many helpful hints and examples of effective messages that are:
- Quick to understand
- Interactive and engaging
Cynthia Correll is an expert who knows the value and power of a story and how to use visual media to communicate it effectively. She supports people in using their greatest asset for building trust, inviting participation and connecting in authentic ways that forge lasting relationships. She is the owner of Cynthia Correll’s Creative Emporium. For help in telling your valuable story, you can contact Cynthia Correll at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 636.751.4144
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Learn how and why specialized experts and business owners create habits to nurture and expand relationships with their existing customers.
Serving customers and setting an intention to create a satisfying experience with them engenders ongoing loyalty and often-extraordinary results. Being grateful and mindful about your customers and attentive to their needs, translates into strong relationships that are mutually positive and supportive. Some likely results: your customers develop business for you. They like you, they trust you, they continue to buy from you and they refer others to you. Most important of all, developing caring habits that keep them happy ultimately make you happy too. Benefit from the experience of our experts who offer you a range of ideas to try out for your benefit and those you serve.
From our Experts:
I like to EMAIL out new and interesting trends I feel would benefit some of my current and past clients. This is a very positive way to help them and help me keep in touch with them. I think they really appreciate the way I send them specific information tidbits they can use in their business.
I send an email every week with a productivity tip of the week that brings value and is quick and easy to read. I get a lot of positive feedback.
I like to give more than my customers are expecting. When opportunities arise to support them in unconventional ways they don’t anticipate, more than a working relationship develops. We also become friends.
Many years ago I had a colleague who said, "Do the best you can and do a little bit more.”
My goal in working with my clients is to make them feel special...like they are my only client in the world. I also want them to trust me deeply.
Doing what I say I'm going to do, when I say I'm going to do it, is important to me. They don't care what I know unless they know that I care.
These are just a few of the partner responses.
For further information, support and advice from thirty experts on this topic and many others, become a member of the e4e community by visiting our website at www.e4ecommunity.com
Are you willing to flex and stretch your perception of an entrepreneur? The “entrepreneurial spirit” is alive and well and may perhaps include you.
Entrepreneurs are a rare and perhaps undervalued group of people who dream, act upon their dreams, and sometimes succeed in achieving what are perceived as superhuman feats. Typically, we think of entrepreneurs as people who create new businesses with different and improved products and services.
Are you willing to flex and stretch your perception of what an entrepreneur is and does? My rationale is that the “entrepreneurial spirit” is alive and well in more people than we think, perhaps in you. Limiting our entrepreneurial gifts to creating business enterprises robs us of the potential for some really big and positive changes in other areas of our lives.
What characterizes an entrepreneur’s values, beliefs and behaviors? How are they wired for success? Why do some people succeed and others fail? The following sections provide two checklists for entrepreneurial success and failure. The lists are based on the author’s expertise in practical neuroscience and his experience working in both entrepreneurial and traditional environments. You will learn whether the entrepreneur’s pathway is right for you, and how well equipped you are to embark on this wild and wooly journey with great outcomes.
The Successful Entrepreneur’s Brain
How many of these characteristics do you possess? You may be further along the pathway to entrepreneurial success than you think. Imagine any three or more of these characteristics as your initial “stepping stones” to living the life of your dreams.
- Strong desire to do things one is unable to do in traditional settings
- Vivid and compelling future outcomes become your GPS
- Willing to change, learn, adapt, and flex
- “Can-do, will-do” attitude
- Positive mental attitude
- Attitude of gratitude
- Balancing self-interests with best interests of others
- Effective communication skills
- Imagination plus practical thinking and action
- Creates a small, diverse “dream team”
- Practices cooperation and collaboration, rather than competition
- Willing to live in an outer world of risk and uncertainty
- Resilient in the face of obstacles, ridicule, and failure
- Intuition and inner drive that can overpower logic and reason
- Strong inner fortitude to ignore and bypass fear
- Staying on-course, no matter what
- Picking one’s self up after failure and moving forward
- Continuous learning and improvement
- Thrill of exploration, experimentation, and discovery
- Chosen pathway is fun each and every day
Obstacles to Entrepreneurial Success
Combinations of three or more obstacles will likely limit or cripple your potential success as an entrepreneur or change agent. These “deal breakers” may be more important than the characteristics listed earlier as contributing to entrepreneurial success. Caution: Your desired outcomes may not be what you think if you resonate with these obstacles.
- Fear of failure, economic risk and ruin, ridicule
- Flying solo rather than having diverse co-pilots
- Resistant to changing self, but wanting others to change
- Attempts to manipulate and control people and situations
- Values competition over cooperation and collaboration
- Poor communication skills
- Dominating self-interests
- Needing to be perfect and right
- Low tolerance for errors and mistakes
- Waiting for the right time and place
- Negative mental attitude
- Desiring extrinsic rewards more than intrinsic benefits
- Living in the past, which limits imagination
- Obsessive use of data and facts
- Absence of self-confidence
- Belief that you are not ready and the time is not right
- Low trust in your brainpower and caring nature to create
- Abiding by other people’s opinions and decisions
- Believing that “Fun” is something you experience after you succeed
In summary, expand your thinking about entrepreneurism to include what you can positively change in your home and work to improve the quality of life for all. Leverage your positive entrepreneurial brain characteristics in nearly everything, not just in building business enterprises; any one characteristic will serve you and others in positive, life fulfilling ways.
I challenge you to make one difference in one area of your life; you will multiply the effect and reduce the time needed for success, when you enlist someone like you to join with you. “Don’t Fly Alone.” The power of your brain, combined with your caring nature, is the greatest power in the world. You can do it!
Stephen F. Hager is a co-founder of The HADRON Group, Inc, along with Deanna S. Phelps. Hadron is the world’s leading developer of practical neuroscience solutions for entrepreneurial, career, personal, and educational success. Stephen is a lifelong learner, author, public speaker and seminar facilitator. He has dedicated his life to educate and help leaders, teams and organizations live better and less stressful lives through practical neuroscience. You can reach Stephen at Stephen@neuidentity.com; the consolidated web site for The Hadron Group iswww.neuidentity.com
It’s not just about a diploma hanging on the wall. Want to have success in marketing? Be passionate, push boundaries, and most importantly, make mistakes.
You have invested in your education and have a degree? Whether you have or not, your success depends on something more: Passion
So, you have a degree in marketing, communications or public relations. What does that mean for entering the work force? The harsh reality is that in many employers’ minds, it may not mean much, as a large number of people with college degrees have no practical experience and/or meaningful internships.
Of the resumes we receive at KolbeCo, roughly 20% have meaningful experience. In addition, they are not students of the media, meaning they don't watch the news, read the paper or are active in building a professional brand for themselves on social media.
As I look back at previous generations, many professionals of years past did not have the educational experience, but they had practical experience. They learned on the job. They were always passionate students of their trade.
Allow me to share my grandfather’s story, a man who faced a challenging childhood, managed to get a high school education, and started his career selling irons door-to-door during the Great Depression. But the man who began as an iron salesman had a passion for engineering. He was self-taught, never stopped learning, and went to work for Douglas Aircraft in California, which later merged and became McDonnell-Douglas.
During his time there, he became the chief engineer on the AV8 Harrier project and worked in a lead role on the Apollo project. Yet he only had a high school diploma. Why was he successful leading a team of 2200 engineers? Because he was a student of engineering – even in retirement!
He loved designing aircraft, and it was a big part of his identity. He remembered many of the internal debates within the walls of McDonnell Douglas – now Boeing. These were passionate debates on how to address problems and make designs better. Believe it or not, I have met people on his team who remember debates with my grandfather from 30 or 40 years ago! That is what I call passion.
I believe there are lessons to be learned from my grandfather’s story – lessons that translate to the marketing and PR industry. The story teaches us that it’s not just about a diploma hanging on the wall. Want to have success in marketing? Be passionate, push boundaries, and most importantly, make mistakes. Want to be a great PR person? Have a true, authentic appreciation for the media. Become a consumer of media – read a journalist’s articles, watch the news, follow them on social media, learn the audience. You will soon understand what a journalist or a producer likes. You don't need to ask them and shouldn't have to. As you learn this you become a resource as a PR person and not a pest.
But being a great professional is also about finding your personal passion, and gaining life experience. Looking to enter the marketing field and not sure how to get started? Volunteer at a nonprofit. Explore the world. The more depth you have as a marketing person the more creative you can become. While some of this comes from experience, there are numerous creative people who are young and always thinking of new ways to push the boundaries. As a new graduate, look to push the more senior experienced people to their limits as well. They will appreciate it if they too are passionate people.
Education is a great start, but where you go from there is up to you.
For marketing, branding and public relations assistance visitwww.kolbeco.net.