Saturday, January 27, 2007

Tell me a story . . .

I just mentioned my 5-Minute Networking experience. While I was there one of the participants sat down in front of me and asked me to tell her a story of what I do. I was taken back. And then I realized how easy it was to give a testimonial through a story. In those 5-minutes I shared more and learned more with her just because we each told stories. We were both excited and proud to share our experiences. It felt more like I was talking to a friend.

The next time you are out at a networking event, try using a story to make your point. In fact, start collecting your stories now and have them ready to use when you need them. It works!

5-Minute Networking

I just experienced a new form of networking. Our local Chamber held it's first 5-Minute Networking event. There is a web site that explains more about it: I was not sure what to expect at first. After all, what can you get done in 5 minutes. It's amazing how nice it is to have minutes to truly talk to someone and hear what they do and share what you do. It was a fun event, and beneficial.

When I think back on the Business After Hours, I realized you don't even get that much time and no one wants to hear your sales pitch then. Here we were in a focused meeting to just give our sales pitch and we had 5 minutes to do it. Brilliant. I cannot wait until the next one.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Goal Setting on Steroids

Ok, I know that sounds a bit crazy, and maybe it is. I am so excited that I wanted to share with you an article I found about a goal setting program that is so amazing I am convinced that I will hit new marks this year! I hope you enjoy it.

How to Set Personal Goals That Inspire You to Take Action
Remember when you thought you could do and be anything? The innocence of early childhood is perhaps the last time you were unencumbered by perceived limitations and labels. Personal goal setting was simple, and there was no doubt you could achieve anything.

When asked, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” you would have responded with whatever struck your fancy that day, whatever you were “in to.” You did not concern yourself with how you would do it, if you could do it, or if you should do it. Your dreams were based on what you wanted, pure and simple. You set personal goals based on wonder and curiosity, not practicality.

The dreams of childhood were big dreams. Travel into space, win a medal at the Olympics, become a rock star. Soon enough the dreams become modified to reflect what is practical and expected of us. This is precisely when most people start having trouble setting personal goals. The dreams are no longer larger than life, so why take steps to achieve them?

Big dreams inspire big action. When you set personal goals, they need to have huge payoffs for you in order for you to take consistent steps to achieving them. You need to feel excited – even giddy – at the prospect of seeing your dream come true.

When you aspire to something that is less than what you really want, procrastination sets in. With a big dream in your sights, procrastination is a lot less likely to occur. You may have heard of making a “life list” of places you would like to see, things you would like to try, and dreams you would like to see realized. Instead of making a list of goals based on what you think is attainable or would fit into your life, start your personal goal setting with a life list of the big stuff that really gets you going.

Here again, draw on the feelings of childhood for inspiration as you set personal goals. Remember the annual letter to Santa Claus? Even if you did not celebrate Christmas, you can imagine the wish lists sent to the North Pole were not full of realistic, practical requests. They included the biggest, best gifts a child could think of, because there was always the possibility that Santa would bring you exactly what you wanted.

Dreaming big has the added benefit of inspiring others to come to your aid in your pursuit of the goal. If your personal goal setting is limited, or “small,” why would anyone want to help you achieve them? People want to be part of something special. Big goals motivate friends, family, and even complete strangersto help you reach them.

When you set personal goals, go back to those childhood aspirations. Sure, you may not want to be an astronaut anymore, but the old dreams can spark new life goals. Perhaps you would like to go to a grown-up space camp or become an amateur astronomer. Whatever goal you set, make it big. As the ancien temperor Marcus Aurelius said, “Dream big dreams; only big dreams have the power to move men’s souls.”
Copyright © 2006 Vic Johnson

Vic Johnson is a popular motivational speaker, author and Internet Infopreneur who has created some of the most visited personal development sites on the Web. To learn more about the power of big dreams in goal setting, download a free copy of 13 Secrets of World-Class Goal Achievers

Thursday, January 04, 2007

A Time of Renewal

I have been so busy in the last month that I have not updated my blog. In fact, I was so busy, I didn't even remember I had a blog. So today I took a deep breath and decided it was time to reflect and regroup. Here I am at the computer, just me and my thoughts. As I look back on 2006 and look forward to 2007, I am amazed at what a difference a year can make. I think everyone should take a few minutes to review and refocus. It is a time of reflection, a time to purge and time to cleanse. As it relates to business, it is a time to set goals, eliminate distractions and to slow down to "smell the roses" while you plan the year.

With planning in mind, I recommend developing a plan that looks out and then focuses in. For example:
How much money do you want to make in 2007?
How many sales a year will that be?
How much is each average sale?
How many people do you need to see and how many will you close?
How much vacation do you want?
When you obtain that goal, what will be your reward?
How will you reward yourself along the way?
How will you know when you are successful?
What is success to you?

These are just some of the questions I ask myself as I develop my annual plan. Good luck, and I will look forward to great new things for all of us!