Monday, February 14, 2011


networking_professionals(5).jpgAre you the type of person who doesn’t believe in the power of networking?  Meeting people you’ve never met can be nerve racking. It’s something like going on a first date. There are butterflies in your stomach, and you find yourself at a loss of words when you meet another for that first time. Think about it.  You plan on going out for an entire week if not an entire month.  You eat right so you look amazing in the “right” outfit you are wearing that is professional yet attention getting; think power suit.  You practice your smile and conversation topics to break the ice.  Your business cards are in the ready for when you meet someone you want to develop a long-term relationship with.  Did this bring a new set of butterflies? So, why network?  Networking can be fun and adventurous if you have the right frame of mind.  It can also be extremely profitable if you spend the time to get to know it. 

You’re entering the room where the networking event is being held.  You suck in your stomach, walk in and now what?  First off, smile.  A smile is contagious and empowering.  You may not believe it, but when you smile you appear to be more confident.  Confidence is a powerful characteristic that people are attracted to and with confidence you are emitting a likeable and approachable you.  When you’re approachable other people do the talking first.  So relax!  Networking isn’t about you.  It’s about listening to the other person.  Listen to where they’re from, what type of business they run, and what brought them to the event.  Most importantly, listen to a way you can be of service to that person.  Of course, you’re going to have to open your mouth and talk about you, but make a point to leave the event knowing more about others. 

Don’t forget to mingle.  You are there to meet not just one but several people so as to build a growing network.   Whether your goal is to find new clients, make a sale, seek a new job or hire a new employee you won’t accomplish it unless you mingle.  If you’re thinking that you’re having a great time with the person you’ve been talking to for the last fifteen minutes and there’s no need to introduce yourself to anyone else, think again.  Hiding behind the idea that you can search the internet for write-ups or reviews to get to know other professionals isn’t enough.  There isn’t an online review that will help you deal with some of life’s minor annoyances or most challenging problems when they present themselves. It’s the “human” network you’re building that can provide role models for you, advise you and comfort you, provide you with financial assistance, or intellectual and social resources.  We need to cultivate good relationships with people who we may call on when we’re in a crunch and need to handle a crisis.

No different from going on a first date, you are going to want to follow-up to say “thank you” for their time.  Instead of sending flowers, you might send a card or an email saying that you enjoyed your conversation and hope to see them again maybe for a cup of coffee at a local coffee house.  Remember one thing, everyone enters that same networking event with butterflies, including the most experienced networker.  It’s the thrill of knowing there are opportunities available to be captured.  Like every first date, once it’s over and you’ve built a connection with someone, you feel like a million bucks.   

Friday, February 11, 2011

Do You Love To Clean? 3 Cleaning Tips That Will Change Your Mind

dusting-furniture.s600x600.jpgCleaning is one of those chores you would love to hate.  You can get dirty and messy during the process but when it’s all done there’s always a huge sigh of relief and a sense of calm. Yes. I am talking about cleaning and it is true that when you walk into a room you just cleaned, sometimes there is no greater sense of tranquility and accomplishment.  Calm surrounds us all when we are in the presence of cleanliness.  We tend to spend more time in these surroundings so it is no wonder that more business is done in a clean office and more people join you for festivities in your home.  I mean, who wants to see cobwebs inconspicuously hiding in ceiling corners, ceiling fans showing bundles of dust on its panels, or finger prints on light switches and door knobs?  The following three tips can make cleaning easier and less time consuming at the end of a busy day. It all begins by clearing out clutter. 

Simple enough, but when we spend a large amount of our time in rooms like the kitchen or our office clutter always accumulates.  This makes cleaning a longer task than it has to. Our first tip is to keep areas clutter free.  For example, excessive paper clutter like mail, homework assignments, or phone messages, should not be on countertops, the dining room table or conference room. Scattered utensils, dishes, and open food containers should always be put away.  Consider removing clothing off exercise machines, toys on  sofas and loveseats, and magazines off of chairs and tables.  These small changes can make a considerable difference to a healthy environment. 

After the pick-up, we can get to the culprit of all cleaning culprits – dust. Cupid did not give us a love affair for these fine, dry particles.  Those who suffer from allergies attest to the difficulties of removing them from surfaces.   By using the proper tools like a treated dust cloth or a microfiber towel to remove dust from all surfaces in your home and office becomes easy and effortless.  Every other day make a point to remove dust from chairs, tables (dining room tables, end tables, coffee tables), and any other horizontal surfaces.   Don’t forget to shake out dust and allergens from the sofa and pillows.  No one likes to bounce on the sofa to have dust bounce right back at us. 

Once the dust is removed, damp wipe with appropriate cleaning liquid and a microfiber towel all horizontal surfaces.   Wiping surfaces with a damp microfiber cloth helps to eliminate germs and allergens not removed by dusting alone.  One last tidbit:  A fresh bundle of flowers makes a lasting impression on your mood and that of your company.  It’s a low cost way to relax and be in the comfort of your environment.  Keep a fresh, vibrant colorful bouquet in the most occupied room.