Sunday, June 10, 2012

Connecting The Dots That Matter

Every entrepreneur desires to start and grow their business as fast as possible before anyone else has a chance to adopt their ideas or develop a plan to compete with them.  In the quest for success, we want to put our dreams in a microwave, set the timer, and voila! – a short time later you have an incredible growing business.

Businesses start and fail every day.  What will make your business different and give you the best chance for success?  Connecting with people.

Connecting goes beyond the exchange of business cards or casual talk about weather and sports.  Connecting is about valuing and adding value to others.  Connecting is about intentionality. You must be intentionally mindful to look for ways to connect with others as you go about your busy day.

Many think that connecting takes too much time and energy that could be spent on developing fast business growth.  Put two airplanes, a Cessna and a Boeing 747, at the same position on parallel runways and have them start down their respective runways at the same time.  At takeoff, the Cessna will be off the ground, landing gear up, and well on its way before the 747 has even gotten all wheels off of the ground.  However, eventually the 747 will overtake the Cessna, taking its passengers higher and farther than the Cessna could ever fly.  That’s what connecting does.  Yes, it takes time and energy at first, but it will take your business higher and farther than you can ever imagine without it.

The following are four key groups with whom you must connect if you plan to start, maintain, or grow your business in the long run.

Connect with your inner circle.
Get to know your trusted advisors and allow them to know you.  The quality of their investment, encouragement, and advice is directly proportional to the quality of your relationship with them.

Connect with your team.
Invest in your team - not just with money, but also with your ears and time.  Your team will be committed to you and your vision if they know you are committed to them.

Connect with your clients.
"How may I help you" should be on the forefront of your mind when relating to your clients.  If you seek to understand their needs first, you will have a better chance of providing the right service or product that they require. 

Connect with everyone else.
Everyone you meet is an opportunity to connect. You never know where that connection will lead.  

Leadership guru, John Maxwell states, “To add value to others, one must first value others.”  Connecting is not a technique or a manipulative tool for conducting business.  It is a lifestyle.  When you are genuinely interested in helping others, they will be genuinely interested in helping you.  Start connecting today.

You matter!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Next Chapter

Some have asked where I've been - why I have not written anything for so long.  Well, it is because I've been preparing for my next chapter.  I began this blog as an outlet to express my thoughts on leadership as I was completing my MBA at Concordia University.   I still have 6 months left till I graduate, however, that next chapter has already begun.

I have reflected over the past few years to try to understand what makes me "come alive" and I have committed myself to make sure that I am fully alive until I draw my very last breath.  By that, I mean that I am going to invest my time, energy, vocation, and life to the things that motivate me to be a better and growing person.  I have discovered that which makes me come alive is when I am intentionally adding value to others.  This discovery has led me to join and become certified (this August) as speaker, coach, and trainer with The John Maxwell Team.  Since last November I have been preparing and studying with The John Maxwell Team in parallel with my studies for my MBA.  So, to say the least, I have been a little busy - but a good kind of busy.  Hence, I have not stopped long enough to write here.

So, that leads me to inform you that following this entry, I will only be making one more entry into this blog.  I am in the process of creating a new blog and will post its address here when it is complete.  Meanwhile, my next post will give you the first look at what will be my first post on the new site.

Final Thought
We all have a next chapter in the book of our life.  Yesterday has already been written (and you can not change it), today is being written now, but tomorrow is a blank page.  What gets written in that next chapter will be dependent on your decisions today.  Discover today what makes you come alive.  If the previous chapters of your life story have not been following that path, know this - it is never too late to begin writing a new chapter.

You matter!