Networking

How many opportunities do you lose each day because you don’t see the networking opportunities that exist and even when you do see the opportunities, you aren’t prepared for them?

Some of these opportunities should be quite obvious. For example, joining the local chamber of commerce or joining the local Rotary organization or something similar. Usually, you will find like minded individuals in these groups. While some might schedule specific networking opportunities, the reality is every opportunity is a networking opportunity.

Other opportunities would be any type of meeting of people of similar interests. Regardless of what profession you are in or want to be in, or what your your interests might be, there is always a chance of networking. You might be a nurse who attends dance classes as a hobby. Realize there might be other nurses there, or possibly hospital administrators who also like to dance. Be willing to interact with others and see what possibilities might exist.

Just because a networking opportunity exists doesn’t mean you should be the “obnoxious networker” who always talks about their job and what they want to do. You can accomplish more being an accomplished listener than you will ever accomplish as a big time promoter of yourself.

One thing to consider is making sure you have the proper tools available. Make sure you always have some business cards available. It’s quite unfortunate when you meet someone that can help further your career (or maybe whom you could help) and when they ask you if you have a business card you mumble about not having them with you. You can still give them your name and contact information but chances are, you will never hear from them again. If you have your own web site, make sure the address is on your card. Include your name, phone number, mailing address and email address and make sure you have them available at all times.

Most of the business opportunities I have experienced came from unexpected places. Whether it’s from the parent of someone I coached in soccer or someone I met while hiking. Look at every opportunity as a potential networking opportunity and see how many new possibilities come your way

If you enjoy these posts, please encourage others to subscribe by going to
http://lawrencefine.com/blog/subscribe/

Have a great day!

Lawrence

Should you be doing that?

One of the most valuable exercises you can do as a manager of a business is to look at all the tasks you do on a regular basis and ask yourself “should I be doing that?”

If you are like many others, you will find yourself doing many things that others in your organization can and should be doing. By doing a better job delegating responsibilities, it will allow you, and others, to get more work done.

Please understand, this isn’t about you trying to do less work, rather it’s about trying to work more efficiently.

I have a friend who is very talented but tends to get frustrated trying to delegate because she knows she can do things better than the people she is delegating to. So, rather than delegate, she tends to do much of the work herself. While the quality of her work is very good, she doesn’t get as much done as she should because she is doing things others could and should do and not doing the bigger picture work

Another thing to look at is whether some of what you are doing can be automated to save you time, without losing the personalization. A very simple example would be the way I handle email with some of my web design clients. Some of the ones we have monthly maintenance agreements with would send an email to me and then I would review and forward it on to the appropriate programmer. The problem with this is that until I read and forwarded the email, nothing would get done (admittedly, if I’m at my desk, this might only be a couple of minutes but if I’m in a meeting it could take hours). Instead, we have set up email rules so emails sent from certain clients are automatically forwarded to the appropriate person. This frequently results in the work being done before I ever see the email. I could have the client email the programmer directly but at that point it makes it difficult to keep track of how much time is being spent on each project plus it makes it more difficult to make sure everything is being done. Plus, I can reassign the project (so that instead of programmer A being in charge of an account, I can change the rule and have programmer B put in charge with the client never seeing a change). With multiple clients requesting changes on a daily basis, these rules allow us to get more done, more efficiently

How many things are you doing which could or should be done by others in order for everyone to be more efficient? Or how many things are you doing that could be automated to make everyone’s lives easier?

If you enjoy these posts, please encourage others to subscribe by going to http://lawrencefine.com/blog/subscribe/
Have a great day!
Lawrence

Accentuate the Positive

One of the most valuable exercises you can do as a manager of a business is to look at all the tasks you do on a regular basis and ask yourself “should I be doing that?”

If you are like many others, you will find yourself doing many things that others in your organization can and should be doing. By doing a better job delegating responsibilities, it will allow you, and others, to get more work done.

Please understand, this isn’t about you trying to do less work, rather it’s about trying to work more efficiently.

I have a friend who is very talented but tends to get frustrated trying to delegate because she knows she can do things better than the people she is delegating to. So, rather than delegate, she tends to do much of the work herself. While the quality of her work is very good, she doesn’t get as much done as she should because she is doing things others could and should do and not doing the bigger picture work

Another thing to look at is whether some of what you are doing can be automated to save you time, without losing the personalization. A very simple example would be the way I handle email with some of my web design clients. Some of the ones we have monthly maintenance agreements with would send an email to me and then I would review and forward it on to the appropriate programmer. The problem with this is that until I read and forwarded the email, nothing would get done (admittedly, if I’m at my desk, this might only be a couple of minutes but if I’m in a meeting it could take hours). Instead, we have set up email rules so emails sent from certain clients are automatically forwarded to the appropriate person. This frequently results in the work being done before I ever see the email. I could have the client email the programmer directly but at that point it makes it difficult to keep track of how much time is being spent on each project plus it makes it more difficult to make sure everything is being done. Plus, I can reassign the project (so that instead of programmer A being in charge of an account, I can change the rule and have programmer B put in charge with the client never seeing a change). With multiple clients requesting changes on a daily basis, these rules allow us to get more done, more efficiently

How many things are you doing which could or should be done by others in order for everyone to be more efficient? Or how many things are you doing that could be automated to make everyone’s lives easier?

If you enjoy these posts, please encourage others to subscribe by going to http://lawrencefine.com/blog/subscribe/

Have a great day!

Lawrence

Stretching Yourself

People typically want to stay inside of their comfort zone. They don’t want to do something that might cause them uncomfort or embarrassment. Because of this, they only do what they feel they can do well and never stretch themselves to do something outside of their comfort zone.

The problem with staying inside of your comfort zone is you will never know what you can actually accomplish if you never take the chance and try something different.

Stretching yourself doesn’t mean doing something where you are destined to fail. Rather, it simply means doing something that might make you a more complete person.

An example of a ways to stretch yourself without embarrassing yourself is if you are uncomfortable with public speaking, instead of avoiding it at all costs, join Toastmasters (http://www.toastmasters.org/) and start by speaking in front of the small group and slowly build up to larger groups.

If you are afraid to go to a yoga class because of fear of embarrassing yourself in front of people you know, find a class where you don’t know anyone and start there.

There is nothing wrong with stretching yourself in small increments and most likely, it’s something that will be easier than going for a huge stretch right away.

Start slow, take a chance and stretch yourself and see how much more you are capable of doing

If you find this post helpful, please share with others and encourage them to subscribe at http://lawrencefine.com/blog/subscribe/

Have a great day!

Lawrence

New Internet Safety Blog

I just wanted to let everyone know I am launching a new blog on Internet Safety For Kids. The posts will be written to help parents (and other adults) help protect their children from predators and other dangers online.

There will be two posts made per week (Tuesdays and Thursdays) and similar to this blog, it can be read online, via RSS or you can subscribe to receive each post via email.

You can sign up to receive the posts right now at http://lawrencefine.com/internetsafety/

The first post will be made on August 5th and then will continue from then on.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email me at lawrence@lawrencefine.com

Have a great day!

Lawrence

Keep Learning

When we stop learning we stop living. That might seem like a pretty extreme statement but it’s reality. Living to me consists of experiencing new things, taking chances and growing as a person.

If we aren’t constantly growing as people we will stagnate and when you stop growing you start withering away.

The reason it’s frustrating to see people who stop learning is there are so many ways to learn. The obvious one would be formal education but there are so many other options as well.

Read a book
Join a book club
Watch documentaries
Attend (and listen to) a speech
Go to a conference
Attend a seminar
Join a discussion group
Read Online

Those are just a a few ideas off the top of my head.

Whether you participate in some type of formal or informal education, make a point to learn something new every day.

Keep learning and keep living

If you find this post helpful, please share with others and encourage them to subscribe at http://lawrencefine.com/blog/subscribe/

Have a great day!

Lawrence