Leveraging Your Time - Saying No Without Regret

We hear from highly successful people all the time that we, as entrepreneurs, need to say no more than we need to say yes. 

That is interesting advice isn't it. I know when I read that and think of how I can apply it to my business I have a number of thoughts, questions and fears come up. 

What if I say no to an event that could lead to that one person who needs my services and has the money to pay for them? 

What if I say no to a person who is toxic and it blows up in my face? 

What if I say no to a service swap and that swap could have led to something else bigger?

What if I say no to a potential client who isn't really that easy to work with but I need the money? 

What if I say no after taking on a client because the client is impossible to work with? 

What if I say no too many times and I get a bad reputation? 

What if I say no to the 'big one' and I never get another chance?

Yeah, those may be things you have thought of and seriously think about now. Saying no takes a lot of guts... and wisdom... and risk. When you practice saying no, you have to rely on your gut instinct... your intuitition... your to success plan to lead you... your strength... and your ability to say no without regret.

When you make a decision and you hope for the best results for that decision, do you begin to regret that decision? 

Many people do because of the fear of the unkown. Because of not trusting your decision. Because of not having control over the outcome. Whatever your reason, it can be difficult to trust your decision to say no. 

How can you begin trusting yourself and say no without feeling regret? 

Well, here is the thing... feeling any emotion is not a bad thing. If you feel a bit of regret, ask youself why the feelings have surfaced. These emotions coming up means you have something you need to acknowledge. 

I am sure you are wondering why I wrote saying no without regret if having regrets is okay... And I am going to tell you that you will want to read the last paragraphy again. You see, experiencing regrets when making a decision is often common. The key is to not have regrets for your decision to say no. You have to look at what is causing you to feel regret and then work backwards to remove the feelings of regret while you are saying no. 

Here is the definition of regret both the verb and noun - 

verb

  1. feel sad, repentant, or disappointed over (something that has happened or been done, especially a loss or missed opportunity).

    "she immediately regretted her words"

    synonyms:be sorry about, feel contrite about, feel remorse about/for, be remorseful about, rue, repent (of), feel repentant about, be regretful at/about 

noun

  1. a feeling of sadness, repentance, or disappointment over something that has happened or been done.

    "she expressed her regret at Virginia's death"

    synonyms:remorse, sorrow, contrition, contriteness, repentance, penitence, guilt, compunction, remorsefulness, ruefulness 

When I talk about saying no without regret... it is something I still work on... as do most people. I don't like feeling left out. I don't like missing out on something great. I don't want to 'regret' my decision. And you know what? Sometimes I do. 

But I have to look at why I made that decision. Why I chose to go or not go, why I chose to say no. What motivated me to say no? What was my reason? 

If I can make certain my reasons are valid and true reasons, I am better able to say no with confidence that I am making this decision as it is what is best for me rather than what I am running from - person or task. I look at a number of things when I feel regret for saying no. Here is the quick and not all inclusive list... you may find yours is very different than mine... and that is a good thing as we are all very different and have a number of different I will write these answers out so I know that I am making a good decision for ME. 

1. What is the first reason that comes to my heart or mind I have for saying no? 

2. What conflict between my heart and mind exists that makes me feel like I am regretting, missing out, or running away from a person or situation? 

3. What messages are popping into my head (subconscious) that are making me second guess my decision

4. What alternatives do I have if I say no to this person, event or task? 

5. How much negative energy will I experience doing this task, going to the event or seeing the person? 

6. What are the benefits for saying no? 

7. How would things have changed if I said yes instead of no? Would those changes been positive? 

8. Am I comfortable enough to change my mind and say yes next time? If not, then why not? 

Depending on the answers, I learn that I can say no with confidence. I can say no with certainty. I can say no without guilt. I can say no without regret. I can say no with the understanding that I am saying no first and foremost for me and what I need. I can say no with the understanding that if I should have said yes, there is always room to change my mind. 

When the answers indicate that maybe my decision to say no was completely emotional and I was hoping to punish myself or others by saying no - you know letting my fears dictate my decisions... feeling depressed... unwanted... or whatever else that the subconscious throws up at the time we make a decision... then I know that I regret my decision because it wasn't the best decision for me. 

What this allows is for me to look at each situation where I am thinking of saying no as objectively as possible. That I can say no with all the information possible and if I realize that I am wanting to say no because I feel 'scared' of saying yes or resentful for saying yes... then I can look at why that is and work on those reasons

Once I take care of the baggage that is making me regret my decision to say no... I find I trust myself more to make the right decisions and do so without feeling regret. It doesn't mean I always make the right decision or spend time wondering before saying no if it is the right decision... but it gives me the confidence each time to make more decisions that end up with a no that assess what will work for me... 

The best part of it all... the more I say no to those things that do not work for me, the more good things that do work for me come my way. And who can have regrets when that happens. 

Dannie

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Leveraging Your Time - Making Your Training Dollar Count

Training your employees, a tough topic to narrow your focus on... job specific tasks, company policies, sexual harassment (yeah, that is a big one)... or skill building tasks. Where do you place your focus? Is it on the software everyone needs to use and use properly? Is it how to do their jobs to meet corporate, state or federal compliance regulations? Do you only do the hand outs for company policies and hope they read them? Do you have a complete on-boarding program? 

After the necessary training, you know those mentioned above... do you do any skill building training with your employees? Any training that builds skill to enable them to Leverage Their Time... and yours as you are paying them to do their job and do it well? Training that will assist them in working smarter not harder? Training that will assist them in communicating effectively and improve their productivity? 

In 2017, the average cost of training per learner (employee) is $1,075... and for small businesses it is about $1,886... quite a bit higher than the average. Are you spending your training dollars effectively? Are you training someone as little as possible because you have trouble retaining employees? 

Dannie Frey, BSW (that's me) is a motivational speaker, a corporate trainer, a training development specialist (that means, not only do I train people, I create training programs), solution focused business coach (yes, as opposed to those business coaches that tell you in general to do something... I will look at your situation and develop solutions for you that will work for you) and provide hands on assistance to Leverage Your Time... and yeah, that is a big deal. I can share all kinds of great tips and tools, but if you cannot get past the overwhelm of the tips and tools thrust upon you, what good is it to have all that information?

What this means for you as a business owner or decision making manager or human resources manager is... we work together to build your employees skills in a program tailor made for you and your company. We determine what is present in your company (good and bad skills and techniques) and how to fit the needs of all employees and their learning styles. And you know what... that is a huge issue many training programs do not look at let alone address! 

I  create in person training programs that are hugely interactive... we truly do not learn as much if someone stands in front of the room reading off a power point. Yes, I use a power point... but we interact with the information on the power point... yep, all the training money per person is put to GOOD use as they stay awake during these training sessions. 

Someone not able to attend the live presentation... your company has access to the power point with a quick 10 to 20 question assessment in order to ensure they captured the key points. 

I create online training programs that are more in depth than the power point and assessment programs to ensure the training is deeper and utilized. 

I create in depth studies with workbooks, competencies and on topics outside of Leveraging Your Time. 

Here is a list of the components of Leveraging Your Time 

Determining Your Direction - Success Planning, Finding Your Focus, and Prioritizing Work and Life

Empowered to Take Action - Assertiveness, Leadership, Delegation, and Saying No

Tools to Implement - Time Management, Email Management, Database Management, Lead and Relationship Development, and Organization

Certificates / proof of training are available to all participants in person and online. 

It is time to TAKE ACTION and schedule a time to talk with Dannie Frey or email me at Dannie.ReadySetGo@gmail.com. You can visit the Take Action page on my website for additional information including pricing. 

Make training a benefit to your employees... Leverage Your Time now! 

Dannie 

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Leverage Your Time - Influencing Others

Have you ever met a person, who with a few sentences captures your attention, grabs your heart and makes you want to say "YES!" 

And you are not even sure what they are selling. 

Those individuals know how to influence others - whether it is a learned skills or just who they are. 

What I am talking about it not a smooth salesperson, an oh-so savvy marketer, or a charismatic speaker who will sell you anything and everything... no, this is a person who naturally gains your trust, is authentic (and if you are tired of hearing the word authentic, it may be because you have not experienced real authenticity... just saying), and has confidence in what they believe in when they share it with you. 

They may not talk to you about becoming your client... they may simply tell you about themselves and their experiences... tell you a story from their life... and that is a great way to get to a level to build trust quickly... Sharing of themselves to put everyone on the same level of openness... 

They may ask you questions and get this... really want to hear your answers. And if that isn't a great way to influence others... listening to them and wanting to listen to them... I don't know what is. 

You may not realize this... but when someone demonstrates active listening skills to you, it increases your interest in them. When your interest in them increases, they find themselves more interested in what you have to say... and this is what brings the level of influence up between to people who start out as strangers.

Think about when you were attracted to someone. A boyfriend or girlfriend... what did you do? You acted interested in them, they acted interested in you... you learned about them, they learned about you... and the more you learned.. you were left with a decision. Do you want to know more about them and have them a part of your life... or do you want to let them go... 

This same thing happens in the business world. 

Often it is fake and just for the purpose of getting a client... but what about if you apply those skills... to create a real 'relationship' with someone, no matter if they will be a client of yours or not? 

What would be the best case scenario and what would be the worst case scenario? 

What are you doing right now? And is it working? 

This week I had a number of opportunities to see this unfold before me and many others in several situations. The authentic people had the ability to influence others... whether it was with a message of their business, building a professional relationship with others, or building a personal relationship that can help the building of their business... the authentic 'influencers' won out over the ones who were just there to gather cards and make sales. 

The authentic 'influencers' left people wanting more, feeling grateful, and emulating those feelings of realness to others. 

I received a message after someone saw me at one event and I wrote a note on someone's Facebook post supporting her and an upcoming event. They also saw a post I wrote for another person which was shared to a few other pages/groups/newsfeeds. Here is what they wrote me... 

"Dannie, I read your two posts on Facebook for "M" and "K". Why did you write those posts? Let me back up because that sounds like I don't believe what you wrote. It is not that. I don't understand why you would write something to help their business out instead of promoting your own. I am not judgeing you. I am confused. Why did you write things to support their business and not your own. How will that help your business? Can you explain it to me? BTW, I loved what you wrote and it felt honest and not fluff. But why?"

Here is what I wrote back to her. 

"I wrote what I did because it was on my heart to write those words. I had talked to "M" in the bathroom about her upcoming event and I saw how much it meant to her to hear the feedback from her first event. When I saw her post on Facebook, I was replying immediately before really thinking about it and then I saw her response. I knew she really appreciated that feeling of support from someone who isn't a Facebook friend. I could see the influence my words had on her in addition to the speaker that motivated her to take that risk. Those are positive influences that women and men crave... especially women. Having another woman support you in such a way that builds you up and allows you to take another risk... I could not resist. The other post "K"... same thing. I wrote from my heart what I felt needed said. She too felt the power of my heartfelt words. How on earth can you keep those thoughts to yourself when you can influence others to continue to do what they are doing... knowing they make an impact on others. My purpose was not to make myself look good... it was to make them know how good I felt having experienced what they offer. That to me is what really makes a person an influence over others... the motivation behind their actions and how they make others feel after."

The response I got from her is why this post is written...

"Dannie, I have read many of the things you write on Facebook in your group. You always try to build others up and encourage them. That is great. I took advantage of your free success plan template today. I saw a bit more about what you do on your website. I can see why you take the approach of building others up and what you mean by leverage your time. After reading those posts to "M" and "K", your group posts, and your comment back to me, I can see how you influence others and make them want to know more about you and what you do. I want to try that in my business going forward. Thanks so much."

So, here is a good question to end on... do you influence others?

Dannie 

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Leverage Your Time with Intentional Networking Groups You Build

Extroverts, introverts and those who straddle the fence on extroversion and introversion (I am one of them - seriously I took a test that said I was... and it just confirmed what I already knew... don't you just love those test results...) here is a great way to conquer the awkward networking and move towards happy intentional networking... 

Most of us hear and see people who will network - you know them (literally and figuratively) that will not spend but 15 seconds in your presence if they already know you... they have more NEW people to reach... and there is some sort of rule (I personally think it is a bad rule) that if you already know someone at a networking event you should ignore spending time with them in search of new people... I think there are many things wrong with that 'rule'. One, it makes you look, umm, too aggressive, you umm, like you only want to get a client and not build a relationship (while that may be what your ultimate goal is... you don't want to send that message - think of connections, trust, and umm, being authentic...) and so many other things... and remember this is my blog and my opinion... and well if I am honest... I am not the only person who is focusing on intentional networking or networking to real people as a real person... 

And how many times have we had those encounters and felt, umm, yucky as a general category... as the specifics vary greatly... 

Well, I have been trying this out for all of 2017 and find this to be a great thing... and other people have tried it and found it to be a great thing... again, I am not the only one who finds this as something that really does work... 

Here it is... Hang out with those you know... and if you want to grow your network within that group you are building in the networking event... invite others to join you... 

Some basics that work... 

  • When you are talking with someone else you already know... your best self comes out... You are talking, smiling, listening, having a relaxed, good time. That is very appealing to others... they want to be around someone like that...
    • Invite someone who you know or don't know to join you... if you know them, introduce them to the others... if you don't know them... everyone introduce each other... your network just grew.
  • When you are having fun and your group keeps growing, people notice. They want to know why your group keeps growing.
    • You see someone paying a lot of attention to your group - invite them to join you. If you know them, introduce them... if no one knows them... group introductions are in order... 
  • When you see someone you know enter the room and you make eye contact with them and wave them on over... you can greet them and introduce them to those who don't know them... You have just increased your network and the people in your group's network... and you greeted someone you know at the same time... talk about Leveraging Your Time! 
  • Someone in your group knows someone and greets them, have them invite their acquaintance to join the group... 
    • Group introductions all around.
  • You see someone hanging on the outskirts of your group hoping to be invited... Invite them to join you... introduce yourself and others and well... darn it all... you just made a huge group of people feel less awkward, meet new people... and feel pretty darn good about themselves... 

The best thing about this is... you can do it if you are an introvert, extrovert or a straddling between both - ert... 

What if you are an introvert? Well, since most events have a list of who's interested and who is coming... there is a good chance you may know someone at least sort of... email, IM, or how ever you want to do it... but send a message asking them if they would help you out a bit at the networking event... you are an introvert and would love to try this intentional networking idea out... but you need to have one person who will start it with you... most of the time, even if they are hugely extroverted, they will love to help someone feel welcome or comfortable at the event... 

Try it, I guarantee it will work. It has every single time I have tried it. 

Oh, one thing you need to know... not to be a downer... but this is actually an optimistic bit... let's say you try to get someone to join your group and they tell you they need to wander around and find others to network with... don't worry, they are not rejecting you... they just haven't figured out that networking is changing... people want real connections, to leverage their time, and build trust between each other... and you are on the cutting edge... 

Dannie

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Leveraging Your Time by Showing Up

I hope you don't think I am talking just about attending all kinds of events... you know physically show up somewhere... 

I may be talking about that sorta... but more than that... I am talking about mentally and physically when networking, attending a workshop, a one-on-one, and wherever else it matters when representing yourself or your business. 

I am gonna tell you, that if you follow the Leveraging Your Time components... this is rather easy to do. Here are 12 ways you can Leverage Your Time by Showing Up. 

1. Plan what you are going to attend and how this will help your business (Success Planning)

2. Narrow your focus to what will work for your time, budget, and success plan (Finding Your Focus)

3. Determine if you have to let go of other important personal or professional tasks/commitments in order to attend and be present (Prioritizing Work and Life)

4. Speak up and ask questions. Take a risk and move out of the shadows. Life life assertively if you are going to attend these functions so you can 'show up' (Assertiveness)

5. Demonstrate your ability to lead yourself and others, by focusing on your leadership skills that are appropriate in these situations (Leadership)

6. Understand what you are giving up time and effort-wise when you commit and let others assist you as needed (Delegation)

7. If you cannot 'show up' and really take advantage of what the event offers... choose not to attend (Saying No)

8. Ask yourself if this will allow you to 'pamper' yourself - through education, laughter, taking a break in your day... (Time Management)

9. How much time as it comes to emails and social media will keeping track of these events take and can you afford this extra 'work'? (Email and Social Media Management)

10. Who can you meet that you don't know already? Who can you reconnect with that you haven't seen in a while? (Database Management)

11. Are you able to really embrace the time to get to know people on a level more than their elevator pitches to make the most of this time? (Lead/Relationship Development)

12. Do you have all the marketing tools you need... business cards, post cards, flyers, etc., ready to go? (Organization)

 Ask yourself these questions to see if you do have what it takes to 'show up' and truly Leverage Your Time. 

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Leveraging Your Time with Compassion

When I am at networking events and I tell people I assist clients in Leveraging Your Time... the looks I get or don't get from people are hilarious. I see some people look at me with a look of embarrassment or defiance. Others will avoid looking at me at all. When I attempt to engage them in conversation... and not about my business, but to get to know them... they will often avoid looking at me at all. I have joked with a number of them and told them to relax... I had a question about what they do. 

Several times I have seen the look of relief on their face... heard the relief in their voice when they told me that they are glad, because this is not something they are good at... Leveraging Their Time.  I have told them that I won't try to sell you my services... you either need it or your don't... you either are ready to Leverage Your Time or not... they visibly relax. 

Then they do the exact thing they feared I would do... do a hard sell on me. Yeah, I don't get it either... 

 I cannot tell you how many times I have heard people tear me or someone else down in order to 'build them up with their product or service'... this has been done both in obvious and subtle ways... the subtle ones are harder to deal with... because you are left wondering... what just happened. 

My website has been under attack by many people since I started networking face to face... I need this, I need that... I changed this and I changed that only to be told that what those other 'experts' stated I need was all wrong. And not once was I looking for website advice. I was just meeting them to get to know them. And let me tell you, I certainly got to know them... 

One person told me that my website hurt their eyes... what? My website is not that bad... yes, it needed an update or two especially after the 'experts' advice on what I needed to do... and yet, when I have visited their sites... I found things on their sites that made no sense, was too confusing, hurt my eyes... and well, I took it all as a grain of salt... and then thought... here is what I will do... I will revamp my website because it is time and I will do it with research on the best practices for building a website.. and I did... and you know what... I like my new website... and it is a good and concise website... and the only thing I tweaked afterwards was the home page banner image... my oldest son told me that it was too confusing... it had words and so did the navigation and it was competing... I saw what he said... and well... I happily tweaked it... and was happy with his critique because... get this... I asked him his advice. He didn't just dump all his thoughts on me about my website. 

When I first began thinking about revamping my website I attended a meetup group with a copywriter presenting. I found her information and the manner she presented it to be very practical, helpful and easy to understand... it was something I sought out and I looked for someone who is knowledgeable and doesn't tear you down to suggest some improvements or how their services could help them. She in my definition of compassion... presented her knowledge and expertise with compassion to those seeking her expertise. Keep reading to know what my definition of compassion is... 

Compassion is a strange concept in the world of networking and sales... many avoid compassion as they are interested in the sale... and I get sales... I have done sales, researched sales, done sales (yes, I said that twice on purpose) and I don't think I have ever employed the tear you down so you need me approach. I have instead focused on showing compassion to their struggles and offered some tips they could try... when they asked me. Some may say this is a passive approach to sales... but I disagree... it is a Leveraging Your Time approach to sales as I look to see if the person is indeed in need of my services/products and if they are ready to commit to Leveraging Their Time. I have made a great deal of sales with this approach and long term clients I might add. 

Now, here is the dictionary's definition of compassion - "a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering". If we take that definition to the purest sense as it is written... compassion doesn't seem to fit in the networking and sales exactly... in fact, we may see it as a 'bit too much' as it is defined... but bear with me... 

What if we looked at Leveraging Your Time with Compassion as compassion defined in this sense "a feeling of empathy for their struggles with [what your products and/or services provide], accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering". 

With this definition, we find that instead of telling complete strangers what they are doing all wrong... we focus on finding out more about them and through the speed of trust, authenticity, listening, and good old fashion communication... we find out what they are actually struggling with... and if it is not what you provide... then you wait until they are struggling with it to demonstrate compassion... and this will benefit both you and them.

How? 

You are not trying to sell and I mean do a hard sell on someone who doesn't recognize they need your products/services, doesn't need your services, doesn't want your products/services, doesn't care about your products/services and doesn't understand why you are trying to do a hard sell on them 15 seconds after you met. You are recognizing not everyone is your perfect client... that breathing doesn't make them an ideal client and that simply taking your card isn't a sign they want your products and services... you recognize there is a process of finding an ideal client who is not only ready to commit to your products/services... but also able to pay for your services. 

The other person is building a sense of who you are... what you do... and over a course of time if they are self-aware, they recognize that they in fact need assistance with what you provide, are willing to commit to not only the time involved but the cost... 

If you practice compassion as I 'redefined' it... you can make the most of your time by Leveraging Your Time with Compassion. You will see sales happen... you will see referrals build... you will see loyal clients/customers... because you Leveraged Your Time with Compassion and they recognized that you are in fact interested in them for more than a dollar or email address they will engage you long term.

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Leveraging Your Time with Authenticity

When you think about Leveraging Your Time, how authentic are you in your definition of what it means or how it applies to you? 

Authenticity is something people are looking for in all areas of their lives - personal and professional. And there are a few people I have met and talked to who feel that the terms authenticity and authentic are over-used. 

I don't agree. 

I think there are people who use the words authentic and authenticity who are not in fact being authentic in their use.  

I recognized that those people who mentioned it to me being overused were in fact not authentic in how they presented themselves. I found the connection with those who claim authenticity is over used and failing to be authentic. 

This was not a judgement as much as an observation. No one has to be authentic if they do not want to be so, but it does matter to others. 

I asked if you have thought of leveraging your time authentically to you. How it applies to you... can you answer that question honestly and how it applies to you. 

I had a rough childhood and won't deny that it shaped me to who I am... it also allowed me to understand why certain things were important to me. Like someone who is honest and worthy of trust... with all their flaws and imperfections. It is not important to be perfect to Leverage Your Time, I certainly am not perfect in Leveraging My TIme... what I am is constantly trying, improving, learning, and appreciating the growth in me. 

I had someone ask me when they know they have perfected Leveraging Their Time... and to be honest, you cannot perfect it. Here is why. Life and business are constantly changing. and you cannot reach perfection in Leveraging Your Time if you have to continue to grow with the changes. 

When you are honest about what you are good at, not so good at and excel at, you can actually make a difference in how you Leverage Your Time. And this means being authentic with others when you meet them and interact with them. 

I am sure some of you are thinking 'oh no, I will be inundated with TMI or expected to share TMI"... nope, not what I m talking about... but to move towards real sentiments versus canned responses. People want to have a real moment with someone even if they are not sure of that at the time. When you make that connection with them... and authentic connection, they feel good all the way into their souls. 

Authentic people attract authentic people and create authentic moments. It is truly that simple. Seriously, it happens. When you are authentic and not TMI... you can attract others to feel the ability to trust you enough to be authentic. 

It also has the ability to demonstrate who has trouble being authentic - for whatever reason. And you can decide if this is someone you want to invest time in building a relationship. 

Again, this is not a judgement, but the way for you to learn how much time to invest in someone who doesn't want to be authentic with you. And I am talking about the professional relationship here. It is important if you are a coach or working closely with a client in a non-coach relationship. The need to know if the client is able to speak about what they want and how they want your products or services is necessary for a successful relationship. It cannot happen if they hold things back. 

Yes, this is a matter of authenticity and assertiveness and it revolves around Leveraging Your Time and your client's time and that is why this important. When you charge hourly, monthly, or packages your client wants to make sure they are getting their money's worth and you want to make sure you are not wasting time 'fixing' the issues because they did not clarify what they 'really' wanted. 

Being authentic helps build and sustain your business and assists you in remaining authentic to your business, clients, and self. 

Dannie :)

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2017 By The Numbers - Success Planning Results

Building Connections That Matter is my success plan for 2017. And I am calling 2017 a success! For the fun of it... I reviewed my year and here are the numbers... 

  • 49 paid speaking engagements 
  • 4 workshops I conducted 
  • 179 networking/training/workshops in total I attended and here is the break down
    • 26 workshops and training events I attended 
    • 22  networking events I hosted 
    • 2 photo walks 
    • 47 one-on-ones
    • 82 traditional networking events 
  • 1 Facebook group - nearly 200 members 
  • 1 Facebook page - nearly 100 likes
  • 1 Facebook page recommendation 
  • 164 NEW Facebook friends
  • 514 NEW LinkedIn Connections
  • 25 new testimonials 
  • 52 people I connected 
  • 7 influencers met 
  • 37 potential clients in the works 
  • 16 clients 
  • 12 friendships that developed
  • 83 CONNECTIONS THAT MATTER

So what do these numbers mean to me? It means I have had a packed calendar. The paid speaking engagements - all 49 were done from mid-January to August 31st. That is an awful lot of speaking and believe me a lot - a lot of travel across North and South Carolina. 

I found out in October 2016, that the speaking engagements would not be happening on 2017 from September to December 2017 as the focus would be on something else. That meant of course, that I needed to figure out where my income was going to be happening for the last quarter of 2017. This is where my success plan came into play. I needed to plan ahead and figure out what I was going to do and how I was going to do it...

Building Connections That Matter. 

I was intentional in my planning of what I am going to do and how I was going to do it... I began searching for events, networking opportunities, and other avenues to find where my clients would come from this year. 

It is not without some trial and error... mistakes... and lessons learned... but you know what... that is not a bad thing. Here are a few things I found out... 

  • Not all networking is the same 
  • I am not really a fan of traditional networking
  • Saying no to a networking event that does not provide connections - referrals, or clients is a good thing
  • Saying no to networkers who are not aligned with your methods of networking is a good thing... save you time, energy, money, and annoyance
  • Saying no to swapping services is often necessary if the alignment is not there - a lot of of 'things' fall into the term alignment
  • One-on-Ones have a different definition for me than for many others... I thought it was a time to get to know the person, they thought it was a time to do a hard sell - and had no idea what I do and how they could really help me
  • I am more of an intentional networker than a traditional networker. 
  • You have to be objective in determining who is a connection that matters and not get swept up in the situation. Remember, many who network are into sales and selling

Whatever your success plan, you have to determine what will work and what won't work and make hard choices throughout the process to find success. Going forward, I know what I will continue to do and what I won't be doing more of because it didn't work. And for those lesson, I am so grateful for all I experienced throughout this year. 

Dannie 

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Time Management Based on Your Energy Levels

I noticed something about myself a long time ago. I am far more energetic and creative in the morning... except for when I am desperately seeking a creative outlet... then I have an energy boost no amount of tea (not a coffee drinker here) can provide... 

There are days when my energies are very low in the afternoon that all I want to do is nap... but sometimes I will fight through the need for a nap and cannot begin to recognize what I did because I did it through a brain - fatigue - fog. 

However, if I stop and do something that is 'different' from the activity that I was struggling through, then I can suddenly feel a great deal more energy and no nap is needed. 

I must state... that I do not nap every day... or even multiple times a week... however, I do work from home and have the freedom to take one if I hardly slept at all the night before or was up at the crack of dawn or before dawn even thought to be a crack... and then traveled to do some speaking... yeah, then those days, I may take a quick nap...  

Napping is seen as an advantage to those who work from home and in some cases a detriment... because the work from home person could very easily get lost on how to manage their time... But this post is not about the benefits of napping or the downsides of napping... it is about the benefit of recognizing your energy levels - high, moderate and low levels and planning your day and tasks around your energy levels. 

It is simple to say "schedule your day around your energy levels" but what does that really mean? 

Before we get lost in all kinds of thoughts without evidence to answer that question, let's track a few things for at least a week... 

  • What foods and beverages do you eat that give you good and solid energy? 
  • What foods and beverages do you eat that makes you tired, sluggish, or overly hyper then crash?
  • When you wake up in the morning, do you feel energized? 
  • Does it take you several hours before you feel energized? 
  • Are you sluggish most of the day and more energized in the evening? 
  • What time do you go to bed each night? 
  • What is the quality of your sleep each night? 
  • What time do you wake up in the morning? 
  • Do you rely on caffeine to feel energized in the mornings? 
  • When do you schedule your hardest tasks each day? 
  • Do those times your hardest tasks are scheduled for match your higher energy levels? 
  • What do you do when you feel your brain start to fatigue?
  • How much exercise do you do each day? 
  • How do you feel after you exercise? 
  • How much time do you need to feel refreshed mentally and physically after you feel tired or brain fatigued? 

Write out your answers to each question and see if it differs one day to the next. If it varies only slightly, then you have an idea of your energy levels and your best time to tackle your hardest tasks. 

Dannie 

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What Is Your Why?

What is your why? We may know your what, but what is your why?

When you tell your what, do they feel your why?

Do you know their why and what makes their why their why?

Yep, I know this sounds confusing... using whats and whys and not much else... but think about your why... why do you do what you do?

You picked a product or service to sell. Why did you pick it?

You chose a field of study... why?

You chose a career or even just a job... why?

The why behind your what - as in what you do - is far more important than what you do.

I have had a number of conversations with other people who share with me more about their why than their what... and I love it.

I can go to a website or listen to an elevator pitch and find out a what... I need to talk to a person to truly find out their why... and it is their why that makes me want their what.

Again, I know the confusion that lies in the whys and whats of this post... but ask yourself this very important question...

When you tell others what you do, do they hear or feel your why? Do they know the passion is not as much about getting you as a client but more the passion of why you sell that product or service?

Got a challenge for you... instead of telling someone what you do in your elevator pitch... try telling someone why you are passionate about your products or services.

Here is an example... telling someone about Leveraging Your Time is awesome... but telling why this is important to me is better... My why - I love to help others. This allows me to use all the knowledge, skills, and talents I have to help others find time to enjoy life without feeling frazzled... no matter what I have done as a career, this has been my why. It is truly who I am and what I love to do.

So, what is your why? And why aren't you sharing your why with others?

 Take a moment to figure out your why.

Take a moment to figure out your why.