Networking Groups – What Should You Expect?

Networking groups are a great way to get yourself “out there” but what should you expect?

Networking Groups

networkNetworking groups are like minded people getting together to share ideas, learn and expand their circle of influence. They can take the form of:

  • Chambers of Commerce
  • Themed Meet Up Groups
  • Groups based on faith
  • School groups

and the list can go on. You can find a group for almost anything you can think of where you can be involved and make new friends. The thing to remember is it’s a two way street. Don’t get involved expecting to get something if you aren’t willing to give something.

What Can You Expect

  • Education
  • New ideas
  • Friendships
  • Connections

collaboration imageYou get the idea. When we join a group of any kind, we are expecting something from it. I find groups where I meet like minded people who are willing to share ideas and a place where I will learn something new every day. In many cases, we are risking exposing our feelings to others, especially if we want them to be honest with us and we are honest with ourselves. This can lead to making new connections that lead to lifelong friendships.

We have to remember that we don’t always get what we expect and may have to consider changing groups until we find the best fit. Sometimes, we join a group and, over time, it becomes stale or no longer meets our needs. In some cases, we may need more than one group to fulfill our needs. Try new groups when you get the opportunity and find the ones that work for you. Note, I indicated ones, not one! The other thing to consider is whether the group is getting what it needs from you! Always show up with your best you.

What May Be Expected From You

  • Referrals
  • Honesty
  • Financial contributions
  • Teaching

junkBe honest and be willing to give referrals. Don’t give them just because you are expected to, make sure the people you refer deserve it. Just as you need to make sure you deserve referals.

Remember that networking costs money and be prepared to give your financial support when needed. For example, there could be a membership fee to help support things like printing costs or you may be asked to contribute regularly to help cover the cost of a room. I’m not saying to bankrupt yourself trying to be part of a group but don’t expect someone else to carry you.

Although you may be new to a field of expertise, there is probably something you can teach others. Think about other areas of your life and transferable skills. Or, there may be an opportunity to share something not related at all, but the group shares an interest. Be giving and not always taking.

Now, get out there and make some friends!

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for networking opportunities, chances to learn and chances to teach. What are you thankful for today?

Who Am I?

Who am I becomes incredibly important when we are having “one of those days”. Do you know the difference between your role at any given time and “who am I”?

Who am I

Barry ClermontWho am I: “I” is who you are at your very basic core. Your core values and how those drive your interaction with the world around you at any given time. For example, I grew up in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and came from a lower/middle class family. (Ssh! My siblings may not agree with that description!) Hamilton in the 60’s and 70’s was very much a manufacturing town. People in a community like that tend to be very down to earth and not really focused on amassing great wealth or impressing others with their brilliance. Don’t get me wrong, these people were a lot smarter than many people with doctorates that I have come into contact throughout my life.

As a result, I don’t consider myself any better than anyone else and actually sometimes struggle with being in a formal leadership position. This leads me to the difference between my “I” and my role or “R”.

Role

Our role changes at any given time, often many times within a single day! You may find yourself in the role of:

  1. Significant Other (Whatever that means for you!)
  2. Mother/Father
  3. Daughter/Son
  4. Student
  5. Leader or Manager

When you think about it, you could be all five. And, sometimes one or more may really suck!

MasksHave you ever had a day when either you disappointed someone or they didn’t live up to an expectation? In my experience, this could lead to either being frustrated because I lacked a skill or missed that I didn’t give the other person the tools they needed to meet my expectation. Ultimately, disappointed myself and ended up feeling angry or sad and feeling that I was a bad person or did something wrong. There is likelihood I was correct but it made me feel bad about myself.

Wrong! Don’t do that!!!

Understanding I/R Theory

It’s OK to be mad/sad/disappointed;

  • in how you delivered or didn’t on a promise; or
  • in how a project turned out; or
  • in a decision you made.

Barry the boomer!If I were to ask you out of 1-10 “how is your I today?”, the answer should always be a 10. This is how you see yourself as a person. Be careful not to confuse that with the role you are in at the time. Maybe as a father, you had to say no to a child and it made them sad or mad, or your wife or an employee. Sure, you feel lousy about having to say no and that’s OK. It doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you. Maybe even quite the opposite because that was the right answer for the circumstance. The problem is simply something is wrong with or in the role. And it may be that you have done something to violate a core value meaning you need to make a change in that role. When a project or job isn’t working, you can end it and walk away if you need to.

If you are constantly violating core principals, that affects the I. You have changed and when it’s for the worse, can destroy you. That needs to be fixed fast! If your employer is making you do something illegal or immoral, you may need to change employers. Maybe even a spouse. Do what you have to do to protect your “I”.

MeetCheep

Make it a great day!

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for positive people, great leaders and my family. What are you thankful for today?

 

Over 50 and Looking For Something. But What?

Are you over 50 and looking for something but really don’t know what?

Over 50

Peanut Butter & Jelly SandwichMany of us go through life believing we are “on track”. On track for what? All of a sudden we reach 50 and the kids are gone. For many of us, our parents are gone and others are feeling like PB & J. Squished between the demands of our children and our parents if they are still with us.

We reach that time in our lives when the kids are grown enough that they don’t need us the same way any more. For some, our parents have become the needy “kids” in our lives and create demands on our time. Regardless, we “The Sandwich Generation” find ourselves redefining who we are and where we are headed. Somehow I’ll bet that most of us aren’t where we thought we would be at this point in our lives.

  • Pensions may not afford us the financial resources to have true financial freedom to travel at will.
  • The kids’ students loans are crushing them and we aren’t able to help.
  • Our parents need our help physically and in some cases, financially.

Most of us are in various stages at this point in our lives.So much for that dream of independence and being white haired jet setters we had when we were young adults!  Some are lucky enough to have great pensions, the mortgage is paid and parents are the jet setters we want to be. Others have remortgaged their homes, maybe more than once, to help with the kids’ educations, weddings or first home purchases. Still others are working more than one job just to keep roof over their heads.

What are you looking for?

  • A new life partner?
  • New friends with shared interests?
  • Extra income to meet current financial obligations?
  • Building a retirement income?
  • All of the above?

A New Life Partner

love-1643452_640First, let me say, I can’t really offer experienced advice in this area. I am lucky enough to have been married now for over 28 years to a wonderful woman and don’t foresee ever being in this position. All I can say is that if I were looking for a new life partner, I would first need to identify what my passions are and then put myself in situations where I meet others with like interests. The fact that they are out there would in and of itself mean we have commonality.

New friends with shared interests

CoachesI don’t know about you but when I was younger, my parents used to tell me that friends will come and go throughout my life. They were right. When my kids were younger, three out of four were involved in competitive soccer. I ended up managing a rep team, coaching indoor house league teams and generally facilitating their sports activities. As a result of the time required, we made our friends there.

Now, all of our kids are grown and doing very different things. As much as I miss those friends, we no longer have the same commonalities. We still talk once in a while but life has moved on. We now find ourselves looking to meet new people at a similar point in their lives to spend time with.

Extra income to meet current financial obligations

When I started my first full time job, I thought I would be retiring at 65 with a full pension and never expected to do anything different. Surprise! That company laid me off during the 80’s when they were trying to survive. I went to work for a competitor who ended up buying them out. By the mid 90’s, it happened again. I was “downsized”.

Two careers later, disaster struck our family and my business ended drying up. I went back to my roots to at least put some bread on the table. I was surrounded by other men in very similar circumstances, working as much as three part time jobs trying to make one income. I was lucky enough to find a job with a pension but it will be much smaller than originally expected and I will need to find another source to supplement my retirement income.

Building a retirement income

CompensationThere are definitely other options. You just need to open your mind to possibilities.

First thing to decide is if you will retire or re-engage. Some will have to take yet another job in retirement in order to survive and/or have anything for extras like vacation and travel. Whatever happened to that just being an expected outcome of years of working? Others will start a business of some kind.

I would suggest that you keep your mind open to different options. The author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Robert Kyosaki advocates that you consider MLM as a way to get seed money for other investments. From there you may decide to open a bricks and mortar operation, invest in stocks or just enjoy the residual income from that business.

All of the above

What if someone is in a situation where it’s all of the above?

Don’t let that scare you. Believe it or not, I have met people in one of our businesses where they were exactly that and they have found a partner, earned a living and built an ongoing and residual income that will not only look after them but will actually let them leave a legacy.

Whatever your situation, I advise working on yourself first. A saying I heard that resonates for me is “become the person you want to attract”. Read good books, watch good videos and put yourself around good people. Did you know that if you read 10-15 pages of a book every day that you would complete at least 10 books a year? Don’t let the job of becoming your best you be intimidating and don’t let the crabs hold you back. Start reading!

Best of luck on this journey we call life and if you think I could help, reach out!

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for open minds, great books and great mentors. What are you thankful for today?

Leave The Junk In The Trunk!

We all carry junk. Whether it’s the person that just cut you off on the way to a meeting or you just had a fight with your partner, leave your junk in the trunk!

What Do You Mean By Junk?

When I talk about junk, I’m referring to all that negative stuff that gathers throughout our day.

  • junkYour partner is mad at you because you didn’t put out the garbage
  • Your teenager is mad at you because you said no!
  • You’re mad at your business partners because you don’t like the direction they want to go.
  • You were just pulled over speeding on the way to your meeting.

In the grand scheme of things, how much of this really matters? I don’t see how much of the above is really life threatening or changing. I have to say, for the most part, it’s just junk. Junk happens.

Junk Collection

Some of us seem to go out looking for junk to collect. Others seem to attract it. Either way, most of us have certain amounts of junk in our lives. Whatever you do, don’t look in my garage! The biggest challenge is deciding what junk to keep and where to put it.

Imagine one of those days when you are late leaving for an important meeting. You are presenting to your team who looks to you to set the example. Half way out the door, you spill coffee on your white shirt. Now you have lost 10 minutes changing. The time pressure causes you to put a little pressure on the gas pedal and the cop behind you doesn’t think it’s a good idea. There goes another 20 minutes and likely more than a few dollars. Now you’re mad!

Junk In The Trunk

car trunkRemember, the most important element in leadership is duplication. Whatever you do, there is a good chance they will copy. It’s quite OK to get mad, even healthy. The trick is to learn how to put it away when it’s in the way.

Imagine you have decided to clean out the car because you are taking prospects or clients to your meeting. Inevitably, we find a lot of junk we didn’t even realize was in there. All of a sudden you realize you only have a few minutes before you have to leave. You have a bag full of junk but you don’t have time to sort it out for recycle, resell or reuse. What to do? Put your junk in the trunk. Deal with it after the meeting is over and there is no one around to see you dealing with your junk.

The Direction of Junk

Never dump your junk downward. Just as you shouldn’t expect your kids to clean up your mess, you shouldn’t expect the people you are training to deal with your junk.

For example, my wife and I work as a team. There are times when we agree to clean up after each other in order to achieve a combined goal. Unless the kids have been working directly with me and contributed to the mess, I don’t ask them to clean it up. That just creates resentment and then perpetuates the problem for generations to come. On the other hand, it’s quite OK for my kids to come to me for help when they just feel overwhelmed and can’t figure something out.

It’s the same in business, MLM or otherwise. We are directors in our business. If I need to dump on someone, it’s executive director or higher. It’s their responsibility to help me work through things when I feel overwhelmed and yes, sometimes it may be personal. I will do the same for the people who look up to me for leadership.

A true leader knows when it’s time to leave the junk in the trunk!

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for great leadership, great business partners and each new day. What are you thankful for today?

Pure Leverage

Opportunity abounds. What’s at the end of your rainbow?

We are faced with endless opportunities and yet never seem to reach the end of the rainbow. What’s at the end of the rainbow? Is it possible that we just don’t see it?

OPPORTUNITY

Isn’t it funny that we perk right up at the sight of rainbows? All of a sudden, we believe in opportunity. There is treasure at the end of those rainbows!

Opportunities abound-web

As we try to reach the end of the rainbow, it seems to keep moving on us. Where are those treasures? Could it be that we ran right through or past them?

Too often, we are focused on what we perceive as problems rather than looking at them as challenges that lead to greater rewards. Take a look at this picture of the double rainbows. They occurred on the way home from work. We were on a Greyhound bus and worrying about the wet roads and dreading another rainy evening. All of a sudden, the clouds broke and double rainbows appeared. Glorious!

Much like life in general, we had to go through a storm before the rainbows appeared. They won’t appear on a clear, dry and sunny day. It was worth sitting through the storm. Besides, the sound of rain pounding on the bus can actually be quite soothing if you choose to hear it that way.

CHALLENGES

Many times as we go through different challenges:

  • we meet new people,
  • travel to new places,
  • and learn new things.

What was perceived to be an obstacle or challenge was actually an opportunity for adventure and personal growth. Think about those who are into physical fitness. The first time they go to the gym, they wonder if they will make it home to bed when they are done. Each time, it becomes easier. Eventually they are doing far more than they ever believed possible. They will challenge themselves to go longer or lift more. Treat your business like the gym. It’s doing the things that others won’t that leads to success.

Keep your mind and heart open to new opportunities!

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for challenges, people and leadership. What are you thankful for today?