Networking Nuggets from Client Connections
Helping You Connect With Confidence                      December 2010
Kath the Connector
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I find it amazing that 2010 is winding down; another year has flown by.  In this final month of the year, it makes sense to look back at where our businesses have been, then to look forward to how we want them to be in 2011.  As you create your strategy, I hope some of these Nuggets will play a part in your successful new year.

December's Top Tips
 purple triskele 
1. Stand out from the crowd - and get a jump start on creating genuine networking relationships - by coming up with alternatives to the ubiquitous and trite, "So what do you do?"  Some ideas to get you thinking:  What prompted you to attend this event?  What are you expecting to get out of this meeting?  How did  you get into your current line of work?  What (other) professional associations do you belong to, and why have you chosen to maintain your memberships?

2.  Avoid putting your foot in your mouth at networking events:  Don't make assumptions about the people you're talking to.  A classic December example is wishing "Merry Christmas" to a Muslim celebrating the Islamic new year, or a pagan celebrating the winter solstice, or a Jew celebrating Hanukkah.

3.  Invest in yourself as well as in events.  Few, if any, of us would truly find it impossible to set aside 20 to 30 minutes for personal and professional development activities.  Do you spend time commuting or driving to client appointments?  Do you watch one or more TV shows each night to "wind down"?  Do you get sucked into the rabbit hole of online solitaire?  If so, you really do have time to devote to listening to CD's or reading books that will build your skill set and set you up for success...a much better investment of your precious time than watching the cards cascade after you've won a card game.  (And in case you're wondering, I can stop playing solitaire any time I want...)
How's This for Success? 
Keech MediaI had my first networking meeting with Nathan Keech in 2008.  He explained that providing simple technical assistance with media projects was just the tip of the iceberg when it came to his services; in fact, his real value was in serving as a high-level strategic marketing ally as well as a technical specialist.  When the time came for me to produce my first information product, Nathan was the person I called.  That was about 15 months after our first meeting.  How many of us can create such a powerful statement of value that a prospect remembers it months later?
Really Good Resources
 light bulb
1. For those of you who acknowledge that your mental state has a huge impact on success, you might want to check out You'll See It When You Believe It, by Dr. Wayne Dyer.  It's a powerful book that addresses, among other things, how we tend to find what we're looking for - whether that's evidence of success or failure.

2.  Brace yourself:  I'm doing a 180 from metaphysics to technology.  I strongly recommend getting a hands-free, Bluetooth (TM) headset; I'm madly in love with my purple Jawbone.  True, you risk having people look at you oddly when they think you're talking to yourself, but I think that's a small price to pay for being able to arrange a meeting with your perfect prospect without dropping the phone or looking less than professional.

3.  If one of your perennial New Year's resolutions is to "get organized", why not make this the year you actually do it, rather than just talk about it?  And I'm not talking about trying to figure it out yourself; that way lies madness.  I'm talking about investing in a professional organizer who's trained to cut through the chaos.  If you live in the United States, you can find a local organizer at the National Association of Professional Organizers.  If you live elsewhere, it might take a bit more searching to find your organizing angel, but you can start at the International Association of Professional Organizers.  In any event, it will be well worth your time to support your sanity and your success.
Client Connections in Action

12/7/10, 12 p.m.: Networking Venture luncheon, Cashing In On Questions, Sergeant Preston's Grille, 930 Helena Avenue North,
Oakdale, MN 55128
Thanks to my friend Flickr.
Here are this month's heroes who graciously allowed me to use their images, posted in the Creative Commons area of Flickr, in this issue of Networking Nuggets:
purple triskele by shiftercat
light bulb by aloshbennett
Here in the northern hemisphere, we're approaching the winter solstice - the shortest day of the year - while those of you in the souther hemisphere are closing in on your summer solstice - the longest day of the year.  No matter how you choose to celebrate these natural landmarks, I hope you remember to celebrate everything that's gone right in your business in 2010 even as you prepare to create fabulousness in 2011.

Wishing you a (new) year of dazzling success,

Client Connections

Life is good.