May 30, 2016

Kickstart Monday: Successful People Make Their Own Rules!

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It's a three-day week here at Queen City Buzz, so this week's episode is going to be short and sweet.

When you're first starting out it makes sense to do some research, read books, watch interviews and get a sense about what other people in your industry have done to succeed, but there comes a point in every entrepreneur's career where you have to step off the tried and true path.

Maybe it's finding a new production method, maybe it's making a slight change to your product or service and introducing it to a new market. Whatever it is, there comes a point when you realize that if you want to succeed, you have to set aside the "that's the way we've always done it" mindset and make your own rules.

Bend the Rules, Break the Rules, Make Your Own Rules!

You don't have to reinvent the wheel to become an industry leader.

Simply shift your focus 10 to 15 degrees in either direction.

  • Listen to your customers, they will tell you what they want.
  • Research what your competition is doing and think about what product or service you can add to create value.
  • Ask yourself what small change you can make that will set your offering apart from the rest?

Break the rules. Be the person who sets the trends instead of following them.

Remember, if you want to succeed you have to make your own rules.

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May 23, 2016

Kickstart Monday: How to Succeed in 5 Easy Steps

succeed5steps.jpgHappy Monday People! My May vacation is over and I am back in the hive refreshed, renewed and regenerated. Okay, that might be a stretch, but I am back in the office ready to tackle this week's tasks. Which is a really a round about way of getting to this week's topic.


From the dawn of time man has always wanted to find a shortcut to success.

There are literally millions of books, magazines, classes and coaches who are very happy to share their insights on how to succeed for a fee. Forget about them. There is no one size fits all formula for success.

We all come from different backgrounds. We have different ideas, work styles and situations. There is no way that one system is going to work the same for everyone.

But you know what we can do? We can study people who have succeeded. We can talk to industry mentors, we can read articles and listen to interviews with people we know have started with nothing and found success. And if you research enough of these people you're going to find that in spite of their different situations there are a few commonalities.

These people:

  • have a plan: a clear vision, they know what they want to do and have a good idea of how to do it
  • have good time management skills
  • know themselves: they have self-awareness, they know their limitations and how to work around them
  • stick to their plan: they have gumption, they trust in their vision and aren't swayed by the naysayers
  • have flexibility: they go with the flow

At the end of the day you have to rely on yourself.

It's your idea, your goal. You need to create a system that will help you move through the interim tasks so that you can stay focused and still be evolve with changing circumstances. That's it. There is no universal solution that works for everybody all the time, but once you master these five steps you can adapt them to your own work style.

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May 16, 2016

Kickstart Monday: How to Deal with the Haters

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As we say in New England, "they hate us 'cause they ain't us..."

I'm on vacation this week so I'll keep this short and sweet.  

At some point or another we all get ambushed by negative people.

Whether they're the know-it-alls who feel compelled to tell you how to do things better, even though you've already reached a level of success they they can only dream of, or the people who just seem to take their limited measure of joy in trying to make other people as miserable as they are, these people will suck your energy until you've got nothing left in the tank. 

This week's podcast is about how to deal with all those people who go out of their way to bring you down.

Have a great week!

- See more at: http://queencity.buzz/%21drafts/441#sthash.NU6qfmid.dpuf

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May 15, 2016

Episode 10: How to Take the Work Out of Networking with Cami Baker

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Taking the work out of networking

When I first started working as a small business consultant every client seemed to struggle with something different. For some it was marketing, for others it was sales, accounting or even product development. Networking almost never came up as a topic of concern so you can imagine how surprised I was after starting Queen City Buzz that the number one thing people want to hear about is networking.

Who knew?

In my mind networking is probably the easiest task on a small business owner's to do list. You meet people, have a conversation, shake hands and follow up. Easy peasy, right? Apparently not.

For a lot of people the fine art of networking is confusing, terrifying and completely overwhelming.

The good news is that this month's guest has the tools and tips you need to take the work out of networking.

This month we are talking networking with Mingle to Millions maven and creator of the New Rules of Networking, the one and only Cami Baker.

For some weird reason I always want to add a "the" before I say Cami Baker. I'm not sure why, but I think it probably has something to do with the fact that Baker is a human dynamo. She's in perpetual motion and in between her many workshops and speaking engagements she manages to squeeze in at least three networking activities a week and to be perfectly honest, it seems unlikely that there are too many people she hasn't met in the great state of New Hampshire.

Just in case you are one of the ten or twelve people who hasn't had the pleasure, Cami Baker is a former top selling realtor who leveraged her networking skills into a successful coaching practice before moving on to developing personal development workshops and seminars for real estate professionals.

It seems unlikely that there are too many people she hasn't met in the great state of New Hampshire...

In addition to being a highly sought after local speaker Baker is the creator of the Mingle Your Way to Millions and New Rules of Networking systems for improving and monetizing your networking skills and a co-star on the Real Estate Road Show. And if that's not enough, her Mingle to Millions - Drastically Increase Your Net Worth Through the New Rules of Networking book is due out later this summer. 

Did I mention that she keeps herself busy?

Listen to the podcast and check out the list of her upcoming engagements. Baker has built a career out of networking and is passionate about the subject. If you struggle with going to mixers and events or are looking to up your game it's well worth your time to make one of her events.

New episode of the Real Estate Roadshow!!

Upcoming Events:

Note: Many of these events have just been posted and do not have venues and/or confirmed dates please visit: http://camibaker.com/upcoming-events/ for details.

May 19, 2016 Fearless on the Phone: https://www.facebook.com/events/778825802217711/

May 24, 2016 10 Listings in 30 Days Dialing for Dollars Bootcamp: http://www.camibaker.com/10-listings-in-30-days-dialing-for-dollars-bootcamp/

May 25, 2016 Digital Marketing in Just a Few Hours: http://digitalmarketingtrendsnh.com/

June 1, 2016 Lowell Cares Car Show to Benefit Hope Dove: date is tentative please visit: http://camibaker.com/upcoming-events/ for updates

June 8, 2016 National Association of Professional Women: http://camibaker.com/upcoming-events/

June 14, 2016 Mingle to Millions "Networking to Stop Working": http://www.mcssl.com/SecureCart/SecureCart.aspx?mi...

June 21, 2016 Cami Baker and Larry Quemere Joint Event: http://camibaker.com/upcoming-events/

July 12, 2016 Cami Baker and Larry Quemere Joint Event: http://camibaker.com/upcoming-events/

July 28, 2016 Cami Baker and Larry Quemere Joint Event: http://camibaker.com/upcoming-events/

Finally, Cami Baker is available for speaking engagements as well as workshops, training seminars and one-on-one coaching. If you would like to meet Baker or find out more about her products please visit her website www.camibaker.com

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May 11, 2016

Kickstart Monday: How to Define Your Brand With 3 Simple Words

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And suddenly it's Tuesday...

I'm going to start by saying, yes, I do realize that it's Tuesday and I am suitably embarrassed and mortified that episode 2 is late. My only excuse is that sometimes, no matter how well you prepareeven when the podcast is taped, edited and ready to go, things go sideways. It happens.

And since there is no graceful way to segue, I'm just going to jump right in with this week's topic, crafting your brand.

When was the last time you thought about your brand? 

Do you even have a brand? Would you be surprised or maybe even a little horrified to hear that you have a brand whether you've actively cultivated it or not.

Define Your Brand

Good, bad or otherwise, you get one chance to make a first impression and if you let people draw their own conclusions it's like playing Russian roulette with your reputation.

People are unreliable. They come to the table with their own experiences, prejudice and expectations and you don't know what you're going to get until they walk in the door. The only way to overcome this bias is by showing them the image you want them to see before they have a chance to draw their own conclusion.

The good news is that defining your brand is a lot easier than you think. In fact, I've even created a super simple system that makes it easy to define your brand so that you can project a consistent brand image.

Your Brand in Three Words

Basically, what it comes down to is choosing three words that describe how you want people to see you and your business then using those words as the basis of your branding. This isn't going to give you a Madison Avenue branding package, but what it will do is help you focus and give you a checks and balance system so that you have an easy way to verify that everything you do is projecting a unified, cohesive image.

So, are you ready? Grab a pen and a piece of paper and pick three words that describe how you want people to see you. They can be personal characteristics or they can describe a specific feature or focus of your company.

If it helps, my words are creativity, skill and passion.

The key is that the words you choose should project the image you want people to see when they think of you or your business.

Take a minute right now and write down the three branding words that best represent you and how you want to be seen. Remember, three words, no sentences and don't put too much thought into this.

if you let people draw their own conclusions it's like playing Russian roulette with your reputation...

Now that you've got your words you're probably wondering what the heck you're supposed to do with them.

Let's start by backing up a little and taking a look at the big picture. You know that people judge everything you do. Every action you take, every product or service you develop, every time you meet someone, send an email, post on social media or walk into a meeting you are being judged.

You don't know what's going on in people's lives. Maybe their two-year old had a meltdown when they dropped him off at daycare. Maybe they're on a deadline and their mind is on the next task. Maybe someone who kind of looked like you didn't hold the elevator door for them. Whatever the situation is, you can't control it.

But you know what you can control? You can control how you present yourself.

This is where the three branding words come in. They are the core to your brand and everything you do, every piece of communication, every product and service and every interaction must support them.

You do this by asking yourself if your actions, interactions, products or services clearly represent the words you chose for your brand.

Let's pretend that your words were confident, smart and skilled.

Take it down to basic things that you can control every day and ask yourself:

  • How's your posture and eye contact? What about your handshake? Do they project confidence?
  • Are your written and verbal communications riddled with typos and spelling errors or do thy look and sound professional?
  • What about your work? Does it look professional?
  • Do your products and services present a unified brand?

My general rule of thumb is that your actions should support at least one of the three words. Ideally they would represent two of your brand words, but as long as at least one is there and is clearly supporting the brand you're good.

It's about cohesiveness and consistency and if you're doing it right anybody should be able to look at your website, your products or any other public facing aspect of your business and recognize that they come from you.

Remember, you can't control the bits and pieces that go into someone else's judgments, but you can make sure that no matter what else is going on in their world, people will see you the way you want to be seen if you make sure that every action you take, every product you sell and every piece of communication, whether it's in person, written or smoke signal, clearly represents your three keywords.

Have a great week!

Pat Hammond

Editor & Queen Bee at Queen City Buzz

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May 2, 2016

Kickstart Monday: How to Get and Stay Motivated, episode 1

Welcome to Kickstart Monday!

I don't know about you, but I am wicked excited to be launching Kickstart Monday.

I'm one of those people who absolutely loves Mondays. To me Mondays are all about the possibilities. It's like a do-over every week, so let go of whatever you didn't finish last week, this is your chance to regroup, tweak that plan and start over fresh.

To kick off the very first Kickstart Monday I am sharing an article from one of my favorite business writers, Geoffrey James. The article is titled 23 Ways to Get and Keep Motivated and it is chock full of ideas for how to overcome those nagging every day challenges so we can get and stay motivated all week. (Note: I may start the week all wide eyed and giddy, but even I start to slump by Wednesday...)

The thing I liked about this article is that it's like a one page road map for pretty much any situation you're going to have to deal with as a business person.

It doesn't matter whether you're just starting your journey, are in the middle of a big project or if you're trying to deal with an unexpected detour, this article has the tools to reboot your motivation and keep you going all week.

I'm going to share my top three picks and they are definitely a reflection of where I am right now, but I'd love to hear your favorites. Click the link and take a look at the article. Which of James' suggestions speaks to where you are today?

1. Realize that you are in control. "You cannot control the outside world, but you can control your reaction to it."
This is such an important message because unless you live under a rock there are going to be people who disagree or challenge your ideas. And that's absolutely fine. Sometimes we need a different perspective to tackle a problem or build a better product, but at the end of the day, you will never succeed if you give away your power.

2. Have goals—but remain flexible. "No plan should be cast in concrete, lest it become more important than achieving the goal." 
This one should probably be my mantra. It would not an exaggerating to say that I am an obsessive planner. I make plans, backup plans and backup plans for my backup plans. I even make what-if scenarios for the things that aren't on today's to do list but might someday quality as a maybe. And yet with all of my planning I know at the end of the day that my plans have to be flexible enough to respond to change. The important message here is to keep your eye on the big picture. Your goal is your destination, but sometimes you have to take a few detours to get there.

3. Don’t expect perfection. "Perfectionists are the losers in the game of life. Strive for excellence rather than the unachievable."
Perfection is a fools game and the only way to overcome it is to start with a well defined end goal. If you have a clear idea of what the end result is, how it should look or what it should do you won't get sucked into the insanity that goes with striving for perfection.

The ability to get and stay motivated is about being in control of your own choices, actions and reactions. Take a look at the article. Which of James' suggestions speaks to the biggest challenge you have today?

Don't forget to check out the article 23 Ways to Get and Keep Motivated by Geoffrey James and leave me a message. I'd love to hear what you do to stay motivated.

Have a great week!

Pat Hammond

Editor & Queen Bee at Queen City Buzz

Links:

For more information about Geoffrey James please visit his website: http://www.geoffreyjames.com.

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