Aug 29, 2016

Kickstart Monday: September is the Perfect Opportunity for a Do-Over

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Review, Refine, and Re-boot

No doubt about it, September is the best time to call a do-over.

Think about it, when you were a kid September meant a new school year. You were in a new grade, with new teachers, and everything was new and exciting.

If you are like most people you spent 13 of your first 18 years starting fresh every fall. This is a learned behavior that was repeated over and over again. Embrace it. Make it work for you.

You weren't looking back at what you did or didn't achieve in March or April, you were looking ahead to figure out what you could to reach your goals today.

I'm not going to say to forget about the goals you made in January, but if you are looking at the calendar today and you're not happy with where you are, it's time to put on the brakes and call a do-over.

  • ask yourself if you want the same things
  • figure out why you did or didn't meet your benchmarks
  • find a way to apply what you've already accomplished to another goal

There are a lot of reasons people fail to reach their goals. Sometimes it's because they were over optimistic with their timeline, other times it's because once they got started they realized their goal wasn't something really wanted to do. Whatever is keeping you from succeeding, it's okay.

Take an honest look at what worked and what didn't.

With four months left in the year, there is plenty of time to review, refine and re-boot so that you can reach your goals in 2016.

Misc. Links From the Podcast

Weekly Roundup Manchester Meetings & Tech Events 8/29/16 - 9/2/16 - A weekly listing of business, networking and tech events in and around Manchester.

International Game Developers Association - NH: 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM The Shaskeen Pub & Restaurant 909 Elm Street, Manchester. IGDA NH Presents: Gary Freeman - An Introduction to Concept Art. Open networking and a presentation by artist Gary Freeman. This is a great opportunity for local artists who have wondered how to break into the complex world of digital art.

Toastmasters of Manchester: Humorous Speech Contest 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM Manchester Community College, Room #Main 240 1066 Front Street Manchester. Who said that speeches and presentations had to be boring? Three clubs (TMM, ABC, and Millyard) will compete in back-to-back contests. Come and hear the incredible speeches. Note the earlier start time.

Currier After Hours: Cocktails and Color 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM Currier Museum of Art 150 Ash Street, Manchester. Looking for a way to socialize and unwind? The Currier is hosting an evening of food, cocktails, and coloring at the Winter Garden Cafe. The event is free with museum admission. Coloring books and markers will be provided.

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Aug 22, 2016

Kickstart Monday: How to Wade Through the Crazy Without Losing Your Mind

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Feeling like this summer has been one big challenge? You're not alone...

I'm hearing from a lot of people that things have been spiraling out of control lately which got me wondering how people wade through the crazy without losing their mind.

In my world, the first step is always going to be to define the problem.

Is it a demanding client? Is it family, friends or co-workers? Is it a technical or mechanical issue?

Is the challenge just one person or are you being bombarded with people and problems all demanding your immediate attention?

My experience has been that crazy doesn't happen in a vacuum.Like attracts like and once you've got one disaster in your personal gravity field you end up with multiple people and challenges orbiting planet-you. And since I've already tortured my astrophysics analogy, I going to go all-in and say that if you do not take control of the situation you will end up like a big black hole sucking in whatever debris enters your personal space.

Life is full of challenges and left unchecked those little things will start to add up and overwhelm you.

Which brings me to the next question, is it really your problem?

This may sound like a no-brainer, but it's pretty common for people to dump their problems on other people with the hope that someone else will fix them.

If it's something that you feel obliged to fix and you can actually do something about it, then add it to the to-do list. Otherwise, let it go.

Lend a shoulder or an ear, give some advice or point them to someone who can help, but let it go.

If it really is your problem then you need to determine if it's something that you can fix.

If the answer is yes all you have to do is break down the problem into manageable chunks.

Start by fixing critical items first, then extend your timeline so that you're dealing with a workable to do list.

It may take a little longer than you'd like and you may need to get some outside help, but you'll feel a lot better once you have a well-considered action plan.

If it's something you can't fix yourself, the next question is why.

Is it lack of resources like money, time, or skill? What can you do to overcome those obstacles?

The idea is to keep drilling down until you have something actionable.

If the resolution is truly out of your hands then you're going to have to let it go. Maybe that means handing it off to someone else, or maybe that means walking away entirely.

At the end of the day wading through the crazy without losing your mind comes down to three steps.

  • define the problem
  • make an action plan
  • let it go

I'm not going to lie here. Letting go is a learned skill, and it's hard.

If you can be objective and master all three of these skills you will have the confidence and vision to deal with your own crises, help your friends and wade through the crazy without losing your mind.

Misc. Links From the Podcast

603 Networking - Manchester (Open Networking): 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM Portland Pie Company 786 Elm Street, Manchester. Here's another of the very popular 603 Networking Group's August events. If you're looking to connect with other local business people or simply want to put a face to the people you talk with on Linkedin why not stop by? Please be sure to sign up as they do need to know how many people are coming. RSVP https://www.eventbrite.com/e/603-networking-822-530-730pm-manchester-open-networking-tickets-26867451270

Friends of Kevin - Nashua: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM Friends of Kevin Networking is holding a FREE networking event at the Millyard Technology Park 10 Technology Drive, 3rd Floor Cafe, Nashua. Registration is required and you can register on Facebook or meetup.com.

Alpha Loft Hoopla Party: 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM Alpha Loft 844 Elm Street, Manchester. From their website: "Hoopla is a gathering for you and a hundred of your favorite peoples who love all things creative, tech, and entrepreneurship in the Manchester area. Enjoy a beverage, hang out with your peers, and relax. No presentations. No fuss. Just a whole lot of Hoopla. " Registration is required: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hoopla-party-manchest...

For more information about the 7 Veteran-Owned Businesses in 7 Days promotion please visit Veterans Week 2016 or give us a call.

Chris Pastrana, NH Business Show 603-493-2843
Pat Hammond, Queen City Buzz 603-264-0788

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Aug 15, 2016

Episode #13: Live from the Hive with Sharon Jensen from Embrace Your Wardrobe

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Why You Need a Personal Image Consultant

You've been dressing yourself since you were 5, you love those skinny jeans and there is no way you'd ever be caught dead in pantyhose. You have a clear idea of how to dress for comfort, but is it really your best look?

  • Do you struggle to find the right outfit for business meetings or interviews?
  • Do you look in the mirror and wonder why your favorite top makes you look pale?
  • Do you wish you could just run in the mall and find the perfect pair of jeans on your first try?

If you said yes to any of these questions it might be time to talk to Sharon Jensen from Embrace Your Wardrobe.

In spite of what you see on tv (Trinny & Susannah, Clinton Kelly & Stacy London or even the exalted Tim Gunn), working with an image consultant is a stress-free process of learning the best styles and colors for your body and lifestyle.

Jensen offers one-on-one consultations for men, women, recent grads, and bridal parties as well as a regular line-up of workshops and seminars designed to keep you comfortable, confident, and on trend.

She even offers a 5-week course through the Derry Adult Education program.

If you want to take your confidence to the next level think about trying a consult with Embrace Your Wardrobe.

Still not sure? According to Jensen finding the right style can help you look 15 pounds thinner! That's right, no diet, no exercise. All you need to do is choose the color and style that flatters your existing body, and she can show you how.

Upcoming Classes/Workshops

August 22, 2016 - Scarves - How to tie - 6 - 8 pm - SubZero, 495 Amherst St, Nashua NH August 29, 2016 - Business Casual - What does it mean? - SubZero, 495 Amherst St, Nashua NH

September 7, 2016 -De-Clutter your CLOSET - Ideal Health, Cilley Rd, Manchester NH September 22, 2016 - Ladies Night Out - 6 - 8 pm - Salisbury MA

September 28, 2016 - Ladies Night Out - 6 to 8 pm - Castleton, Windham NH September 29, 2016 (6-8pm) Derry Adult Education - Polish Your Image - 5 week class October 2, 2016 - Bridal Expo - Brookline Event Center - FREE - Noon to 4:00 pm - BRIDES should register to PRIZES

For more information about Jensen's upcoming workshops and classes please visit http://embraceyourwardrobe.com

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Aug 1, 2016

Kickstart Monday: How to Leverage the Power of Your Network

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Building Relationships

Do you know what's even better than a Monday? When Monday is the first day of the month.

I don't know why, there's just something clean about it, a new month, new week and a new opportunity to succeed. Can it get any better?

Since this month's Coffee Buzz Networking is tomorrow I thought it would be a good time to talk about How to Leverage the Power of Your Network.

As a lot of you know I recently teamed up with Chris Pastrana from NH Business Show for a Veterans Day promotion and this would never have happened if it wasn't for our network.

We didn't know each other and even though we do basically the same thing as far as promoting local businesses, we haven't been to any of the same events and don't know all that many of the same people. But we had one person in common, Piper Turgeon from Eco Chic Interiors.

Piper met Chris at one of the Gold Star Referral Club meetings, one thing led to another and she gave us an introduction. Now we're working a joint project and it's kind of big.

This is what I'm talking about when I say the "power of your network."

In it's purest form, networking is about building relationships.

Relationships open doors and give us credibility. They put us in touch with potential buyers and business partners, but that's it. Some of the people in our network may end up as clients, but that's not why we cultivate the relationship.

I know a lot of sales people are going to disagree with me on this. And if you are a sales person whose sole purpose is to find customers and make the sale, I get that your perspective is different from the rest of us. Your goal is to find a prospect and sell, that's it. You have people to handle all those other pesky business details like product development, production, front office, back office and everything in between. Your focus is the sale and anyone who isn't buying isn't important to you.

No business can survive without revenue so yes, sales are always important, but the average small business person has a wider scope. And this is particularly true for people who work on their own.

Which brings us to the question of how do you leverage your network?

Introductions

One of the biggest benefits of a strong network, if not the biggest benefit, of having a network is the ripple effect.

When you carefully tend and nurture your network it opens doors far beyond the person standing in front of you. And yes, I am talking about introductions.

Sometimes it's someone knowing the gatekeeper for the person you need to meet, other times it's being introduced to potential partners or new clients.

And this is where the sales guys and the people who go to networking events for the sole purpose of making a sale get it wrong.

A sale today doesn't guarantee anything tomorrow, but when you build relationships it opens the door to tomorrow's possibilities.

That's huge because when you combine your address book and all of your connections' address books at least one, if not two or three people, can put you in touch with the right people at the right time.

Product Development

Product ideas and development are another great use for your network.

You can spend a lot of money and do focus groups and A/B testing, but it makes more sense to start by talking to people in your network. Ask questions and listen to what they're saying.

You don't have to specifically tell anyone you're trying to develop a new product, just pay attention when they start talking about the things they hate or the tools they need to make their job easier.

It doesn't really matter what kind of product or service you provide. Get to know the people in your target market and listen to what they say. This will put you a step ahead of everyone else and because you've already established a rapport you'll have one foot in the door when it comes to selling it.

Credibility

The third way to use your network is to leverage the credibility factor.

We all know that people want to do business with people they know and it's not enough that they met you at a networking event.

Before someone entrusts you with their kitchen remodel, their wedding photography or their website, they want to know that someone they already know and trust is willing to vouch for you.

Again, this is why we build relationships and why it's so important to have those relationships with the right people.

People who are trustworthy, who are upstanding citizens and are connected to the audience that you want to reach.

Wield the Power

When you're an entrepreneur, especially a solo entrepreneur, your network is probably the most valuable tool in your toolbox. As a one person shop, you don't have a development team, a production manager, accountant, or marketing team on hand to help you get things done. But when you have a strong network, you can easily get the help or introductions you need to get reach your audience and get the job done.

So Take the time to make quality connections and build relationships. And Remember, it's not all about you.

All relationships are a balance of give and take so be a good networking partner. Answer questions, give introductions and referrals. And trust me when I say that as a small business person there is nothing more reassuring than knowing that people have your back.

Misc. Links From the Podcast

603 Networking - Concord (Open Networking): Concord (Open Networking): 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM Uno Pizzeria & Grill Fort Eddy Road, Concord. The 603 Networking Group is kicking off August with an open networking event in Concord. If you're looking to connect with other local business people or simply want to put a face to the people you talk with on Linkedin why not stop by? Please be sure to sign up as they do need to know how many people are coming. RSVP: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/603-networking-81-530...

Coffee Buzz Networking: 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM at Aroma Joe's Coffee 2. S. Beech Street, Manchester. This month's topic is "How to Find Clients"

Yoga + Fitness in the Park: Weekly yoga and fitness session are 3:00 PM - 3:45 PM at Victory Park 119 Concord Street, Manchester. Why not duck out of the office for an hour and enjoy an open air class? For more information please visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/510240419181789/

Gold Star Manchester Business Network

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