Expand Your Network, Super Charge Your Opportunities!

We all know the fundamental principle that building your network is good for business.  The greater your reach, the more opportunities come your way.  What’s really cool is that you don’t necessarily need to expand your network all that much to find significantly more opportunities.  Here’s an interesting way to look at it…

Imagine your network as a sphere made of people and opportunities circling all around you, i.e. the phrase sphere of influence.  Mathematically speaking, the volume of that sphere (the people and the opportunities) is:

V = ⁴⁄₃π r³

The “V” stands for volume and “r” stands for radius of the sphere.  If the radius of your sphere or your reach, is 1, then V = ⁴⁄₃π 1³= 4.18

Now, imagine you extend your reach to 2, then V = ⁴⁄₃π 2³= 33.41….and that’s a big difference…8 times bigger!  If your reach is 3, you get 27 times bigger and so on!

Expand your reach by just a little bit and your network and the opportunities that come with it grows exponentially!

So, get out there and go to that networking meeting, meet that new person, and build those relationships!

Tell me…how do you build your network?

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Stop Spinning, Start Doing!

Business is tough.  Sometimes, we make it tougher by getting down on ourselves and saying “shoulda, woulda, coulda” and dwelling on the past, or saying “what if” and worrying about the future.  If we do this on a regular basis, we’re doing what is called spinning…telling ourselves negative stories that continually brings us down and into a negative spiral.  Then every time something doesn’t go our way, we spin even more…we’re already in a bad mood…then we step in something yucky and we tell ourselves we deserved it…then we make a costly mistake and tell ourselves we’ll never make it!…and on and on.

If you find yourself spinning, a simple method to get back into a positive frame of mind is simply to get busy.  When we are idle and have nothing to do, we tend to spin…and spin negative!  If we get our hands and feet doing something, we have to think about the task and stay focused which means less opportunity to think about the past or the future, i.e. less spinning.  Completing our task also leads to a sense of accomplishment and positivity…staying busy gets us on a positive spiral…a much better place to be…and typically, when we’re in a good place, better results follow!

What we get busy with can be work related or something else.  It might be going for a walk, tackling that big project we’ve been putting off forever, mowing the lawn (yes, ice cream would be better!)…whatever works for you.  :)

Stop spinning, start doing!

Tell me, how do you catch yourself spinning…and what do you do to get back on a positive spiral?  Thanks for sharing!

And, don’t forget to subscribe…if you have a blog, be sure to send me a link!  Rock on!

“What’s going to give us the most bang for our buck?”

There’s a segment of mathematics that focuses on finding the optimum formula for a task or series of tasks. It’s called, simply enough, optimization techniques. I like to call it, “What’s going to give us the most bang for our buck?” And, simply enough, asking this question can help us to set priorities, make better decisions, and positively impact our bottom line.

For most of us, we don’t need a lot of complicated math formulas to think optimization for business. It’s fun stuff for math majors but not really practical for the small business owner. Here are a few ways to think through and find ways to optimize your business:

1.  There are usually multiple ways to complete a task. Define each series of steps to completion. Set your measurement criteria, i.e. time, energy or money. The series of steps that lead to the best outcome, i.e. less time, less energy, or less money spent is the optimum approach and the approach you should be using to maximize your resources.

2.  Don’t assume the way you are doing things now is optimum. Very often, we do what’s comfortable or what everyone else is doing or what someone told us we should do twenty years ago. We assume it’s the best way…don’t assume…check it out!

3.  Upgrade! Changes in technology, information, knowledge, and the market makes it important to stay current. You probably don’t need to get the newest cell phone or computer every 6 months but if your technology, information, knowledge or understanding of your market is outdated…it’s costing you money and opportunity!

Let me know…how do you optimize your resources and get the most bang for your buck?

Tend to Others to Find Success

When you want to climb the corporate ladder, work as if you are an owner for the owner tends to his employees so they can do their best.

When you want to connect better with a group on a social level, act as the host for the host tends to her guests so they feel welcome.

When you want to change your life and get better results, tend to others for it is in giving where you will find your true self and success.

And you just might find happiness along the way… :-)

How to Be In the Top 3 Percent!

We all want to be good, better, great…the top tier!  The question is, “How do we get there?”  Work hard, work smart and be passionate about what we do are obvious answers.  These things will help us be good and better but how do we get to great…the top 3 percent?  Sometimes, it’s the systems and tools we use, or don’t use, that make the difference.   Sometimes, it’s the little things.  The difference between top performers and average performers is often only a fraction more, a tiny bit…

Write Them Down!   It has been shown that people who write out their goals are more likely to achieve their goals and achieve them more frequently.  It’s estimated that 97% of people won’t write out their goals because they feel it won’t make a difference but 3% do.  Which group are you in?

Develop Your “Winning Edge Mentality”   The horse that wins the race by a nose wins ten times more prize money than the next horse….and it only had to win by a nose.  That little extra effort to learn something, to get a little more done before you leave the office, to make a difference in someone’s day can be all the difference between 1st place and everybody else.

Display Your Mantra!  Having the right mind set is immensely important but everyday stuff can get in the way.  Too many things to do, terrible events in the news, or maybe making a mistake can all put us in a negative state.  That negativity becomes the wrong path and a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Stay off that path by keeping your mantra, your go-to phrase for positive action; “I am a rock,” or “Run steady,” in front of you at all times.

Write these things down on a sticky note (sticky note magic!) and make several copies.  Include your goals, your mantra, and that one little extra thing to do today.  Place them on your bathroom mirror, next to your desk…everywhere.  Every time you see these sticky notes, recite your mantra, review your goals, and do that little bit extra that will put you in the right place!

Let me know what you think…how do you get to good, better, great?  Happy Holidays!

Trust Yourself!

Trust your knowledge.

Trust your skills.

Trust your passion…trust yourself!

Very often people wonder if they have enough education, skills, or credentials.  They get stuck worrying about whether they have enough credibility.  When we delve into it though, they usually have a degree or two (or three) and 5, 10, or even 20 years of experience.  Occasionally, we find they need a little more education or a certification or an additional skill set to round out the package.  But more often, what we find is that what they really need is confidence…in themselves.

If you have a great skill set, a good product or service, and knowledge and experience in your field whether it be 20 years, or 10 or even just 1, trust in that.  If you need more, get it.  Otherwise, get moving, start your business, and put yourself out there.  Trust yourself because you have what you need to succeed!

Is Now the Right Time?

We are often waiting for “just the right time,” to make a change. Reasons that keep us from initiating change might include not having the right staff, not having enough money, too much stress already, or “the economy.”

Obviously, it’s good to have all we need and in a good economy and be less stressed but these are often reasons we find simply to delay the need to face our fear and take the first step into uncharted waters. What we need to remember is that initiating change might be scary and difficult but it can also reap great rewards such as more business, less stress or even positive stress, and a better life.

If you’ve been waiting for just the right time, take a chance. The right time could be right now!

More stuff in this month’s newsletter

Don’t forget to subscribe for future posts…top right!

Happy Holidays!

Team Building 101 – What Would You Do?

You are in charge and employees normally come to you with problems and questions. That’s great unless you want to grow your organization. To do that, you need to delegate and have empowered employees who can handle those problems and situations.

To encourage employees to take the initiative and gain that often sought after sense of empowerment, ask them this simple question the next time they bring you a problem, “What would you do?” and then have a discussion including what you would do, their ideas and opinions, pro’s and con’s, etc.

The Pace of Leadership

As a marathoner, I’ve learned a little about the importance of pace.  To run the 26.2 miles of a marathon well, maintaining the right pace is critical.  Your pace needs to be steady and it needs to be one your body and your mind can handle for the entire distance.  Go too fast and you’ll tire early and maybe even end up walking to the finish line.  Go too slow even, with the hope of saving your strength and speeding up later, and you may miscalculate and still miss your finish time goal.

Pace is just as important for shorter races.  Whether 5K races – 3.1 miles, or 8K’s or 10K’s or half-marathons, runners need to keep the right pace.  Each race is different and requires a different pace and pace strategy.  It can take years for a runner to get to a point where they are proficient at pacing.

I remember my first few years of marathoning.  I ran a marathon a year for three years and it wasn’t until that third marathon that it started to click how important it was to keep the right pace.  Walking much of the last few miles to the finish line was a little embarrassing.  It took a couple more years before I could hold a steady pace and the correct pace for the race I was running.

I’ve found leadership is the same.  There is no one best leadership style or one best way to be a leader.  Every situation is different and each one requires the proper leadership style or in essence, the proper leadership pace.  Go too fast and you’ll “hit the wall.”  Go to slow and you’ll miss your finish time goal.  Early in my career, I held leadership positions with little experience, and sadly, little training.  I learned the hard way and made mistakes just like in my first few marathons.  Over time, often through trial by fire, I learned.

Some situations require leadership to be more fast paced or direct, “Please get this done asap,” or, “Fire! Evacuate the building immediately!”  Other situations require leadership to be a bit slower paced or supportive, “Let’s talk this through,” or, “Why don’t you sleep on that and get back to me.”  Knowing which leadership style to bring to a situation is critical to being an effective leader.  Go too fast with a new employee and you may overwhelm them or leave them without the proper knowledge, tools, or training to do a good job.  Go too slow with an experienced employee and they may feel micromanaged.

Just like training for a marathon or some other race, it takes a willingness to learn, practice, and persevere, to get to a point where you can confidently provide the correct leadership style for a given situation.  Your first few tries may not turn out quite the way you intended, but over time, maybe even over the course of a few years, you’ll learn which pace is best for each race and which leadership style is best for each situation.  Lead on!

If you would like to learn more about pacing either for a marathon or for leadership, contact me at: ernest@ealewisconsulting.com

Secret to Being Empowered!

Being empowered is about having the knowledge, abilities, skills, resources, and even authority to do something. When we’re empowered, we can perform at the highest level.  However, there is still one crucial element needed for individuals to truly be empowered. They need that sense or “feeling” of being empowered.

Where do feelings occur? Inside ourselves of course. If we have that inner feeling of being empowered, we can use the resources, authority, skills, etc. to do what we need to do. If we don’t have that empowered feeling but we feel fear, doubt, anxiety, and other negative feelings, we will likely not be able to do what we need to do. We’ll hesitate, perform poorly, or not even try.

So, the secret to being empowered and being able to perform at your best is not just having the right knowledge, skills, abilities and authority but also getting past those negative thoughts and emotions that keep us from believing in ourselves and from even trying.

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