Networking to connect, not to sell

Mingle, Loiter and Cross-PolLinate

Networking is great (not a full stop) when you don’t care. Evil little gremlins that pop in and out with ‘they don’t care’, ‘you sound stupid’, ‘what’s special about you?’ – well they need shutting up. There’s think before you speak and then there’s networking, where thinking before you speak leaves me in a tailspin. From the past few months of attempting to network-my-arse-off, I have found three states of being at these events:

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I am not a robot

So stop treating me in 1s and 0s.

Feelings from the past six hours have included calmness and anger, happiness and fear, sadness and gratefulness. A feeling on its own is neither negative or positive, it just is. The story you tell yourself, the narrative, is what attributes the negative or positive spin. If you see me crying, am I sad? Is it wrong to feel sad? The feeling behind the crying is frustration, is frustration a negative thing that needs avoiding or eradicating? Would sitting on top of frustration with gratitude journals and books on crushing it alleviate the frustration? No. So why do you think you can just flip the switch?

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Making time to thrive – Start with your mindset

What is thriving? To me, it’s about flourishing, about being abundant and open to opportunities. It’s beyond not being ill, but being well and that wellness being contagious to others. Not just physically being capable of doing things but feeling enthusiastic and uplifted. It’s not about being happy all the time. More like a quiet optimism, a general hopefulness that things are well and that things will play out well.  Continue reading

How to stay sane when you work

The 80:20 combo with deep reflection

Working for myself (for, by? just me either way) means simultaneously stressing about networking my ass off to meet the ‘right’ people (but being open to opportunities and therefore can’t be too picky), promoting what my work (but without giving up all the goods for free whilst not having an identity crisis because the work is not me), on top of actually doing the work for paying clients.

At the end of my last block of 4-weeks (here’s a previous blog on how it maintains focus and momentum to work in 4-week blocks), I decided to do a deep dive reflecting on the past few weeks, highlighting what was essential, what was non-essential (aka faffing around), and how next to proceed. Continue reading

Don’t stop at ‘Yes’ or ‘No’, think ‘How?’

Action requires doing. So how are you going to follow through?

One key tool in time management is the Eisenhower box, or the Important/Urgent box. I first came across it from James Clear’s article and have added my own twist to it to make it easier to remember:

When we receive requests, it’s easy for us to assume that what’s important is also urgent and immediately go into action without thinking exactly how. We assume that we have to do it right now, or that we have to do it alone. Here are some How’s to consider when you’re unsure whether you can take something on or you know you can’t and need to work out a solution with your boss.

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Selling what they want versus what they need

Five steps to getting the balance right.

I’ve heard of this distinction but I didn’t really get it until I was in the middle of ‘selling’ and realised I wasn’t quite hitting the mark. See, experience is worth a ton of theory! One of my time management workshops last week didn’t play out as well as I’d hoped, many contributing factors, but in particular, different expectations, which I should have seen coming.  Continue reading