tips

Is a LinkedIn endorsement as valuable as a recommendation?

LinkedIn has recently introduced the endorsement feature making it very easy for your connections to endorse you for the skills you have in your profile, which raises the issue of having a great profile and making sure your skills are complete and prioritised but we’ll talk about that in another post.

Now I use LinkedIn to source leads for my businesses, but it is also one of my major sources of good suppliers for me. And I use it to find out more about he businesses I work with before a project starts.  So I’m a little sceptical about the benefit of these endorsements on your profile.

I am a huge fan of good recommendations. Not the ones that say “I met Philippa at a meeting and she was lovely” – which are great for the ego, but they don’t really help me when I want to find a new service provider, or to learn about the people I work with. 

Is motivation all you need?

In my last blog I wrote about keeping motivation up for long periods of time.  But is this going to guarantee success? No.

There was an article in the business insider online magazine that was quite blunt about it, if motivation or visualisation was all we needed why was everyone not millionaires and happy? Because if you don’t have something else then your chances of making it are slim.

I have been talking about this thing for years, it is skill.  You can have all the motivation in the world but if you do not have the skills you need you are probably not going to make it.  I say probably because there are a very few cases in which someone makes it by chance but can they replicate that success over and over again, no. Those who can replicate success are those who have both the drive and skill.  Drive is just another way of saying that their motivation is high.

Keeping your motivation up

Do you find that you lose momentum or have a lot of unfinished projects or business idea’s that you have not actioned?

How can you keep your motivation high?

It is different for each of us. I was sent a video by the guys at Market Samurai who put it best. Most of us cannot live for long on self control (the debate over having your favourite desert or abstaining) but if we have the right motivation we can do something indefinitely. Over a year ago a friend of mine and her husband decided to move abroad. they were planning to move in July of last year. She wanted to quit her job several months before so she could concentrate on packing, moving and finalising things.

Want to really make your linkedIn profile more interesting?

 

One of the biggest complaints on Linkedin has been the difficulty in adding media rich items to your profile. Before you had to embed a video into a slide share or google presentation but now there is a little icon you need to make your friend.

linkedin media add in icon

 

this little square with a plus beside it allows you to add a portfolio, presentation, photo or video as long as it has an http:// address attached to it.

Celebrate your successes

image supplied by http://stockmedia.cc

So in my last blog I talked about having a plan to ensure that you can actually achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself or your business. And human nature being the way it is we are always the first ones to beat ourselves up about failing to achieve these goals. But how often do we celebrate when we do achieve them? It is very easy to forget the successes we do achieve as we go about our business lives so this year I’d like you to try something. Every day write in your diary, or in your calendar, or in a separate note book ANYTHING you have done well, anything you have achieved however big or however small. And if you can write more than one thing then write all of them down. But make sue you write something down. They don’t all have to be business related. Anything you do that make you feel good, that you have been putting off, or done for the first time, then record it.

New Year, New focus, or not…

As most people I am writing about the New Year.  As with New Year resolutions we should evaluate our business and see if there are things that we should be doing or need to change about how we do business or get business.  Re evaluate what you are doing, how much time things take and what they are doing for the business.

Advertising

Do you know how much business that ads and other types of advertising is bringing you? If you advertise in print as well as online media it is always good to find out which one is bringing you more business.  There are a lot of stats that I have heard over the years and most of us know that you can’t place one ad and expect that your door to be inundated with new customers. But on the other hand if you have been advertising for years and have only had one or two clients from it, does the cost outway the profit?

Do you want real results from your goals this year?

If you do then you probably need a plan

As business owners we are told we must have business goals and we have to achieve these goals, and that we have failed if we don’t achieve them.

But how realistic are our goals? For me the piece I most often find missing is the plan to achieve these goals.

It’s all very well setting yourself a goal, but is it actually achievable? And I’m not talking stretch goals here. I mean the goals where you say you can do something in 12 months, but based on your current performance it will actually take 16 months. Now you can cWordle: goal settinghange the goal to achieve this in 16 months, or you have to change what/ how you work. Again both valid options. But what isn’t valid is saying “I will achieve it in 12 months but I won’t change how I work/ what I do”. This means you have set yourself a goal that you can’t possibly achieve. And unfortunately we live in a culture where failure is criticised. This isn’t a failure of the goal. This is a failure of the planning process that should be part of the goal setting process.

Real Magic of Hollywood

Last month I had the pleasure to be at The Coaches and Entrepreneurs Extravaganza for 4 days at The Magic Castle in Hollywood.

It was a great event with many speakers, experts and authors in the room and involved. 90 amazing people in one place – and I believe the relationships formed there will be a big foundation for my business and my life in the coming years.

So, you might be asking, why am I telling you this and how will this help you?

The Magic Castle - great networking inside!

Have you ever spent time with people who are negative and lacking drive and motivation? Spending time with those kind of people will tend to sap your energy and drain you.

However, spending time with people who are driven and motivated will help you to play a bigger game and give you more energy and motivation. I am sure you have noticed that too.

So as we look to build relationships that will help us in our business and our lives in general, it is important that we become conscious and strategic in the people we spend our time and energy with. Being at this extravaganza has helped me to realise what can happen when motivated, driven and positive people come together.

Here are just 3 of the things that I took from my time in Hollywood – and none of them involve movie stars – and I hope they help you too.

The seven deadly sins of workplace technology

Some tips on how not to use technology in the workplace…

Working in HR, I occasionally come across poor behaviour in the workplace. In today’s workplace it often involves technology. Anyone who has attended a bullying / harassment / discrimination education session that I’ve run in the past will have heard me say that as soon as someone invents a new piece of technology, someone else invents something stupid and possibly career-limiting to do with it.

Are you looking for quality or quantity?

In the current economic climate, many businesses have seen a decline in the number of customers in the last couple of years yet a focus on quality rather than quantity may be a blessing for businesses.

 I hear so many people at networking events tell us they can do everything for everyone. Yet business owners will benefit from identifying their ideal customer then focusing on attracting that ideal to their business.

Working at home balance

Some people seem to find working at home really easy, but there has to be a balance.  If you work at home it can be easy to start working early, and then carry on through until it is time for bed, especially if you live alone.

For those who have to stop working at certain times because of a specific task that needs to be done, like pick up the kids from school, you know how important it is to not let time rush by.  Mastering time is very important.  One of my closest friends sets alarms constantly so that she knows when a task was supposed to be finished.

Dressing for success

Have you notice someone in the crowd before and thought, they must be a lawyer or consultant or something like that? It might be the opposite; you saw someone and thought they looked very scruffy so they must do something like gardening or IT.

We all make snap decisions based on less than 30 seconds and yes dress is a part of it. One of my friends is a groovy rock chick, but only in her personal life, business she looks completely different, suits and very conservative, but outside of business she wears the tight jeans, high heeled boots and sequin t-shirts.

It is worth investing in clothes for that first meeting.  I have clothes that I do not wear other than for work or networking, my “uniform” is coordinates, not usually suits unless I visit a client that the work dress is suit for all (yes there are some out there). That does not mean if you are a gardener you should invest in a suit or that you should wear your dirty jeans and t-shirts to a networking event or to visit a client for a meeting.

Why are some people successful using Social Media and some aren’t?

This is a question that I have been pondering for a while now and cropped up again in conversations last week so I thought I’d share my ideas and thoughts with you.

I think there are several obvious answers.

When a business comes to me and says that they aren’t getting the return from Social media that they see others (and in particular their competitors) getting I usually assess what they’re doing by asking the following questions:

Do they have a specific strategy for what they want to achieve?

24/7 v taking time off

People who know me know I very rarely take “time off”.  It is 8pm on a Wednesday night and I am still working.  This is something I am changing though.

It can be easy to work all the time. This does not mean you are productive or that what you are doing is going to make or save money. Some people feel that by doing their own accounts they are saving money, but when you find the right accountant they can save you more money then they charge.

What about Marketing or Sales? Report writing, typing letters, making calls? If you are a one man band then it is hard to hand things over, it cuts into your money, but if you have no time to relax or renew yourself then what work you are doing may not be as good as your business needs.

Stop, Collaborate and Listen!

One of the 4Networking Directors, Tim Johnson, caused a little bit of an outcry not that long ago when he announced to members that one man bands do not work. Now I can understand why his members were initially upset, after all most networking groups are built upon one man bands. Yet what Tim actually meant was that most one man bands will always, at best, struggle. However, if business owners are open minded and look at collaborating, then their potential for success and longevity massively increases.