5 Ways to Make a Positive Impression

Skills are not always about specific capabilities like putting things together, typing so many words per minute or being able to write software code to solve the most complex Sudoku puzzles.  To succeed in this world(however you define success), you must build relationships through sincere based interactions with people.

Very few people can succeed without collaboration and partnership with others.   Before you can develop these relationships, you need to make a great first impression. This is a soft skill(one we do not take a college course to develop). Soft skills tend to focus on communication and interpersonal skills.

We know they are important. When is the last time you wanted to partner with someone who didn’t leave you with a positive impression. Martin Zwilling, CEO & Founder of Startup Professionals, Inc.; published a list of 7 things to avoid making a Poor Impression.  I summarized to 5.

* Dress appropriately from the perspective of the person you are trying to impress
  (Dress more conservatively than might be expected…if unsure, wear business attire – always)

* Find a common business link or friend to warm up the connection 
(Key — Research who the person/company you will be connecting with.  Leverage Google,
Facebook, LinkedIn 
…you can be sure the same will be done on you…what do you have
in common?)

* Be prepared to concisely state your key objective
(In communication circles, this is known as your elevator pitch…you have 1 minute to
clearly state what you want
and have questions prepared to continue the dialogue as
appropriate)

* Know a lot, but don’t flaunt it
(Remember, you are building a relationship….clearly do your homework and be prepared
to answer any question..
but don’t be arrogant…they need to not only respect you
but like you!!
)

* Be positive, courteous, on time, and attentive
  
(All those years of mother/father teaching you manners will pay off here…be polite, say
Hello
 and respect the other people’s time….Don’t be late for any reason!!)

Action:  Make a lunch, coffee or even a 15 minute catch up appointment with someone you know.  It can be with someone you meet with frequently or someone who you have not invested much time in the past to meet with. Pretend you haven’t met this person before.  Perform a virtual search on this individual and put together a picture of him/her strictly based on the information available online. What do you have in common?  Memorize the information and prepare some questions.  Create an elevator pitch where you have uncovered a common interest and would like to discuss their knowledge on the topic in more details.  Show up for the appointment 5 minutes earlier than the committed time. Work hard to make a great impression.  Take note of the experience. How did it go?  Were you able to further connect with the individual to establish or enhance a bond?

Quote of the Day: “Sometimes one creates a dynamic impression by saying something, and sometimes one creates as significant an impression by remaining silent.”
Dalai Lama

Picture : © Corwinsg | Dreamstime.com

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Top 10 Ways How Successful People Think

One of the most critical skills you will ever attain, are the ones that control the way you think.  Is there a correlation to what you think and how you perform?

YES     The mind is so strong that you can take hold of thoughts that can induce signs of illness. 

John Maxwell, a well established leadership expert and author of many books, released a book in 2011 titled “How Successful People Think”.   If you want to become an expert golfer, you need to think like one. If you wish to lose weight, you need to think like someone who weighs much less than you do today. You GET TO think like the person you wish to become.

I selected my Top 10 Ways Successful People think from John Maxwell, and they all have a common theme. It all starts upstairs in the mind.

I have added some quick translations in ().

  •  Get over negative self talk. Winners think in terms of “I will” and “I can”  
     (Negative thoughts = Negative results…”as you think so shall you be”)
  • Thinking is a discipline. If you want to be better at it, you’ve got to work at it.
     (Positive Thinking Practice makes perfect…you mind is like a muscle..keep working it!!!)
  • Figure out where you need to focus your energy, and then use the 80/20 rule
    (Prioritize Your Limited Time….80% of tasks can be ignored with minimal implications)
  • Smart thinkers expose themselves to different ideas and types of people
    (Meet new people and uncover new ideas from  your discussions – it’s amazing what you can learn just listening)
  • It’s one thing to have an idea, another to follow through 
     (An idea is like a seed…following through on it is like watering the seed…action is required)
  •  Smart people collaborate with other smart people  
    (You will never succeed alone. Seek mentors, partners, supporters)
  •  To think differently, do different things
     (To appreciate others’ ideas, you need to value other ideas)
  •  Have an agenda — for the day, and when you meet with people 
    (When you meet people, make it count, you need to collaborate with people to succeed)
  •  Creative people are dedicated to ideas  
    (ideas lead to creating value….we need to create value to be successful)
  •  Naturally optimistic people find it hard to be realistic thinkers         
    (Thinking out of the box still requires doing your homework)

ACTION: Pick one of the 10 recommendations and LIVE IT for the next 24 hours. What changed for you? Start the habits today towards positive thinking. If you found success, pick a 2nd recommendation to follow for the next day…you are on the road to a brand new perspective of yourself and where you take your career and life.

Quote of the Day: “You are the masterpiece of your own life; you are the Michelangelo of your experience. The David that you are sculpting is you. And you do it with your thoughts.”— Dr. Joe Vitale: Motivational author and speaker

Did you make a Career Mistake?

      Is your career where you want it to be?  If not, maybe you are reading this while slugging away at a boring 9-5 job or possibly combing over the various position openings de jour on Monster.com or Snagajob.com. The bottom line is that you are feeling dissatisfied. Did you make a career mistake somewhere that resulted in your current circumstance?

In an interesting article by Paul Schoemaker on Inc.com, titled “You Need to Make More Mistakes”, don’t even think twice on a making a regrettable mistake. In fact, you need to make significantly more of them to get to where you want to go. Is this great news?  Most definitely, YES.

 When going for my MBA, I was earning a very good income in the Finance Industry in sunny Los Angeles with good prospects of growth and career advancement. I had the yearning to get my MBA in my late 20s while most of my peers were starting their careers and earning growing incomes. I decided to go heavily into debt for an illusive MBA career; moving my new wife to a new city in Chicago.   My friends were earning income, buying homes, building wealth, while I was going into the hole on a monthly basis on living expenses. While the academic and “life” experience of the MBA degree was everything I could hope for, I started getting a gnawing pang in my gut.

Did I make a Career Mistake? 

NO…I took a risk, gained an incredible experience, and realized that no matter what happened, nobody can repossess the skills I learned. This was MY JOURNEY  to better myself and become more marketable.   It took me much longer than others to gain financial stability, own a house and build my career. However, if I didn’t risk making a “career mistake”,  I wouldn’t have the success and happiness I am enjoying today.

SO GO AHEAD, MAKE A MISTAKE…..

ACTION:

1) What were two of your biggest “Career Mistakes”?  Identify 3 things that ultimately benefitted you from making those mistakes. Every mistake is a stepping stone to learning.

2) What is your biggest career decision ahead of you right now that you are afraid of becoming a mistake? Are you unable to recover from a temporary setback? Is there any way you could move, if required, in a slower way to make it work?

Quote of the Day: “Always desire to learn something useful.” — Sophocles

Career Path vs. Hobby

Can you make something you really enjoy doing as a HOBBY your CAREER PATH?

Let’s take photography. That can be fun. Who hasn’t experienced capturing the worlds best photo and feeling really good about it.

Photo by Graur Razvan Ionut.

Hey, wouldn’t it be great if someone paid me to do what I like to do? But converting a hobby into a money making venture can be a potential rude awakening.  Do you have the knowledge and capabilities today to begin the transition from your current career path?

An interesting article in STARTUP NATION addresses topics for converting your hobby into a business. http://www.startupnation.com/business-articles/1180/1/AT_Turning-Hobby-Into-Business.asp.   Key concepts:

1) Focus on the Prize.   Keep your focus and patience. The prize of doing what you love and generating an income over the long term must be high enough to develop and implement a plan over time.

2) Validate your Hobby can be a viable Business. Just because you can bake eggplant in 35 delicious and unique ways, does not mean there are enough people interested in your product and service.  Investigate. Use Google Search, Ebay, Craigslist. Do you see any competition? No competition, means you will have a nice long road ahead to create a market for your hobby.

3) Evaluate Yourself Realistically. Are you skilled enough at this hobby that other people actually will pay you for your service or knowledge, or do you just enjoy the heck out of it? Do you have the commitment and disciple to fully pursue this venture when it starts to feel like a job instead of fun?

4) Is there enough Revenue potential?  Similar to #2, but we are expanding from general interest in the marketplace to specifically defining the areas of Revenue you can realistically obtain? Going back to the Eggplant recipe example, you may live in a community who is in love with eggplant, but there is a natural limit to how many customers will buy your recipes or packaged meals.

5) Figure out how to stand out…..It is not enough to be as good as the competition, you need something extra. What is that something extra that will cause customers to move their business to you?

Action: Make a list of your hobbies and select the top 3 you enjoy the most.  Check out the competition on the internet. Do you see any? As you evaluate, don’t stop your day job or pursuit of jobs to keep your finances afloat.

Quote of the Day:  “Instead of giving myself reasons why I can’t,  I give myself reasons why I can.”      Author Unknown

The web address for graur razvan ionut’s portfolio is: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=987

Introducing – Upgrade Your Career – The Blog

Picture by Idea Go

Greetings everyone and welcome. With an eye on exploring ways to address your career concerns and issues, this new blog that will start to focus on various topics for those interested to “Upgrade Your Career”. This could mean one of the following to you:

1) You want to do something different and/or better than where you are today

2) You are not working and looking for a job to support yourself

3) You are questioning your life’s direction deeply and fundamentally

2) You enjoy what you are doing today but want to earn more $

3) You enjoy the area of your current career and earn enough money to meet your needs, but you want to explore different aspects of your current career focus

4) You enjoy what you are doing, but your significant other, parents,or dog hates it. What else is out there?

What’s the angle? The angle is practicality, with a focus on expediency. It combines guidance for action while building your “can do” thoughts and beliefs. Making changes in lives is work.  But, we can have fun and enjoy the ride. Consider this to be the start of our journey together.

Don’t ever lose faith in yourself. You are not only enough, but someone special with gifts waiting to be explored and appreciated and compensated. We all can make a clean start and make improvements in our career and in our lives. Starting today. The how will be explored. The “why” starts in the mirror.