My 100-Day Challenge!

My 100-Day Challenge!

By May of this year, one of our major clients hadn’t paid us for 2 months work, and then the news broke that its European arm had filed for insolvency. At that point, we had several projects ongoing and we were told we would be paid, so based on good faith we worked until the end of May, at which point our total outstanding balance was just under £40,000.

I have my goals, dreams, and ambitions, and I wasn’t going to let a client’s insolvency, or a pandemic stop me from achieving them! I hadn’t come this far to only come this far! Therefore, in the middle of May, based on the awful news from our client, I made a decision which was going to have an impact on my personal life but would hopefully help safeguard the immediate future of my business. I had decided to go for my 100-Day Challenge – for 100 days, I would be doing business development every single day, without fail, including weekends, no excuses. Truth be told, I had no other choice. Getting angry and worrying about the £40,000 wasn’t going to help me. As I’ve said in my vlogs and blogs before when faced with a problem, I look for solutions – and this was my solution, working my arse off to protect my business and keep dreams alive! To add to my woes, we were in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic meaning business was slow, and our business development manager had to go on furlough because he has 2 very young children.

I knew that if it was to be, it was up to me! I had to quickly get used to working long days during the week which involved projects, meetings, teamwork, running my business, and business development, and making the choice, not a sacrifice, of working weekends. Although some weekends would be full working days, I did make sure that after a month or so, I would work for only half the day – the house chores and shopping weren’t going to do themselves, and we were in lockdown, so I hardly had a choice of places to go to anyway! But, I had my focus and goals, this was me fighting hard for the survival of my business, and I wasn’t going to give up without a fight; it’s not in my nature to take any shit lying down! So, with my head up, eyes forward, and laser-focused on my short, medium- and long-term goals, I got going.

It’s been tough, most people didn’t reply, and I received many “no’s”, which I expected – I feel it’s better to receive a “no” rather than no reply because at least I’ve been acknowledged! Nevertheless, I persevered and with some luck, and help, my business is in a much healthier position now than it was 100 days ago! Nothing is a given, and although we have picked up some good new clients, and projects with existing clients, I know that had I not put in the effort from over 3 months ago, and actually told people about our situation, I wouldn’t have had any luck or help; I wasn’t going to let the silliness of pride get the better of me. I also believe in the “Law of Attraction”, you can call it prayer, belief, whatever you want, but if you want something from God, or the universe, or wherever, then it’s a simple 3-step process of “Ask, Believe, and Receive”, and I am happy and grateful to have asked, believed, and be receiving.

Talking about luck, I try to be a responsible business owner. I don’t take silly money out of my businesses and I had built enough capital in the bank to pay my staff for up to a year in the event of no work coming in. I think that’s common sense and smart, to run a business with some sort of slush fund to ride through rough times. It’s not easy finding good staff, so if your business or industry goes through a tough time, you want to be able to retain your team because if you put the effort in, better times will return and your staff will be there to spring back into action, as has happened with us.

From just over 3 months ago where I wondered, momentarily, about what was going to happen to my business, to now, where I’m hiring new staff, it is a 180° change! If you are going through a tough time, my simple advice is this: focus on your goals, get your head down, and do WHATEVER IT TAKES to keep your business going because that could be the difference between your success and failure!

I know I couldn’t have got to where I am without a strong mentality and serious tenacity, traits which I have been forging throughout my life. I also know I couldn’t have done it without help from my wonderful friends. No one gets anywhere alone, no one is self-made, everyone is part of a bigger team. As the gestalt theory goes, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and I am just a lone medical writer without my amazing employees and set of friends who help and inspire me.

So, to Lesley Taylor and Tim Hardman, thank you for being there for me and for helping me; you are true friends and I hope I can return your incredible favours one day!

10 years back in the UK – this is my story, so far!

10 years today, I had to move back to the UK. I’d spent 4 wonderful years in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. I fell in love with Germany during my year in industry from uni, which I spent in Heidelberg. I say I had to move back because it wasn’t something I really wanted to do, but work was looking to make people redundant, and mum was on her own after dad had died a couple of years earlier and needed me, so it seemed the “right” time to come back.

I’ve made friends in many places throughout my life, but those I am closest to and have regular contact with are still in Frankfurt. Frankfurt isn’t as pretty as Heidelberg, and truth be told it took me a couple of years to like it, but it was the people who made it for me. It was leaving that life that hurt so much; I was in tears as my plane was taking off… and although I already had tickets booked to come back and see my friends, it would be as a visitor to Frankfurt, not as a resident.

After moving back, I knew I needed to make new friends because my friends from my childhood and uni had settled into their own lives with their own friends. So, I began an InterNations community (an international networking community whose parties I attended in Frankfurt) in Manchester. I also jumped into the Latin dance scene. I’d done some salsa classes in the decade before, including a handful of times in Frankfurt, but didn’t stick to it because it meant spending less time with my existing friends. I knew this was my opportunity to really learn something new, meet new people, make new friends, and have fun. Through InterNations and dance, I have made friends, made memories, learned new skills, taken a tonne of photographs, and had enormous fun!

The job I moved back for didn’t last long, and I was made redundant again after just 10 months, however, I did meet the best boss I’ve ever had and who I am still friends with today. It also presented me with the opportunity of having my own business. I’d always wanted to be my own boss, and I had begun thinking about it during my last job. But this really went into overdrive because of potentially commuting 90 minutes each way to where a hub for my industry lay, and moving to that area was not an option since I’d moved back to be with mum, who needed me around.

So, I did my own thing! I started freelancing and was happy doing that for the first 5 years. In that time, I also got into a health and wellness business, which taught me a lot about business, and I took advantage of various free business courses that were being delivered at the local uni and other places. Then another opportunity presented itself for me to grow my business beyond just me, and I went for it! I’ve had my ups and downs, had my wins and losses, but I have developed as a person and a professional. From someone who is still a relative outsider in their industry with no previous relationships with people from big firms, I’ve had to knock on many doors to get to where I am! I somewhat relish the challenge of breaking down barriers, building new relationships, winning new clients, and showing them what my team of talented employees can do!

I miss Germany, I miss my friends, I miss my life with my friends in Germany. Sometimes, we cannot always choose the path we want to, but sometimes an alternative path can also lead us on an amazing journey. I am happy and grateful for everything I currently have, but I am not done yet! I have many big and scary goals that I’ve set myself; a couple I’ve achieved, several I am still hunting down! If you’re at a crossroads in your life, your red or blue pill moment, then whichever way you go, make the most of your choice, because if you do, you won’t be disappointed with where you are or where you are not. Life is in perpetual motion, where you are right now is where you are right now, it isn’t your end stop, because, besides death, there is no end stop. So, head up, eyes forward, and go forth! #YourLifeYourRules

Bilal Happy

Mental Health and Me

The phrase #mentalhealth has an emotional connection for me.

I grew up in a loving household, but both my parents were afflicted with mental health issues. Dad had bipolar disorder, and because of having to deal with that stress, mum developed depression. These problems split our family up several times during my childhood, the longest being over a year until dad finally agreed to receive help. During our time apart, I put on a lot of weight because of my mother being overprotective of her only son, for which I was bullied at school.

Although I don’t have mental health problems (I hope I never do), I was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) level 1 over a year ago. I knew I was different as a kid, and this helped confirm that I was not neurotypical. My ASD 1 helped make sense of the bullying; my classmates bullied me not necessarily because I was fat but because I was different, and they didn’t really know any better so went after my weight. I did eventually lose my weight, and although it got rid of some of the bullying, it didn’t all go away.

Growing up, I had a fear of being predisposed to developing mental health issues, so I did what I could to reduce the chances of that. I learned quickly what made me “happy”, by doing activities that released my endorphins, such as daily exercise, eating healthy and regularly, dancing, and listening to uplifting music. Like everyone, I have had very low points in my life, and anchoring myself to a routine has helped me get myself out of those holes I found myself in.

I know there is a stigma attached to mental health with not speaking about it, but it is an invisible and silent destroyer of lives. I am not ashamed to admit that I consult my psychologist regularly, just like I do my GP, dentist, optician, physiotherapist, and chiropractor.

Help yourself as much as you can, and when you can’t, speak to someone, it could change your life… #mentalhealthawareness

Social Media Branding!

Definition

According to one marketing company, “A brand is the idea or image of a specific product or service that consumers connect with, by identifying the name, logo, slogan, or design of the company who owns the idea or image. Branding is when that idea or image is marketed so that it is recognisable by more and more people, and identified with a certain service or product when there are many other companies offering the same service or product”.

Application

The key for your social media branding is to identify yourself and indeed your business to yourself, know it, own it, and be it, consistently, and to the best of your abilities, thereby distinguishing yourself from others. Your brand is who you are, what you stand for, what you want to achieve in your life, your morals, ethics, values, interests, hobbies, and lifestyle etc. If you know YOU and your business, everything else is pretty straightforward after that!

Remember: There are people already doing what you do, so getting your branding right to differentiate yourself is paramount to success!

Example

If you want an example of branding, check out my Facebook business page. I have my own logo, motto/tagline and colours. I post frequently about the same things, and even mention it on my “Intro” which simply states: “I help people create their ideal lifestyles from wherever they are using a laptop :)”. I am consistent with everything I do, so my Facebook page is pretty popular because people buy into me, because I know me and so do they!

However, I also have several other pages, for my social media agency Bham Digital, for my pharmaceutical consultancy Bham Pharma, and for my food blog Spiced Up By Bilal. Each has its own set of branding, colours, feel and motto. The videos I record for each of my pages are also different, in terms of the camera I use, where I record, the tone, style and even angle, so you cannot confuse one page with another, each page is unique in its expression of the different things that interest me. My values and principles are intact, but the way in which I deliver my message about a particular topic is different.

Defining Your Own Brand

Defining your brand is like a journey of self-discovery. It can be difficult, time‑consuming and uncomfortable. It requires, at the very least, that you answer the questions below, so I urge you to answer them because you are your business!

  1. What is your mission? (Your WHY)
  2. What are the benefits and features of you, your products and services?
  3. What do your customers and prospects already think of you?
  4. What qualities do you want them to associate with you?

Do your research. Learn the needs, habits and desires of your current and prospective customers and team members. And don’t rely on what you think they think. Know what they think!

Marketing Your Brand

Once you’ve defined your brand, how do you get the word out? Here are a few simple, time-tested tips:

  1. Get a great logo. Ask a graphic designer or creative friend of yours. Fiverr is great and cheap too! Place it everywhere.
  2. Write down your brand messaging. What are the key messages you want to communicate about your brand? Everyone in your team should be aware of your brand attributes.
  3. Integrate your brand. Branding extends to every aspect of who you are – how you reply messages, your e-mail signature, everything.
  4. Create a “voice” for you that reflects your brand. This voice should be applied to all written communication and incorporated in the visual imagery of all materials, online and off. Is your brand friendly? Be conversational. Is it ritzy? Be more formal. You get the gist.
  5. Develop a tagline/motto. Write a memorable, meaningful and concise statement that captures the essence of your brand.
  6. Design templates and create brand standards for your marketing materials. Use the same colour scheme, logo placement, look and feel throughout. You don’t need to be fancy, just consistent. Canva is great for this!
  7. Be true to your brand. Customers and team members won’t return to you–or refer you to someone else–if you don’t deliver on your brand promise.
  8. Be consistent. This tip involves all the above and is the most important tip on this list. If you can’t do this, your attempts at establishing a brand will fail.

If you’re looking at organising your social media branding, please do get in touch, I’d love to help 🙂

Mindset!

You are at a point where you know how your business works inside out, are well organised, know your sales process, and know a bit about social media (many blogs coming up about that!). Ready to rock’n’roll right? Not always, sadly! Many people do do do but never never never progress beyond a certain level! Why do you think that is? The reason is mindset! Creating the right mindset is absolutely everything to your aspirations!

So what holds people back? What stops people making the most of their businesses? What stops people from reaching for their dreams? What robs them of their dream lifestyle? What condemns them to a life less than what they wished? Well, complacency is one, “what’s easy to do is also easy not to do”, but more than that, the four-letter word that has destroyed us for millennia – FEAR!

Fear Is Bullshit!

Fear is the bullshit story your brain tells you why you can’t do or achieve something! It is our default mode for self-preservation and maintaining the status quo of monotony! Fear is not real; it is the product of the thoughts we create. Danger is very real, but fear is a choice! Yes, really! Tell yourself you aren’t scared and see how your life changes! To me, FEAR only has one meaning: Face Everything And Rise! Most people fear change, failure and success itself! The opposite of fear is courage, which forms the basis of belief. Belief is what many people lack when striving for success! Building belief comes from a multitude of factors, but fundamentally, for me, it comes from owning your circumstances, and backing yourself to change them!

Here’s another revelation for you, however good, bad or ugly your life is, it is all because of you! Yes, whatever successes and failures you have experienced throughout your life are ALL DOWN TO YOU! What? All of it? Yeah, baby, ALL OF IT! Your choices and attitudes dictate your life, and it is those choices and attitudes which are fundamentally affected by mindset. A poor mindset will give you a poor lifestyle but an enriched mindset will give you your chance to live your dream lifestyle! So, is it worth making a change? Hell yeah!

Feed Your Mind!

I read, listen to and watch material on personal education, development, growth and mindset daily, first thing in the morning and last thing at night. My car is full of self-help audiobooks so I only listen to them and no music whenever I am driving (confession, I occasionally play the radio after a CD ends!). Why? Well, the successful people I follow, whose material I read, listen to and watch, tell me to! So, if it works for them, then who am I to argue with multi-millionaires and billionaires?!

There is a wealth of information out there to help you get your mindset right! Here are 10 books I recommend to begin feeding your mind with, and I advise you to buy the audiobooks too because the material is genius!

  • John C. Maxwell:
    • “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth”;
    • “The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork”;
    • “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”.
  • Darren Hardy:
    • “The Compound Effect”.
  • Rhonda Byrne:
    • “The Secret” (watch the film its only 90 minutes but it worked for me and millions of others!).
  • Napoleon Hill:
    • “Think and Grow Rich!”.
  • Wallace D. Wattles:
    • “The Science of Getting Rich”.
  • George S. Clason:
    • “The Richest Man in Babylon”.
  • Earl Nightingale:
    • “The Strangest Secret”.
  • James Allen:
    • “As A Man Thinketh”.

The material, knowledge and advice are sensational, life-changing and enriching! Do you want to get rich? Get Enriched first! I also advise you to set aside a budget each month/year for new material. If you are spending more money on clothes than investing into your own personal education, growth, development and mindset, then you will not become enriched and you will be depriving your future self of the riches you desire for immediate gratification. Patience is the key to success!

It Will Be Worth It!

How badly would you like to change your life and turn it into your dream life? Well, to have something you’ve never had, you must do something you’ve never done, and ALL change begins within! Remember the motto: “Change your thinking, change your actions, change your life”! Your life starts at the end of your comfort zone, so get moving! this stuff has really worked for me and many others! Give it ago, what have you got to lose?! It will be worth it, trust me!

Other people I recommend to read/listen to/watch, but not limited to, including Anthony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracey, Bob Proctor, Napoleon Hill, Les Brown, Stephen Covey and Wayne Dyer.

Improving your mindset will take time. If you are going to get started, begin with the last 4 books in the list above because they’re cheap and quick to read and let me know how you get on 🙂

Let me know how you get on!

Sales!

If you are earning money, be it from your job or your business, you are in sales! Some people hate sales but we all sell! Ourselves, our services and our products! In the end, the type of selling you want to engage in is one that pays you!

Since getting into business for myself, I have put myself in a position of having to sell. I have had some awesome days and some not so awesome ones, meaning that the results were dependent on my form on the day and some luck with the client being in the market for what I had to offer. Basically, the results weren’t duplicable or repeatable because I didn’t have a defined process in place, i.e. a system.

However, that changed recently when I finally got my hands on a copy of a sales book written by my friend Alistaire Jama, called “Sellology”. I was going to buy some sales books a couple of years ago, until Ali, a highly successful salesman, told us that he was writing a book! Now, I have been in some of his workshops so I was confident that the book would be good, so, I waited for it… and boy was it worth that wait! I read it in 4 hours, on the 2-hour train down to and up from London, and called him from both directions with questions because I was hooked! As soon as I got home, I studied the book, made notes and came up with my own sales scripts based on what Ali wrote in his book, and the results were instantaneous! I began getting more meetings than ever, using old school cold calling over the phone, email, and new school social media! Ali keep this book very simple, and clearly, one is meant to flick back and forth between the chapters, so this quickly becomes your “go-to” manual on “how to sell”!

Ali talks about communication in terms:

  • Words – what you say
  • Music – the tone in which you say them
  • Dance – the body language

Ali dedicates a chapter of being aware of different business styles and how they communicate (words, music and dance):

  • Actor – aka The Player
  • Doer – aka The Pragmatist
  • Friend – aka The Companion
  • Thinker – aka The Analyst

Ali then breaks down his sales system into 6 simple steps he calls “PROCES”:

  • Plan
  • Reach
  • Obtain
  • Connect
  • Elaborate
  • Secure

The book is 180 pages and easy to read, but oh so effective! If you read, understand and apply what Ali teaches, then you should see an improvement in your number of conversions for telephone or face to face meetings, and closing business deals!

Let me know how you get on! If you have any questions, do get in touch with Ali Jama! And as promised, here is the link to where you can buy the book on Amazon!

Client Care!

Building a business is all about client care and customer service. For me, a customer buys from you once in a while, a client is a regular customer; transitioning from customer to client is a big step in building your business. Creating long-lasting relationships with our clients, training and nurturing them so that servicing them is as easy for us as it is for them is absolutely vital because this will ensure that your clients are looked after, and you have a steady stream of work and therefore revenue, month in, month out!

Top 10 Tips!

I like to go the extra mile when I am dealing with my clients across all 3 of my businesses, regularly being in touch with them, because, however you look at it, everyone appreciates being appreciated, valued and made to feel special 🙂 Here are my top 10 tips for taking care of your clients!

  1. Depending on the nature of your business and if you feel comfortable with it, you can add your clients to a Facebook or LinkedIn group so that you can look after them and help and support them as a team in one place.
  2. Depending on the nature of your business, you can train your clients to either place an order for products no more than 2 orders a month, one at the start/end of the month and one in the middle of the month.
  3. If you feel comfortable with it, you can give your clients access to your resource plan via Google Docs for example so they know yours and your team’s availability/capacity for work over the next month(s).
  4. Ensure you deliver your clients orders earlier than you promised if possible; there is no better feeling for you and your client than under-promising and over-delivering!
  5. If you are in the business of delivering products, ensure you take cash BEFORE placing orders, and NEVER bulk buy as you will be placing yourself under unnecessary pressure to sell those products!
  6. Always look for opportunities to help your clients and people in their network with referrals for business; the goodwill this will generate will invariably come back to you in the form of repeat and referral business!
  7. Speak to them regularly, depending on your relationship anything from once a week to once a month, either face-to-face, over the phone, via email or through social media, to check in on them, asking them for honest feedback or anything they feel you could do better/improve upon, it shows you value their opinion.
  8. Show your appreciation for your clients, and thank them with hand-written “Thank You” cards, without any marketing messages or paraphernalia – honest and heartfelt gratitude is everything!
  9. If possible, meet your clients socially for a drink or dinner, and insist on buying, keep that relationship alive, because they may:
    • Become a good friend if they aren’t already, or might need a friend;
    • Have a friend you could help;
    • Give you referrals!
  10. Have it in your schedule to know when to contact which client and to keep on top of your clients and their orders. I have my Client Care table (see image) which has really helped me!

Let me know how you get on 🙂

(If you would like my table that I use to help myself and others, find me on Facebook and I will add you to my special group where you can access this and other awesome business materials!).

Networking Effectively!

Some of you very kindly got in touch with me last week after my previous blog and asked me what exactly I say regarding the open 7 x W questions, how I deliver them, and my body language, so I thought I would answer you via a full blog post on networking effectively!

Mindset

When you go to a networking event, please leave your agenda behind, and go and make friends by making the effort to get to know people! See if you can help them! Remember, if people don’t know you, they won’t like you, if they don’t like you, they won’t trust you, if they don’t trust you, they won’t buy from you or refer business with you! People love talking about themselves so let them talk! (If you wish, print off the delegates list or ask for it in advance, and pick out up to 3 people you absolutely want to speak to, research them and then find and speak to them!).

Body Language

Body language accounts for over half of what is perceived about what we are trying to say. When I am at a networking event, I go in looking smart casual (jeans, shirt, shoes), with happy thoughts, smiling, with an open stance, arms relaxed, either clasped in front or behind me, gesticulating when talking. I lean in, shake hands, and make firm but friendly eye-contact when engaging in conversation with people, showing a real interest in what they are saying.

Tone

I am always happy, positive, excited, energetic and genuinely interested in who I am speaking to! When I speak, I never speak in a monotone and make sure that I am enjoying speaking and listening to myself! Your tone is louder than your words and your message, so make it count!

Words

I enjoy making polite conversation, simple small talk, to break the ice and begin getting to know something about the person I am speaking with. I tend to keep most of my questions, open-ended and always deliver them in a relaxed manner, using the Ws when needed. I always introduce myself and then make it about them. My conversations go something like this:

“Hi, nice to meet you, I’m Bilal!”. This invites them to share their name with you. If you want to remember their names (even if they have a name badge on!), you lean forward and say “Nice to meet you, John!”. Then I make small talk to relax things, “So, whereabouts are you from?”, “Cool, are you from there?”, try to relate to them by finding something in common with them, this makes it more relaxed and informal. Then you can ask, “So, what brought you here?”, followed by, “Cool, so what is it that you do?”.

After they have told me what they do, they will be curious about me, so the conversation will switch to me, and it’s my time to shine! However, I prefer to flicker briefly to make them even more curious and ask me more questions about me! So, I share with them very briefly what I do, with my short elevator pitch, and say:

“I have 3 businesses, a consultancy in the pharmaceutical industry, a compliant medical social media agency, and a lifestyle business. Across all my businesses, we aim to help make the lives of our clients and team easier, and help them save and make money”. If they ask me to elaborate a little more on my businesses, I do, but I never ever go into full brain dump mode, even if it is tempting sometimes! Don’t get me wrong, I do talk and share my opinions, but I make sure the person I am speaking to is doing most of the talking, and afterwards, they love having spoken to me! I’m there to make friends, and by pitching everyone I meet, I won’t make any friends! It’s bad for business! At the end of the conversation, if I have enjoyed speaking with them, I will tell them, and say:

“It’s been a pleasure speaking with you John, are you on LinkedIn?”, they usually say yes and we connect using our smartphones. If not, I take their business card and say I will send them an email, and then make sure I do send them an email! I tend not to carry business cards because we have social media! I have a big box of every business card I have ever received which I open rarely, hence why I always tend to contact via LinkedIn or other social media!

For me, networking is second nature, I do it naturally where I am, but it is an art that can be learned! Just take a deep breath, compose yourself, prepare and then DO! Remember, make networking about others, not you!

Let me know how you get on 🙂

Networking Do’s and Dont’s!

Networking comes to me very naturally. Being an only child, I have been putting myself in situations where I had to meet new people from a young age, to develop myself and my skills and meet interesting people. This has helped me make friends with some of the most wonderful people I could have ever imagined meeting!

Networking for your business is vital but people get it so badly wrong its painful to watch and be a part of! When you are out and about at networking events, there are some dos and don’ts, which I feel everybody should learn, because if you don’t, no matter how good you are, or how effective your product or service is, no one will care! Simply put, people don’t care about how much you know until they know how much you care! So do what I tell you and stop doing the things I tell you not to do!

Top 10 Tips!

Here are my top 10 tips for networking effectively:

  1. If you can, print off the delegates list beforehand and look through it, highlighting who you would want to meet, find interesting or could have a referral for.
  2. Prepare yourself mentally, know what you can do for the other party, make it about them, get to know them, make them do 75% of the talking! People love talking about themselves so give people the confidence to do that, and their barriers will come down, they will relax and you will see the real person behind the business persona!
  3. Know your story, who you are, what the features, advantages and benefits of your business are, and keep your story as short and succinct as possible, because you want other people to do the talking as stipulated in point 2!
  4. Mind your body language! Body language is everything, and people are naturally attracted to and gravitate towards happy people! And that means do NOT fold your arms! Keep an open stance! And smile! Seriously! This makes such a difference when you are talking to people or looking for people to talk to!
  5. Genuinely show interest in other people, their personality and their business! You will never do business with people you don’t like! And vice versa!
  6. Follow Rudyard Kipling’s advice as follows: I keep 6 honest serving-men: (They taught me all I knew), Their names are What and Where and When, And How and Why and Who. I would also add Which, so that makes 7! So prepare some key “W” open questions.
  7. Ask for their business card and then connect with them over LinkedIn and/or other social media platforms on the spot. I rarely carry business cards because I have social media apps on my phone to take care of such things!
  8. Look around for who is speaking to the biggest group. That person has influence. That person is a leader. Go and speak with them!
  9. Do NOT shove your business, business card or simply your agenda down other people’s throats! You will NOT make any friends or win any favours!
  10. Be yourself, be honest, have integrity, live and breathe your values, morals and ethics! If people don’t know you, they won’t like you, if they don’t like you, they won’t trust you, if they don’t trust you, they won’t buy from you or recommend others to buy from you!

PLEASE! Do NOT mess this up! It is so easy to get RIGHT but people get it so WRONG! Networking is NOT about you! Make it about others, and your time will come to shine! Trust me!

Let me know how you get on 🙂

Working Environment!

Creating the right working environment for yourself is paramount to helping you succeed. Getting rid of all that crap around you will help clear your mind of crap and enable you to focus on your task at hand! Setting yourself up for success is as easy as setting yourself up for failure, it’s up to you which one you choose!

Top 10 Tips!

Here are 10 very useful tips to get the best out of yourself, your surroundings, and most importantly, your time!

  1. Separate your work and personal life by creating a dedicated working space where and only where you will work and associate with work whenever there!
  1. Keep your workspace clean and tidy – always! Clutter on your desk creates clutter in your mind! De-clutter your desk and you will de-clutter your mind!
  1. Invest in decent hardware such as a laptop and printer if you haven’t already! If you can’t yet afford it, work your business to pay for it!
  1. Stay organised on your PC by creating files specific to your business, and stay organised in your workspace by having folders for your business!
  1. Be comfortable and ergonomic. Get the lighting right for you – natural light is best, get a really good computer chair, set the height of your computer desk, computer and screen, and get wrist pads for your mouse and keyboard.
  1. Have some plants around your workspace and home. They are good on the eye, help your mood and provide you with fresh oxygen!
  1. Invest in a whiteboard and/or pinboard and put up your goals and family photos around your workspace where you will see them regularly. WHY Power!
  1. Put up motivational slogans and quotes all around your workspace. You want to feel inspired and motivated whenever you go into that space!
  1. Listen to and watch whatever motivates you. Download iTunes or Spotify – it is amazing what listening to what you enjoy can do for you! I listen to personal development material such as John C. Maxwell, Darren Hardy, Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, Anthony Robbins and many more!
  1. Be stocked up with food, drink and office supplies. This way you can concentrate on being productive and not makes excuses to go to the shops!

Let me know how you get on 🙂