Archive for November, 2006

It is suggested that you have at least 200-300 people in your support network.  Why?  They can help you find out information, meet a mate, get a new job, find a new home, etc.  Remember, you are probably part of someone’s list of 200-300 contacts already.  Is your list there yet?  If not, here are 4 easy steps to building a network that is effective and connects you with people who can support you in “Living Your Best Life.” Here are the 4 steps:

  1. List all of the people you know.  Start with your inner circle.  These are people who know you.  They include: close friends, colleagues, people you would invite out for an evening or to a party.  Don’t forget to include family.  Sometimes, individuals in our family are people we communicate with the least.  Because of this, family is often accused of not being supportive of individuals in achieving their dreams.  Yes, this is possible; but, how can you support a loved one, when you don’t know what someone wants, needs, or they haven’t asked you for help yet?  Family relationships are often the most difficult in your network to manage; however, they could offer the best resources.
  2. Now add everyone you know professionally or socially that you may communicate with; but, not on a daily or even weekly basis.  This list includes services professionals, physicians, dentist, politicians you’ve met, stylist, insurance agents, realtors, etc.  Remember these are people who have provided you with a service and you may have supported them too, already.  These individuals know what is going on with you, or in your environment and are connected with people you don’t know.
  3. Don’t forget to include to the list, everyone you’ve been referred to or met through networking.  These contacts occasionally get dropped from networking or contact list.  Sometimes we make judgments for them and about them.  We don’t want to intrude or don’t feel they are interested as they were in us when we first met them.  Ask first.  Yes, you may be right; but, give these individuals a chance.  You might be surprised.  These contacts could be the great connectors to decision makers or experts, in a life change, crisis or career decisions.
  4. Finally, write down all of the decision makers and experts you know. These are the people who can help you get a job, loan, give you advice in a crisis.  They can also move you to the top of the list, to the front of the line, or make things happen. 

How big is your list, now?  I think you’re ready to start connecting.

Administrator

Create and Maintain an Effective List

When I’m helping clients to reconnect, initially I assumed that making the pitch is the challenge and measuring expectations is difficult. But, for many, making and maintaining a list of people to connect and reconnect with is the test.

Many of us go through our rolodexes, phones and address books to find that we haven’t communicated with someone in so long none of the information is incorrect or we forgot how we knew them. So the first step I suggest is to make a spread sheet. It’s an easy place to capture basic information: 

  • Name
  • Title
  • Company
  • Address
  • Phone
  • Cell phone number, etc.

Also, a spreadsheet is a great place to capture comments or notes. It’s easy to upload the information from a simple spreadsheet to various email and communication management platforms. However, if you prefer the tried and true paper methods, don’t forget to make notes on the back of business cards, in address books, etc., and take the time to write details.

Do you have 200-300 people in you contact database? If not, don’t forget to check my next blog. I’ll give you tips on building your list.

Administrator

Six Reasons to Make Realistic Expectations

Here are six reasons to set realistic expectations.

  1. Buy in from friends, family, superiors or colleagues is easier.  That means you get the support you need.
  2. You can discover challenges more easily and problem solve them more effectively.
  3. Stress and anxiety is reduced.
  4. Your personal outlook for achieving your project or goal is positive.  This gives you a better result.
  5. Creates life balance.
  6. You increase the odds of success.

Is there anything stopping you from making your expectations more realistic?

Links on This Subject

 

Administrator

Connect in 225 Words

It takes 225 words to connect, make friends and the get the support you desire.  These words are the 60 to 90 seconds that will communicate the highlights of your life, along with your aspirations.  It’s your elevator speech to success.  How do you structure it?  Write approximately:

  1. 8 to 10 sentences or 50 to 60 seconds of what you’ve been doing
  2. 2 sentences or 10 seconds of what you’re doing now and
  3. 3 to 5 sentences or 20 to 30 seconds of what you want, hope to do, or dream. 

The sentence suggestions are a guide; since, the average length of a conversational sentence is 15 words. 

Now, own it.  These words represent the most important highlights of your life along with the goals you desire.  This sound bite is valuable; impressions are made quickly. 

When sending emails, remember warm yet cryptic statements are better than journal entries; you’re trying to make an impression.  This also holds true when you’re meeting someone for the first time, socially or professionally.  Don’t bore them to death; you might not get a second chance.  Finally, pay attention.  It’s easy to miss read or hear what someone is saying; if you’re fixated on a certain outcome.  Respond appropriately to their thoughts.

Now get started; you can say a lot in 225 words. 

(This blog’s word count is 228 words.)

Links about Elevator Speeches

Administrator

Is Friendship Harder After 35?

Friendship may or may not be harder after 35; however, the world we live in doesn’t make it happen as organically as it did when we were younger or even twenty years ago.  So it may take some work to make and maintain friendships.  I recommend you try to have 5 friends.  Why five?  If you have 5 friends you will have a table of 6 including yourself, the perfect number for a gathering.  So here are 4 tips to get you started filling your table of six:

  1. Know what you want from a friend.  That is the role you expect them to fill.  Consider this, you may be the mentor or nurturer friend for others; but, you may need a friend who reciprocates this role for you.  Some examples of friends are the:
    1. mentor 
    2. nurturer
    3. activity buddy
    4. confidant
    5. work buddy
    6. old friendetc.  There are many types of friends so don’t let yourself be locked into these examples.  However, try to find 5 different types of friends for your inner circle.  They really help make your life more complete.
       

  2. Develop an approach – Take making and managing friendships as seriously as you would your romantic relationship.  Get out; meet people at book readings, activity groups like the ones on meetups.com, and social events like, coffee chats, parties and fundraisers.

  3. Get Moving – I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again.  Don’t wait for an invitation.  Make them.  And, don’t settle on friendships that aren’t functioning well.  You don’t have to break up; but, manage them and build friendships that are working.

  4. Manage your friendships – Friendships change.  Manage them effectively and they will be wonderful for your health, support and wellbeing.  People may move in an out of your inner circle because of many different reasons.  However, if you deal with them in an effective way the relationship will become win – win. 

Don’t forget; give friendships a chance to bloom.  Sometimes it takes more than one contact for a relationship to develop.  Also, communication is very import; most women have exceptional verbal skills; but, listening skills are the hardest to master.  Let me know how it’s going.  Remember, it’s an ongoing process.

Links on Friendship:

This morning, I was reading an editorial from “The Seattle Times,” suggesting, this year, single women are the “must get” voters.  Yeah!!! That’s great. It’s finally been acknowledge, in the print and television Medias that unmarried women are an important group to consider in elections.  Why?  They are a diverse group of approximately 47 million women, young, old, widowed and divorce; but many have something in common.  They have become “one of the fastest growing demographics;” who often doesn’t vote.  Did you know that 20 million unmarried women didn’t vote in 2004?  Wow!!!

“Women’s Voices Women Vote,” (WVWV) has focused on this issue.  They have a cool video with many female celebrities discussing voting.  Check out “The League of Women Voters” website, too.  Also, if you know the candidates in your communities, search the internet, for their websites, blogs and “Myspace” accounts to find out more about them and their platforms.  Yes, I said “Myspace.”  You don’t have to be under-30 to have an account.  Many politicians have their own “Myspace” pages, like Barack Obama, the Senator from Illinois and Dave Upthegrove, the State Representative from Washington.  Remember, these organizations and websites are great resources to use.  

Why would I discuss voting on 4The Perfect Fit’s blog?  As a life coach, I always suggest to my clients, it’s important for single women, to become proactive in making decisions that can effect their lives. They can do this by looking at their choices and deciding which consequences they can live with.  Why? Choice can be very empowering. 

Do you think that the elected officials in your community can effect your life?  Yes! No! Maybe!  Ok, you may be disappointed by the results; but, that’s OK.  Remember failure is good.  You grow from it.  It gives you perspective.  Also, keep in mind, your vote makes your voice heard.  Isn’t it great goal to express your opinion by voting?  It also makes you a part of a community; i.e. a network of people with similar ideas and interest.  Don’t forget the next Election Day is Tuesday, November 7, 2006.  There’s still time to register in some states, if you haven’t already.

Friendships between women are important for mental and physical health.  So why is it when I speak to many women, in their thirties and forties, they often say, “They don’t have any friends or at least close friends” … or “they have very few friends?”  Or sometimes they even say, “They don’t have time for friends anymore.”  When I hear this, I tell women how important it is to have and nurture their relationships with women.  In some ways, friendships are more important than being in a relationship with a partner.  Why? 

Friendships with women improve your health, literally.  What does companionship with women do for us?  It reduces stress, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, increases longevity, and even decreases your risk of getting Alzheimer’s.  So, if the benefits of having friends are so great, why is it so hard to, to have and maintain them, as we get older?  How can we make our friendships a priority, as we would a job or a relationship with a partner?  Why are we so busy? 

Some things are out of your hands.  You may have to travel for work, take care of children or just can’t find the time in your schedule for them.  Also, life changes like marriage, relocation, having children, death, illness or divorce could also have affected your relationships.  Sometimes we pull back when we’re busy or going through a life change.  We don’t communicate with our friends how important they are to us, how much we need them or sometimes we just don’t bother them and we lose touch.  But, instead of pulling back, it’s very important to make and maintain your relationships.  It’s not easy; but, it’s worth it, especially for women.  So pick up the phone and make a date with an old or new friend. What do you have to loose?  What will you gain?

Links on the Benefits of Friendship for Women

I woke up last night, turned on the television, and found myself watching a dating show.  In the show there was a young woman who was tells her date, she doesn’t want to get married or even date really, because eventually men leave you. She felt that men were always looking for someone better, smarter, prettier, etc.  But the date wasn’t going to her expectations, the young man seemed interested in her and still wanted to connect with her.  He really wanted to find out more about her, her feeling and share his experiences with her, too.  But, that made her call him, sensitive and eventually confronting him by saying he wasn’t different than anyone else, and she ultimately told him he was probably a cheat, too.  Needless to say, the date didn’t go well.  Watching this woman’s reality moment, made me realize, the date would have been the same, even if it wasn’t television. 

I want you, to ask yourself a question?  Have you ever found yourself doing something similar in life?  Not necessarily on a date; but, when you are exposed to a new experience, get a new opportunity , or even accepting an invitation out for the evening?  Do you sometimes predict a pessimistic result?  Is this you?  Now think about it and fill in your blank.  Do you know what causes this?  Say it!  You know it!!   Baggage!!! 

Yes, I know its an ugly word and by the time you are thirty you’ve probably heard it at least once.  But, its real.  It can cause you challenges in life.  Why? It makes you project expectations from previous experiences and not look at the potential in the situation you are in. How do you change this?   You have to exorcize it.  Some remedies are, go to therapy, get a coach, or seek spiritual counsel; but there is a cheaper way, forgiveness. 

Forgiveness is a great way to let go of the emotional baggage that is keeping you from enjoying life and getting what you want.  Forgiveness will allow you to release yourself from resentment that has become a barrier in you life’s journey, to find a mate, new job or exploring your talents.  Remember, if you don’t address your emotional baggage, it can also affect your ability to live the life you desire.  It’s ok that you might not be aware of your baggage on the surface, but when you discover it, the benefits of forgiving and letting it go are huge.  So let me ask you, what’s keeping you from forgiving both, personally and professionally, to live your best life?

… and remember “When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.” ~~Catherine Ponder~~Links on Forgiveness

Books on Forgiveness