January 28, 2018

Imagine

If you can imagine it, you can make it happen. Have you ever heard that philosophy? Do you believe that if you can imagine something, you can make that something happen? Does it matter what you can imagine; can you really make something happen that you can only “see” as real in your mind? What type of person really believes this?

We all want to be successful in our lives, both in our personal ones and in our business ones. What does it take to make us successful? Is it the big salary that drops into our bank account, or is it the sleek car in our garage? How about the size of the garage or the house with which it goes? How about the family that depends on the salary, or is it the business that we have built or are building? Maybe it is all the other people that depend on our help, employment, products, or services?

How do you measure success? Can you imagine success through that measurement? Maybe you have revised the manner of measuring success over the years? Does the same standard of measurement that you used in the past still gauge your success today? If you have not changed the standard of measuring your success, you have not grown, either personally or in business.

What do you imagine as your objectives in business? How about in your personal life? How do you see yourself, as successful or as a failure? How about as a person mucking along in life, moving from one average situation to another? What does it mean to you? Maybe you should take a look at how others see you, “others” being people whose opinions really matter. Can you imagine what they say about you?

Do these “others” seem successful, and what makes them so? Do they imagine their success differently than you do? Have you ever asked them? Imagination is a very powerful tool, but how do we use it, and how do we apply it to our lives? Maybe those relationships that we have built might help us see the answers. (You have built networking relationships, haven’t you? You have applied Gratitude Marketing to your business and personal life, haven’t you?)

Personally, I imagine a world without hate, bigotry, prejudice, and cruelty. I imagine a world without poverty, disease, and famine. I also imagine a world of business owners, and their employees, who operate daily on the principles of Gratitude Marketing. It doesn’t matter if we are discussing your business life or your personal one, Gratitude Marketing principles apply. Don’t know what they are? Reread the past years of posts on this blog.

Imagination is a very powerful tool in our lives. What do you imagine, and what actions do you practice to make that dream come true? Do you just day dream, or do you actually take charge of your life and try to make the dream come true? If you try to achieve your dreams, you will constantly revise and change them to be more encompassing and involve more people than originally you intended. What a difference you can make when you look beyond your own self.

Why not try to get your imagination in gear and then look to imagine something really great for others, and for yourself? Why not imagine what you can do for someone else today, and tomorrow? What can you do for one of your networking partners to help make them successful? I guarantee that karma will look upon you with favor and that you will be rewarded for your efforts.

Whether you agree with me or not, what does your imagination say about you and your dreams? Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call, or text, me at 360-314-8691. Maybe we all need to imagine something outrageous sometimes to exercise our minds and our abilities to make a difference in our lives and in the lives of others.

January 21, 2018

You Never Know Who They Are

Why do you attend a networking event? Do you go to make a business connection, do you expect to sign a new customer, do you hope to find a connection to someone else, are you looking for employment, or are you looking for new employees. Do you go for the social possibilities, or are you in a serious business mode when you attend? Are you practicing Gratitude Marketing while in attendance?

First, it depends on the type of event. There are social networking events, and there are business networking events. There are also some that might be considered both. The type of event should determine the main reason why you are there; don’t attend an event that is solely for business when you are looking for a new social partner. Don’t attend a social event when you are looking to expand your business. You will probably be disappointed.

Wherever you may find yourself, don’t prejudge anyone. If your first impression of someone is that they are not the type of person for whom you might be looking, so what? Do you tell yourself not to waste your time on them and move on to someone who seems more “your cup of tea”? Do you try to connect with them and see where the conversation might go? You might be very surprised by the person themselves. You also could be very surprised by who the person in question might know that you need to know.

Recently I met someone at a business networking meeting, and, of course, I tried to set a one-on-one meeting with them afterwards. I was totally rebuffed in my phone call. I was told in no uncertain terms that the person did not want to meet with anyone for any purpose. I attempted to ask for a reason why the person attended the meeting and was told that the conversation was over, and they then hung up the phone. However, I did not delete them from my contact file, just in case we meet again.

Let’s say that this person calls me in the future asking for help. I will attempt to meet with them and attempt to discover why they reacted so negatively originally. If there is a reasonable explanation, then we may proceed to a possible networking relationship, but I will be wary. My suggestion to this person is not to prejudge others that want to investigate a possible relationship after meeting at a networking event. That is the reason for the event.

Gratitude Marketing works to make successes of us all. However, you must open the door to networking relationships to allow Gratitude Marketing to have an opportunity to be applied and to work. If you prejudge anyone, you may be missing out on the relationship which will allow you to follow through and help someone else, or to be helped by someone else. Just the act of not prejudging someone and of allowing relationships to develop is Gratitude Marketing in action.

The next time that you meet anyone who doesn’t seem to be your ideal possibility for a networking relationship, stop and think how you may appear to them. You might not seem to be their ideal possibility either. Never, ever, prejudge anyone. The person that you disallow from your network might just fit someone else’s target market successfully.

Want to share your successes and failures? Add your comments, email me, or text me, your stories at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or call me at 360-314-8691. I would love to meet and chat about your experiences. Sharing often helps us more than we would expect.

January 14, 2018

Time

Time, we have too much of it at times, but often we do not have enough. What we do with time makes us who we are and what others think of us. As professional business people we must manage our time, and Gratitude Marketing means that we honor the time of others.

Some time ago, I met someone who wanted to meet me so we could get to know each other better. Since that is always my intent when I meet someone new, we set a time and place for the meeting. My meeting partner did not show up on time, and when she was 15 minutes late, I called her cell number, leaving her a voice mail message, asking if I had the time or location correct. I received no reply.

She arrived 20 minutes after our appointment time, not apologizing for her tardiness. During the next 25 minutes she answered her cell phone no less than 5 times, talking several minutes on each call. Then she announced that she needed to leave as she had another appointment that she needed to keep.

I asked her why she had wanted to meet with me, and she informed me that she wanted to find out more about my business and about me. I asked her if she had learned anything, and with no reply, she left for her next appointment.

What did I learn from this situation? I learned that this person did not value my time, that she did not have control of her own time, and that she did not see any need to improve. In short, was she someone with whom I wanted to establish a business relationship, or was she someone to whom I wanted to refer anyone from my network?

Time is valuable to everyone; it is valuable to you, to me, to our customers, to our prospects, and to everyone that we may meet. While you may never discover all the other people who someone else may know, you can learn how they value the time of others.

Honor the time of your customers and prospects. Be on time for appointments; realize that they have other meetings scheduled, and stay on schedule. Your customers and prospects will be grateful for you, and they will reward you for your efforts. Treat them like you want to be treated.

If you are going to be late for an appointment, call the other person, explaining your tardiness, giving them the option to wait or reschedule. Don’t leave your phone on during meetings; let all calls go to voice mail and return calls after your meeting. Don’t let the other person be aware that anyone is calling and do not hint that you would like to answer it.

Stay on schedule even if it means that your meeting will be shortened; don’t expect that the other person will allow you to take the time that you would normally have taken if you had started on time. Be respectful of their time and offer to meet them again at a place and time of their choosing. Be on time the next time.

Of course, you should send a thank you for all meetings. If you were late, include an apology for your tardiness, even if they accepted your apology at the meeting. Be sincere and make them understand that being tardy is not your normal operating mode.

If you value the time of your networking partners, they will value knowing you. If you value the time of prospective partners they will want to be included in your network. The better your network, the better your business future will be.

Please leave me your comments and questions, or call, or text, me at 360-314-8691, or send me an email at Jim@SOC4Now.com with your thoughts. I will endeavor to reply in a timely manner.

January 7, 2018

Corporate Culture

When we look at other businesses we see their corporate culture. A business culture based on the principles of Gratitude Marketing will include various aspects and provide us great guidance in how we should base our own businesses. It does not matter if the example is a large corporation or a small, one person business, we can learn from others and see how base our own operations on the principles of Gratitude Marketing.

In this month’s issue of The Costco Connection magazine (which I frequently use as a source of information on how businesses should relate to the public) is a story about the founder of Chobani, Hamdi Ulukaya. The growth of this brand from a startup company in 2005, to a national product in 2008, to the best-selling Greek yogurt in the US in 2010, to their international success is a story from which businesses of any size can learn.

Hamdi Ulukaya has built his business on a culture of emulating the fundamentals of Gratitude Marketing. He based his company on what he learned from his parents, hiring locally when he can, but also reaching out to refugees who he placed in his operations and who could not find work in the local labor market. He works with his employees, building their respect and loyalty and what he terms “ the Chobani way”.

In 2010 he started the Chobani Foundation to share a portion of his profits with charity, investing in communities and opened his second US facility, which now houses a community center. His products feature natural, non-GMO ingredients, locally-sourced, without any preservatives or artificial colors. The corporate culture includes wages above the state or federal minimum levels, full health care benefits, a company-sponsored retirement plan, and a profit sharing plan.

He believes that the company should provide more than a salary to the people who help create and maintain the corporation’s success. In addition, there is the Chobani Food Incubator, which supports food and beverage startups through grants and mentorship, teaching others how to be successful. He believes that a business must serve others, its employees, the community, and the environment. He has realized the American Dream and wants to help others do so.

I always recommend that everyone read publications that will help us build our business success through the application of Gratitude Marketing but also understand that this means more than just prospecting and obtaining new customers. It also means retaining clients, remembering and honoring networking partners, supporting employees and others who help us build and maintain our businesses, and helping our communities and the environment in general. It is a Revolution of Kindness.

Please leave me your comments about your thoughts on this, or call, or text, me at 360-314-8691, or email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com. Together we all can join in a Revolution of Kindness and spread Gratitude Marketing all over the world. Also, I recommend you read Hamdi Ulukaya’s story in The Costco Connection. You will find it heart- warming and a powerful example.