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Networking for introverts

Posted on Thursday, 26 June 2014 in Business Skills

Being successful in business largely depends on your ability to maximise your strengths. In the competitive world of entrepreneurs and small businesses, this means getting out there and selling yourself, being seen and making the right connections. If the very of thought of networking makes you cringe, help is at hand. In an article posted on, Jacqueline Whitmore provides tips that make networking easy for anyone, and  shows that there is more than one path to success. 


“Visibility is a natural part of networking,” says Whitmore. “However, this doesn’t mean that you need to be the centre of attention.” If you’re more introverted, it’s a good idea to manage your expectations, so if networking events make you nervous – don’t set yourself impossible targets. You don’t need to make 20 contacts and have the entire room roaring with laughter at your witty repartee; one quality conversation is worth more than 20 superficial ones. 

Contributor to Forbes Online, Carmine Gallo, recently posted a fascinating case study of a business (and it’s CEO’s) transformation, from an environment where the leadership style was more dictator than democratic, to a culture where the happiness of employees is the most important factor in the business. 


Tony Gareri had worked in the family business, Roma Moulding for 12 years. Established in 1984, Roma Moulding had carved a reputation as North America’s premier manufacturer of hand crafted custom picture frames and had thrived through several economic downturns. 


Veteran start-up mentor, Marty Zwilling, recently wrote on Huffington Post that entrepreneurship is more about building a business than inventing a product. It’s about execution as opposed to the quality of an idea and most importantly, being a proactive leader who connects both to his team and his customers. 


In his recent book, “Infectious: how to connect deeply and unleash the energetic leader within”, business coach and author Achim Nowack talks about how today’s technology allows leaders to communicate at a furious pace, tweeting, emailing and texting more than ever before. And yet, too many leaders know less than ever about how to connect and get others to commit to their business or product. 

Admit it, we’ve all been there. That project that you haven’t started yet the deadline is looming, that phone call that you need to return but just keep putting off – and let’s not even talk about your neglected intention of exercising at least three times a week.  In an article posted by Heidi Grant Halvorson, a specialist in the field of motivational science, she points out how much less guilt and stress one would feel if one simply got on with the job at hand without procrastinating, not to mention how much happier and more effective we would be. 


Halvorson maintains that you can get over the tendency to procrastinate, simply by using the right strategy. But first – you need to find out why you’re avoiding that task in the first place. 

Do your customers invite you in?

Posted on Wednesday, 30 April 2014 in Business in the Digital Age

The problem with marketing in today’s cluttered advertising environment is that just as you are attempting to engage with your customers and get the word out about your brand, so are 5000 other companies. Author, speaker and consultant Steve Yastrow proposes turning traditional marketing models on their heads: focusing less on getting the word out and more on letting the word in. 


Ultimately, what Yastrow is proposing is a process that matches the way in which customers make purchasing decisions by putting the power in their hands. It’s a trend that is fuelled by the Internet (where the consumer makes all the choices), but is not limited only to Internet searches. Ultimately, it’s the acknowledgement that customers make the decisions about what marketing messages to let in, and which to ignore. 

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