Conquering the Fear of Networking

Hope you’re having a terrific summer!  This post first appeared on The Greater Boston Chamber’s website and I wanted to share it with you as well.  Few professionals will disclose the dreaded fear that they have when it comes to networking.  If this is not true for you, then perhaps there are others who may benefit from reading this article.  Click this link to read Conquering The Fear of Networking and share it with your friends and colleagues.  Connect with me on Twitter @juliettemayers

Multicultural Consumers Gaining Economic Clout, Growing Influence

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(Article content as published online in the Boston Business Journal May 16, 2016)

Marketers are not the only ones paying attention to the changing demographics. Anyone remotely following the 2016 presidential media coverage is learning about our country’s demographics. Regardless of one’s political leaning, it is clear that demography is having a major impact on the current presidential election cycle. According to the Pew Research Center, the 2016 electorate will be the most diverse in U.S. history in terms of race and ethnicity. In fact, nearly one-third of eligible voters on election day (31 percent) will be Hispanic, Black, Asian or another racial or ethnic minority. This growth in the minority population is the continuation of a trend that demographers have predicted and is now coming to fruition.

This trend has major implications for businesses. Collectively, minorities are the fastest growing segments of the U.S. population. According to 2015 U.S. Census population estimates, there are 118 million minorities or 37 percent of the total population. In Boston, minorities are 53 percent of the population.

BUYING POWER

As the numeric size of minorities grows, so does the group’s buying power. The Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia reports that the buying power of minorities as of 2015 was $3.3 trillion, a 409 percent increase since 1990. This growth rate is more than double that of the white population’s. While numerous social challenges remain, minorities are gaining economic clout and growing influence.

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Thank You, Boston

Thanks to the 140 people who attended my reception and book launch for The Guide to Strategic Networking. I’ve included a brief video with a few highlights of the event below.  To inquire about speaking engagements and bulk sales, email info@inspirationzoneLLC.com

Networking Reception & Book Launch

You are invited to Juliette Mayers’ book launch event for The Guide Guide to Strategic Networking on Tuesday, April 12th from 5:30-7:30. This will be an exciting evening that includes a Boston reception hosted by Bob Rivers, President of Eastern Bank and a “live author interview” conducted by Latoyia Edwards, Emmy Award-winning anchor for NECN. Click here for more information and to register for this event.  Registration includes an autographed copy of the book.
New Book

Say “NO” to New Years Resolutions

Where did 2015 go? OMG!  Time to close out the year, shop for the holidays and make 2016 New Year resolutions.  Why do we do this to ourselves?  Where did the word resolution originate anyway?  According to Dictionary.com and online etymology dictionary, it all started in 14c., “a breaking into parts,” from Old French resolution (14c.) or directly from Latin resolutionem “process of reducing things into simpler forms, “from past participle stem of resolvere “loosen.”  Sense of “a solving” …first recorded 1540s, as is that of “power of holding firmly.” (cf. resolute).   Okay, that’s enough of the history for me. According to Wikipedia, the tradition of making promises has religious origins and essentially, the concept is to reflect upon self improvement annually. The origins and intent of resolutions are positive and often result in personal goals.

Top ten 2015 New Years Resolutions:

  1. Stay fit and healthy (37%)
  2. Lose weight (32%)
  3. Enjoy life to the fullest (28%)
  4. Spend less, save more (25%)
  5. Spend more time with family and friends(19%)
  6. Get organized (18%)
  7. Will not make any resolutions (16%)
  8. Learn something new/new hobby (14%)
  9. Travel more (14%)
  10. Read more (12%)

Source: Nielson

Only 8% Achieve Success

I was intrigued by this list, not because there were any surprises, but I found it interesting that the “top ten” were variations on the same annual themes.  While 45% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, according to a University of Scranton study, only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions.  Really? We need to scrap the resolutions and set attainable goals.

Preparing for 2016 Success!

Instead of New Year’s resolutions, set specific, measureable goals and enlist an accountability partner. Continue reading…

Ten Tips for Conference Networking

Conferences are a great way to share information, check the pulse of your industry and advance your personal development.  December is the perfect time to set goals and to establish development plans.  For many people those include attending conferences such as the MA Conference for Women which will host 10,000 women on December 10th.  I’ve compiled the following tips for those seeking to increase networking effectiveness at conferences.

Ten Tips for Conference Networking 

Establish Goals: What would be a good outcome for you by the end of the conference?  What do you hope to achieve? With whom do you want to make connections?

Connect Early and Often:  Use social media, business communications and your network to reach desired contacts. Send LinkedIn requests, emails, letters, note-cards and request introductions from friends and colleagues. Reach out before, during and after the conference.

Update Your LinkedIn Profile: Make sure your LinkedIn profile is updated, as most business professionals will check you out on LinkedIn. Use a current professional headshot.  

Expand Your Circle: In addition to strengthening existing relationships, be sure to include outreach to people you do not know well – people in other parts of your company, vendors, small business owners, speakers and colleagues in other locations.

Smile: This simple step will make you more approachable to others who are seeking to network.  This also applies to online communications.  Your tone and messages should always be friendly and warm.

Show Genuine Interest in Others: Asking questions is a great way to start the conversation once you’ve introduced yourself. For example: “What is your role? What are you hoping to gain from the conference?”

Give Generously: As you engage with others, think of ways you can be helpful. Only commit to things that you are prepared to deliver. It is important that you build a strong brand with those in your network, so find ways to help others succeed.

Look for Alignment: Look for common ground as you network and listen to the stories of others. Identify opportunities for win-win collaborations or sharing of information before your share your business card.

Share Your Story: Your story should give people a sense of your authentic self in a way that differentiates you.  Help people create memories of you.   This is not the same as an elevator pitch; although it can include elements of your pitch.  Think about what makes you special and interesting.

Keep Your Word: If you commit to contacting someone, do so. Use an app such as CamCard to scan your contacts into your smartphone. Make a note regarding the promises you make and be sure to follow-up. You want a to leave a positive brand impression with the people you meet.

Juliette Mayers is Founder and CEO of Inspiration Zone LLC (IZL) and author of The Guide to Strategic Networking: Dream. Plan. Create. Achieve. Available on Amazon.com and at www.juliettemayers.com  Follow @jcmayers

 

Special Offer from Juliette Mayers

Save 25% on “The Guide to Strategic Networking” when you order directly from the publisher, CreateSpace.  Simplify your gift giving and jump start your 2016 plans.  Use promo code J9BNQTLA This offer is only available through JulietteMayers.com

New Book

New Book. New You!

 

New Book

This book will inspire you to achieve your dreams through the creation and activation of your very own strategic networking plan.  Create the life you envisioned. Write your book. Build your career. Grow your business.  I will be your guide.

Praise for The Guide to Strategic Networking

The Guide to Strategic Networking is the professional networking book you’ve been waiting for.  It is packed with hands-on information that will help you take action.  I highly recommend this book for growing your business.

— Bob Rivers, President, Eastern Bank

Juliette offers readers practical, actionable advice that even a first time networker can use to advance his or her career.  This book is a must-read for those serious about learning how to network strategically.

— Colette Phillips, CEO, CPC Global and Founder of Get Konnected

Inspirational and practical are two words that describe this masterpiece.  

— J. Keith Motley PhD, Chancellor, University of Massachusetts Boston

The Guide to Strategic Networking exemplifies that when passion meets planning and inspiration, great things happen.

— Yvonne Garcia, National Chairwoman of ALPFA and SVP, Investment Manager Services, State Street Corporation

If you’re ready to take your business to the next level, this is a must-read book.

— Paul Guzzi, Chairman, Citi Center for The Performing Arts

Buy Now from CreateSpace

Book signing at MA Conference for Women, December 1o, 2015

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Seven Steps to Cross-Cultural Relationship Building

I’ve just returned from the Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit (BEWPS) in Fort Lauderdale, FL. It was an outstanding conference and an amazing kick-off to Women’s History month. Speakers included Lisa Nichols, Mellody Hobson, Carla Harris, Dorothy Terrell, and Don Thompson – just to name a few.  As I look forward to the work of Inspiration Zone, Elevating brands. Inspiring Dreams, I’m excited about the future and the opportunities to work with corporations and individuals to help them realize their dreams.

A key part of our collective success hinges on our ability to build relationships and engage people across cultures.  In light of my upcoming segment on WHDH Urban Update Sunday, March 8th at 11:30, I am reposting my seven tips for building cross-cultural relationship.  Do share them with others.  Our society and our communities and tune into Sunday’s broadcast.

Seven Tips for Building Cross-Cultural Relationships

There are many aspects of culture — shared language, traditions, norms and beliefs and customs.  Regardless of the culture, successful interactions across cultures are built on respect, trust and the ability to communicate effectively.  Use the following tips to build your cross-cultural relationships:

Seek to understand.  Don’t make assumptions.  Ideally you want to learn about different cultures through a variety of credible sources – your own personal relationships, books, travel, research and ongoing education.

Keep an open mind.  Avoid stereotypes.  Expand your base by building a broad cross-section of relationships – gender, race, sexual orientation, country of origin and people who think differently from you.

Start with “who you know.”  The best place to start is with others who you know inside and outside of your organization, business, and social organizations.

Attend multicultural networking events.  Professional organizations, cultural events, conferences, diversity forums, minority business expos and community events are all great places to network.

Get involved.  Volunteer and partner with groups and organizations where you can add value, while interacting and getting to know others from different backgrounds.  It will take time to build trust and to establish authentic relationships, so think long-term.

Keep your word.  Establishing trust is the key to sustained successful relationships.  If you say you’re going to do something – do it!

Assume positive intent.  Be positive. At some point miscommunication is likely to occur. When this happens, don’t give up. Assume positive intent and continue on the journey.  Persistence is the key. Stay the course and establish yourself as someone with genuine interest in maintaining relationships across cultures.

Juliette Mayers is Founder and CEO, Inspiration Zone LLC (IZL), Elevating Brands. Inspiring Dreams! IZL specializes in multicultural marketing, branding and thought leadership.  Follow on Twitter @jcmayers and visit www.inspirationzonellc.com 

Leadership Lessons from the New England Patriots

First, congratulations to the New England Patriots – Super Bowl XLIX Champions. What a win! I’m thrilled for my home team, for Boston and for the state of Massachusetts.   I’ve been following the Patriots and the numerous stories leading up to the Super Bowl, but not for the reasons you may think. I’m not a die-hard football fan. Sorry, please save the hate mail (LOL). My fascination with the Patriots has more to do with leadership. As an entrepreneur and speaker, I routinely look for examples that I can use to inspire clients and audiences. Here are three leadership take-ways from the Patriots and my interpretation:

  • Do Your Job. By now you’ve probably heard Belichick philosophy paraphrased as “do your job.” When Belichick addressed a group of financial advisors in June 2011, he drew parallels to business and coaching: ‘In business things change quickly in your profession and in ours. There are always new people and new environments.’ To stay competitive, Belichick said that everyone must do their part: ‘We need to all do our job,’ he added. He has repeated this philosophy in other forums. It seems so straight forward, yet leaders often are distracted by the crisis of the day, the drama of the hour and other interferences. Mastery of ones job, requires practice, stamina, resilience and laser-like focus. Just recently the Patriots have been bombarded with news inquiries, media coverage and persistent questioning regarding “Deflate Gate.” While everyone else seemed to be distracted by the media circus, the team under Belichick’s leadership remained focused on getting the job done and indeed they did! This brings me to my next observation:

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