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!

 

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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

Continue reading…

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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Just What the Doctor Ordered!

Caribbean Waves

Greetings!  I love the holidays because there are so many opportunities to connect with family, friends and colleagues.  At the same time, this time of year can be stressful, so its important to put health first.  Friends often ask for my secret to staying fit and managing stress.  My fitness routine is actually not a secret.  I start my day with exercise, prayer or meditation and I choose healthy foods most of the time.  I seek inspiration from many sources and I wear a Fitbit exercise tracker to monitor progress towards my activity goals. Losing my my mom when she was only 57 definitely influenced my decision to stay the course relative to healthy living. There are so many resources to help us get and stay on track.  Prioritize healthy living by finding the mix that works for you.  WebMD and Blackdoctor.org are two of my favorites resources.  Check them out and click here to view my featured tips on blackdoctor.org.  Follow me on Twitter: @jcmayers

 

Using the Power of Connection

Fotosearch_k5769499   There is nothing new under the sun.  I was first introduced to this concept through the bible (Ecclesiastes 1:9).  Can it be that history actually repeats itself?  The scenarios may be different, but the process and many of the experiences, patterns and actions are the same.  This is also true of personal and professional relationships.  When embraced, this concept can be transformative. It means Continue reading…

Celebrate the Contributions of Women

Let’s hope the day will come when the accomplishments of women are celebrated each and every day.  Women and men are working on the critical issues of gender equality, pay equity, board representation and on leveling the playing field for women’s advancement.  This month one community leader, Darryl Settles, is doing his part to celebrate women’s history by hosting a speakers series at his establishment in Boston.  I am proud to participate as the featured speaker on April 1st and encourage those who can, to join me for “Developing a Marketing Plan for Your Brand.”  Click here to see speakers and topics details: http://www.darrylscornerbarboston.com/pdfs/DCBKwhm14.pdf  There are many other events and celebrations.  I hope that you will find an event in your region that you can attend and that you will make a commitment to advancing the contributions of women, not just this month, but each and every day.  Happy Women’s History Month!  Join me on Twitter @jcmayers

Season’s Greetings & 20% Discount Offer

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!  This is a time for giving, planning for the new year and a time to be inspired.  That’s why I am excited to offer you and your network 20% off  “A Black Woman’s Guide to Networking.”  It’s the perfect stocking stuffer, guide for 2013 planning and an inspirational gift for someone  you care about. See what all the buzz is about. Check out the reviews on amazon.com, then visit juliettemayers.com to make your purchase.

This special offer is available only on www.juliettemayers.com/books.  Upon checkout, enter discount code Y8VRJ3QW to receive your 20% discount.  Offer good only on purchases made on www.juliettemayers.com/books (processing by Createspace a division of Amazon.com)