Saturday Musings - Why Networking is a Bad Idea

I can’t stand the term “networking”. It really iterates me when I hear people talk about “great network opportunities” when they refer to a conference. The reason I don’t like the term is that it’s completely self-centered. It’s all about what you can get out of something or someone.

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How many times have you been in a conversation with someone where the only reason they want to get to know you is because of who you work for or the position you hold? You’re merely the stepping stone for them to sell some product or service. They actually don’t care about you and developing a friendship is the furthest thing from their thinking.

Yes, in business we all do transactions with one another but there is a right way and a wrong way to treat people along the journey. Networking is all about getting something…..I think we should flip the model on its head and work out what we can give.

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Rawgi
I have found that I have to keep check on my enthusiasm when meeting new people or I forget to listen. Having been around the blo... Read More
28 May 2017
mgilmour
As always.....thank you Rawgi for sharing your own experiences on this topic. There are always people that will try and take advan... Read More
29 May 2017
Wolftalker
Wise Words.
31 May 2017
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Saturday Musings – When Life Brings Changes

Our house has been in the midst of a lot of change over the past week. Tim and his girlfriend flew down from up north for a flying visit and our daughter Sarah is in the process of moving into her own place.

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Life’s been a little bit chaotic with people coming and going. Come Tuesday next week and there will just be Roselyn and I with eighteen-year-old daughter Elise rattling around the house built for a lot more than just us.

When life throws you a whole lot of changes you can either resist what is happening or go with the flow.  I’m an eternally optimist so I like to look on the empty bedrooms as an opportunity.

I recently had a person tell me that I’m too optimistic and that I need a dose of reality. I responded by saying that I like to make my own reality so it may as well be a positive one. I must admit that I get tired of people that always seem to point out that donuts have holes…..for heaven’s sake you’ve got a donut. Enjoy it!

I’m now in the process of turning one of the spare bedrooms into a video/sound studio with a green screen and all. I love messing around with being creative with that type of stuff and my “donut” is looking better every day.

I’ve now bought a high-end microphone, mixing console, and some sound software so that I can record an audio version of my book, Battleframe. I’ve always wanted to do this and now I have the space to do it in…..so get ready for some audio and even video action!

When life brings changes your way remember that not all of them are bad. It seems to me that when your children get older and leave the nest they inevitably bring back someone else with them. You can either view this as a threat to the way things were or an opportunity to get to know someone your kids really love.

Sarah had her birthday this past week and we had all the boy and girlfriends around for a great celebration. It was fantastic seeing them laughing and interacting with one another….it’s one of the many blessings of being a parent.

So decide what you're going to do in your life, look at the donut or grumble that it's got a hole.

Have a great weekend!

Michael

 

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Why My Mother's a Genius!

There’s nothing worse than when you feel you’re thrashing. If you’ve never heard of “thrashing” then you’re likely to be one of the few lucky individuals that have never experienced it either. Thrashing happens when you have so much on your plate, you end up jumping from one activity to another and never completing anything.

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Thrashing originated as a computer term to describe the hard drive head as it moved across a platter of disks. When users add and delete files, disk fragmentation occurs and the hard drive head has to jump like a jackrabbit all over its surface in order to access a single file. In a non-tech talk.…you hear what sounds like mice scurrying around in your PC.

The technical boffins solved this problem by constantly “defragmenting” the hard drive and rearranging all of the file parts so the hard drive head moved to one spot to pick up the file. We can learn a lot from this approach.

So the other day I found myself on three IM chats, a skype conference call, emails pouring in and a things to do list a mile long.

As an aside, I’ve used the far more sensible metric system all of my life and yet saying my things to do list is a kilometer long just doesn’t sound right. I tip my hat to all of you recalcitrant Americans who insist on still using miles, gallons and ounces rather than kilometers, liters and grams.

I’ve often wondered though how you express thousands of something? Is it kilogallons? Do you ask your local shop for a kilo-ounce of sugar? Then again, you’d probably end up filling up your entire kitchen with that much, so probably not.

So back to my thrashing around skype, IM and emails. After muting the mike on skype (I hope I did anyway) I let out a little scream, smiled and began to politely extricate myself from the myriad of noise that I really didn’t need to be a part of.

That’s the thing. Thrashing normally occurs when you stick your nose into places that it really doesn’t belong. After getting a whiff of what’s there you feel obligated to do something about the problem and clean up the mess. Note to self….other people are quite capable of cleaning up their own messes.

So I looked at my list, had a bit of a delirious chuckle and began removing all those things to do that I didn’t have to really be involved with. In the process I discovered a long last feature of skype…..the away button. It gave me the time to think rather than react.

At the end of my review process I had a more manageable list and I followed my mother’s instructions. For some reason, most mothers are absolute geniuses when it comes to getting stuff done. It’s probably the fact that they have vast amounts of experience ensuring that children are fed, clean and not sticking their little fingers in power sockets. My mother was brilliant at stopping me from doing the latter btw.

What did my mother say? She said, “Get your list together, start one task and don't stop until it’s finished.”

What a brilliant piece of advice! Before computers were invented and hard drive heads weren’t even a technician’s dream my mother solved the problem of thrashing. I sometimes wonder if the techies just sat down with a few mothers we could have had the world of the Jetson’s by now…..what a lost opportunity.

So I did what my mother told me and my MBA be damned. Who needs a master’s in business when you have an expert with a bachelor of common sense to look up to! It was amazingly liberating. Stuff got done, people stopped complaining because I was delayed in finishing a task and I had a smile on my face.

That’s when I realized, that I’d left skype on “away”…..no wonder I’d suddenly gained so much time.

Have a great weekend!

Michael

Battleframe

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Rawgi
You are right , it is so easy to get overwhelmed by trying to do too much at one time. Then again it is an art to prioritize what... Read More
12 March 2017
mgilmour
Couldn't agree with you more!
12 March 2017
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Saturday Musings - Thinking is Not Overrated

There’s nothing like a vacation to renew flagging spirits and get you energised for the new year. For the past week, my wife Roselyn and I have been enjoying the many activities that Queenstown, New Zealand has to offer.

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I’ve been an entrepreneur all of my life and one of the things that I value the most is taking some time out to assess whether what I’m doing is really what I should continue to do. It’s so easy to get caught up in the daily grind that you forget to actually work on your business rather than in it.

When I go on vacation I like to take some time out to think about what I’m doing and if it still makes sense. I’m away from the noise of skype, emails, instant messenger, facebook, twitter etc. It’s just me staring at the horizon and thinking. It typically takes me a few hours to clear my head before I can let my mind drift through all of the things I’m currently doing with my life.

Why drift? I’m not trying to nut out a problem but rather get a sense for what makes me feel the most fulfilled. For me, I find that it’s best just to let my mind almost lazily move from one thought to another.

It never ceases to amaze me that during this process great new ideas form and a revitalisation of my internal drive occurs. Previously invisible links between business activities, clients and new ventures begin to take shape as I really begin to think. I find that many business people are so busy doing stuff that they forget to think……let me assure you that thinking is not an overrated activity.

I’m writing this blog on the return journey from my vacation and I must admit that I’m feeling pretty good. I have a renewed sense of purpose and 2017 is looking to be a great year. So watch out, NamesCon is just over a week away and I’m all fired up!

Have a great weekend!

Greenberg and Lieberman

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Saturday Musings - The Entitled Generation...

If I was to describe the current generation of late teens to twenties in one word it would have to be “entitled”. They believe that everything should be served up to them in a pretty box with a bow on top and heaven forbid they actually have to work for it.

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This blog is inspired from a recent experience I had speaking with a twenty-one year old that couldn’t understand why they should pay board to their parents. Without even talking to their parents they’d made a series of decisions which meant they would have a reduced (not zero) income. They believed it was their parents responsibility to continue to support their lifestyle. Go figure?

When I quizzed them about this they cried, “It’s just not fair!”

I immediately responded, “Fair to whom?”

The response was a grumbled, muted reply.

During the last ten years, my generation has largely pampered (there are exceptions) this current crop of young adults. We build idiot proof interfaces for apps, provide them with miraculous technology and ensure the little darlings ego is continuously stroked.

I’m not sure what it is like in other countries but in Australia the education system has tried to eliminate all competition because it may adversely impact a child’s development. I’m not a child psychologist but seriously? These same “children” that have been brought up in cotton wool protective environments are now hitting their twenties.

Like children, they throw a temper tantrum when they can’t immediately step into a senior management role. The shock they go through when everyone older looks at them as if they are some sort of bazaar creature doesn’t even register. Throwing a tantrum worked all through school but the real world doesn’t put up with that behaviour.

The same generation wants everything now and they don’t care how much credit they need to use to get it. They don’t have any sense of patience and saving…..why should they when in one person’s case the bank provided a massive credit card to spend up on.

So this blog is a little bit of a rant but here’s the challenge for my generation…..we provide goods and service to these “brats”. There is an opportunity but make sure you get the cash before anything.

Have a great weekend!

Greenberg and Lieberman

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Wolftalker
“The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in ... Read More
07 January 2017
Rawgi
I will agree that this generation of " Entitled Youth " has no concept of responsibility, no conscience, and are indeed the wors... Read More
08 January 2017
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