Sunday, December 27, 2009

Generosity during the holidays.

I was reminded this past holiday season, a time where we help, give, reciprocate, and appreciate, that people help in ways within their means that they believe will benefit others. Likewise, people reciprocate in the same manner. Unfortunately, some people do not appreciate the help or gifts offered to them. They fail to recognize the intention. Failure to appreciate generosity, even if it doesn’t appear to be of any value or benefit, will degrade relationships. By “doesn’t appear to be of any value or benefit,” I mean that the value or benefit may become apparent later. However, the lack of appreciation may have already damaged the relationship. My advice is to appreciate all generosity. Appreciating someone’s generosity doesn’t mean accepting it, but it positively acknowledges the offer and sustains good relations.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Leading a horse to water

You can lead a horse to water (but you can't make him/it drink). I think about this all the time when I propose opportunities to people that express a need, and they simply dismiss the proposal. In other words, I direct them to the water but they will not drink. Even though they are thirsty, many will not drink. Furthermore, many will not even go to the water. Similarly, it's frustrating to see someone struggling in the pool that will not grasp the floatation device within their reach.

So why do I bother to extend my assistance? I have faith in people, and I believe I am accountable to a higher authority for my actions. I believe I shouldn't walk by a person in need without offering assistance. I do recognize sometimes that I overlook the need, but that's another issue. I cannot make people consider or accept my assistance, but I feel better knowing that I acted. I can only hope that people learn that they are less likely to succeed with tunnel vision.

I agree with the theory of relativity where people prioritize based on what is important to them. I'm inclined to believe that the successful people have done what they needed to do to become successful whereas the people that want to be successfully generally do what they want to do to be successful. In other words, people generally avoid needed actions that are uncomfortable. Like the SNL skit says about credit, "Don't Buy Stuff You Can't Afford." With the same mindset, assess opportunities in front of you, create an opportunity, or create the environment for opportunity to thrive if you can't find an opportunity. It may seem uncomfortable, but consider the comfort of your current situation.

Speaking of opportunities, I think a great opportunity is getting a free Blastoff account. There is no harm in checking it out, and it may lead to more opportunities.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Social Media for Social Interaction

I have experienced a lot of social media activity lately that unfortunately has contradicted my concept of social media. My definition of social is "pertaining to, devoted to, or characterized by friendly companionship or relations." I previously wrote a post at that addresses the problem of sending the standard text provided by LinkedIn as the only content of invitations to me. These invitations from people I don't know are not constructive, and I consider them unsociable. I'm not saying that I only accept invitation from people I know, but give me a reason if I don't know you to accept the invitation. Furthermore, the reason should be sociable and not some unauthentic pitch.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Increase your value by serving as a connector

I believe being a connector is a great way to strengthen relationships. When you can connect two or more people together that can add value to one another, you should also increase the value of your relationship with each person because of the value you gave them. You can also be a connector by connecting someone with information or a resource they need. This is why I believe an open mind that entertains information is important. Although the information may not be relevant to you, it may be relevant to someone you know or will know and you can pass along the information. I see many professionals dismiss information because they feel that it isn’t relevant to them.

I believe it is possible to serve as a connector as stated above while also benefiting financially. There are many ways, one which I have proposed throughout my blog, to gain income through affiliate programs or network marketing. The aspect here is that the income is a benefit and not the purpose. The purpose is to help someone. If you help a person you know by introducing them to something or someone that will help them, you should strengthen your relationship while benefiting financially.

I know someone may get agitated by the thought of marketing something to a friend. Marketing may be an option, but I'm talking about being connectors where you introduce someone you know to a person that can help them. For example, you may be an independent associate of Pre-Paid Legal Services in my organization and simply refer someone to me for assistance with their needs. You don’t market or sell. You simply know their needs and refer them to possible help.

Some people may feel that they don’t want to introduce their friends to possible assistance because they think that there is a possibility of hurting their relationship with their friends. I look at it this way. I would rather inform someone of the resource and have them reject the resource rather than not inform them and have them suffer through burdens. Within my network, I would rather have someone propose something they believe may help me than someone that doesn’t. I consider the proposal as thoughtfulness and consideration.

I thought of this the other day as I watched a story on the news about people fearful of their unemployment benefits ending. I know several people in this situation. Well, everyone knows people and people have needs that you may be able to address just by serving as a connector.

Regardless of the possibility of benefiting financially, you will definitely increase your value by serving as a connector. After I started attending meetings of the Triangle Networking Group in December 2003, I looked forward to every meeting because it was an opportunity to learn, talk with people and, more importantly, help someone in any way I could. The meetings gave me a sense of empowerment and purpose. If nothing else, my sense of value increased and I believe that is something that many unemployed people need.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sick of dealing with Chase Bank

I am sick of dealing with Chase Bank. My wife has a credit card, which has been closed, that is grossly past due. I've tried my best to work with Chase. I requested a payment plan and was told by a representative that they would put the account on a plan, but then I received a letter that the request for the plan was denied. When I complained, I was then offered another plan for $10 more a month and I accepted, but I received another letter that the request for that plan was denied. I issued a complaint to the Better Business Bureau. Chase responded with a message that they would not speak to me because the account belongs to my wife. They have no problem talking to me about making a payment, so what is their problem about talking to me about the complaint. I just spoke with another person from Chase that constantly pressed me for payment but would not accept that I will not make any payment until someone in authority calls me directly and addresses my complaint. She definitely advised me again that the account will be charged another fee if payment isn't received on time. I'm sick of transfers to departments and requests for programs. I believe I need a bailout from Chase's monotonous, inflexible, and inconsiderate financial stronghold.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Personalize your LinkedIn invitations

I recieve many LinkedIn invitations from people I don't know that simply contain the standard text provided by LinkedIn, "Since you are a person I trust, I wanted to invite you to join my network on LinkedIn." This invitation doesn't make any sense if I don't know you. How can you trust me if we have never met? I like to build constructive relationships and believe this activity requires authenticity. Standard introductions do not reflect authenticity.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

volunteer contributions and recommendations in LinkedIn

The Triangle Networking Group just had its Career Transition and Expansion event yesterday, and I believe it was a success. Many people expressed their appreciation. I believe many people came to the event without a plan of action, but they left with a plan of action. The event couldn't have been a success without contributions from many volunteers. I want to acknowledge the great work these volunteers contributed, but how can this be done in LinkedIn.

LinkedIn has the ability to write recommendations for the various positions with companies under Experience and various institutions under Education on my profile, but how can I be acknowledged for my volunteer work. I found that I could create a position named "Volunteer" at a company named "Various Organizations". I chose “philanthropy" as the industry because I volunteer to help others. Similarly, people can do the same and list their activities as a volunteer. Other people can then recommend them based on their volunteer work.

My focus with the Triangle Networking Group is on achieving professional success. I believe many factors contribute to professional success including character. I believe emotional intelligence is important (e.g. your ethics, values, habits, and morals). These attributes don't come through in a resume. However, they can through digital media such as LinkedIn (e.g. volunteer contributions and recommendations).