1. Qualify the people you meet at any event. When you are making simple conversations, figure out if they are a potential client, a potential referrer or someone who simply needs your help. These are the only categories that you need to worry about when talking to people. Ask yourself, do they sound like someone who would pay for your services, someone who knows other people who would pay for your services or someone who is deserving of your help.
2. Be personable by asking relative questions. The best way to break the ice is to introduce yourself first. Hi my name is Sweeney Mae and I’m here because I know the host and I’m hoping to meet a few contacts, what about you? Then they tell you their name and why they are there. Feel free to ask if they’ve tried the food, or how’s their drink or where they are coming from and if traffic was bad. Be personable. Ask them if they are here to meet someone in specific or just to network. Maybe you are their gateway to meeting someone they came to meet.
3. Be as valuable as you can be. Tell them about you and what you do or your business and ask them if there is anyway you can be of service to them. Don’t discuss money right away because if this person is a potential client, they will pay for your services, and if not, maybe you can be of value to them by helping them with your connections. If you are a marketing expert, perhaps you can offer a free consultation. If you are a graphic artist, perhaps you can offer them a free evaluation of their brochures, flyers and business cards. Offer any complimentary services to them. If you can’t think of anything for free that you can offer then maybe it’s time to design one for future use. Plenty of businesses offer free consultation or samples of your products. Don’t make them feel obligated to purchase, perhaps tell them you’re simply looking for feedback.
4. Ask for their business card. Instead of handing out your business cards so easily, ask for theirs instead. If you have something specific in mind that you want to follow up with them about, it’s better that you have their card. Giving them your card doesn’t guarantee that they will get in contact with you.
5. Keep it short and conclude your meeting with a firm handshake. For your own sake, summarize any follow ups that need to be done. For example: “Nice meeting you here today Jane, I have your card and within the next week or two, I will be sending you a link to my e-book. You will enjoy it and it will definitely help you at your upcoming event. I look forward to receiving information about your event!” Shake their hand and then write a note on their business card right away so you will not forget what the meeting was about.
I was raised in a humble home. “Don’t brag about your things, money, accomplishments.” We were taught by our society back then that bragging is rude. That the only people you should really show your accomplishments are your parents so they can be proud of you.
Hold up, wait a minute, let me back up my story: I was born and raised in Negros Occidental, Philippines - City of Smiles. I was an only child for about 9 years. I attended a Chinese Christian School in Kindergarten which was where my leadership skills all began when I volunteered to be the captain of the cheerleaders. But learning Chinese was too difficult and so I was transferred to an all girls Catholic School, where (I swear) 75% of the students were over achievers in one way or another.
Parental background: So my father was never around because he was in the States working to provide for me and my mother. He would only come home on Christmas for about a month. The rest of the year, we would just communicate over the phone. He would send us boxes of American goods a few times every year.
My mom tried to put me in Piano school but I was having complications with catching my ride home that I decided not to continue. Pretty soon, after the age of 9, my younger sister was born and my mom decided to go abroad as well to help provide for us. My parents hired a nanny for my little sister and a cook/house cleaner. For a couple of years, they also tried to enlist extended family members to stay with us as a guardian but that never worked.
Finally around the age of 14, my mom entrusted me to take care of household matters. They sent me a monthly budget, my mom showed me how to keep an accounting book. That’s a big responsibility for me when I was a kid. I took the public transportation, go to the bank, withdraw money, go to the nearest currency exchange, pay the bills, pay the school tuition, pay the help, budget for groceries, etc… When I tell people this, they are amazed but to me, it was my normal.
Let’s talk about my school life. As I mentioned there were so many over achievers that I had to make sure I kept up. That school taught me how to be competitive. Even in my parents absence, I continued to be in the honor roll, continued to excel in school and take care of business. Why? well because friends closest to me were excellent. Someone was always better than me and I think deep inside, I wanted to beat them! Someone was always a more technical dancer than me, someone can play the piano better than me, someone had a better sticker collection than me, someone always got a higher grade than me, someone was a better artist than me, someone can act better than me. Golly! It was so hard to find a niche, where I can really be recognized for. So I kind of started to learn how to do a little bit of everything… I can dance, play the piano, draw, get good grades, read well, etc… If there was something I couldn’t do, I figured out a way to learn it. Totally opposite of what they say NOT to do: “Jack of all trades, Master of NONE.”
Finally at 17, my parents were able to legally migrate my sister and me to the States. I was sad because I wanted to grow up with my friends but I had to be an obedient child and do what the parents told me to do. So I moved to Seattle, which just happened to be where my parents lived. My parents enrolled me at a high school nearby and sooner than later, I swept the student of the month awards, I impressed many teachers and hopefully inspired many friends. I EXCELLED. And, in my opinion, the American School System is way too easy. I was a straight A student and a Dance Captain, Yearbook Staff, ASB Secretary and more all at once. I finally felt like all the work I did to try and learn different skills was recognized and it felt great! I was the go to person for a lot of things.
Fast forward to 2010, after getting laid off from Macys and finishing my contract with Expedia, I decided to move to Los Angeles without real concrete plan. Luckily, I had half siblings that allowed me to stay with them 2-3 weeks at a time. After 3 months or so, I finally found my own apartment. I spent most of my time on Craigslist looking for things to get myself involved in. Sure enough, I found plenty of events where I volunteered at and met so many great people that have hired me to do work for them. I also found a Hollywood comedian who was looking for an event planner. Needless to say, I hustled and made it all work out.
Now, my company Events in the City is growing rapidly even though I only spend part time on it. I am a full time Marketing Manager at a shopping center and I do an excellent work bringing unique events and marketing the shopping center.
I am deeply humbled by all my experiences, I feel like I came from nothing, migrated to the US and now on this journey to take over the world. This is why I love to help so many business owners and professionals, I want to teach them how to be resourceful, how to learn certain skills to get them through their start up phase, I want to teach them everything I know about marketing and event planning because I do not want to hear people say that they do not know how to make things happen. To every problem, there’s always a solution. I love the way I’ve encouraged people to think outside of the box, to solve their problems by first realizing what box they have put themselves in. As my family member say: “Sweeney will survive in any situation you throw her in.” And I truly accept that truth as a compliment. I love making people feel that there are more than one solutions to their problems. NOTHING is impossible with time. Everything takes time. Great things don’t happen overnight but horrible things can when you don’t believe in yourself.
There is nothing wrong with being a Jane of all Trades because I have mastered the skill of resourcefulness.
There’s nothing more invigorating that having everything you need to start the new year with bigger and better goals! We have gathered 10 of the best advice and tips to implement for 2014. They are in no particular order!
Tip #1 – REMOVE THE NEGATIVE PEOPLE FROM YOUR LIFE ~ Bill Walsh from Powerteam International.
Negative people will drain you. They will take up your time, your resources, and possibly your motivation. Make positive changes in your life and “invite the negative people out of your lives” all at once. Start your year with a clean slate, condensed contacts and a strong intimate circle that support and inspire you to reach your dreams.
Tip#2 – BELIEVE IN YOUR DREAMS AND DREAM BIG. AND THEN AFTER YOU’VE DONE THAT, DREAM BIGGER. ~ Howard Schultz featured on OWNtv’s Super Soul Sunday
When Howard was younger, he believed in his coffee bar idea so much that he pitched it to over 200 people and got the same response, “NO.” But he never gave up and now, as you know, there are Starbucks on almost every corner of your city. Dreams are FREE and no one can stop you from DREAMING BIG. Allow yourself to imagine your success and what it looks like and when you are done dreaming, think of a master plan on how you can achieve it, for luck is not reality, you have to be prepared with a plan.
Tip #3 – CREATE A LIST OF AT LEAST 5 REASONS FOR WHY YOU ARE DOING WHAT YOU DO.
If you notice, most successful people know exactly why they are doing what they are doing? They know their purpose and they stay focused on their reasons why they do what they do. You need to formulate your own reasons as to why you do what you do and publish it somewhere! Let the world know your WHY.
Tip #4 – GO MOBILE OR GO HOME.
Most savvy consumers own a smart phone. If you haven’t figured out how or why you should go mobile, then read this blog: GO MOBILE OR GO HOME.
Tip #5 – IMPROVE YOUR CRM – CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGER
To increase your sales, you have to look at how well you manage your relationship with your customers. Do you have a way to track their recent purchases, their birthdays, or their favorite items? If so, send them emails to remind them or let them know when a new shipment of their favorite product has arrived or give them birthday perks, etc. Nowadays, CRM will make or break your chances of gaining loyal customers. It’s the ultimate customer service feature that consumers enjoy. They want to feel special and making a few changes to the way you accept transactions to track their purchases can make a big difference. One of the best ways to increase your CRM is to invest in an e-mail marketing program. Here’s a link you can use to try Constant Contact: http://bit.ly/eitcreferralcc
Tip #6 – AUTOMATE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVITIES
If you have Facebook or Twitter, you can attest to how much time it takes to manage these accounts. When you log in, you tend to stay longer on these social media channels than you planned. You just get sucked into all the updates from your friends, etc. Well, if this is the case, it’s time for you to automate your social media post so that you can focus more on more productive activities online. My recommendation is to try Hootesuite.com. Sign up for a Free 30 Day Trial of HootSuite Pro.
Tip #7 – ATTEND AT LEAST 2 GREAT EVENTS PER MONTH
Do your research and look for events and conferences that pertains to your industry where you can most likely learn something new and meet new people. It’s important to get out of your office or home once in a while to put on your best suit and network! When you network, make sure you focus more on what you can do for others instead of what they can do for you. Ask for their business cards and follow up right away. Spark significant conversations so they will remember you. Ask them what it is you can help them with and if you can’t help, refer one of your friends or colleagues to help them. Events in the City partners with a lot of great players in the business industry to bring you the best events. Visit the upcoming events list here: http://eventsinthecityla.com/upcoming-events/
Tip #8 – SPONSOR AN EVENT!
It’s time to play big and attending an event where you are the main sponsor gives you a plat form to speak in front of all the guests instead of speaking to people one by one. Find local networking events and let them know you would like to sponsor. This, essentially, can be one of the biggest way to get the most bang for your back because as you know, you have to spend money to make money. So, why not sponsor an event where you can speak in front of a mass of people?
Tip #9 – RE-EVALUATE ALL OF YOUR MARKETING COLLATERAL
For 2014, you want your business cards to match your flyers to match your brochures to match your website. It creates a more cohesive message and not to mention a very professional look. When people are shopping for who to work with, they look at all of that. Perception is everything. Make yourself look good by investing in your branding image. Click on the image below to save 10% on your next printing order.
Tip #10 – SET YOUR GOALS AND WRITE OUT A PLAN TO ACHIEVE THEM
How can you measure your success for the year if you do not establish the metrics for which you can gauge how well you are doing? Set clear goals about how much you want to make, the number of clients you want to have every month, etc… and create a plan of how you will achieve your goal. Then, every month, review your progress and see how much closer you are to achieving your goal.
I don’t know why I was so surprised that Madonna is the highest paid female in the music industry. Her world-wide presence, Material Girl Clothing Line and Truth or Dare Fragrance puts her at $125 Million for the year 2013.
Needless to say, here is the list:
1. Madonna $125 Million
2. Lady Gaga $80 Million
3. Taylor Swift $55 Million
4. Beyonce $53 Million
5. Jennifer Lopez $ 45 Million
6. Rihanna $43 Million
7. Katy Perry $39 Million
8. Pink $32 Million
9. Carrie Underwood #31 Million
10. Mariah Carey $29 Million
Nicki Minaj $29 Million
Please note, these are their earnings only for the year 2013.
To make our list, we looked at income from June 1st, 2012 through June 1st, 2013, using data sources including Pollstar, the RIAA, Nielsen SoundScan, managers, lawyers and many of the artists themselves. We took into account concert ticket sales, royalties for recorded music and publishing, merchandise sales, endorsement deals and other business ventures. Our estimates reflect pretax income before deducting fees for agents, managers and lawyers. Read the full story here.
In October 2013, Virgin America released their brand new, innovative and entertaining new SAFETY VIDEO!
As you can see, they didn’t need to be on the plane to discuss the safety guidelines of flying with Virgin America. The question is, what can we learn from this? It’s important to be the forward thinker in your industry. When I first flew Virgin America, I was so impressed by their sleek design which made their aircraft look more futuristic compared to the others. Their first safety video was interesting and clever.
As entrepreneurs, if you want to be the leader in your industry, you’ve got to work hard to spin your wheels and figure out ways how you can be the first to offer something innovative. Granted that there are multiple ways to be a leader in the industry, I think that being creative can sometimes really take the spotlight.
Virgin America clearly wants to be the coolest aircraft, hence the sleek design and now, the unique video that has now reached over 7 million views in just a little bit over a month.
So what do you think about this move? Was it necessary? Maybe not, but when you want to stay ahead, you do not only do what’s necessary, you do what no one else is doing. That “added value” is an important factor of staying “fresh” in the market.
Check out the behind the scenes:
So what do you think about this video?
Thursday, December 5, 2013 at the Westin LAX from 10am – 6pm.
Get your FREE tickets at http://www.success2020.com/sweeneymae. The Vision To Wealth© event is an amazing experience designed to assist entrepreneurs in learning specifically what it takes to build an even more successful company, connect with other like minded business owners and discover new ways to create revenue streams! The Success by Design program that will be introduced has been developed for anyone that is serious about learning the mindset, systems and accountability programs that are necessary in creating a mega-successful business! At the event you will learn the UNTOLD SECRETS and proven concepts that successful entrepreneurs utilize everyday to WIN in business.
I normally don’t blog about subjects like this but I’d be curious to know how the Fast and the Furious brand will move forward. It’s all about being resilient and I cannot imagine where they are with the film and how they are going to spin their story after this tragic incident.
Originally posted on Eric Zuley:
I can’t believe this! What is Fast and the Furious going to do now? He made that move! My prayers to his friends and family.
Paul Walker Dead: ‘Fast And The Furious’ Actor Dies In Car Crash
Posted: 11/30/2013 10:20 pm EST | Updated: 11/30/2013 10:41 pm EST
By no means do I want this blog to sound preachy but I’m not going to deny the fact that this is fully inspired by my pastor Rick Warren from Saddle Back Church. for the last few weeks, the topic has been about HAPPINESS.
1. BE HUMBLE – “Be humble or you’ll stumble.” Humility is thinking of yourself LESS not thinking LESS of yourself. Humility is not denying your strengths but honoring your weakness. It has nothing to do with yourself but think more of others.
2. DON’T LET PRIDE GET IN THE WAY – Pride is the root of evil. When you have pride, you either have self ambition or vein conceit. Self ambition is thinking it’s all about you. Vein conceit is thinking you’re always right.
3. GET RID OF GUILT – Keep your conscience clear and always do good. Respect others at all times.
4. BECOME SOMEONE THAT PEOPLE TRUST – Live with integrity. Make sure your actions match your words. Always keep your promises.
5. LEARN HOW TO WORK WELL WITH OTHERS – Learn how to cooperate.
6. LIVE FOR SOMETHING WORTH DYING FOR – What commitments have you made that you need to keep?
7. WORRY ABOUT NOTHING – worrying is unreasonable, unnatural, not helpful, and unnecessary.
8. BE CONTENT WITH ANYTHING – Contentment is not complacency and laziness. Contentment is enjoying what you have now and not waiting for something to happen to be happy. Your happiness should be independent from your circumstances.
9. BE THANKFUL IN ALL THINGS – The more grateful you are, the more happy your are. This is not to say that you need to be thankful ‘FOR’ everything but you have to be thankful ‘IN’ everything.
10. BE GENEROUS – Give to others what you want more in your life. If you need more money, donate more money; If you need more time, donate more time.
To conclude, being happy can create a domino effect in your personal life and in your business life. Happiness is something that needs to be practiced. It’s a constant reminder of what to do or what not to do. You have to be aware of how your feelings and your thoughts are affecting your happiness and be quick to put a stop to the negativity and immediately think about how you can lean more towards positive thoughts that can lead to happiness. Less stress!
How many times have you heard coaches and motivational speakers tell you to BE YOURSELF because people do business with people they like?
But what if you are not “well-liked?” What if you have a nasty attitude? Should you still be yourself?
I think it’s time to face the music, burst the bubble, or rain on the parade because the truth of the matter is, common sense is not so common and the truth won’t always set you free.
I had first encountered this through an experience I had with a web designer who I thought was rude and unprofessional with his abrupt responses and constant sarcastic comments. No wonder he was offering great deals. His sales must be hurting and he thought slashing his prices in half would help him. I decided not to work with him and on my way out the door, I told him, that it wasn’t the price of his services, but his personality that hurts his business.
I think that coaches and motivational speakers need to be careful with this statement because there really are some people out there with unpleasant personalities that will take this “Be Yourself” advice and run with it. The better advice should be “BE LIKABLE.”
With that said, here are three grey areas of the famous cliche advice “Be Yourself:”
1. IT DOESN’T LEAVE ROOM FOR BAD PERSONALITIES. Telling a room full of strangers to be themselves and business will get better is a careless statement! Those who preach this “Be Yourself” campaign are naturally outgoing and likable and have not taken the time to understand that some people can be rude, disrespectful, impolite, inappropriate, etc… Imagine if that web guy I met attended a conference where the coaches encourages them to be themselves? Yikes! He is the wrong person to hear that advice.
2. IT DOESN’T CLARIFY THE REAL TRAITS THAT PEOPLE SEEK. Here are some of the characteristics and traits that people find likable:
- Hard Working
If you understand what it takes to “work” these traits, then it will be much easier to be likable. The reality is, we cannot be in our best behavior at all times and a great entrepreneur will know when to turn it on or off. See, your clients do not want to hire someone who doesn’t know how to act appropriately. Believe me or not, there are business owners that engage in inappropriate conversations with their clients (i.e. Gossiping and bad mouthing other people or clients). You could be laughing with them at the moment but as soon as they get home, your prospective client will think that you’re bad mouthing them to other people as well.
You also have those who invite their clients out for dinner/lunch and order one to many drinks. Or a more subtle example is, letting steam off in front of your clients. They don’t want to see you “lose it.” Your clients do not want to know your personal problems. When they ask you how you are doing, keep it professional and graceful. Sometimes some people get too comfortable and start thinking their clients are their friends. No!
3. HAVE A FLEXIBLE PERSONALITY.
The cliché advice that states “Be Yourself” is a lie! The truth is that we have to figure out how to be likable in different circumstances. Have the ability to put on a different hat, depending on the audience. Be self aware and know how your tone sounds, how you are being perceived and how people are connecting with you. Living in oblivion is not an option even if that is your true self.
Depending on your personality, running a business can be very challenging. It is all about pleasing other people – under promising and over delivering. Your clients want to feel confident that they’ve hired the best. Show them your BEST SELF. Show them you are competent and capable of rising to any occasion.