Keep These Strategies in Mind For Your Next Networking Event

Some people think that networking is a waste of time.

However, in actuality, research continues to show that careers and businesses are still being built and expanded as a result of professional relationships. People are continually hiring without posting job announcements widely (and sometimes are not posting job announcements at all), and people are still purchasing from business owners who they know, like, and trust. I honestly believe that one of my business coaching clients was able to more than 10x her revenues based on transforming her networking strategy through our coaching relationship, and I’ve definitely had career coaching clients who received their next opportunity as a result of the work we did to enhance their networking strategy.

Networking can provide you with a priceless opportunity to build relationships…if done well, and if not,… well, it can definitely feel like you’ve wasted gas and time that could have been spent doing something more productive.

Let me tell you why some of my clients and I have struggled with networking in the past, and then I’ll share a few strategies that can guide you towards maximizing the value of your time at your next networking event.

Here are some struggles that my clients and I have faced in networking that maybe you have experienced in the past:

  • Building great relationships at ongoing networking events, but not knowing how to transition those relationships to opportunities.
  • Spending too long speaking with someone where there is no feeling of connection, afraid to cut the conversation short.
  • Not speaking to anyone you don’t know at the networking event (It happens!).
  • Feeling out of place at a networking event, because the individuals there don’t connect to your career or business interests.
  • Attending a conference or other professional development opportunity in hopes of networking, and feeling like you’ve learned a lot, though you haven’t met very many people at all.

The list above has just a few networking “No Nos” and below, find some strategies to keep in mind to make your next networking event a “win” and not a “loss” for you:

  • Pre-Event Research – Should you attend?
    • Research the event, and find out if it’s truly a good fit for you to attend at all.
    • Ask yourself, “What are the top 3 most valuable results that I can get out of attending this event?”
    • Then ask yourself, “Why are those results so important to me?”
    • Most importantly, ask yourself, “How do I need to prepare to get those top 3 most valuable results?”
  • Pre-Event Research – Who will be at the networking event, and how will I connect with them?
    • If you can have a conversation with the event coordinator, do so before the event. Thank them for putting on the event, let them know you’re interested in attending the event, and also let them know that you want to make sure you take as much value as you can from attending. Ask about how many people might be attending the event, what industries they usually represent, what kinds of roles they usually have in those industries, if networking will be structured or unstructured, or any other kind of relevant question you might have. Prepare yourself emotionally to spend much of your time with individuals at the event that you don’t already know.
    • Then, research any specific individuals you know might be at the event that you want to meet. Develop a plan to connect with those specific individuals by the end of the event.
    • Prepare to arrive early and leave late. That’s when some of the most substantial relationships are made. This especially comes in handy at conferences or meetings where a lot of the content is structured. Arriving early and leaving late gives you much more time to go deeper in conversation with fellow attendees.
  • Strategize – Know how to start and end conversations.
    • Have a few conversation starters ready to avoid an awkward conversation. You can always ask someone where they’re from, where they work, why they came to the event, what they think about the event or other questions that are relevant. You can Google “networking conversation starters” and you’ll get some awesome ideas for how to start or carry on conversations.
    • If you’re not connecting very well with someone but have a limited time at the event to meet individuals, it might just be time to move on from that conversation. In that case, you may want to insert yourself and say something like, “I’m so sorry to interrupt, but I wanted to go over and say hello to someone, and I think they’re going to leave. It was really great meeting you.” Or you can make a statement that transitions well to a closing statement, such as, “How long do you think you’ll stay at the event this evening,” or “Do you have a busy week this week at work,” or anything that might be appropriate to say to lead into, “Well, it was really good meeting you. I hope you [enjoy the rest of the evening, or have a great time at this event, etc.]”
  • Strategize – Know how to transition conversations to results and opportunities.
    • If possible, you should definitely have a list of who you want to connect to when at the event. If you don’t have a specific list of who you want to connect with at an event, develop a specific number of people you’d like to connect to at the event. Then, develop a number of people you’d like to arrange a chat with outside of the networking event to get to know them more. If you can meet in person for coffee or lunch, that often works even better to build a substantial professional relationship.
    • If you’re looking for a job or looking for business, only transition to asking about those kinds of opportunities after you’ve developed a rapport with someone and feel like they have developed a positive impression of you.
    • If it’s appropriate, during a 1:1 conversation at the event or after the event, definitely ask the question, “Do you know who else I should speak to who [insert appropriate ask for advice or someone in a field you want to get into or a target market you want to connect with]?” This is how you can exponentially increase your network of relevant contacts, whether you’re asking about who else you should speak to at the event or who else you can connect to even beyond the event.

These are just a few substantial strategies that can work for individuals at all levels of career or business when it comes to truly maximize the value of your time networking. I hope they’re extremely helpful to you and anyone you might share this post with.

Definitely email me at daphne@daphnevalcin.com and let me know if you find the strategies above to be helpful!

Also, if you’re feeling like you could benefit from greater accountability and/or strategy when it comes to moving your career or business forward, definitely comment below or email me at daphne@daphnevalcin.com, so we can talk about how I can support you!

What one accomplishment would make your 2017 amazing?

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I can remember walking with an open laptop on my college campus as an undergrad, getting some last minute studying done right before an exam. A gentleman, who I believe was a professor, walked by me and told me, “If you don’t know it by now, you just won’t know it.” He then kept walking past me. He must have seen the intensity in my eyes and knew my test was right around the corner. But you know what? I kept studying, and I’m pretty sure I did well on that exam. I’m an awesome test taker, but I’m often the person who has my study book and notes out until the teacher or proctor says to put it away.  It’s because of my core belief that every moment counts–a belief I still apply to life and business. And when it comes to your 2017, there’s still time to end this year with a bang. 

One of my clients inspired this post. She has health, financial, and other goals that she’s determined to meet before the end of 2017, and she’s on track to achieve themInstead of already delivering your final conclusions on 2017 already, why not do something you can really be proud of before December 31 comes. 

I want you to do me a big favor. Please think of at least 1 goal that is realistic for you to accomplish over the next few weeks that would make you feel absolutely amazing about closing out 2017. Whether it’s about your physical health, self-care, finances, relationship, friendship, professional development, or something else, I want you to zoom in on that 1 goal. Then, I want you to think about the top 3 things you must do in order to make that goal happen. Then, create a timeline for implementation, schedule any associated action steps in your calendar, and make it happen!

If you really want to make your 2017 amazing, you definitely can, so hop to it 🙂 Be encouraged, and continue to be equipped for the greatness that is coming your way.

And remember, I believe in you!

If this post was helpful in any way, as always, definitely comment below or email me at daphne@daphnevalcin.com to let me know, and feel free to forward to family or friends who might benefit.

Photo by Eric Rothermel on Unsplash

When The Unexpected Happens… Encouragement To Keep On Going

I want to send encouragement your way, today. Over the past few weeks, I’ve spoken to a number of clients, friends, and colleagues that have had some heartbreaking things happen, negative health surprises come up, family issues arise, and more.  Some people are truly going through tough times, and if not you, maybe you know of your colleague or friend who might be experiencing some frustrating times. If this is you or someone you know, I wanted to send love, support, and encouragement your way.

During college, I was a mentor to many students. I was part of maybe 30 to 40 organizations total while I was there, and to continue mentoring, I started a massive Facebook group with my mentees soon after college. At one point, when I couldn’t sustain posting frequently to the group, I let my mentees know I was closing the group down. One of my mentees asked me what was the best and most powerful advice I could give as I was closing out the group. I said, “Always have your shield on. Be equipped with whatever spiritual strength, peace, strategies, heart, or whatever you need to battle against the problems that you don’t know will come in the future.”  I knew even then, in my early 20’s, that life would have some big challenges. Now at 33, I see that advice was so right to give. That mentee years later had a near-fatal scooter accident and lost most of his memory. He now has regained his memory, works in law as corporate counsel for a huge company, is married, and is doing well. I had my share of heartbreaks, frustrations, and challenging seasons too over the years, and I can remember crying profusely one day years ago. I was so confused as to where God wanted me after my employer had been fired and everyone was fired in my office except for me, who had 6 months to find another position. In the past, I thought I would be working at that job for years. Within the next one and a half years afterward, I had met the man who would be my husband, moved to another state, enrolled in life coaching certification, and started Daphne Valcin Coaching. God had a plan.

For some on this list, you may be dealing with other intense issues–I have had friends who had friends or family pass away this past week. One of my friends texted me this past week and said, “I just found out today that the company I work for is shutting down tomorrow.” Another friend didn’t get a job he really, really wanted and had been trying to look for another job for years now. These are all examples of truly difficult challenges, and while I made calls, had conversations, and sent encouragement to each of these friends, the common theme that each understood was, “This season too shall pass.” My friends each processed their challenges in a way where they thought through, “What is God showing me through this?” “What’s next?” “How can I find peace in the midst of this situation?” 

I am not a licensed therapist, but I can tell you in my life experience that I think it’s healthy for you to think of some of those questions my friends asked themselves above as you experience challenges. Do take time to process what you’re experiencing and take time to grieve a situation, person, job, or anything else that might have you feeling loss or sadness. Then, determine, “What is God showing me through this? What’s next? How can I find peace in the midst of this situation,” and remember what I wrote about when it comes to having your shield. “How can I be equipped with whatever spiritual strength, peace, strategies, heart, or whatever I need to battle against the problems that I don’t know will come in the future, especially if I know challenges in certain areas of my life impact me greatly.”

Some very practical things you can do now to be prepared for whatever challenges come your way and to have peace in the midst of challenges to come:

1) Fill your mind and spirit with content that brings you peace 

Whether it’s audio, T.V. shows, books, conferences or seminars that focus on spiritual strength, peace, personal development, coping skills, or perseverance, immerse yourself in content regularly that feeds your mind and spirit, even if you do this quarterly within the year. This way, you shift your internal dialogue and are equipped to bounce back and be a strong support to others.

2) Pray/meditate daily

An article that I read cited that five research-based results of prayer are increased trust; self-control improvement; increased kindness; increased forgiveness; and decreased effects of stress. Take time to connect with your internal thoughts, a higher power, positive possibilities, and gratefulness daily.

3) Process your thoughts or deep feelings that might be keeping you down

Whether you choose to seek therapy, or find that journaling your thoughts helps you to process them, or become part of a support circle associated with a challenge or common interests, do seek a platform or multiple platforms where you can process your thoughts, be encouraged, and feel equipped to move forward.

I felt this post was just what some of you needed me to write this week, and so I truly hope it’s helpful as you continue to walk through your respective journeys. Be encouraged, and continue to be equipped for the greatness that is coming your way.

And remember, I believe in you!

If this post was helpful in any way, as always, definitely comment below or email me at daphne@daphnevalcin.com to let me know, and feel free to share with family or friends who might benefit.

 

 

 

Photo by Henri Meilhac on Unsplash

Can you really handle success? Three tips to manage the success that’s coming your way.

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First of all, I’m going to tell you the answer is YES. You definitely can handle success. So many people are afraid to do so much, because they’re afraid of what might be on the other side, even if it’s success. Some of us are afraid to graduate from high school or from college. We’re afraid to date the right man or woman.  We’re afraid to get married. We’re afraid to start a job in a higher role than we’ve been in. We’re afraid to make too much money. We’re afraid to move to where we know would be great for us.  We’re afraid to save money. We’re afraid to buy a home. And the list goes on and on. But, can I tell you something. It’s okay to be afraid, but it’s important that you know that you can handle the success that’s on the other side of taking action towards walking in your purpose.

These past few weeks, I have had the blessing of speaking with business coaching clients who are almost overwhelmed with how many increased leads, sales, and profits they are making. We’re working on how they can manage that better. I’ve had the joy of supporting leadership coaching clients who now have friendships galore blossoming from their ability to more walk in their confidence and coaching clients who are also balancing blossoming romantic relationships along with their other endeavors as a result of their taking a chance on love. I actually closed the most sales I have ever closed in the history of my business last month. Great things are happening all around, but I definitely realized something in helping others manage their success and having to manage my own success.

I realized that being able to handle success means being as prepared as possible for it before it comes. 

Though this means different things to different people based on what your idea of success is, there are a few things that are pretty consistent across the board that you can do to do your part to be ready for the awesomeness that might be getting ready to come your way. 

 

1) Time Management

Are you managing your personal time or business time in a way that makes room for when success comes your way? Whether success to you means a relationship, or exercising regularly, or having increased prospects in your business, does your current schedule allow for space for future endeavors that are meaningful to you to be prioritized? If not, adjust your schedule, utilize time management tools, release what’s not an effective use of your time, and integrate more of what helps you move towards being successful.

 

2) Personal and Professional Development

When you get the increase in pay or the new house or the new relationship or the increased clientele, will you know what to do? Will you know how to manage your success? When I was in high school, I was speaking to bankers about understanding investing. When I was in college, I requested information about franchises I might start (though I may have had $5 in my savings account). In college, I printed out a large number of pages about credit management before I had a credit card. I was trying to get prepared for what my future vision might hold. If you’re trying to start a family or have an amazing family, you should be taking steps to grow as a parent, wife, or husband, for example. Lay the foundation right now for what you know can be your reality. Why wait?

 

3) Perspective

Are you a pessimist? In my opinion, that’s not going to help very much in your personal, professional, or entrepreneurial life. And there’s a difference between being a realist or a pessimist. To prepare for success, once you’re in it, you have to learn how to keep success going. That means you have to have vision, hope, and I would say, even faith, to keep pushing you forward. If you got to medical school and decided once you got there that you weren’t medical school material, can you imagine how that might negatively impact your ability to study through the night? If you got married and, all of a sudden, decided that this marriage was just not going to work no matter what you did, can you imagine how that might impact your marriage journey. So again, vision, hope, and faith, I believe, might be essential on the way to success and once you reach the success you’ve been hoping for. 

So do yourself a big favor. Since we already agree you’re going to be able to handle any success that comes your way, do your part to continue to prepare to receive it. You got this!

And remember, I believe in you!

If this post was helpful in any way, as always, definitely comment below or email me at daphne@daphnevalcin.com to let me know, and feel free to forward to family or friends who might benefit.

Photo credit: Atikh Bana on Unsplash

 

Develop an action plan for the rest of your 2016! – Motivation For The Month!

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Develop an action plan for the rest of your 2016!

We’re almost halfway done with 2016, and it’s not too late to ensure that you have a phenomenal year. If something has not been working for you this year, fix it! And if there are goals and dreams you have yet to pursue, pursue them!

I know what you’re thinking….If only it were that easy.

With an action plan, you can conquer much more than you may have thought was possible.

This is why I shared with my subscribers last year how to do a self-led quarterly evaluation, and why I’m bringing it back!

Below, check out some steps that I believe you should take regularly to pause, reflect, and strategize around how to powerfully pursue your goals.

HOW TO COMPLETE YOUR OWN QUARTERLY SELF-EVALUATION

  1. Find a quiet place for you to do this activity alone or with a trusted group of friends. You can also play music that helps you to reflect while doing the activity.
  2. Get 3 – 5 sheets of notebook paper (feel free to use a journal, Google Document, or whatever works for you as an alternative).
  3. At the top of each notebook sheet, write 1 of your top priorities in life and/or business (examples are 1) forming healthy friendships, 2) establishing a stronger spiritual relationship, 3) eating healthy, and 4) increasing clientele).
  4. Write “Current” as a heading underneath your first priority.
  5. Underneath that heading, write 3 – 5 short statements that describe where you are in this priority area.
  6. Underneath those statements, rank yourself in this priority area on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being exactly where you want to be.
  7. Underneath that, write the heading, “3 months from now.”
  8. Underneath that heading, write 3 – 5 short statements that describe where you would like to be in this priority area 3 months from now.
  9. Underneath those statements, write the heading, “Action Plan.”
  10. Underneath that heading, write 3 – 5 very feasible things you can do to move towards where you want to be in that area.
  11. Repeat steps 3 – 10 on each notebook sheet or page for each priority. If you are with a group of friends, you can each share one goal at a time, give listeners an opportunity to ask questions at the end of each goal, and clap it up for the presenter after each goal.
  12. Determine how you will hold yourself accountable to implementing the action steps that you determined will bring you closer to your goals. Ensure that those accountability measures are based on your knowledge of what works and doesn’t work for you when it comes to accountability.
  13. Schedule your self-led quarterly evaluations for the remainder of the year using Google Calendar or whatever planning mechanisms you use including reminders to help you prepare to reflect leading up to your next evaluation.

Take some time to really focus on the areas of your life that mean the most to you and take steps like the ones above to reflect then strategize around how to take your goals to the next level. Ensure that while you’re at it, you’re determining how to hold yourself accountable to these action steps. If you do, then you WILL see much more progress than if you allow yourself to get used to operating at levels below what you know you are capable of!

Try it for yourself, modifying if needed, and tell me how it works for you!

I believe in you!

As always, please send me a note at daphne@daphnevalcin.com if this resonated with you, and feel free to share this post with family and friends!
Also, feel free to share with me via email how your own quarterly self-led evaluation goes! I’m excited to hear about it!

Photo credit: SusanCorpuz90 (Flickr)

Give all that you have to go for your dreams: The time is now

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A few weeks ago, while driving through the streets of Miami on a hot Sunday morning, I encountered a homeless man who inspired this post and brought me to this important realization: Each of us have a limited amount of time and energy to do all that we hope to do during our lifetime. And at the same time, we all have all of the resources around us needed to pursue our goals–even if we have varying degrees of access to those resources.

As I was driving that Sunday morning, at a stoplight next to a highway in N.E. Miami, I stopped to give a homeless gentleman money. He looked like he might be in his 70’s. One of his legs was clearly disfigured. He walked with a cane. His hair was full of white and gray, and as I put my car window down, I saw his eyes also looked like he might be mostly blind. I stopped to be a blessing–to provide him with some hope. I smiled at him and said, “God bless you” as I handed him a few dollars. He looked at me, smiled, said, “God bless you, too. Thank you!” and then followed that by telling me in a non-flirtatious and completely genuine way, “You have a beautiful smile!” I was completely in shock, not just because of such a wonderful compliment, but because I thought to myself, I was almost completely sure this gentleman couldn’t see very well at all, and yet, with some of the vision he had left, he chose to strain his eyes, see my smile, and pour into me through affirming me.

As I pulled off, this led me into a string of thoughts. How often are we as individuals aware of the gifts we have and willing to give them to others despite our own struggles? How often are we aware that, for most of us, as we get older, our physical capacity may decrease, and our time here is also limited, thus we have to make the most out of each day?

The time is now to give all that we have to go for our dreams, because for some of us, health, aging, and life can decrease the energy we have to do all we’re meant to do.

My mother has glaucoma–a disease that can eventually cause blindness. She’s had numerous surgeries because of it. It was found at a later stage in her only because they discovered what is called junior glaucoma in me while I was on a high school field trip. I’m completely aware that my vision may decrease in later years and that I may eventually be blind. Diabetes also runs in my family, so I’m also cautious about eating right because of that. I have low blood pressure and low blood iron, so daily, I push to maintain my energy to be all that I can be and to be purpose-driven. If you know me and have felt my energy, you’d never know these things, because I’ve tried my best to live my life beyond limits and to help others do the same. I believe that’s true leadership, and I’m always pushing to try to be a leader who pushes past these obstacles for myself and those around me. We should all strive for this sense of self and community empowerment despite our own obstacles.

Within the past year, I’ve also become married to my phenomenal husband and recently became pregnant (YAY!), but all of this means having additional (and beautiful, honorable) responsibilities. My friends can attest to the fact that before this time in my life, I would do work from morning to night, working on various ventures–I used to call it my “Dream-Chasing” time. I definitely still dream-chase, but within a more finite block of time. Soon, there will be a beautiful child here for me to love on, and drive to this and that activity, and spend time talking to and inspiring (and being inspired by). Many of you know this delicate balance of time management as our responsibilities grow and as we revere the past where we had hardly any responsibilities. With all of my new responsibilities, I believe that this is the optimal time for me to go full force in the pursuit of my dreams, just as it was last year and the year before that, and as it most likely is for you also, in whatever capacity you can pursue those dreams of yours. Determine how much time you have to move towards your goals, and make it happen ,whether little-by-little or through huge, actionable steps.

The time is now, because we are given an opportunity to live our lives to the fullest–an opportunity that not everyone has.

By this time in my life, I have met all types of people–individuals who have grown up in communities marked by danger, education challenges, and disparity, and those who may have intense mental health issues as a result of a tragic past. These circumstances have made it harder for them to pursue opportunities, though many have still pursued their dreams through perseverance and consistency, even in the worst situations. Still, they have so many obstacles to push past. There are also those I have known in life–both young and old–who have passed away for various reasons. We have an opportunity in having the gift of life to use our gifts, to maximize our potential, to live fearlessly, to take huge risks (that may not always be calculated), and to leave a powerful legacy in the world. Take this opportunity, and do great things!

The time is now, because the longer you delay, the longer it might take to get to your destination.

Our time on this earth is finite, and we all have a destiny that we are living out and fulfilling daily, even if you are not yet fully conscious of how you can impact your life and environment daily. For some of you, you have a dream–whether it be a business, personal growth, spiritual development, financial goals, or some other worthy cause–that you have kept in your subconscious mind. You have maybe even been thinking about it for a few years, and you might be getting to the point where you think it’s too late to start the implementation process. Well, it’s not too late. The time is now! Start now. Just like the gentleman who poured into my life a few weeks ago at that stoplight, pour into your own life and the lives of others through giving your dream a chance. You, your family, your community, or maybe even the world deserves to see the gift you’re meant to share….So don’t delay. Dream. Share. Do. The time is now.

Your empowerment specialist, Daphne Lynn Valcin
Helping mission-driven leaders lay a strong foundation

Email me at daphne@daphnevalcin.com if you might be interested in learning more about how to lay a strong foundation for your dreams through coaching, or if this blog post impacted you in any way! I’d love to hear from you.

Photo credit: BK (Flickr)

Free Webinar Thursday, 10/23 8:30 p.m.: 10 Keys to Self & Community Empowerment

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**Register now for this empowering webinar at http://www.anymeeting.com/PIID=EB51DA8582473E!**

You deserve to be all you can be for yourself and the world around you.

When I was a child, I had so many dreams and aspirations for my life. I wanted to change the world and use my gifts and talents to inspire people.

After years of opportunities, struggles, and revelations, I have been able to grow organizations, change lives, and have a flourishing for-profit and nonprofit business. I want to share some of my keys to success with you on my upcoming free webinar.

While sharing from my own story, I will talk about 5 keys to how I kept myself optimistic and energized while walking in my purpose and how you can do the same in your life as well as 5 key practical steps I took to form the organizations I lead and love today. I hope you hear something that might be the extra push you need to move forward on that dream that’s been on your heart and mind.

Register now for this empowering and eye-opening webinar at http://www.anymeeting.com/PIID=EB51DA8582473E !

See you there!

Photo credit: Maria Dawson (Flickr)