Five Habits of Success

Today’s message is short and sweet: “Success is the Reward of Good Habits.”  Here are five such habits that will transform your life…

  • Right Values with Positive Attitudes Leads to Positive Right Actions.
  • Strategic Thinking Reveals Opportunities, Priorities, Plans and Accountability.
  • Development and use of Gifts and Skills Leverages One’s Potential.
  • Personal Investments of Time, Money and Energy Feeds Professional Growth.
  • Intentional, Unselfish Devotion Toward Others Builds Winning Relationships.

“The fastest way to success is to replace bad habits with good habits.”
– Tom Ziglar

8 Excuses for NOT Networking

Excuses are lies we tell others (and ourselves) when we don’t want to do something.  Here are eight common lies people use about career networking.

  1. “I’m not ready.” – If you are a person of good character and have a sense of who you are and where you are going with your life and career, then you ARE ready.  All you need is practice and maybe a little coaching.  Networking is its own practice field.
  2. “I don’t have time.” – This is an unfortunate misconception.  The truth is, if you’re busy you don’t have enough time NOT to network.  Networking is a way to leverage time.  Networking is one of the most important career advancing activities available to you.
  3. “My job doesn’t require networking.” – No matter what job you have, I would challenge that.  Networking helps build influence.  Influence matters in every job and every career field.  But, even if you’re right, what about your next job?
  4. “I’ll wait a few years.” – Someone once said, “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” This is true for networking.
  5. “I don’t like it.” – Why not?  Most people who say this are simply afraid of something.  Find out what you’re afraid of.  Then, overcome your fear with a plan, some guidance and practice.
  6. “I’m not very good at it.”  — Maybe not.  But, anyone can get better.  You’ll be bad before your good and good before you’re great.  To improve, get coaching and get in the game.
  7. “I tried once and it didn’t work.” – Like anything worthwhile, networking is a long-term investment in your future.
  8. “I networked a lot and got nothing out of it.” – Why not?  Maybe you need help with your interpersonal skills.  Maybe you have the wrong networking approach or plan.  Maybe you’re attending the wrong networking events.  Maybe you’re getting value that you can’t yet see.  Figure out what is wrong and try something else.

[ The Leadership Nexus ]

Twelve Reasons for Networking

“Opportunities come NOT from people you know but,
from people who know, like and trust you AND most importantly, who they know.”

Even though I’ve accidentally made important business connections, I believe my career would be much further along had I been more committed to intentional and strategic networking.  Do you have a networking plan?  Are you working your plan?  If not, maybe you need a few reminders about the reasons for networking activities and events.

  1. Potential clients – Meet people who are not in your contact database.
  2. Leads – Get leads by networking and getting good at asking, “Who do you know that needs _________?”
  3. Low-hanging fruit – People who network are ready for something or someone.  That something might be your product/service.  That someone might be YOU! Low-hanging fruit is all about timing.
  4. Practice – An opportunity to sharpen your interpersonal skills and rehearse delivery of your message.
  5. Strategic alliances – Find people who talk to your clients.  Then explore how you might help each other.
  6. Visibility – Not everyone has heard of you, your company or your product or service.  Wouldn’t you like to be the first person people think of?
  7. Influence – Build trust to expand your circle of influence.  People want to follow those they know and trust.  Less than 10% of the message is the words.  Face-to-face communication has more potential to build trust than email, newsletters, phone calls and social media.
  8. Advantage – Your competition is networking.  If you aren’t and they are, who has the advantage?
  9. Leverage – Save time.  Meet many people at one event.
  10. Opportunities – Network to discover unique opportunities in areas like public speaking or community service.  How often does that happen by reading a phone script or sending an email message?
  11. Lead by example – As a leader, set a positive example for others by engaging in networking.
  12. Fun! – Networking is more fun than spending 8 hours at your desk (even for an introvert like me.)

Life and career success is simply doing the right things, at the right time and for the right reasons.  Networking is one of those things.

[ The Leadership Nexus ]

Easy Vs. Hard

The expression “work smart, not hard” is advice about efficiency by leveraging resources. It presumes that working smart leads to easier work. Efficiency and a lighter burden are always good goals as long as the easy way and hard way both lead to the same destination. The critical question when faced with an easy vs. hard choice is, “Do they really go to the same place?”

As human beings, the natural tendency is to pick the path of least resistance even when this is not expected to produce the best results. Always choosing easy over hard is based on near-term mindset. Instant gratification is an example that comes to mind. In the long run, we end up settling for far less in life if we make a habit of taking the easy path. Being one who is willing to consider and choose the more challenging path, whenever it makes long-term sense, requires a deep-seated commitment to the future.

“Sloth makes all things difficult, but industry, all things easy. He that rises late must trot all day, and shall scarce overtake his business at night, while laziness travels so slowly that poverty soon overtakes him.” — Benjamin Franklin


“Bad habits are like a comfortable bed, easy to get into, but hard to get out of.”
— Anonymous

Easy and Hard Can Be Matters of Perspective and Attitude

“Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower

“There is nothing so easy but that it becomes difficult when you do it reluctantly.” — Terence (185 BC – 159 BC)

“Attempt easy tasks as if they were difficult, and difficult as if they were easy; in the one case that confidence may not fall asleep, in the other that it may not be dismayed.” — Baltasar Gracian

“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” — Winston Churchill

Difficulties Help Sharpen Our Axes

“Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.” — Seneca (5 BC – 65 AD)

“All things are difficult before they are easy.” — Dr. Thomas Fuller (1654 – 1734)

“If at first you DO succeed, try something harder.” — John C. Maxwell

Facing Difficulty Requires Courage

“It is surmounting difficulties that makes heroes.” — Louis Pasteur, microbiologist

“Courage and perseverance have a magic talisman, before which difficulties and obstacles vanish into air.” — John Adams

“Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all.” — Sam Ewing

Dealing With Difficulty

“Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take care of themselves.” — Dale Carnegie

“Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks. Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you shall be the miracle.” — Phillips Brooks (1835 – 1893)

Finally, always remember the words of Edward R. Murrow:

“Difficulty is the excuse history never accepts.”

God Bless,

— CC

© Copyright July 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
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