I Am Proud of You

Kevin Willett says to make someone happy with these five simple words

I had two really cool experiences at the University this week. As part of a class I teach, my students have to develop a business as part of a group, and then pitch the business idea to the class. I have a student in one of my groups that really hasn’t said much in class. When I asked his group members who would be pitching, he said he would be, which made me smile. The group he was in has some upper classman in it and it would have been super easy for him to let one of the other students pitch the idea. I honestly did not know what to expect from him and was a little nervous for him. Of course his pitch was awesome and he did an amazing job. I could not have been more proud of him. It reminded me that you never know how truly talented the students are until you give them a chance. I saw him on campus last week and I explained to him everything I just said, and his smile made me smile. He told me how much he appreciated my confidence in him.

I have a second student who is also amazing. He is working on two projects with the DifferenceMaker Program on campus. I saw him at the DifferenceMaker event last week. When I told him how proud I was of him and that he has no idea how much potential he has, he smiled at me. He had a woman with him, who I am guessing was a family member, who looked at me and almost cried because of what I said to him. Now that is pretty cool.

I was on the receiving end recently of a friend telling me that he was proud of me. He had attended my first ever networking event, but I have not seen him in a few years. Out of the blue, he emailed me to tell me he has been watching my growth and that he is proud of me. I very rarely ever look back and think about what I have accomplished. I am just super focused on my next challenge. His simple email made me smile.

So my question to you is who are you proud of and have you told them?

Watch my YouTube Channel  for more on this and other Business Networking Tips

Kevin Willett is the Author of One Connection How you can grow your business  (and change the world) one connection at a time. The business networking book is available on Amazon. Purchase One Connection on Amazon

Kevin is also the CEO of the Friends of Kevin Networking Group  and the New England B2B Networking Group. Please connect with him on social media to hear about his upcoming business networking events.

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Do It Anyway

Kevin Willett says to keep pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and good things will happen.

I am really proud of my friend Bob. This past weekend he did his first video upload to LinkedIn.  I have been encouraging Bob to do videos for a while now, but it is way out of his comfort zone. In my opinion, Bob is an excellent writer and does a great job offering career advice on his blog.  However, many people will never take the time to read a blog post. That is why I am a big fan of combining blogging and videos to promote your business.

Whenever I suggest this to my friends I often hear ‘Kevin I am not you, I am not comfortable recording videos’ or ‘I don’t like the way I sound or look on video’. How do you think I got comfortable doing videos? I just kept doing them and each time it became a little easier.

I also always find it interesting when the lessons I am teaching in the classroom apply to my business friends. This semester I spoke about the importance of knowing what your customers want and not focusing on what you want to sell them. You need to remember just because you are a great writer that doesn’t mean your customers will take the time to read your blog post. You need to get out of your comfort zones and use videos to help promote your business. I can assure you that it does get easier.

Last week I uploaded a video to LinkedIn called Be Where You Are Supposed To Be. That video has been viewed over 3,000 times and I gained 10 new connections. Would they all have taken the time to read my blog post? Maybe, maybe not, stop missing out on chances to grow your business because you are uncomfortable recording videos.

Watch my YouTube Channel for more on this and other Business Networking Tips

Kevin Willett is the Author of One Connection How you can grow your business  (and change the world) one connection at a time. The business networking book is available on Amazon. Purchase One Connection on Amazon

Kevin is also the CEO of the Friends of Kevin Networking Group  and the New England B2B Networking Group. Please connect with him on social media to hear about his upcoming business networking events.

Be Where You Are Supposed To Be

Kevin Willett says you never know where opportunity will knock.

Last week my friend asked me to speak to her class at the local community college. While I was there I met a student who is trying to become an apprentice in the one of the local unions. In the small world of things, I happen to know someone in that union. So I called this person and asked him if he could help the student out, and he did.

I am not sure why I am still amazed when this happens, but I am. I find that whenever I am asked to speak to a group of people, something good comes from it. Often, I will get whiny when I take on too many activities, and wish that I had said no. I always try to remind myself that if I skip the event I will miss out on whatever opportunity I was suppose to receive.

Think about the example above. My friend had to reach out to me and ask me to speak. I had to say yes to the opportunity. And finally, the student had to ask for my help. If I had said no in the beginning, I wouldn’t have been able to help the student receive that interview.

Please think about this tip the next time you consider skipping an event you committed to attending or turning down something you think may not benefit you. You might be missing out on a great opportunity.

Watch my YouTube Channel for more on this and other Business Networking Tips

Kevin Willett is the Author of One Connection How you can grow your business  (and change the world) one connection at a time. The business networking book is available on Amazon. Purchase One Connection on Amazon

Kevin is also the CEO of the Friends of Kevin Networking Group  and the New England B2B Networking Group. Please connect with him on social media to hear about his upcoming business networking events.

Someday I Will Pay You Back

Kevin Willett says that Networking isn’t about keeping score.

I have a friend who reaches out to me from time to time for help. The last time I helped her she said “someday I am going to pay you back.” This statement made me laugh because I never expect anyone to pay me back. I help her because I think she is a good person.

I see this happen with networking all the time. People try to keep score and they expect to receive a referral back every time they pass one. If you are doing this please stop.

Life simply doesn’t work that way. You are not always going to be able to find referrals for the people that pass one on to you. This is why I focus on what I call the Circle of Love. I simply try to help as many people as I can, knowing that this is building my brand and that good things will come from it. I encourage you to try my approach. I think it will improve the results of your networking activity.

Watch my YouTube Channel for more on this and other Business Networking Tips

Kevin Willett is the Author of One Connection How you can grow your business  (and change the world) one connection at a time. The business networking book is available on Amazon. Purchase One Connection on Amazon

Kevin is also the CEO of the Friends of Kevin Networking Group  and the New England B2B Networking Group. Please connect with him on social media to hear about his upcoming business networking events.

Why I love / Hate Snow Days

Kevin Willett talks about Mother Nature as She relates to business

It has been a tough week. I had to cancel three events because of the blizzard we had. When you run a business networking group, snow and the fear of snow, causes chaos. Nobody wants to register for an event if they think it is going to snow. It has taken me a few years, but I have learned to accept this fact and realize that I may have to work harder that week but, as always, things will work out.

I have learned to use snow days to work on the projects that I keep putting off, to spend some time reading / watching TV and simply relaxing. Snow days are simply the universe’s way of telling me to slow down. Maybe someday I will actually listen.

Watch my YouTube Channel for more on this and other Business Networking Tips

Kevin Willett is the Author of One Connection How you can grow your business  (and change the world) one connection at a time. The business networking book is available on Amazon. Purchase One Connection on Amazon

Kevin is also the CEO of the Friends of Kevin Networking Group  and the New England B2B Networking Group. Please connect with him on social media to hear about his upcoming business networking events.

The Difference Between No Problem and You’re Welcome

Kevin Willett says small words can change the message you send

Last week I posted a video reminding people to say please and thank you. I had someone post a comment saying please remember there is a difference between you’re welcome and no problem. When I first saw this comment, I thought “it is just semantics” it’s no big deal. But after I thought about it for a bit, I realized that there is a big difference between the two.

When I hear no worries or no problem I feel like the person is saying that what I asked them to do wasn’t a big inconvenience, so they helped me. When I hear someone say you are welcome it makes me feel that they value my friendship and wanted to help me because they respect me. You’re welcome is definitely a more positive response.

What message do you want to send? I helped you, no big deal? Or I was happy to help you?

Watch my YouTube Channel for more on this and other Business Networking Tips

Kevin Willett is the Author of One Connection How you can grow your business  (and change the world) one connection at a time. The business networking book is available on Amazon. Purchase One Connection on Amazon

Kevin is also the CEO of the Friends of Kevin Networking Group  and the New England B2B Networking Group. Please connect with him on social media to hear about his upcoming business networking events.

What to Wear and Not Wear for Your Profile Pictures

Kevin Willett says you should make sure you are sending the right and professional message with your profile pictures

Last week my friend posted a question on social media asking if it was ok to wear sunglasses in your profile picture. For me the answer is a strong no. Some people felt it was ok for a Facebook profile picture and others said it makes them feel like the person has something to hide if they are wearing sunglasses.

My reason for the strong no is that I find it can make it difficult for people to connect with you. When I meet people at networking events I try to connect with them on social media. If I look at your picture and I am not one hundred percent sure that it is you, I will simply skip connecting, rather than risk messaging the wrong person. Why would you risk missing out on connection opportunities?

A few other things to consider: Guys, please put on a shirt. Ladies, please give some thoughts to the top you are wearing. Make sure you are sending the right and professional message with your picture. I always say if you are using the picture on a dating app you shouldn’t be using it on LinkedIn.

Watch my YouTube Channel for more on this and other Business Networking Tips

Kevin Willett is the Author of One Connection How you can grow your business  (and change the world) one connection at a time. The business networking book is available on Amazon. Purchase One Connection on Amazon

Kevin is also the CEO of the Friends of Kevin Networking Group  and the New England B2B Networking Group. Please connect with him on social media to hear about his upcoming business networking events.

I Forgot Your Name

Kevin Willett says remembering someone’s name is a sign of respect and a courtesy.

People often ask me what you should do if you forget someone’s name. I always smile and say I have two strategies. First, if I am standing near someone else, I will introduce them to that person and hope they say their own name so I don’t have to admit that I forgot it. Of course this only works if they say hello my name is Kevin. You can always just be honest and say “I am sorry; I know we have met but I don’t recall your name.” Most people will smile and forgive you.

I do want to take a second to speak about the importance of remembering people’s names. I have friends who say “I am so bad at remembering names”. I have to be honest, I cringe when I hear people say this because it’s like they are accepting this situation, and you really don’t want to do that. If I have met someone 5 or 6 times and they don’t remember my name it makes me feel like they don’t value my relationship with them. Is that really the message you want to send? So please work harder to remember people’s names. It goes a long way to building relationships.

Watch my YouTube Channel for more on this Business Networking Tip

Kevin Willett is the Author of One Connection How you can grow your business  (and change the world) one connection at a time. The business networking book is available on Amazon. Purchase One Connection on Amazon

Kevin is also the CEO of the Friends of Kevin Networking Group  and the New England B2B Networking Group. Please connect with him on social media to hear about his upcoming business networking events.

Are You Adding Value to Your Connections?

Kevin Willett says just a few minutes of your time may pay benefits for years.

I have learned that the best way to stand out at a networking event is to try to add value to every person I meet by offering to introduce them to someone I know or by sharing knowledge I have that they may benefit from.  I have been able to build some great relationships by focusing on helping the person rather than trying to sell them anything.

Here are a few additional things you can do after the event to add value:

  1. Subscribe to their newsletter – I try to subscribe to newsletters and then send them an email with a positive comment.
  2. Comment on their social media posts – how often do you take the time to post a meaningful comment on a social media post? For most of us the answer is rarely. Stop and take the time to comment on their videos or blog posts, it’s a great way to stay in touch and build that relationship.
  3. Email them and offer to help – I emailed someone last week to check in and asked if I could do anything to help them. As luck would have it they were looking for a second opinion on a business issue that I was able to help with.

These ideas will only take a few minutes of your time, and they will go a long way towards helping you build relationships.

Watch my YouTube Channel for more on this Business Networking Tip

Kevin Willett is the Author of One Connection How you can grow your business  (and change the world) one connection at a time. The business networking book is available on Amazon. Purchase One Connection on Amazon

Kevin is also the CEO of the Friends of Kevin Networking Group  and the New England B2B Networking Group. Please connect with him on social media to hear about his upcoming business networking events.

Where is the Line?

Kevin Willett wonders where the line is between persistence and annoyance

Yesterday I was having a discussion with a friend about how often you should follow up with people who have expressed an interest in being a client. Where is the line between being persistent and being annoying? I told her that I usually invite people three or four times, and if they don’t respond, then I send them one final note, simply saying ‘please let me know if you are interested in attending events or being a client’. Sadly, this doesn’t always work. People may still not respond and so they get removed from the invite list. Sometimes, I’ll run into them months later and they ask why I haven’t been in touch. I tell them they never got back to me! Often you hear people say it can take between seven and ten touches before someone does business with you.

So my question to you is how often do you follow up with people? I would be interested in your feedback.

Watch my YouTube Channel for more on this Business Networking Tip

Kevin Willett is the Author of One Connection How you can grow your business  (and change the world) one connection at a time. The business networking book is available on Amazon. Purchase One Connection on Amazon

Kevin is also the CEO of the Friends of Kevin Networking Group  and the New England B2B Networking Group. Please connect with him on social media to hear about his upcoming business networking events.