What Is A Comfort Zone?

Kevin Willett says acknowledging your fear is the first step to overcoming it.

One of the expressions I hear all the time is ‘I cannot do that; it is outside of my comfort zone’. I really wish people would simply say that they are afraid to do something, rather than it is outside their comfort zone. When you say something is outside of your comfort zone, I find people accept it and give you a pass.

Let me give you an example. If you say you are afraid to do something your friends might try to help get you over that fear and share stories about how they were afraid and how they conquered their fear. However, I find that when you say something is outside your comfort zone, people just accept it and don’t try to change your mind, simply because we think about the things that are outside of our comfort zone.

Think about everything you have accomplished in your life. I bet some of those things really scared you, but you found the courage to try them, and you are glad that you did.

I remember the first time I taught a class at the University. I was super scared. I hoped the students and my boss would like me. I overcame those fears because I really wanted to teach, and it is the best decision that I made because teaching has been an amazing experience for me.

So next time you are tempted to say something is outside your comfort zone please acknowledge that you are saying that you are scared, and then work on a plan to overcome your fear.

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

Do You Like Me?

Kevin Willett says that not everyone has to like you in order to grow in business and as a person.

I like to spend time each day answering business questions. One of the questions I see a lot is; when will I stop caring if people do not like me? Most of the answers given by other people were similar to ‘what people think of you is none of your business’ and ‘these opinions have nothing to do with you’.  I see those types of answers as a defense mechanism. If I don’t care what you think then it cannot hurt me if you do not like me.

My answer is a little different because, I honestly do care what you think about me. As a business owner, your opinion of me will impact my business because we do business with people that we like whenever we can.

I think it is important to acknowledge that not everyone will like you, just like you do not like everyone you meet. When I realize someone does not like me, I try to use it as a learning experience. In some cases I may have said or done something to upset them. If that is the case, I apologize and try to fix the situation. Sometimes this works and sometimes it does not. No matter how hard it may be, you have to accept their decision and move on if they decide they do not want to be your friend anymore. I had a friend in this situation and I made her realize that she valued the friendship more than the other person did.

I have also had to learn the difference between a personal friend and a business friend. For me everyone is a friend but this isn’t always the case with everyone you meet. I have had people stop interacting with me when they no longer needed to network. This is a little challenging for me to accept, but it is a part of learning and growing as a person. I have to accept that not everyone is meant to stay in my life and sometimes letting go of people allows you to connect with new people.

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 It Is Important To Take Days Off

Kevin Willett says success is no fun if you’re too tired and lonely to enjoy it.

I had today off. I went on a day trip with my Wife and Mother-in-Law and had some fun. In the past, I never would have thought of taking days off, because like most people, I listened to the gurus. They tell us that we have to hustle and grind and work all the time to be successful. I have learned the hard way that there is a time to work hard, but you need to find balance in your life and make time for family and friends. We let relationships slip because we think there will be time later to have fun, once we are successful and reach our goals. But sadly that is not always true. There was a point in my life when I did work seven days a week because I thought I needed to. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, I ended up becoming burnt out and had to take a step back. Please don’t let this happen to you. Please do not listen to the gurus. Find balance in your life. It is no fun to be successful if you do not have people to share your success with.

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

Who Do You Use?

Kevin Willett has many reasons for referring different people, whether he personally has used them or not.

My friend is a CPA and he told me that one of his networking challenges is when people ask ‘who do you use’? He feels that it can be challenging to refer someone if he himself isn’t personally using them. That is a great point. Here are a few reasons you might want to recommend someone, even though you personally may not be using them.

  1. Location – I have friends who prefer to use businesses located in their town to support their fellow business owners.
  2. Needs – Not everyone needs a CPA to do their taxes. If you are a high school student working a summer job scooping ice cream, you may be fine using a local tax preparer to do your return. This goes for other industries as well. There are different levels of expertise in a lot of fields.
  3. Price – Many people are price conscious, so that will often be a factor.
  4. Risk tolerance – I am friends with a few CPA’s who are super aggressive about deductions. If that bothers you then they may not be a match for you. Again, likewise in other professions as well, styles can vary.
  5. Personality – Personality plays a big role in who I do business with. I like people who give me straight answers in a timely fashion.

As you can see there are many reasons you may recommend someone besides who you personally use. I think it is important that you explain who you are recommending and why, so that people don’t feel like they are just getting a generic referral from your networking group.

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

It Is All About Forgiveness

Kevin Willett says not to be quick to anger when someone stands you up for a meeting.

This week one of my friends forgot that he had agreed to come to a networking event with me. When he realized his mistake the next day, he sent me a note to apologize and did a LinkedIn video about the importance of keeping your promises to build your brand.

My friend made an honest mistake and I admire the fact that he was hard on himself for letting me down, but we all make mistakes. All we can do is apologize and move on.

I often see people post on social media that they are upset because someone did not show up for an appointment and left them waiting in a coffee shop. My advice is to always ask before you yell. Sometimes legitimate things happen. Recently, I was supposed to meet with someone and their mom had a heart attack that morning.  When someone doesn’t show up for a meeting, I email them and say that ‘I thought we were meeting today, I just want to make sure that you are ok.’ Could you have imagined if I yelled at the person whose mom was ill for not showing up?

My friend is correct. It is important for your brand to follow through on your promises, but please be quick to forgive those who make an honest mistake.

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

How To Be A Great Networker

Kevin Willett says that being a great networker is easy.

The simple answer to this question is to help others. When you are at a networking event, look for the person standing alone and go over and introduce yourself.  Offer to help that person by introducing them to other people at the event.

Sometimes after we have been networking for a while, we forget what it is like to be the new person at the event. For most of us it can be very overwhelming. I found that when I take the time to introduce people, both the new person and the people I am introducing them to, are grateful. This helps build my brand.

I found that my business grew when I started focusing on helping other people. I have complete strangers reach out to me because they had a friend tell them about how I helped them.

Another way to be a great networker is to offer to commute to events with people so they don’t have to go alone. This will give you a chance to chat with the person during the commute. Most people will be appreciative of you taking the time to help them.

Lastly, when you meet someone, think about whom you know that they would benefit from meeting and offer to introduce them to that person.  It’s as easy as a phone call or email introduction.

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 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.

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.

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.