It’s as Simple as Wishing Someone a Happy Birthday

Kevin Willett agrees that little gestures can go a long way.

Last week I received my daily LinkedIn recap email and I noticed that it was a friend’s birthday. This guy always goes out of his way to endorse me on LinkedIn, so I wanted to take a moment to thank him and wish him a happy birthday. He sent me back the nicest email I’ve ever received, thanking me for taking the time to wish him a happy birthday. I have to be honest, I was having a super stressful day, but his email made me realize that everything was going to be okay. So take the time to wish your friends a happy birthday. It just might make your day.

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 Will You Be Wearing

Kevin Willett says when in doubt about dress code, just ask

I know this tip seems silly and you may be asking yourself if I have run out of tips, but, every now and then this does come up. Last week I met a guy for coffee and he showed up wearing a suit, because that was how I was dressed when we met at my networking event. He was a little upset with me because I was wearing jeans and bright orange sneakers for this coffee meeting. He said the only reason he wore his suit was because he thought I would be wearing one. The meeting got off on the wrong foot and never recovered from him feeling like I slighted him by dressing casually. Again, I know this tip may seem silly, but when in doubt message the person and say that you will be dressed casually, and they should feel free to dress the same way. Now of course you can never go wrong being overdressed. You can always remove your tie in jacket if you like, but you cannot make your jeans and a polo shirt turn into a suit and tie.

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

Just Ask

Kevin Willett says no harm comes, even from a no answer.

I can often struggle with asking people to attend my events or join my group. I find myself thinking that they won’t want to come, so do not bother asking them. You never want to make decisions for other people. Always ask them, because the answer just might be yes.

Please do not let the fear of failure and rejection, stop you from asking. When you think about it logically, what do you have to lose? It is no big deal if they say no. Nothing has really changed right?

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 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.