The Biggest Mistake I Made as an Entrepreneur

One of the biggest mistakes you can make as an entrepreneur is not seeing the big picture. That’s not an easy thing to do when you are trying to start up a business. Not easy, but a must, as you need to have a vision for the future. For me it was not connecting with people who I felt did not fit my model. Five years down the road my model changed and those people I did not bother to connect with I now wanted to know. Those were wasted opportunities. Not connecting with people you don’t think you will do business with has another downside. Maybe they won’t be clients/customers, but they may know someone who can use your services!

So, instead of focusing on who can help your business today and only connecting with those people, focus on the big picture. Be open to everyone and watch your business grow!

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

Can You Un-Ghost Someone?

Kevin Willett says not to ghost in the first place!

The other day I received a message from someone who saw a business video I recently did about ghosting. The person stated that he had ghosted me in the past. At the time he did not think he had a need for my services, and he didn’t see value in starting a business relationship. Fast forward a couple of years and his thoughts have changed. Although the video I did was not about him, he was someone who ghosted me (Ghosting is when someone says they are interested in doing business with you but then never returns your calls or emails). Now he wanted to chat about working together. My first thought was, no thank you! But, you know what, what does that accomplish? Maybe he has changed, maybe he is sincere this time. So, I agreed to chat. I made it clear though that ghosting is not good for his business. Honesty is always a winner. So, if you do not want to do business, be honest and say so. If you do not want to receive email updates or invitations to events, just say so! That way, if things don’t work out and you call me again in two years, my first thought won’t be NO THANK YOU. Now we are chatting, he is going to try an event or two and we’ll see if we can help each other. I guess that means he is un-ghosted. 😊

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

Please Stop Doing This

Kevin Willett says a broader focus can lead to bigger things

Business focus is an important aspect of being successful. Unfortunately, a lot of times I see people with a business focus that is too narrow. Everyday, I am online trying to connect to people. If someone watches/likes/shares a video of mine, I make sure to send a message and thank them. If I notice someone has viewed a profile or page of mine, I try to connect and see how I can help them. I am always inviting people to my networking events. You would not believe the number of times I get a response back saying they are not interested in networking or talking with other people unless they need their services. This focus on selling your services only is too narrow and not an easy path to growth. It’s all about business relationships in the end. We do not do business with people we do not know, like or trust. Building relationships can take time. Your focus needs to broaden and encompass that. The more relationships you take the time to build, the more referrals you will get and the bigger your business will grow. Aren’t referrals a lot easier than cold calling for sales?

So please stop keeping your focus on potential clients only. You are missing so many opportunities. Expand your focus and take the time to build relationships through networking and gaining referral partners. Make yourself a resource to others as well and your name will be the first to come up when someone is looking for your services.

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

Goals and Dreams

Kevin Willett says when you set goals and take action, your dreams can come true

It’s that time of year again where we need to figure out what the next year will have in store for ourselves and our businesses. There are goals that we set that we will try hard to hit. There are dreams of how we want the next year to look like. How do we get there? It starts with a plan. I have a big goal for the upcoming year. To reach this goal I will have to invest some extra money, step outside my comfort zone, and put in a lot of extra effort. There is no guarantee that these steps will make my goal reachable, which can be a scary thought, but I am going to follow the plan I have laid out and see what happens. If I am successful, my dream, or vision of how I want my business to look, will be that much closer.

What are your dreams and goals? Do not be afraid to chase them. Do the research, make a plan and go for it. Seek help when you need it. Keep moving forward.

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 say NO to Discounts

I had someone contact me recently about running ads on my website. I gave her my price, she asked for a lower price. I respectfully declined and she could not understand why. I told her my other advertisers were all paying the rate that I offered her. How could I justify to them that she was getting a lower rate? People talk and you know that someone would find out. Then, going forward, if someone wanted to place an ad, they too would want a special rate.

I understand that sometimes “sales” and “specials” are a necessary cost of business. Maybe sales are sluggish, and you want to give them a boost. Revenue is down and you need an up month. OK, as a business owner you must do what needs to be done. But understand that by discounting your product or service you are conditioning customers to de-value what you are offering them. Discounting lessens the perceived (and therefore, actual) value of your product or service.

Do you have a hard time saying no or letting a deal fall through so you give in and give away discounts? Instead, simply say “I’m sorry but we don’t offer discounts. We believe that our service/product offers more value for your money and it will be unfair to our other customers if we make an exception.” If the customer/client gives you a hard time or is aggressively persistent, maybe they are not the right customer /client for you.

In the end, respect yourself and respect your value.

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

Now Is The Time To Build Your Brand

Kevin Willett is always building his brand and you should be too.

When is the best time to build your brand? The answer is Now. It doesn’t matter if these are busy times or slow times for you. Always work on building your brand. How do you do that? Exposure is one of the best ways. Be seen. Whether you are out and about or online, show up and show off your brand. Educate people on what you can do and how you can help them. The more they know, the more comfortable they are with you, the likelier they are to choose to do business with you. Posting on social media, FB Live videos and of course networking are some of my favorite and easiest ways to build my brand.  

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

Don’t Hate Me

Kevin Willett says your actions should override your reactions

In business we gain and lose customers all the time. There are several reasons why this may happen. Things change and it is hard not to take it personally when someone no longer wants to or chooses not to do business with you. I have had people in my networking group who leave to try other groups. Sometimes they come back and sometimes they don’t. I don’t take this personally. Many times, they apologize and say, “I hope you don’t hate me now”. Folks, this is business and that’s the way it is. Let me give you another example. If you know multiple realtors and decide to list your home for sale, you can only have one listing agent. For those that don’t get the listing, it is not personal. You cannot take it that way. How you respond to not being chosen is important. Feeling rejected or acting bitter is not the way to go. Handling the situation professionally allows you to keep the relationship going, leading to potential opportunities down the road.

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

You’re So Vain

Kevin Willett says ditch the vanity and take pride in yourself instead

2020 has been a crazy year. I am hearing a lot of stories about people upping their fitness routines with home gyms and workouts to try and keep some sanity in their day. I have heard the opposite stories from friends who are packing on the pounds and not able to get a good routine going. These are the friends I am concerned about. Not because of their eating habits but because of their networking habits. Many people I know have stopped networking. The excuses I am hearing “I don’t look good on Zoom” “I have gained weight” “I don’t want to put my makeup on for one call”. Wow!

Nobody documents themselves daily as much as I do. I post a lot of pictures; I do Facebook Live videos every day. I’ll admit I am one of the ones who has lost weight during the pandemic. So, I know how the gainers feel because when I look back on older videos and pictures, I can’t believe it. We all want to present our best selves to potential clients. Think about this though, if you don’t lose weight does that mean you are never going to network again?  If I had waited until I lost 25 or 30 pounds, there would be no New England B2B or Friends of Kevin right now. You cannot afford to wait to try and grow your business. The most important thing is not how you look on a Zoom call it’s how you portray yourself and your business. Impress people with your intelligence and passion for what you do.

Makeup or no makeup, comb your hair, put on a clean shirt and network!

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

Never Forget Your Roots

Kevin Willet says your roots are what made you strong

I grew up in a neighborhood that had large families, not a lot of income and diverse ethnicities. I am super proud of that. While people from more affluent neighborhoods may have looked down on it, my neighborhood was awesome. I got to grow up with people with backgrounds from all over the world! Today, in my business, I am still interacting with people with diverse backgrounds. Networking is an important part of everyone’s business no matter the revenue, location or the clients that are sought.

We as business owners must be careful though. Once you have paid your dues and grown your business, remember where you started. It is easy to forget the client that gave you the small jobs to help you get started when now you are doing much larger jobs for bigger clients. Don’t forget those people. When they call, make sure you take care of them. You are not too important for the smaller jobs ever. Those people and those jobs are what made you and your business who you are today. Stay humble, stay thankful, never forget your roots.

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

No Such Thing As A Friendly Ghost

Kevin Willett says Casper notwithstanding, ghosting is anything but friendly

One of the challenges of being a business owner is when people tell you no, they do not want/need your services. It’s tough to handle sometimes. But it is part of business. What is worse than someone telling you no? Someone ghosting you, not getting back to you, ignoring you. This is especially hurtful when you have spoken to someone and they tell you they do want your services. It has happened to me. I’ll invite someone to networking events and they tell me they are excited to attend. I’ll send invites and receive no response. I’ll email and no response. Why didn’t they just say no? They didn’t want to hurt my feelings. Well they have just wasted my time by making me work for them to come to events they had no intention of showing up to. They have wasted their own time by deleting my invites and emails. How does that help either one of us? Just say no! When I receive a straightforward negative response, I always thank the person for their honesty. This sometimes surprises them. “I can’t believe you thanked me for saying I did not want to attend your events!” They have just made my life easier by telling me there was one less email I’ll have to send that I will not get a response to. Of course, I’m thankful you just saved me time and effort!

If there is something or someone you need to say no to, then do it. Do not ghost them. This only causes anger; time wasted and hurts relationships on both sides. You could be viewed as unreliable and hurt your brand. Saying no is hard but is best for everyone. Don’t waste a business owner’s time by having them send emails, prepare quotes, or make calls on your behalf. Saying no hurts now but, be respectful and they will appreciate it and will benefit your brand in the long run.

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