The opposite of NETwork is NO work!

A part of any job whether it be a start up, freelance or even working for a corporation is networking. These days there are so many ways to network whether it be face to face, virtual (Skype, webconferencing) or via social media (Facebook, LinkedIn).

So what characteristics makes a great networker?

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Characteristics of a great networker as reflected by Jimmy Fallon:

  1. sincere
  2. genuinely interested
  3. positive
  4. enthusiastic
  5. team player
  6. humble
  7. confident
  8. current
  9. respectful
  10. thankful

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Or according to Entrepreneur:

  1. ask insightful questions
  2. add value
  3. learn ‘their’ story
  4. share a memorable fact
  5. keep a list
  6. make small promises and keep them
  7. reward your ‘power contacts’

What are you doing to build your networks?

 

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Creatively organised

I find it hard when I am in a creative burst, particularly when I am in ‘dream big’ phase to keep my thoughts ordered. I have recently discovered Trello. A fantastic list/organisation tool. It is fairly generic and can be used in a multitude of ways. I have separate boards for work and home, but you could create particularly boards for each of your projects!

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It’s also really useful to use for group projects as you can share boards with colleagues or family members! There are also mobile apps so that you can use Trello on the go!

 

Unleash the storm within

I have seen Frozen a number of times. It is one of the most progressive Disney productions I have ever seen.

Elsa has the most incredible creative talent; that can also be her curse. She can turn things to snow and ice. In the movie she banishes herself to the mountains so that she won’t hurt anyone. In this isolation she explores her gift and learns to master it.

Creativity is just the same; it can be a double edged sword.  But do you want to go through life without knowing what you are capable of?

It’s time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me
I’m free

Am I a fantasiser or a dream-builder?

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Fantasisers:                                              Dream-builders:

Rely on luck                                                   Rely on discipline

Focus on the destination                          Focus on the journey

Cultivate unhealthy expectations         Cultivate healthy discontent

Minimise the value of work                     Maximise the work they do

Look for excuses                                          Lead to action

Create inertia                                                Generate momentum

Breed isolation                                             Promote teamwork

Wait                                                                  Initiate

Avoid personal risks                                  Embrace risk as necessary

Make others responsible                         Make themselves responsible

Q3: Are the factors to achieve my dream within my control ?

I want to be an astronaut.1

I want to be ballerina.

I want to be an actor.

Every child has big dreams. But are they achievable?

  • There are only 500 astronauts in the world, both past and present.
  • Only 2% of the world’s population have the body and flexibility to be a ballerina.
  • There are more actors out of work than in work.

Does that mean we shouldn’t dream?

John Maxwell states ‘ dreams by definition, are not supposed to start with reality. They are supposed to be fantastic, incredible, and out of the box. After all, they are birthed from hopes, desires and possibilities’.

We are told from a young age that we can become whatever we want, the sky is the limit and the higher you aim the higher you will achieve.

Baby-superhero-72dpiThese thoughts are damaging. Guess what? We don’t have unlimited potential, resources and opportunities. There are some things that are just not possible.

I remember as a child wishing I could fly. It was a hard reality to learn that that was never going to happen!

So where does that leave us?

You need to decide if your dream is achievable. Look at where you are and what you need to do to reach your dream. Are the things you need to do in your control?

What are you strengths and weaknesses? Do they align with your dream? There is no point dreaming of being a international concert pianist if you don’t have the flexibility and dexterity to play!

If your dream intersects with what makes you come alive and your strengths, your dream may in fact be possible.

Reality…is the enemy of fantasies but not of dreams. – Rudy Ruettiger

What is holding me back?

restrictions-hands-tied250_1_250So you are getting excited about your dream, you get that little flutter in your belly, but you can’t begin. You cannot discipline yourself to do anything about it.

What is stopping you?

Is it one of these key dream-stoppers?

1. Lack of Drive

If this is the case, then you are not passionate enough about your dream. Or more importantly, your dream doesn’t excite you, it doesn’t reflect what is important to you or makes you come alive. If this is the case, maybe you need to identify a new dream. Begin by exploring what makes you come alive!

For me, teaching makes me come alive! The look  on someone’s face when they finally understand something for me makes me come alive, and the confidence they exude once they understand gives me an enormous buzz!

2. It’s too big

Sometimes if you have big, broad, long term goals, you can be overwhelmed and terrified before you even begin. Baby steps is the way to begin. Children crawl before they walk, and walk before they run. You too, need to give yourself space to grow into your dream.

3. Perfection

Sometimes the fear of getting something wrong, can get in the way of actually beginning the journey towards your dream. There is nothing to recommend for this but to stop testing the water, and jump right in! There is no perfect idea, time or method. In fact, our dreams are shaped and refined as we grow and develop.

4. Fear of letting go

I think this is one of the biggest blockers to pursuing your dream. If you have invested a lot of time, effort and training to get where you are, and you realise you are not passionate about it, it can be incredibly difficult to walk away. It takes courage to realise you are not where you need to be and even more bravery to start again, but it is worth. There is nothing sadder than someone who denies themselves their true passion.

Q2: Do I clearly see my dream?

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Sometimes your dreams are closer than they seem. Sometimes, you are so much closer to their realisation, if only you could see clearly.

The more specific your dream is, the more likely you are to achieve it. A good way to make your dream clearer is to start building the picture. Dreams may start big but you need to break your dream into achievable pieces. One way to do this is to have a dream or vision board and look at it, add to it and refine it regularly.

Why don’t you try creating a dream board? Add your links to the comments. I would love to see what you come up with.

Can my dreams take flight?

balloonsrunskygirlsunlight-fe0cfe421a561fe0bdfd691cc89120b6_hA man wanting to get pregnant, no matter how much he wants it, will find it next to impossible (unless he pays a lot of money to be part of some experimental research or he is transgender like this man.) to achieve.

So continuing my analogy on wanting to get pregnant to the right dream so it can grow and cultivate, I too need to be practical. Is my dream achievable?

John Maxwell says there are 10 questions you should ask yourself to see if your dream can become a reality.

1. The Ownership Question:     Is my dream really my dream?

2. The Clarity Question:            Do I clearly see my dream?

3. The Reality Question:            Are the factors to achieve my dream within my control ?

4. The Passion Question:           Does my dream compel me to follow it?

5. The Pathway Question:         Do I have a strategy to reach my dream?

6. The People Question:           Have I included the people I need to realize my dream?

7. The Cost Question:                Am I willing to pay the price for my dream?

8. The Tenacity Question:         Am I moving closer to my dream?

9. The Fulfillment Question:     Does working toward my dream bring satisfaction?

10. The Significance Question:  Does my dream benefit others?

As I reflect on these over the next week or so, I encourage you to also reflect on your dreams.