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

Quotation-Les-Garnas-relationships-Meetville-Quotes-205747

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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Crash course on finding your dream job!

2-minutesDick Bolles has just written an article on how to find your dream job/career in 2 minutes!

He says ask yourself these 10 questions and you will know what makes you come alive!

  1. What kinds of problems do you most like to solve?
  2. What kinds of questions do you most like to help people find answers to?
  3. What knowledge of yours do you most like to display, to other people?
  4. What are your favorite hobbies or interests?
  5. What are your favorite words, that you most like to be tossing around, all day?
  6. What’s your definition of ‘a fascinating stranger’?
  7. What newspaper or magazine articles do you most love to read?
  8. What Internet sites do you most often gravitate to?
  9. If you watch TV, and it’s a ‘game show,’ which categories do you hope the contestant will pick?
  10. If you could write a book, and it wasn’t about your own life or somebody else’s, what would be the subject of the book?

What career or job have you dreamt up by answering these questions?

Share your responses!

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.

Creativity and madness

2010-MadhatterWhether a stereotype or not, creatives are known for their erratic, eccentric behaviours; the sudden bursts of brilliance in the middle of the night, the manic journey to birth a creative project.

Creatives have a reputation for being a little unhinged, or crazy. In fact a study over 40 years in Sweden has directly linked bipolar and schizophrenia with artists and scientists.; from dancers and photographers to researchers and authors.

For many this is a barrier for receiving treatment, the fear that they will lose this overflowing source of creativity. I too was afraid of this when I was diagnosed with Depression in 1997 and was recommended medication. I refused point blank to take it. When the diagnosis became Bipolar in 2006 I stopped to reconsider. It is true that my flow of thoughts and creative ideas was stifled somewhat on medication but over the years, I have found a way to tap into this at will instead of being bombarded constantly by these thoughts and ideas.

Gila Lyons, quite eloquently, describes the struggle with managing creativity and mental health issues.

I feared that taking medication to ease my anxiety and panic might destroy my urge or ability to create. I had heard of many artists who had gone mad or suffered from horrible depression, and took the popular prescription of the day, never to write or create again.

Now medicated, my creativity no longer consumes me. I lead a balanced, fulfilling, happy life with great relationships, a career I enjoy and a quiet confidence. Things I could not have achieved without medication.

And now I begin my journey back into creativity…

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.

Q1: Is my dream really my dream?

The question above has been a journey all of itself, for me.  i_am

You see, I started my life as a scientist. I thought that I wanted to be a scientist, in fact I thought that I wanted to be a doctor. I truly did. It is only on learning about myself and who I am, what excites me and what makes me tick, that I realised that was probably the worst choice ever for me.

The difficulty was that people linked intelligence with the Maths/Sciences. In fact after being a scientist I moved into Maths/Science teaching, a much more humanistic role and a role that suited my personality much more, but still a Maths/Science role.  I got a mixture of responses, from both family and friends on my career change. One that stood out was ‘Why would you become a teacher? What a waste of your intellect!’.

So as I began my journey of self discovery, many people saw me as a failure, or wasting away my talent.

What I have discovered though, after many years of soul searching and career changes is that I am essentially creative, I am a people person, I am an altruist and I am a born teacher. All of these attributes together bring me to the beginning of my next journey: to birth my new dream.

Who are you? What makes you tick, what excites you and makes you want to get up each morning? The answers to these questions is the beginning of your dream.

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.