How you start determines how your day is likely to finish

Here is an excerpt from my book, It’s Your Life, LIVE BIG

“The way I choose to start my day sets its tone. When I make the decision to begin by giving thanks for the positive things in my life, no matter how seemingly few or bountiful they might be, I am setting the flow for new opportunities to come my way. Each and every day I will remind myself that I can steer my outcome in any direction I wish by the actions I take. The steps I take day in and day out are the determining factors as to whether or not I achieve the success I desire. I take comfort in knowing that I have control over the actions I choose to do or not do.”

Being intentional is huge. We must keep in mind that the daily decisions we make ultimately lead us to or away from what we want. Therefore it is worth spending a little time each day planning and making sure we are working our plan. Choose choice over chance.

Live BIG,

Josh Hinds

How to go for your dreams with all you’ve got

Friend, heading out in the direction of ones dreams is not for the faint of heart. At times it is true that you may well experience fear and doubt. You may feel as though the result you long for is nowhere in sight. Don’t succumb to your fear of failure — stay the course, because very often you will find that it is just beyond the point where you experience the most doubt that opportunity opens up and literally pulls you in the direction of your dreams.

Every night when you lay your head on your pillow — before drifting off to sleep run through your mind the life you want. Visualize your definition of success and affirm in your mind that you are going to do what is necessary to make your dreams a reality.

It’s your life, LIVE BIG
Josh Hinds

Networking Skills – How to Be the Most Valuable Person in the Room

Relationship marketing and networkingOften the word networking conjures up images of someone running around frantically trying to shove his or her business cards into as many hands as possible. If this describes you — stop doing this now. If it describes anyone you know — then share this article with them. Believe me, they’ll thank you for doing so. Trust me, paper-cuts make a terrible first impression.

If we are really honest what I described above isn’t that uncommon an occurrence is it? It’s enough to make one want to just avoid the business meeting or mixer altogether isn’t it?

These drive by networkers can really give the art of networking, connecting, or plain old meeting and building relationships (if you’re not into professional buzzwords) a bad name can’t they?

As a general rule, there are two reasons people take this broken approach. One, in the rarest of cases they are just rude, and really don’t give a rip what you do, nor do they care to make the interaction a two way, win / win connection. Fortunately, that’s rare, but we have to be real here. Sadly, there are the few who just don’t get it. These folks are looking out for themselves first (and really, just themselves). The ideas I’m going to share with you here are not for those people.

Frankly, a person has to get beyond the “what’s in it for me only” approach to networking before anything will really work for them. In most cases you will find that people who are ineffective in their approach to professional connecting is because they just haven’t ever been taught a better way to go about things. For those that fall into this camp, the ideas that follow will be immensely helpful. You must apply what you learn, but as you do, you’ll see incredible results.

Change your mindset from “me, me, me” to the person who introduces others and creates winning interactions…

This works for a very simple reason. Because pretty much everyone else in the room is thinking about one thing, how they can start a conversation focused on sharing what they have to offer. While that’s not totally a bad thing, after all, in most cases it is the ultimate purpose for being at the meeting, especially if it’s a professional one. It doesn’t exactly take a genius to figure out there’s going to be a challenge if everyone in the room is simply focused in on getting their point across.

Therefore, one of the simplest things you can do is to do the opposite of what everyone else is doing. The best way I found to do that is to become a valuable resource. And in a room where everyone is focused on getting their message across first — the easiest way to become more valuable to others is to take it upon yourself to be an introducer of everyone else in the room.

Here’s how it works — rather than making things about you, lead the conversation and make it a priority to introduce different people to each other. Especially where their knowing each other might be of some mutual benefit or synergy to their connecting. Yes, it is that simple.

This works for a number of reasons. One being that it takes the pressure off of you which can often build up when you’re focused on meeting strangers and pushing your own message to those you don’t know. Plus the two people that you connect will be appreciative to you for having introduced them. That in itself makes you more valuable to both those people.

Lest you think you’re going to be left out make no mistake that both those people are not only going to appreciate you but probably also think about you on a higher level — because you went above just thinking about yourself. You put their greater needs above yourself. This is far rarer than it should me. I can assure you this is a good light in which to be viewed by your peers.

You better believe that the people you put first will absolutely want to know who you are, and what you have to offer. And one of the best parts about this approach is that you were able to get your goal of sharing about yourself and what you have to offer delivered in a very low key way. Zero pushiness involved.

I’ll readily admit the idea above is unconventional, but make no mistake that’s exactly what makes it so effective. Give it a try the next time you find yourself in a professional setting or for that matter any type of meeting where the opportunity exists for you to be a matchmaker putting the wants and needs of others above your own. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results.

It’s also worth pointing out that inevitably during the conversation even though you’re focused clearly on connecting the other two people for their benefit the conversation will turn towards you where you have the opportunity to share a bit about what you do. Again steer the conversation and keep the focus on the two people you connected but don’t completely resist the opportunity to share a little bit about yourself as well. After all in the context of the conversation it’s only normal that you do so.

Use props to initiate conversations — and as conversation starters…

For some people even knowing how to start a conversation with someone they have never met is difficult. One simple thing you can do is to get creative with stick on name tags. Generally these will be provided for people attending the particular event (you might even consider keeping some handy in case they aren’t provided). Most people will simply include their name. What I will often do is go a step farther. For example, I’ll write something that’s more likely to begin a conversation. I’ll include my name on the name tag and then something else such as asking a question.

Here are a few examples I would write on the name tag:

  • My name. Tell me about your business.
  • My name. What business are you in?
  • My name. What do you love most about your company?
  • My name. What is the name of your company?
  • My name. Tell me about your company so I can potentially refer you business.

Those are just some random examples, but it will amaze you how effective such a simple idea can be in getting people to initiate a conversation with you. Think about it, in most “networking events” people are looking around to meet and share what they do, and talk about their companies.

Just like you they are probably not completely comfortable with the idea of walking up to strangers and starting a conversation either. Much less getting that conversation to a point where they talk about their business or companies offerings. Friend, you have made it completely easy for them. Most people are looking at everyone’s name tag anyway. At the very least it’s a conversation starter.

You’re doing something different. You are different because unlike the majority of people in the room or at the event you’re making it clear that you’re more interested in learning about others first. And believe me, when you take the time to put the interests of others first, they will engage you in conversation about what you do as well. Everything is just a whole lot more comfortable taking this simple approach. Give it a try and I’m confident you’ll find it to work very well.

Be awesome and have fun in business!

Josh Hinds

You’re Meant to Live Full Out

Live Life to the fullestWhether anyone has told you lately or not, you’ve got unique GOD given talents. I’m talking about talents that make you truly special. I will readily admit that can be a hard thing to accept, especially if you didn’t have the benefit of growing up hearing such truths, or if you find yourself at a point where you’re feeling beaten down from life’s ups and downs.

Friend, no matter where you find yourself I hope that you will accept what I shared above as truth. Amazingly, the moment you do, you’ll find that things begin to take shape. Good or bad, we tend to live out the reality we set for ourselves. If we see the world as a place where everyone is conspiring against us, that’s exactly what we will receive more of.

Conversely if we can see opportunity, even when it may be a little harder to see in the moment, that’s precisely what will appear. More good will make its way into your life, when you go looking for it — when you allow yourself to be open to it. This isn’t magic or rah, rah thinking. It is really just good old common sense.

Friend, good people want to seek out those like themselves. Be honest with yourself for a moment. Don’t you want to associate with others who make the choice to see the positive side of life? Of course you do. Given the choice, wouldn’t you opt to work with those who give a little more to the task at hand than what’s expected of them? Don’t you naturally gravitate to those who tend to be encouraging, and build up those around them? Sure, we all do.

The key is to avoid victim thinking with all your might. It’s easy to accept that you’ll never get ahead, that others far more powerful than you are conspiring to keep you down. However, the main problem with this line of thinking is that overtime the truth reveals itself, it wasn’t anyone, or anything that kept us from better, greater lives, in the end it was ourselves… our own broken thinking that kept us from living out the greatness that we were meant for.

The last thing in the world I’m trying to do is convince you that everything in life is going to be easy. In fact, at times life can be downright hard! What I do want to get across is that the journey is well worth the effort.

Because when you are in the trenches, fully committed to doing the best you can day in and day out you find that it isn’t really about the rewards nearly as much as the empowering feeling you get from setting out and trying to live full out, being the absolute best YOU that you can be. Consider the wise words of Jim Rohn, “Don’t wish it was easier; wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems; wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenges; wish for more wisdom.”

Friend, when you’re at your best — then others are blessed as a result. I love the simple saying, “I am GOD’s hands and feet.” it always reminds me that if I’m willing, and open to it I can allow GOD to do good things through me (now I’m the first to admit far more than I wish, I get in the way of that happening). You see, when you are your best others benefit immensely and are blessed as well.

You create a life well lived by setting out to be the best you can be, day in and day out. Start your day with the simple mantra: “Today I’ll do my best to leave the path I take just a little better and brighter than I found it.”

It’s Your Life, LIVE BIG!
Josh Hinds

Add my books to your library…