Category Archives: Uncategorized

Throwing Down the Gauntlet: It’s a Numbers Game

August 21, 2015



What is YOUR group doing to bring in new members? Spurred by the uLinkNetwork “Buried Treasure” recruiting contest that offers goodies, freebies, and recognition,  the Folsom Lake gang tells us they did something new.  They brainstormed for nearly 30 solid minutes on how to get new members. Without even realizing it, however, they were doing themselves a favor far greater than any prize. Here’s why….

There is no business networking body we know of, uLinkNetwork or any other, that doesn’t need new members. In fact the very PURPOSE of business networking is to not only value the people that already exist within the group, using and referring their services as frequently as possible, but also to continue to grow the organization so that the numbers multiply along with the potential referrals. When was the last time you heard anyone go to a networking meeting or a mixer, look around and say, “Let’s keep this small, okay?”

Okay – we do hate attrition. But life happens. People come and go and for various reasons – some financial, some time-related, and others for a host of reasons we may never learn. If one joins a networking group thinking the cost of their monthly or quarterly outlay should translate into referrals just by the act of showing up at meetings and mixers, they may never benefit. What about what we might learn from one another? Lord knows we all need more enlightenment on how to do things better. uLinkNetwork is chock full of experts from nearly every walk of business life, but we want MORE. We feel our networking organization is the an exclusive cream-of-the-crop collection of some of the most personable, professional and amazing individuals — people who HATE shoving business cards in people’s faces and gratuitously asking for referrals. Instead, our peeps form RELATIONSHIPS built on trust, friendship and experience with one another. Have you ever described uLink that way to people who shake their heads about how all networking groups are the same? If not, why not start NOW?

Bottom line? The Folsom Lake group may be small right now, but it is mighty. And it’s IN this thing, challenging any other group within uLink to come up with its own plan.  Theirs is to pair up one morning and canvass local businesses, telling them about uLink, offering some leave-behind collateral materials and inviting them to their own open house set for 9 am on Wednesday, September 9th (oh and you can come too…).  They want you to know that when you see their ragtag numbers take a meteoric uptick, their little scheme paid off.   What will YOU do?   Get in touch with Jim Pelley, Adam Frick or Monica Goodpaster to describe YOURS and they’ll be sure to tell the rest of our minions here — on our BRAND NEW BLOG. In the meantime, we’ll keep the light on for ya…..

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Are You TOO Busy?

March 1, 2012

By Rebecca Parre, Rebecca Parre Consulting

I am committed to writing for 30 minutes each day for the next 30 days so it is my new habit. Ok, for some of you that’s no big deal, and for some of us that’s monumental! In the past my reasoning was that I am not a good writer and I am too busy to commit 30 minutes to writing? REALLY?

WOW! When I reread that last sentence it’s lame. My business revolves around creating value in products and services, yet where’s my value of my time?

Coffee with a friend, you bet I have 30 minutes. Catch up with family and friends on Facebook, I have 30 minutes to spare. A football game on Sunday afternoon, no problem. STOP THE PRESSES, carving out 30 minutes to write, TOO BUSY!
As I began exploring my crutch of being too busy, I asked myself am I really being “busy” or am I being “fruitful”? There is a BIG difference.

1. Engaged in activity, as work; occupied.
2. Sustaining much activity: a busy morning; a busy street.
3. Meddlesome; prying.
4. Being in use, as a telephone line.
5. Cluttered with detail to the point of being distracting: a busy design.
tr.v. bus-ied, bus-y-ing, bus-ies

1. a. Producing fruit. b. Conducive to productivity; causing to bear in abundance: fruitful soil.
2. Producing something in abundance; prolific: a fruitful author of fiction.
3. Producing results; profitable.
fruit ful-ly adv. fruit ful-ness n.

Two people are responsible for straightening out my thinking and getting me off my “busy” and focused on being fruitful. First, thanks to Ann Evanston, for her encouragement of this on her Facebook Page. Secondly, I suggested to a fantastic young writer, Jeremy Sawyer, that he devote and schedule the time each day to write. I will walk my talk and schedule, like a business appointment, 30 minutes to write each day. (FYI, it’s only been 25 minutes since I started writing! ) Ever find yourself TOO BUSY?

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Best Productivity Tip. Ever.

January 17, 2012

Here is the best tip I’ve found in my “exhaustive research” of all things motivational and New-Year-Goal-ish: Jerry Sienfeld, a favorite creative genius of mine, uses a productivity tip he calls “Don’t Break the Chain.”

Here’s how it works:
Each January, Jerry would hang a large year-at-a-glance calendar on his wall. Then, for every day he wrote his new material, he had the exquisite pleasure of drawing a big red “X” over that day.

Drawing those Xs gets to be pretty fun and rewarding, so he kept doing it. Eventually, he had a chain of red Xs. He achieved his goal. The idea is to never break that chain.

How about using this approach for anything that you want to do daily: blogging, reading, prospecting, exercise, meditation, etc. ????

It works. Why would you NOT use it?
(seriously. If you answered that question I need to coach you for free.)

Here are five tips to succeed in the daily commitment of your choice:

(1) You only get to focus on ONE COMMITTMENT at a time.
Too many goals or tasks is unrealistic, and absolutely sets you up for failure. Pick ONE COMMITTMENT to focus on. (once achieved, add another!)

(2) Your action has to be SIMPLE and SPECIFIC.
Many people set goals that are vague, or too big to be accomplished in a realistic amount of time. For example, “My commitment is to write a blog post every day.” What is a more effective way to express this? ? “My commitment is to write 300-400 words between 8:30 – 9:30am and post it on my blog.” Breathe easy, it’s getting DONE!

(3) You must schedule time each day to complete the task.
KEY: Blocking out time to work on your priorities and committments is critical for success. Determine how much time you need to complete the task. Schedule a daily appointment with yourself. It’s not real until you write it down. It doesn’t get done until you schedule it.

(4) Be accountable.
Post your “Red X Calendar” where others can see it. Post updates on your blog, or Twitter or Facebook. Get an accountability buddy. Ask one of your fellow uLink members! Start or join a mastermind group and hold each other accountable.

(5) Do it anyway.
There going to be times when you just don’t feel like doing whatever it is you’ve scheduled. Here is your mantra: “Feel the (procrastination, laziness, overwhelm. . . ) and DO IT ANYWAY.” To move forward you must cultivate the qualities of discipline and determination. Taking action, whether you feel like it or not needs to be your number one priority.

So. . . does this speak to you? Go for it, and keep those red X’s rolling. Have a love affair with your red X’s.
Use me for some hard-core accountability. This could be the game-changer. Have an excellent 2012!

Jenifer Novak Landers

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Does Sacramento Really Need Another Networking Group?

September 27, 2011

by Michelle Valencia

Like social nomads, we travel from one networking group to another, sometimes traversing two or more territories simultaneously. Hoping to go the distance with our businesses, we search for the right place to settle. Or not.

“Until now,” says Jim Pelley of uLinkNetwork. “We are the first, and only, networking group to have a mobile app that allows us to send instant referrals 24/7/365. No more tiny slips of paper, ” he adds, laughing. “In a pass the basket group, there is data entry. Our system automates that.”

As a public speaker with a flair for humor, Jim is the owner of Laughterworks Seminars. His humor often lights on very practical, serious topics, especially in the world of business. He and partner Adam Frick of Folsom Living decided that there was a need for a networking group that could be first to market with the technology to electronically track invites, leads, referrals, even follow-up phone calls and emails. Because of the automation it is also possible to refer cross-network instantly.

Speaking on the advantage of the electronic tracking Jim explains, “we can see that we average about 10 to 25 referrals daily, but after a mixer, where we conduct no formal business, traffic soars. We can see over 100 referrals that day because of the relationships being developed.”

While one might assume they could forego the meeting because of the app and its connection to Social Media, Pelley says, “without a meeting, there is no digital leverage driven by relationships.” They meet only twice a month because a business person’s time is valuable. At the monthly mixers, it’s like magic happens. People are more relaxed and the alliances are strengthened.

Monica Martinez Lopez, a personal fashion consultant with Premier Design Jewelry in El Dorado Hills, says that she had been to other networking groups, but really hadn’t seen her business take off until she found uLinkNetwork.

With 10 groups and growing in the Sacramento area and expansion beginning in the Bay area and possibly out of state, uLinkNetwork says that Sacramento absolutely needs another networking group. This one!

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Waah! I’m Not Getting Any Referrals!

September 21, 2011

By Jenifer Novak Landers

Networking can be a significant adventure of self-discovery. Joining a networking group, whether you anticipated it or not, is all about the words of M. Scott Peck, “Wherever You Go, There You Are.”

Your issues, your beliefs and all of your “stuff” will show up. This can be a challenge AND a glorious opportunity for success!

Networking, at it’s best, is a fabulous adventure in business development surrounded by priceless relationships and support. Networking, at it’s most challenging, is a bad karaoke song that sounds like endless whining. (Waah. .)

Inside of every networking organization, the issues surrounding REFERRALS are the biggest buzz of all. “Waah, no one understands what I do.” “Waah, I’m doing everything right and no one gives me referrals.” “Waah, it’s too hard to refer to me!” “Waah, I’m not getting anything out of this!”

Perhaps a small dose of self-inquiry is your game-changer?

Knowing that how you show up in “life” is how you show up in networking, you can begin to notice what deeper issues you have or what stories you are playing out in your life. You can notice if these are the same issues and stories you play out in networking. And best yet, you can make choices to do what serves you and get rid of what doesn’t.

I see a ratio that contributes directly to successful referrals which is this: The level at which you are able to expand is proportionate to the level at which you have more room to receive. This is the conversation that really matters. Are you stuck in resistance? What is in the way of getting the referrals you want? What do you need to let go of (beliefs or behaviors) in order to attract referrals?

In my various leadership roles over the past several years of networking groups, the conversations I’ve had with fellow networkers who are singing the “Waah” song inevitably sift down to this bottom line: HOW they are showing up and IF they are willing to do it differently.

There is a fable about a couple of dogs who hear of an amazing mansion at the top of a hill. A mansion where dreams come true, and abundance abounds. The first dog get’s jumping excited about it and runs up to check it out. This dog is eagerly anticipating and playing full out.

Turns out the mansion is a huge array of mirrors so when the dog enters he sees nothing but other dogs playing full out, wagging tales, excited to connect and anticipating abundance. Soon the other dog slogs up the hill, panting with resistance and criticism. He’s pretty sure the mansion is another waste of his time, won’t matter, might be interesting, but will certainly disappoint overall. He shows up and sees himself surrounded by less than desirable company. “Everyone” is a turn off. He walks out wondering why ANYONE would ever go there, or what delusion they are suffering to consider it in the first place. Hmmmm. He’s just not “getting” anything out of being there.

Consider the reflection of how you show up in your networking efforts. Which dog has your name on it’s tag?

Take the time to assess your outlook. Take notice of your energy and your expectations. Try stepping out of expectation and stepping into INTENTION. What if your intention for networking was “to participate in the greatest outcome for all involved?”

Create an intention that gives your plenty of room to give and receive. What if you intended to show up in complete service to all you meet? Or something “way different” than your usual approach. Have a conversation with a networking buddy prior to an event to be strategic and take on a possibility mindset.

Networking calls us into the fine art of balancing our ability to give AND receive. The “Waah” song is just a request for “how can I do this differently in order to succeed?”

Referral education is not taught in business school, or easily available to entrepreneurs. Can you google it? Can you ask for help? Can you give yourself a life-long learner’s permit?

Here are some TANGIBLE STEPS to up-level your game and erase the “Waah.”

  • Ask 3 people you respect to give you feedback on how you show up as a networker.
  • Write a simple networking plan that includes your top 2 business development goals, what your dream referrals look like, and a description of greatest gift you have to give. Then, do the most important part: take action on it!!
  • Answer the following questions:

Who do you know (personally or not) that has achieved the kind of networking success that you would like to achieve?
What qualities (not behaviors) does this person display that are important for you to develop within yourself?
What behaviors does this person engage in that supports their accomplishments and might be useful for you to adopt?
What could you do to grow and incorporate these qualities and behaviors into your daily life?
What three things would you immediately do or change in your life if you were representing the qualities and behaviors of the person you admire?

Now, THAT is a huge dose of self-inquiry! You are moving forward! Giving and receiving referrals is one of the best games in town.

Jenifer Novak Landers Certified Professional Coach, uLink Assistant Group Leader, uLink Event Coordinator, Past President BNI Folsom Chapter, Leadership Committee eWomen Network, Educational Coordinator BNI, Assistant Organizer Sacramento Speakers Network.

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It’s a Mobile World

July 14, 2011

We all know everything changes and that change is part of our lives no matter what industry you’re in or where you live. But there are few instances through history where innovations are introduced and it forever changes our lives and our businesses. Examples of this are; The automobile, Rock and Roll, Computers, the Internet, and now… Mobile Computing. From the smartphone you have in your hand to the tablet that you have in your case and even the music player you carry around with you all have computing power far greater than the “super computer” that got us to the moon.

How is this changing the world?
If you stop and think about it, we now have “limit-less” access to the world we live in.

Maps and location services: No longer will a man drive endlessly in circles while the woman sitting in the passenger seat is begging for him to pull over and ask for directions.
Internet: You no longer have to ask a complete stranger where you should eat dinner, or where the closest bank is.
Research: We have the ability to research potential clients, competition, illnesses, you name it…instantly!
Games:?Road trips are no longer filled with the “I’m bored…” or the relentless “Are we there yet?”. These powerful mobile gaming platforms offer entertainment for all ages.
Functional Computing: Up until now most people have viewed these mobile devices as “toys” and not serious work tools…this is changing. More and more productivity tools are being released everyday to help us stay connected and have the ability to work from anywhere at anytime!

It’s the next BIG thing!
I hear a lot of people talk about “wishing” they could go back into time when the internet was getting started (and of course knowing what they know now) and start their own Google, or Yahoo, or Microsoft. The reality is…It’s here today! We have a huge opportunity right now to service the world by creating the next idea to help this expanding customer base. Not only is there no longer a need to seek out a pay phone to make a call while traveling. You can do just about anything you need to do at anytime. As a business owner I have been using a smartphone or PDA for over 9 years. I started off with a Palm PDA, then moved to a Cassiopeia (by Casio), bought the first Palm Treo and every model after it until the iPhone came out in 2006…I bought it.?Apple figured it out (like they always do). The iPhone was a true innovation because it did everything we wanted a smartphone to do and it did it very well.

No More Laptop
With my new iPhone in hand I realized I didn’t have to carry around my clunky old laptop anymore. Even though the screen was small I was able to do one-on-one presentations on my phone and sell my products without bringing out a laptop, starting it up, and hoping to find a wifi hotspot. The ?AirCard I had with me, had it’s own issues and when I would plug it in, I would cross my fingers and hope that I’d be able to get connected in a reasonable amount of time so I didn’t have to continue to make small talk while in my mind I’m going through the troubleshooting steps to make sure nothing goes wrong with my computer.?I now bring my iPad with me everywhere and on special occasions where my iPad can’t do somethings I bring my laptop.

Re-think and Innovate
The time to?innovate is now! If we learned anything from the late 90’s it’s.. “embrace technology” it’s not going anywhere. Mobile computing is here and we need to think about how WE can change to meet it’s challenges. Every business who has a website needs to make it optimized for mobile devices. “What? I just created my website, now I need to make another one?” ….YES! ?Most websites were designed with the computer in mind and are difficult to navigate or some parts don’t even work on a mobile device making your website completely useless to the mobile user and we all know that if you’re not servicing your customers they will go to someone who does. Be the first in your industry to embrace this (still fairly new) platform and you’ll reap the benefits for many years to come.

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What is Coopetition?

January 1, 2011

co-o-pe-ti-tion [koh-o-peh-tish-uhn] The act or instance of categorically similar businesses or entities working together for a common purpose or benefit. Willingness to cooperate and work with your competition for the greater good.

Okay, We know this is a totally made up word. In Fact, we made it up… (one night at a bar, but that’s another story). Coopetition is the idea of “competitive” businesses working together for a greater goal…the customer.

When business professionals focus on the customers true needs and not just about making the sale. Everyone wins.

Wait, I don’t get it? How do I win if I don’t get the sale?

When the customer gets EXACTLY what they’re looking for; they will confidently refer their friends to you, because YOU are a problem solver — regardless of whether or not you get the sale.

When you realize that not everyone is your customer, It’s about getting the right customer for your business. Think about it…Nordstrom and Walmart serve a very different customer base, both are VERY successful.?Prospecting is about elimination not inclusion.?Work with the customers YOU want to work with.

With coopitition you work with your competitors to find the best customers for your business. not just taking what comes to you. You’ll look forward to Monday instead of Friday. Woohoo it’s Monday!

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