Innovating Through Artistry

Archive for the ‘Networking’ Category

Achieving The Changes You Want

In BOOKS: Learn and Grow, Emotional Intelligence, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Networking on April 9, 2008 at 5:04 am

Maybe you have not made it yet, the changes you want, but you know what it will take to. Hard work. Willpower. Self-discipline. And if you have been working on trying to make the changes of your dreams without success, you may think its because you are not trying hard enough.

In a new self-help book by Alan Deutschman, called Change or Die: The Three Keys to Change at Work and in Life, Deutsmann explains that failure is not a byproduct of laziness or lack of self-control. In this book, Deutschman, was determined to get to the bottom of what makes people and corporations able to change- especially when they have tried and failed. What he found is that people get unstuck not through willpower but through finding a mentor — someone who’s reached that same goal; so that the “if they can do it, so can I” mentality will take over.

By identifying and learning the new skills necessary from your mentor, this will allow you to “reframe” who you are — a thinner you, a successful salesperson, an artistic entrepreneur — instead of the one, in your own mind, who failed over and over. By shadowing the person you identify as a mentor, your chances for true and lasting change dramatically are altered.

Ironically Deutschman’s book title comes from those who literally have to change or die–its reference comes from people like heart-bypass patients, who must change their lifestyle or face surgery after surgery or death. Astonishingly, nine out of ten of these individuals Deutschman, through his research, learned don’t make the changes that would save their lives, though the stakes couldn’t be higher.

After Deutschman came upon this statistic, he heard about a doctor who had turned those numbers upside down. Dean Ornish, M.D. a San Francisco Bay Area professor of medicine, requires patients to make the most radical changes of all, including switching to an extremely low-fat vegetarian diet and doing regular yoga and meditation practice. Yet nearly eight in ten of his patients- many of them steak eating CEO’s- make those major changes and maintain them for years after they’ve left Ornish’s program.

According to Deutschman, the key to the program’s success is the relationships his patients develop by showing up to support groups and classes that are the program’s hallmark. They find others like them going home to chant “om” or munching on kale and realize it can be done.

So think about the parallels to this story in your own life and desire to change. Change is a result of allowing yourself to truly be influenced and surrounded by those who are “walking the walk”, so you too can learn how to.

Maybe this means surrounding yourself with new people that are achieving what you dream. Or maybe this means seeking out several mentors who you will shadow and heed their every word of advice until you have achieved your vision.

If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always gotten….

Hey Opportunity, Are You Ready Yet?

In Networking on March 7, 2008 at 8:39 pm


The laws of attraction are powerful tools when we accept that they really exist.

If you are reading this blog and starting to be the action-oriented, open, inquisitive receiver of what the world has to offer you, on your own road called adventure, then one of the biggest lessons that you and I will need along our path is this: opportunity knocks when it is ready!

This past week, as an example, I emailed and reached out to five new people I have never met. The first is the CEO of a Chicago based center for adult learning, another the organizer for a Chicago based council for arts and business. I also sent an email to the new owner of a for profit based learning institution focused on the arts in Chicago, and two other individuals I met briefly at a conference but did not have the time to engage them in conversation during very brief introductions.

Each of these contacts I wrote thoughtfully worded time consuming emails, because I recognize each as offering valuable resources: potentially to collaborate on projects, further both of our missions by in some way having an association, or if nothing more, serving as valuable networking opportunities to make a bigger daisy chain of contacts and networks in our worlds that overlap in some way.

Of the five people I contacted only one, the CEO of the Chicago based center for adult learning, replied.

Now, if you are new to this game called investing in the mission of your soul to build a business, you might find this kind of thing rather discouraging.

However, if you believe in the laws of attraction, instead, you will recognize that your purposeful mission is more valuable, powerful and perhaps, for the moment, waiting.

“Waiting for what” you ask?

Waiting for the right person, at the right time, to open the right door for your mission who will whisk you through it with open arms and embrace your vision as if they were part of your soul.

That is how it works. So keep knocking!

Knock and knock and knock knowing that WHEN the right opportunity is ready for YOU, that door will come flying open and be exactly what you need, in exactly that moment, to make exactly the right next step forward on the road to your adventure.

If it were easy, everyone would do it. If others had your vision, it would already be done and exist. But the cosmos is testing your sincerity and holding for you those cherished opportunities behind a door that you simply have yet to knock on.

So keep knocking, please, keep knocking. The world needs your ideas, vision and talents. Those who do not offer you the resources you need, by not opening their door to you, are simply not part of your journey- yet.

The Butterfly Effect of Networking

In Interesting Articles, Networking on March 6, 2008 at 1:41 am

Called the father of modern networking by CNN, Dr. Ivan Misner is a New York Times bestselling author. He is the founder and chairman of BNI, the world’s largest business networking organization. His latest New York Times best selling book, Masters of Sales, can be viewed at Dr. Misner is also the Sr. Partner for the Referral Institute, an international referral training company. He can be reached at

I recently traveled to Necker Island in the Caribbean where I met with about 20 business leaders, including Sir Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Atlantic Airways and owner of the island.

My journey to this island was a dramatic example of the “Butterfly Effect of Networking.” The “Butterfly Effect” is the theory that a small action in one place has a ripple effect that creates a dramatic action in another place. It is like a pebble in a pond, creating ripples on the surface. For networking, it is about how a seemingly minor connection or conversation with one person may, after many ripples across the network, end in a dramatic connection later. During that week on the island, I lived that concept to its fullest.

It started several years ago when I received a phone call from a woman I did not know but who has since become a good friend. Her name is Kim George. Kim asked me if I would be willing to help with the creation of an online networking and social capital community. It took some work to put this together, but at the time I had no idea what type of ripple effect this request would have on my life. I did it because it fit the values and direction that I wanted to take my company. With that, the ripple began.

This relationship turned into a strategic alliance, which turned into a speaking engagement, which allowed me to meet Jack Canfield (co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul); which led to an invitation from Jack to participate in an international organization called the Transformational Leadership Council; which led to meeting a woman by the name of Nancy Salzman, owner of NXIVM Training. Getting to know Nancy led to an invitation for my wife and I to spend five days on the breathtakingly beautiful Necker Island where we met with financial wizards, movie producers, and successful business leaders, such as Sir Richard Branson (OK, I won’t hold back … this week was a networker’s dream).

The ripples that take place in the networking process may not be clear when the pebble drops into the water and the ripple begins.

What is certain is that there is a ripple.

And if you follow that ripple and make the most of the contacts you meet during each stage of that journey, it can lead you to making connections and creating relationships that may surprise you when you look back to where the journey first started.

Building My Blue Bike

In Networking, The Bite-Size Arts Ensemble on December 14, 2007 at 8:17 am

This week has been an exciting week of planning for 2008. A former student of mine, Andrew Favreau, who works for Edelman PR Agency in Chicago, shared with me the comprehensive public relations plan he has drafted for my book, The Bite-Size Arts Ensemble and for my work as an artistic entrepreneurial advocate and agent-for-change. The plan includes radio, print, hopefully some television, and of course speaking engagements.

I have a couple of helping hands to shape and execute the plan. They include a small public relations agency, run by a former Edelman PR staff member who is a couple of years into running her own agency and will handle the daily/weekly/monthly plan, and a recent graduate in journalism, searching for her first opportunities writing as a freelance journalist.

Getting press for your business venture can be very expensive. I have worked hard to find the best possible resources that I can afford to help get the word out about my book, speaking and performing. By working with two bright and talented individuals, one in a start-up venture and the other a recent graduate, I not only am offering each an opportunity, but I am able create a public relations campaign that without them, I would not be able to afford to execute at this level.

The next few steps in this process will be to write a press release, which can be sent out once I have a publisher for my book, verify the data from a list of media contacts in the Midwest, New York and Los Angeles to begin to prospect for press, and continue to develop potential speaking engagements from a short list of relatively high profile schools, conferences and events, that still have openings for 2008.

Next year will be an action pack year of continuing to build my blue bike.

With each step I take, perfectly executed and planned or not, I feel more assured and more comfortable with not exactly knowing what will happen.

What I do know is that building my business is a process of action– little steps- that eventually will cumulatively produce major growth, change and increased clarity.

Simply by doing, even with parts of my blue bike still missing, including one of the most important- a publisher for my book- I know that this process of discovery is one of the greatest adventures of my life.