Happiness or Financial Success: Which Comes First?
Successful Parenting After Your Divorce
Negotiating Successfully to Collect Your Cash
Using the Carrot to Motivate While Paying Peanuts
With Every Dollar You Spend, You Are Choosing to Be Rich or Poor
Living on the Money You Make
Four Simple Steps to Support Your Career Transition
Creative Staff Perks for Small Businesses
Cover Photo by Starla Fortunato
Seven Rules for Saving Your Marriage
Financial Brain Buster
How to Make Networking Work for You, Part 1
Cover Story— Dr. William Dorfman— America’s Renowned Dentist and Humanitarian
Harry Carson— A Gentle Giant With a Power-Packed Punch
Chrissy Carew—Inspiring Excellence in Everyone
James Smedley—A Man of Action Promotes Service to Country and Community
Minding My Business 35
Kristin Engvig—Empowering Women to Change the World
Greg Williams—The Master Negotiator
A new year…renewed visions.
Letter From The Founder Dear Friend, It’s a New Year and it’s time for a new you! What would you do if I told you that you could turn your setbacks into comebacks sooner than you thought possible? It is said “when one door closes, another opens.” But in order for it to open someone must be on the other side or you must have the key to unlock it. Keys come in many forms - miracles, information, people you know or don’t know and even passwords. You can’t gain access to many things in life without the appropriate key. Keys can open doors we never thought possible. Keys to success can be in the form of integrity, hard work, and perseverance. On any given day each of us may hold keys that enable us to accomplish many things. I want to help you realize your greatness and live your passion by providing you with the key to an extraordinary future. Inside the January/February issue there are different keys. You’ll be inspired by extraordinary people like Dr. William Dorfman, Chrissy Carew and Barbara Cull who are opening doors for others. You’ll gain powerful insights from experts like Greg Williams, the Master Negotiator, who shares key points on how to effectively negotiate, whether on a personal or professional level. Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee, Harry Carson, shares personal thoughts on his experience as a pro ball player and how he’s using his life experiences to serve current and retired players. His experiences provide proven insights on how to overcome adversity and help change the lives of others. 2011! This is your year to unlock new doors of opportunity, break new records, set new goals and pursue them or achieve that one dream you’ve been putting aside for the past year. With every good wish for great achievements, and a new life filled with keys that open many doors.
Dr. William Dorfman D.D.S. IMAGINE A SMILE THAT HAS THE POWER TO CHANGE A LIFE.
may be known as the dentist to the stars, but to thousands of underprivileged, disabled and seriously ill children around the world, Dr. William Dorfman is the celebrity.
Dr. Dorfman’s extraordinary achievements and humanitarian and philanthropic contributions to the world are as long as his 21+ years of experience and there’s no end in sight. He is a world-renowned lecturer and author of the bestselling cosmetic dentistry book, The Smile Guide and the New York Times bestseller Billion Dollar Smile.
He’s become a star in his own right as a featured dentist on such television shows as “The Doctors” and “Extreme Makeover.” He has blazed a trail as bright as the smiles he’s created over the years and his future is destined to continue shining brightly as he transform lives, one smile at a time.
This innovative and brilliant entrepreneur is widely recognized as one of America’s leading dentists. He’s also a dedicated humanitarian and one of only 33 Fellows in the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. For over 13 years Dr. Dorfman has helped restore the smiles of drug addicts, former prostitutes, abused wives, rape victims and children at no charge. Through his generosity and compassion for others, Dr. Dorfman has performed dental services for many graduates of the Los Angeles Battered Women’s Shelter. He’s also restoring hope and self-esteem in children in South Africa, Australia and many other countries. As the founder of Discus Dental, Inc., his amazing ingenuity enables him to develop and distribute award-winning products to his patients. He’s helped invent several products, including Nite White, Day White, and Zoom! and Brite Smile, as well as other oral hygiene and dental products. Through Discus Dental, Dr. Dorfman donates all of the whitening supplies to the Smiles for Life Foundation in association with The Crown Council of Dentistry. He also co-founded the LEAP Foundation – Leadership, Excellence and Accelerating Your Potential – a summer scholarship program for students and young adults designed to help them learn valuable life skills such as etiquette and time management, not ordinarily available in a traditional classroom setting.
I had the great pleasure of speaking with Dr. Dorfman about his life’s calling and how he is using it to impact lives across the globe, giving people renewed confidence in themselves, a new outlook on life, as well as bright new smiles.
Monica: How did you prepare for this profession? Dr. Dorfman: I went to dental school, and I learned dentistry. They taught me how to fix teeth, and I sat back, and thought, “Okay. That was kind of cool.” But what I didn’t realize is that if you fix a lot of teeth, you fix a smile, and when you fix a smile, you fix a life. And that’s a lot cooler than fixing just a tooth, right? As I began doing more and more cosmetic dentistry, I realized that it’s a great gift that you can give to people. To me it was so much more rewarding than just fixing broken teeth – to take classes and go to symposiums and become as proficient as I could in cosmetic dentistry. Monica: You have helped so many people, both professionally and personally and from a humanitarian standpoint. What does it mean to have changed so many lives? Dr. Dorfman: I believe that part of our purpose here on earth is to make this world a better place for having been here, and any part that I can take in doing that, I believe, just makes me a better person, and it makes the world a better place. It’s an honor and a privilege to do that. There aren’t many people who go to work each day and come home and at the end of the day say, “I helped make somebody else’s life better.” Monica: It gives you a very satisfying feeling to know that you have contributed to changing someone’s life in that way. You believe that it’s very important to share your success with others. Dr. Dorfman: Absolutely. Not just my success, but in addition to raising money and things like that for people, it’s the ability to deliver care to people as well. A lot of people will donate money to different charities and things that they’re involved in. That’s great, and if that’s what you can January-February 2011 | Exceptional People Magazine | 5
do, that’s what you can do. But when you can also take care of people, that’s even better. Monica: You have contributed to many organizations such as the Los Angeles Battered Women’s Shelter, Tomorrow’s Trust and Smiles for Life. Would you mind taking a few seconds to speak about each of those organizations and how you became involved with them? Dr. Dorfman: The Los Angeles Battered Women’s Shelter is an amazing
foundation. Basically what they do is they take women who have been battered and put them through a 12-step program. At the end of the program their goal is to integrate them back into society. Well, you try getting a job at McDonald’s without front teeth. You can’t. So I began donating my services to help them become presentable. I received an award for that, which was really quite an honor.
We have kids from all over the world. I had five that came from Perth, Australia. I bring in kids from Africa. I mean, it’s really amazing.
The foundation I’m working with in Vegas is with Garth Brooks. It’s called Teammates for Kids. Basically what we do is we provide care for the terminally ill and for children around the world. We began with a group of dentists and the Crown Council, developing our own program to raise money for Teammates, which is called Smiles for Life. Dr. Dorfman: My company donates whitening products -- Zoom!, Bright Smile, Night White and Day White. The dentists donate their services. Patients come in and have their teeth whitened. When they write checks directly to Smiles for Life, we donate the whitening products to the dentists. So one hundred percent of the money goes to the children’s foundation and over the last eleven years we’ve raised close to $30 million. Monica: That is outstanding. Dr. Dorfman: So that’s been really big. Another project is called the Give Back a Smile Program. That’s a program we administer through the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. And, again, what we’re doing is we’re looking to help victims of domestic violence. These are men, women and children who are victims of domestic violence. We help restore their smiles through dentists who donate their services and the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. And finally, one of my favorites is a foundation called LEAP which is a program I operate every summer with my co-founder, Steve Anderson. It’s a program for high school and college kids where we teach them the things that they need to know to become successful in life, like time management, money management, interviewing skills, working with mentors and the secrets of success. The cool thing about the program is that half the kids who attend, come from fairly affluent families. The other half, we raise money so that they can attend, and we give them scholarships.
Last year – I was on a TV show called The Doctors. They shaved my head on one episode and we raised $121,000 for my charity, the LEAP foundation. That money enabled me to bring about another 75 kids into the program. Ironically – and this is a funny side note – I was recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most money raised for shaving a head for charity. Monica: That is awesome. Dr. Dorfman: The program is for one week every summer. It’s amazing and it changes lives. Monica: You have developed products that enhance your practice. With respect to your NiteWhite and your DayWhite products, what makes them excellent products to use on the teeth? Dr. Dorfman: We have four products. We have NiteWhite, DayWhite, Brite Smile and Zoom!. I feel they’re the best products on the market because we’re perpetually updating them, improving them, making them work faster, better, with less sensitivity and things like that. We have a lot of added features. We have great buffers in them, great shelf life and stability. We have great flavors and ACP in them, which is amorphous calcium phosphate. We’re the only ones with that. That really helps to strengthen teeth and it decreases sensitivity. Monica: Is there any reason why a person may not be able to use a whitening product? Dr. Dorfman: Some people just aren’t good candidates. If you’ve got black teeth, it’s just not going to work. Also, if you have caps on your teeth, they won’t whiten. Monica: What are your thoughts on the Invisalign? Dr. Dorfman: Oh, Invisalign is awesome. I mean as a general dentist, I’ve probably used just about as much Invisalign, or more, than any other general dentist in the world. Patients love it, and the thing that I love most about it is that in addition to straightening teeth, we can also add a little of our whitening gel to straighten and whiten teeth at the same time. January-February 2011 | Exceptional People Magazine | 7
Monica: How has your perspective on life changed over the years as a result of what you do in your profession and from a humanitarian standpoint?
mean, it’s become addictive. As you help people, and you see the changes that it makes in their lives, it’s so reinforcing that you just want to do it more and more. But the thing that’s the most beautiful part of it is I’m a father of three. And doing the work that I do, I always bring my kids, and my kids are a part of it. When I see that the kids I’m helping are my own kids and they begin to initiate this themselves, that, to me, is the best part of all.
Dr. Dorfman: My perspective on life – I
Monica: Would say that those things are what you believe to be the motivating factors in your life that help you achieve success? Dr. Dorfman: Yes. I think when you’re talking about success in fundraising versus success in business, those are two different things. As far as fundraising and philanthropy, yes, it becomes an addictive thing. The more you help, the more rewarding it is. It’s just a beautiful thing. Monica: What do you believe are the motivating factors from a business standpoint that allow you to succeed in whatever you set out to do? Dr. Dorfman: From a business standpoint I’m going to say this; I never give up. People don’t realize this, but you only fail when you give up. Now that doesn’t mean I’m successful every time. It may take me ten or fifteen times to make it work. But the difference is I don’t stop after the 10th or 11th or 12th time. I keep going until I can make it happen. Monica: Do you ever decide there is a cut-off point and you say to yourself “this is not going to work; it’s time to move on?” Dr. Dorfman: Not if I want it bad enough. My level of interest may decline at some point or I may feel like this isn’t the most important thing in the world. But there are some things that I am working on that I will never give up on. I will keep going and going until I make it happen. I may not be the smartest. I may not be the wealthiest. I may not be a lot of things, but when it comes to tenacity, don’t get in my way.
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Monica: Well, I certainly believe you have to be pretty smart to create and invent some of the products that you have. Dr. Dorfman: Einstein stated it like this when he received his Nobel Laureate. He said, “It isn’t my brilliance that got me here. It’s my creativity.” I just try hard. Monica: As a celebrity dentist, I’m sure your time and services are in high demand. How do you balance work and personal time?
Dr. Dorfman: Well, no matter where I am and what I’m doing in the world, I go to the gym and I work out four days a week. I don’t care if I have to miss part of a fiveday conference. I will miss it because I know that if I don’t take care of myself and I don’t stay healthy, I can’t be of benefit to anyone, including myself. So I am Mr. Fitness.
Dr. Dorfman: Remember this. Your smile is the first thing that people notice about you and the last thing they remember about you, so keep it on.
Monica: That’s wonderful because if you’re physically fit, your mind is fit as well. What do your daughters think of your accomplishments, including how you have changed the lives of so many people? Dr. Dorfman: I would hope that they are proud of me. Monica: Are any of them interested in dentistry? Dr. Dorfman: Absolutely. I have a 17-year-old and twin 12-year-olds, and one of my 12-year-olds would like to become a dentist. Monica: What’s your last word?
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A Gentle Giant with a Power-Packed Punch
Well respected within the professional football community, Harry Carson has proven himself to be an amazing achiever, both on and off the field. Along the way he has encountered many challenges. This tough and unyielding player, who played as a linebacker for the New York Giants from 1976 to 1958, also has a softer side. For five seasons he led the team in tackles and he also served as the team’s captain most of his career. He is considered their captain for life. Carson’s excellence on the field was marked by his induction as the 231st member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His excellence off the field has been marked by the lives he’s helped change. Carson is one of the leading spokesmen for NFL retired players. Since leaving the game, he has immensely impacted the lives of current and retired payers, advocating on their behalf for better health care, among other issues. He has also served as an advisor to the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and as a member of the Brain Injury Association Sports Injury Prevention Council. 2006 Hall of Fame Induction
Carson has established himself as an authority and recognized speaker on concussions in sports. However, his love for helping people goes well beyond football to other projects, including the United Way Celebrity Read Program, the Boys and Girls Club of America, The Young Fathers Program, the Autism Coalition and many others.
The lessons he has conveyed to young players in high school and colleges across the country are that life is more than just about football. It’s January-February 2011 | Exceptional People Magazine | 11
about living your life in a way that positively impacts others. It was a pleasure to speak with Mr. Carson concerning his successes, as well as his challenges on and off the field, his life as a football player, his thoughts on how the game affects players emotionally and physically and his desire to make a difference in the lives of others. Monica: First, I would like to congratulate you on your induction into the Football Hall of Fame in 2006. Harry: Thank you.
The New York Giants 1986 Superbowl Team
Monica: I know at one point you asked to have your name removed from the ballot. Why? Harry: I did it for a number of reasons. Primarily, I did it to take back my power. And I know that might sound strange. But as long as you allow your name to be part of something like that, and year in and year out, you hear different things in regards to the voting process and the procedure for selecting hall of famers, I decided that it was not something I needed to enhance my career or to make me feel good at night. 12 | Exceptional People Magazine | January-February 2011
It really wasn’t all that important to me, and it meant more to the people around me than to me personally. When I saw what was happening with the people around me, every year they would get their hopes up and their hopes would be dashed. They would be disappointed for me. There were even people who started to avoid me because they, quite frankly, didn’t know what to say to me. It’s like someone dying and you don’t know what to say to make them feel better. So I just decided that I wanted my life back.
“All that you have can be taken in the blink of an eye.”
And it wasn’t that I was angry. Let me just preface it by saying I wrote a book. It’s not necessarily a book about the Hall of Fame, but I put the entire situation about the Hall of Fame in the book so people would get an understanding. There are a lot of football fans who look at what I did, and they will say I was being a baby about it. Some people could understand why I was doing what I was doing. The other thing was, by having my name removed from consideration, it put a spotlight on the process. So there were a lot of other players who were just like me, who played in the league. Those guys wanted to be in the Hall of Fame, but every year their names came up for consideration and they didn’t make it. In essence, what I was doing was falling on the sword to draw attention to the process but also just to go on with my life.
Monica: For those of us who watch football, we look at it as an exciting sport, but it was your chosen career. Did football have a special meaning for you? Harry: Football is only a part of my life, and it was something that I fell into. It wasn’t something that I was striving to be from the time that I was a kid. Quite frankly, I started playing football to meet girls. That was the reason. I actually quit the team when I first went out for the football team because it was too rough for me. I made a decision after I quit that I was going to come back the next year and try it again because I had quit. In my gut I didn’t like the taste of quitting. I came back and I made it. I was good enough through high school to get a scholarship to go on to college. Football served as a means to an end, and that was to get a college education because my family would not have been able to afford to send me to college. January-February 2011 | Exceptional People Magazine | 13
I played four years, and then the Giants drafted me. But I was all prepared because I graduated with my class, and I had my degree. If I didn’t make it, it was no big deal; I would just go on with my life. Monica: As a retired player, what do you miss most about the game? Harry: I don’t really miss the game. I miss the camaraderie. I miss the guys whom I played with.
go to Walter Reed Army Medical Center to visit the soldiers who were coming back from Iraq. But it’s still things that we were doing as a group. Long after our football careers ended we remained a solid group of friends, and we tried to do things in the community. Unfortunately, one of our members, Brad Van Pelt, passed away last year, I think February 2009 of a heart attack.
Monica: You were part of a group called the Crunch Bunch.
Monica: I understand that you suffered several concussions during your career. In what ways have the concussions affected your life?
Harry: The Crunch Bunch was the line-backing quartet that we were in the early ‘80s. It was I, Lawrence Taylor, Brad Van Pelt and Brian Kelley. And we were considered at one point the top group of linebackers in the league. And we just sort of dubbed ourselves the Crunch Bunch, just having fun with it. And eventually, Brad and Brian were released, and we got two other linebackers, Carl Banks and Gary Reasons, and they sort of took over where Brad and Brian left off. But we were no longer known as the Crunch Bunch at that point.
Harry: Well, everybody who plays, I think, will probably say that they have sustained a concussion or two along the way. I was diagnosed with postconcussion syndrome two years after I left football, which was 1990. And so, while I played, it was just part of the game. I went into broadcasting and the anxiety of being on the air and having people talk in your ear while you’re trying to make a point affected me, and sometimes just forgetting what I was saying, trying to make a point. Especially in television, I would forget what point I was trying to make.
It was a fun thing to play up on, but we were pretty good. Everybody was good during that time, but we thought that we were pretty good.
I eventually went to my doctor and discussed it, and he referred me to a neuropsychologist. I went through two days of testing and the diagnosis was mild post-concussion syndrome. But with that I was happy to learn that there was something going on with me because at one point I thought perhaps I had a brain tumor. One of my old teammates had retired, started having bad headaches and that’s what he was diagnosed with, a brain tumor, and eventually he passed away.
Monica: The Crunch Bunch also participated in various charity activities. Harry: Yes, that was after our careers ended. We had remained in touch, and I had gotten the guys involved in various activities, like going down to Mexico to build houses for Habitat for Humanity with former President Jimmy Carter. We would
I knew something was going on, and I didn’t know exactly what it was, but
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having been tested and diagnosed, I was able to learn more about the condition. I had something I could concretely put my finger on as far as why I was having headaches and blurred vision or being a little bit forgetful and so forth. So it really hasn’t affected me that much except for the fact that I have learned how to manage it. I know when I’m having good days, and I know when I’m not having good days. Monica: How do you manage it? Harry: I just have to recognize when I’m having a blue mood day or I’m not quite as sharp as I usually am. I avoid putting myself in certain situations. Sometimes it’s difficult for me to commit to doing certain things because I don’t necessarily know how I’m going to feel. But for the most part, I’ve learned how to manage it and deal with it. When I’m on a plane and I hear a baby screaming and I’m flying across country, it can get to me after a certain point. And so now when I fly, I just make sure I have my Bose headphones to block out the noise. When I go to a function, let’s say it’s a dinner or a fundraiser in a dimly lit room, and there’s a photographer taking pictures, I know to avoid the flash because sometimes the flash can trigger headaches. And so I’ve learned how to manage certain situations, but I just try to not let anything get me down. I have to be aware, and I have to take control of my own life and either put myself in certain situations or remove myself from certain situations.
College days at South Carolina State University
Monica: From your perspective, what do you think should be done to help prevent and treat concussions? Harry: I don’t think there’s anything that can be done. That’s the way the game is built. I mean it’s a violent game. You have helmets that are being developed to lessen the blow or the contact to the brain. You have rules that are being implemented to make the game safer. The reality is the game is what it is. It’s a violent collision game, and you have bodies flying around and oftentimes you can’t determine how you’re going to tackle someone or how somebody is going to hit you or tackle you. But the reality is it’s a violent game. Concussions have always been a part of the game. Unless the game is changed significantly, concussions will always be part of the game. Monica: Do you think that the league has done much to support players who are suffering from concussions? Harry: Well, the league is working toward that end to help players who are dealing with neurological problems. I think for years and years they have been in denial, and they would not talk about a connection between neurological conditions of former players like dementia and Alzheimer’s. But now they are starting to come around and acknowledge that there might be a connection. And so to that end I think they’re being open and seeing what’s obviously there, that many players who have played in the NFL are now dealing with neurological problems. Many players have already passed away as a result of the concussions that they sustained.
I think that we’re making some progress in acknowledging the problems, whether it’s players that have spoken out, whether it’s the wives of players that have spoken out, whether it’s Congress holding hearings and holding the feet of the National Football League (NFL) to the fire. At least the message is getting out there. Monica: You were very touched by the death of Mike Webster who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Harry: Well, I’m touched by any player who has played who dies prematurely. Several months ago there was a player, Norman Hand, who died at the age of 37. He was from South Carolina. He went into cardiac arrest. And when you have players who are world-class athletes who die at 37 and you know it’s in all probability heart-related, it’s sad. And it’s something you hope that you can have – you can alert other players to continue to work out and take care of their health. Then you also have players, who have things going on with them, and they have no clue until they have some serious issues. Mike Webster is someone that I think about because Mike and I had to go against each other for years and years in the NFL. I know how I played. I know how he played. We were tough, and we were hard-nosed, and we were very physical when we played. As Mike was trying to block me, I would give him a shot to the head with my forearm. What I was doing -- I didn’t realize this at the time, but every time I hit him in the face or the head with my forearm to defend myself or to get him away from me so I could make the play, those shots were probably creating some brain damage. And so when Mike left the game, there were some things going on with him. Some people didn’t recognize it, nor would they accept it. He had some neurological problems January-February 2011 | Exceptional People Magazine | 15
because he was acting in a way that was not consistent with who he should have been at that time. I was saddened because he was diagnosed with a neurological disorder, post-concussion syndrome, the same thing that I have. But when he applied for disability, the NFL denied him. Not only did the NFL deny it, but the player’s association that’s supposed to help current and former players joined forces with the NFL, and they sided against Mike Webster. So that’s the thing that – I get so emotional about it because there are guys who obviously are having neurological problems. Oftentimes you don’t know it because it’s very subtle. Monica: If you knew what you know today about the game of football in terms of how it can affect a player’s life, would you have chosen to play the game? Harry: If I knew then what I know now from a physical risk standpoint, I’d still play. But since I know what I know now from a neurological standpoint, would I still play? I would not. Monica: Do you believe that the glory and satisfaction that a player gets from playing or that a coach gets from coaching the sport sometimes outweighs the dangers that may exist? Harry: I think most people look at the glory and the fame, and they don’t necessarily understand that, and I’m talking from a players’ standpoint. Coaches are exempt from this unless they’ve played the game. From a player’s standpoint, they don’t understand the risk that they put themselves in when they’re playing. Coaches, obviously, they instruct the players and they tell the players what
to do and how to do it. And if you go out and you do your job, you’re a good soldier, but oftentimes you don’t know that you’ve damaged parts of your brain just by hitting people and getting hit. Monica: What do you consider to be key elements to achieving excellence, both on and off the playing field? Harry: Part of my success was just being committed, being a leader and leading by example and being passionate about what I did. The things that I’m passionate about, the things that I was passionate about when I played, I have the same passion now. All I want to do is make a difference from day to day. For me it’s not necessarily about the money that you make. It’s about doing good work and letting your work speak for you, and that’s what I did as a football player. I wasn’t the best, I wasn’t the fastest, I wasn’t the strongest, but I worked well with what I had at my disposal. I had good teammates who inspired me, and I inspired them. We put trust and faith in one another, and we were able to win a championship. I gravitate to things that I feel good about, feel comfortable doing. The people who I deal with, we believe in one another, we’re on the same page, and we’re looking for the same thing, that is to make a difference. Monica: Excellent. Was it difficult for you to make the adjustment to go from playing such an exciting sport to living a quieter lifestyle? Harry: No, because I’ve always been a very quiet and understated player. I never really sought the spotlight. I never really considered myself to be a star. I just played football. I
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consider myself no better than anybody else. I was just a football player. I used to often wonder why I was being paid so much money, but teachers were not, where teachers have an opportunity to have a much greater impact on so many more people than football players. That’s all I did. I just played football. And so having gone to a HBCU university (Historically Black College and Universities) and having dealt with people who have been in my life – they’ve always kept me grounded, and I’ve always been humble. Football is just something that I did, and so when I left the game, it was when I wanted to leave as opposed to just being shown the door. Monica: Can you give me a couple of lessons that you have learned from playing the game that you apply to your life today? Harry: One lesson that I learned is a very basic lesson. All that you have can be taken in the blink of an eye. As you’re playing and you think that you’re the best player, just like that, one twist of the knee, or you could pop your Achilles and blow out your knee, and then it’s over. And for me, having played 13 years in the game, I’ve seen a lot. A lot has happened to me, but I’ve also been witness to a lot. So, all that you have can be taken in the blink of an eye. Whether you’re talking football or whether it’s in life, I’ve seen the same thing where people had everything and, just like that, it’s gone. They’ve lost all their money. They’ve lost their health. They’ve lost their lives. These are things that I try to drill into my kids, and I try to get them to understand that next year is not promised. Next month is not promised. Tomor-
row is not promised, or the next five minutes is not promised. I think they get it. They’ve learned from me, and they’ve turned out to be really great kids who are probably sometimes too much like their father. Monica: If you don’t mind my asking, how many kids do you have? Harry: I have three; two sons and one daughter. One son is finishing his second year of med school at Virginia Tech. And I have another son who just finished his third year at Auburn University but has opted to go into the Marines because he’s looking for a different challenge. Monica: None of them are interested in sports? Harry: Well, they are. My daughter played softball when she was in junior high. My older son played high school football and basketball. Then he attended Savannah State and played football and basketball. He opted not to go pro, he went on to graduate school at Hampton, and then he went into the medical program at Virginia Tech. My younger son wants to be just like me, but for whatever reason he wasn’t able to play sports on the same level which his older brother and I played. So they all have their pluses and minuses. From an intellectual standpoint, he is probably the most superior. He has the most superior intellect. So I’ve never encouraged them to follow in my footsteps. Whatever they want to do, they should do it. Monica: You’ve made many tackles on the playing field, but as a retired veteran of the game you have chosen to tackle other things in various community settings, like Habitat for Humanity and prostate cancer. Is there a particular cause that you are especially devoted to? Harry: The cause that I am really devoted to is the cause of retired players, whether it’s improving their pensions or improving their disability. Basically, retired players, once they stop playing, they no longer have a voice.
And people can easily tune them out, especially people who are in positions of power to help them. With the Hall of Fame, it gave me a platform to really speak about what was going on with retired players. And if you go back and you read my induction speech, the first couple of minutes I was talking about the retired players and the NFL and the NFL Players Association doing a better job of taking care of those players. In essence what has happened is I was captain for my team, and they counted on me. Many of the guys that I played with consider me their captain for life. Even, now with certain things that are happening with the team or in the community, they consider me their captain for life. So with the induction speech I became a captain for all the other players who I played with and against because I used that platform as an opportunity, not to talk about how great I was or to thank people who made it possible for me to be January-February 2011 | Exceptional People Magazine | 17
there, but to speak about the plight of retired players. So many of the guys whom I’ve communicated with, they’ve thanked me for at least opening the door. There is dialog regarding the plight of retired players, and there is an effort to make things better for them. So that’s the thing that I feel strongest about. While I played, I was also an observer of what was going on. There are guys who are football players, and all they focus on is playing the game. There are guys that, if you asked them that question that you asked me, “Knowing what you know now, would you play again,” they would say, “I would do it all again in a heartbeat.” Those are football players. I wasn’t built to be a football player. I was someone who just happened to play football. I was an educator who played football. And to be honest with you, I was sometimes too nice on the football field. I wasn’t one of those guys who was about ripping an opponent’s head off. I considered myself a cerebral football player who thought about things. I made the choice as to when my career was going to be over. I sort of looked at all of the things that happened while I was playing and tried to guard against those things happening to me. I was just one of those guys that recognized that I was taking part in a temp job, and at some point it was going to be over, and what do I do with the rest of my life. Monica: Did you decide when you were going to retire, or did a health condition cause you to retire? Harry: Well, I had no clue as to how long I was going to play. Obviously, you’re in no control of being able to
do that, but I just decided I didn’t want to play anymore. I went to the team prior to my last season, and I told them I would like more money, and this is my last year. And they said, “No,” and that was it. I finished my 13 years, and I just wanted to move on with my life and do other things. They came to me after I retired and asked me to come back, and I said, “No, I don’t want to play anymore.” So I’m sort of the exception rather than the rule because most guys don’t get to call their own shots. Most guys are shown the door before they’re ready to leave. And if they leave and the team wants them to come back, 90 percent of the guys would come back unless they’ve got some kind of health issue that would prohibit them from playing. Monica: As a retired player, what are some of the things you enjoy most in life? Harry: As a retired player, I enjoy trying to make a difference, whether it’s going into schools and talking with kids or going into prisons and encouraging young inmates to get their GED and working with the NFL to get better programs set up for former players. I’m also the executive director of the Fritz Pollard Alliance. We work with the NFL to create a greater sense of diversity within the league. So to have programs enacted to help minority candidates rise up the ladder to positions of power, those are the things that are most gratifying to me. Monica: What legacy would you like to leave your family?
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Harry: The best legacy that I can have is my kids who watch me, and they follow me. We have a great relationship, my kids and my grandchildren -- to love them as much as I can love them and be a good example and role model for them and let them know that there is absolutely nothing that they can’t do. Monica: What is your book about? Harry: I’ve written the book for about five years. It’s about my life. It’s about playing the game. It’s not necessarily about my personal life. When I started talking about my issues with concussions, I’d go on television or I would be interviewed, and people would only use a little snippet of what I was talking about. It wasn’t until the high-profile players were sustaining concussions that people started to pay attention. So while I was talking about it, nobody was really listening. You have all of the NFL and others talking about the issues of concussions, whereas I have been talking about concussions and neurological problems that players are dealing with for years. To avoid giving somebody just a little snippet or a sound bite that they could use, I wanted to write about the experience of being a player and how players are trained to play, not necessarily to sit on the bench and what they put themselves through to play the game. And I chronicled some of the concussions that I sustained, whether in high school or college or in the NFL. Monica: It sounds like it’s going to be a very informative book. Harry: I wanted to talk about my experience as a captain with the Giants, and I wanted to talk about that
journey from the first time that I stepped on a football field to today and the attitude of the NFL and talking about head injuries and so forth. Monica: You said, “That journey.” Looking back, was it truly worth it? Harry: Again, the journey was one where if I truly understood then what I understand now, I would not have opted to play football. Now the best part of the game is not necessarily about the hitting and all of those things. It’s about the relationships that you form from being part of a team. And to be honest, that’s why you go out there and you play when you’re hurt. It’s not about the money, it’s about being trained and the camaraderie, and you don’t want to let the guy next to you down. Whether it’s war or being part of a football team, it’s about the same thing. You’re out there going to battle with your team against another team. It was an interesting experience. It was fun at times. The relationships are what I value and treasure more than anything else. Monica: What positive thought would you like to leave readers? Harry: Every day count your blessings. Life is a blessing, and I say that for a number of reasons. I’m blessed to have three really great kids. I was previously married, and my ex-wife recently passed away. I’m in mourning over that and -- the way that she died was very difficult. You realize that someone who hasn’t reached the age of 50, that had so much to live for, is dying from a very rare brain disease. You really have to count your blessings. So I always count my blessings that I have good health and happiness because, bottom line, at the end of the day that’s the only thing that really matters. Monica: I’m sure your kids have learned a lot from you in so many ways. And that alone is a blessing. Harry: I have three really great, fantastic kids who are really good people. They are the best. When I played, I was a football player in every sense of the word. I had three kids from three different women. They did not have the same mother. As I was being a father to each of these children, they did not grow up in the
same household, but they all got the same foundation from me because I was not an absentee father. I was very much involved in their lives.
There were times where if I had not been a part of their life, I knew at the age of 15 that my son might be standing before a judge. He would probably say, or his attorney would say something like, “But, Your Honor, his father was never a part of his life.” I never wanted that to be the case, and I have always co-parented my children with their mothers. I don’t want to paint myself to be this holier-than-thou guy because I made some mistakes when I played, but I never ran away from my responsibility. I owned up to it, and I’ve been there for my kids. I’ve been there for parent-teacher conferences. And they know that I’ve been plugged in. I’ve been involved in their day-to-day lives and I’ve always cared. And I was always a part of their lives, and now their mothers and I are the best of friends. Monica: Based on those experiences, what advice can you give to younger players who are turning pro or have been pro for a few years? Harry: Well, I’m a mentor to a number of current players and also some former players. I was in Jacksonville a while ago with a guy who I’m mentoring. What I do, is I open my book, the book of my life and share with them, and I share the good and the bad. But I also share with them that where they are now is going to be over at some point, and what do you do with the rest of your life, be careful about the choices that you make. Ball players understand and respect other ball players. I don’t have any hidden agenda. I’m not there to tap into their money or anything else. I’m there to help them grow. I try to be open and honest. I try to be a big brother figure or, you could say, like an older frat brother to players who are playing the game because I’ve been there. I have won all kinds of accolades. I’m well respected within and outside the football community. I’m in the Hall of Fame. So most guys want to know, “Well, how I can get to be like you from a football standpoint?” But I don’t talk about football. I talk about life in general, and I try to share with them as much as I can to help them be the best people that they can be.
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Monica: As a Master Coach, you have helped paved the way for a lot of other coaches and you’ve had a major impact on the coaching industry as a whole.
in Everyone Today, as some may agree, the world has changed in a way that leaves us wondering, what’s happening? Where are we headed? It seems that we’re losing hope. Whatever happened to dreaming big and living life to its fullest? It sometimes seems that we’ve given up on our dreams; we’re living in doubt and fear with no plans of how we’re going to make the future better than the present. Visionary Chrissy Carew has a plan – one that will restore hope. It will inspire young boys and girls, who are our future, to dream big, become excited about growing up and envision making significant contributions to the world. As the founder of Insightful PlayerTM, Carew is on a mission to help make the world a better place. She is reaching thousands of young people through Insightful PlayerTM, a project that was borne from her desire to uplift and inspire young people around the world to be the best they can be. She’s reaching them through current and former NFL players who are pas-
sionate about inspiring their fans and young people through their life experiences. This project will have a lasting impact throughout communities around the world. Not only is Carew positively affecting the lives of kids, but as a Master Certified Personal and Business Coach and Trainer, she is inspiring trailblazers to reach new heights, helping them fulfill their personal and professional goals, as well as their entrepreneurial visions. Among her many achievements, Carew has also served as Vice President of the International Coach Federation, serving three terms on its Board of Directors, and as the Public Relations and Marketing Chair. For ten years, Carew also owned a public relations and event planning company that earned her a Bell Ringer award for excellence and achievement in communications and public relations. “Insightful PlayerTM is a bold movement . . .” says Carew, as she shared her vision with Exceptional People Magazine. She is a coaching pioneer whose path has been followed by many in the coaching industry.
Chrissy: Being a coach has been such an honor and a privilege. One of my favorite accomplishments is that I headed up all of the public relations for the coaching industry as a volunteer for the International Coach Federation (ICF). We were pitching the media and the media started off being very skeptical about coaching, and then they moved to embracing it. They finally blessed it, and it was such an amazing transition from skepticism to embracing it to actually blessing it. I began forming long-term relationships with the media on many levels, national, local, and they were really excited to share coaching success stories. We sent requests to our members, “Tell us some success stories,” and we broke it down into, “For those of you who are working inside corporate America, what kinds of things are you working on? Share your success stories. For those of you out there who are working with small businesses, tell us your success stories.” We were able to give the media a potpourri of success stories, and we also did a survey to get client opinions on what they thought of coaching. The survey went beyond our expectation. Ninety-seven to ninety-eight percent felt coaching was really valuable. Once we did the survey, that created a transition, and that helped us to leap forward. It used to be that only deep pocket executives had coaches. What the media did was create attention that Joe and Jane, “average citizen”, were also working with coaches because it was
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Chrissy: Right. It’s “trendy”. Monica: But the key is how effective you are. Chrissy: Exactly. What is the quality that you’re giving your clients? And you can often tell that by whether they’re sending you referrals? How long are they staying with you? I’ve been very blessed. I’ve worked for some great clients. My whole approach to coaching is when a client comes into my coaching business; they come into my coaching family. That’s been my approach.
so effective. I worked with a lot of small business owners because I’m an entrepreneur. I worked with a lot of people in sales because I was in sales. I worked with people in transition because I had my first transition a few years ago and felt like a duck out of water. I found my niche in coaching. It wasn’t something I intended to do. So those were the four groups of clients I worked with. Monica: Congratulations on earning the title of Master Certified Coach. Chrissy: That’s a real honor. I’m very committed to the whole credentialing process, and I wish all coaches would be because it really makes a difference to ensure that there are qualified coaches. Numbers of people call themselves coaches these days. Monica: You’re right. When I go online, I see listings of coaches everywhere.
Insightful PlayerTM is the same way for me. It’s more about the Insightful PlayerTM family. For example, one of my players was starting a foundation. So I said, “Let me check with some of the other players that have been successful to see whether they would be interested in speaking with you. Every one of them I contacted said, “Absolutely. Have him call me.” So they saved him light years of time and aggravation by sharing the models that worked for them. They shared mistakes, and I love that. I’m saving my clients my mistakes. Monica: The fact that you coach football players – what lessons have you gleaned from them? Chrissy: I’m learning so much from them. They’re incredible. They’re so humble. They’re so open to learning. They’re hungry. They really want to grow, and there are so many things I have learned from them. They are jaw-droppers for me. A lot of them are really young. The other day I was doing an interview with the wonderful McCourtys, identical twins, Jason and Devin for Insightful PlayerTM, not as a coach. They’re only 23 years old, and the
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amount of wisdom they have is amazing. It was shocking to me. They’re both so respectful. It’s like no matter whom they meet, they treat them with respect regardless of their opinion of them. They have this amazing ability to be present. They’re really in the moment and very focused. They really care about growing, and that inspires me so much. Monica: Speaking of Insightful PlayerTM, explain what it’s about. What do you hope to accomplish through Insightful PlayerTM? Chrissy: I’ve been working on it in different capacities for five years. I want to promote mentorship for kids. What drives me is to lift the spirit of the human race and create intimacy with the masses. I believe that our children are the ones that are going to save the universe -- the human race. There are so many kids out there who don’t have the support and love they need. They don’t have anyone challenging them to be their best. They don’t have many friends. My players are sharing their intimate stories of hope with the intention of reaching these kids and sharing mistakes and sharing struggles so they know that they’re not alone, that these players are just like them. I want to inspire them to reach their dreams, to have an insatiable thirst to continue to build their character. I want to inspire them to mentor others and to have a desire to live a life of greatness. It’s for boys and girls because more and more girls are into football. I chose the NFL as a platform because of my background with my dad. He was a high school coach. I happen to love football.
Down the road we’re going to expand it to many sports, including women’s sports and girl’s sports. The number of females that are interested in the NFL is very high. It’s somewhere between 40 and 60 percent and it’s growing. Monica: I would imagine that many of the players have their own organizations or programs. Chrissy: Yes. A lot of my players have their own foundations and, if they don’t, they’re out there doing a lot of generous work. I believe Insightful PlayerTM is a combination of my PR, event business and coaching business. One of my dear colleagues, Dr. Patrick Williams, has created a nonprofit called “Coaching the Global Village,” and he has offered to do follow-up coaching with the kids after camp to help them integrate some of the lessons that they learned while at camp. Coaching really helps people retain what they learn because often we go to a workshop or read a book and we get all fired up. But then life gets in the way, and we become busy. We don’t integrate anything. We don’t implement. I believe in the power of coaching and I believe in the power of the human spirit. That’s what coaching does; it connects people with the power of their own human spirit. Monica: You are calling Insightful PlayerTM a movement. Why? Chrissy: Because it’s a vision that has lived inside me for a long time. I’ve tried to run away from it because it seemed too big and scary. Who am I, this baby boomer, to work with NFL players? We need to step it up in a major way to shower our kids with love, support and resources because
the human race isn’t going to last. Now is the time. More and more people are open to it. People are craving it out there. Adults are craving it, not just the children. We want to make this viral. We want people to jump on board and help us mentor, notice the kids that are alone on the playground and help those children gain support in their lives. I think that a lot of adults are depressed. There’s a lot going on in the world to be depressed about. People are out of work. These are scary times. I think one of the things I learned from my mom is, if you’re really feeling bad about yourself, go out and do something good for someone else. I think that is one of the ways adults can benefit themselves. Monica: As a successful woman business owner, what advice can you offer freshman entrepreneurs? Chrissy: The first thing is make sure you have a compelling vision of what you want to create, something that’s much bigger than yourself and know why you want to create it. How is it going to impact others? What need is it filling in the world? Since I’ve coached a lot of small business owners, oftentimes, when they’re in this push and struggle or dragging their feet, their vision is not pulling them. You need to get on the path where vision pulls you. Once you have that, it’s easier to put the structure in place. You will become so excited and get more support than you
need, much more support. None of us can do it alone. Monica: Who is your support team? Chrissy: I have a wonderful PR Rep. He’s amazing and enormously supportive. My husband is my biggest support of all. I’m now reaching out to get a mentor. A former NFL player has agreed to mentor me. He’s such an amazing guy, a very successful businessman, and he is a soulful human being. I have enormous respect for him. I have a virtual assistant. I need to build more support. I need to find someone that specializes in social networking. I have an editor. I have a writer. I’ve been very blessed with wonderful people.
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yourself in ways that maybe you wouldn’t do on your own. You’ve got to have someone in your life that’s going to unconditionally support you. It’s not about judgment. A coach will help you find your ideal path. Monica: With your PR, event planning company and coaching company have you ever looked back and said I wish I could have done that differently?
Monica: Can you give some specific benefits that a person can receive from coaching? Chrissy: They’re going to develop an even greater relationship with themselves because they’re going to get to know themselves a lot better. They’re going to learn to articulate what their values are. Once people know what their values are, when they begin setting goals based on their values, it’s like they are on a path to definite fulfillment. The sky’s the limit. It becomes so much easier to make decisions and enhance your relationships. The quality of the relationships in your life, I think, is the quality of your life. I think that is a must. It helps us grow and become better human beings. As a coach, I have always had a coach. I am so grateful for that because a coach will ask you to extend
Chrissy: Probably everything. I know I work too hard, and that’s an issue. It’s an area I have to continue to pace myself to slow down to a gallop. I’m an automatic giver, but I’m stingy with myself. That’s an area I continue to work on and receive support from. Workaholism is definitely something that I always have to keep in check because I believe that the more balanced we are, the more magnetic we become, the more fulfilled we are and the more successful we’ll be. It is hard. Patience is something I always have to work on as well. I have this high-urgency personality. It’s a blessing, and it’s definitely a curse. Monica: What do you love about what you’re doing through your coaching and Insightful PlayerTM? Chrissy: The children that I’m doing it for. It’s the children’s faces. I love that these Insightful PlayerTM are all so modest and humble. I love connections. Connecting is another value of
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mine. I love doing things that have never been done before. I’m definitely a trailblazer. The vision of the intent of Insightful PlayerTM – I really believe that God put this vision in my heart. I just love where we’re headed with it. I love being a catalyst for change. I love creating a platform for my players to share more of who they are, to share their wisdom, to share their mistakes, to show kids their humanity. It’s like a complete act of love. Everything about Insightful PlayerTM is all about love. Monica: You said as far as many people are concerned, especially now because of the economy, they feel beaten down, and they have lost sight of who they are and what they should be doing with their lives. For someone who may be at their lowest point now, what do you think would be a good starting place for them? Chrissy: The first thing that comes to mind is find ways to fill yourself up, whatever that means to you, but most importantly get support. Find key people in your life that will unconditionally support you. Be willing to become vulnerable with them. We have to be selective because there are people who will criticize us and cause us to spiral downward. We can’t afford that especially when we’re at the lowest point in our lives. There are a multitude of things that we can do. One of the things that a lot of my clients have done, and I do too, is if you have any movies on hand that inspire you, plug them in. Play them. If you have books that really inspire you, open them up to any page, and see what happens. What do you love to do by yourself, with someone else or with a group? Especially if you’re having financial con-
cerns, how can you answer that question? What kinds of things can you do? What could you do with someone else? I like to take my dog for a walk with some friends. That costs nothing. What can you do with a group? There are a million things you can do with a group. Just get together. Identify those things that you can use to fill you up. Sometimes we have to take transitional jobs if money is an issue. I know when I was building my first business, I did all types of transitional work. I waitressed at night. I house cleaned. I delivered the Boston Globe every day. Just think of it as your scholarship fund. It’s a temporary thing. Support is a must, and there are resources out there that can help you. There are a lot of coaches who will give back and who have open slots for pro bono coaching. You can find it on the Internet, Coachfederation.org. That’s the international Coach Federation web site. If you don’t’ have any luck there, they can contact me. I would be happy to help them find support. We all need support. Monica: I love what you’re doing through Insightful PlayerTM because it’s a double-edged sword. You’re helping the players as well as many young people. What are some failures that you’ve had over the years? I hate to use the word “failure”, but we all have to fail at something in order to succeed. Chrissy: I was failing at this [coaching players] for sure. I was reaching out to all 32 teams. They thought it was interesting. I’m exaggerating a little. I wanted them to
think it was really exciting. They said, “Yeah, but we’re fine with all of our programs.” I talked to all the player development people at all 32 teams, and I felt like a huge failure, like how could I have this vision and then not have it come through. I lost my confidence. I doubted myself. I was even angry at God, “How dare you give me this vision and not give me the ability to see it through?” Once I stopped feeling sorry for myself, I worked with a coach and we distilled what I learned from this project. I was trying to pitch coaching inside the NFL to have the players become role models on and off the field. I switched it because one of the things I learned from that was there were so many wonderful role models that no one knows about. I really believe that if these players had a larger stage, they could impact a lot of people, in particular, kids. That’s when I switched to Insightful PlayerTM and reached out to the PR departments and said, “Hey. I would like to do a feature story on some high-integrity good guys, players that would love to touch kids.” I would love to have players that are spiritual. It doesn’t matter how they are spiritual. At first I thought they would think I was a fruit loop. Spirituality, NFL, it just doesn’t seem like a match. And a baby boomer woman and the NFL? I had no experience. A lot of these teams said, “What experience do you have with the NFL?” I had zippo. So I felt it was a huge failure before I switched to Insightful PlayerTM. Once I switched to Insightful PlayerTM, I thought I was making them an offer they couldn’t refuse.
have to call them when they come back for spring training.” They’d come back from spring training, “Oh, no, no, no. We’re too busy. Why don’t you wait until summer training?” “Oh, they can’t talk to you now. You should wait until the season starts.” Then the season starts, “Oh, no. They’re much too busy. It’s the wrong time to call.” I was very discouraged. I’ve been working on this a long time, and it just launched April 1st last year. Monica: What did you do to pull yourself up and maintain a positive outlook? Spiritually I had to turn it over to God. I surrendered. I had talked about it with this wonderful coach, as well as my friends. I didn’t try to do it alone anymore. I knew that God’s hand was in it because it wouldn’t leave me alone. Every time I tried to run away from it, I would lose energy. I stepped back into it even though it wasn’t going the way I wanted it to. It was bigger than me, so I didn’t try to do it myself anymore. I kept asking God empowering questions versus, “Why isn’t this happening?” “What insights can you give me today to reaffirm I’m on the right track?” So I asked empowering questions, and that helped a lot. Monica: It’s amazing when you become committed and you have faith and believe it’s going to happen, that it does happen. Chrissy: Right. It was the knowing underneath all the doubt.
It was funny. I was calling them offseason, they said, “Oh, no, no, you January-February 2011 | Exceptional People Magazine | 25
Jason Smedley Purple Heart Recipient
A Man of Action Promotes Service to Country and Community
“To serve is beautiful, but only if it is done with joy and a whole heart and a free mind.” Pearl S. Buck This is who Jason Smedley represents - - a man of service, proudly serving his country as a Marine and proudly serving his community as a civilian through the National Association of Black Men United, an organization he founded while attending the University of Central Arkansas. Originally named Black Men United, the organization focuses on helping young black men successfully work their way through college and impact their communities by providing services. The organization provides tools and resources needed to ensure graduation. Its mission is to increase the graduation rate among black males. For the past eleven years, the organization has served the campus commu-
nity, instilling in young men the importance of giving back and being committed to excellence. As a Marine, Smedley’s dedication to his country and his commitment to excellence have been proven through numerous military decorations, including the Purple Heart, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, among others. Smedley enthusiastically spoke about his strong desire to live life to the fullest, serve others, inspire others to create a positive lifestyle and live their lives by example. Monica: You served several years in the military and in the Marines specifically. Was there a defining moment that led you to serve? Jason: Well, I did horrible in college, and I wasn’t focused and neither were my friends. We didn’t have a graduation plan. One by one we dropped out. I had to do something with myself. I knew that God wanted more from me. He expected more from me. One of my friends decided to go into the streets, go into the drug game. I decided to join the Marine Corps. He ended up being killed, and the Marine Corps changed my life after that. Monica: Why did you choose the Marine Corps? Jason: Because I was told the Marines were the hardest, and I felt that I had to prove myself because I had failed in college. I wanted something that I could be proud of, and if I could make it through the hardest military service, I felt like that would give me some focus on my future.
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Monica: You’ve been serving in the Marines for over nine years. So what does it mean to you to serve in the Marine Corps and, of course, serve your country? Jason: For me it’s about leadership, brotherhood and sacrifice for my family and for my country. It gives me a sense of pride. I’ve been given the tools and the skills and the knowledge to carry out a mission. So it serves a special place for me. Monica: How have the Marines shaped your life? Jason: It gave me stability for my family. It’s also given me a stronger sense of brotherhood, and it has given me high expectations for myself, how I carry myself and how I serve as a leader for other Marines. I can’t imagine taking off my uniform. It’s something I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. I wouldn’t trade it. It gave me the maturity to finally graduate from college and pursue other opportunities out there. I basically went from a college dropout to a U.S. Marine. I was a Howard graduate, worked on Capitol Hill for a few years and served in Iraq twice. Monica: You served two tours in Iraq. What did you learn from both of those experiences as an individual and as a soldier? Jason: When I was in Iraq the first time, we had no bed; we had no tent. We had to dig a hole and sleep in that hole at night. We had no hot meals, we had no shower, and I was pretty miserable. I thought no one had it as hard as the Marines had it. Then I saw a little boy with his family, and they were sleeping. Their house was a tent that couldn’t have been bigger than someone’s living room, and it served as their complete house. That little
boy had grown up in that tent his entire life. So it taught me to put things into perspective in that what was really difficult to me was everyday life for these individuals. So in that regard, it really gave me a sense of how blessed I am. It also gave me a stronger sense of wanting to help other people. When I saw how difficult other people were living and the needs that they had, it made me want to give more and work harder to help other people. Monica: You recently ended a position as head of diversity in the Marine Corps. What impact does diversity have on the Marine Corps as well as other branches of the military? Jason: First, we have individuals from different cultural backgrounds in the Marine Corps that serve as a reflection of the nation and how diverse the nation is. We can also have an impact on the military as a whole because when you bring together all of those ideas, cultures, traditions and customs that make us unique, you have a better, stronger military that can serve the nation. Monica: From your personal perspective, do you feel that you have truly made a difference by serving in Iraq? Jason: Absolutely. I was in the Civil Affairs Unit and part of what we do is humanitarian efforts. So when we see people in need, we’re the ones who assist them. When there is an area that could be hostile or dangerous, we get the civilians out of that area and out of harm’s way. I felt that we played a part in not only protecting them, but saving a lot of lives and getting them out of conflict and also making sure they had the supplies they needed.
Monica: I would like to congratulate you on all of the awards that you’ve received. Jason: Thank you. Monica: While you were serving in Iraq when you were on the battlefield, and now when you are sharing time with your family, what keeps you grounded? Jason: I have to say my family. No matter what rank I get and no matter what I’ve done, I can sometimes be the butt of the joke when it comes to my family. They keep me humble. You’ve got to have thick skin to be in my family, so just being around them, the connection that we have and the love that we have for each other – I know they’re proud of me, but they make sure I never get a big head. Monica: Based on your experience, what words of wisdom can you offer your fellow soldiers, no matter what branch they are serving in? Jason: I would say that you can’t serve for the money, and you can’t serve for the prestige. You have to serve because you have a true desire to help other people and to be a part of the brotherhood. That is a quality that is a necessity in order to truly be a part of our U.S. military.
opportunities that are available. They should at least get the information and know what opportunities can benefit them and based on those opportunities and information make the best decision. One thing that we stand for in the Marine Corps is that we make Marines, we win wars, and we return quality citizens. Those are the three things that the Marine Corps does, and we take pride in that. Monica: Some people may say for a young person to go into the military today is a crazy thing to do considering everything that’s going on. What would you say to that? Jason: I would say that it’s not such a crazy thing to do. People want to serve. People want to serve in different ways, and the military is a consideration for a lot of people. So I guess I wouldn’t look at it as crazy. They just have a strong desire to serve, and those are the types of individuals that we’re looking for. My hat’s off to those who have volunteered to serve after 9/11 because since 9/11 we’ve been in combat. So for those who volunteer, they know that there’s a chance that they could be in a war
Monica: Would you recommend that young men coming out of high school or college serve in the military, even for a short time? Jason: I do. One thing I understand is that the military is not for everyone. It is challenging, and there are a lot of requirements. Unfortunately, everyone who wants to join is not able to join, but for those who are able to, I definitely encourage them to give it consideration. There are so many January-February 2011 | Exceptional People Magazine | 29
zone, and they’re willing to take that chance because they want to be a part of the military. So it just is a reflection of the passion that people have for their U.S. military right now. Monica: When you were attending the University of Central Arkansas, you started an organization called Black Men United and, of course, the name has changed since then to the National Association of Black Men United (NABMU). Can you briefly describe what the organization’s purpose is? Jason: The purpose is to help minorities graduate from college. It originally focused on black men graduating from college, and it’s still our mission, but we have opened our program to everyone. Anyone who wants to have vital information to help them graduate from college, we’re receptive and open to them and we reach out to everyone. Monica: What are some specific things that you do to help them graduate? Jason: We have our signature program, the Ten Principles Workshop, and this is a workshop to give students a foundation for graduation. It helps develop a financial plan, a graduation timeline, as well as dealing with different obstacles and issues that college students face on a day-to-day basis.
Also, we provide a book stipend to students throughout the school year to help them cover their financial needs. We have several programs such as a forum where students are able to discuss with the administration and campus police issues that they have on the campus, so that it can have a positive impact on their graduation efforts. Every program that we have, everything that we do has to be responsive to the question, “How does this help students graduate from college?” If it can’t answer that question, we won’t do it. Monica: Is the program mainly for students who are already in college? Jason: Right now it is for students who are in college, but we deliver the workshops to high school seniors and juniors as well to prepare them so that they’re going into college with the right mindset. Monica: How is the organization funded? Jason: Through private donations. All of the board members have outside jobs. One of the board members is a doctor, another one is an entrepreneur, and another is a pastor. What we don’t want to do is pull money from students. We like to push money
down, so we take private donations. Some of the schools pay us a small sum for coming to the school, so all the money that we get goes towards the organization. None of it goes to us, and that’s how we keep costs down. Monica: Since the initial focus of the organization was more so about black men, what are your thoughts about the plight of black men in terms of education, community and family? Jason: I think that with education we’re lacking and it’s mostly because we don’t have a support base. We have the worst graduation rate. If nationally, black men have the lowest graduation rate, then what national support group can they go to that is available to them. I wasn’t able to find one, which is why we created NABMU. I think that the lack of positive black male role models is having a drastic impact as far as family life, especially the father’s role. In order to resolve it, I see it becoming a community effort because I have about 35 mentees I talk to. My phone bill is crazy just from the different young men who need advice, support and guidance. Monica: What advice can you give young black men in terms of inspiring them to become leaders and positive role models, both personally and professionally? Jason: Well, they have to see it. They have to be influenced and impacted by role models. In order to be motivated to become a mentor, you can either be motivated because you had one or because you never had one. I think most people choose to go by the example of, “I had
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one. I see the great impact it has, and therefore, I want to be a mentor.” A lot of young men are bitter because when I mention mentor they’re like, “Hey, no one helped me. I had to do this on my own, so I have little sympathy for someone who needs help.” That becomes another obstacle that has to be overcome. Monica: Did you have any role models? Jason: Absolutely, my mom, my dad, my uncles, my aunt, some teachers. Monica: What do you believe are the key factors to becoming a successful leader? Jason: One, you have to have a sound knowledge base on whatever it is. Two, you have to be able to inspire people. You have to be able to lead by example. You must be able to make a decision, stand by it and admit when you’re wrong. Do what’s in the best interest for the people and not yourself. Monica: What do you believe is your ultimate calling in life?
anyone. What I ask young guys is, “Hey, if something happens to me are you going to be there for my son when he’s in college, when he needs some guidance? Are you going to volunteer time and come out to the school and talk to him? That’s what I’m hoping that you’ll do.”
a surprise. It should be expected. Academic success should be expected.
Monica: What legacy would you like to leave your family? You certainly have set a great example for them, as well as for other young people in your community, by serving in the military and through your organization. Jason: I have a son and daughter. My daughter is nine. I always tell her put God first, family before anything, and land is the most valuable thing you can buy. She is nine years old but I tell her not to get into material things. Never give up land. Land is something that I want us to always be able to pass on. Never be afraid to try something new. Travel and do what comes natural to you. Monica: I also often say that you should never be afraid to fail. Jason: Exactly, but I definitely place high expectations and focus on academic success. It should no longer be
Jason: I have a passion for public service, but I have to say that it’s really where God leads me. This thing with NABMU is something I never planned to become involved with, but it’s definitely keeping me busy. It’s something I never expected to happen. Monica: You’re certainly having a major impact on many young lives. Jason: Yes. I hope to continue and I hope it grows. I hope, more importantly, that someone will do the same because tomorrow is not promised to January-February 2011 | Exceptional People Magazine | 31
Exceptional People Magazine presents the â€˜Salute to Valor Awardâ€™ to Jason Smedley for his commitment to serving his country. Thank you for your service.
Congratulations to: Jason Smedley, Captain, United States Marines
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Minding My Business
Kristin Engvig Empowering Women to Change the World As a young child growing up in Norway, Kristin Engvig understood that it was important to strive to leave the world in a better place than which we found it. She realized that it’s only possible to do so when you come together, gain insights and share what you’ve learned from others. Women In Networking (WIN) is the vision of Engvig. It is an organization that is dedicated to supporting women, helping them to live extraordinary lives through their businesses and professions. WIN has impacted women around the globe, helping them to bring a more feminine, global and sustainable vision to work places, communities and to life. The organization is designed to help women enhance their leadership skills, corporate performance and other areas of life. Women from Africa, Europe, America and many other countries have empowered themselves to think differently, re-evaluate their approach to business and develop new ways of achieving personal success.
Engvig consistently pursues her mission to inspire women throughout each year by holding events in many countries. Her passion for family, community and creativity drives her desire for excellence. She graciously took time from her busy schedule to speak with Exceptional People Magazine about her mission to help more women become effective leaders in their corporate environments, homes and communities. Monica: Tell me about your journey. How did you arrive where you are today as the founder of WIN? Kristin: Thank you for asking. It’s an interesting thing. I come from Norway. I was living in Italy and I learned the language to a certain degree, as well as worked there. I realized that even if I learned the language and so forth, I hadn’t been there long enough and didn’t know that many people. I realized that if I networked, if I met more people, that I could do more. So I joined a local professional women’s network which turned out to be exceptional for January-February 2011 | Exceptional People Magazine | 35
Minding My Business
me. Not only did it give me professional contacts but also friends and I felt part of a community.
Monica: Are these scholarships meant to help women with their businesses?
I thought, “Wow. This is so great, and I want to do more for women,” and I knew that others could benefit from it on a global level. Parallel to that I began to understand the world is becoming more and more global. I began to travel in Eastern Europe a lot and as a traveling business woman. Sometimes I lock my doors and order room service because the situation is that without knowing people in a local place, you can become vulnerable as a woman.
Kristin: Yes, to help them with their businesses and to participate in the conference, to connect to this event that is very future-oriented, to learn and contribute to other people’s learning. These women participate in skill building, the workshops and the network. They go back and feed into the local community all of the things they have learned.
I thought with all of these things happening, why don’t we have a conference discussing the role of women in a global world, in a global marketplace? We could network through the community and also develop and empower each other by learning new skills, inspire each other by listening to stories of how other people have done it. That was my idea at the time. I came together with a few other women, and we started our first conference in 1998. It was run on a volunteer basis. I had a consulting job, teaching and consulting marketing and intercultural studies at the time. At the first conference we had 150 people from 17 different countries. It was a huge success. Now, 13 years later on an annual basis we conduct a big global conference that runs over three days and involves huge corporations and smaller entrepreneurs. Also, we have established a fund so we can offer scholarships. And today we have almost 80 different nationalities coming from all over the globe to discuss the future of women and the future itself in general. Monica: Who are the recipients of the scholarships? Kristin: The recipients can be both young women and women of experience, typically coming from the developing countries. But sometimes there are also women from Europe and North America that you can say live in a developing situation maybe because of circumstances; they’re in transition, unemployed, a single mother of three. They can pay the full fee. We sometimes give scholarships to other women who have potential and who will learn from this event and take that back to their communities. But 95 percent of the recipients come from Asia and Africa. They are also from South America and Nepal. We’ve had India participate, as well as many other countries. 36 | Exceptional People Magazine | January-February 2011
Monica: Part of your goal for the organization is to cultivate authentic leadership and encourage feminine ways of doing business and living. Can you define feminine ways of doing business? Kristin: Some feminine ways of doing business, I think, are in everything we do, taking care of the people around us and taking care of the environment. I think it means when you have your meetings, that you’re considerate to other people as well. I think that’s one of the typical feminine traits. But it’s also means to be authentic. I’ll say that we use intuition in making decisions. It doesn’t always have to be a sharp and rational analysis. That’s one approach, that we try to think holistically about things. Let’s try to find a big picture. That’s not necessarily a woman thing, but that’s one of the feminine values. So ultimately we want a balanced leadership. In business today we see a more rational and masculine approach has been the leading way. So that’s why we ask what about using our intuition, what about collaboration versus competition? When I consider feminine traits, intuition is also part of decision-making and collaboration, not only competition. Let’s seek a partnership in the way we deal with our customers, with our competitors and the people around us. Let’s focus not only on the outcome but also on the journey. Monica: Using intuition as an example, how effective has that been? What results have attendees obtained by using intuition as part of their decision-making process? Kristin: According to a survey I conducted last year with about 200 businesswomen, I observed on a scale of 1 to 5, they used it in 45 percent of the cases. In a majority of the cases it’s pure data that is utilized, but at the same time these women are saying that they want to have a balanced approach to how they reach decisions. Some are also say-
ing, “Intuition is the first thing I’m listening to when I make a decision,” but others are more careful, so it’s about 50/50. Monica: The organization is designed to focus on women and to help women enhance their skills in areas of leadership, corporate performance, career advancement and other areas. Is there a place for men in the organization? Kristin: Yes, there is. There is an increasing place for men. These past few years I actually encouraged men to come. Not many of them are attending the events yet, only about three percent. But it is definitely a place where we say, “Men, you can come and be part of this.” We try to create a very open environment. What we did this year was include a couple of male speakers and male workshop leaders. There were a number of guys who said it was a very humbling experience to be with so many women and they learned a lot. And we also heard through some of the
companies we work with or individual guys, “Wow, we really want to support women.” And a lot of the women also said, “If the men just open up the doors, it will be easier.” We also get feedback from some of the men who say, “Wow. I didn’t know. It’s just incredible to have so many women in one place.” There is an increasing group of great guys who would like to change the dynamics and who would like to see equal opportunities for women, men, their daughters or their sisters. They’re asking for help, “How do I do this?” Of course, it’s not everyone, and sometimes we have to use strong measures to get through. But there is a new generation of really great guys and also older guys too who realize there are systems that need to change. Monica: What are some specific topics that are discussed at the conferences? Kristin: Generally speaking, on the first day we focus on what’s going on in the world. Let’s look at the trends, the economic, social, global trends. Then we look at strategies January-February 2011 | Exceptional People Magazine | 37
Minding My Business
for the workplace, careers, what are companies doing, how to start your business. Then we look at individual leadership growth or authentic personal growth. We also have a few subgroups where we focus on specific topics such as women on corporate boards, entrepreneurship, women in media, which was also very successful. We look at women’s mentoring programs and networks.
I hope to see our annual global conference become more and more solid. My vision is to stage smaller events around the world where we can learn from other women and spread the vision of inspiring women worldwide. Hopefully, in ten years we won’t need women’s conferences because the situation will become so good that we’re only going to talk about the future. We have a distance to go.
We conducted lots of workshops. Sessions that focused on communication skills were popular. The participants loved the sessions that helped them determined their purpose in life.
Monica: What do you think of your accomplishments so far with the organization in trying to bring women together from around the world?
Monica: What can an attendee learn after participating in your conferences? Kristin: Lots of contacts and sisters from around the world, I would say, and the possibility that one can become more inspired. These are not so tangible, but these are what I get as feedback. “I’m hopeful things can change.” “I can do more.” “I listened to so-and-so person, she did an unbelievable thing,” or simply affirming that yes, what I do already is great. So you go home with connections, with hope and inspiration. I would also say you go home with new skills. I think if you spend four days in a complete global environment with people from all over the world who have different professions, you learn to observe different ways of doing things. I’m sure we can learn so much from the different nationalities. I can learn something from the French women, but I can also learn something from my friend in India, my friend in Cameroon. Suddenly, you feel connected to the whole world after just four days. Monica: How many countries on average attend a given conference? Kristin: Typically, we have between 70 and 80 different nationalities. The majority of women come from Europe. Monica: What is your long-term goal for WIN, your long-term vision? Kristin: I would like to see as many women as possible gaining authentic power, feeling proud to be a woman and using their feminine side. I would like to see women in a position to help other women who are not as fortunate as themselves. I would like to see this transition taking place in the world.
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Kristin: When I started 15 years ago I joined a network for women. I was working in a bank at the time and I started working as a consultant. I did this a little naively, “Let’s get together. We need a network.” Then over the years I have seen and heard many stories, learned a lot, learned about serious women’s issues and discovered that there have been hard times and good times. The economy goes up and down, so I have learned how to obtain funding, how to run this organization. Some of my biggest accomplishments, I think, are simply being persistent and moving forward. You have to keep going. Sometimes it’s not easy; you have to be persistent and endure. You have to love what you do. I am passionate about what I do. And there are days where I feel, “Oh, God, what am I doing?” You have to be passionate about it; otherwise, it won’t be sustainable during hard times. Monica: What has been most rewarding for you? Kristen: I feel very excited when I learn that people are conforming and changing. I get a kick out of that. It’s rewarding to see that the organization is making a difference. It’s also rewarding when I think about how I created the organization. Before, we were around my kitchen table, and now we have an office. There’s a staff, they’re all nice people, and we laugh a lot, and we work very hard at the same time. So it’s rewarding to see that it is possible to work with people from different countries. We don’t have major conflicts. We are very open and clear. That works and it’s rewarding. Monica: You mentioned scholarships earlier. How can a woman apply for or receive a scholarship? Kristen: We have the criteria that you must meet. Basically, it’s about motivation. Let’s say you apply to attend the conference. You have to show motivation. You state why you can’t pay, why you need the funds, and what you can contribute.
What’s important right now is how we as women can prepare for the future. I feel that it’s a very exciting time because there is so much happening in the world and in the media. We need to think about our responsibility to take the lead. We have to accomplish things in a very sustainable way, so that we can create meaningful ways to conduct business. We must bring a sense of global responsibility to how things are connected. We are doing things peacefully because there are a lot of challenges in the world today, and I think women can put things in a good place.
because it was the unique experience of spending three or four days with other women that made them grow as a person. Eighty-seven percent said that it was very inspiring for them, and they became reenergized. You have to market your services; that is important too. But what is most important is that you become inspired, get reenergized, network and learn about trends and current practices. That’s the highest goal.
Monica: Would you say that the conference focuses more on the business and entrepreneur side than the personal side or is there an equal playing field for both? Kristen: It’s an equal playing field. In a survey I conducted, about 60 percent of the women said that it was extremely important for them personally January-February 2011 | Exceptional People Magazine | 39
Greg Williams The Master Negotiator
“No Matter Where You Are, You Are Always Negotiating”
has been dubbed The Master Negotiator. His understanding of how to “work a deal” has enabled him to become sought after by major corporations, politicians and others. There’s more to negotiating than meets the eye and Williams has tremendous insights to offer anyone who wants to perfect their negotiation skills.
know how to negotiate you can get more of what you’re seeking. I began implementing some of the tactics and strategies that I saw my mother and grandmother use. I thought this is fascinating how people not only react to you but how much you can receive as a result of asking for things.
As a consultant to Fortune 500 corporations, Williams has provided award-winning consulting services to clients such as Dun & Bradstreet, Bank of America, Home Depot, the Xerox Corporation and many others.
Basically, that is what negotiations are all about. I tell people you’re always negotiating because any aspect of life that you’re engaged in, you’re exchanging information. That was something else that I found out as I began my career. As a result of information that I had about a particular client or target, I was able to understand them when they conveyed a certain sentiment to me.
It was his mother who taught him many lessons about negotiating. She instilled in him the value of money and how to make it last by negotiating for everything.
Monica: Was there a specific lesson your mother taught you that laid the foundation for you to become an expert negotiator?
He’s negotiated multi-million dollar deals on behalf of clients and has trained many people to become savvy negotiators. His list of achievements is a testament to his ability to conduct successful negotiations.
Greg: Oh yes. I was about 16 or 17 years old, and my mother and I were at a car dealership. We were a few hundred dollars apart in the price that the dealer was asking. My mother said to the dealer, “Well, I appreciate all of your efforts, but I just don’t have any more money. We scraped everything together that we could, so I guess we’ll just have to wait.” She got up and started to leave. Meanwhile, I’m sitting there like mom, please, I want the car. She gave me one of those looks like, don’t even try it. With that I got up also and, of course, the car dealer then said, “Well, wait a minute. Here’s what we can do.” To make a long story short, we got the car at the last price my mother put on the table.
Williams is the best-selling author of “Negotiate: Afraid, ‘Know’ More – How to Negotiate Your Way to Success,” as well as an author of other books and products. He is an exceptional businessman, an inspiring keynote speaker and seminar leader who candidly shared in-depth insights into achieving successful negotiations. Monica: As a child, how did you know you had the skill and talent to become a negotiator? Greg: As a kid growing up, I had the opportunity to see my mother and grandmother negotiate for everything, because we were poor and we had to make our dollars stretch and last. So I saw them negotiate for everything. At times I would become somewhat embarrassed by the fact they’d ask for discounts or ask for more than what was offered. My mother said to me one time -- I must have been about seven or eight -- she said, “Look, it’s your money. Why do you get embarrassed? Wouldn’t you rather keep more of your money than give it to someone else?” That was when the idea first struck me; if you
Monica: It’s amazing what you can learn from your parents as a child, even though sometimes as a child you really don’t pay attention. Once you become an adult, you realize what they were trying to do for you. Greg: Monica, I have reflected back on a lot of negotiation insights and lessons that I received from my mother, never understanding that those thoughts were implanted in my subliminal mind and would be released in many different environments as I negotiated with folks throughout the world. I never realized it then, but they’ve come back many times over as I have negotiated throughout my life. January-February 2011 | Exceptional People Magazine | 41
Minding My Business
Monica: How did you perfect your skill? Greg: Practice, number one. Number two, learning everything about strategies, tactics, probing to find out how this strategy is supposed to work, what happens when I use it in a certain environment? I’ve been working 30plus years or so as a professional negotiator. In honing my skills I have watched the reactions of people applying certain strategies. At the same time, I also teach people in training environments to read body language. So when you couple how to go about understanding the strategies and tactics one needs in order to implement an effective negotiating session with how to read and interpret body language, it becomes a very dynamic duo. You can truly get inside someone’s head, not to take advantage of them but to understand what the particular situation requires. So, again, when you couple reading body language with negotiation skills, it becomes a very interesting concept from which one can become a much better negotiator. I practiced over years. I went through all kinds of courses, read all kinds of materials and then applied what I learned in real life environments, as I negotiated on behalf of clients and on behalf of large corporations in order to hone and perfect my skills. Monica: Would participating on a debate team or becoming a member of a speakers association or an organization such as Toastmasters improve one’s negotiation skills? Greg: Well, it can. As a matter of fact I happen to be a past president of the New Jersey chapter of the National Speakers Association. So when one knows how to convey one’s sentiment succinctly, that can give you an advantage. But at the same time you have to also know how to match the modality of the person with whom you’re negotiating so you can increase the bonding process, if that is what’s called for at the time. For example, if you know how to use the language that’s being spoken – that’s not necessarily to say proper grammar. If you’re talking with someone, hypothetically, from the South, and you’re from the North, you should instinctively know as a good negotiator that you do not neces-
sarily want to speak as fast as you possibly can because you may lose that person. That person may not trust you simply because of the way you are speaking. Instead, you want to match the pace and tone of the other individual, not to a mocking degree but to the degree that they start to subliminally think and feel, “Wow, I like this person. This person is a lot like me.” People have a tendency to like someone like themselves. Monica: You ran for political office. Can you tell me what office you ran for and what prompted you to run? Greg: I worked for an organization out of Pennsylvania years ago and had the pleasure – I was a senior vice president of the company at that time and I had the pleasure of watching the president of the organization run for political office. I thought it was an interesting process and I love to help people. I said to myself, “Wow. If I was in politics, I would be able to help more people and it would give me insight in how to improve myself.” That was what I called my spillover benefit. Ten years later I actually got into the political process in the state of New Jersey. I ran for what is known as the freeholder position which, at the state level, would be comparable to an assembly person. At the municipal level it would be comparable to someone on the city council. So that was a position at the county level. I ran for that position because I wanted to give back to people and share with them some of the knowledge that I had gained on how to improve life for everyone. That was what drove me into politics. Monica: Why do you believe some people give in so quickly when they’re attempting to negotiate a deal? Greg: Number one, they fear not knowing what to do. Number two, they have not prepared succinctly enough to understand what it is that they want from the negotiations. That’s to say, if you’re looking for $100,000, but you know you can live with $75,000, you have a bracket. You have a medium in this case let’s say $100,000 to $75,000. Then throughout the negotiation you get to $125,000, and the other negotiator is either beginning to become squeamish or gives you non-verbal signals that you’re a little too close to the edge. If you keep pushing, you may lose the whole deal.
“Winning and losing is truly a matter of perception.”
“You have to know when to back out because the more time you commit to a negotiation, the more you become ingrained in that negotiation.”
People not understanding where they are in the negotiation may be fearful to even attempt to negotiate. A lot of people don’t like to negotiate. They feel as though it’s going to make them look cheap. But as my mother said when I was a kid, “Wouldn’t you rather have more of your money than somebody else?” The answer to that is a definite yes. People need to become more aware of the negotiation process. There’s a whole realm of steps that one goes through in order to perfect a very good and proper negotiation outcome. Most people do not know that and that’s the reason why they’re somewhat afraid to enter into negotiations. Monica: Is negotiating similar to or the opposite of selling? Greg: It can be either or depending upon where you are in the process. You’re always negotiating, so you are selling yourself. But to the degree that you oversell yourself, you run the risk of losing the whole deal. So when one comes into an environment, people are starting to make judgments about who you are and what it is they may be able to get from you based upon what they’re seeking through you. As soon as they start going through that process, you then have to meet their expectations and/or set the expectations by which they will measure you. They will grade you based on what you have to offer. So from that perspective you are selling yourself, but the buyer also helps set the agenda as to what you’re supposed to be selling. One has to understand that whole process when you’re negotiating because as people are viewing you, you are viewing them, and there’s that exchange going back and forth to make the sale palpable to everyone involved. Monica: Let’s say both parties want the best deal. How do you know when you have the best deal? Greg: It goes back to bracketing, what it is that you’re seeking in the form of the outcome that you want. Let’s say hypothetically, you’re at the $100,000 mark already. You have what it is you’re looking for in the negotiation,
and yet you sense there is still more on the table. So you could start going for more, and the other person says, “Well, I tell you what. I’ll give you $120,000 if you give me,” fill in the blank. To the degree that whatever that person is looking for, that extra $20,000, you can say yes. You could make a counteroffer and say, “I tell you what. If you give me the $125,000, I could give you part of what you’re looking for.” What you’re doing with that whole strategy is setting the expectations for the fact that you’re not going to get everything, but you may come close to receiving everything. You could also employ a strategy whereby you say, “I tell you what, since we have future negotiations coming about, I will give this to you if you will make sure that I get number one consideration for X, Y, Z in the future.” Again, you walk away very happy. Meanwhile, the negotiator is going, “Wow. I didn’t expect to get that.” So there are all kinds of strategies you can employ as you go through the negotiation process. Monica: Does a person’s physical appearance play a role in winning or losing negotiations? Greg: Oh yes. Winning and losing is truly a matter of perception, so that’s something that also has to be managed. The way you present yourself indicates to the other negotiator something that you have in the form of your persona. So if you go into a Mercedes dealership and you don’t want to project the fact that you have all the money in the world and you’re willing to pay any price, you may consider dressing down. So you have to match the mood that you’re trying to set with the style of dress that you actually convey. Monica: Is there a major difference between how you negotiate on a personal level versus a business level? Greg: Yes. Let’s use romantic environment first. First of all, the other individual knows you, knows your mannerisms and knows your style much better than a business associate would know. Therefore, you may say something along the lines of, “Well, you know, this is not going to work.” And the other individual may say something like, “Whatever you’re trying, it’s not going to work. I know what you’re doing,” or something of that nature, and thus you have to use a different approach. January-February 2011 | Exceptional People Magazine | 43
Minding My Business
If, for example, you wish to give someone in a romantic environment -- or get that individual to do more of what it is that you’re looking for, you may have to prime the pump a little more than in a business environment. You would react differently in a business environment than you would in a romantic environment or a personal relationship that wasn’t romantic.
language, while you’re matching up the verbiage, but at the same time you have to understand where they are mentally in the negotiation process. So what works today may not necessarily work tomorrow because a change, however subtle, may have occurred. Therefore, you can’t go in with the same game plan thinking this is what I’ve always used, so it’s always going to work. Not so.
Monica: You say to negotiate successfully do not argue with an idiot. What are some key points to identify idiots, so that you don’t waste your time?
Monica: Do you think anyone can become a successful negotiator?
Greg: First of all, you always want to qualify someone based on what it is you’re seeking from the negotiation. Going back to that $100,000 situation, you say something along the lines of, “Can you ballpark a salary that I might be able to get as a result of working in XYZ environment?” The person says, “Well, $50,000 is the most you can get.” You say, “Well, how might I be able to reach the $100,000 range given the fact that my base would be $50,000?” “Fifty thousand is all you’re going to be able to get, and you’re not going to be able to get anything else.” Well, right away you start getting cues by the behavior of that individual. Maybe I shouldn’t even waste my time going into this environment because this person may be having an off day. If that’s the case, you can probe more gently by saying something along the lines of, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to irritate you. I was just trying to understand how I could add more value to your environment and thus receive what it is that I am seeking.” The person comes back and says, “Well, I told you it’s only $50,000. Are you stupid?” You know, exit. Nothing further. That’s it. You’re out of there. Monica: I would imagine that there are many different things that one must keep in mind when negotiating, but is there one common denominator or one specific thing that applies every time? Greg: Actually not. The reason why I say actually not is because you can negotiate with the exact same person over the exact same thing in a different environment throughout a different day, and the variables will change. So, again, you have to pay attention to not only how the person conveys his or her sense of it through their body
Greg: The answer is a definite yes. Again, you have to understand the nuances that go into making a successful negotiation. Understand you will never win every negotiation. You may try your best to come as close as you possibly can, but given certain circumstances that you’re not aware of you may be thwarted. If that’s the case, you have to know when to back out because the more time you commit to a negotiation, the more you become ingrained in that negotiation. So one ploy may be to get the other negotiator to invest more and more, while psychologically knowing that that negotiator is going to become worn down over time and will become susceptible to accepting less than what he was seeking. Monica: When negotiating, how many counteroffers should you have in reserve? Greg: Depending upon the circumstances, you can have multiple counteroffers in hand, but you want to apply them in a judicious manner. You do so based upon the circumstances. Again, going back to that $100,000 situation, the other negotiator says, “I can give you $90,000.” That’s a lot different than, “I tell you what, I can give you $90,000.” In the latter situation, you might come back with a counteroffer of, “If I could” – notice I preface it by saying “if” because that allows you to back out if the other party doesn’t mean what they’re saying. “If I can do this at $90,000, might I have an additional $20,000 in expenses?” You always want to have something that can add up to at least what you’re looking for and/or something that overshoots what you would be getting if the other party gave you, in this case, the $100,000 that you were asking for. So hypothetically you say, “If I settle for the $90,000, can I get an extra $20,000 for expenses and car, a house at company
“Be humble in appearance while you congratulate the other individual, and tell the other individual what your expectations are for what is to occur next.”
“Find out everything that you can about the target with whom you will be negotiating as soon as you possibly can.”
expense? I would also like to have my children attend private school paid for by the company.” You keep building and building and the other person says, “Never mind. I tell you what; you’ve got the $100,000.” So, again, it’s all according to the tactic you wish to employ and how you present and position your counteroffers. Monica: What is your view on the current state of the economy and how we, meaning the U.S., can negotiate with other countries to improve our economic status? Would you say that our ability to survive as a nation depends on negotiations with other countries? Would negotiation be a major part of our getting out of the situation that we’re in? Greg: The answer is a definite yes. The United States is in a precarious situation right now given the fact that most recently the dollar has lost its prestige against other currencies around the world. Our debt is also playing an important part in how other countries view us. So to the degree that we appear to be strong and can pull ourselves out of this quagmire, we can present ourselves differently and position ourselves differently than if we went hat in hand to say, “You have to help us out.” China, one of our greatest partners as far as covering much of our debt, does not want to see us default. So they have a vested interest in the United States becoming financially better. At the same time they would not want the U.S. to become so financially set that they, China, would have the U.S. become a threat in other parts of the world. So, again, it’s the give-and-take of negotiations that are going on between not only the U.S. and China but also among other entities and other countries around the world. The manner in which the U.S. positions and presents itself plays a major role in what the U.S. can do. Monica: Once both parties agree on the deal that has been made, what can you do to ensure that the other party does not back out of the deal? Greg: First of all, you want to make sure that both parties understand what is to come forth from the agreement that has been entered into. You also want to make sure that the other party not only is in agreement but is satis-
fied with the outcome that you have worked so hard for. Congratulate the other individual on being fair and equitable and be sincere. I say that to say if the person was fair and equitable, you say so. If the person was tough, you say so. You give that person a comment that indicates you understand that you have been in a negotiation with an individual who understands the process and who knows what he wants. “Boy, oh boy. I tell you what. You really did get a good deal out of me.” Be humble in appearance while you congratulate the other individual, and tell the other individual what your expectations are for what is to occur next. “Okay. So now that we have concluded this deal, the product is going to be delivered on the 30th of the month. We will receive payment by the 15th of the month. If there are any maintenance requirements that are attached to this agreement, we will address any such actions within a 24 hour time period.” You, in essence, go over the final agreement, listen to the words that come back and observe the body language. If there is a disconnect, an incongruity between the words and the actions, between the words and the body language, observe the body language more. If you sense that this individual may have any inkling of looking for a back door, as we call it in negotiations, you address that immediately. “Well, you know, I heard you say yes, but you shook your head no. Which is it?” “Oh, I’m sorry. Yes. The answer really is yes.” Now if they’re saying yes while they are motioning toward you and waving their hands as if to say go away, again, there is an incongruity and you want to address that point. So watch the body language while they are saying what they are conveying to you. Monica: How do you actually prepare for negotiations? You know you have this opportunity for a deal that’s coming up. How do you prepare your mindset for it? Greg: First of all, do your background gathering of information. Find out everything that you can about the target with whom you will be negotiating as soon as you possibly can. As an example, why are they negotiating? Why is it that they are negotiating with you? What other resources can they bring to bear on this situation that might allow them to have leverage? What resources do you have that you could use as leverage? What will the other individual do if they can’t close the deal with you? How much time do they actually have to close the deal? Where else can they go January-February 2011 | Exceptional People Magazine | 45
Minding My Business
to get additional assistance and time to save the deal? What happens if they can’t get the deal? What happens if they don’t have sufficient resources to get the deal? Who else can they align themselves with? There is a conglomerate of questions that you need to ask yourself and be able to answer. After that, you want to map the course the negotiation may take and have alternative courses if you have to renew the negotiation. You also have to know how to get back on the path you need to be on in order to have a successful outcome. If you put all of those thoughts and plans together, you will act upon what you have to do, like a chess game, thinking three, four, five moves ahead. If they do X, and you thought they were going to do Y, you have a contingency plan in place to address X as opposed to Y. That’s how you put your whole negotiation scenario together. That’s how you become more successful with the outcome you’re seeking. Monica: What do you enjoy most about helping others perfect their negotiating skills? Greg: The fact that people can get a lot more out of life if they know, number one, how to ask for things and the timeframe in which to ask for them. In my negotiation training sessions one of the tasks that I will give over a lunch or dinner period is to have participants ask for something for free, no matter what environment they’re in during that break period. Then I will have them come back and tell the rest of the class, the rest of those participants, what they were able to get and how they went about doing so. I have them commit to that exercise to show them it’s a lot easier than you think to simply ask for things. Those are some of the tactics that I use in order to enhance the knowledge level of people, especially in the United States. We have the tendency to see a price and think it is etched in stone, and we won’t challenge it. You can ask anybody for a price reduction if you’re making a purchase. There are all kinds of tactics you can use. So what, if the person says no? Okay. You will not die. Life will go on. One of the tactics that I talk about also is
you’re trying to buy something at a discounted price, and the person says, “No. I’m sorry. That’s just too low. I can’t accept it.” One thing you can say is, “I tell you what. I will give you $40,000 for this $65,000 car.” The person says, “Are you crazy? No. I would never do that.” You say, “Okay. No problem. I’m going to leave my business card with you, and if you come upon a situation whereby you would like to accept this offer, let me know. Thank you very much.” Turn and walk away. Suddenly, one day, the individual at the car dealership knows it’s the end of the month and they realize, “Oh my gosh. I need to sell a few more cars. This person made this offer. Let me go back and call them.” I mean there are all kinds of tactics and strategies you can employ. Monica: Do you target a specific group of people with your training? Greg: Yes. I train entrepreneurs because I have a real soft spot for entrepreneurs because I’ve been one since 1993. I also teach in corporate environments. Obviously, those are two different environments with two different mindsets. When I’m teaching in one environment, let’s say the corporate environment, I understand that those individuals are people who are working for a larger entity. They may be a little more lax with what they will give in the form of leeway versus a small business owner who has to make sure that his or her bottom line is as sharp as it possibly can be because cash flow can interrupt the business flow. So I train differently, while at the same time making sure that I touch the bases for which anyone can become a successful negotiator. Monica: Can you tell me a little about your latest book? Greg: It’s titled, “Negotiate: Afraid Know More,” and “No” is spelled K-n-o-w. It goes back to the point that a lot of people are afraid to negotiate, and they’re afraid because they don’t know everything that they should. I wrote the book initially as a result of presentations I had made, training that I had been involved in and found that it became a bestseller simply because of the knowledge that it contained and what people
“Use ‘if’ when you wish to extend a conditional offer to the other negotiator...do so with precision and incisiveness.”
“When an impasse is encountered in a negotiation, remember ‘no’ only means ‘no’ for the moment. Allow proper timing to enhance your negotiation opportunities. “
could get from reading it. So it goes into strategies, tactics that one can employ in different environments, and it delves a little bit into how to read and decipher body language in order to strengthen one’s negotiation abilities. Everyone needs to know how to negotiate because we are always negotiating in every environment that we are in. Why not enhance your skills because you’re doing it anyway. Why not become better at it and see how you can achieve more in life? Monica: In parent to child situations, is that a good reason to learn negotiation skills? Greg: Well, yes, but from whose perspective, the child or the parent? We are truly born negotiators. Your mother says, “No, you can’t have such and such.” “Why not?” The mother says, “Because I don’t want it to spoil your appetite.” “Well, that’s okay. I’ll still be able to eat later.” You have these rebuttals that you come back with automatically. But as we become older and as we become adults, we learn not to ask why not. It’s not appropriate in certain environments, and we start to dumb ourselves down. If we were to allow ourselves to act like kids sometimes when we’re negotiating, I mean to a degree, one could end up achieving more throughout any negotiation. People will sit on their hands without trying to negotiate in certain situations because they’re afraid of either losing what it is that they’ve already gained, they don’t know what tactics to use and they don’t want to be perceived as a buffoon or something worse. Thus they won’t even make an effort.
Monica: How often do companies or individuals ask you to negotiate on their behalf? Greg: Monica, first of all, I write a negotiation tip of the week. Any of your readers can actually go to www.themasternegotiator.com and sign up for them. These tips literally are subscribed to by people throughout the world, including corporate America and private individuals. I have people approach me all the time from around the world to have me give them advice. They’ll consult with me on a particular situation that they may be confronting and seek additional information as an extra pair of ears, eyes and an extra mouth just to understand what it is that they should do. Monica: I’ll ask you what may seem like an odd question. As the master negotiator what legacy would you like to leave? Greg: Oh my gosh. That is an easy one. People of the world have become better at understanding the intrinsic value that they possess in selling themselves as a result of being able to negotiate. People in the United States do not negotiate as rigorously as people throughout other parts of the world. We in the United States need to catch up, as it were. We could stretch our resources voluminously if we would learn how to negotiate better. That’s the legacy that I wish to leave.
Sure. Parents and children truly learn from one another as they’re going through the negotiation process. The mother finally gets fed up and says, “Go ask your father.” The kid is saying, “Daddy, Mommy told me to ask you if it’s all right to have the ice cream that I’m getting ready to get.” Monica: They even know how to word it. Greg: Exactly. The kid positions it as if it’s a done deal. We lose those tendencies as we become older because we become more refined, whatever the heck that is.
January-February 2011 | Exceptional People Magazine | 47
Food For Thought
ISSN 1944-9062 Founder and Editor-in-Chief Monica Davis
“Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity.” Aristotle
Editors Jon Crump Marla Gem Beatrice Roots
“Be what you are. This is the first step toward becoming better than you are.” Julius Charles Hare and Augustus William Hare
“Friendship makes prosperity more brilliant, and lightens adversity by dividing and sharing it.” Cicero
Donna Carletta Kathy Kentty Pat Markel
Other Writers and Contributors Angie Brennan Annemarie Cross Catherine Galasso-Vigorito Dean G. Campbell Dorothy Rosby James Adonis Kathi Calahan Margaret Paul Rosalind Sedacca William R. Patterson Sue Urda
West Coast Bureau Chief Sharon Raiford Bush
“He knows not his own strength that hath not met adversity.” Louis L’Amour
“Patience is the art of hoping.” Vauvenargues
Exceptional People Magazine is published bimonthly by Atela Productions, Inc. The opinions of the contributors are not necessarily those of Atela Productions, Inc.
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Copyright © 2011 All rights reserved. Exceptional People Magazine is a copyright of Atela Productions, Inc. The contents of this publication may not be printed, copied or distributed without the express written consent of the Publisher.
to live your best life!
by Dr. Margaret Paul
Happiness or Financial Success Which Comes First?
You might be surprised at the answer!
â€˘ Happiness brings you financial success
Which statement do you believe is the most true?
â€˘ Financial success brings you happiness
50 | Exceptional People Magazine | January-February 2011
You might be surprised to learn that research suggests the first statement to be the most true. Again, which statement to you believe is the most true?
• Happiness is a choice
• I am a magnificent spark of the Divine.
• Happiness is the result of doing work you love
• Happiness is the result of having wonderful relationships Again, the first statement proves to be the most true. In fact, the other two are more the RESULT of happiness rather than the CAUSE of it! Happy people tend to choose meaningful work and are more effective, productive, focused, creative and successful than unhappy people. Happy people also tend to create relationships that are far happier than those created by unhappy people. If we are more financially successful and create healthier relationships when we are happy, the big question is: What creates happiness? Happy people THINK differently than unhappy people. Our feelings of happiness or unhappiness come from our thoughts, which come from our beliefs. Which beliefs create the most happiness?
• I am a victim of life and of others choices.
• I am 100% responsible for my own feelings.
• I am alone and I will always be alone.
• I am never alone. I am always being loved and guided by Spirit.
• I am basically unworthy and unlovable.
• When I die, I die. • My soul is eternal. When my body dies, my soul continues to learn and evolve.
• My happiness comes from having money, from being in a relationship, or from being married with children.
• My happiness comes from expressing love and compassion to myself and to others.
• We are separate. • We are One. The answers, of course, are obvious. People who choose to see themselves as victims of their past, of circumstances, and of other people are unhappy people. People who choose to take full 100% responsibility for their own feelings of happiness and unhappiness are much happier than people who don't. Likewise, people who have no spiritual connection, who do not believe in a higher source of love, wisdom, and power, are far more unhappy and anxious than those who turn to a higher power for love and guidance.
lieve that this life is a moment in time of the eternal evolution of their soul. People who believe that getting love, getting approval, or getting money is what makes them happy are far less happy than people who know that choosing to learn to love themselves and share their love with others is what brings them joy. A belief in separation - from each other and from our Divine Source leads to feelings of anxiety and overwhelm. When you know that each of us is a spark of God, you know that you are never alone. Self-love is essential for happiness. When you choose to get to know and to love the Divine being that you are the Love that you are - you are living in truth. Happiness is the result of living in truth - the truth that you are a magnificent spark of the Divine, and that it is your responsibility to lovingly take care of the beautiful being that you are - by thinking and behaving in loving ways. When you see and love who you really are, you also see and love the Divine being within each individual. This brings happiness, which paves the way for financial success and healthy relationships.
People who believe themselves to be their body and their ego, always feel unworthy and unlovable. People who know themselves to be their beautiful soul, feel worthy and lovable. People who believe that this life is all there is are far more anxious, controlling and greedy than people who beJanuary-February 2011 | Exceptional People Magazine | 51
Successful Parenting After Your by Rosalind Sedacca, CCT
Divorce Parenting after divorce can be complex, frustrating and confusing. However, every day parents around the world are coping with the challenges and raising happy, welladjusted children. There are many factors that influence your effectiveness as a parent. Here’s a 4-step guide to mastering the major components of the post-divorce parenting success. Step 1: ATTITUDE Attitude plays a big part in the success of any ChildCentered Divorce. If you approach your divorce with a commitment to making it as positive an experience as possible for the children you love, you are on your way to succeeding. What attitude are you conveying about your divorce? Try to catch your thoughts and the way you speak about it. Are you filled with negativity? Are your days consumed with a “poor me” state of consciousness? Are you attracting and spending time with others who share those sentiments? If so, it’s time for an overhaul in your thinking and attitude. A Child-Centered Divorce is created over weeks, months and years of attention to positive parenting. It’s never too late to start regardless of how long you have been divorced. The decisions you make today will affect the relationships within your family tomorrow and for decades to come. Step 2: PERCEPTIONS The world is what we perceive it to be. Whether you believe it’s good or bad – you will be right -- and create an outcome to justify your belief. If you perceive yourself to be a victim in your divorce, you will focus on evidence to prove that to be true. 52 | Exceptional People Magazine | January-February 2011
If you instead take your divorce as a life experience to learn from, you will derive many benefits and value from the divorce, no matter how much pain is also involved. You will also accept responsibility for the part you played in the process and be more willing to contemplate new ways to live your life in the future that will bring more positive results. Sadly, it’s through challenging experiences that we grow and learn the most from life. Are you uncovering meaningful lessons for you? Step 3: LOOK FOR THE GIFT: There are always lessons to be learned from painful experiences. If you perceive those lessons as “gifts” to you – wisdom and opportunities you will never have otherwise experienced, you can move on from your divorce a better, stronger, wiser person. There is always a gift to be received if you look for it. Step 4: RESPECTFUL PARENTING Getting past your divorce is but a small piece of the Child-Centered Divorce puzzle if you are a parent. Working through the challenges of creating successful communication with your ex is a goal that must be worked on continuously. Keep your children in mind before making any decisions related to their well-being and you will stay on course. Because you and your former spouse will be parenting your children for many years – and decades to come -- it makes sense to start off on the best possible course. The first step is to develop a respectful relationship with your ex. Remember that is your child’s other parent whom they love. Treat your former spouse with that level of awareness and dignity in all your communication and they are more likely to return the same level of respect to you. Changes may not happen overnight. But with patience and persistence things can and will improve.
Negotiating Successfully to Collect Your Cash by Greg Williams
Tips Business Professionals Need to Know To Avoid Financial Chaos
egardless of your profession, if you’re in business, this could happen to you.
• Clients request services for which they cannot pay. • You provide services, and then struggle to obtain payment. • Slow payers strangle your cash flow. • Payment issues poison your relationships with clients. It doesn’t have to be that way! The way in which you engage a client relationship at the outset of the relationship, to a great degree, dictates what will occur in the relationship. In addition, it dictates how resolutions will come about when there are payment challenges. This article delves into some of the aspects that you can control to insure you and your clients do not end up in a negative situation, as the result of their inability to compensate you for your services. 1.) Know with whom you’re dealing: A.) You can avoid financial chaos by not dealing with some people and/or organizations. Just because someone wants to conduct business with you, doesn’t mean they’re a fit for your business. If they admit to having financial challenges during your initial meeting, you should consider the benefits of doing business with them and the potential hardship that such actions may have on your business.
January-February 2011 | Exceptional People Magazine | 53
B.) Weigh the current financial situation of your business associate and assess the possibility that there may be a future ‘payment’ issue. If it appears that such a situation may loom, install ‘safe guards’ (i.e. collecting more funds up front, keeping the client on a shorter time payment leash, keep a watchful eye on the fact that there may be payment issues associated with the account and pounce the moment such issues become prevalent). In essence, ask yourself if you have the will power, staying power, and firepower (resources) to chase a debtor. 2. Establish Rapport: A.) Once you’ve assessed the potential risk of a financial default, and you decide to engage in a business relationship with the person, create a mutual relationship built on trust, respect, and the fact that you need to have funds to keep your business running. Set the expectation at the outset of the relationship that you expect your business associate to be a good payer. B.) In creating a genuine bond with your client, don’t allow the client’s financial problems to instill financial chaos into your business. In essence, don’t inject empathy into the relationship when the client begins to tell you their financial tales of woe. During such times, you’re setting the course for the relationship and how interactions will occur. Set the stage appropriately. 3.) Recognize Excuses: A.) When some clients are on the verge of experiencing financial challenges, they may begin to hoard resources in an attempt to sustain their own livelihood. It’s at this point that you must become insistent about receiving payment and putting a process in place to monitor future payments. Don’t be caught up in giving more
services, with the thought that if you don’t, it will hasten the demise of your client’s operations. B.) Discover body language (nonverbal communication) reading techniques. By possessing the ability to read body language, in person and over the phone, you can gain insight into thoughts that a client may not verbally disclose. Such insight will allow you to have a better glimpse into the real situation with which they may be dealing. 4.) Use Negotiation Strategies: A.) You can employ numerous negotiation strategies to counter strategies that a client might present, in addressing his payment situation; the more strategies you’re aware of, and how to use them in the appropriate situation(s), the better positioned you’ll be to thwart the actions of a client that may have funds, but wish to apply them for other purposes. B.) Identify points upon which you can apply leverage and avoid financial chaos. As you progress in the relationship with your client, be attuned to opportunities where you may be able to apply points of pressure, should a lack of payment situation
make such actions necessary (e.g. if the client doesn’t want everyone to know they have a payment situation, you may consider informing him that it’s your responsibility to report such occurrences). C.) Offer a promotion that gives the client a payback bonus (rebate), at the end of a specified period. The rebate becomes effective if the client submits funds, in the manner specified by the agreement (note: this becomes a cost of doing business, which gets incorporated in your overall pricing). Client relations can be strained when payment issues arise, which could cause your business to incur financial hardships. In order to avoid such situations, choose your clients the way you’d choose your friends. Plus, always keep in mind that a certain amount of business will go bad. Thus, the better you manage the potential for bad clients, the more enhanced your bottom line will become … and everything will be right with the world. Remember, you’re always negotiating.
The Negotiation Tips Are … Learn to strike a balance between disagreeing and being disagreeable. Try never to create a situation that becomes unmanageable, due to slow or non-payment. Maintain an attitude that conveys the belief that your client will do his best to submit payments on time. • To the degree you can, engage the client as a friend, while maintaining the integrity of the business relationship. If a point occurs when you must discuss a payment situation, personalize yourself and speak from the financial discomfort (use appropriate ‘word(s)’ for your situation) that such an occurrence will have on you and your business.
In considering with whom you’ll do business, think about the potential future ramifications of engaging in a business relationship with any entity. In some case, there may be stop signs at the outset.
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a new trend sweeping the business world. It's called “budget trimming,” or if you're a little risque, “budget butchering.” This is when you tantalize your bottom line by dropping your excess baggage. Slowly and seductively, or if you're in a rush, urgently and fervently, you strip a line item off here and an unnecessary outlay there, all in the name of cost-cutting.
decisions, allow them to initiate change and provide staff with additional responsibilities. When they've gained more control, ownership is maximized. FANTASY: The work environment can be a plague where people begin to speak the same way, think the same and go insane, as they blend into a blurry field of group thought. Use games and imagination to engender learning. Give employees the freedom to be creative within their jobs.
Using The Carrot To Motivate While Paying Peanuts
by James Adonis
Managers and business owners who enthusiastically followed this panic-driven craze have found themselves in the precarious position of having employees to satisfy without the means to do so. Like a benefactor who has run out of money, employers are scrambling to find low-cost or no-cost ways to appear inviting to their employees.
COMPETITION: By nature, we're a competitive species. It's not about keeping up with the Joneses, but outdoing them. You even see it in yoga classes where people would rather dislocate a shoulder than allow someone to exceed them in a pose. Initiating performance-related contests in the workplace inspires people in a similar way. They love to win.
Thankfully, a handful of academicians came to the rescue in the 1970s. Researchers at the University of Rochester pioneered “intrinsic motivation,” which is the ability to get employees to perform without paying them. They identified seven non-monetary factors to help with this process.
COOPERATION: Strong relationships can withstand the quicksand of a boring job. People want to belong. Even biker gangs are just lonely, bearded, leather-wearing men desperately seeking solace in a group. The key is to get your employees to interact with each other in meaningful ways, such as collaboratively working on projects and tasks.
CHALLENGES: Employees in the workforce today are more highly educated than at any point in history, which means they become bored if they’re not given challenging assignments. The solution is to stimulate them with tasks that are new, activities that are tough, problems that are complex and risky responsibilities. CURIOSITY: If curiosity killed the cat, why are so many of these creatures still around? As we enter adulthood, sadly our enthusiasm wanes and our cynicism gains traction. Arouse curiosity by incorporating your employees' talents and passions into their work. CONTROL: This isn't about employees seeking power, but it is about employees desiring more influence over what happens at work. Let your team make
RECOGNITION: Among everything on the list, this is by far the easiest - and yet it's avoided. A Gallup study found that 69% of employees prefer to receive praise from their managers rather than monetary incentives. The simplest thank you with the sincerest of attitudes is sufficient to make your team feel valued. I once believed the old bumper-sticker maxim of, "Anyone who says money can't buy you happiness doesn't know where to shop." But really, that was just the money-loving ambition-addiction side of me. The factors that genuinely determine whether employees adore their jobs or hate them cost nothing more than a little effort.
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Wealth is a choice—and with every dollar we choose to be rich or poor. by William R. Patterson
Every time we go to the mall and buy an unneeded item of clothing, the latest gadget, a fancier car than we can afford, and even every time we buy a toy or game for our child before investing for his or her future, we are choosing to be poor. Realize that for every dollar we spend today on things that depreciate in value, we're actually throwing money away that could have grown into $4 over the next 16 years. When making purchases and investments, it is important to not just think about the present value of your money, but also the future value of your money. It is only then that you realize what you are truly sacrificing in any particular transaction. As we teach in the ninth Supreme Principle of our book, The Baron Son, anyone can build significant wealth over time by taking advantage of the power of compounding. However, for those who procrastinate and postpone investing for the future, their inaction will be extremely costly. To illustrate this point, I’ll give three examples of individuals who invest money every month at an annual rate of 9% until the retirement age of 65. First, is the wise parent who by investing less than $15 a month is able to easily ensure that their little boy or girl will be a millionaire by the time he or she retires. In our second scenario, if that same little boy or girl were to wait until the age of 21 to start investing, it would require $75 a month to become a millionaire—five times the monthly investment of a six-year old child. And in our third scenario, if that same child were to wait until the age of 50 to start investing, it would require an investment over $2,000 a month to become a millionaire—more than 25 times that of the 21year old and 130 times that of the six-year old. Remember procrastination is the enemy of fortune and just as your investments compound, so do your debts. So, invest before you spend and avoid at all costs paying out to others the millions you deserve.
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make municipal bonds a worthwhile investment.
T A X E
by Dean Campbell
likes to pay them, but there isn't anything you can do about them. Or is there? Fortunately, there are several tax saving strategies that you can use right now to cut your tax bill. Consider municipal bonds. Municipal bonds used to be the domain of the wealthy, but not anymore. Many middle income investors find themselves paying enough tax each year to
Are municipal bonds right for you? To find out, identify the percentage you'd need from a taxable bond to equal the after tax yield you can earn from a comparable municipal (one with the same maturity date and credit rating). To do this, divide the tax free yield by 1 minus your tax bracket. For example, assume you're looking at a municipal with a 5 percent yield and you pay 28 percent of your income to the federal government. You would divide 5 percent by 0.72 (1 .28) to obtain your answer. You'd have to earn 6.94 percent from a taxable investment to equal the 5 percent tax free yield from a municipal. If you can't find a taxable bond you like that can generate a yield of 6.94 percent or better, a muni bond may be right for you. Contribute the maximum to your retirement plan. Contributions to a corporate retirement plan are generally made on a pre-tax basis, which means you will receive a portion of the money you contribute after filing your tax returns. For example, assume that you're in the 28 percent tax bracket and you make pre-tax contributions of $10,000 annually to your employer sponsored retirement plan. To better understand the benefits of pre-tax retirement investing, in order to invest $10,000 after tax, you would have to earn $13,889 ($10,000 divided by 0.72). Retirement plans also have another valuable feature. Earnings grow tax deferred as long as they remain in the plan. When earnings are free from immediate taxation, they grow much faster than if taxed every year.
For example, a $5,000 annual investment in a tax-deferred account would grow to more than $566,000 (approximately $408,000 after taxes) in 30 years (assuming an 8% annual return) -- but the same amount invested at the same rate in an account taxed at 28% would grow to less than $379,000. This is a hypothetical example used for illustration purposes only. It does not represent any specific investment. Discover the world of annuities. If you're seeking tax deferred income, annuities can be prudent choices. An annuity is a contract between you and an insurance company that provides periodic payments for a specific period of time. Issuers of fixed annuities guarantee principal and interest. The guarantees, however, are based solely on the financial strength and claimpaying ability of the issuing insurance company. Unlike retirement plans, there's virtually no limit to the amount you can contribute in an annuity, and you're not required to start withdrawing money at age 70Â˝. Get the professional help you need. These are just a few of the many tactics that may help you reduce your taxes significantly. Before taking any action that would have tax consequences, talk with your tax professional as well as your financial advisor.
Campbell Retirement Planning Centers does not render legal, accounting or tax advice. Please consult your CPA or attorney on such matters. The accuracy and completeness of this material are not guaranteed. The material is distributed solely for information purposes and is not a solicitation of an offer to buy any security or instrument or to participate in any trading strategy. Provided by courtesy of Campbell Retirement Planning Centers, 888910-7526, 5334 Dixie Highway, Waterford, MI 48329.
January-February 2011 | Exceptional People Magazine | 57
Living on the Money You Make by Kathi Calahan It is time to start living on the money we make. • The U.S. National Debt is $9 tril-
lion. • Encyclopedia Britannica says, "The
use of credit cards originated in the United States during the 1920's." A recent MSN Money article shows 43% of American families spend more than they make. Today the average household carries an $8,000 credit card debt. • We, as a nation, are as in debt as
our own government. We spend more than we make.
its. There are exceptions, of course, like Darrell, from Texas, who is trying to support his family on $7.25 hour working in a rest stop. His wife is ill and cannot work and they are definitely in trouble financially. But Darrell is going to have to get serious and go back to school so he can earn a living that will at least pay his bills. • Admit that greed has been your
personal value leader and recognize that more is NOT better and things will NOT fill the hole in your soul. Honestly, how many TV's do you need in one home? Is a $400 cell phone absolutely necessary for your financial survival?
• In March 2008 the New York
Times said nearly 4,000 bankruptcies were filed per day, nationwide. Bankruptcy is not the long term solution because if we don't make significant internal changes within ourselves, we will go right back to our old spending habits. Yes, your debt may be ferocious, but you can become accountable for your own actions and heal the gaping wound in your financial jugular vein. Here's how: • Get serious. As Dr. Phil says, "You
can't fix what you won't acknowledge." Stop blaming your financial problems on your career and start acknowledging your spending hab-
• Do something! Find a way to man-
age your money and begin to use the resources around you to reduce your debt. Talk to a financial advisor, tax person or bank consultant. Look into the new Automatic Money Manager program online by author David Bach which helps you manage your money before it is spent. • As financial advisor Suze Orman
urges, stop using your credit cards and make it a priority to pay them off. "You must pay off the credit card with the highest interest rate first." Ask your library for her book The 9 Steps To Financial Freedom.
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• Begin attending the free 12-Step
program, Debtors Anonymous. • Know whether your salary is com-
parable to the salaries in your area for your position. Go to CNNMoney.com and take their free Salary Wizard report. If your salary is below the local market average, go in armed with this report and get a raise. If you are on target, you are going to have to reduce your monthly expenses. Now is the time for a reality check on your personal finances. Your money and your career are so intertwined that both must be evaluated carefully. You now have the resources to get going and get out of debt. Here's to staying out of debt!
Career 1… Change? 2… 3… by Annemarie Cross
Four simple steps to support your career transition The prospect of making a change in your career focus can be daunting for anyone, particularly if you have been working in the industry/position for a considerable amount of time. You may be interested to learn that in the course of our working lives we can expect to make several significant career changes, whether voluntary (our own choice) or involuntary (company restructures). The workplace has changed significantly from the days where you got your qualification, secured a job and worked for 20-30 years and reached your retirement with the same company. In fact, young people now entering the workforce are being advised to expect that they will make around 7-8 major career changes throughout their working lives, which is quite significant. Whatever your reason for wanting to make a change in your career there are a number of things that you will need to consider, with two of the most important aspects being which direction to follow and how to develop a résumé that will market your existing skills and experience in a manner that
is relevant and applicable to the role for which you are applying.
• What projects have you enjoyed
Today we will be covering four simple steps to assist you in determining a suitable career focus.
• Which job functions do you like
1. Dream/Envision: Establishing a clear vision and positive frame of mind Just as embarking on a holiday without any preparation or planning would have you driving aimlessly in circles never quite reaching your destination, so too does not having a vision, a target, or intention with your job and career. How can you possibly begin to work towards your goals and your dreams if you don’t have a clear vision of where you want to be?
What projects or functions have you been successful in and would like to continue working on in the future?
• What positions have you been interested in that you could investigate as possible opportunities? What industries or companies would you like to work for?
and could work on in the future?
and would like to continue doing in the future?
Action Step: Develop a blueprint of potential job opportunities, functions and projects that you enjoy and would like to be doing within your new role. 2. Clarify: Enhance your selfawareness and begin to narrow down your options Lack of self-awareness and understanding is one of the major factors that prompt people to either move from one job to another, continue under-performing in the tasks and functions they are involved in, or remain stuck in a job that is uninspiring and unfulfilling.
• What is it about your current role that you no longer find interesting?
I cannot stress enough the importance of enhancing your self-awareness to support you in discovering your pas-
January-February 2011 | Exceptional People Magazine | 59
sion and life’s purpose and how this can relate to your work. For many people, enhancing selfawareness in itself can be life altering, as they begin to understand what drives them, why they react in certain ways, what makes them unique and the impact this can have with the work choices they make. They become clearer about their work interests and work activities, and what inspires and enriches their day versus tasks that seem to drain them of their energy.
• What are your career interests? • What are your career values? • What type of work environment do
and thus continue to experience unrealized goals and dreams. Which person do you most resemble?
Action Step: Establish a structure that will keep you focused on your goals.
• What is holding you back?
By following these four steps you will be well on your way to moving forward with your career change with confidence.
• What are you fearful of? • What do you need to know that would support you in taking that next step toward achievement of your goals?
• What resources could you benefit from that would enable you to move forward confidently? Action Step: Identify any doubts and begin compiling a list of resources or steps you need to take in order to work through these barriers.
you have a preference for?
• What are your strengths? Action Step: Create a blueprint of your interests, values, preferred work environment, personality/style, and strengths. 3. Believe: Breaking through those barriers Even after having developed a blueprint of your life and career goals alongside a well thought out and structured plan, barriers and blocks can still prevent you from achieving your career goals. Some people may experience fears and doubts for a fleeting moment but move on to accomplish their ambitions. However, other people continually experiencing unhelpful thoughts or reservations about their plans may find they are unable to move forward
4. Achieve: Setting your action steps Studies indicate that less than 10% of people who establish goals ever achieve them. In fact, statistics have shown that approximately three percent of people take the time to write out their goals and that these are the people who will eventually make them happen. Ten percent of people think about their goals, never writing them down and just expecting them to happen. Sixty percent of people spend more time planning their holidays than they do thinking about their goals for the year ahead and allow things to happen. So which category do you fit into? Do you set out with the best intentions, but a few weeks or months later you find yourself getting off track? Or perhaps you are steadily moving towards goal achievement until such time that you come up against an obstacle?
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To your success! Annemarie
Creative Staff Perks for Small Businesses by Donna Carletta
When you own a small business, you often can’t offer expensive perks to your employees for a job well done. At the same time, strong competition for top employees is causing compensation costs to soar, as small companies compete with large corporations with deeper pockets. Smaller companies may need to be more creative to produce perks and benefits to motivate and keep employees. When developing a rewards system, create perks that can be distributed company-wide and others that may single out specific individuals who have done a great job. Here are some ideas:
• Organize a meal at a local restaurant to employees who put in extra hours to complete urgent projects.
• Offer a movie voucher or book token as a small gesture of appreciation for those who give excellent service to customers.
• Give an extra half or full day off to show appreciation for exceptional workers. However, this should be exercised with caution, as it is likely to lose impact over time; also place a heavier burden on the remaining staff.
• If a customer calls or writes to praise an employee, announce it at your next staff meeting and congratulate the employee personally where possible.
• If you are the owner or manager of a small company, recognise good work by personally distributing payslips each period. Add a word of thanks and encourage more of the same good work.
• Ideally, aim to link bonuses to net yearly profits to ensure all employees work towards common company goals - profit related pay. A “no upper limit” scheme will invariably prove to be a strong motivational factor for all concerned - a highly profitable year will mean that bumper bonuses will be paid, but these will always remain in line with overall company performance. While these smaller rewards and gestures are a relatively light financial outlay, they can be just as motivating as big expensive programmes, if handled correctly. Creative rewards will pay off with loyal employees who will continue to work hard to make the company increasingly successful. When you care about your employees, they will care about the company.
• Never underestimate the power of good old-fashioned cash. The most familiar reward method - bonuses - is proven motivators and is always appreciated by employees. January-February 2011 | Exceptional People Magazine | 61
7 Rules Is your marriage in trouble?
If your marriage is in trouble, the chances are that you and your partner are stuck in trying to control rather than learn. Changing your intent can heal your marriage. by Dr. Margaret Paul
The first question you need to ask yourself is: "Do I want to save this marriage or do I want to leave it?" If the answer is that you want to save it, then this article is for you. Following are seven rules or choices that you can make to completely change the course of your marriage. 1. Be honest with yourself regarding your primary intention. Which category do you fall into - the intent to protect or the intent to learn? a. Is your primary intention to protect yourself from your fears with some form of controlling behavior - such as anger, blame, criticism, withdrawal of love, threats, compliance, or resistance? Is having power over your partner and winning more important to you than being loving to yourself and your partner? Do you make your partner responsible for your feelings? Are you more devoted to getting love and avoiding rejection rather than to mutuality, caring, and sharing love? b. Is your primary intention to learn about loving yourself and your partner? Are you more devoted to mutuality, caring and sharing love than to being right, winning, having your way, or making your partner responsible for your feelings? Is learning more important to you than whether or not you receive approval? 62 | Exceptional People Magazine | January-February 2011
Basic to all the other rules is being in the intent to learn about loving yourself and others. If your primary intent is to protect yourself from pain and rejection with controlling behavior, you will have no chance of improving your relationship. You will continue to create the very problems you are attempting to avoid with your controlling behavior. 2. Let go of the past. Hanging on to old grievances is part of the intent to protect - blaming your partner for your pain rather than taking responsibility for whatever choices you made that resulted in your unhappiness. 3. Disengage from conflict as soon as one person is not open to learning. There is no point in trying to talk out problems and issues until both people are open to learning. If you are open and your partner is not, then give up trying to solve problems by talking about them and unilaterally figure out how to take loving care of yourself in the face of your partner's choices. 4. Keep your eyes on your own plate, sharing only about yourself and your own learning. Let go of analyzing or defining your partner. Let go of interrogating questions that are really attacks. These behaviors are controlling and invasive. Your job is to define yourself, not your partner! The more you define your own inner worth and
for Saving Your
let go of attempting to define your partner, the better your relationship will become. 5. Do your own Inner Bonding work to deal with your issues of abandonment and engulfment, and to define your own worth and lovability. Rather than making your partner responsible for your fears of abandonment or your fears of losing yourself, do your inner healing work to move beyond these fears. Take full 100% responsibility for these fears rather than making your partner responsible for causing them.
Once again, if you are stuck in the mindset of protection and control, you will not be able to make these choices. Your intent to learn is basic to being able to make these choices and improve your relationship. You are in charge of your intent and you always have the option to let go of the intent to protect/control and move into the intent to learn about loving yourself and your partner.
6. Accept your lack of control over the other person, choosing instead to see your partner as his or her own person. Learn to cherish the differences rather than try to make your partner into you. Support your partner in becoming all he or she came to this planet to be. Support your partner in what brings him or her joy, taking responsibility for whatever fears your partner's independence brings up for you. 7. Make kindness to your self and others your guiding light, even when your fears are triggered.
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Financial Brain Buster by Christopher Powell, Mathematician
Daisy invests in two certificates of deposit, one paying 6.5% and the other paying 3.5%. The total of her two investments was $15,000. If the certificates paid yearly simple interest and the total interest earned at the end of the year was $540, how much did she invest in each certificate? Let x = The amount invested in the 6.5% certificate. Let y = The amount invested in the 3.5% certificate. Amount Invested
x Interest Rate =
CD paying 6.5%
CD paying 3.5%
The first person who submits the correct answer along with the required contact information will receive a $25 gift card. Submit your answer to www.exceptionalmag.com/contact.html. Please include your name, email address, city and state.
Note: Employees and immediate family members of Exceptional People Magazine and its parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, owners, and agents are not eligible to participate.
64 | Exceptional People Magazine | January-February 2011
How to Make Networking Work For You – Part 1
by Sue Urda For some people, a networking event is excruciating, intimidating and even feels physically and emotionally painful. Some people consider networking to be a waste of time, because they don’t see immediate results. To others, networking is fun. It is something they look forward to. These people are the ones you see who look like naturals. They are visibly enjoying themselves and look as though they are spending time with old friends. So, what’s the difference between the two? Is there a secret to successful networking? There are no secrets for successful networking, but there are some very valuable and simple steps to follow to make your networking experience something that is both enjoyable and profitable for you. Businesses have found that networking can be one of the most efficient, effective and cost-effective ways of marketing your business, your products and your services. Networking is a great way for you to become known within a community of individuals who are also coming together for the purpose of marketing themselves and their business.
So, if everyone goes to a networking meeting to become known, how could networking possibly work? The answer lies in the intention of the attendees. The most successful networkers know that networking is not all about them. It’s not about handing out and collecting as many business cards as possible in an hour and a half. It’s not about continually talking about them and being the center of attention. The most successful networkers know that networking is ALL about creating relationships. It’s about making connections, showing up and being fully present. It’s also about consistency. You see, networking is not a one-shot deal. Networking is a process. And great relationships don’t happen in a single meeting… they grow over time. The purpose of networking is to be with groups of people often enough so that you get to know them and they get to know you. Great relationships occur over a series of conversations, not just a 30-second introductory “commercial”. This is not to say that you can’t go to a meeting one time and meet the exact person who has the perfect contact
for you to expand your business. What is true is this: If you are meeting the perfect person with the perfect contacts for the first time, will they feel comfortable referring you? Will they be willing, on the first time meeting you, to refer you to their longtime colleagues and associates, family and friends? Think about it… When you refer someone, your own reputation goes right along with that referral. If you refer someone and it works out, then you’re a hero and the person you gave the referral to will trust your judgment in the future. If it doesn’t work out, then they might be less likely to trust your referrals and you. Therefore, it is important to get to know the people you will be referring and to let them get to know you. This way they feel good about referring you and you feel good about referring them. This is what creating relationships is about. This is what great networking is about. It’s not about selling. It’s not about you. It’s about the group. It’s about getting to really know people and letting them get to really know you. It’s about consistently showing up, and especially, successful networking is about creating great relationships! Now, that’s Powerful!
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A precious treasure lies within you. Reveal it.
Published on Jan 19, 2011
Exceptional People Magazine provides inspiration, proven insights and strategies to help people change their lives.