243) Be Proud And Step Closer

Major League Soccer goalkeeper Jon Kempin, of the Columbus Crew, shared on his Twitter feed, “Before you go to sleep, remember all the beautiful victories you had today. Be proud of yourself because tomorrow you’re one step closer to where you want to be.”

Kempin’s words have a broad application and any and everyone should embrace this wisdom. Whether you’re an athlete or not, every day you experience victories. You conquer a fear. You learn a skill. You complete something lingering on your list.

Each of these victories builds on the ones from the day before, which have built on the ones before that. And so on. Each of these victories slowly moves you forward. Day after day. Week after week until, in time, you’ve accomplished something significant. That advanced degree. A successful business. Perhaps a notable podcast.

And it all relates back to the beautiful victories you had today. So, close your eyes and gets some rest. And be very, very proud.


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242) Acting On Common Sense

The world has plenty of smart people. But sadly, many of those smart people don’t reach their potential. Why? It’s not lack of desire. It’s not a deficiency of hard work. It’s not a matter of poor luck. 

No. It comes down to common sense or a lack thereof. 

You see, ten percent of reaching your potential is knowing your business or trade well. The other 90 percent comes down to executing on common sense.

Little things. Overlooked things. Seemingly invisible things.  Things like, being on time. Following up. Saying thank you. And a couple dozen other things that you’d call common sense.

Yes, these are common sense. And you might dismiss them for that reason. But the reality is that they aren’t necessarily common practice. And that’s the separator between mediocrity and lasting success.

So be smart. Reach your potential. Remember to execute on common sense often.


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241) Hold Your Fire

Imagine this: You’re at an event, standing with someone new. Someone great. Someone you’ve longed to connect with. And before long, you’re engaged headlong in conversation. In fact, you’ve done well. You’ve got them talking. Awesome, right?

But then, in your excitement, before they finish, you interject, cutting them off. UGH! This is not only potentially embarrassing, but your conversation partner might perceive that you aren’t terribly interested in listening. And you don’t want that.

Consciously focus on what the other person is saying. Hear them out.  Do not jump to conclusions about what is being said. Listen for details or clues as to where they might like the conversation to go.

Then, take a deep breath. Yes, take an actual deep breath before you respond. A second of silence won’t kill the conversation. Rather, that brief moment will allow you to have a better response, which will lead to a better conversation and the perception that you’re truly listening. This serves to build the relationship.


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240. Sledding Through Life

No doubt, you aspire to have your life proceed like an afternoon of sledding on a snow-covered hill. You seek to position yourself so that you effortlessly glide along at a pace so exhilarating that the wind seems to blow through your hair.

The fact of the matter is that your life is much like a day of sledding. The problem is, however, that you need to remember that a big part of sledding – and life – is trudging uphill with a sled in tow.

In sledding, while the uphill hike is tedious, hard work and even boring, the effort of the ascent puts you in position to take the ride. Life is no different. Every period of seemingly effortless achievement has been preceded by some degree of toil and drudgery.

In summary, in both sledding and life, to enjoy the ride you must take an uphill hike first.


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239) Leaders Lead

Leaders lead. They don’t seek permission. They lead.

They don’t wait to be elected. They lead.

They don’t wait to be asked. They lead.

They’re the first to arrive. The last to leave. They roll up their sleeves and dig into whatever they’re asking of others. And they don’t stop until they ensure all is done.

Leaders lead without title, compensation or recognition. Leaders lead to fill a void of courage. Leaders lead to create a vision that’s not quite clear. Leaders lead to offer care and empathy when they see the need. Leaders lead.

Here is the reality: You’re a leader. It might be of a vast, far flung corporate empire. Or it might be a certain aspect of a small group or team. It might just be a younger someone needing that guiding mindset.

Wherever. Whomever. However. You’re a leader. Embrace that role with pride. Throwback your shoulders. Lift your chin up high. And always remember, leaders lead.


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238) Course Correct

A plane takes off from London heading to New York. If it is nudged off course by just five degrees to the south, it will end up landing somewhere south of Mexico, in like Venezuela or Belize. That’s crazy. It ends up approximately 2,500 miles from its intended destination.

This is why pilots continually check the heading of the flight and, as needed, make necessary course corrections.

The same is true with your life. It’s great to have a clear vision, reasonable goals and a committed plan of action. But from time to time it’s also important to look up to check that you’re still pointed in the right direction.

After all, things change. Situations change. Your own wants and needs change. The people around you change. It’s all subject to change. And all of it impacts your route. So, to ensure that you are headed where you intended to go, remember to course correct whenever necessary.


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237) Cooperation Understood

Wouldn’t it be great if we all agreed on everything? If we all said yes and moved in lock step in the same direction? It would be great. But that’s not how it is.

Everyone is different. We all move at a different pace. We all have varying hopes, dreams and aspirations. Yet, we all need to cooperate.

Understand, however, that cooperation doesn’t mean agreement, per se. It does, however, mean working together to advance the greater good. So, as you interact with others, be respectful enough to allow them to share. Be mindful enough to try to understand what they are trying to convey.

None of this suggests that you need to capitulate to anyone else’s position. It simply means that you should be open to the notion that other opinions exist. And being open to hearing and understanding other opinions might help you find a middle ground that serves everyone.


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236) Be A Quarterback

A powerful means of generating referrals for others in your ongoing networking circles is to communicate to your family, friends, customers and clients something like the following:

“Hey, to let you know, I have a working relationship with dozens of individuals representing various businesses and professions. I consider these individuals as trusted colleagues that aid me in the service of people like you. Therefore, if you are ever in need of a product or service and you are not certain who to contact, please contact me. I would be happy to assist you in locating the appropriate business or profession.”

However you choose to communicate this, it will position you as a “Go To” person amongst your network, and they will come to you for help. While you will be coming to their assistance, you will also benefit your networking partners in the process – which will further endear you to them.


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235) Dare Mighty Things

In 1899, before he was President of the United States, Teddy Roosevelt said to a group in Chicago, Illinois:

“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”

Over 120 years later, Roosevelt’s words still ring true. Success is not necessarily about winning. It’s about putting one’s self out there. It’s about taking the chance. It’s about being bold.

Go to that event you’ve never been to before. Reach out and introduce yourself to that business icon and see where the conversation goes. Publish that article or book. Volunteer to head up that committee at work or in your community.

Yes, some of these things won’t work out. What of it? You were bold and dared a mighty thing. That alone is worth something.


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234) Compare Lists And Networks

When you work with your customers or clients, chances are you are completely focused on them. And you should be. That is how you provide impeccable service.

The problem is that in this intentional focus, you may overlook opportunities to refer or introduce others in your network. No problem, though.

To uncover these potential missed opportunities, take time periodically to compare your list of clients to those in your network that you interact with on a consistent basis. In that quiet moment, reflect upon your interaction with your clients. Perhaps they said something that might be an opportunity for a networking contact. Or, perhaps there is someone in your network your client could benefit from meeting.

While this will not always happen, from time to time an opportunity or two will materialize. Those will add up over time. And these will serve to endear you more to your network.


Like what you’ve read? Prefer to hear it as a podcast or daily flash briefing? Subscribe to the Networking Rx Minute podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts.