New Opportunities In 2011

< A Five Dollar Lesson                                             I Honor You, My Mother >

February 28, 2011

Ever since I made the decision to begin transitioning out of DJing and into living my life on purpose, new opportunities have been presenting themselves on a regular basis to do just that. So much has been happening so fast that I can’t believe it is already the end of February. What an amazing beginning it has been to 2011. I feel like I have been going non-stop. I have even been joking with people lately telling them that even on my days off, I don’t have a day off.

Speaking in Colleges and High Schools

In an article about transitioning I mentioned that part of my focus for 2011 would be to begin speaking in colleges and high schools here in the United States. Since this was a new area of speaking which requires a totally different approach to marketing, I reached out to my network and friends to learn how to most effectively approach that audience. One of my dear friends and fellow coach/speaker Donna Visco introduced me to a gentleman who has done more than 7000 paid speaking engagements with over half of those being in High Schools and colleges. His name is Ted Fattoross and I have to say that meeting him and connecting with him has been an amazing experience.

Around the same time that I was introduced to Ted, I reconnected with a friend named Jeanne Cimillo who I met several years ago when I was working as a coach for the Anthony Robbins franchise here in New Jersey. We first met when I did her coaching session after she attended one of the events and she later went to work for the Anthony Robbins franchise after I left to start my own speaking business. Jeanne contacted me after I posted a status update on Facebook and I found out that she has a background in working with colleges and associations and she offered to help me in booking some of these events.

All the pieces were beginning to simply fall into place. There is a line by Paulo Coehlo in his book The Alchemist which says, "When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." And it seemed that the Universe was working with me in a MAJOR way.

Ted began coaching Jeanne and myself in how to market my services in the educational market and Jeanne has been making the calls and creating the relationships to make all of this happen. I expect that it will take a few months for the whole system to fall into place since it is my belief that most schools already have booked their speakers for this Spring semester. In the meantime, if you know of a school or any organization actually that would benefit from having me come to do a presentation, please feel free to direct them to my press kit which is online and have them contact me.

As I progress with this journey I will be sharing with you some of the tools and resources that I use so anyone who may also be interested in following this path will have them available. There are resources and tools that we are using now that I will talk about and refer as we find what works best.

A New Approach To Networking

A resource and tool that I am very comfortable about is an organization I recently became a part of from working with Ted. Along with being a successful keynote speaker, seminar leader, coach and consultant Ted and his wife Kim run a global organization called NetworkPlus. NetworkPlus is a business networking community that is founded on the belief that people do not do business with business cards. People do business with people. Sounds simplistic, but as you have heard me say before, one seemingly small distinction can change the course of your life.

What do I mean when I say that people do not do business with business cards; people do business with people? Quite simply, people do business with someone that they know and someone that they trust. In a business networking situation, rarely are you going to seek out another professional simply because they have a pretty and professional looking business card. Most people find you and you find them by being referred by someone you already know and trust.

There are organizations out there that put on regular events that create opportunities for business professionals to meet and network. Over the years, as a speaker I have been invited to attended many of these events. My experience has been that the event would center around the speaker for the first 30-45 minutes and then the members would interact briefly after the presentation. There was also a “selling point” with these organizations where they offered exclusivity to their members. As an example, if you were a life insurance agent you would be the only life insurance agent at that event. The idea being that you would share leads with each other and based on those referrals, you would find business. And if you were the exclusive life insurance agent for the meeting in that region, then people would have to refer business to you. For some people, doing business that way works.

For me, it never has. I am very particular about who I do business with. Even in a retail situation, if the salesperson is not doing their very best to serve me as a client, I will leave the store or ask to work with a different salesperson. Is that because I am arrogant and unreasonable? Some people may think so. My perception is simply this. Sales is a customer “service” industry. As a salesperson, it is my responsibility to understand what my client is looking for. It is my responsibility to be knowledgeable about my product or service. It is my responsibility to do what I can to make sure that my client has a pleasant experience while dealing with me and the company I am representing.

As a consumer my perception is that I have given a lot of value to earn the money I have. (I stay away from the term “work hard” even though to many people the hours I put in, and what I demand from myself may seem to them to be “hard work”). My point is, that I do my best to go above and beyond to serve those around me in return for the money I make. In doing so, I don’t believe in having to work hard to give my money to someone else. If a person is not willing to do the job that they are being paid to do, simply find a new job. Don’t expect me to just give you my money because you are receiving a paycheck, working that day and had me show up.

What does that rant have to do with NetworkPlus? When I am at a business networking event and I am looking to choose an attorney to work with I don’t want to be limited by having one person to choose from who is offering that service. I also want to know more about that person than what I will learn in a short exchange of a business card. Since most business networking events are about gathering leads, many of the people attending are more interested in how many people they can interact with rather than how deeply they can connect with those same people.

Of course I want to know how accomplished my attorney is. But I also want to know if he is a person of Integrity. I want to know what makes my attorney click. What kind of person are they? Will they represent me in a way that is aligned with my core values and beliefs? I don’t know if these kinds of things are important to you, but I know that they are to me. I believe that when we meet someone new, we are constantly looking for clues to what that person is truly like. We want to see if they are someone we want to get to know better or do business with. Some people do this consciously and are very aware of what they are looking for, while others are doing it at an unconscious level and labeling it a “gut feeling”.

With NetworkPlus being based around the idea that people do not do business with business cards, people do business with people they have created the organization That operates with a different set of organizing principles where you not only connect on a professional level, but a personal one as well.

One of the unique differences with NetworkPlus is that there is no exclusivity at their events. There can be as many life insurance agents, attorneys and chimney sweeps at an event as would like to come. From my perception the reason for this is two-fold. First it eliminates the scarcity mentality that there is “not enough” business to go around. By eliminating this scarcity mind-set, you also eliminate a group of people who would come from a place of scarcity which often manifests itself as selfish and self-serving behavior and attracts a different type of personality to the events who operate from an abundance mind-set. People who come from a place of abundance are usually secure in who they are and what they have to offer and are willing to work with you to serve your highest good rather than their own.

The second reason in my opinion is that quite simple; it allows you to do business with the person you “like” rather than the one you are forced to because of his exclusive position within the network.

Another unique difference is that since the organization is based on people doing business with people, the events are facilitated with the intention of getting to know the people attending on a personal level rather than a professional one. Facilitators of events are trained to ask questions that will get the person to share the “why” behind what they do, rather than simply talking about their business. The facilitator will ask questions that help you understand the “person” behind the business. And they have done a fantastic job of teaching their facilitators how to keep those questions “fresh” so the person answering will actually have to think about the question they have been asked rather than preparing their answers based on what the person before them has been asked.

I’ve been involved with the organization since the last week of December 2010 and am actually considering facilitating some events myself because of the great value I see these events bring to the people involved, to myself and the new opportunities that are opening up because of these connections.

In this day and age, more than any other your success in business and in life is really about the people you surround yourself with. I highly recommend checking out NetworkPlus and if you do decide to join, please tell Ted and Kim you heard about it through this article. It helps them know where new members come from, and I do receive a small fee for referring you.

Applying Lessons From 19 Years Of DJing To New Opportunities

Another one of the new opportunities that I have been working on is a business partnership with a high school friend that I reconnected with through Facebook about 2 years ago. His name is Harry Connor and he is now a nationally published photographer. Several years ago while I was working on one of the software development projects I was creating, I came up with an idea for another software/website but did not have a suitable “product” to use with it. Again, as Paulo Coelho so eloquently states, "When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it."

When I made the decision to transition out of DJing, one thing that kept bothering me was that I have spent 19 years of my life learning about this business, understanding how it works and basically creating new opportunities within it for myself and others. Operating from the belief that every experience we have is designed to give us resources and lessons that we can apply in the future, I was having a hard time looking at 19 years of experiences and lessons and felt I would be doing a huge disservice to myself and others if I didn’t take those lessons and apply them as I transitioned. Well, I asked the question… and the Universe provided the answer. All of a sudden based on the quality of Harry’s work and a conversation that we had over dinner one night, my idea from several years ago is coming to life with the creation of two new businesses. A website and system created to promote Harry’s work as well as help models earn money doing what they love, and a marketing company to license that platform and system to other companies.

Some people may be wondering a couple of things by this point. I would imagine there are questions like…

What does all of this talk of new opportunities have to do with “self-awareness”?Everything!

What do I care about the new opportunities and businesses you are involved in?Maybe you don’t care. But you may learn something that you can apply in your personal or professional life because what I am talking about has Universal applications.

How is this supposed to help me improve my life? Lessons and resources are everywhere. When you open yourself to the possibility that there are new opportunities for growth and learning, you will find them. It can come from a song, a movie, and interaction with a stranger… why not from an article on a web site about a new direction someone is taking in their life and business?

Why are you talking about business and networking on a site about personal development? So many people don’t realize that their jobs and their businesses are the perfect “training ground” for their personal development. Success in your job or business does not come from what you do; it comes from who you are. To become more successful, to make more money you have to grow as a person. And when you grow as a person, you don’t just become more successful in your business and make more money. These lessons can carry over into every area of your life.

Core Strengths And Purpose

So back to the website business I am now developing. What are some of the new opportunities for growth as I head in this direction? One of the first things I needed to do was really explore was if each of these ventures would align with my core purpose and core strengths. I didn’t want to take on more in my life just to be “busy”. I wanted to make sure that it was something I would be passionate about and that it would fulfill me. To see if these new opportunities aligned with my strength and purpose, I first had to gain clarity on what specifically my core purpose and strength was. Luckily for me (Universe again) my dear friend Jerry has been going through a course designed to help him identify these things for himself. Jerry and I still meet regularly to support each other in our Master Mind meeting so I was able to apply a lot of what he was sharing with me about his learning experience to my own situation.

The process that Jerry is going through is a very detailed and in depth program which helps you uncover what your core strengths are and what you value most so you can create a “filter” to run ideas through when you are looking to see if you want to get involved with a new project. This can apply to business ventures, relationships, financial investments and decisions you make in respect to your health. The process helps you gain awareness about who you are and why you do what you do.

For me what I found is that my life revolves around creating and sharing ideas that make people’s lives better. I am constantly looking at something and thinking, “What if?” I can stay up all night discussing ideas with people and exploring new ways to apply them. One of my core strengths has always been that I can look at several things that seem to be completely unrelated, and see how by making a few adjustments and new distinctions they can become connected in a way that will create new opportunities.

When I looked back at everything that I have done in my life that I truly enjoyed and excelled at, I was able to see that there was a component within that experience that included creating and sharing ideas that would make something better.

When I explored my “heart”, the purpose behind what I do, I already had a very clear idea about what drives me to do what I do based on my discoveries over the past 21 years of rebuilding my life. My purpose, my heart, the thing I that is behind everything that I do is about finding ways to help people live better lives through inspiration, education and empowerment. That can take many forms, and it has over the years. But the heart behind it has always been the same. It is a desire to help people live life on their terms and enjoy being who they are.

So how does creating a website for my photographer friend and models become one of the new opportunities that align with my core purpose and core strengths? Well first, this is not a simple web site. It is a new creation taking five separate modules which are completely unrelated that all operate successfully as independent vehicles, and we are putting them together to create a new business model both online and in real life applications that is exciting, new and unique. As we discuss the development of the software, the site and the business model we are constantly exploring new ideas and finding more and better ways that we can bring this project to life.

How does it align with my core purpose? This new business model will help my friend Harry take his photography business to an even larger audience allowing him to live his life on his terms and doing what he loves. It will give him the freedom to do what he loves to do all over the world and allow him the financial freedom to give his family the life he desires to give them. It is already contributing to his growth as a person in ways that he never imagined. He will be the first to tell you that he has become a better husband, a better father a more gracious human being and more focused on how he can contribute to others.

This business will also give models an opportunity to earn money through this new combination of technologies that no other company does. For those of you who are not familiar with the modeling business, it is not designed to help the model win. When a model is photographed, the photographer owns the copyrights to the pictures, not the model. So she has no rights to sell the pictures to generate income for herself. She also cannot use the pictures on a website to generate revenue. She can only use them as part of her portfolio to promote herself and find work.

Even when models enter contests, the only way that they really benefit is if they win the contest. They may get some additional exposure, but the person who is promoting the contest actually makes the money. Even online, the web site owner generates revenue through the visits, advertising and exposure but unless the model wins the contest or is discovered by a manager or reputable agency the chances she will benefit are miniscule.

We’re going to be doing things in a different way. Every model who works with our site will have the opportunity to make money whether she is a supermodel, or the girl next door. Not only will it help them earn money doing what they love, but we will be providing them with resources to help them take more control of their lives and their careers through our advisory panel. We will have articles and resources from life coaches, financial advisors, nutritionists, make-up artists and create a community where the models will be able to support each other in their personal and professional lives.

Without going into every detail of what is involved in the business model, I can safely say that by creating this company I am applying my core strengths to achieve my core purpose.

What To Expect Next

2011 is already filled with wonderful new opportunities and I will continue to keep you updated on what is happening as well as the resources that I am personally using to make it all possible. Who knows… some of you may be at a place where you are no longer happy with what you have been doing professionally and are looking for new opportunities and you will be inspired to explore your own core strengths and your core purpose as you follow me on this journey and begin something new for yourself.

In the next article I will be discussing a couple ideas of how to make this website, more fulfilling for you also. I am looking into a way to integrate articles from you, the readers, while maintaining the level of quality that you have come to expect.

Also, I am considering taking on some coaching clients in the next month or two. I’m feeling the desire to connect on a more personal level with people who have been following the site and offer direct coaching but I need to explore what will be the best approach based on time and resources. I may post a survey in the next couple of weeks to see what people would be more open to. Would you prefer a “group” coaching call? Or more of a one to one approach?

I’m still working out some ideas but wanted to open it up and see what you think. You can always email me with suggestions.

< A Five Dollar Lesson                                             I Honor You, My Mother >

February 2011

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