“The Dream. I saw it big.”

I met a little while ago with Martin from ZOOM! Building and Property Care.  I originally met Martin at a Surrey and Langley Business Support Network Meet-Up.  I got to know a bit about his business but not enough about him.  I asked him “When you started your business, what did you think about most each day?”  I was pleasantly surprised with his answer because it is one of the things in business and life that I believe in the most.

“The Dream.  I saw it big.” he answered.   “I know what I wanted it to look like.  I know how many clients I want each day.  I know how many staff I want to be working with each day.  I know the dollar value I want to be billing.  So that is where I spent a lot of time.  Then it was breaking it down to how do we get there from here?”

I asked him if he wrote down his dreams.  “Yes” he answered.  “I don’t have it framed up on my wall but it’s on a scratch pad somewhere on my desk.”  And of course, because it is “somewhere” on his desk, he doesn’t look at it daily “but I know very specifically what it is that I am shooting for.  It’s not complicated and it’s always on the top of my mind.”

I asked him if he had a date for his goals to be completed.  “No I didn’t   I know that’s a ‘no no’ and I can’t tell you why I didn’t  but I didn’t   I’m pretty well a connect the dots person.  I have a hard time putting a dream out there that I can’t see a line to.  I understand that there is a lot of faith in the process.  If you put it out there, it will happen but I like to see how the dots connect.”

I am a big believer in “The Secret” and what you put out there, you will manifest.  That is why I am writing this today.  I told him about a friend of mine, Meeka Caissie who is a very successful leader and partner with Vemma and a woman who is well connected to philosopher Bob Proctor.  She has been helping me with my vision and my dreams and one thing that she tells me is to set a date.  If I say it will happen next week, when next week comes, there is always another next week.

Do YOU have a dream?  Did YOU set a date?  If so, please share it with us.  Putting it out there might help it to manifest quicker.

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Who is Sarah Millin?

Last weekend I tried to open my outlook and I got an error message telling me that there was a problem.  I know how to use the programs that I use all the time but that is about all I know about computers.  As chance has it, I was meeting with Sarah Millin of Make It Work Computer Solutions the next day.  Fortunately for me I was able to bring her my computer so that she could fix it for me.  Unfortunately for her, I wasn’t able to email her the questions.

The first thing I asked her was “Who is Sarah Millin?”

This question caught her a bit off guard.  “I don’t know; my family is insane.” Sarah joked.  “I like fixing things.  My psychologist says there is a reason for that.”  Her grandfather on her mother’s side was a shop engineer “so there’s something in the family about fixing things.”

Sarah’s mother was born in Canada and her father was born in England during the war.  Sarah was born in Vancouver but moved to Toronto when she was a little girl.  She did her schooling in Toronto and Ottawa before moving back to Vancouver to go to university.  I asked her what she took at UBC.  “Latin and Greek” she replied with a chuckle.  I said jokingly, “and that ties into computers really well.”  “Yes and no” Sarah answered “Because I read a lot of Plato and Plato is all about logic and everything about computers is zeros and ones.  It’s all logic.”

I asked her what got her interested into computers.  “I used to be a Commercial Credit Investigator at the Credit Bureau.  I was there for about 8 years, and I wasn’t really happy there.  I was thinking about going back to school and getting training in computers.  We had a computer technician there who was just horrible.  I thought to myself that I could do it so much better.  Then we got bought out by a multi-national and we all got let go and E.I. paid me to retrain.  That’s how I got into I.T.”

Sarah started her business in 1999.  “Literally the minute I got out of I.T. school, I had clients.  In 1999, demand was really high.”  I asked her what operating systems she worked on back then.  “The course I was taking was teaching us about windows 3.11, windows 95, NT4.  Windows 98 had just come out.  So I was literally supporting everything from the DOS based stuff to the present.  Windows 2000 came out shortly after that.  Then that horrible thing, windows millennium came out. “I told her that I don’t even remember that version.  She told me “it was a good one to forget.  They took the worst features of windows 98 and the worst features of windows 2000 and shoved them together.”

Now I started my post by letting you know that I had a bit of a computer problem.  Sarah took my computer with her after our meeting and I got it back the next day.  The bugs were all fixed and my computer is now almost as fast as when I first got it.  Thank you Sarah.

What can you do differently…?

The last week of the summer, I continued with my RTN Tour doing Vendor Presentations wherever I could.  My 6 year old son, Nathan, has really been enjoying going to the meetings with me.  Now you may be asking, why would my 6 year old son be going to my networking meetings.  Well, he has been helping me with my vendor presentations.  As I mentioned in my last blog post, he has been singing O’Canada as I “set up”.  Then I tell the story about the first time he ever sang in public, ending off by showing everyone the clock that I made using the photo of the first time that he ever sang.

Last Friday, I tried something really cool.  I downloaded an app called BFF.  It is Broadcast For Friends, powered by uStream.  I had my wife Lucie record my presentation at the Buzz Cafe in Vancouver.  BFF broadcast live on my Facebook page.  This is a really cool tool because not only can I share my presentation with some of my friends who wanted to be there but couldn’t, but it gives me the opportunity to view my presentation whenever I want.

I thought that this was a great way to watch my presentation and critique it.  What I didn’t think about was how great of a marketing tool this could be for RTN.  I had a couple of my friends watch it.  Friends who I invited out to RTN but were not interested.  Friends who are now intrigued and would like to come and check it out.

What can you do a bit differently that can make a difference?

Friday August 31, 2012 vendor presentation at the Buzz Cafe

What marketing works best for you?

Doug Anderson of DA Top Talent

Doug Anderson of DA Top Talent

Back in June, I introduced you to Doug Anderson of DA Top Talent.  One of the things that I know about Doug is that he is a connector.  Recently he hosted a number of his Rapid Time Networks team at a Vancouver Canadians game.  We sat with him and his son so that Nathan would have someone to talk to.  As it ended up, we mostly sat with his son because Doug was jumping all over the stands connecting people.

When we met I asked him what form of marketing he did when he started DA Top Talent.

He told me that it was mainly referrals and word of mouth.  He put up a web site, got business cards, attended networking events and became members of various organizations “but a lot of it didn’t work and a lot of it was a lot of time spent without any return.”  Doesn’t this sound familiar?  “I’ve been lucky and blesses that I’ve had some great people to help along the way.  In return I usually get an unsolicited referral from most of my customers, and that has allowed me to have a very busy and successful last 10 years.”

I know Doug does a fair bit of networking.  I asked him if that worked for him.  “In some cases but I think, gone are the days of networking and just showing up to one event per week because that was the industry event.  Now there are literally 3000 Meetup groups that you can attend.  I think it has even become more difficult to get traction in a networking environment.  Especially when you are going to half a dozen different ones each week.  My advice would be to find 2 or 3 that you really like and go regularly without the expectations of getting a referral.  And to go there, make an impact and help the group with their achievements.  Then you’ll find the referrals will flow after.”

Please tell my your networking philosophy.

What are you doing to change your bank account?

When I first started Anything on a Clock, I went to the Douglas College Self Employment Program.  This program was full of interesting people and fantastic information.  One of the more memorable instructors was the Big Picture Coach, Patrick von Pander.  Patrick taught us about networking.  a concept that was totally foreign to me at the time.

In the last couple of weeks, I have really enjoyed my time networking.  I joined various networking groups and Meet-Ups as well as attending numerous Board of Trade and Chamber of Commerce meetings.  These events were great as a social event but I didn’t get much business from them.

A couple of months ago a friend of mine, Doug Anderson, introduced me to Rapid Time Networks.  Then newest brainchild of Mark Wright and George Moen.  When I started going to the meetings, I was a tad skeptical.  I thought that it was “just another networking group”.  I wasn’t prepared for what was to follow.

As I went to the meetings and met the people, I started to realize that these people truly interested and cared about the people who they network with.  A couple months ago I decided to join as an affiliate.  I was quite impressed that, although I was not a vendor, people were already starting to promote my business.  Almost 2 weeks ago I decided that I would join as a vendor partner.  Rapid Time Networks currently has about 27 tools for vendor partners to promote their business and the list is growing.

One of the tools is blogging.  Then I got thinking.  This blog is about businesses “In The beginning”.  So I am going to, along with profile business leaders and their businesses, chronicle my journey through RTN.

Stay Tuned

It was all about building relationships, credibility and trust

Patrick van Ponder - The Big Picture Coach

Patrick van Ponder – The Big Picture Coach

I met Patrick von Pander, The Big Picture Coach, 5 years ago.  I was going to the Self Employment Program at Douglas College and he was our networking instructor.  He taught us to leave our comfort when it came to networking. 

One of the questions that I asked Patrick was can you explain the impact, if any, that social networking to your business when you were just starting up?

“Well how do we define social networking?” he asked “If it’s live, then I would say it would be foundational for me.  If it was online, when I started my own business, it had little or no role to play.”  When Patrick first started his coaching business, there really wasn’t any online “Social Media”.  I asked him if he did most of his networking face to face.  “You bet yah.” he replied.  “I was attending two, three, four networking events a week, 50 weeks a year.  And I was building my data base like my mentor taught me to.  It was all about building relationships, credibility and trust.”

Probably the most valuable piece of networking advice I ever gotten was from Patrick.  On the first day of class he stood up at the front of the class and asked us how many people we knew.  Think about it for a second.  How many people do you know?  How many people have you met in your life? 

Then he said the one sentence that I live by when I go to a networking event.

“I know that you know a lot of people but I know a lot of people that you don’t know.” 

When I go to a networking event representing Anything on a Clock, I am not there to sell to the people that are at the event clocks.  I am there to meet people and see who in my network could possibly benefit from the product or service the person that I am talking to is promoting.

Now I would like to challenge you.  Take one online connection that you have and take it offline.  Go have a coffee with someone that you met through social media and see how you could do business together. 

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