A friend called the other day and said: “Tony, I can’t figure out which networking meetings are worth it and which ones are not! Help!” Here are some thoughts: First of all, networking is important, but not all networking is the same. Far too many people replace real networking with professional socializing. Consultants are comfortable hanging out with consultants. Technical writers are comfortable hanging out with technical writers. Healers like to hang out with other healers. Like all socializing, that can be a very enjoyable activity. But it is NOT networking for business. In my friend’s... (Read More ...)

Mostly, I like to celebrate wins in my blog posts, but this week, I need to confess. I took my eye off the ball, and it cost me. Don’t make the same mistake. If you have read this blog, heard me talk, or been to a New Rules workshop, you know the theme: Figure out what makes your money, and focus on it, prioritize it, and always put it first. When that’s done, nearly all other mistakes dissipate in importance. (To find your focus, try Find Your Business Focus.) Most readers know that I am a consultant in sales force effectiveness (www.signorelli.biz). I have a concentrated client base, which... (Read More ...)

I’ve been getting a lot of feedback on the exercise for Finding Your Business Focus. People find it tremendously eye-opening. At the same time, some people have said: “That doesn’t apply to me,” or “I can’t quit networking,” or “Facebook is essential to my business.” Put it all together, and to me the questions say: “Tony, you better clarify.” So that’s what this post will do. When people do the Finding Your Business Focus exercise, they are usually very intrigued. It answers questions like: What is your main focus? How much time do you really spend at it? How much can you... (Read More ...)

A few weeks ago, a friend sent me spreadsheets his business advisor had given him listing everything he needed to do and schedule for his business–things to get done before he start selling. It included planning, market research, inventorying competition, setting up technical systems, and building a website. And many, many other things. Some of these things are critically important, and most will become critically important at the right time. But my friend is still building confidence that his business can work. He is weaning out of his job and starting to generate income with consulting.... (Read More ...)