Monday, November 30, 2009

Credibility Marketing

Marketing is changing. The mechanisms for positioning your company have morphed, but many companies have not shifted their efforts.

To complicate matters, the recession has caused massive retreats in spending of marketing budgets, which has left both the organizations and the traditional marketing vehicles (think advertisers, direct mail producers, etc....) hurting. Businesses are learning that they cannot save their way better brand recognition and lead generation. Being invisible in your business community does not bring new customers (or reassure existing customers that they are with the industry leader).

As the economic situations improve, and the money returns, will your company return to "marketing as usual"? If so, you might find yourself stranded on the credibility roadway while you competition speeds past you to new destinations of success.

I am not proclaiming traditional marketing as dead, it is just not longer enough. Buying an ad can be effective in helping establish name recognition, and with fewer companies advertising in print, radio and television.... NOW would be the best time to be spending in this area. It would be smarter to appear in these publications, and other venues, when there are fewer ads than waiting until there are more! Too many businesses are lemmings when it comes to such things, and copy what they see others doing. Once you see you completion advertising you are too late. Being part of the crowd is a lame marketing strategy.

Traditional marketing vehicles are no longer enough if you want to win business. To be the industry leader you have to have a credibility marketing plan that goes beyond branding your company. You must have a sincere "face of the firm" (or faces) who put a human touch into your reputation. People do business with people they know, like and trust. While certain corporations have transcended their brands into beloved icons (think Southwest, Starbucks, Harley-Davidson, etc...), few companies will ever have that level of love from customers.

However, all companies have people, and thus have the power to establish real connections and create expert persona's. When the business owner, manager, and employees create a credible and respected personal brand, they automatically transfer their image and trust to the organization.

I am amazed that smart entrepreneurs and other C-Level executives will invest large amounts of time into plans and strategies in other areas of their businesses, but fail to give any attention to the marketplace credibility that can be created by positioning people as the professional authority in their industries.

In today's highly charged social media arena, to ignore the power of connection is bad business.

Many companies who have seen the most success in the tough economy have done so because of referrals, repeat customers, and their strong positions in their industry. (These businesses have also had to reduce staff, and make other cuts, like others...but winners have not stuck their head in the sand). They have also embraced a "Credibility Marketing" strategy and been active in establishing their reputation.

Here are some ways to weave "Credibility Marketing" vehicles into your overall plan:

1. Write a Blog. Many have claimed blogging as a "fad". But those who have created successful blogs will tell you that it is an intricate piece of their image. A website is static (think brochure), but a blog is alive. When done right it puts a human face on the company and establishes the writer as an industry thought leader. Blogs must be updated regularly (think 3 - 5 days a week), and that scares many business people. But true entrepreneurs do not get spooked by hard work, thus if you are really one who makes things happen you will not shy away from this if you believe it will help you company succeed.

2. Speak at the Conference. Nothing creates your image as an expert faster than being a speaker or panelist at an industry conference. However it is more than just being asked to do this once, it is about repetitively showing up on the program. This takes effort on your part to secure the invitations to speak (this comes from actively networking in you business community), and being a good speaker. Just because you are smart will not guarantee the audience will find you knowledgeable. An unprepared and uninspiring speaker (who reads off their own PowerPoint) will bore the crowd and instead ruin their reputation. Learn to connect with an audience while sharing valuable information and you will have the highest levels of credibility.

3. Social Media. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media communities are emerging as valuable business tools. While they are still relatively new, and are not the "magic bullet" that many seek, they should not be ignored. It takes time (maybe years) to establish a strong following in social media circles. If you wait until everyone figures it out before you put your toe in the water, you will have missed out entirely.

4. Get Involved. To establish yourself in your industry you need to participate. Show up at the events where other executives, vendors, and others are involved. Split up the responsibilities for covering the plethora of events amongst your team. Assign everyone two organizations that their participation is a high priority (the mistake companies make is they have people join groups, but nobody ever show up, or they rotate who goes. It takes time to establish yourself in a group, so the same person must attend each month). When you divide up the participation, no one person ever has too many networking events to attend in any given month (thus eliminating the excused for not showing up).

Also, once you are "established" you still need to participate. Many senior executives take an attitude of having "paid their dues" and skip out on networking. Out of sight is out of mind, and your reputation can evaporate if you slow down on your involvement.

5. Write a Book. When you have written the book on your industry you will be viewed as the leader. Never before in history has it been easier to write a book, and when you are introduced as "author" it will position you above competitors. There are many ways to complete a book project, and there are many ways to get the finished product published. Traditional publishing, self-publishing, and several boutique publishers who will work with you for a fee, or a shared-revenue model. (For more information on writing a book, contact my publishing company: New Year Publishing)

Adopt a focus on "Credibility Marketing" as part of your overall business development strategy and you will leave your competition in the dust.

Have A Great Day.

thom

Friday, November 27, 2009

Holiday Gift Idea - Buy Them A Book!!!

Here are two promotional videos about "Batteries Not Included: 66 Tips to Energize Your Career". Tips #13 and #57.

I filmed these a while back and never shared them.

The book makes a great holiday gift for anyone who feels they need more pizazz and focus in their career (and in this economy, that is most everyone!!! Buy one for yourself and one for a friend!)

Enjoy






Have A Great Day.

thom

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thankgiving - And My Annual Goal of Running Five Miles (YIKES)

Six years ago I was 25 pounds over weight. It was Thanksgiving Day when I decided that I would lose the weight and the following Thanksgiving I would run the "Turkey Trot" in Austin, Texas. (I think I came to this decision AFTER my second helping of Pumpkin Pie!).

I trained, dieted, worked out, focused, watched what I ate, and reached my goal of losing over 25 lbs in less than a year (I have put 7 lbs. back and my goal for now is to lose it again!). On Thanksgiving Day I showed up at the starting line to run what I thought was a 5K race. Much to my surprise, the "Turkey Trot" is a 5 MILE race (I only ran 3.5 miles, then did some walking... no need to be a fanatic!).

Alas, I survived, and each year this race is my reminder that when you set goals and work on achieving.... you can create victories!


video

I hope that you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Have A Great Day.

thom

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

More "As Seen on TV"

I had the chance to be interviewed on television last week (while in Houston) about the power of business relationships and networking. During the past 18 months of the tough economy, people who are succeeding are finding that it is their mutually beneficial connections that are helping them find the victories.

All opportunities come from people... thus networking matters!!!

Enjoy.


video

Have A Great Day.

thom

Monday, November 23, 2009

Eleven Random Thoughts

1. If nobody knows you exist, opportunities will not come your way.

2. When you do not partner with others, they will not bring you into projects.

3. People who always spin excuses are passed over for future deals.

4. Spend too much time thinking others are trying to take advantage of you, and you will miss out on many paths to success.

5. Forget to thank the ones who helped you succeed and you will kill your golden goose (those who helped you before will help you again if they feel appreciated).

6. Try to be like everyone else and you will become a commodity (commodities are always purchased from the lowest priced provider).

7. Compare yourself to peers and someone will always be doing better.

8. Live a life that is a lie and you are a fraud (frauds always exposed).

9. Claim you are too busy to invest in relationships and you will be alone.

10. Have no goals and you will have no way of knowing what is a victory.

11. Success takes time. 100% of those who quit never reach their goal.

Have A Great Day

thom

Friday, November 20, 2009

Networking Is Different When You Are On Top

There is a lot written, on this blog and elsewhere, about the importance of building a network of professional contacts as you build your career. During the rough economy over the past 18 months many business executives have seen that the companies who have achieved the most have benefited from the long-term mutually beneficial connections. Networking is cool again as everyone wants to harness every advantage.

But not much is written about what to do once you have developed an extensive reputation and a large database of contacts. Problems occurs with managing your network once you have achieved high levels of success. Networking is different when you are on top of the pyramid than it is on the way up!

Successful entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, lawyers, accounting executives, consultants, and others rely heavily on networking on the way up the ladder, but once they are on top, they have issues maintaining the large number of key relationships, and have difficulty finding the time to establish new friendships, while simultaneously keeping up with those who are already in their database.

Many quit the process of networking and cultivating relationships. Some forget the reality that it was other people who helped them along their path and start to believe their own press about their greatness. Other are just overwhelmed by the hours it takes to navigate their high-level, high-pressure careers and just drop out of the social scene.

Additionally, once you occupy the corner office you will have a certain level of fame in your industry and community. This means that your phone will ring with several requests to meet for lunch or coffee, as lots of people will want to "pick your brain". Strangers, friends-of-friends, and other admirers will want access to your calendar. While you don't want to be rude, if you let everyone "pick", you will have no gray matter left in the end. This leads to people closing themselves off from the rest of the world.

Finally, with a large network, you will find there many people who are dead weight or too self-oriented to help you succeed (bad networkers who fail to help you, while always expecting you to assist them). These people can be major time hogs and / or sap your motivation levels while they seek your advice, introductions, and referrals. Knowing too many of these types will turn off the most seasoned networker.

Here are five tips to manage a large network once you have arrived at the senior levels of success:

1. Remember How You Got To The Top. If people in your life helped you succeed, acknowledge that your network was an important key to your success. Then make it a point to help others reach their goals. If you make assisting others a priority, you will be more likely to take action when you see a possible connection that would be beneficial for others. Beware of falsely imagining that you are one who "pays it forward", as most people think they do this even when they do not. We all want to be "good people", but it is easy to get busy and fail to take actions that are not part of our immediate to-do list.

2. Have A Little Time For "Brain Picking". When you are on top, people will desire to know you and gain your insight. Set a small amount of time for such meetings. Two short blocks of time per week (30 minutes each) will allow you to talk to 100 people per year. There were people who made the time for you when you were young and they made a difference in your career. You will feel good about yourself if you can materially impact just a couple of those who seek you out. Also, you never know who might bring you opportunity, so one of the people you give your time to might return the favor and deliver you an amazing return.

One executive I met several years ago had a great policy. He was an early riser and got to work as the sun came up. When random people wanted to meet with him he gave thirty minutes at 6:30 AM in his office available. Few people took him up on the time slot, but that was the way he separated those who were worth investing his attention from those who would waste his time. He did this for "brain pickers" and soliciting sales professionals. Only the most motivated would accept the appointment.

3. Host An Annual Event. It is difficult to keep up with everyone when you have a large network. But if you are a leader in your community, people will want to attend your annual picnic or holiday party. While there is an expense related with hosting these types of events, humans are "experiential beings" and if you are known for bringing the "whose who" together, it will translate to good will in your circle of influence.

4. Network Down The Ladder. On the way up in your career you will most likely establish some great friendships along the way. Together you will "grow up" together and many business deals and referrals will pass back and forth. The mistake that many executives make is they continue to exclusively hang around with their peers (both in age and success levels). The problem with this is that as your network gets older, they will pass many of the day-to-day business decisions to younger members in their companies. As those "kids" start calling the shots, they will send the business to those they know, like and trust. If you have ignored them, or treated them like "children", then they will not send the business to you. This happens often, and senior executives expect that their peers will step in and influence the younger players. However, good managers will not over-ride their own team members, thus leaving you without a link to your best referral sources.

5. Purge The Dead Weight. If you have people in your network who do not mutually contribute, or are simply "takers", there comes a time when you have to move on. I am not suggesting that you "fire your friends" (although sometimes you should), as it is fine to be friends with anyone you enjoy spending time with. But your business contacts whom are not returning the efforts to help you (assuming you are helping them) need to be purged from your "A-List". Review your client list regularly and identify who is helping you find business. Make sure that you treat your best referral sources like gold. Everyone else should always be shown respectful treatment, but you main attention should go to those who understand how to network to help all involved.

6. Surprise People With Something Unexpected. You thought there were just five tips here, but #6 is a bonus. Everyone likes getting a little more than they expected. Often the senior executives stop going to networking events in their business communities because they feel they are "above" such activities. Those at the top claim they "paid their dues" and will skip out on the common folk gatherings that happen around town. But when you are still visible at these events, even on occasion, it positions you as a regular person. Since it is unexpected that you would be there (because of your high level position), you will become even more popular with people. Claiming you are "beyond" networking events makes many view you as elitist, and nobody wants to help elitists achieve more.

Have A Great Day.

thom

Monday, November 16, 2009

Motivational Speaker for a Business Conference - Google Pointed to ME!

Today I spoke on the phone with a potential client who is interested in having me to speak at her company meeting in 2010. We had a delightful conversation, and I am a good match for the needs of the firm.

At the end of our talk I asked her how she found me, as I always like to know who is referring me business opportunities. Her response was; "I did a Google Search for something like 'motivational keynote speaker for a business conference'. It was Google that took me to your blog, and I liked what you had to say".

I searched the term she mentioned and could not find myself in the mix. While I do not know what exact words she used to find me, I do know that having my blog as a Google destination for search has paid off several times. Two weeks ago I got an inquiry on a similar search for "motivational speaker for a professional services firm", and with those words I did show up in the few pages on Google.

The purpose of sharing this is that I often consult with professionals who question why I write a blog and participate in other social media activities. These intelligent and motivated business leaders claim they could never dedicate the time to a blog, as they are too busy. But in the past two weeks I have received two inquiries about my services as a keynote speaker from this exact activity... so I wonder how why in the world I would NOT blog.

Having online real estate that is searchable is necessary for business development. The hardest part is to realize the time frame involved with creating a recognizable social media persona can take several years. I started blogging in 2004 and have never stopped. Only recently has the blog begun to produce financial results (although it has paid off many times over in other ways).

If you want the advantages that come from blogging or other social media platforms, you must get started now. As if it takes two years to build up the momentum... and you wait two more years to start, then you are four years away from the success you desire.

There are no shortcuts to building an authentic online reputation. Content, consistency and longevity are all needed to make search engine optimization work for you.

Have A Great Day.

thom

Sunday, November 15, 2009

ROI = Rely On Instincts

Several years ago some marketing consultants got smart and realized that CFO's and other finance centric professionals live in a world that is focused on ROI (Return on Investment) and want to run spreadsheets that show the outcomes of dollars spent before committing to the expenditures. Since the money people make many decisions, these consultants and other "gurus" created programs that spoke the language of the finance department and created "ROI" algorithms to sell their services to these decision makers.

By speaking their language they were able to appear more intelligent (key word: appear) and win the business. Left-brainers everywhere rejoiced, as now these disciplines were under their control.

For too long marketing, business development, networking, direct mail, advertising, branding, PR (and more recently social media) were viewed by the left brain professionals as "the Black Arts". They admitted that these were necessary, but since they were more creative and not always predictable, that they were some how less important to the success of a company than the more predictable departments on the org chart.

However, while this trend toward analyzing "return on investment" on everything makes people feel good -- it has paralyzed many companies.

During a job interview years ago I told a CFO that sometimes to find success in marketing you have to try a variety of tactics. I used the old saying "throw some spaghetti against the wall and see what sticks!" The CFO responded that if a marketing campaign could not prove out results in advance, then his company would not do it. "No spaghetti could hit the floor!" The company hired a "ROI" oriented marketing manager (they did not hire me) and the company had minimal success in growing its image. The person they hired lasted 14 months on the job before the company changed direction, yet again.

While you do not want to waste dollars in promoting the image of your company, if you think there is a magic formula that will guarantee success, you will spend your life over thinking every opportunity and you will miss out on the allusive successes you seek. There is a difference between throwing money around and having an instinctive feeling on how to have an impact on your company's positioning in the marketplace.

Instead of spending hours looking at the return on every investment on a spreadsheet, you should redefine the definition of ROI in regards to marketing.

ROI = Rely On Instincts.

Raising the visibility and brand of your company is not as easy as building a new website, joining Twitter, or sponsoring an industry conference. You need to fine tune your instincts or hire someone who knows the landscape of how all the "black arts" actually work together.

Take social media for an example: The term is getting a lot of attention in business circles, but it is not magic. Just like advertising, PR, networking, marketing, or branding alone will not make you rich.... social media is just another tool (although a trendy tool as this is being written). There are many "experts" advising companies on ROI in this medium, but I have seen few who can deliver the goods they present in a brochure. The real success here comes from hands on involvement of the company's executives. You can't outsource authenticity.

In a vacuum none of these marketing related disciplines will rocket your success toward the sky. But when strategically used together, they will have the long lasting power to help bring in new business.

If your instincts are rusty on these right-brain activities, then you need to do a little work and experimentation. You can learn to understand how to help promote the image of your firm by paying attention to the world around you. A good lawyer does not stop studying new laws and statutes that come into play and just rely on what they learned in school. They keep fine tuning their practice. (Note that it is called a "practice", which means they never master it... but keep working on the whole process!). Likewise an accountant will not rely on tax law from 1989 to prepare their client's return this year (at least you would hope not!).

Embrace the marketing world for the power it has to help your company, rather than try to cram it into a pre-structured spreadsheet. If the world worked that way then you would not be frustrated by lack of marketing success... and your competitors could buy the same structured program as you, and thus make you both a commodity, anyway!!! (Feeling like your product or service is becoming a commodity? Hmmmm, maybe there is a connection to the lack of creativity in your efforts!!!)

I expect this post will not be well accepted by those who want the world to be viewed in black and white... and by those who use fancy words and spreadsheets to win the business from left brain decision makers. But I am not attacking, as much as I am asking people to love the gray area for the possibilities for growth that are living there.

What do you think?

Have A Great Day

thom

Saturday, November 14, 2009

New Year Publishing Hosts Authors Conference


This week New Year Publishing hosted the 1st Annual "Authors Conference" for those who have published, or are working on publishing, their books with the company.

It was a great event. We had dinner on Thursday night, followed by a half day seminar where we discussed many topics that are important to authors and speakers.

As the company grows we look forward to continuing to work with executives, professional speakers and children's authors in assisting them on creating quality products that help them to promote their brands.

I would like to take a moment to publicly thank those who presented at the conference: Markia Flatt (PR by the Book), John Moore (Brand Autopsy), and Jim Comer (When Roles Reverse). They each provided amazing advice on PR, Social Media and the book & speaking businesses.

Another thank you goes to the Austin Office of the Andrews Kurth Law Firm. Several years ago I worked at Andrews Kurth as the director of business development, and they graciously provided me with a conference room to host the "Authors Conference". Lawyers often receive the bad end of jokes and comments.... but these attorneys are good people who are willing to help a friend! The firm has a long history of serving early stage and start-up entrepreneurs, and this continues today.

We look forward to additional years of the "Authors Conference" as the New Year Publishing family continues to grow.

Have A Great Day.

thom

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Come See Me Speak On December 8, 2009

Join the Austin Business Journal for an informative seminar on how to make the most from networking at holiday parties and planning your business sales and referral goals for 2010.

The busy few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are full of opportunities to network, meet new people and strengthen business relationships. However, many people are overwhelmed by the amount of merriment and waste the chance to give their networking efforts a boost.

Additionally, the change to the new year is a great time to set business goals and make plans to extend your referral network.

This seminar will be full of tips on how to make December and January your launch pad for a more successful 2010.

REGISTER TODAY!!!

Date: Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Time: 7:30 – 8:00 am Registration & Networking

8:00 – 9:00 am Presentation


Location: Norris Conference Center, 2525 W Anderson Lane #365


Cost: $35


Let me know if you are planning to attend!!!


Have A Great Day


thom

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Do You Know Your Neighbors?

I am fascinated by how many people do not know their neighbors. When I was a kid all the people on the block knew each other. All the children knew that everyone was watching them (and would report back undesirable activities to mom and dad).

Today the connectivity amongst people on the block is not as strong. Sure, there might be some people you know, and the courtesy wave is popular when folks walk by... but many people don't know that much about those who live close to them.

It is worse at work. Do you know the people on your block? In your building? In your elevator bank? How about on your floor?.

There is no excuse not to know the people who work on your floor. If your work for a company that is not so large as to occupy the whole floor... and you don't know the workers in the business next door -- then shame on you. This gets you an "F" in Networking 101.

But you can bring your grade up. With the holidays coming... make this the point that you meet the neighbors. Invite the other companies on your floor to your office for lunch. No agenda, just people meeting people. Cater in sandwiches and have everyone go around the table and explain who they are and what is their role at the company.

Maybe they will become a great referral source. Maybe not. Either way, next time you are waiting for the elevator you will be able to talk to each other instead of staring at your shoes. Making friends is always a good thing.

Same idea for those who live on your block or in your apartment building.

Have A Great Day

thom

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Losing The "Humanity Quotient"

I had a conversation about business with a professional who works hard, earns an above average income, and is admired by those inside and outside his company. The guy is an up-and-coming leader in his industry, but has not yet reached the corner office. He has worked for the same corporation for several years, works hard, produces results, and has received awards and other kudos. He is the ideal employee and my guess is his employer sees him as a happy and dedicated part of the team.

Yet he is disenchanted. And he is not alone! I have the pleasure of talking with people from all walks of life and large numbers are not happy with their professional situations.

Most believes that their business communities have lost the "humanity quotient" in the quest for efficiency.

The rough economy has caused businesses of all sizes to focus so tightly on the balance sheet that they have lost the personal element. Too many professionals have begun to show a distrust of everyone around them.

I have witnessed both sole proprietors and large company executives who see any minor "mis-communication" with friends, vendors, clients, co-workers, or others as a personal assault or threat. Like Humphrey Bogart (as Lt. Cmdr Queeg) in the "Caine Mutiny", they have lost perspective and are counting every strawberry.

Fear, distrust, finger-pointing, and back-stabbing (which have always existed) are now an accepted part of office culture and nobody seems to notice (or care).

The most cynical amongst us will say this is nothing new, that these dark feelings are always present in the work world. But in my twenty-plus year career I have not witnessed so many people functioning in misery about their careers. Professional envy and jealousy are no longer hidden from view, but openly accepted.

This loss of the "humanity quotient" in our businesses is real.

So what can you do about it?

Regardless of if you are the boss or an employee you can have an impact in restoring the "humanity quotient".

Slow down for just a moment and notice the people around you. Smile at others. Take an interest in what matters to those around you. Before you get angry, take a moment to put yourself in the other person's shoes (you might discover that from a different perspective, the world does NOT revolve around you). Be nicer. Be helpful. Shower somebody in praise when they do something good.

The list goes on, but you get the idea.

What do you think?

Have A Great Day.

thom

PS -- Have you ever read one of my books? Buy one today at Amazon.com. They make great holiday gifts!!!

Entrepreneurs Must Look Beyond the Obvious

I saw this video on Andy Sack's blog (it is from the Stanford University's Entrepreneurship Corner). It is six minutes long, but if you are an aspiring entrepreneur it is worth the investment of time, as it reminds us that there are always opportunities in our midst.

When we challenge the assumptions and discover our true assets, success follows.



Have A Great Day.

thom

Monday, November 09, 2009

How To Network At A Multi-Day Conference - SXSW 2010


I will be speaking at the SXSW Interactive Conference in March 2010, delivering a presentation called "How to Network at a Multi-Day Conference".

I am very honored, as this is the third year I will be included on the schedule for this amazing event.

If you work in or around the technology industries and have never attended SXSWi, you should make your plans for be in Austin, Texas from March 12 - 16, 2010. The conference is not only famous for great parties, networking opportunities, and the wonderful spring weather in Austin..... but it also delivers with over 400 panels and presentations that deliver real content.

Have A Great Day.

thom

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Honoring A Soldier's Service


This week my friend Dan completed his 13 month tour of duty in Iraq and is returning home.

I know Dan because he is a close friend of my business partners and I have met him several times (He hired me to speak at to his company in 2008). I was very impressed when I heard he had volunteered to return to active duty. He is a West Point graduate and former Army Ranger. After he completed his service he went to Harvard Business School, and then into the corporate world.

He did not have to go back and serve our country. But he did by choice.

Why would a forty-something father with a thriving career choose to go to Iraq? When asked this question by a friend, Dan replied "It's my duty. When I left the Army I made a conscious decision not to resign my commission in case something like this happened." It is people like Dan, and their sense of duty, that makes America great.

Our service men and women are an amazing asset that have a positive impact and protect our freedoms.

This week we celebrate Veteran's Day and in honor of my friend Dan's completion of his tour, my publishing company is offering a free copy of my new book "Batteries Not Included: 66 Tips To Energize Your Career" to the first 100 active U.S. military or veterans who email New Year Publishing and request a copy. The publisher will pay for the shipping and handling.

Send an email to soldier@newyearpublishing.com. Include your mailing address.

This week there has been a lot of news focused on the military due to the horrific event that took place at Ft. Hood. All of our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those who were effected by this tragedy.

Have A Great Day.

thom

Thursday, November 05, 2009

EO Accelerator - Austin Chapter

The Austin Chapter of EO Accelerator is currently looking for a few good members.

Do you, or someone you know, own a business with revenues between $250,000 and $1 million? Are you looking to grow your company to over the $1 million level. Are you seeking other entrepreneurs to learn from and share best-practices?

As an early-stage entrepreneur, you face new challenges every day and at times you probably find yourself wishing you had an instruction manual for your business.

It’s okay. You are not alone. Thousands of successful business owners have been down this winding road or entrepreneurship, and there is a program here in Austin that is designed to help.

Accelerator, an Entrepreneurs’ Organization program, is the catalyst that enables first-stage entrepreneurs to catapult their business to the next level. EO Accelerator's mission is to empower you with the tools you need to grow your business to more than $1 million in sales and provide you with the skills to make yourself a better entrepreneur and leader.

Along with structured educational content focused on the core areas of first-stage businesses, the Accelerator Program affords you the unique experience of learning from and connecting with the world’s most influential entrepreneurs.

For more information, go to the EO Accelerator website, or send me an email and I will put you in touch with the rest of the Austin EO Accelerator team.

Five reasons to join EO Accelerator before the end of the year:

1. December 9th is the next quarterly "Learning Day".

2. Put the membership dues onto your 2009 expenses.

3. The longer you wait to join, the longer it takes before you will see the benefits from your participation.

4. 2010 is your year to succeed. Surround yourself with other winners.

5. Making up silly excuses for why you can't join now is not becoming of a focused and driven entrepreneur.



Have A Great Day

thom

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

New Year Publishing's First Annual Authors Conference

I am very excited about the first annual “Authors Conference” for the community of New Year Publishing authors. The company is hosting nine authors in Austin, Texas on November 12 – 13, 2009 for this inaugural gathering.

The purpose of the event is to update the authors on the growth of the company, future expansion plans, the NY Publishing Charitable Foundation, NY Speakers Bureau, and to help build solid connections between those who are part of the New Year Publishing family.

The event will include a great dinner at one of Austin’s most popular steak houses and a half day meeting where experts in public relations, social media and professional speaking will share best practices and lead interactive discussions with those writers and speakers in attendance.

New Year Publishing is looking for corporate executives and professional speakers who wish to make their dream of completing a book into a reality. New Year Publishing has a solid platform of experience in creating books that will help promote the credibility and brand of the authors and their companies. For me, growing the community over the next several years is one most exciting parts of the business.

We look forward to this first event, and we look forward to future events as the number of authors and book titles in the New Year Publishing catalog continues to grow.

Have A Great Day.

thom

Texas Tribune Launches With Style

The Texas Tribune is a new non-profit, non-partisan public media organization that officially launched this week. They have recruited an amazing group of executives, reporters and supporters in this effort to create a new way for Texans to gather and interpret information.

Their mission is to promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, politics, government, and other matters of statewide concern.

They will do this in two principal ways:

First, through the original journalism they report, write, compile, record, shoot, etc., and post online at their destination site, texastribune.org, and in the pages and on the sites of their distribution partners.

Second, through on-the-record, open-to-the-public events: conversation series featuring elected officials and other newsmakers, conferences on major topics of interest to every Texan, an annual ideas festival, a college tour, and more. The point is that in-person experiences are themselves distribution platforms, and once the event is over, the audio and video of what took place becomes content of its own, likewise available on their site and beyond.

To kick off the launch, they hosted a party for their friends and supporters at The Belmont. WOW, what a night. The event was the most eclectic gathering of Austinites I have seen in years. There were politicians, lobbyists, reporters (and other media professionals from television, print, radio, and internet), entrepreneurs, lawyers (and other professionals), accountants, philanthropists, local celebrities, venture capitalists, bankers, investors, ranchers, Realtors, social media practitioners, Republicans, Democrats, Independents, older folks, younger folks, and everything in between.

Everyone had a great time. It was fun to see so many people from different walks of life all hanging out celebrating something new. It reminded me that we all have more in common than we have differences.... and that too often we put up artificial barriers because of the labels we wear (on purpose or assigned by others!).

If The Texas Tribune can live up to its "non-partisan" charge and embrace the objectivity that I believe most people desire from news sources.... then I predict they will successfully navigate this experiment of non-profit journalism.

I look forward to reading it daily!

CLICK HERE to learn more about The Texas Tribune.

Have A Great Day.

thom

Monday, November 02, 2009

Update on Austin Speaking Events

Before my presentation last week to the Launch Pad Job Club I appeared on KEYE Channel 42's "We Are Austin" to promote the event, as well as talk about my books and the overall importance of networking to a successful career.

CLICK HERE
to watch the interview I did with KEYE's Jason Wheeler.

On Friday I spoke to a standing room only weekly meeting of the Launch Pad Job Club. It was a great event. I am sorry there are soooo many people in the job market (over 300 people were in attendance for my presentation), but if any Austin companies are looking for great talent, I can assure you that there are qualified enthusiastic people actively seeking employment in a variety of industries.

This event was my 49th presentation of the year (my goal was 52 talks in 2010, so we will achieve that by year end). I especially enjoyed this audience because of their attitude. I met several people following the talk who are fired up about finding that next opportunity!!!

If you are currently in the job market in Austin, you should get involved with this job club. Kathy has done a great job in creating an atmosphere that encourages both education and support for those seeking employment.

SAVE THE DATE - If you live in Austin and have never seen me speak before I encourage you to come to the Norris Conference Center on Tuesday, December 8th from 7:30 - 9:00 AM for an informational, educational and motivational seminar.

The topic will focus on how to get the most out of your business relationships in the holiday season and into the new year. With the invitations to holiday parties about to hit your inbox, a little planning can go a long way in maximizing the power of your networking activities. Additionally, the new year brings with it a sense of a clean slate, and a perfect time to reach out to clients, prospects, referral sources and others.

CLICK HERE
to register now. This event is sponsored by the Austin Business Journal and will most likely be my last open presentation in 2009. Share this information with friends, co-workers, etc... sign up today while space is still available.

Have A Great Day.

thom