Outside-the-Box Networking Ideas


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Networking is widely known as a crucial aspect of growing one’s professional career. However, the concept of networking at large has a certain stigma associated with it—conferences, business cards, and LinkedIn are likely the first things to come to mind. Networking doesn’t need to be, and shouldn’t be, such a formulaic and static activity. One tactic for shaking up your networking experience is to try less common strategies for networking. Next, we will discuss a few of these unorthodox approaches to networking.

Be proactive and seek out networking activities on your own time

You don’t have to wait for conferences to do networking. Take advantage of the Internet and social media websites to find those connections you must have in your network. Check digital communities like Meetup or Groupon to see if you can find local events or to interact with other professionals in your area. This is a great way to make connections on your time, and it can be a bit better than conventional networking because it is a casual situation where people are more likely to open up to you on a personal level, this will make your connection stronger and more likely to last the test of time.

Engage with your connections; foster your relationship with your connections

Simply adding connections to your network isn’t enough. If you want to actually get something out of your connections, you’ll need to foster actual relationships with your professional connections and keep the lines of communication open and buzzing. Contact people periodically via email or a telephone call, or perhaps even meet them for coffee or happy hour if that is possible. This is essential for keeping your connections fruitful and productive for years to come.

Expand your networking efforts beyond the business world

If you are looking for a new job, new connections, or new business opportunities, don’t just limit yourself to talking about these aspirations with just those in your field—tell everyone that you know. Now, this doesn’t mean just telling random strangers on the street. This can involve telling acquaintances you see nearly everyday, like the barista who gives you your daily coffee or your neighbor, with the same goal as professional networking.

It can be easy to settle on the idea that networking is just for those in your professional field, and only appropriate during a conference or on LinkedIn. However, networking is a process not confined to these places and times. These unorthodox methods aren’t the limit either: let your creativity take wing to come up with more exciting networking opportunities, and your career will surely benefit.

Turning Big Ideas into Reality


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Turning that ambitious idea into a real project might seem like an impossible task, but we are currently living in an age where making your dreams come true—whether you want to be a filmmaker, small business owner, or artist—is more possible than it has ever been. With a wealth of technology designed to make these jobs easier, the future has never been brighter for individuals that wish to complete ambitious tasks. Let’s talk about some ways to turn your big ideas into reality.

  • Naturally, getting a brilliant idea is the first step. However, you might be in a situation where you have just a kernel of your idea and don’t know how to proceed in fostering that idea into something more tangible and workable. In these situations, it is a good idea to seek the aid of others. Brainstorm with like-minded people and get as much feedback as you can.
  • Find help: assemble a team of skilled individuals that are excited about your idea to help you make your project possible. Who you get for your team, and the size of your team, will vary depending on the project. Once you’ve assembled your team, identify their strengths and delegate tasks to those that are most qualified or skilled.
  • On your team, encourage the free and open sharing of ideas in all forms; make it known that all input is valuable. It takes more than one brain to make a truly fantastic idea into reality.
  • Once you have developed your idea and gathered a team, you should make a realistic plan for continuing with, and ultimately completing, your project. While creating your plan, set dates as checkpoints or evaluation days where you can make sure that everything is proceeding according to your plan.
  • Don’t be afraid to break the rules or go where no one has gone before. Be prepared to do everything within reason to complete your project, regardless of whether or not others have done the same before you.
  • Just do it! The main reason why many projects don’t see the light of day is because they loss steam and are never finished. See your project through to end, and make revisions after you have completed the project instead of getting lost along the way trying to make everything perfect the first time.

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3 Great Social Media Tips for Business


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Social media has been around for a while now, and it’s become an essential part of any organization’s communication strategy. Surprisingly, there’s still a lot of debate when it comes to how businesses use social media. While every business will have its own unique communication goals, there are nevertheless some basic tips that should apply to most, if not all businesses.

Let’s take a look at the three of the best social media tips for business:

1. Always be monitoring

Social media monitoring is often overlooked. It shouldn’t be, however, because it’s relatively easy to so and could save your business from potential disaster. Even if a business doesn’t have social media accounts, monitoring the social sphere is still imperative. A daily or weekly Twitter search of your business name is a great place to start.

There have been numerous examples in recent history of businesses facing complete crises from letting unseen online chatter get out of hand. If you’re paying attention to negative things being said about you, and catch them early, you might be able to nip the problem in the bud before it becomes too difficult to contain.

2. Be an open channel

It’s easy for a business to talk about transparency, but actually being open and transparent is another story. Social media is a two-way line of communication between your business and your audience, and it must be treated as such. In other words, use social media as a platform to continuously appear open and trustworthy by responding to customer comments whenever possible.

Don’t wait more than a day to respond to comments, complaints, questions, or praise on social media. Users of social media have come to expect this, and being an open channel is becoming essential for businesses in the 20th century.

3. Show your humanity

The most successful social media campaigns for businesses typically are ones that connect with their audience on a human level. Clever humor, photos of staff, and comments from the CEO are some examples of how businesses appeal to the humanity of their audience by showing their own. Consumers are becoming less trustworthy of businesses overall, so it’s more important than ever to pull back the curtain, relax, and show that we’re all human.

Evaluate your company’s communication goals and determine how social media can help you achieve them. Then use these three great social media tips to get the most out these free platforms.

5 Productivity Hacks to Get Things Rolling


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Remember that resolution you made to be more productive at work this year? Well, if you’re finding yourself stuck in the same patterns you always have been, it might be time to try some new tricks to get the ball rolling and become more productive. Being a productive worker will allow you to have peace of mind, free up some time, and help you get promotions and raises. So here are 5 productivity hacks to get more stuff done.

1. Start with the worst

The Eat That Frog productivity method claims that if we make an effort to start with the least desirable task first, we often end up getting the most important thing done and out of the way. Not only does that help our overall productivity, but it could also free up time later in the day to relax or focus on other tasks

So make a conscious decision every day to sort your to-do list from least desirable to most. If you can make a habit out of this, you may find yourself way ahead of the game, less stressed, and more successful.

2. Eliminate distractions

If you took all the minutes you spend browsing social media or news headlines or any of the other hyper-distracting wonders of the web and put them together, you might find that you spend a large part of your day wasting time. Fortunately, technology allows us ways to turn it off.

Put your phone on silent or airplane mode, close your browser window, and turn off or silence notifications. Your work should be all that’s in front of you. Then, once it’s out of the way, allow yourself time to spend on those distractions. Just keep it far removed from your work time.

3. Write tomorrow’s to-do list today

Writing down the next day’s tasks will help clear your mind of their menacing presence. The overwhelming weight of today’s and tomorrow’s tasks on our minds is too much to handle, and we get bogged down.

Organize tomorrow’s tasks and write them down so when you show up to work, everything’s already there for you. The added bonus of this is that it will free your mind to focus on today.

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4. Eliminate the tiny things


While we love putting off difficult tasks until we absolutely have to get them done, we also sweep the tiny tasks under the rug, assuming that we’ll have the 2 minutes to do them later. But too often we don’t, and the little things turn into bigger problems.


If there’s a 2-minute task you can easily do, just do it. You’ll thank yourself later when you realize that your last task is actually your last task.

5. Clean up your space


When clutter piles up, you slow down. Why? Your mind is acutely aware of and distracted by the mayhem all around you. Clear up your work area so that your space is peaceful and Zen-like and let your mind bask in the new environment.


Mess equals stress, so clean it up and let your mind calmly focus on the task in front of you. Perhaps you don’t need one of every office supply on your desk, or 20 sticky notes on your monitor. A picture of your significant other or your family is fine, and can keep you motivated, but examine your space and get rid of the useless clutter.



Keep these five productivity hacks in mind as you start off the new year. There’s still plenty of time to make this year the best one yet, so don’t waste any time getting productive. It doesn’t have to be difficult!

Why Trust is So Important in Business


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You can’t expect to get far if you’re not trustable at work. Being trustworthy has many benefits that can affect your business. Your co-workers can come to you for important information, your clients will be easier to communicate with, and even your boss is willing to count on you more. Earning trust can be difficult, but with the right practices, it can be a piece of cake. Here are a few other reasons why trust is important in the business world:

Build Relationships

To be truly successful in business, its essential to create a network of people you can rely on. From more clients, to business partners, relationships are everything. When you become a trustful person, more people will want to work with you, and trust you with their business. A great relationship can come in handy when things get rough, and its also nice knowing you have a fallback plan with people that have a good business relationship with you.

Create a Reputation

A person that is not trustworthy will usually not get tasked with as many things as a trustable person will. Your boss wants to know they have your trust, and if they don’t, they’re not going to think of you first when they need someone to handle a big project. Building trust with the people you meet in business let’s you build a reputation of being the go-to person for important tasks.

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Remove Doubt

Building trust will guarantee that a client understands they are getting the best deal from you. If you aren’t trustworthy, a client may back out of a deal, or check the competitors’ price. By having a trustable attitude, and showing that your trust is real, your business can grow. Remove any doubt that a person may have that you aren’t trustworthy and you will see your numbers grow exponentially.


Making the Most of the End of the Year


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It’s that time of year again when we start winding down and preparing for the upcoming year. This means reflecting on the past year and all the events that happened, both good and bad. There were likely moments of change, inspiration, disappointment, learning, and new beginnings. The end of the year is also the holiday season for many—a time of celebration, time with family, and giving.

You can make the most of this fun, reflective, and sometimes crazy time of year by capitalizing on the opportunities that the end of the year brings. So what are some of the ways to do this?

Looking Back to Look Forward

Take some time to write down all the important things that happened throughout the year. Think back to all the good and bad times. What was the high point? The low point? Reminisce about the year and use that information to help guide you for next year.

Did you have a particularly successful moment? Think about what took place to allow that to happen. Did you gain confidence? Did you learn something new? Make note of the factors that allowed you to find success.

Next, reflect on the low points. Just like with the high points, find out what might have happened to lead to the disappointment. Make it a point to avoid situations like that next year, setting goals for personal growth.

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Network with Friends and Family

While many people look forward to seeing family during the holidays, some of us might not enjoy it as much. Whatever the sentiment, use the opportunity to talk about your career or business to everyone. Family is often the best place to start networking, and many people find talking to close friends and family easier than talking to strangers.

Look for opportunities to expand your professional and personal network at family gatherings. There will likely be plenty of time to talk, and subjects can run dry, so keep the conversation going and talk about what you’ve been up to, what they’ve been up to, and find common ground.


Making New Year’s resolutions can be a powerful thing if you’re willing to commit to them. Maybe you didn’t follow through on the last few years of resolutions, but that doesn’t mean you can’t change. Make a commitment to the resolutions you make, and your opportunities for improving yourself are boundless.

Decide what you’d like to see at the end of the next year, and plan your resolution(s) accordingly. And don’t simply make the resolution. Make a plan to act on it, with check-ins scheduled throughout the year. You will be much more likely to reach your goal if you have the steps laid out in front of you. This will make it less overwhelming and open the door to creating a lifelong habit.

Keep these three tips in mind as the year winds down. Relax, enjoy the food and drinks of the holidays, and make sure to tell your loved ones how much you care about them. Finally, remember that while the year might be ending soon, it’s not over just yet. Use the time to complete projects you’ve been putting off, start making some changes, and set the tone for next year.

The Best Productivity Apps For Business


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Almost everyone has a smart phone these days. Be it Android or iPhone, these great devices can help make your life more productive. Here are five must-use apps for business that will give you an extra edge over competitors.


Taking notes is a skill that can come in handy whenever new information needs to be accounted for. Notability is a great app that lets you type regular text and outlines, as well as editing PDFs and presentations. You can even annotate or illustrate drawings to do things that a keyboard might hold you back on.


To-do lists always come in handy during business. Any.do is a fantastic app for list making and task-management. It’s also quick to use, so you can jot down a task on the fly. Any.do will become a go-to in your app rotation.


This simple app can get things done for you in a way you’d never think possible. IFTTT lets you complete tasks that you might not have time for. You create recipes that make certain programs interact with each other, such as an email sent for weather status or schedule reminders for paying bills. IFTTT does a great job of taking care of the little things.


Need to get something done but your phone continues to distract you? This app lets you block certain apps from being open for a set time. This way, you’re guaranteed to stop being distracted. Of course you can still receive phone calls or check emails, but it will cut down on your game playing and social network uses.


Send a lot of texts messages? Swype lets you type lots of words without ever have to lift your ginger off the screen. Swype does a great job is correcting spelling errors so you’ll rarely have to worry about typos in a business email. Once you become an expert, Swype will nearly double your speed for composing messages.