Interviewing Skills – more than answering questions

I attended a meeting at the Jewish Family Services Employment Workshop, hosted by Betsy Gamburg.

The topic was Interviewing, the Good, the Bad & the Ugly, presented by Abby Donnelly founder of The Leadership & Legacy Group.

Here are some of the points I captured during Abby’s conversation with the group.

The Many Purposes of an interview include:
– To sell yourself
– To get an invitation for a job offer
– To networking for opportunities
– To determine if the company is a good fit for you
– To share how you can have a positive impact on the business.

A Great interview occurs when the interviewer(s) are in awe about what you could do for their business or organization.
A Good interview occurs when you show that you are interested while being interesting.
A Bad or Ugly interview is one where you are not interesting or where you clearly do not show your interest in the business and interviewers.

When answering the interviewer(s) questions you must always answer in an engaging and interesting way.

When telling your story of successes and accomplishments, be interesting and succinct. Don’t consume too much time or drift off into irrelevant conversations.

If you do not appear interested in the business or interviewer(s), they could be less interested in you and may not think you are a good candidate.

Your questions must evoke even more interest from the interviewer.

The types of questions to ask should be business and/or strategic focus questions, relevant to the position. I.E., it may not be appropriate to ask about high level business strategy if you are applying for a bank teller question. However, asking about business growth and branch goals could be very useful to show that you are interested in the business.

Have confidence in who you are, what you can do and how you present yourself to the interviewer. Confidence is an important candidate attribute.

When asking your network for help in career transition, be clear about what you want to do, or paint a broad picture of career ideas that you may be interested in. Not being clear or focused on your career goals limits your network’s ability to help you.

During the interview you should look for fit. Fit will include lots of business attributes including:
– Culture
– Work style (Team or individual)
– Operations focused or Sales Focused
– Flexibility
– Yes – the overall compensation
– etc, etc.

The worst job for anyone is a job where you failed to look for the fit and then discover there is a big gap in the fit.

You can’t control an interviewer, you can however control how you may influence them with your words, story, body language and how you engage with them.

How do you respectfully get an over talkative interviewer to hear more about who you are? Start asking them questions relevant to the job.

Generally speaking, the person asking the questions is most in control of the interview.

People will think you are amazing if you listen well and ask good questions.

When answering challenging questions, recognize the past, look towards the future and answer in the positive.

How to answer the question “Why has it taken you so long to find a new job?” – “I am fortunate that I have been able to take time looking for the right job, where I can bring real value and be successful at what I do for the business I decide to work for.”

Use visualization and practice to get yourself prepared for your interview.

Visualization is a powerful way to do your absolute best at an interview.

The group benefited from the conversation about Interviewing.

What great tips do you have to share about interviewing?

Don’t let your Network Die

My Network DiedDon’t let your network die because you did not care enough to take care of it.

If you build your network properly, it can become one of the your most valuable assets.

A car can be replaced, computers are just commodity items, cell phones get replaced every two years and even your house is replaceable, ask your insurance agent.

Your network is built one person and relationship at a time. You can’t borrow someone else’s network, you can’t pickup a new network at the local big box store, and I doubt Lloyds of London will insure your network.

A dying network can not help you, nor the people in your network. A dying network is almost always terminal. Few people have been able to revive a dying network.

Therefore you need to do everything you can to make sure your network thrives so that it never dies.

Here are five activities that if executed properly will help your network to thrive.

#1 – Focus on helping your network
When you focus on helping your network the indisputable laws of karma will always return the favors to you. There are three different focal points that are important for a thriving network. 
A – Always offer to help your network. 
B – You can ask your network to help another person, for the right reasons. 
C – You can ask your network to help you directly, only if you have first focused on points A & B.

#2 – Connect your contacts to each other
Your network will thrive if you introduce your connections to each other regularly and with honest purpose. Just because two people are in your network does not mean they know each other or how they can help each other. Because you know your network, you can connect two people who can potentially benefit by the introduction.
   
#3 – Treat your network with care and respect
A strong and thriving network requires that you treat it with respect. This means you can’t abuse your relationship with your network. Abuse includes inappropriate introductions, bombarding your network with irrelevant requests, spamming your network, even talking ill of members of your network to other members. Gossip and negative engagement with your network can kill it off faster than a plague.

#4 – Keep your network growing
If your network is not growing regularly, it is apt to start dying off. You grow your network by performing the activities in this article and when appropriate, asking it’s members to introduce you to others who you can help and/or who can help you. This “ask” assumes that you have first focused on helping your network. If your network knows that you care and want to help them, they will eagerly introduce you to new connections so that your network can continue to grow. 

#5 – Touch your network regularly
A thriving network is one that you touch regularly. A large network can not be seen in real life as often as we would like, therefore we must use other tools and activities to touch our network. Social media helps us to do this, but by itself this is not enough. Schedule time every week to reach out to individuals in your network via phone, email, paper letter, invitation to lunch, dinner or breakfast. Be unique and different when you can. The more you touch your network, the more it will thrive. 

These are just a few ways to help your network thrive so that it never dies.
Do you have any unique ways of helping your network thrive?

Get our free ebook – Building a Professional LinkedIn Profile

If you want Career Transition Coaching, let’s talk.

Winston-Salem Business Expo experience – article 1 of 2

Winston-Salem Business Expo

Winston-Salem Business Expo

I was fortunate to be asked to attend this year’s Winston-Salem Business & Innovation Expo & Tech Briefing at the Benton Convention Center.

I have been going to this event for about ten years and having worked in Winston-Salem for over the past 16 years. Being involved in this city has blessed me with lots of great connections and friends. Thus, for me, the Winston-Salem Business Expo is one big party for me.

Besides the dozens of new people I got to meet this year, I got to say hello to scores of business connections, many far more than just connections, true friends.

Of the approximately 120 exhibitors at this year’s event, I knew 61 of these companies. Again, many of the owners, business developers and marketers are friends of mine.

Then all of the attendees who showed up. Even more good people, many I know and got to say hello to for the first time in months, if not a year or longer.

The conversations I got to hear and engage in were positive and often interesting.

I really enjoyed the Winston-Salem Business Expo of 2013

I heard interesting and often humorous little sound bites like:

  • “You can have the only water in the desert, but if you don’t have a sign no one’ll find you.”
  • “I love these events. I get to see friends and partners that I don’t see regularly.”
  • “I’m not here to sell anything. I just want to make some new connections for future opportunities.”
  • “Where have you been. I miss you friend.”
  • “I’m having fun meeting lots of fabulous people.”
  • “Inmar used to be one of the best kept secrets in WS. We love our community & want to be a part of it. We don’t want to be a secret any more.”
  • “This is my first time here. This is really cool.”

I watched people meet for the first time and strike up long conversations.

I watched people’s expressions and attentiveness as they listened to the Technology Briefing speakers with awe, amazement and excitement.

I heard one business owner say, “Wow, not one word about tobacco, textile or furniture. It’s a new Winston-Salem folks.”

I talked with one entrepreneur who said, “I like this town. There is so much going on. I need to be paying more attention to what is happening, otherwise I might miss something really really important.”

I look forward to participating again next year in an even more interesting and exciting Expo. Who knows, maybe I’ll get to say hello to even more good friends.

Join us for the Winston-Salem Business Expo of 2014 and experience it yourself.

Part 2 of this series will be about the Technology Briefing presenters and their presentations.

 

Do you have a Social Media Success Story to share?

Social Media Success Story

We are waiting to hear your Social Media Success Story

Please share your Social Media Success Story with us.

While writing the book Success Using Social Media I collected lots of good social media stories. I will continue to collect and share these stories.

And I will be forever indebted to you for Sharing your Social Media Success Story with us.

This book is all about how individuals should contribute, collaborate and connect using social media. The focus of the book is engaging to create connections that turn into relationships that are mutually beneficial. It ties into my first book, “Networking for Mutual Benefit“.

The book is a compilation of all of the material that I have been teaching at Universities, Community Colleges, businesses, non-profits and to individuals for the past 4 years.

Do you have a Social Media Success Story you would be willing to share with us?

I’d love to hear your story about a new business relationship, a new job, even a fabulous social media group you joined that positively changed your life, career, business or community.

If you have this story, please email me the story – NCWiseman@TeddyBurriss.com

If you want to see the stories that I’ve already collected, view this article – Social Media Success Stories.

Teddy

Creating a LinkedIn Company Page

LinkedIn Company PageA LinkedIn Company Page is a great way to promote your business.

Your LinkedIn Company Page is a fabulous way to showcase your consultancy business or coaching business.

A LinkedIn Company Page can even add value to your business marketing strategy.

There are a few pre-requisites that you need to consider prior to beginning to build your LinkedIn Company Page.

  1. You must have a private domain email account.
    1. This can not be a Gmail.com, msn.com, aol.com, triad.rr.com, email account. You will have to register a domain name with one of the domain registrars and setup your email through one of the cloud based email services or self-host your own email server (I don’t recommend this for solo-preneurs.)
    2. Consider contacting Google, Microsoft, or Other cloud based hosting service that allows you to use your own Domain Name.
    3. Recommendation – forward your other email accounts into this one private domain email account for simplicity
  2. You will need various images for your Company Page Logo, small logo & banner images, products/services. These images have various sizes, so know how to create your own images (I don’t recommend this), or know a good graphic artist who can help you create & modify these images.
  3. You will need to know how to describe your business and services in well crafted words. If you are not a wordsmith, know a good editor/writer who can help you craft these messages.
  4. LinkedIn company pages can redirect to your company websites thru image hyperlinks and direct redirect links. If you have a company or business website, consider how your website is setup in regards to your LinkedIn Company Page and related hyperlinks.

Use Add Company Page link on the Company area of LinkedIn to create a new Company Page. You will need to validate your Company Email address prior to finalizing your LinkedIn Company Page.

You can assign multiple Page Administrators to your LinkedIn Company Page. I suggest you have two or three administrators who will work together to build and manage your LinkedIn Company Page. Don’t try to build a page in a vacuum or by yourself.

If you need help determining your LinkedIn Company Page strategy and setup, reach out to me and let’s talk. I love to help companies get value out of their LinkedIn use and presence.

Contact Me if you want to talk

TLB Presentation Videos – Desire, Attitude & Passion

These are the videos that I periodically use when I am discussion Desire, Attitude & Passion in life, business, career & community.

If you have some other ideas of videos that can help introduce Desire, Attitude & Passion for life, business, career & community, please let me know what they are.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/RU7w0Z35XEE[/youtube]

[youtube]http://youtu.be/qX9FSZJu448[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bpr5cEzKUn4[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K97xKd8kL3E[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8–VtmHXpM[/youtube]

65 Big LinkedIn Tips

LinkedIn Tips by NCWisemanLinkedIn Tips

65 Big LinkedIn Tips that can improve your LinkedIn experience

Use these LinkedIn Tips and get more value out of your time invested on LinkedIn

Today (5/6/13) I created a series of LinkedIn Tips that I began sharing on Twitter & LinkedIn.

Just a group of LinkedIn Tips related to the many different areas of LinkedIn, why we should use LinkedIn, some basic areas that we should consider being involved in and areas to pay attention in.

Here is the listing of LinkedIn Tips for your consideration and benefit.

  1. LinkedIn Tips– Why use LinkedIn
    1. Why use LinkedIn for Business? – LinkedIn provides opportunities for connections that become relationships, then maybe potential clients
    2. Why use LinkedIn for Career? – It can be a bridge for new connections to people who can help you discover what you could do & who to meet
    3. Why use LinkedIn for your Community – LinkedIn is a professional networking tool & professionally networking is not just a business activity
    4. Why use LinkedIn to Connect – LinkedIn members know that mutually beneficial connecting is critical to success in life, career & business.
    5. Why use LinkedIn for Knowledge – LinkedIn members share ideas, philosophies & links to content that can help you in life, career & business
  2. LinkedIn Tips regarding Settings
    1. Have you reviewed your LinkedIn Settings – You can reduce the emails you are getting from LinkedIn if you adjust your message settings
    2. Have you looked at your LinkedIn Settings in the past 6 months – If not, you’ve missed that they’ve changed & there’s new stuff in settings
    3. Don’t assume that the default LinkedIn settings are right for you. Look at them & set each feature so that they work best for you
  3. LinkedIn Tips regarding Headline
    1. Most LinkedIn Headlines say your Title “at” your Company – This is so boring. Have your Headline say “WHO YOU ARE”, not what/where you work.
    2. A boring LinkedIn Headline is a waste of digital space. Use your LinkedIn Headline to Proudly, Boldly & Positively tell everyone WHO YOU ARE
    3. A LinkedIn Headline needs to be all about YOU, WHO YOU ARE & WHY YOU ARE DIFFERENT. Don’t be like everyone else – be different, be better
  4. LinkedIn Tips regarding  Summary
    1. Your LinkedIn Summary should be a great story about who YOU are, what YOU are skilled & trained at & what great accomplishments YOU have
    2. Your LinkedIn Summary should be Bold, Powerful, Positive & an easy to read story. It is not a bucket to dump your resume stuff into (YUCK)
    3. When someone reads your LinkedIn Summary, make sure that they are reading a story that encourages them to want to read more of your Profile
  5. LinkedIn Tips about your Experience Section
    1. Your LinkedIn Experience isn’t your resume. Use the description area to tell an interesting story about your experiences & accomplishments
    2. Your LinkedIn Experience section is your public statement of skills, experiences, accomplishments and work enjoyment. It’s not your resume
    3. The words you use in your LinkedIn Experience section needs to be the same bold, powerful, positive words you use in your Headline & Summary
  6. LinkedIn Tips about your Contact information
    1. You’ll be more successful in life if you are accessible. Add all of your contact info to your LinkedIn Profile for those you’re connected to
    2. Make your LinkedIn Profile better & different. Use Other for your Website URL. Name your Website so your connections will go view your site.
    3. Your LinkedIn Profile contact information shouldn’t include your home or office address unless you want to invite your connections there
  7. LinkedIn Tips regarding Skills and Expertise Section
    1. Your LinkedIn Profile Skills/Expertise must support Who you are, What you can do & Want to do. Not, who you were / what you did in the past
    2. Use your LinkedIn Skills/Expertise words in your Summary & Experience sections as well as in your recommendations & other online content
    3. LinkedIn Endorse are a feel good activity. Imagine when you make a LinkedIn contact feel good & it helps build your relationship with them
  8. LinkedIn Tips regarding Recommendations
    1. LinkedIn Recommendations are powerful testimonies of your skills, accomplishments & experiences when specifically asked of targeted contacts
    2. Do not give a LinkedIn recommendation just because someone gave you one. Only give recommendations to people who you can honestly recommend.
    3. When receiving multiple LinkedIn recommendations in a week, don’t accept them all at once. Spread out your LinkedIn activity for more value
  9. LinkedIn Tips regarding Connections
    1. On LinkedIn, only connect with people you know. You know more people you can be introduced to by good contacts who know other good contacts
    2. Make TRUHE connections on LinkedIn. Being TRUHE when connecting on LinkedIn, will make the relationship grow better & improved the value
    3. Connecting on LinkedIn is a great way to grow your circle of connections. Focus on making and accepting broad relevant LinkedIn connections
  10. LinkedIn Tips about Groups
    1. LinkedIn Groups are useful for learning new ideas, making new connections & discovering useful knowledge regarding focused topics/content
    2. When you engage in discussions in LinkedIn Groups, you co-create conversations that can be mutually beneficial to you & other Group Members
    3. Pay attention to LinkedIn Group members. You’ll quickly figure out who’s the most informed & knowledgeable person(s) in your LinkedIn Groups
  11. LinkedIn Tips about NewsFeed
    1. Your LinkedIn NewsFeed is where all of your LinkedIn contacts noise shows up. Learn to review this info quickly & it can help your business
    2. There’s tons of content in the LinkedIn Newsfeed. Learn what is the good noise & what’s the bad noise so you can benefit from the good noise
    3. Once you learn what’s Good Noise in your LinkedIn Newsfeed, ignore the other stuff. It’ll just get in the way of your success and happiness
  12. LinkedIn Tips about stalkers
    1. The more active you’re on LinkedIn, the more often you’ll get peeked at. Learn to pay attention to who is peeking at your LinkedIn Profile
    2. Knowing who’s viewed your LinkedIn Profile can help you in life, career & business. Pay attention & then engage w/ good LinkedIn stalkers
    3. Once you know who’s viewed your LinkedIn Profile, consider the possible reasons. If there’s any value in reaching out & saying hello, do it.
  13. LinkedIn Tips regarding your Status updates
    1. I’m sad that LinkedIn Events have gone away. We can still share EventBrite, Doodle, Facebook & Google+ Events into our LinkedIn NewsFeed
    2. Keep your LinkedIn contacts aware of your public activities. Let them know when you are doing public work w/ useful LinkedIn Status updates
    3. When you find good content on other sites, share it in LinkedIn so your contacts can benefit from this information. This is called Giving.
  14. LinkedIn Tips regarding Company Page
    1. Your LinkedIn Company page is a great place to share & engage with your followers. Make your Page all about giving, not hawking your stuff
    2. Most companies use LinkedIn company pages to talk about themselves. Don’t do this. Engage in discussions w/ followers & build relationships
    3. Help your contacts find your LinkedIn Company Page. Give good content thru your Company page & share it on your LinkedIn profile later on
  15. LinkedIn Tips regarding creating Groups
    1. Creating a LinkedIn Group is like having a baby. Nurture it, invite others to come visit it & watch it develop into an active living thing
    2. You can only get LinkedIn members to visit your LinkedIn Group if you consistently give TRUHE content that your members will benefit from
    3. When you engage in your LinkedIn Group, do so as to encourage your Group members to engage as well. It’s not your pulpit or lectern.
  16. LinkedIn Tips regarding Applications
    1. LinkedIn integrates well w/ other applications. Use Slideshare, Dropbox, etc with your LinkedIn Profile. It creates more content options
    2. LinkedIn’s Publication section is great for displaying your resume, business profile or other documents that support your skills & talents
    3. LinkedIn’s new visual tools for attaching images, pdfs, & videos to your Profile, Experience & Company pages is great for promoting yourself
  17. LinkedIn Tips regarding Custom Public Profile URL
    1. Be better & different than many on LinkedIn. Customize your Public Profile URL & share it on your business card, websites & email signature
    2. Setup your LinkedIn Public Profile to show everything on your profile. Therefore, don’t put anything on LinkedIn that you don’t want public
    3. Use a nice headshot (you have one) on your LinkedIn Public Profile so you’re recognized in public. This shows you’re willing to connect.
  18. LinkedIn Tips regarding Sharing tool
    1. Sharing transparent, relevant, useful content on LinkedIn is a great way to contribute & contributing is a relationship building activity
    2. On LinkedIn, sharing content that you create helps to promote your skills, expertise, talents & passion. Sharing is also Giving. Do this.
    3. When you find useful content on LinkedIn, share it with your connections & groups. This shows that you care & want to help others. Do this.
  19. Exporting your LinkedIn connections
    1. Exporting your LinkedIn Contact data is a great way to stay in touch with all of your connections. Be careful, don’t Spam your connections
    2. Consider using the LinkedIn SmartPhone tools. They are great for staying aware & finding connection information when you are out & about
    3. Add your LinkedIn connections in an annual message to all of your contacts. Thank them for being a connection & ask what you can do to help
  20. LinkedIn Tips regarding Searching
    1. There are 5 ways to find People on LinkedIn – People Search, Company Search, Group Search, Connections search & People You May Know feature
    2. The advanced Search features of LinkedIn adds lots of search criteria that can help you fine tune your search. Use the LinkedIn search tools
    3. Create a useful search in LinkedIn & save it. Set it up to email you any updates every week & you’ll stay even more aware of LinkedIn members
  21. LinkedIn Tips regarding getting Help
    1. LinkedIn Help is full of articles regarding practically any issue you can imagine. And, if you can’t find an answer you can contact support
    2. Follow the @LinkedIn Blog to stay informed of changes & enhancements within LinkedIn. I love staying informed of how the tool improves
  22. LinkedIn Tips regarding Messages
    1. Your LinkedIn messages are an important part of engaging w/ your connections. Keep your inbox under control so that your engagement is.
    2. Setup your @LinkedIn Settings properly & LinkedIn messages won’t dump into your email. If you do this, plan to use LinkedIn every day.

If you need any help understanding how to do these activities or how to get more value out of LinkedIn, visit my LinkedIn Training page.

Teddy – NCWiseman@TeddyBurriss.com / 336-283-6121

Another LinkedIn connection Failure

life lessons - text in wood typeI get LinkedIn connection requests often. Most are very relevant. Some are not. Unfortunately for the ones who make mistakes, they become fodder for my blog posts.

Here is the conversation I recently had with another new LinkedIn connection that does not understand (in my opinion).

(I did not change any words that the connection used when messaging me, except those that provide identity.)

Let me know what you think about this activity

On April 20, 2013 2:07 PM, Steve M wrote: 
——————– 
I’d like to add you to my professional network.
– Steve M.

On 04/20/13 3:01 PM, Teddy Burriss wrote: 
——————– 
Hello Steve.
Thanks for the LinkedIn connection request.
Please remind me, have we met or talked?
Teddy Burriss

On 04/20/13 4:44 PM, Steve M wrote: 
——————– 
No we haven’t met,I saw your profile on linkedin & I am in networking & I am contacting people in the Triad . Name of my company is R***** Y**** L*** # 1 all natural supplement for your immune system with a great business & pay plan. If interested would be glad to give u info. Also I’m sure u could give me some pointers on networking. Would love to talk to you!

Note – Based on his first sentence, I decided to accept the connection. Honestly, I was looking for another blog post idea.

On 04/21/13 1:06 PM, Teddy Burriss wrote: 
——————– 
Thanks for the response Steve. 
I suggest you read the book – http://www.amazon.com/Networking-for-Mutual-Benefit-ebook/dp/B00B4D1DLW 
You can get it on Kindle ($2.99) or Paperback ($7.99). I believe it can help you with your use of LinkedIn.
After you read it, let me know if it has helped you, or not. 
Teddy Burriss

Note – Steve did not respond to this message in any way.

On 04/21/13 3:20 PM, Steve M wrote:
——————–
Teddy, Hope u r well. Wanted to share with u I am having a get together at my house Wed. nt. 24th @ 7:00 explaining our business & how it helps people. My address is xxxx SomeWhere Dr. SomeCity, NC xxxxx. Would be great to meet u! If u cant make it I can send u some info. Have a great day & I’ll talk to u later,Steve also my cell # XXX-XXX-XXXX

On 04/21/13 9:01 PM, Teddy Burriss wrote: 
——————– 
No Thank you

On 04/21/13 9:01 PM, Teddy Burriss wrote: 
——————– 
Steve, I am a Social Media Coach. One of my passions is teaching people to use Social Media to build relationships. Therefore, your message to me requires that I offer some important guidance to you:
#1 – LinkedIn is a business communications tool. The use of texting shortcuts is not appropriate, regardless of who you are communicating with
#2 – You should only connect with people who know you on LinkedIn. I accepted your connection request because I wanted to see how you intended to use LinkedIn.
#3 – You should never connect with someone on LinkedIn and immediately attempt to engage them into an event regarding your MLM business. This is not a way to build beneficial relationships and can diminish the value of your LinkedIn activity.
I hope this information is useful to you.
Good luck building your business.
Teddy Burriss

Does LinkedIn help business

businessman having questions about LinkedInLast week during a seminar I had a gentleman ask me this question, “Can LinkedIn help our industry?”

He works in the electrical distribution industry.

It’s an important question that must be asked by anyone considering using LinkedIn as a business tool.

Even though he knows that making connections and building relationships is critical to growing a business, he wants to know how can LinkedIn contribute to this, again in his industry.

Therefore, I’m putting this question to you, my connections. Especially my distribution and manufacturing connections.

How has LinkedIn helped you in business?

Please share any and all relevant answers. Please tell us what Industry you are in when you answer this question with us.

Make a complete career change

Often when we leave (or get let go from) our current job, we ponder this question, “Should I start doing something different?’

This question can develop from not liking the last (or current) job or maybe a burning desire to do something new, challenging and/or enjoyable.

Regardless of the reason, we must ask our selves this question and we must be deliberate about the answer we give ourselves. Never shove the question aside and ignore it. You must answer this question honestly.

If you ask yourself this question and you answer, “Yes, I want to do something else!”, then  the next question is equally important, “I wonder what I should do?”

In mid 2010, selling IT services for a local IT company, I asked myself these same questions. “Should I do something different and if so, what should I do?” My answer was clearly that I wanted to do something different. In my case, I wanted to start my own business.

The second question, “what should I do?” was more difficult to answer. I kept leaning back to what I had been doing, technology consulting because it was an easy choice. Something in me kept saying, “Don’t go easy, go real.” So, I decided to ask this question out loud and to my friends and professional contacts.

Asking others to help me figure out what I kind of business to create was the best way to answer this question for me.

During my conversations with dozens of great people, they asked me, “What do you want to do Teddy?” Rather than say, I want to do this, or I want to do that, I decided to say, “I don’t know. My skills and interest are diverse. No matter what I end up doing, I do know that I want to help other individuals. This I know.” I wanted to be open to all kinds of ideas, so I strived not to burden the conversation with any other preconceived ideas.

When the idea of being a technology consultant came up, my coffee or sweet tea partner would just snicker at me. “That’s not who you are,” they would say. Then they would commence to tell me who they thought I was and what I would enjoy and be successful doing.

Having these conversations was how I ended up being who I am today, a Networking Strategist focused on teaching people to Network for Mutual Benefit and to Build Relationships through Social Media. I decided to go out on a limb and created a business of outplacement coaching, social media coaching, writing, public speaking, blogging, training and sharing ideas. It has been a fantastic journey so far and one that I look forward to every day.

In summary, regardless of your desire to be employed, or to start your own business, you could end up doing something totally different than what you have done, if you are willing to listen to yourself and others. What you learn from these conversations can shed a big bright light on a completely new career journey.