Celebrating our Founder’s Birthday

Ali Lassen, 1926-1999

September 18 is a special day, it’s our Leads Club Founder’s birthday.  More importantly to me, it’s my Mother’s birthday.  73-years-old, seems too young to pass in these days of advanced medicine.  She fought a valiant fight with Breast Cancer, availing herself to all modalities of Western and Eastern medicine.   Unfortunately, right at the 5-year mark to the month of diagnosis, the big C came back and 5 months later she passed on my brother’s birthday May 17th.

This year marks 20 years since she passed, it’s hard to believe.  As I remember her, I think of her most noteworthy traits, and they are many.  She was a feminist way before it was a thing.  She was a dedicated mother to my 4 siblings and me.  She supported our father in his law practice and political endeavors, never missing a step.  She was Green and holistic before it was cool and raised us to eat clean and healthy.  Thank you, Mom!  Before I was born, she graduated from college with a Masters degree and enlisted in the Navy as a Wave, teaching pilot’s how to jump out of airplanes during WW II.

For the past few weeks I’ve been seeing the date on the calendar and anticipating a rush of emotion.  Today is that day.  As I’ve learned, grief is a journey, and how amazing is that as one of Ali’s favorite sayings is: “Success is a Journey, not a Destination”.  I did not have an emotional rush this year, but what I am thinking about is how amazing she was.

If you asked me to select one thing that I remember, it is one of the ways she presented herself in business.  Ali Lassen always saw the potential in you.  She assumed and expected that you can do anything you set your mind to accomplish as long as you are professional, prepared and earnest.

Ali has taught me many things over the years but this one I believe has been one of her best traits that I have aspired to emulate.

In honor of Ali, please be open to the potential of people you meet.  Assume the best.  Offer to Mentor.

I won’t get preachy here, so I will close with my heartfelt wish that you emulate Ali Lassen and find someone with potential and mentor them to success.  It is such a win- win proposition, I promise you, you will gain so much more than you give.

If you have a moment, please share your story of mentoring a fellow business person.

Warmly,

Lisa

 

 

 

Happy 4th of July to All!

                       Happy Fourth of July!

This past weekend we attended the San Diego Symphony’s “Star Spangled Pops” on the lawn by the bay.  We heard American ballads, watched fireworks and enjoyed the camaraderie of those around us.  When the Symphony played those patriotic songs we all know and love, it brought tears to my eyes. We are so fortunate to live in a country with so many freedoms and rights, we should all be living every day in gratitude and appreciation.

Working with Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses, I am constantly reminded of the importance of freedom.  These hardworking people are willing to dedicate long hours and days so they can have the freedom of Entrepreneurship.   If you have never owned a small business or been involved in an entrepreneurial endeavor, you may not understand.  IMHO, it’s all about Freedom.

When I think about what Freedom means to me, it takes many forms.  

  • As an American, I hold tremendous pride in living in our country.  While the political climate certainly is all about divisiveness, thank goodness entrepreneurship is all about inclusion.
  • Freedom in America also means having basic rights and resources that allow us to be entrepreneurs.
  • It’s being able to make ethical choices in our businesses without the overreaching mandate of a boss, company, government or military.
  • It’s about being able to give back in ways that you may not be able to in Corp. America.  Serving on that Board that holds special meaning to you.  Leaving at 3p and coming back to your office at 6p to then catch up from the rest of the day.  Time is such a precious commodity, having this freedom is priceless.
  • The right to grow your business as high and as far as you desire.  When Leads Club was expanding internationally, it was exciting to see this process first hand.

I normally like to give a tip or challenge, but today I’d like to solely focus on you.

Congratulations for having the courage, commitment and tenacity to own and run your business!!

Remembering you as small businesses are the most ethical and focused on moral obligation.  While there are many ups and downs in having your own business, overall, we have the best jobs in the world.  In addition, for most Leads Club Members I know, they are also providing good in the world.   And we sure cannot get enough of that.

Feel free to share what freedom is to you and how it presents in your business.

Let Freedom Ring!

Warmly,

Lisa

 

Is it OK to Network during the Holidays?

We also get similar questions like; can I Network at a Wedding?   In other words, can I Network at a non-business gathering.  Before I answer that, let’s look at what Networking is.  Our  “Focused Networking Workshop” defines Networking as:  “The process of building and maintaining personal and professional connections that helps you meet clearly defined  and measurable goals and objectives”.  Yikes, even though it may be accurate and complete, it really is a very long thought.

I prefer something brief and more personal.  My definition of Business Networking is:  “Building Business Friendships”.   To me, this says it all.  People like to do business with friends and that should be what Networking is all about.

So, back to our question, is it OK to Network at non business events, and the answer is a resounding YES!  Why?  Because Networking is not selling, it is building business friendships and what better way to do that than in relaxed, social situations.

If you are novice Networker, you may be wondering how to go about Networking at a Holiday Party.  Let’s look at what makes an expert Networker?  After teaching and learning about business Networking for the past 35 years, over and over again, experts exhibit two distinct traits.  And these traits can be easily implemented by anyone with a bit of practice.

#1  It’s not WIFM, it’s HCIHU.  As human beings we can tend to look at opportunities using the What’s in it for me model.  This is valid and important in many of the business decisions we face on a day to day basis.  Not so in Networking though.  If you remember the “Building Business Friendships” definition of Business Networking”, then the right way is to approach people is with the spirit of:  How can I Help You?

 For example, you are at your spouse’s company holiday party and you are meeting people there.   “What do you do”?   A good conversation starter may be; what are you doing for the Holidays?  Then just start listening, that is all there is to it.  Maybe they are going on a ski vacation and they mention they are having trouble finding the right hotel in Lake Tahoe.  Boom!  Now you can  help them by referring them to a trusted Travel Consultant you know.  Or maybe they are lamenting that they may not be able to take a vacation because they don’t have anyone to house sit their dog.  Boom! Now you can help them by referring them to your trusted Pet Sitter.

It’s just that easy.  Now those two people in our example could become new friends who appreciate you for helping them solve a problem.  Sincerity is key, and with that, you are on your way to making many new friendships that you can continue to nurture.  Be on the lookout for more on that in a future communication.

#2  Become known as the referral source.  When you become known as the person who knows everyone, your friends and colleagues will automatically contact you when they need a product or service.  Most of us prefer to do business with a person or company that has been referred or vetted.

It’s not just face to face either, think about how millennials network.  They often reference Yelp or Google and find referrals that way.  At our Leads Cub meeting just this morning, two people had Leads for their fellow Members from social media resources.  One was from Facebook and the other from NextDoor.   .

Regardless of your age, as business people today we can successfully network on and offline.  If you are serious about Networking it’s critical to embrace both.  For the younger ones among us, it may seem strange to talk face to face with strangers.  For those not raised with a computer in the palm of their hands since the age of 10, the power of the social media world may not seem as immediately evident.

To wrap up, Networking can be enjoyable and effective when you remember that you are building business friendships.  It’s not selling; it’s helping people solve problems.  It just feels so good to help our fellow man/woman.  Why not be someone’s hero?

Please take a moment and share a networking experience you’ve had in a social situation.

Cheers and Happy Holidays!

Lisa

 

Marketing Monday on Tuesday in Honor of Ali Lassen’s Birthday

Happy Birthday to Leads Club Founder Ali Lassen!   September 18th   is the day our family remembers her as our Mother and pioneering businesswoman.    If she were alive today she be would 95. That means she started Leads Club when she was 55.  To create an industry at that age, or any age, for that matter, is truly amazing.  So many years later I’m still very proud to have been her protégé and the recipient of her mentoring and encouragement.

When I came into the Leads Club business in 1983 the first piece of advice she gave me was:  “Go in and catch them doing something right”.  I have to admit, my first thought was; that is kind of hokey.  But then daughters don’t always see the brilliance in their parents right away.   With nothing to lose, I tried it.

Imagine if you will, walking in cold, to a room of 25+ professional business women that all shared the Leads Club spirit and camaraderie.  Not easy to do.   Fortunately, there was a lot to compliment them on and I did so enthusiastically and sincerely.  I was most impressed at their strength and commitment to each other and told them so.

One of my other business gurus is Dale Carnegie.  We learned in his basic course, one of his many hallmark pieces of advice is similar to Ali’s.  It discusses the power of a compliment.  It’s a similar concept and one that can be easily integrated into your business and professional life.  It’s free and doesn’t take a lot of studies.  Just make sure your compliments are served up in a sincere and timely manner.  Taken from Dale Carnegie’s book “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, Principle #2:  Give honest and sincere appreciation.    I just reread this book and the information he shares is timeless and a good reminder of common courtesies that are often lost today.

I used to think your compliments had to match the relationship if it’s a business relationship; you need to compliment them on a business issue or trait.  Over time I’ve learned that is not the case.  In fact, I surprised myself when I complimented a Chiropractor I met last week in Atlanta, on her stunning eye makeup.  I said, “You’re going to think this is strange, but, I love your eyeshadow.”  She immediately started telling me about how she learned to do it on YouTube and what a wonderfully artistic and meditative outlet is was for her each morning.  I learned a lot about her from our conversation that started with a sincere compliment, how lovely is that!

You may ask; how is this a Marketing Tip?  If you believe in the power of Relationship Marketing, then it is the best and first tip to help you meet and get to know potential business partners and clients/customers.

May I challenge you to give one compliment or catch someone doing something awesome, once a day for the next 30 days?  It’s free and easy and if you do it for 30 days, it becomes a habit.  What a lovely habit that is, wouldn’t the world be a nicer place if we all greeted each other with a sincere positive though?

Warmly,

Lisa Bentson, CVO Leads Club Inc.