Recently, I was asked to speak to Professor Sharon Cooper’s Business 101 Class at Rock Valley College. The focus off the discussion was on lessons learned in business and in life on a wide range of issues:
- Relationship Building
- Create Your Brand
- Social Media
Here are a few of the items I shared:
1. Relationships are like bank accounts.
- Stephen Covey’s believed that relationships are like bank accounts… you need to make more deposits than withdrawals.
- What are deposits? What are withdrawals?
- Where are you at with various relationships in your life (work, school, personal)?
2. Create your own Board of Directors.
- Create your own advisory board of 5-10 people who will help you get to the next level.
- People who will be brutally honest with you.
- Diversity of thought, perspective, and background is key.
- Turn to them for advice as well as to hold you accountable.
- College students should start building their social brand BEFORE they graduate and start looking for their first job. Start where you are at and start NOW!
- LinkedIn is a great way to start this process. Professional head shot, share relevant data. Also, talk about what you aspire to do in the future.
- Include community involvement, areas of study, and don’t be afraid to ask for a recommendation.
- Connect with people you know AND, when appropriate, their parents. Connect with people at different levels than you. Your network can not just be your immediate high school buddies.
- Think of LinkedIn like an on-line resume on steroids. Mega steroids.
4. More than ever before, success depends on 2 things:
- Your ability to build rapport.
- Your ability to develop a networking strategy.
5. Club vs. Network
- The world has changed.
- Old way: success depended on access to a small club.
- New way: success depends on ability to grow a network – or a network of networks.
6. Make yourself valuable.
- If you make yourself valuable and memorable, others will want to make you part of their network.
- Add value to your relationships BEFORE you ask for something in return.
7. Lou Holtz’s said that people ask themselves 3 questions when they meet someone for the first time:
- Do I trust him?
- Is he committed to excellence?
- Does he care about me?
8. Problem solvers vs. problem spotters
- A lot of people can spot problems. Few people can solve problems.
- Be careful about hanging around people who can only spot problems; they tend to be negative people.
9. Power of full engagement.
- We need to manage our energy, not just our time.
10. Authority vs. influence.
- Some people have a big title but are unable to influence the actions of people.
- Others have no title at all and are able to influence the actions of people at a high level?
- Why is that?
11. Community Engagement.
- Rule #1 - Get involved.
- Rule #2 – Only get involved with things you are passionate about.
- Get involved with a cause for the right reasons and a by-product of that will be that you meet good people and your network will grow.
12. You need to work.
- Don’t let ANYONE tell you don’t have to work your ass off in business! They are doing you a big disservice if they do.
13. Be extremely intentional in your use of social media.
- Professional pic on LinkedIn.
- Your Facebook, Twiter, and other social media outlets can NOT completely contradict your LinkedIn account. Your social media outlets should compliment one another.
- Potential employers check all of your social media outlets.
What advice would you have for college kids if you spoke to a Business 101 Class?
Thanks for reading.