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  • Networking is Necessary to Support Your Personal Branding

    In college, it’s called socializing; in business it’s called networking. You do the same thing; it’s just that your clothes aren’t as sexy.

    One CEO told me, “My wife encourages sleepovers for the kids and sports so that they learn to network from the start.”

    So a few tips to do daily:
    -have the goal to get visible to a wider range of people, that’s all
    -anticipate discomfort — they feel it too — so push those silly feelings aside and be the one that makes them feel comfortable
    -take four minutes out of your day to initiate a call, write a note, forward a link, pick up the phone to follow-up, congratulate, inquire, or whatever

    That’s it. Once a day. In a year (giving yourself time off for holidays) you’ll have over 300 engagements that you initiated. That’s like 265 more than you did last year, right!?

    CEOs have told me this about their networking activity:
    -“One of my biggest regrets is the contacts I’ve let drop over time.” (Mine too!)
    -“My rule is to follow-up four times with one individual. Nothing ever happens with just one contact.”
    -“Maybe someone accuses me of schmoozing, I just view it as being accessible, professional, and confident.”
    -And my favorite, “You’re only one phone call away from changing your life.”

    Whether you like it or not, you’re building a reputation the day you start your career. Everything you do stays with you forever in some person’s mind — and it’s within your control if you take the initiative.

    D.A. (Debra) Benton has been helping great individuals and organizations get even better for over 20 years. Just as exceptional athletes rely on excellent coaching to hone their skills, Debra's clients rely on her advice to advance their careers. She focuses on what is truly important to convert what you and your organization want to be from a vision into a reality. TopCEOCoaches.com ranks her in the World's Top 10 CEO Coaches noting she is the top female. And as conference keynote speaker she is routinely rated in the top 2%. Her client list reads like a “Who's Who” of executives in companies ranging from Microsoft, McDonald's, Kraft, American Express, Merrill Lynch, United Airlines, and PricewaterhouseCoopers to the Washington Beltway and U.S.Border Patrol. *She is the author of ten award-winning and best-selling business books including The Virtual Executive and CEO Material. She has written for the Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek, and Fast Company. She has been featured in USA Today, Fortune, The New York Times, and Time; she has appeared on Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, and CBS with Diane Sawyer. To learn more Debra advising leaders, coaching, facilitating a workshop, or speaking: www.debrabenton.com

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