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Mayonnaise Jar and 2 Beers March 24, 2016

Posted by robewanow in Family, General, Job Search, Work.
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Here is one of my favorite posts.  I wanted to re-post this so you may either enjoy it again or enjoy it for the first time.

Until next time….

Mayonnaise Jar and 2 Beers

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a
day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 Beers.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front
of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and
empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then
asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar
He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between
the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They
agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of
course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar
was full. The students responded with a unanimous ‘yes.’

The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the
entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between
the sand. The students laughed.

‘Now,’ said the professor as the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to
recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the
important things—your family, your children, your health, your friends
and your favorite passions—and if everything else was lost and only they
remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and
your car.

The sand is everything else—the small stuff.

‘If you put the sand into the jar first,’ he continued, ‘there is no room
for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all
your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the
things that are important to you.

‘Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Spend
time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with
grandparents. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to
dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and
fix the disposal. Take care of the golf ball first—the things that really
matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.’

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented.
The professor smiled and said, ‘I’m glad you asked.’ The Beer just shows
you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a
couple of Beers with a friend.’

3-Steps to Realizing Your Goals January 9, 2014

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Well it is that time of the year again.  Time for resolutions, time for goal setting of all sorts.  I want to lose 10 pounds, I need to save more, I have to do this-that-and-the-other-thing.

Most of the time these good intentions are short lived.  I see it every year at the gym.  A swell of new people beginning in January and then back to the “usual crowd” by mid March.

What can you do to stay on track to achieve your goals for 2014?  No matter what your goals are- Find a new/better job, attend more networking events, give more than I take, help someone else connect with that one elusive person there is a an easy three step process you can follow.

1-Write your goals down.  Sounds simple but if you commit to something on paper studies have shown you are more likely to achieve them.  It helps if you put your goal(s) in a visible place like your desk, your refrigerator, etc don’t limit it to one place use multiple places so you are more likely to see it multiple times every day.

2-Announce your goals – publicly.  Tell your family members, co-workers (if appropriate), friends, business associates what you plan to do this year. Heck even blog about it. Doing this is another form of commitment and a way to reinforce in your own mind what you need to do.

3-Have an accountability partner. This can be a spouse, best friend, parent, child, business partner.  The key is to find someone who will regularly ask you what type of progress you have made against your goal.  When I was looking for a job I was part of a group that met every week.  We were required to report on our job search activities from the previous week and if we did not accomplish what we promised, we had to answer for it. This weekly exercise kept me on track as I did not want to have to explain why I did not meet with the people mentioned or why I did not update my marketing plan.

While setting goals and making resolutions is a good first step, following these three easy steps will help you actually achieve them.  Come December 31  you can then look back on 2014 and say “I did it!” and that is certainly better than the alternative.

Until next week….

Opportunity Awaits (If I want it) August 30, 2012

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Starting next week I will be spending two weeks in Chicago preparing for and attending the 4th largest machine tool trade show in the world – IMTS, the International Manufacturing Technology Show.  It will be the longest business trip of my career one that I approach with apprehension and excitement.

Yet beyond the work related stuff there is an opportunity here should I decide to take it.  A trade show is The Venue to improve ones networking skills, not to mention the other non show related opportunities such as the plane ride, hotel restaurant, fitness center, etc.  You never know who is sitting next to you.  I’ve heard stories of people simply chatting only to discover the person sitting next to them was a business owner, CEO or President of a major corporation.  The result of the idle chit-chat was new business, a lead for a new career opportunity or a job offer.

So I guess the rest is up to me.  Not only do I need to focus on the tasks at hand for my employer Gleason Corporation but I also have the chance for some personal development with an opportunity to improve my networking skills and perhaps expand my network with some interesting and beneficial contacts.

I’m not sure if I will be able to blog both weeks, I will certainly try. I will keep you updated on my progress.

Wish me luck….

The Fear of the Entrepreneur in You August 4, 2011

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I read an interesting post today in The Business Review” which said New York State ranked No. 1 for entrepreneurial activity.  The methodology behind the ranking was not disclosed so you should take this with a grain of salt.  Never-the-less good news like this should always be shared, which I promptly did via a LinkedIn status update.  If you are interested in this short article then click here to read it.

So this begs the question, have you ever thought of starting your own business?  If so what’s holding you back and what can you do to overcome that hurdle?

Money is always an issue but setting that aside, what’s the real reason?

Most likely its fear.  Fear of failure or fear that you don’t know where to start or even how to start.    Let me address those two fears right now.

Fear of failure this is a hard one but I ran across a quote on Twitter sometime ago which sums it up perfectly:

Fear is like a bully. It will intimidate you if you let it. The moment you challenge it, though, it backs down & slinks away.  You need to objectively confront your fear and do whatever is reasonable to overcome it.  If you truly have a desire to start something on your own then you’ll find a way to do this.  If you can’t then no worries at least you know you tried and running your own gig is not what you want.

Fear of how to start.  There are a ton of resources out there.  My initial inspiration came from Entrepreneur Magazine.  Each month it has great articles on a variety of topics many of which apply even if you are working for someone else.  They always have information related to the hottest trends, real life stories of success and information on franchise opportunities and other business opportunities.  The online version of the magazine is also great resource offering a number of different free newsletters.  Their Twitter feed @EntMagazine is a good one to follow.

SmartBrief offers a variety of online newsletters related to small business as well.  I would suggest checking out:

  1. SmartBrief on Entrepreneurs
  2. SmartBrief on Leadership
  3. NFIB SmartBrief (NFIB = National Federation of Independent Business)

If you are further down the line and need insight related to legal, marketing or accounting matters check out:

  1. Lawyers.com
  2. Nolo.com
  3. SCORE
  4. Startup Nation
  5. Google – just enter your question into the search bar, I guarantee you will get an answer.

I’ve used most of these resources and continue to use them as I get my Marketing Coaching business off the ground.  There is a ton of information out there, so just start poking around.  Oh, don’t forget those in your LinkedIn network.  I am sure there are more than a few people who would be willing and able to help you out either directly or through a referral.

So overcome that fear, do some digging and start moving.

What are you waiting for?

Until next week….

Man About Town June 2, 2011

Posted by robewanow in Job Search, Marketing Tactics, Work.
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Some rights reserved by sjcockell

RWE Marketing (mymarketing coaching business) is less than a year old, still in the growth phase while I continue to work full time during the day as a means to pay those  pesky things which come in the mail – AKA – bills.

One of the key tactics for me to grow my client list is through networking and referrals.  These are the exact same tactics I used as when I was looking for work.

At times it can be pretty easy to get caught up at a networking event and see how many new people you can meet, but that’s not the goal of the game.  The goal is to meet the right people and then determine if you should further that relationship for mutual benefit.  Unfortunately not everyone you meet will fit this profile.  That’s ok, persistence is the key.

Here are a couple of guidelines I try to follow


  1. Take a few notes on the back of your new contacts card, note the name and date of the event where you met and what you discussed or promised to do.
  2. Do a little additional research via LinkedIn on your new contact to determine how you could help them, send a brief follow up/nice to meet you email, reach out and offer to connect if appropriate. Try to do this within 24-48 hours after you meet.
  3. If appropriate, make an appointment with your new contact in order to nurture the relationship so that it benefits you both.

Do these steps sound familiar?  They are the same basic steps I discussed in my relationship marketing post  last week.   Amazing how marketing influences so many different facets of our lives.

By the way, next week I will be at the following networking events.  If you are going to be there let me know and we can connect.

Tuesday, June 7
Digital Rochester Speed Networking
Penfield Country Club
Register Here

Thursday June 9
Rochester Business Alliance After Hours Networking
Irondequoit Country Club
Register Here

Until next week….

3 Ways to Fulfill Your Promise to “Keep In Touch” May 26, 2011

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“Hey, lets keep in touch, okay?”

We all say it at one time or another during our networking activities, or even at family events.  This phrase is probably as common as “How are you?”  We have grown so accustomed to saying it that we really don’t listen to the response or take action on it,  instead we just say it out of habit.  And a bad habit it can be.

One way I stay in touch is through a regular email that I send to my closest contacts about every 6-8 weeks.  Essentially this is a short story on what I and my family have been up to.  I talk about all things, professional, personal, you name it.  I try to keep it to one page as I understand folks are inundated with all types of messages on a daily basis.  I also make it a point to ask what’s new in my contacts world, offer any help they may need and always leave the door open to meeting over lunch etc.  (I do need to get better at scheduling those lunch meetings especially now the warmer weather is here.  Something about dining outside I find hard to resist.)

One of the other things I try to do is drop someone a quick personal note when I hear or read something about them or their company.  Usually this is a short 2-4 sentence email just to let them know I saw the information and offering congratulations or whatever. This works particularly well for me.

Both of these tactics are variations of relationship marketing or drip marketing;  delivering targeted messages to your prospects at measured intervals so you remain front and center.

For more on this topic check out this article from the National Federation of Independent Business

Enjoy the long holiday weekend – if your at a party don’t overlook this potential networking opportunity.

Until next week….

Networking Don’ts June 12, 2009

Posted by robewanow in Job Search, Work.
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I subscribe to a weekly newsletter which my former boss at Garlock introduced me to a couple of years ago.  It is  a wealth of information whether you are working or not.  It is very simply called B Net and the website is bnet.com.

The newsletter articles are short and to the point which I appreciate and the website archives a fair amount of them so you can search back on just about any topic.

A recent article and short video that caught my attention was simply titled Networking Don’ts. I appreciate the contrarian view from time-to-time, most of the articles and blog posts we see are “How to” this or “How To”  that so I think that is why this one stood out so prominently.

The video is about 3 1/2 minutes in length and provides three common sense suggestions which everyone can benefit from, even those of you who are experienced networkers. Sometimes even the best of us forget the basics myself included.

Until next week…

Never Stop Networking June 4, 2009

Posted by robewanow in Uncategorized, Work.
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Its easy to say but very difficult to do.

When I was fully engaged in the job search just 3 weeks ago networking was a way of life for me.  I would get up at 6:00am get ready and be out the door some days as early as 7:00am for a multitude of meetings, sometimes as many as 4 or 5 a day.  As I said to some folks at the time “On some days I am busier now then when I was employed.”  It truly was (and should be) a full time job.

The August Group has the tag line Networking For Life and it could not be more appropriate.   While I may not be able to schedule a multitude of meetings each day I do plan to continue with the active networking I started 5 months ago.  Since my free time between the hours of 8 & five is now occupied each day I need to be even smarter about where I network, how I network and who I network with.

Rest assured though I will continue it. I have to, plus if I stop I would surely miss it as I have made many new friends and there is no better feeling than walking into a room an automatically knowing 2,3,4,5 or more people.

One of the things I did while at Garlock was to keep in touch with my network via email.  Approximately every 6-8 weeks I would ping my contacts with an email updating them on the latest happenings in my life whether it was work related, family, personal or if I had some information I thought would be of value to them.  In fact this blog came about as a result of this regular communications stream it made it easier for me to do it on a regular basis plus it gave me experience with the latest social media which looked good on my resume too!  (My “Network Updates” are still part of this blog but are password protected so only those in my network can access them.) This tactic proved very, very valuable when it came time to leverage my connections in my job search as I was able to maintain the connection with folks despite not getting together face to face as often as I’d like. I believe it made it easier for folks to help me as they did not feel like I was only coming to them when I needed something, which is a great way to kill a relationship.

This time around I will continue to use the email/blog combo to keep in touch but I plan to attend select group events, attend some of the other groups I joined and make it a point to have breakfast, lunch or a beer with folks.

To quote an  earlier post titled Mayonnaise Jar and 2 Beers no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.

The same can be said for networking.

Until next week….

Tying Up Loose Ends May 26, 2009

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I’ve accepted a position with Retrotech as the Business Development Manager and will start my new assignment June 1.  This position was 7-8 weeks in the making; my first interaction with my new boss was in mid February and comes 5 months after being notified of my layoff at Garlock.

Along the way there were a few ups and downs and some detours but in the end persistence paid off as I received an offer which met my expectations and provides me with a great opportunity for future growth and development. As always I am convinced things happen for a reason, for if I was still with Garlock this growth opportunity would never have presented itself.

The moral of the story is this when you are looking for your next opportunity develop a plan, select the proper tactics to implement that plan such as networking, target company list, etc then follow that plan relentlessly.

At the outset I targeted small to mid-sized companies with 150 or fewer employees in the Victor area, later expanding to within 25 miles of my home.  I set a target of meeting with 8 people a week of which I achieved that target 95% of the time.

Retrotech employs less than 100 employees and is located in Victor, 3 miles from my home.  The opportunity came about via networking, no position was advertised and the job responsibilities were loosely defined.  Through the process I was able to help provide direction regarding the job responsibilities and other key aspects of the job.

Originally I had planned to migrate my blog to other topics once I landed but I have decided to continue the course.  I’ve had many people express thanks and gratitude for the advice and motivation so I will continue, it is my way of paying it forward.

Topics for future posts may not be as easy for me to develop since I will not be immersed in the search so I pose the following to you.

What job search topics would you like me to address?

Until next week…

12 Questions To Ask Yourself May 14, 2009

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I attended a FreeNet meeting the other day which proved to be a very good investment of 90 minutes around lunchtime.

As part of the meeting one of the members, Angella Luyk of Midnight Janitorial presented a book review of  BRAG ! The Art of Tooting your Own Horn by Peggy Klaus.  This book dispels many of the myths regarding bragging and provides some guidance on how to do it right.

One of the most interesting parts of the review was the “Take 12 Self-evaluation.” This concept can be adapted for any situation, employed, unemployed, self-employed, retired it does not matter.  With that said I wanted to share the 12 questions with you.

These questions are also a good conversation starter for those you meet at networking events, etc.

  1. What would you and others say are five of your personality pluses?
  2. What are the ten most interesting things you have done or that have happened to you?
  3. What do you do for a living and how did you end up doing it?
  4. What do you like/love about your current job/career?
  5. How does you job/career use your skills and talents and what projects are you working on right now that best showcase them?
  6. What career successes are you most proud of?
  7. What new skills have you learned in the last year?
  8. What obstacles have you overcome to get where you are today both professionally and personally and what essential lessons have you learned from some of your mistakes?
  9. What training/education have you completed and what did you gain from those experiences?
  10. What professional organizations are you associated with and in what ways – member, board, etc?
  11. How do you spend your time outside of work including hobbies, interests, sports, family and volunteer opportunities?
  12. In what ways are you making a difference in people’s lives?

Until next week….