Archive

Archive for August, 2012

Real Networking… No Scam, No Strings Attached!

Unless you’ve been asleep under a rock for the past four years, you already know the economy has been terrible. Everyone is looking for an edge on making money. Many of us are now known as “under employed” because we have two or three jobs just to pay the mortgage and keep gas in the car. While I agree with the concept of multiple streams of income, I am going to get on a bit of a rant regarding all the scams out there praying on peoples difficult situations. I am a member of several “networking” groups on Facebook. The word “networking” already sets some people off either positively or negatively and many automatically assume that it stands for Multi-Level Marketing. THAT IS NOT NETWORKING! Networking is about people coming together to help each other grow their business.  Often that means making referrals and in many cases it is about sharing best practices. Networking is not about giving away a business card and then calling asking for their business. Networking is about relationships. Networking does not have to cost hundreds of dollars a month – just the cost of a business card and cup of coffee or two should be your full outlay of monies. Joining networking groups that require membership dues are fine but, honestly they are typically a waste of time and money. I believe in supporting my local chamber of commerce but I do not rely on them to bring me business.  Real networking is not about joining a group or paying a fee. Real networking is about having a conversation and showing interest in others around you. I’ve actually done more networking in the checkout line of a store than I ever have at an “after hours” mixer for a group or club. You see, these so-called networking groups are full of people trying to sell you their product or service.  They are not normally attending a meeting to be sold anything. They are there to SELL. Then there are the groups that require you to provide “x” number of referrals to individuals in the group. Personally, I don’t have time to spend looking for business for someone else when I am trying to build my own business. Finally, I know very very very few people who have ever made it big in an MLM. As a matter of fact, I personally know one multimillionaire who is in Amway and they started 40 years ago! If you are in need to extra money, I want to encourage you that MLMs are not the best option. You would be better off getting a second job. You will be just as tired and won’t have to buy an inventory of something to sell.

Real networking will cost you the price of a business card. I know I can get 250 cards through vistaprint for nearly next to nothing!  Real networking requires courage to speak up and say hello. It requires you to engage in conversation and ask questions like “what do you do for a living?” Real networking never begins with here is my card, but always ends with “Do you have a business card?”  Real networking is about showing interest in the other person and their company. It is never about you … Real networking shouldn’t cost you monthly dues and membership fee, or a certain level of inventory purchase. Real networking only requires a smile and a hello. Networking can take place nearly anywhere and there are literally no strings attached!

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Philip A Foster, MA is Founder/President of Maximum Change Inc. Elevating leaders and their organizations to the next level since 2005. Master Certified Coach, Philip A Foster, MA and his associates facilitate effective positive change by helping organizations, leaders and individuals in high demand — design and implement strategies that maximize focus and deliver results. Specializing in Organization and Strategic Leadership.

Email | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Web | Skype: philip.a.foster | 615-216-5667

The pregnant pause | Why I stopped calling myself a Life Coach

The phone rings… Hello, Maximum Change… how may I help you?

Caller: Yes, I am looking for a life coach to help me get my life back in balance and I also have this new business idea I want to explore and need help developing the concept.

Maximum Change: Great, what kind of budget do you have for this kind of process?

Caller: Well, I can afford $35 an hour!

Maximum Change: Well, $35 will buy you about 15 minutes of our time…

Caller: …. Pause… silence… stutter and stammer… “oh”

This is pretty much how a number of the calls we field sound like.

As a result of completing my Master’s degree in 2005, I launched Maximum Change Coaching. From the beginning I’ve had a passion to help others grow and achieve more than they thought possible. In the early days I was hungry and eager to grow my practice and the number of hours administered, which meant I took just about any business that came my way. What I learned is that the more you discount your services, the more you sell yourself short (devalue your knowledge) and the more you attract the wrong kind of clients. I have long since determined that if someone is looking for a discount, they are not the ideal client for me. The problem as I see it is that there are so many people entering the field of coaching and there are nearly as many definitions of what a coach is that there is great confusion in the marketplace. The term “Life Coach” has become synonymous with some kind of ubiquitous idea of someone telling you what to do. Beyond the confusion of defining a life coach, there is a bigger issue of what a life coach is worth.

The bottom line: When I need help with an issue, I seek out an expert in that area. I realize that the expertise will cost me something. The more specialized the need, the more I will pay. This is why a heart surgeon gets paid so much! I am an expert in my field. I am not an expert just because I say so, I am one because I have over 20 years of experience in business. I’ve also owned two successful businesses; I am a lecturer and adjunct professor. I hold a Master’s Degree and in one short year I will be knocking on the door of a doctorate. I travel and speak in the areas of my expertise and organizations and individuals alike pay me for my expertise. I don’t apologize for what I charge; I’ve earned the right to do so.

So, there you have it… I am no longer a Life Coach. I am a thought leader! I am an expert in Leadership and Business. I work hard every day to help my clients grow, think deeper and achieve more! This is what I do! I help people achieve Maximum Change and I charge accordingly for the expertise I am going to pour into you!  What I offer is an opportunity for an individual or organization to invest in their future; to invest in their growth and to define and secure the opportunities for success.

Word to the wise, the next time you call an expert to help you achieve a goal or desire, keep in mind you are investing in your future and you are more than likely engaging in the services of someone who has spent years cultivating that expertise.

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Philip A Foster, MA is Founder/President of Maximum Change Inc. Elevating leaders and their organizations to the next level since 2005. Master Certified Coach, Philip A Foster, MA and his associates facilitate effective positive change by helping organizations, leaders and individuals in high demand — design and implement strategies that maximize focus and deliver results. Specializing in Organization and Strategic Leadership.

Email | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Web | Skype: philip.a.foster | 615-216-5667

Olympic Gold – Michael Phelps | The Importance of a Coach

If you are like most Americans, you are likely aware that the Summer Olympics are in full swing in London. For great reason, much attention has been given to Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps. As of the writing of this article, Phelps now holds 19 medals and has broken a world record – Making him the most decorated athlete in Olympic history! While impressive, this article is not so much about Phelps as much as it is about the coach behind him: Bob Bowman. In an interview with Coach Bowman, he spoke about how he prepared Phelps for Gold. The key here is PREPARE. A coach is not about telling someone what to do, but running them through drills and processes to help them prepare for all eventualities.

A coach is about helping someone think differently and approach physical challenges with ease. Coach Bowman spoke of a training session when he purposely stepped on Phelp’s goggles and cracked them without him knowing. Phelp’s was forced to swim with his goggles filling with water. While this seems cruel, in 2008 Phelps won an Olympic medal with his goggles filled with water. Coach Bowman had prepared Phelp’s for this earlier in his coaching drills. Phelp’s knew what to do and he overcame the problem by counting the number of strokes he needed to get to the end of the pool.  Phelp’s won Gold even with cracked, water-filled goggles.

My role as a coach and consultant is much like Coach Bowman. While I won’t step on your glasses and make you give a presentation blinded (necessarily), my job is to help you plan, prepare and imagine the world beyond your current abilities.

The time to prepare is not when you’re getting ready to jump in the pool with broken goggles. The time to prepare is now. If you’re waiting for the right time, the right economy, the right season or age; you’re going to wait yourself past your opportunity!  Act now, prepare now. Your success awaits you!

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Philip A Foster, MA is Founder/President of Maximum Change Inc. Elevating leaders and their organizations to the next level since 2005. Master Certified Coach, Philip A Foster, MA and his associates facilitate effective positive change by helping organizations, leaders and individuals in high demand — design and implement strategies that maximize focus and deliver results. Specializing in Organization and Strategic Leadership.

Email | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Web | Skype: philip.a.foster | 615-216-5667