MAY 2016

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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M A Y 2 0 1 6 ⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 11 YOUR EXECUTIVE COACH In my line of work, I see so many nit-picky things hold people back from making real prog- ress: "Should I list my advanced degrees on my business card, or not?" "Is the third word in the fourth line in the sec- ond section of my resume supposed to be 'that' or 'which'?" "I've read four books on how to structure the best elevator pitch, and I'm about to start a fifth. Then I can write mine." "My website isn't finished so I can't do any- thing now." "I don't get LinkedIn so I'm not on there yet." When, really: It's better to have your "flawed" business card in a prospect's hand than have it waiting, in a shopping cart, unprinted. People get hired because of what they can do. Sometimes, a guy gets hired based on reputation – and a resume isn't even required. Conversations are so much more effective than orating a canned pitch you can't remember anyway. Folks got customers long before websites were even invented. LinkedIn profiles are never finished – they are dynamic, ever-changing, always changing. Be- cause you are always evolving. It seems that the big fear is in putting yourself out there. Am I right? And there are often two twinned ideas woven into that fear: 1) I have do it right so everyone likes me, and 2) everyone is going to judge me. So, in short, to get what I want I will have to attract a zillion people who are going to laugh at me and tell me I'm wrong. No wonder we procrastinate. The thought: "I have do it right so everyone likes me" gets reinforced every time someone tells you that the only way to fulfill your dream is to cast the widest net possible. OK, there are 7.4 billion people on the globe – your job is to win each and every one of them over? I mean, there are people on this planet who don't know who Jennifer Lawrence is – you will have to be more likeable than JLaw to achieve what you want to achieve? That's even more reason to procrastinate. What I think you need, rather than 7.4 billion raving fans, is simply enough raving fans to refer you work, hire you, date you…whatever it is you're looking for. And the second thought: "Everyone is going to judge me"? Well, that is true. You are going to be judged. Human beings judge one another even though we all say we're not the type who judges. If we're honest, we know we do it. We may be try- ing not to do it, and getting better at not doing it, but sometimes judgment slips out. People are going to look at you trying to do your thing and some are going to say you're nuts. You're misguided. You're making a huge mistake. And some of these people might just be people you love. Which is hard. So, why don't we do this? Since we know how it works, why don't we just assume people are going to judge, and – rather than seek to avoid and procrastinate – well, work with it. As in: Those who judge you and find you lacking are among the 7,399,999,390 people you don't need to worry about. [A recent study says the average person has about 610 ties in their overall social network – a robust enough group to help you find a job, launch a business, get a date, or find nearly anything you want to buy, if you ask me.] You can't win over everyone and you are going to be judged – that's a fact. Knowing that fact allows you to forget about whether the third word in the fourth line in the second section of your resume is absolutely perfect. It also allows you to know that the right people are absolutely out there, waiting to hear from you, and to help you make your plan a reality. All you have to do is get out there and connect with people. Your people. Let yourself be known. Be kind. Have integrity. Reciprocate. And simply be the kind of person your 610 people can't wait to help. n By Michele Woodward Michele Woodward is one of America's leading Executive Coaches. Intriguingly, she served as Lead Press Advance in the Reagan White House, where she executed events for the President around the world. She also organized the State Funerals of President Reagan and President Ford. She lives and works in Washington, DC. Guess What? You ARE Going To Be Judged

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