a new game

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

When given opportunities out of the blue I consider them a blessing and I can’t help but to feel excited and hopeful. My friends, every day is a new opportunity and we always have a reason to say thank you. Today, I have many reasons to be thankful.

Remember this: Every day is a new opportunity. Remember, you can build on yesterday’s success or you can put all your failures behind and start over again. That’s the way life is a new game each day.

 

pro tip

always follow up

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

I will let you in on a little secret. Networking can virtually occur in any settings. But networking might not be the most important part of making contacts, my friends, it is essential to always follow up. An initial contact is great, but you aren’t really networking if the relationship does not continue. To achieve success in your networking efforts, it is vital to follow up.

You want to cultivate those relationships and the solution isn’t more networking, but rather spending more time networking with a follow up system in place. Honestly, your business or career may even depend on it. Let me fill you in on a few best practices.

Take notes

More than likely, you exchanged business cards, if not get in the habit of doing that. At the very least get their business card. Immediately after the event, jot down a few quick notes about the people you met. I write these directly on their business card. It’s important to do this shortly after the event so the conversation is still fresh in your mind.

Send an email 24 hours after meeting

When sending your first email, you want to demonstrate that you are thoughtful, reliable, and consistent. Just like you put the effort in to make a good impression at the event, continue to do that in your email. Of course, make sure there are no typos, spelling errors or run-on sentences. Sharing useful data, offering further help and focusing on the receipt of the email are all things to keep in mind when writing this exchange.

Connect on Social Media

The next step is to connect with the person on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ or follow their blog. Once I am connected with someone on LinkedIn or Twitter, for example, I am less likely to lose touch with them and they will be reminded of me every time I post something. Plus, both are excellent tools for remaining “top of mind” with people in your extended network.

Follow-Up & Add Value

The hardest part about following up with people who you still don’t know that well is finding excuse for contacting that person without sounding like a car salesman. When you follow up with your contact, add value to your outreach.  A few ways to do this could consist of sending an information article, making an introduction or inviting them to an event. Again, it’s hard to make these follow up connections but know that everyone is in the same boat. Here’s another useful article about adding value from the NYTimes.

Keep these things in mind next time you are next working and following up with those connections!

success

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Sometimes, Sam Davidson is in my head. This man and I are on the same wavelength more often than not. If you don’t know who Sam is, I would suggest getting to know him through his blog. Below is a post from today about success and what it gets you.  After reading Sam’s post, it’s impossible not to take into consideration the benefits and ramifications of success. Is success really want you want?

What Success Gets You

I’ve found that more than anything else, success gets you noticed.

More people email or call. People listen. Folks perk up.

Success may get you other things, too. Or maybe it leaves out stuff.

So if you want attention, be successful. They go hand in hand.

But if you really want something else, there may be another path to it.

new year

As you all know by now, Matt has a blog. Matt’s blog is pretty awesome, but sometimes it is a little neglected so I push him to write more. I push him because I know he enjoys writing, but maintaining a blog is hard work– and I like omg it’s kendal ann to be a creative outlet for others, not just myself. Often I ask Matt to write on a particular topic, but other times he will come to me with ideas, like this one: New Year’s Resolutions; shocking for this time of year, right? Oh please, just because you saw the words New Years Resolution doesn’t mean you are going to stop reading. Trust me this is an awesome post. Anyway, this is an awesome post and I am really excited to see what will happen in 2014. I think he is, too! Setting NYR isn’t a bad thing, I used to be like Matt never making resolutions, but for some reason this just just seems different.

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

new goals

guest blog presented by: Matthew D. Shalbrack
You can find Matt on Twitter: @hamsterjockey; insta: hamsterjockey, make sure you follow him

With it being after the first of the year, people have already had their New Year’s Resolutions in full swing (hopefully) for a few days now. Resolutions such as working out more, cooking healthier, spending less and so on are some of the most common resolutions that I’ve heard of, but I feel like they’re some of the most common resolutions that also never fully come to fruition.

One thing that I’ve never done is set a resolution for the New Year. Let me give you a second to pick your jaw up from the floor. Okay. Let’s go. Never have I ever set a New Year’s resolution mainly because I’ve always lived my life the way I’ve wanted to do it. Sure, I could use a few reps in the gym or stand to not spend as much money on things, but at the same time, I’m perfectly happy living my life the way I currently do.

This year won’t be any different in terms of not making New Year’s resolutions. I have none. At the same time, I still want to grow as a person and I know that I need to make some changes in order to help myself grow and mature more. So, I’ve come up with three things that I want to work at more during this upcoming year.

  1. Shoot more photos, both digital and film, with the film being black and white.
  2. Read more books.
  3. Write more.

With the first one on my list, I want to get back into the photography realm once again. I used to shoot every day for my job, but now that I don’t work there anymore, I haven’t picked up my camera since August. I miss it. Not only do I miss taking photos, I just miss the thrill of going on a walk, camera in hand, and just looking for interesting (to me) things to photograph. I really also want to break out my Dad’s Nikon F-3 and shoot some black and white photos. There’s just something about a black and white photo that gets me every time.

As a child, I read everything. I read the newspaper with my cereal, I read the box of the cereal, I read magazines and books and I was read to before I went to sleep each night. But as I got older, life happened more, making it harder to curl up with a book each night. In 2014, I want to finish a new book each month. I’m the type of person who doesn’t like to start a book and not finish it (unless I’m really not into it). So today, I finished the last book I was reading (which I started in November) and moved onto my January 2014 book. Here’s to reading more!

Finally, Kendal Ann has been putting out a new blog post each day and will so until she hits 365 blog posts – one for each day of a year. I started to get on that path, but once again, life happened and I was unable to keep it going. So I want to make a better attempt to write more during the coming year. Maybe not put out a blog post a day, but try and put a few out a week in order to keep my brain going and wet my whistle with some creativity.

Have you ever made a New Year’s resolution? If so, why? Did you follow through with it? If not, why?

Resolutions are too formal. Goals are more fun and really make you think about the smaller things that you have a tendency to miss out on when life happens.

telecommuting

womp

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Telecommuting is both a blessing and a curse. As you may know, most telecommuters work from home while others use mobile telecommunications technology to work from coffee shops or other locations.  Reuters recently released a poll stating, “approximately one in five workers around the globe, particularly employees in the Middle East, Latin America and Asia, telecommute frequently and nearly 10 percent work from home every day”. That is a mind blowing statistic.

Lately, I’ve had many opportunities to work remotely and I’ve taken them with a happy heart. Telecommuting always seems like a novel idea in the hype, but honestly it is not all the rage. When it comes to telecommuting, I have the worst time focusing, like a college kid trying to write a 20-page paper–the work is always left to the last minute, but on a positive note, working under pressure is a key ingredient in allowing me to accomplish many tasks.

I commend others who are able to do work from home or a coffee shop. Give me a few tips and tricks–how do you set yourself up for success when you aren’t in an office? Without a work atmosphere, terrible drip coffee and face-to-face interaction, my production level plummets. Shoot some ideas over to me so I can turn these next two weeks into a huge success.

one of the greatest leaders

Nelson Mandela

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Nelson Mandela had many achievements, but there are arguably two that stand out to the world. First, he was the Mandelaworld’s most inspiring example of fortitude, magnanimity and dignity in the face of oppression. Mandela served 27 years in prison because he had the belief that all men and women are created equal. Second, the way he engineered the transformation of South Africa. South Africa went from a from narrowness into a rainbow nation. Here in this new nation of South Africa, no matter what your color you were entitled to be treated with respect.

You can utter the name Nelson Mandela from cost to coast, ocean to ocean and everyone will know who you are speaking of. Mandela was a miraculous man. I heard these words and allow me to paraphrase: It is hard to think of anyone else in the world where every single person, in every corner of the Earth, can somehow identify with him and his actions. He was, quite simply, a wonderful man.

This one is for you, Nelson Mandela!

If you are interested in reading more about Nelson Mandela and his leadership lessons, check out Forbes. Forbes has a very interesting article that talks about Mandela and his epic leadership lessons.

dream chasing

reasons why people don’t pursue their passions

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

After countless classes, trips to my academic counselors and internships I never really could figure out what I wanted to do. Classes and internships helped me to see what I enjoyed doing. They also helped me understand that I didn’t want to sit down and call reporters and pitch stories to them all day– that’s not for me. Deep down, I know that I want to pursue a career that I want and that I was extremely passionate about. But it’s hard to find that perfect fit. What I’ve learned is sometimes, you just need to take a leap of faith.

From an article I recently read, I decided to alter a list of ‘Top 5’ list of the reasons why people (myself included) do not pursue their passions.

Aren’t willing to standout and be “weird”

 It is so much easier to go down the road that everybody else is taking instead of staying true to yourself. It is an awfully daunting task to carve your own path! As an impressionable undergraduate, it was significantly easier to go down the path of everybody else instead of following my own heart. You need to adopt the mentality and understanding that “normal” is the absences of creativity. I will be the first person to tell you that I’m weird, and I love it.

People are satisfied with ‘interested’

Most people I know settle for interested. They will tell you I’m interested in law/politics/writing/music. I think it’s easier to see and to understand that you shouldn’t settle especially when you have the opportunity to see individuals who ‘knew what they were suppose to do’. When you see these people you can just tell how much happier they were because they truly loved and enjoyed what they were doing.

Excuses

Promise me this, never again start a sentence by saying…If only I had ____. Listen, if I can do it then so can you. I had to overcome these obstacles, and so will you. I knew someone who decided to break into sports/entertainment marketing. He had no money to his name, no relevant work experience in four years of college, few contacts in the industry, not a clue where to begin, a huge student loan payment, and a degree from a college that nobody had ever heard of. But you know what he did it. He really did it, and couldn’t be happier. There is no such thing as an excuses. Chase your dreams!

“I had a dream…”

Countless times I have heard older people start off their sentences like this. It is truly unfortunate. You can never let others hold you from your goals and dreams.

Fear

We fear so many things in life it is incredible. Maybe your fear is that you never will accomplish your goals or dreams, and that’s one huge reason that you are being stopped from doing so. It’s better to try and succeed in some fashion, rather than not going for it at all.

I truly hope that this resonates with you. I hope this gives you the motivation to get up tomorrow today and take chances and get out there! There are a lot of questions you will encounter along the way. You have to remember that you need to go on with your journey which will turn into an adventure. For me I have to discover what I truly love doing and I won’t stop until I discovered it. I know I’m not in this boat alone, I will see you a long the way, my friends.

success v failure

well I never thought of it that way

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

It’s always going to be a game between success v failure. You need to think of each thing that comes your way as an opportunity, and if if you don’t take it, you’re not doing yourself a favor–at least that how I view things.  This Michael Jordan quote hits me hard: I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.

Mike’s telling you he succeed because of all of the chances he took. Sure it sucks, but sometimes you’re going to fail before you succeed, but when you do you’re going to shine brighter than the sun.  Put yourself in uncomfortable situations. Success isn’t something that is suppose to come easy, so it wont. If you want something badly enough, you have to work for it.

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Don’t make words like failure or impossible an option.