Articles

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By Pat Hammond

It's Sunshine Week!

I don't want to get all political on you, but you'd have to be living under a pretty big rock to not know we are struggling with a lot of issues at the national, state, and local levels of government.

It doesn't matter what the topic is, someone, somewhere is making backroom deals and someone else is complaining about PACS and special interest groups swaying decisions that impact lives.

The core checks and balances written into our government's structure eventually catch up with many of these issues, but it's slow and without someone shining a light into the dark corners it can take a while before anyone notices something's not quite right.

In the old days, the free press took the lead when it came to finding the truth, but we live in a new normal where many of the old newspapers have either gone out of business or been bought by international news conglomerates who may be more connected to the problems than the solutions.

Even here in New Hampshire, our beloved newspapers no longer cover the State House and do little more than print minutes from town hall meetings, which begs the question of who is doing oversight?

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By Pat Hammond

Women of Strength Photo Project

Before we move on to this week's picks, I want to give a quick shout out to Scot Langdon and Lisa J. Jackson and their Women of Strength Project.

Anyone in the 603 Networking group on LinkedIn probably knows Scot and Lisa, but if you're not one of the 6,000 + members of 603 Networking, Scot Langdon is a local photographer and Lisa J. Jackson is a writer and they are collaborating on the Women of Strength Project "to highlight women, tell their stories, and create discussions from the photographic images and text, which aims to inspire women of all ages to become leaders in their own lives."

In spite of education and technology, many women feel more disenfranchised than their grandmothers were. Sadly, we live in a world where responsibility to family and partners often seems to limit opportunity and many women struggle to break through the barriers that hold them back.

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By Pat Hammond

Happy Friday!

I don't even care if the forecast is rain because I have today off! In fact, I'm off tomorrow and Monday too. And since I need to clear my desk before I walk out the door, I'm going to jump into it.

This week's top picks are:

603 Networking - Bedford from 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM on Monday, February 27th at Cohen Closing & Title, LLC 203 Meetinghouse Road, Bedford.

My second pick is Kevin Willett's New England B2B Networking Group Event in Manchester, NH from 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM on Thursday, March 2nd at Craig, Deachman and Amann, 1662 Elm Street, Manchester. This is a paid event. The cost is $20, but it includes lunch. New England B2B is a small meetup with around ten people and only one person per industry. If you are looking for a way to meet other professionals and find referrals in a casual professional environment, this group is worth your time.

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By Pat Hammond

End of the Quarter - How's Your Networking?

I know it's hard to believe, but we're creeping up on the end of the first quarter which means it's time to take a look at where we stand on this year's networking goals.

Have you been getting to as many events as you wanted?

Are you participating in online groups on Linked In or Facebook?

Are you meeting the people who can connect you to your target audience?

I can't speak for anyone else, but I find it difficult to stay on top of things in January and February. The days are still short, you never know what the weather is going to do, and since I always want to get a jump start on things at the beginning of the year, I try to cram fourteen hours worth of work in an eight-hour day. It can be overwhelming, and when push comes to shove, networking is the easiest thing to cut from the schedule.

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By Pat Hammond

Is It March Yet?

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm feeling like February has worn out its welcome. Don't get me wrong. I like winter. I like the cold, I like the snow, but the constant disruptions to my schedule are making it a little too challenging to stay on top of things. Let's just say that between the weather and a never ending list of crises, including the fact that I can't seem to find the time to go out to buy a new washing machine, I'm starting to become a cranky Pat. And nobody wants that.

I can't believe we've reached the point where I'm able to say this without crossing my fingers, but we've got another busy events calendar for next week. There's so much going on I'm not even going to try to choose three top picks.

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By Pat Hammond

Lessons in Leadership

Monday morning started with me dragging my husband out of bed (it was his day off) to help me move the two feet of snow plowed up at the end of the driveway so I could go to Nashua.

One of my goals this year is to learn about leadership. I want to define what makes a person a good leader and what it takes for someone to become a good leader.

I'm not even sure it's something that can be taught, but I'd been invited to hear Rocky Romanella, former CEO of UniTek Global Services, present a talk called "Be A Great Leader: Inspiring & Empowering Others To Do Their Very Best" in advance of his upcoming book launch and it was going to take more than two feet of snow to stop me.

I'd done my research and knew that Romanella had worked his way up from a dock loader to the C-suite and I'd seen some of his videos and knew he was an engaging speaker who relied on stories and personal anecdotes rather than his slide deck to share his message, but I wasn't sure if his corporate experience could be packaged into a one-hour how-to session that people could take home and apply to their own lives.

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By Pat Hammond

New England's King of Networking

On this month's episode of Live from the Hive I am talking with New England's un-official King of Networking, the one and only Kevin Willett.

For anyone who hasn't met Kevin, I can guarantee you that it is just a matter of time.

This man is everywhere and he's connected to just about everyone in southern New Hampshire and the Greater Boston area.

In addition to his role as a professional networker through his eponymous Friends of Kevin networking group, Willett also manages the New England B2B Networking group, hosts the Friends of Kevin Radio Show, and the Business as Usual television show.

You might even say when it comes to networking, Willett has been there, done that, bought the t-shirt, and wrote the book about it.

And it would be true.

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By Pat Hammond

Is Working from home making you a little stir crazy?

One of the perks of the computer age is that when the weather is bad a lot of people can work from home. This is great if the alternative is a long, snowy commute, but it can be challenging for people who need human interaction to stay fresh. If this past week's snow days have you climbing the walls you are in luck.

Next week's events calendar is chock full of business workshops, talks, and networking events.

My top three picks this week are more informational than networking oriented. These are one-time events from industry leaders who have been where you are today and can give you the inside track when it comes to starting or growing your business.

Rocky Romanella, author and former CEO of UniTek Global Services and President of UPS Residential and Retail Operations, will be giving two free talks on leadership at Gateway Hills, 200 Innovative Way in Nashua on Monday, February 13th. The first session is from 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM and the second session is 4:00 PM - 5:00.

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By Pat Hammond

Lots of Good Things This Month!

Happy February!

I am excited to share that Queen City Buzz's NH Business Directory is finally ready for prime time and I will be sending out the link to my volunteers for the final wave of testing next Friday, February 10th.

The code is already tested and functioning and this is the last step to ensure that the directory upload form collects all of the information directory members want to share. Any changes at this point will be minor tweaks such as adding a social media account or business category to a user profile and I anticipate a full roll out of the directory by March 1st.

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By Pat Hammond

10 Minutes to Jump Start Your Networking!

This week I have a super easy little tip that will help you jump start your networking.

Put it on the calendar.

Not only will this force you to make the commitment to set aside time for networking, it will ensure you remember there was a group or event you were interested in.

Networking is one of those things that's easy to put off or forget, so why not hedge your bets by taking 10 minutes a week to look at your options and add one or two things to the calendar?

And this tip isn't just for people who hate networking.

We all get caught up in other activities, lose track of time and realize that there was an event we wanted to attend two weeks ago.

I'll even throw in a bonus tip to make keeping a networking calendar even easier.

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