Sunday, January 27, 2008

This Week in Philadelpha (TWIP) for 1/27

I added in a whole bunch of seminars and workshops from The Nonprofit Center at La Salle University. Most of them cost money, but there was a good range of different topics on how to run a nonprofit organization more effectively. If you are in the nonprofit world, I recommend connecting with the Nonprofit Center and keeping up with its new blog. If you are not in the nonprofit world and think you might want to make the transition, I suggest attending the Center's Nonprofit Management 101 workshop this week to "up-skill yourself." On a similar tack, GPSEG's NJ Chapter is also going to hold a session on "Opportunities in the Nonprofit Sector" on February 22.

Me? I'm looking forward to the Philly Social Media Breakfast, with its "real time social media tagging." I think that means we get to cover each other with little tiny Post-it® notes.

Lots of other things going on this week for those seeking money, world change, political change, and even love, of sorts.

Monday, 28-Jan

Young Professionals Network -- YPN Event
6pm - Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, DiBona Room

Tuesday, 29-Jan

Pennsylvania Bio -- Pennsylvania Bio 2008 Legislative Day
All day - Harrisburg, PA

The Learning Key -- Grow Leaders from Within
7am – Unknown location

La Salle Nonprofit Center -- Nonprofit Management 101
9:30am - La Salle University Student Union, Dunleavy Room

La Salle Nonprofit Center -- How to Be the Boss You Wish You Had
9:30am - WHYY

LeTip of Center City Philadelphia -- Weekly Meeting: Testimonial Tuesday
11:30am - Dave and Buster's 325 North Columbus Boulevard Philadelphia

Women's Business Development Center -- Money Talks
6pm - 1315 Walnut Street, Suite 1124, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Sustainable Business Network -- Annual Members Meeting
6pm - The Ethical Society Building, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia

Wednesday, 30-Jan

Associated Builders and Contractors -- 2008 Building Industry Symposium
7:15am - Union League of Philadelphia

The Training Center For Sales & Business Development -- Learn How To Avoid Unpaid Consulting
8am - 466 Germantown Pike, Lafayette Hill, PA

La Salle Nonprofit Center -- Building a Legacy Through Endowment
9:30am - CARIE

CFA Society -- Equity Options for Investors
12noon - Philadelphia Country Club, Gladwyne

Wolf Block -- Angel Venture Fair Education Day hosted by Wolf Block
4:30pm - Wolf, Block, 1650 Arch Street

Temple University -- Big Ideas in Education: Speaker Series
5pm - Walk Auditorium, Ritter Hall, College of Education, Temple University

Gloucester Township Chamber of Commerce -- Gloucester Township Connection
5:30pm - Filomena's Cucina Italiana, Clementon, NJ 08021

National Association of Asian American Professionals -- 2008 Job Market: Are YOU READY?
6:30pm - Steinbright Hall @ Drexel University

Thursday, 31-Jan

Philly Social Media Breakfast
8am - Marathon Grill, 9th & Walnut

Association for Corporate Growth Philadelphia -- Annual Member/Guest Networking Reception
5:30pm - Kildares, King of Prussia PA

PhillyCHI -- 2008 PhillyCHI Design Slam
6:20pm - University Club Reserved Section, 6th Floor, MacAlister Hall, 3250 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Friday, 1-Feb

La Salle Nonprofit Center -- Audit Preparation and New Financial Reporting Regulations
8:30am - Health Federation of Philadelphia

Saturday, 2-Feb

ASTD Trainers Edge SIG -- Arts-Based Learning: A New Paradigm for the Contemporary Trainer
9:30am - Strayer University 234 Mall Blvd. Suite G-50 King of Prussia, PA 19046

The Hacktory -- Valentine's gift-making class for the inner geek

1pm - Nonprofit Technology Resources Center, 1524 Brandywine Street

Thursday, January 24, 2008

How Do Your LinkedIn Connections Grow?

...With silver bells, and cockle shells, and pretty maids all in a row. In preparation for my talk on "Effective Use of LinkedIn" for the upcoming meeting of the Career Transitions group, I took a close look at my own LinkedIn connections. Some of the things I learned surprised me.

I don't know how much of this will make it into my presentation on February 9th (at 9:45 am), but I thought I would share some of my thoughts here as a way of working out what I want to say to the group.

I looked at each of my contacts and determined how many contacts each of them had. The power of LinkedIn, after all, is not in your own first-degree contacts (who do you know?) but in the second-degree contacts (the "friend-of-a-friend" factor).

I was surprised to see that the majority of my second-degree contacts came from a relatively small number of contacts: 25 percent of my LinkedIn contacts connect me with 83 percent of my second-degree connections!

This is clearly an example of the old 80-20 rule in operation -- that 80 percent of your revenue will come from 20 percent of your customers.

My experience with LinkedIn, however, tells me that I want quality of contacts as well as quantity of contacts. The most interesting connections have come to me through the 75 percent of my contacts that have a relatively small network: they may not have many connections, but what they have is strong and very powerful. Quantity is good if I want to do a broad-reaching search to learn more about some distant person that I know only by name. Quality is important if you want to be introduced to someone and have the referral to mean something -- a level of trust, a de facto endorsement of the people in your network.

I haven't really figured out how to evaluate the quality of my LinkedIn connections, but I did go through and sort them by how we met. I first thought that, given that I'm writing a blog about networking and meeting lots of new people, that most of my connections would come from people I've met through networking. Wrong.

Sixty percent of my connections are with people I used to work with! Around 30 percent is from direct, in-person networking. I've met seven percent online, mostly through LinkedIn Answers or from blogging, and many of those I've gone on to meet personally when the opportunity presented.

Which brings me to my last chart, showing the source of my second-degree LinkedIn contacts (that is, how do I know the person that connects me to this "friend of a friend?"). I was interested to find that there is a balance to my connections. Some of the people I know from my previous jobs have clearly put some time and effort into building up their own LinkedIn networks. And, not surprisingly, the people I meet in my networking also have a relatively large number of connections.

And, of course, there are those I've met on-line. Many of them are LIONs (LinkedIn Open Networkers) who will connect with anyone, and some of them are among the top 10 or 20 most connected people on LinkedIn.

My LinkedIn network reflects my own personality and my own philosophy about how to build relationships. I'm not connected to just anyone. I connect with people that I have an existing personal relationship with, or, if we just met quickly while networking, there is some sense of synergy in connecting. Even my connections to LIONs are done with a purpose -- generally the person is in a profession or a business that brings them in contact with the people that I would like to connect with.

Take a few moments sometime to look at your own LinkedIn connections (or Facebook or other social media site, if that is your preference) and think about what you've built, what it means to you, and where you want it to go in the future. In my talk at Career Transitions, I'm thinking of using a "garden" metaphor to describe how you want to build your LinkedIn network. You don't want only Irises in your garden -- they are indeed beautiful, but they only bloom three weeks a year. You want a garden with variety. More about that later...

Monday, January 21, 2008

Say "Yes" When Asked

Photo uploaded by johnny z.

I urge you all to say "Yes" when someone asks if you can help them with a volunteer opportunity. You will find it does wonders for your networking and for your career, even the smallest and most ordinary of connections can start a chain of events that opens up a whole world of possibilities.

Here is an example of a small "yes" that led to an entirely new business.

First, a small chain of events to set up the story: A few months ago, I overheard Rhonda Serkes of Help Me Rhonda talking about a Mid-Atlantic Consultants (MAC) Network meeting. The group sounded perfect for what I needed, so I asked her how I could connect with it. Rhonda pointed me to James Chan of Asia Marketing and Management. I laughed, as I had just finished reading James' book, Spare Room Tycoon.

So, I contacted James, who immediately invited me to the next MAC Network meeting.

Fast-forward to the meeting, and I happen to sit next to Steve Smolinsky. Here is where I get to the "yes" in the story.

Those of you who have seen Steve do one of his tremendously popular Conversation on Networking seminars with Kay Keenan probably have heard the story about how Steve and Kay fell into the seminar business. Kay had volunteered to do a panel on "Networking 101" and someone had enlisted Steve as one of the panelists. When all the other panelists backed out at the last minute, Kay and Steve decided to do a rather free-form presentation on networking. It was wildly successful and ended up being the crystallization point for a whole new business for them. Kay and Steve are now published authors, and they even have a new book coming out that was written to support the program needs of Big Brothers Big Sisters, where Kay works.

Steve gets up to say a few words, and it turns out that Kay and Steve first did their spur-of-the-moment-because-all-the-other-panelists-quit seminar at a MAC Network meeting. The "yes" heard round the world.

James Chan, by the way, loves my calendar and my directory and says I should be paid for this. I feel that what I have now in the calendar should be available freely, so, while I might consider taking advertising, I don't want to charge for access to the calendar. I have been thinking, though, that there are some value-added capabilities that somebody might be willing to pay for. Hence, my interest in connecting with a good web developer.

Is James' encouragement an opportunity I should say "yes" to? I try to be open enough to say "yes," but it's not always easy to recognize opportunity when it knocks.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

This Week in Philadelphia (TWIP) for 1/19

Photo uploaded by caboindex

Volunteering is a great way to network, and the Martin Luther King Day of Service is a great way to volunteer. You never know who you are going to meet when you join a service project, as all sorts of people roll up their shirt sleeves and get busy. You don't have to worry so much about saying your elevator speech -- just get busy and let your work speak for you.

Remember, networking isn't about you. It is about how you can help others.

Monday, 21-Jan

IMC-Philly -- Dinner & Buzz Session: The Best Ways to Develop New Business
5:30pm - DoubleTree, Plymouth Meeting

FENG Philadelphia-Suburban -- Developing Your Presence in an Online World
6pm - Smart Business Advisory and Consulting LLC

Mobile Monday & PhIMA -- Mobile Marketing & Advertising
6pm - Blank Rome Law Firm, Marvin Comisky Conference Center, One Logan Square, 130 North 18th Street

Tuesday, 22-Jan

eWomensNetwork -- Business Magnet Workshop
8am - Union League

LeTip of Center City Philadelphia -- Weekly Meeting
11:30am - Dave and Buster's 325 North Columbus Boulevard Philadelphia

CFA Society -- Creating Order out of Chaos in the Analysis of Investment Manager Performance
12noon - Hotel Dupont, 12th & Market Streets, Wilmington

Purple Cow Brainstorming Circle -- Todd Cohen, High-Performance Sales Guru
6pm - Independents Hall, 32 Strawberry Street

Wednesday, 23-Jan

BNI -- Hershey Visitor Day
8am - Events Etc., 814 E. Chocolate Ave., Hershey, PA 17033

PICPA -- Protecting the Practitioner from NEW Preparer Penalties and Ethical
8am - Penn State Great Valley, Malvern

DMH Monthly Networking Luncheon
12noon - E. Cheltenham Avenue, Suite C (Corner of Cheltenham Ave. and Large Street - Entrance on Large St.

PPRA -- La Hora Feliz (Happy Hour) at Xochitl
5:30pm - Xochitl, 408 South 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA

6pm - Triumph Brewing Company

Young Professionals Network -- YPN Event at Tangerine Restaurant
6pm - Tangerine Restaurant, 232 Market

GPPN -- January event
6pm - Knock Restaurant and Bar, 225 South 12th Street

ISES Greater Philadelphia -- How to Use Your City to Help Grow Your Business
6pm - Crystal Tea Room

Thursday, 24-Jan

Philadelphia SHRM Professional Development Series -- Talent Retention
7:30am - Loews Philadelphia Hotel Philadelphia

Independence Business Alliance -- LGBT Business Brown Bag
12pm - William Way Community Center, 1315 Spruce Street

Breakfast Club of America -- Cocktail Reception Hosted by Team Concepts
5:30pm - Vesper Boathouse

BioNJ -- BioNJ 2008 Annual Meeting
5:30pm - Forsgate Country Club in Monroe Township, NJ

IABC -- Core Communication: A Guide to Organizational Assessment and Improvement
6pm - SAP in Newtown Square

Penn Alumni Club of Philadelphia -- Inter-Ivy Happy Hour and Food Drive
6pm - The Urban Saloon 2021 Fairmount Ave.

Friday, 25-Jan

GPSEG -- Using Technology to aid your Job Search
7:30am - Doubletree Guest Suites, Mt. Laurel

Breakfast Club of America -- Hospitality Breakfast Event Featuring special guest speaker Dan Lyons
7:45am - Crystal Tea Room

8:00am to 4:00pm - Penn State Great Valley, Malvern

Saturday, 26-Jan

PACS -- Jody Gibney of Symantec
8am - Upper Moreland Middle School

Baiada Center's Entrepreneurial Breakfast Series -- Business Plan Development Workshop
10am - Baiada Center 3225 Arch Street Philadelphia, PA 19104

Monday, January 14, 2008

Using the Philadelphia Business Journal as a Networking Tool

If you ever have a chance to hear Lyn Kremer and Bernard Dagenais do their News You Can Use seminar, I recommend it highly. You will come away convinced that the Philadelphia Business Journal is the best networking and business development tool ever invented. Kremer and Dagenais spoke this past Saturday morning at a near-capacity Career Transitions meeting up in King of Prussia.

Now, Kremer is publisher and Dagenais the editor of the PBJ, so you would expect them to do a strong sales job on the newspaper. Still, they do an effective job of laying out how you can use the information in the newspaper to identify companies to target, keep track of the comings and goings of people, and get ideas for developing your business, your career, or your networking. Remember, successful networking involves people, ideas, and goals.

They even have an on-line events calendar, though it is only accessible to subscribers to the print version of the PBJ. (I've signed up as a subscriber, so I'll see if there is anything that should be added to the Calendar of Philadelphia networking events. Dagenais said that PBJ publishes the calendar as a public service, so he's happy to share the information.)

The News You Can Use seminar is due to be presented again for free on February 15 at the PBJ offices. A similar presentation is being hosted by the Women of Wit & Wisdom on January 17, though this one offers a cash bar and an admissions charge.

Incidentally, I've found Career Transitions to be a useful networking group, for the people involved in it, the people who attend it, and the topics that are presented there. It's co-sponsored by Company of Friends and ASTD, both of which have extensive networking reach throughout the Philadelphia area. The Career Transitions meetings are an especially good place to hone your networking skills, as Bart Ruff makes an effort at every meeting to get people to mix it up and meet one another. There are a lot of networking tips (and, yes, job searching tips) being exchanged.

I suppose I should tell you that I will be the guest speaker at the next Career Transitions meeting, speaking on Effective Use of LinkedIn for Personal Branding and Networking. (The link isn't quite live -- give it a few days!) So, please join us on Saturday, February 9, from 9:45 to 11:45 am, up at Strayer University in King of Prussia.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

This Week in Philadelphia (TWIP) for January 13

This week is Benjamin Franklin's birthday. Remember, as you network, that Ben Franklin left the rigid and repressive city of Boston to strike out on his own, to make his publishing fortune in free-wheeling and open-minded Philadelphia. He built a printing and publishing empire, a career that anyone could be proud of, but that was just the stepping stone for him into bigger and better things -- things that gave back to the community and are still paying dividends even today -- postmaster, inventor, statesman. He founded insurance companies, libraries, universities, hospitals, and nations.
Happy birthday, Ben!

Monday, 14-Jan
All day - Penn State Great Valley, Malvern
Mid-Atlantic Consultants Network -- James Chan, speaker, "How the Mid-Atlantic Consultants Network has benefited me"
7:30am - Merrill Lynch, 724 West Lancaster Avenue, Wayne, PA 19087
Baiada Center's Entrepreneurial Breakfast Series -- Entrepreneurial Skills Workshop
6pm - Baiada Center 3225 Arch Street Philadelphia, PA 19104

Tuesday, 15-Jan
Philadelphia Human Resources Planning Society (PHRPS) – EXECUTION
7:30am - ACE Conference Center, Lafayette Hill, PA 19444
LeTip of Center City Philadelphia -- Weekly Meeting
11:30am - Dave and Buster's 325 North Columbus Boulevard Philadelphia
5:30pm - Sheraton Park Ridge, King of Prussia
CFA Society -- Networking Happy Hour
6pm - 333 Belrose Bar & Grill, 333 Belrose Lane, Radnor, PA 19087

Wednesday, 16-Jan
Entrepreneurs' Forum of Southern New Jersey (EFSNJ) -- Marketing a Small Business
8am - RiverWinds Community Room
Philadelphia Direct Marketing Association -- Direct Marketing and Brand Management
11:30am - Crown Plaza Hotel - King of Prussia, 260 Mall Blvd., King of Prussia, PA 19406
5pm - Keswick Theatre
ASTD Chapter Meeting -- How to Speak so People Listen
6pm - Hilton Garden Inn, 1100 Arch, 10th Floor
7:30pm - Jasmes Lorah House, Doylestown

Thursday, 17-Jan
7:30am - Mansion, Cabrini College
Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) Philadelphia -- Contrasting Corporate Growth Strategies
7:30am - Top of The Tower, 1717 Arch Street, 50th Floor
7:30am - The Desmond
7:30am - Marriott Philadelphia West
NIRI Philadelphia -- Accounting Treasure Hunt
8:30am - Location not known
5:30pm - The Pufferbelly, Lindenwold, NJ
6pm - Penn State Great Valley
6:20pm - University Club Reserved Section, 6th Floor, MacAlister Hall, 3250 Chestnut St
Penn Club of Philadelphia -- Ben Franklin's Birthday Celebration
7pm - Walnut Room located at 1709 Walnut 2nd Floor (Above Alfa)

Friday ,18-Jan
Likemind -- Likemind meet up
8am - Old City Coffee, 221 Church Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
ASTD Professional Publishing SIG -- Monthly Meeting
9:30am - Borders in Wynnewood (80 E Wynnewood Road, Wynnewood, PA)

Saturday, 19-Jan
ASTD Organizational Development SIG -- 2008 Planning Meeting
9:30am - Strayer University, King of Prussia

Sunday, 20-Jan
Make:Philly -- Nintendo Video Art
3pm - University of the Arts (Industrial Design department)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

How to Start a Conversation With Just About Anyone

I wrote the other day about how much I was enjoying Bob Burg's excellent book, Endless Referrals. Burg talks a lot about networking (and about the importance of giving in your networking) in his book, and he focuses on building "know, like, and trust" relationships with the people you meet in your life.

I agree with Burg when he says that the best networking opportunities occur almost every day, practically anywhere and at any time. And, of course the secret to capitalize on these "anytime, anywhere" networking opportunities is to get the other person to talk about themselves. Burg offers his 10 Feel-Good Questions® That Work Every Time (e.g., How did you get your start in the widget business?). I won't go into the 10 questions here, though I've used some similar questions in networking situations and they definitely work.

Burg also suggests using good FORM for starting a general conversation with just about anyone: talking about Family, Occupation, Recreation, or Message (that is, what values, principals, and charities are important to them).

And the most important question of all, in a networking setting:

How can I know if someone I'm speaking to is someone you'd like to meet?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Innovators Club Kick-off

Last night was the kick-off meeting for the Innovators Club, a new networking group put together by Todd Cohen, Jim Worth, and Lynda Esposito. The idea behind the group is to talk about the business side of being a technology entrepreneur or innovator. It will meet the second Tuesday of every month.

As might be expected at a first meeting, everyone there seemed to have a personal connection with one or more of the three founders, but it was still an excellent place to meet and greet, both new and old. I met a few people I had only heard about by name, and I connected with a few others who had crossed paths with me over the past few years.

Chuck Sacco of PhindMe was the guest speaker. I was expecting something of a shill for PhindMe, but Chuck did an excellent job of talking about innovation and the challenges of starting a technology-based company in the Philadelphia area. Chuck said that one of the biggest challenges for starting a technology-based company in Philadelphia is that you have to choose whether you are going to work with the business development resources in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, or Delaware. All three states are more or less part of the same metropolitan area, but there is little to NO coordination between the business development authorities of the respective states.

All in all, it was a great first start. I will interested to see whether the group takes on an issues-based focus, so that attending becomes a learning experience and a call to action and change as well as a networking experience.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Are You Networking, or Are You Relationship-Building?

I've been reading Bob Burg's Endless Referrals, an excellent book on how to use relationship-building principals to turn "casual contacts into solid sales opportunities." As Todd Cohen would say, everybody is in sales, so I think Bob Burg's core point speaks to all of us who are interested in professional networking and, more specifically, building a network of stronger, better, and more focused relationships.

All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like, and trust.

Bob Burg shows you how. I've written before on how networking is not about getting business cards but about building relationships. Your network should comprise people who want to see you succeed and want to help you reach your objectives. (Burg would say "find new business," but you get the idea.)

Burg talks about how everyone is at the center of a "sphere of influence" of around 250 people. I know lots of people have several hundred or even several thousand connections on LinkedIn, but in Burg's mind your sphere of influence involves the people who know, like, and trust you --when you say something, they listen and take it to heart.

An important point for building trust in your relationships is to give selflessly, without thought of being paid back. Burg tells a story:

This is the grand paradox of giving and receiving. When you give purely out of the love of giving, you cannot help but receive. Yet when you give only in order to receive, it doesn't work out really as well.

When I was attending a meeting of an association to which I belong, I noticed a person standing around named Jim who looked like a lost soul. I engaged Jim in conversation and introduced him around to some of the other members. About a year later, I received a call from someone I didn't know, wanting to do business with me. I asked how he had heard of me, and he mentioned Jim.

I called Jim to thank him and asked him what made him think of referring me, since we had met only that one time and he had really no way of knowing whether or not I was even qualified to serve the person to whom he referred me. He explained that at the function where we had met, I was the only person who went out of his way to make him feel comfortable, and he had always wanted to do something for me in return. Wow!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

This Week in Philadelphia (TWIP) for 1/6

Dia de Los Reyes, originally uploaded by erensanpedro

Happy 12th Day of Christmas. January 6th is traditionally celebrated as the day the Wise Men arrived in Bethlehem, and it is the famous 12th day of Christmas that gets sung about endlessly (without anybody knowing what it really means).

Anyway, this is an amazingly busy week. I plan on going to three of the events listed this week, and I would go to even more except they all seem to be scheduled at the same times. Hate when that happens.

I had posted a preview of this week's events last week. Some of the things that are new to the list this week, all on Tuesday: Sales and Marketing Executives of Philadelphia (SMEI) will host a "2008 Economic Outlook" at Maggiano's in King of Prussia; is throwing an All-Media Party in Philly at Positano Coast at 212 Walnut; the Non-profit subgroup of GPSEG will have Todd Cohen speaking on applying sales skills to fundraising, at the Desmond Hotel; and, last but not least, The Hacktory (a child process of Make:Philly, or is it now the other way around?) will be holding its third monthly meeting at its new space at the Nonprofit Technology Resources center.

You will also notice that I've started putting links to the events to the calendars. I think all the links work, but you will find (as I have) that some organizations are really good about putting their event listings on the web and others, well, just aren't.

See you around...

Monday, 7-Jan-08
Greater Valley Forge Human Resource Association (GVFHRA) -- Career Networking Group
5:30pm - Right Management, Berwyn PA

Tuesday, 8-Jan-08
PICPA -- Preparing Corporate Tax Returns for New Staff and Para-professionals
All day - PICPA Education Center, Philadelphia

Non-profit Subgroup, GPSEG – Maximizing Fundraising efforts through effective sales techniques
7:30am - The Desmond

Sales and Marketing Executives of Philadelphia -- 2008 Economic Outlook
7:30am - Maggiano's King of Prussia, 205 Mall Blvd, King of Prussia

LeTip of Center City Philadelphia -- Weekly Meeting
11:30am - Dave and Buster's 325 North Columbus Boulevard Philadelphia

Flaster/Greenberg 2007-2008 Entrepreneur Series -- Value in Business Contracts
11:30am - Flaster/Greenberg’s Conference Center

Cherry Hill Regional Chamber of Commerce - Power Networking Luncheon
12 noon - Coastline Restaurant, 1240 Brace Road, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034

Greater Valley Forge Human Resource Association (GVFHRA) -- Rev Up Your Search Engine: Tools & Tactics to Improve Your Search Skills
2pm - Villanova University, Connelly Center Cinema, Villanova, PA

Entrepreneurs' Forum of Greater Philadelphia EFGP -- Capital Access 2008
5:30pm - Federal Reserve Bank, 7th and Arch Streets, Philadelphia, PA

The Innovator's Club -- Chuck Sacco,
6pm - The Great American Pub, Fayette Street in Conshohocken -- All-Media Party in Philly
6:30pm - Positano Coast, 212 Walnut St

The Hactory -- Hacktory Mtg 3
7:30pm – Nonprofit Technology Resources (NTR)

Wednesday, 9-Jan-08
Philadelphia Black Public Relations Society -- Trends In PR: The Many Faces of PR
Time and place TBD

PICPA -- Preparing Individual Tax Returns for New Staff and Para-professionals
All day - PICPA Education Center, Philadelphia

ExecuNet -- Networking in Philadelphia
7:15am - Maggiano's Restaurant, 205 Mall Boulevard, 2nd Floor, King of Prussia, PA

Knowledge Management Group of Philadelphia -- Meeting
7:45am - TBD

ExecuNet -- Philadelphia Senior Executive Roundtable
9:45am - Maggiano's Restaurant, 205 Mall Boulevard, 2nd Floor, King of Prussia, PA

Society for Marketing Professional Services -- Healthcare Facilities: A Response to Industry Trends
5pm - Downtown Club

Thursday -10-Jan-08
PICPA -- The Complete Guide to Preparing Limited Liability Company, Partnerships, and S Corporation Federal Income Tax Returns
All day -- PICPA Education Center, Philadelphia

Philadelphia Ad Club -- Annual Outlook to 2008 Panel Event
8:30am - Union League

BOMA Philadelphia -- Amy Walter, PA Convention Center (lunch)
11:30am - The Pennsylvania Convention Center, Room 108 A/B, 12th & Arch St., West Entrance

CFA Society of Philadelphia -- 2008 Forecast Dinner
5pm - Union League of Philadelphia, 140 South Broad Street, Philadelphia

Financial Executives Networking Group FENG -- Monthly meeting
6pm - KPMG LLP, 1601 Market Street, 36th Floor

Saturday, 12-Jan-08
Career Transitions -- News You Can Use: Identifying job opportunities in the Philadelphia Business Journal
9:45am - Strayer University, 234 Mall Blvd. King of Prusssia

Baiada Center's Entrepreneurial Breakfast Series -- Business Plan Development Workshop
10am - Baiada Center 3225 Arch Street Philadelphia, PA 19104

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Rearranging My Brain in Boulder, Colorado

People often say they "don't know anybody" when they first start out networking, but that's not true at all. I took a business trip to Boulder, Colorado, a few weeks ago that proved conclusively that everybody knows somebody. You can't get much more basic a relationship than the one you have with your sister, yet it was the people my sister knew that made the whole thing happen.

Photo by Molas

I grew up in Colorado, but I'd never done any business there. (My sister, Alison Picher, has a growing marketing and PR practice herself in Boulder, specializing in sustainability.)
It was a whirlwind trip, very fast and very mind-blowing. I'll give you the blow-by-mind-blow.

I went to Boulder to meet with a client I had met through my sister. I've been doing business development and market research with Andy Gaudette for over a year, but we'd never actually met in person. (Strange how that works sometimes.) Gaudette International develops some rather specialized software for the health care industry, and it has tremendous word-of-mouth buzz. Gaudette International's clients are almost fanatical about the software, with suggestions on how to improve it or on who else in the industry should know about it. We were talking to Andy about how to build on this momentum. He's really brought together a community of people throughout the industry who had never talked together before, and the results could be electrifying.

After our discussion with Andy, Alison took me to her chiropractor for a session. The chiropractor didn't do much, but what she did do had tremendous results. The peak point of the experience was when she was applying pressure to the top of my head. I had a vision that she was picking up pieces of my mind and moving them around.

Next day, I went out on a photo shoot with my sister. Alison works professionally, and, as a Christmas present, she took some portrait shots of me for marketing my consulting practice. I wanted something different than the usual head shot, and I think I got it.

Photos: Alison Picher

I then had lunch at Chez Thuy with Chris Locke (aka Rage Boy), one of the authors of Cluetrain Manifesto. Chris and I have a friendship that extends back 15 years, but we'd never actually met in person. (Strange how that works sometimes.) Chris was skeptical of my brain massage the day before, but he regaled me with stories from the time he was a Teen-Aged Brain Surgeon. I was skeptical, but he swore it was true.

Chris is up to his old tricks as an industry gadfly and visionary with a new web site. When I told Chris about my blog and my directory/calendar, he encouraged me to search on to see if I could find some open source software that I could use for it. Interesting stuff. I also recommend Chez Thuy very highly, if you are ever in Boulder.

Later that afternoon, I had a Diet Coke with Michael Edwards, another person I've met through my sister. Michael is developing a bang-up health-related web site and needed some marketing guidance. We got so wrapped up in the conversation that we lost track of time. I hope that someday I can tell you more about what Michael is doing, because it is a fabulous idea.

Me, my sister Alison, her husband Chris, photo by Insight Designs

We ended the day with a party at Insight Designs, which provides web site design for brother-in-law, Chris Allan, who works at Global Greengrants Funds. It was fun being at a networking function in Colorado. Nico Toutenhoofd of Insight Designs had a room set up with a camera and professional lighting, so that guests could come and get their pictures taken. Nice bit of client relations.

As always, when people found out I had grown up in Colorado, they asked, incredulously, "Why do you live in Philadelphia?" Well, I'll tell you. Philadelphia may not have the mountains, but it has diversity, history, and a sense of place that is hard to find in today's world. It is a walking city, with hidden surprises around every corner. Boulder is beautiful because Nature made it that way. Philadelphia is beautiful because of the people in it. Happy Networking!
I'm looking forward to some Mummers.