Networking Tips Everyone Needs in Business

Graham Zahoruiko Business Networking Tips

If you ask the average person on the street, networking is a daunting term. They associate it with intimidation and often manipulation. A common view of networking isn’t a positive one– but networking is one of the most beneficial aspects of business. Here are ways to take your networking game to the next level for you and your business.

Get Ahead

Go into any networking scenario with an attitude of giving before your receive, and you will find it to be incredibly valuable. First, you are establishing your brand in the marketplace as someone who care. Additionally you are demonstrating your value in your ability to provide innovative solutions. Generally in the world of business, before someone else is willing to give you something they want to know what benefits you bring to the table. This perspective is just being one step ahead of the game.

Listen First

Instead of throwing your elevator pitch at everyone you shake hands with, wait to talk until the other person has expressed who they are as well as their values. If you become known as a great listener, everyone will love being in your presence. You’ll also give yourself the opportunity to pinpoint what potential can come from this connection.

Be an Attracting Force

If you are trying too hard to meet people and connect with them, it will show. Instead, imagine your ideal self image and how you can position yourself as an attracting force– show them you have something they didn’t know they needed until you came along. Try to fulfill this image every time you are in networking contexts. The results may surprise you. You might just find that more and more people are approaching you, instead of the other way around. The difference is that you are radiating a qualities they can benefit from.

Confidence Without

When networking, you are naturally drawn towards people who carry themselves in a more professional manner. Those mannerisms include confidence. Professionals that show they are confident in themselves as well as their abilities are more approachable and attractive to other networkers.

Although there are no perfect measures to proper networking, by following these simple tactics and principles you will find that you are meeting and greeting new people in the business world around you in a more efficient way.

The Hidden Aspects of Burnout

Graham Zahoruiko Burnout Blog

 

Many people who enter the business world are hard driving go-getters. They want to succeed, and are willing to push themselves in order to gain this success. In the business world, this type of attitude is generally applauded. After all, who wouldn’t want to go into business with someone who is hardworking and proven their business hustle?

 

As with all efforts, however, there is a price to pay. Even if someone enjoys their work, constant work and stress definitely has consequences. The tricky part about these consequences, however, is that many times they are cumulative. In other words, it takes a while for their true effects to be seen, and their source may not even be obvious because they’ve slowly increased over time. What is the actual source, however? The answer: burnout.

 

So what is burnout, exactly? In her article in Psychology Today, Paula Davis-Laack defines burnout as being out of sync with one or more aspects of your life chronically. Many times in business, this means that your work is taking over your entire life, and other aspects of who you are could be threatened and neglected. The article cites research that showed how work over-load was one of the common ways that people reach burnout, among other reasons.

 

In many ways, what relates the different paths to burnout is similar: chronic stress. Stress can come from a variety of sources, be it relationships, careers or negative encounters with people. With the level on connectedness that technology offers today, many people are simply overwhelmed by thousands of small stresses that occur over the course of a day. When days add up into weeks, and then months, the level of stress can build to a burnout. Burnout can have negative impacts on relationships and motivation due to its affect on your body and mind.

 

Because of how long burnout takes to develop, it can remain hidden for quite a while. Soon enough, however, the negative consequences of constant stress on your health and state of mind, as well as relationships, will start to show. At that point, its best to take a pause, relax and evaluate your life. Do you really need to be working 75 hour weeks? Are there toxic relationships you need to cut out or drastically modify? These types of questions can help recenter you on what is important and what is not.

Entrepreneur Tips to Make Your Holidays Stress-Free

Graham Zahoruiko Entrepreneurs Tips for Holidays

It’s that time of year where stores are blasting Christmas music over their sound system, decorations of reds, greens, and golds are everywhere you look from streetlights to the exterior of homes in your neighborhood. Along with the holiday festivities comes the fun of food, family, and gatherings. While the holidays truly are a happy time of year, many tend to overlook the stress that builds up throughout this season.

For business owners, entrepreneurs, and even employees, work during the end of the year can cause anxiety, sleepless nights, and rising tension along with pressure. Don’t let the stress of the holiday season keep you from ending the year on a great note. This guide below will provide you with a grounded approach to handling the holidays in a stress-free manner.

 

Take a Break

During the end of the year, businesses have high pressure and a demanding time frame of deadlines. It’s not unusual to see people over-extending themselves during each workday. While getting in as much work as you can may seem necessary, you could be hindering your own productivity. To avoid burnout, make sure you give yourself a break.

Your brain and body will ease from stress if you take a break even just for a few moments. Rather than working endless, non-stop hours until the project is done, give yourself a 5-minute break when you feel overwhelmed or stressed. Taking frequent breaks is the key to productivity because it gives your mind a moment to refresh.

In addition to frequent breaks during your work day taking a moment to breath, use your PTO days if you have them. Not every company allows PTO to roll over to the following year, and you definitely shouldn’t let those days go to waste.

 

Keep Personal Life and Work Separate

You can easily become distracted during the work day when your personal life interferes. To avoid losing focus during your workweek, keep your personal life at home. Forget about the holiday parties you are invited to while working on a project. You can make time to schedule your personal parties and festivities after your work day. This may seem hard to do but here are a few solutions:

  • Don’t connect your personal calendar to your work calendar
  • Keep your personal phone off of your desk
  • Take a personal day if you need time to focus on life outside of work

While you gear up towards holiday festivities, don’t let the weight of stress drag you down. Be aware of your time, your effort, and your priorities and you will surely see that weight lifted for an enjoyable end of the year.

Maintaining Morale: A Great Reason To Change The Office Culture Around The Holidays

Graham Zahoruiko Office Culture

 

It’s that time of year where office happy hours and parties begin to take place as employers and employees gear up for the holidays. Rather than complain about the time and effort parties take, think about it from a new perspective. Office culture changes throughout the holidays and if office parties are done right, they can be a huge boost to employee morale.

 

Company Culture

A lot of companies like to talk about how they are different than other competitive businesses in their industry. One of their biggest bragging points often showcases their office culture and employee morale. If that is true, then they should have no problem incorporating a positive office culture for their employees– especially during the holidays. A holiday party is a great time to give everyone a taste of what makes their job great!

According to zip recruiter, holiday work parties are a great time to bring people together because it provides employees a time to take a break from their work and get to know their co-workers in a out-of-work-mode perspective. When employees have the opportunity to mingle in a more relaxed atmosphere, it can build their co-worker relationships and create stronger team bonding.

 

Meeting Others Who They Don’t Often Talk With

Holiday parties are a great time for people to speak with others who they do not necessarily come in contact with on a regular basis. The different departments within the company can all come together to celebrate the holidays with food, drinks, and non-work related conversations. After all of the hard work and time employees put into their jobs all year long, the holidays at the end of the year are the perfect time to take a break and celebrate.

 

A Chance To NOT Talk About Work

One of the best things about a holiday work party is that work is not the topic up for discussion. This brings fresh conversations allowing employees to get to know a different side to their co-workers. Employees shouldn’t spend this time worrying about their work. A break from work helps employees come back from burning out in their job. It’s great to see all of the different units of a company come together and just enjoy their time over food, drinks, and laughter.

Savvy Supply: Millennials Guide Industries Into the Future

Graham Zahoruiko Millennials in Industries

 

 

In the world of business, all eyes are on the supply chain as this is what drives global businesses to success. With more and more millennials (those born between 1980 and 1995) are entering the workforce nowadays, they’re becoming the much-talked-about generation– of which many have reached or are about to reach the age where they can apply for and uphold major careers. With their young, fresh knowledge, millennials are laying a new foundation for countless industries.

Millennials’ slow occupation of the working world comes with a variety of benefits, including an up-to-date knowledge of new technology. This savviness has suited the supply chain industry especially well, as many supply chain managers are recognizing the need to implement and adjust traditional business models to embrace modern concepts.

Here is a closer look at tech-savvy millennials’ place in the today’s supply chain industry.

Mastering the difficult

Millennials have been found to reflect a general knack for problem-solving. In fact, some commentators have proposed that it may actually be hard to keep them challenged. It is this valuable trait that has pushed the generation into a crucial position in terms of technological mastery. Many millennials have been predisposed to modern technology by simply growing up with it– or with primitive versions of it that aged alongside them. They have brought this knack to the professional forefront. In the supply chain, an industry that has only grown in its own complexities over the past decade, technology aside, this skillset is more than compatible with an environment that begs it. Millennials can use their knowledge of the difficult to bring older co-workers up to speed while applying their skills directly through their own positions, making them invaluable assets in face of an ever-changing future.

A lack of fear

Millennials capitalize on their seemingly undying thirst for knowledge with a general open-mindedness towards new concepts– especially those pertaining to technology. As millennials begin to make up a large portion of the industry, the industry itself has, by default, adopted this type of progressive thinking towards new technological concepts such as autonomous machines, social media, and big data analytics. This scenario has allowed supply chain companies to avoid pigeonholing themselves in obsolete concepts and constantly step outside of their comfort zone, which has subsequently resulted in an industry that is all but perfectly fine-tuned.

Humanization

On top of being welcoming to otherwise intimidating new technology, millennials are adept at humanizing the sometimes mechanical supply chain industry. The millennial mindset essentially revolves around the advent of human-centered technologies, including AI-based technology that is able to interact with and learn from human interaction. This approach is progressive, yet uncomfortable when matched up with the technologies of the 1980s, 1990s, and even the early 2000s. Yet, millennials have been taking these notions in stride, refusing to shy away from their potential detriments and focusing instead on the ways they can be healthy, logical, and most importantly– comfortable implementing into a supply chain work scenario.

Entrepreneurship and Your Brand

Graham Zahoruiko Entrepreneurship and Your Brand

 

For any entrepreneurs working on getting their company, product, or service off the ground and into the household vocabulary of average working people, branding must be an indispensable part of your game plan, or else you’re doomed to disappear into obscurity.

When entrepreneurs, marketers, and media agents talk about branding, they’re not necessarily just talking about the name, although the name does play an important role. Consider what pops into your head when you hear the phrase, “Burt’s Bees.” One of the most popular cosmetics and toiletries brands in the US, Burt’s Bees boasts a strong brand that includes more than just its unique name. The immediate connotation of the name “Burt’s Bees” elicits the story of its founder, a beekeeper from Connecticut, it’s distinctive yellow packaging, its use of organic and natural ingredients, and its efficacy at reducing dry skin and lips.

By contrast, consider what pops into your head when you hear the name of a celebrity or public figure, say, Oprah. Again, while she has products, her brand includes more than just her physical appearance. Oprah’s brand includes the way she makes people feel, her positive attitude, her financial prowess, and her social activism. All these aspects that come to mind differentiate Oprah from other wealthy Black talk show hosts in your mind — and it’s those elements of a brand that Entrepreneurs need to harness to ensure success for years to come.

For a company to establish a strong brand, it needs to meet two main criteria. First, it must make it clear what and who it is: What are you selling? To whom are you selling it? How will your life be better after buying the good or service your company is selling? Often, this is accomplished with excellent messaging, clear and concise advertising, and visual cues. Natural foods and cosmetics, for instance, usually call on greens and browns to evoke trees and fields in the buyer’s mind.

In addition to establishing who you are, brands also help to establish who you are not — that is, how are you different and/or better than others in your market or industry? Why should someone choose your product or service over that of your competition? Is your delivery better? Is your quality higher? Are your practices more ethical? Your branding needs to make it clear to your buyers that you offer something different enough that they should forgo their usual habits and pivot towards yours instead.

In today’s hyper-connected world, relevance and engagement are your friends. Many brands have harnessed the power of social media to bring internet trends into brick space and turn likes into sales. Others have turned to internal policies like fair trade suppliers and equitable benefits for employees of all genders and made their HR practices an integral part of their public brand. Still more base their brand on their intimate knowledge of the market and use their position as a thought leader to draw in buyers.

As you delve deeper and deeper into your business plan, always be conscious of your brand, from your LinkedIn header to the copy on your website.

An Era of Empowered Entrepreneurs and Freelancers

Graham Zahoruiko Era of Freelance

On the other hand, entrepreneurs are also thriving in a desirable career. Entrepreneurs collect investors and other money in order to make and maintain a business. Entrepreneurs do more than just running a business. They know how to leverage finances, implement strategic business plans and specialize in leadership and management skills.

With the digital world becoming widely more accessible and easily used, freelancers and entrepreneurs have an advantage. In the 21rst Century, we have an era of empowered freelancers and entrepreneurs.

Utilizing Social Media

Freelancers are all about social media, as most of their job revolves around it. Popular freelance jobs can be done remotely on a laptop virtually anywhere with an internet connection. Without social media, some freelancers wouldn’t have a job. Social media management, graphic design, digital web managers are just a few of the many freelance jobs that can utilize social media. Hiring jobs along those lines are booming lately as people recognize the importance of their online presence.

Businesses can utilize social media. Social media allows any business to grow their audience globally through various profiles. Not only can their grow their audience, but the can gain larger customer support and even increase their revenue through social media. With links to their websites and products, any consumer can find a business through social media and shop. 

The Economy

Entrepreneurs have a mutual goal of making a profit. They organize an idea, launch a startup or manage a business all to reach the goal of increasing revenue and earning a profit. Reaching out to investors is a large portion of what entrepreneurs do. Entrepreneurs are driving the economy and fueling its growth. As their business grows, so does the opportunity for jobs, including the hiring of freelancers. In today’s society, entrepreneurship nurtures the environment to drive business to success.

Today’s economy offers an empowerment to both entrepreneurs and freelancers. Working remotely, starting your own business and partnering with investors is easier now than it ever has been. If you’re a freelancer or entrepreneur, you’re in a great position in the world today.

What to Do When You Feel Like You’re Burning Out

Graham-Zahoruiko-Work

Burnout is a prevalent issue that plagues professionals in all industries, particularly entrepreneurs. When you’re in charge of a large group of people or running your own business, there are always hundreds of tasks you need to finish each day. Even though you have so much to do, it likely never seems as though you have enough time. You probably feel exhausted and like you just want to quit.

Use “no”

When you start feeling like you’re experiencing burnout, force yourself to begin saying “no.” If you’re on the verge of burnout with your job, do not take on more projects or responsibilities than you absolutely have to do. Most people will be understanding if you say you already have too much going on. Also, take time to scale back what you’re already working on and see if there’s any areas you can trim.

Schedule time for you

One of the most important items on this list, make sure you take time to look after yourself. Instead of spending every moment of the day focused on work or someone else, take a little time every day to do something you enjoy or just relax. Sit in silence, read a book, or watch an episode of your favorite television show. Scheduling time to take care of yourself makes you feel more calm.

More around

Whether moving around involves a short walk and frequent breaks or a regular workout routine, make sure you’re getting some form of exercise each day. You’ll feel better and your outlook on life will be more positive. You’ll also be healthier, which impacts the rest of your life in positive ways.

Have a no-screen time

No matter how busy you are and how important checking your emails is, you can set a time every night where you won’t have any screen time. Whether it’s just an hour or you refuse to look at your computer and phone at all after a certain time, it’s good to take time off from digital devices. Ideally, you would avoid using a computer or phone at least an hour before you plan on going to bed.

Work in steps

You’ll find it’s more manageable to accomplish your bigger projects if you break them into much smaller intervals. Work toward a goal one step at a time and you’ll feel less like you’re burning out. You’ll also have a greater sense of accomplishment as you complete each step.

Create a support system
The best way to help yourself with burnout is by creating a strong support system. If you’re married, have a roommate, or live with family, you can rely on them to help out with work around the house. You can also connect with friends and family through social events and take some time to get rid of stress. Find one person in your life that you can talk to about your concerns and you’ll feel much better after talking through it.

Prone to Turbulence: How Startups Can Weather Early Cause and Effect Factors

Creating a successful startup can be challenging. There are a number of things they must be able to weather. Plus they must accurately judge the market, have the right business model, enough capital, a good management team, effective strategies and a quality product.

Accurately Assess The Market

Startups must know the size of their market. This requires adequate research. Plus the product or service must offer a value proposition that’s compelling enough to attract and satisfy a large enough customer base. The startup must also set up shop at the appropriate time.

Create The Right Business Model

Startups must build a solid business model. One that addresses both the short-term and long-term need acquire customers. They need an interesting website, a good sales force and offer customers something they need. The business model must keep customer acquisition costs low and customers lifetime value high. Startups must also have a scalable business model.

Create Capital Efficiency

To succeed startups must have a capital efficient way of doing business. It must take into consideration the cost of acquiring customers and creating and marketing their product or service. Having access to cheap capital also helps. Capital efficient startups have a plan for recovering their customer acquisition costs within one year.

A Good Management Team

Startups must have management teams that create effective strategies, offer widely needed products and services and validate their ideas before and during production. The management team must also have great execution in terms of creating excellent products, bringing them to market on time and have effective marketing methods. They must also build a strong team below them.

Have Enough Cash

Many startups are able to succeed if they have enough cash to reach their milestones, create positive cash flow and attract adequate financing. They must be able to afford to cover their overhead, overcome technical and other types of obstacles, create excitement among their customer base and get customer validation. This will increase the valuation of the company and give them an opportunity to become profitable and continue to grow. Having the working capital they need is crucial for any startup.

Startups need several things to succeed. They must create products that meet the needs of a large market, quickly make necessary adjustments, keep customer acquisition costs low and can quickly monetize their customers using a good business model and management team. This enables them to overcome early turbulence.

From Students to CEO’s: Shaping Today’s Young Professionals into Tomorrow’s Innovative Leaders

Over the years I have run several organizations, started my own company and have given back to my community in various ways. Although at times this was not easy, and my professional goals seemed out of reach, I never gave up on myself and what I wanted to become. Through hard work, dedication, and ambition, my dreams turned into reality and for those reasons, among others, I became the successful professional that I am today. But what about the young business leaders of this generation?

businessprofessionals

 According to the Harvard  Business Review, today’s  youth are now growing up  with the idea that going into  business for themselves can  provide them with a life that  is both meaningful and  purposeful, as well as  impactful to the rest of the  world in a positive way.  Today’s teen and young  adults understand the importance of education and turn their minds into personal businesses for their future endeavors. Many are in the early stages of their career where they can seize certain opportunities and bounce back from minor setbacks. For me, this is something that I had to later learn through trial and error.

Statistics from the Pew Research Center show that 54% of millennials have college degrees, versus 36% of non-millennials who did not. This may be because of the emphasis that we put on education and self-sufficiency today then we did in the past. However you slice the numbers, more young people are shaping the world through innovative business ventures and becoming the leaders of their time, but how exactly are young leaders made?

Creating Leadership Habits

In a previous blog that I wrote, I highlighted the five habits that all great leaders should possess.These same qualities is what young leaders have obtained throughout their everyday lives to ensure that they’ll be as successful as they want to be.

leadershiphabits

Some leadership habits that I think should be touched on here would be: 1.) Question the Status Quo, 2.) Carve Your Own Path and 3.) Focus On What Matters. I truly believe that leaders are created when they go against the traditional rules of  business and focus on what makes them unique. Forbes article on the “12 Habits Of Exceptional Leaders”  points out having a “sense of purpose” as another habit that leaders are born with, and for young people this is a vital attribute that one should posses.

Having a sense of purpose and identity not only separates you from your peers, but it puts you in a position to act and think on your own. Knowing what you want to accomplish before hand and the steps that you need to take to pursue your dreams is definitely a leadership habit that future young CEO’s, executives and leaders should have.

What Can We Learn From These Young Professionals?

businessschoolMany people believe that years of career experience, expert knowledge and long term professional connections is what makes someone successful and credible. Today, corporate businesses are promoting CEO’s under the age of thirty because of their “can do” attitudes, perseverance, and creative ideas towards the business.

Some things that we can learn from our young leaders of today are:

  • Working “smarter” not harder will land you the job you want.
  • Not being afraid to speak up on new ideas and thoughts
  • Having a sense of purpose of your personal career goals and aspirations can take you far
  • Focusing on what matters will save you time on worrying about things that don’t

For more articles on business, leadership, and professional development visit my blog.