Monday, February 23, 2015

Hear Judy Robinett Talk about Being a Power Connector

I have posted about a fabulous new book, How to Be a Power Connector, by Judy Robinett (The No. 1 business book of 2014, according to Inc. Magazine). It is, quite honestly the most useful, professional life-changing book I've ever read.

If you haven't read it yet, you can get a great preview by listening to this podcast interview, in which Judy talks with Mike Wong about the main concepts of the book.

By the way, Mike Wong's "Business Insights" podcast series is an amazing resource. Each interview lasts only 25-30 minutes, and literally dozens of experts have spoken on quite a diversity of useful topics. Check it out!

Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2015. Building Personal Strength .

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Need Money to Launch Your Business? Judy Robinett Can Help You Find It

Judy Robinett
Recently I was rereading Judy Robinett's best-selling book, How to Be a Power Connectorwhich was named by Inc. Magazine the "No. 1 Business Book" for 2014. In addition to being the author of the best book about networking ever written, she is in fact a world-class networker herself.

As I was reading her book for the third time, halfway through the introduction I was stopped by a sentence which explains that she is much more than the author of this book:

"I am a consultant specializing in putting early-stage companies in front of angel and venture capital investors."

Then I watched this video, which she made for In six minutes, she gives the most practical guidance for finding money I've ever seen.

For small businesses to succeed in finding the right kind of funding, Judy recommends that you have to prepare well, create a concise and compelling pitch, and present it in "the right room."

I've known about incubators, angel investors and venture capitalists, but Judy mentions some sources that were new to me: family offices and crowd-funding.

She also encourages entrepreneurs to ask for help. If you're a start-up, maybe you should start with Judy

About her book...

Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2015. Building Personal Strength .

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Assure vs. Ensure vs. Insure - Get That Righteous Feeling

I was once in a meeting with some colleagues when I used the word "ensure" in the context of making sure something happens. To my surprise, a woman in attendance corrected me on the spot. She said I had confused "insure" with "ensure." The Duke Ph.D. in English part of me rankled at this, and I told her that while the two verbs have similar connotations, their meanings were the opposite of what she said. But she held her ground over this interesting point of grammar. I realized she had a strong need to be right, and with an open mind said, "You may be right," and let it go.

Today, 30 years later, I remembered this incident. Don't ask me why. At my age a lot of off-the-wall memories pop into my mind. Maybe my life is flashing before my eyes.

So just to be sure, I googled it, and the top-rated grammar website happened to be my favorite: If you're ever concerned whether you're about to make a fool of yourself by misusing the English language, I highly recommend it. Search for the issue, or get the book and keep it close.

It's amazing the mistakes people make, especially news and sports announcers. Book authors not so much; they have editors to keep them straight.

Here is what Grammar Book says about assure vs. insure vs. ensure:

Assure is to promise or say with confidence. It is more about saying than doing.
Example: I assure you that you’ll be warm enough.

Ensure is to do or have what is necessary for success.
Example: These blankets ensure that you’ll be warm enough.

Insure is to cover with an insurance policy.
Example: I will insure my home with additional fire and flood policies.

So. I was correct. And even better, I restrained myself from arguing about it at the time. I just love righteous memories.

Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2015. Building Personal Strength .

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Ultimate Book on Networking: How to Be a Power Connector

After the third time my business partner, MeredithBell, raved about Judy Robinett’s book, How to Be a Power Connector (McGraw-Hill, 2014), I decided I should read it. Meredith is almost never wrong about these things.

The book arrived the day before I left to go SCUBA diving in Bonaire with friends, so I brought it with me to read on the plane. By the time I'd returned, I'd read it cover-to-cover, very slowly, twice, meticulously underlining hundreds of need-to-remember passages. is the most important success/professional development book I've read in decades. For me it’s a game-changer. It has caused me to rethink how I approach my business and how I work as a writer.

An exceedingly well-structured and well-written book, it skillfully blends the idea of strategic, purposeful networking with the central imperative to generously add value, giving over and over without expecting anything in return.

More than that, Robinett gives a wealth of specific how-to recommendations:
  • How to put practical limits on your networking activities: the 5+50+100 rule.
  • How to evaluate your professional relationships.
  • How to organize a system to keep track of these relationships.
  • How to “ask” for what you need.
  • How to follow up after making contact.
  • How to “work a room” at a public gathering.
  • How to use social media to nurture your network.
  • How to identify people you don’t want in your network.
  • How to assess your own value as a network resource.
  • How to approach a new contact.
And a lot more. I especially liked her insights about the differences between male and female networkers.

The book has so much how-to “meat” about this vital subject that for me, it’s more than a how-to book. It’s a reference book. It won't live in my bookcase. It will live on my desk. Before I adopt a tracking system, before I attend another conference, before I approach another high-profile influencer, I'll reread the relevant chapters.

No wonder Inc. Magazine named it the No. 1 Business Book of 2014.

I honestly feel that anyone who is trying to succeed in business and who hasn't read the book is at a serious disadvantage. My advice: get your hands on a copy and read it at your earliest convenience.

Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2015. Building Personal Strength .

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Gary Player - Hard Work Made Him a Golf Legend

I've always been a big fan of PGA golf. As a young man in the 1960s, I played 18 holes nearly every day and sometimes 36. As a high school senior, I was captain of the golf team. And I enthusiastically followed the careers of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Gary Player - all legendary champions.

I recently viewed a revealing interview with Gary Player. What struck me is that the physical and mental strength that allowed him to compete with Palmer and Nicklaus and win 9 major championships in his career came from his difficult childhood. He deeply loved his mother, but she died when he was 8 years old. His father worked in the mines, so young Gary would have to get himself up at 5 A.M., make his breakfast, catch a trolley car to town, walk across town to a bus stop and ride a bus to school. He returned home the same way to an empty house - at the age of 8. So as a young boy he learned that life was challenging, and he consciously worked on toughening himself up - physically and mentally - to prevail through the challenges.

By contrast, many kids raised today are coddled by parents who feel they must protect their kids from want and difficulty. Young people who don't have to work for what they want grow up with a feeling of entitlement and without the personal strengths they'll need in a world that doesn't care whether they succeed or fail.

How can a child learn to do the hard things if they are protected from adversity while growing up?

I think you'll enjoy this...

Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2014. Building Personal Strength .