Sizzle up your business in 4 ways this summer

Does it seem like everyone else is leaving early, headed to the shore, or embarking on a cool vacation while you’re stuck in the office? Don’t let the heat get you down. Use summertime to your advantage and stir up some sizzle in your business. Here’s how!

1. Sizzle up your introductions. You can still keep it professional while chatting about what you’re up to this summer. Work/play getaway? Gearing up for a corporate retreat? Celebrating a career milestone? Opening up may get the conversation flowing in a fresh direction and help you build a deeper relationship.

2. Host a sizzle. That means hosting a get-together and summertime is a great time for socializing. You can kick your profile up a notch by hosting or organizing a get-together. Everyone loves an invitation! Make it an all-out backyard BBQ, an easy margarita mix & mingle, or an invitation to an outdoor cocktail hour near the office. Invite your best clients, prospective clients and future collaborators (think way beyond your close friends). If you’re hosting at your home or office, don’t feel pressure to do it all yourself. Ask guests to bring an appetizer or a beverage that everyone will enjoy. Alternatively, coordinate a happy hour for your industry peers, customers, colleagues, or other businesses in your neighborhood. Pick a great spot, ask the manager to come up with a signature drink special (suggest something that integrates your company colors), arrive early, help facilitate introductions and enjoy. Be sure to thank everyone for coming.

3. Volunteer with sizzle. Summertime can bring a lull to many non-profit organizations who may often see an uptick in engagement around the holiday season. Joining a volunteer committee can provide powerful networking opportunities while doing great things for your community. You’ll meet other movers, shakers and do-goobers, which can help put you in a good position as the weather cools down. Try helping out with a 5K walk/run or a summer concert in the park. If you’re worried about the heat, get a small group together to help with an office mailing (hello, air conditioning).

4. Sizzle right into fall. NOW is the time to plan for the fall season. New fiscal calendars will begin, new budgets will be set for 2015 and you want to stay top of mind. Get in touch with decision makers now, make appointments for September, and ask how you can be helpful as they aim to reach end of year goals in the coming months and/or develop strategies for the New Year.

Cheers!

5 Ways to Take Back Your Weekend

Enjoying the weekend

Enjoying the weekend

Are you exhausted by the time the weekend ends? Does Monday morning arrive and you feel like you never disconnected from work and barely connected with friends and family? You’re not alone. But no one can change it for you. It’s time to take back your weekend!  

1. Host a dinner/lunch/brunch at home. Invite a few friends or family members over for a meal. It doesn’t need to be complicated. Sit down at the table (no cell phones allowed) and catch up. If you’re not a fan of cooking, make it a potluck and ask everyone to bring a dish. It’s the connecting that counts!

2. Go for a walk. That’s right. Get off the computer and get out of the gym. Get outside and go for a walk. Fresh air does wonders!

3. Play a game without screen. Remember Scrabble? Chess, anyone?

4. Disconnect. Do you feel anxious when you read emails and start thinking about all the work you need to do? Schedule a short time window (30 minutes max) to review emails and muster the courage to only respond to urgent items. In most cases, it can wait until Monday morning. Be sure you’re not perpetuating the problem by sending emails with a tone of panic. You don’t want to be the cause of anyone else’s anxiety, right?

5. Make a list. Still feeling anxious about your workload come Monday morning? Keep a notepad and pen handy. Every time you feel the urge to address a work-related item just write it down instead. By writing it down, you won’t worry that you’ll forget and you’re more likely to recognize that it can probably wait. Keep a running list and review it first thing Monday morning so you can handle the most pressing tasks immediately.

Disconnecting from electronics can help you reconnect with your friends and family. It’s not easy for anyone these days. But by doing so, you’ll set a great example for those around you, at home and in the office. Oh, be sure to send me a dinner invitation (and I love playing Scrabble).