Anxiety- The Most Non Talked About Issue Facing Business Professionals

After speaking with and surveying over 3,000 business professionals last year I
was amazed to discover that anxiety, the most non talked about problem affecting business
people, was an issue for 40% of those completing my survey. We will talk about almost
anything else but the issue of anxiety is strictly taboo in the business world. After
all, what would people think if they knew you really didn’t have it all together?
Who
would promote someone like that? Who would do business with someone like that? My survey
hit both corporate and entrepreneurs alike, from administrative professionals to CEO’s to
small business owners. There didn’t seem to be any group that wasn’t affected. For some
reason most people seem to believe that they are the only ones who are affected. I know I
sure did.

I had my own dealings with anxiety a few years back. Surprised? Somehow I managed
to hide it from almost everyone. After all how could someone who was in my profession
expect to attract new clients if people knew the truth?
The truth is there were days when
I couldn’t even leave the house it was so bad. Anxiety reared its ugly head shortly after
a move, a flood, and the sale of a business I built from scratch, my mother’s heart
attack and a diagnosis of cancer. It doesn’t always follow traumatic events like this but
this is how it was for me. A few months later 9/11 happened. My world began to spin out
of control. I found myself unable to concentrate, my heart was racing and I was out of
breath. I was restless, edgy and keyed up. I couldn’t sleep and my muscles constantly
ached. My short-term memory was very short term.

And so I learned. I learned that sometimes you couldn’t just will it away.
Believe me I tried. Anxiety is a multi-faceted issue and I found that it takes a
multi-faceted approach. I do not believe in taking prescription medications so that was
not an option for me. Besides I knew that if this had happened to me then it was
happening to others as well. I was determined to get through this using only natural
methods.

I found a fabulous doctor, Dr. Janet Chene in Kerrville, Texas. She was willing
to work with me and offered advice on diet, supplements and herbs that would help. I
hired a Life Coach to work with me to keep me on track until I could balance on my own.
The key I discovered was balance. My entire body, mind and spirit were way out of
balance. I felt like I was walking a tightrope while trying to juggle balls in the air,
any moment I feared I would fall. The physical body needed support through proper
nutrition and exercise.

I learned to focus on my breath, to slow it down and mostly to become aware of when I was
holding my breath. Breath, I found was the key.I discovered that by simply changing the
pattern of my breath I could change how I felt and how I reacted to life.
Finally I began
to feel in control!

I am fond of using the breath and meditation. Once you learn the techniques it’s like
riding a bike, you never really forget.
You breath moves with you everywhere you go and
costs nothing to use. The key is to start somewhere and start now. Each day your life
begins anew and you have the ability to move closer to the life you would love to have!

There are so many ways to get back into balance and everybody has to find the
methods that work for them. From breath work to acupuncture to meditation to
chiropractic, there are many ways to restore balance to the body/mind. When you restore
the body/mind to a more balanced state you wake up each day in joyful anticipation of
what the day has to offer, your physical body is healthy and strong and your mind is
sharp and focused and your emotions no longer swing wildly from one mood to the next.

There is no one solution for everyone. Begin by combining different therapies and methods
to find the ones that work for you. Find a natural practitioner or doctor who you feel
comfortable talking to about your situation. Enlist the help of a Life Coach. With a little help you will be back in the game of life in no time.

One Minute Nugget: In 2011, What Is the Most Difficult Problem Facing Business Presenters?

Technology when used well can enhance your message and credentials, but the problem is that most presenters are lazy and make the technology the message. Technology, while a great tool, does not necessarily lead to better presentations.

A bad movie is a bad movie whether it’s played on DVD, HDTV or 3D. If you cannot deliver an effective presentation by simply standing up and speaking to an audience, then using a slide-deck, playing a video or using an iPad is not going to make you a better presenter. In fact, it is more likely to either confuse your audience or make the technology the centre of the presentation.

The main purpose of any presentation – whether in a face-to-face meeting or on a conference call is twofold.

Firstly, there is the communication aspect, like informing the team of a new procedure, persuading your manager that you need a new resource or influencing an existing client to expand their business with you. It’s a good idea to write down what you wish to achieve before you start to prepare your main message or slides. This will give you a focus and something to check against as you develop your presentation.

The second purpose is to enhance the credibility of the presenter in the eyes of the audience. Think about the best speakers you know in your company, they tend to be regarded with a golden halo because they have good speaking skills. When you get to a senior level in an organisation the person who gets promoted to the executive level is likely to have the better soft skills, which means highly effective speaking and presenting skills. Have you asked whether your last presentation enhanced or detracted from your credibility. Many business presenters brush over the importance of their weekly ‘routine’ presentations which they make to their teams or line managers. But over time these interactions have a significant impact on how you are regarded inside your company.

So, in 2011, make a commitment to use technology less and bolster your presentation skills more. Attend a workshop, get a coach, or simply grab a book and rehearse the tips that are in the book. Record yourself, playback, critique and go again. Give yourself the edge when it comes to taking the next opportunity in your business and personal life. Have a great 2011! Whatever you do and wherever you are, I sincerely wish that your life improves and you take great strides forward in reaching your dreams!

Is Social Media Ringing a Death Knell For Face To Face Business Networking?

Slowly but surely the business world is starting to understand what social media is all about and how it can be used to establish and develop new relationships. The “why is anyone interested in what I had for breakfast” question about Twitter is being replaced by recognition that joining the Twitter conversation can be beneficial.

I use Twitter all the time to find new business and I can’t stress enough the two most important points for getting the most out of this medium:-

  1. Listen – Make use of the search facility to find out what’s going on and what people are saying, use hashtags to find the most appropriate conversations to take part I.
  2. Engage – Many refer to Twitter as a microblog and this analogy implies that it should be regarded as a blog i.e. a vehicle for broadcasting information. Nothing could be further from the truth, the beauty of Twitter is all about building relationships through on-line conversation, helping people and giving.

Now I accept that there are a lot of users on Twitter that broadcast links to affiliate programs in the vague hope that someone will click and buy but think about it this way:-

Just because they do it, doesn’t mean that it works.

How many get rich quick programs do you see on the internet? It’s these guys who take your money and tell you to do this type of broadcast tweet.

Returning to the two most important points about Twitter that I made above, read them again and ask yourself how close are they to the fundamental techniques of face to face business networking? Pretty close and in essence the desired and achieved results are the same. So if that’s the case, why should I bother getting out of bed at 05.30 in the morning to sit in a room with others and then feel tired for the rest of the day? Why not just enjoy a leisurely breakfast and then see what’s cooking on Twitter?

I attended a face to face business networking group recently, a new one and I attended as a guest. As I walked in the door I felt a little nervous but deep down I know that when the first conversation started, I would feel more at ease. Guess what? Nobody took the trouble to come and talk to me!

No official welcome. Nothing. Of course I made the best of it and opened up a few conversations myself and I have to say that a couple of inquiries did emerge and I managed to start a new relationship that looks positive and could be of mutual benefit but overall I still left the meeting wondering why I had bothered.

My belief is that if face to face business networking is going to survive then it’s going to have to do better than this. If it’s possible to build relationships and find new business using the new age of social media then face to face business networking has to make itself more user friendly especially when it comes to welcoming new guests and making them feel comfortable.

Ironically, the discussion point in the meeting was “how to grow the group”! I’m not sure whether this comes from too much navel gazing or not enough but if this is reflective of the standard of face to face business networking generally then I’ll stick with social networking and have a lie in bed.