This week The Business Corners – a place that freelancers, startups, web developers, small business owners and other independent professionals can join and use a state-of-the-art facility as well as work alongside each other in an open community – will be the site of two opportunities for anyone involved with starting or developing a home-based business:
Home-Based Business Expo on Friday December 2, 2011 – a free event where individuals can network and learn about different work-from-home businesses, small businesses, and freelance services. Vendors are still needed. For more information contact Jerian at email@example.com or 631-337-1603.
Women’s Holiday Expo & Fair on Saturday December 3, 2011 – where women can support other women selling their products and services and do some networking at the same time.
The home-based business is an increasingly popular way to exploit the potential of social media in the economic downturn, “proving again that necessity really does bring about innovation,” according to Enterpeneur.com which cites Catering, Event Planning, Virtual Assistance, and Online Retail (e.g., through websites such as www.etsy.com) as among the most promising opportunities in 2011. “For a couple of reasons, home-based opportunities have become popular as a result of the recession. First, technology makes communication effortless and affordable for entrepreneurs.”
The skill and mind set that maximizes the opportunities of networking and social media starts with self-knowledge, because confidence grows when we recognize our strengths, acknowledge our accomplishments and identify the environments in which we are most likely to shine. Focusing on what we know we have going for us gives us energy to grow in the areas in which we need to expand. C. Robert Cloninger, a researcher at the Center for Well-Being at Washington University at St. Louis published studies showing that greater self-knowledge is associated with having a higher proportion of positive thoughts on a regular basis. This tells us that positive thoughts and emotions are essential to proper brain functioning as well as well-being, And that a constructive, creative approach to problems can lead to a sustainable and enduring share of good feelings.
Here are some techniques that foster the networking mind and skill set:
- Make a list of your established strengths and accomplishments. Be specific. Write down positive comments others have made about these, in letters, conversations, or performance reviews. Look at this list every day. When negative thoughts or fears surface, bring this list into your consciousness and sustain it as long as possible.
- Make a list of undeveloped potential and unused abilities. Next to each of these, list actions to take that will tap those potentials. Research organizations, websites, conferences, or classes that offer opportunities to attend training, observe others already involved in these areas, and talk to people.
- Take stock of all the people in personal, social and professional networks and the contributions they make to your well-being as well as what you do for them. Write down their names and list the gifts they give you. Write down all the roles you take in relating to them and the special skills you use in that relationship. If there are few relationships of this kind on your list, figure out why and change it.
- Feel uncomfortable meeting new people? Get busy doing something important. The discomfort will be there, but with a higher purpose.
- Volunteer for a not-for-profit organization. Sharing skills and expertise not only builds trust but clearly displays what your business or service has to offer.
- Join local community organizations and sign up for committees.
- Journaling, meditation, and creative experiences are excellent methods for increasing self-awareness and have the added value of getting past the defenses we all constructed in school when we became fearful of making mistakes or appearing foolish. A consistent practice of quiet self-reflection allows creative, intuitive ideas to flow.
A kind of emotional and creative vigilance is required to navigate the networked business and professional world and these techniques keep our energy up, enhance mental clarity, and enhance the necessary commitment to self that lead to success.