By Steve Davis, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™
It used to be that there were two types of people in the world: the haves and the have-nots. Today, there are three: the haves, the have-nots and the have-not-paid-for-what-they-haves. While we might smile at this description, it really isn’t funny. One of the most important, if not most difficult, principles of finance is to spend less than you earn.
So how do you do that in today’s economy? Many folks focus on trying to cut costs; they skip their morning Starbucks in favor of coffee brewed at home, for example. But really, how much does this help when gas prices go through the roof? Admittedly, there are some ways to cut significant monthly expenses by refinancing to a lower home mortgage rate, or switching insurance coverage for your home, auto or health. But there is only so much you can do to cut your spending. Earning more income, however, may be a better option to meet the goal of spending less than you earn.
Jen Vondenbrink is co-host and producer of the upcoming “Not Business as Usual” networking conference. She says, “The key to networking — whether it’s online or in person — is to enjoy it. Gone are the days of merely collecting business cards. Today, networking is about demonstrating your willingness to give and add value before ever asking for anything in return.” With some willpower and effort, developing an extensive network of friends and business partners is attainable. Having good relationships — true friendship and reliable business partnerships — is one secret to happiness, wealth building and career success.
Here are two tips to get you started:
1. Talk to people. Surround yourself with people by going to where the people are. Attend conferences and conventions and meetings.
- The Chamber of Commerce offers all sorts of opportunities such as small seminars and a monthly networking event called “Business After Hours”. They’re currently holding a membership drive too so now is the time to join if you’re not already a member.
- The “Not Business As Usual” Conference will be held at the Mansfield Holiday Inn on October 27 and according to Vondenbrink, promises to “connect you with innovated strategists, business professionals and industry experts who will inspire you to “take-action” towards growing your business and becoming more profitable”.
2. Follow up and Keep in Touch. If you say you’re going to do something, by all means do it. Otherwise you’re just another schmoozer. According to local business coach Greg DeSimone, “Sharing information – whether it’s a website, article, report of referral — builds your credibility. When you meet someone you would like to keep in touch with, send a quick follow-up email inviting them to connect with you on LinkedIn.” DeSimone continues, “You build relationships by being useful to the other person and helping them. If you can do that consistently without expecting anything in return, a funny thing happens — people reach out to help you.”