Priceless Valentine

LOVE this photo of me and Katie Bailey from today’s Valentine lunch. The addition of pixie dust makes me smile.

She’s like my big sis in business. SO much love and respect for this woman.

If you know anything about my business life, you know I will be the first to tell you that I aim to surround myself with people who are better than me. Why? Because they have something I want, and I want to learn how to get it. I respect their integrity, mind, ethics, goals, vision, heart, challenges, triumphs, stories, experience – all of it.

They are real, honest, open, willing coaches, and philanthropic minded. They make a difference.

Katie is one of those people. She knows way more than I will ever know about financial markets and how they work and how to set yourself up for a successful retirement. Why? Because she’s been talking numbers since she was a little girl. It was a way of family life for her.

If you take nothing else from this post, think about this…surround yourself with people you can learn from, who live and breathe and ARE their craft in life. Business will be done right and fair and honest and you’ll know you’re making a difference in the community because people know you really do care and you really have their best interest at heart.

In my opinion, you can’t put a pricetag on that.

#peoplematter

Side Hustles: A Career Consultant’s Perspective

When Suzy Lawson with The Entrepreneuress Within reached out to me this week to ask me to submit a guest post about different types of businesses and how to choose a side hustle from my perspective as a career consultant, client stories began rushing back to me as I reminisced on my time with each one. I also thought of how interesting her request was to have fallen on Easter weekend as millions will pause for a brief moment to celebrate resurrection and life.

To date Career Direct, a division of Crown Financial (the company I’m certified with) has helped over a quarter million people find direction in line with their personalities, interests, skills, and values. We’ve been featured in Relevant Magazine and Fox News, and universities you may have heard of (Lee in Cleveland, TN and Liberty in Virginia, to name a few) are using our assessments among their student bodies.

It’s the assessment that helped me move forward with my MBA, which in turn made me eligible to teach in a local college. It also helped me realize my passions and gave me “permission” to expand The Referrals Group into the Southeast. We’ve started three new groups since June 2017 and will be starting a fourth in a few more weeks with more on the horizon.

While I’m building my passion, being certified has allowed me to make extra income by helping others who are struggling with what they either want to do as a side hustle or a complete career change. It cost me several hundred dollars to be certified, but I made that back the first week. If someone offers you a side hustle opportunity without some sort of investment (whether it be time, money, or other resources), be wary. There’s always an opportunity cost if it’s legitimate. In addition, don’t overprice your side hustle. But don’t underprice it either. Research. Know the ins and out. Become an expert at it.

I haven’t had people balk at my pricing for the assessment process as it sets people up for future success. I know it works and have witnessed transformation, so I never apologize for my pricing. It’s worth every penny and then some.

I’m sure some of you might be thinking, “Yeah, I’ve taken those personality tests, and they’re pretty much all the same. They tell me I need to be a _____________, and I don’t want to be a _____________.” Or maybe you don’t want to go back to school or maybe you feel too old and you’ve missed your chance. This is why it’s important to have someone who has been trained and is skilled in reading people, interpreting results, asking the right questions, etc to help you delve deep and pull out those dreams that may have gotten buried long ago. Or if your son or daughter is on their way to college, it helps to have an unbiased person who has no agenda whatsoever help them peel back the layers of who they are and give them some tools for future decision making.

I’m honored to have worked with the kid who couldn’t decide between studying to be an orthopaedic surgeon or a financial advisor. I was able to help him work through those two scenarios, and for him it came down to his personal values of time, family, friends, and travel. He’s now a student at the University of GA working on his MBA in finance.

And the woman who was in mid career transition who started a non profit based on her passion for animals.

And the former addict who needed to be reminded he has been given so many gifts and talents and that his passion for sales was legitimate despite what his father wanted.

And the beautiful young woman who suffered from severe depression who now has a wide open beautiful world of opportunity in her future.

I tell you these stories because at the end of the day, if our work isn’t contributing to people’s lives in a positive manner, perhaps we need to rethink what we are doing.

What is your life work doing to help other people? Are you working in your passion? If not, this week The Entrepreneuress Within has provided some great tools to help you get unstuck and to give you ideas and choices to do something different.

If I can ever be of service to you to help you in the first step of discovering yourself again so you can have some fresh wind in your sails to pursue a new adventure, I’m always a click away.

Thanks again Suzy for seeking my perspective. Happy Easter weekend everyone. May the resurrection of our Lord remind you He makes all things new, including our side hustles.

#PeopleMatter

So, You’re the Networking Queen (or King). Show Me Your Treasure.

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Business networking is all the rage and has been for quite some time. Various networking buzz words abound such as referral networking, social networking, professional networking and so on. Technically speaking, I’ve been in the “referral industry” since my elementary school days when I made my first connection to my schoolmate Ginger Lumpkin who had just discovered Barry Manilow. My mom had an album of all his greatest hits and I was able to “connect and refer.” As a result my mom gave Ginger that album (which sparked a lifelong musical love affair for her). Ginger caught up with me a few months ago while she was visiting Chattanooga and what old album was in the AirBnB? You guessed it.

Ginger Lumpkin 2017

30+ Years later, she’s still a fan of Barry.

Referrals: Challenging questions

But I digress. Professionally speaking, I’ve been in the referral industry for over 10 years. It’s in my blood. It’s the connection that excites me most – who do I know that can help you be more successful and move you towards your best future? However, this industry comes with its own challenges. Big questions exist like, “How well do I know the person I’m referring?” “What happens if my referral ends up being a disaster?” “What happens when I’m the one doing most of the referring to the detriment of my own financial well-being?” “How often do I need to network to keep my referral pipeline full?”

Networking: Which format is best?

And then there’s the actual task of networking to get those referrals. A Google search of the term “business networking” today produced 9.5 million results, while the term “referral networking” produced just over 414,000 results. “Referrals” produced a whopping 53.3 million results! One may ask why that’s relevant, and the answer is because there is an art to networking, and if we don’t understand how to network, we will forever be running from one networking event to the next with no hard data to show the success we’ve experienced in doing so. And may I be so bold to say that just because a well known face appears at every networking event over and over again, does not necessarily mean they are successfully living out a true referral networking model. A name is just that – the question is how is the name benefiting people in a positive manner? A person could probably spend all day every day at the number of networking events that exist, but without a clear vision and purpose, we might as well stay home.

Networking: I love you. I hate you.

Frankly, I have a love/hate relationship with networking because there are so many different belief systems as to how we should go about it. Some would say we should go to as many events and get as many connections as we can because it’s a numbers game. Others prefer to be members of exclusive referral groups where only one person from each professional category is granted membership. Still others prefer to do most of their networking online via LinkedIn or Alignable.  My opinion? It’s not about the venue or the method – it’s about why and how. Once we discover and learn those two essential keys, the business of networking will transform you both professionally and personally.

Networking Trolls

As most reading this already know, I prefer the exclusive referral group method in conjunction with utilizing the online sites I mentioned above. I detest attending various “events” for the sake of “being seen.” If you see me at an event, there’s probably a really good reason for it, not because I’m “trolling.” Networking “trolls” are what give networking a bad rap. We’ve all likely experienced them. We see them at every event. They make it a point to get their business cards in everyone’s hand and may even go around the room placing their flyers and business cards at everyone’s seat. And my all time favorite – when we enter into conversation with them, they monopolize it by ensuring we know that they know all the “important” people and have an insane need to impress us. Can anyone relate? (And if you are one – stop it! Eat a slice of humble pie and drop the act and just be authentic and transparent!)

Networking: Why and How?

No matter which networking method we choose to embrace, we must know why we are networking. Obviously we all need to take care of our financial obligations, but if there’s not a bigger purpose behind our wallet, perhaps we need to take a good look in the mirror and consider there might be some spiritual and personal development we need to pursue.

Why

We spend the majority of our lives working and we have an impact on the people we cross paths with even if we don’t realize it. The very first question I ask a business client or a student when I consult with them is “Why did you choose this line of work or field of study?” Most of the time I either receive an “I don’t know” answer or “Because I want to help people.” I continue asking why until we hit the heart of who that person is at the core. For example, I do what I do because I am all to familiar with personal tragedy and loss, and I know what it takes to rise up out of shattered dreams and innocence and get back in the game with confidence and new sense of purpose. There are many people I need to connect with to inspire them to keep moving forward. My personal why statement is, “I exist to elevate the lives of others through C.E.I.R.S. (Connect. Engage. Inspire. Refer. Succeed).” Every choice I make, every event I attend, every connection I make must align with my why statement, otherwise I’m doing myself and others a disservice.

How

The second key to successful networking is the how. There is no sugar coating this one – be a person of integrity and follow up. We need to say what we mean, do what we say, and follow up to ensure expectations were met, and if not fix it if it is within our control to do so. I have taught people over the years the how behind networking, and for me the best way to learn that is in an exclusive referral group format such as The Referrals Group. Being laser-focused on building our skills as master networkers is the secret to our own success, because Zig Ziglar was right when he said, “You will get all you want in life when you help others get all they want in life.” It’s the oxymoron of our lives – give to get.

Treasure

In conclusion, as the title indicated, if we claim to be networking queens or kings, we must have “treasure” to show for it. How many lives are we positively impacting? How many clients wouldn’t know what to do if they didn’t have our expertise and help? How many people refer us to others? How many people are following our lead? How much of our true self do our family and friends get? How do we help the poor and the needy? How do we invest in the next generation? The answers to these questions and more will show us what state our treasure boxes are in. What are we filling them with?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Press Release: The Referrals Group Introduces Ginger Terrell as Regional Director for the Southeast

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Bart Giles
Phone: 502-777-6639
E-mail: bart@thereferralsgroup.com

The Referrals Group Introduces Ginger Terrell as Regional Director

Chattanooga, TN (May 3, 2017) The Referrals Group announced that Ginger Terrell will be the Regional Director for their new expansion into the Southeast. Terrell will serve as the main public contact and spokesperson for the Southeast division and will work closely with highly skilled, busy professionals to build dynamic, effective, efficient groups who are like-minded and focused on quality and results. Ginger has lived in Chattanooga since 1978 and has a vast and varied network in virtually every business sector and social circle both here and abroad. Her work experience spans several industries to include Business and Career Consulting, Marketing and Advertising, Food and Beverage, and Insurance. During her downtime she enjoys blogging, listening to music, reading, and cooking.

The Referrals Group Founder, Bart Giles stated, “I am more than thrilled to have her join the team. Ginger is a 10-year veteran of the business networking sector, she holds an MBA from Liberty University and is known as a great connector and team builder,” reports Giles. “I think she will do great things in this area.  We are thrilled to have her on board to move the business forward.”

The referral process is hands down the best way to develop new business and build long-lasting relationships,” says Terrell. “I have spent a significant amount of time during the last decade training business professionals how to be effective networkers who provide quality referrals, and I’m not even the best trainer in the world! Probably the biggest asset I bring to The Referrals Group is my ability to be a ‘Master Connector;’ I live to connect people and watch beautiful things happen.”

According to Giles, The Referrals Group was created to improve the reputation of referral network marketing and to provide an organized way to confidently provide legitimate referrals, which produce positive results. The first group started in January 2014 in Lexington KY, and as of today 32 groups are dispersed between Louisville and Lexington. “This is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ model,” says Giles. “We create a custom plan for each group based around their collective goals. The expansion will permit us to offer additional services and/or an alternative to other networking groups in the Southeast for busy, successful professionals who are either unable to be a part of other groups due to classification lockouts and/or cannot attend weekly meetings on a regular basis.”

For more information on The Referrals Group, check out the website at www.thereferralsgroup.com or contact Regional Director, Ginger Terrell at  423-355-1921 or ginger@TheReferralsGroup.com. You can also find the Southeast division’s Facebook page at facebook.com/TheReferralsGroupSE.

Don’t Be Afraid to Be a Game Changer: It May Not Be What You Think

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Well, my days of refusing to take on anything that does not directly and positively move me forward in the path I know I’m called to is about to pay off in ways I would have never expected. In fact, if I’m being really honest, it’s almost intimidating. We’ve all heard of “ground floor” opportunities, and we’ve all allowed many of them to pass us by only to look back with regret and say, “if only.” I know I have because of fear and not believing that I actually could do it. However, when I look back on the past decade, I realize that I have been preparing for this exact moment, and I am humbled and shaken and grateful.

Ten years ago I entered into the crazy, fantastical, volatile world of sales, marketing, and advertising. I went through sales jobs because frankly, I despise “sales.” I despise the pitch and the hype and the cliches, and all the trappings of the rat race of trying to keep your head above water in the world of commissions. It took me a long time to learn who I was and why I wasn’t successful. I was sought out for my “sales ability” only to let those people down when I didn’t “produce” to the levels they assumed I was capable of. Sadly, people often mistake “connectors” for “salespeople.” It has only been in the last few years I have come to realize that “sales” is much more than closing deals. In fact, I’m more interested in turning the whole sales model upside down and watching the entire industry explode with success for ALL involved, not just the “closers.” But I digress, that’s for another topic of discussion.

My calling is my mission – the reason I exist – which is “to elevate the lives of others through C.E.I.R.S. Connect. Engage. Inspire. Refer. Succeed.” I am a “master connector,” and this week, after visiting a childhood classmate for the Facebook #GreatSocialMediaSelfieProject, I realized that I have been connecting people with their wants since I was in elementary school. My first “connection” was when this classmate discovered Barry Manilow for the first time, and she became an instant fan. When she told me this, I knew my mom had a Barry Manilow record that she rarely listened to anymore, so I went home and asked my mom if I could give the record to my friend. Mom said yes, and I happily skipped outside and presented the album. Nearly three decades later, my friend has 14 Manilow albums and has seen him in concert more times than I would even consider. I know that may seem trivial to some, but for me, it just upped the ante for me to have even more faith that every connection we make has lasting impact in one way or another. I want to make mine count for the good.

So, what does all this have to do with not being afraid to be a “game changer.” I’m glad you asked. The last 10 years have been my training ground for what I am launching into as the next phase of my career. The two areas I’m launching into will forever positively impact people who are a) seeking to honestly embrace who they are and live and work in who they were designed to be, and b) busy, successful professionals who are seeking to replace unproductive busyness with meaningful, profitable connections.

What do these two things have to do with changing the game you ask? People have been doing this for years haven’t they? Yes. But not me. The game is changing for ME and the people I am intended to impact. The game changer for me starts with a list of “no longers.”

  • I will no longer allow anyone to dictate what my worth is.
  • I will no longer allow anyone to put me in their proverbial box of what my success should look like.
  • I will no longer be enticed by motivational words and empty promises.
  • I will no longer allow anyone to tell me my creativity is not wanted or needed.
  • I will no longer spin my wheels trying to get anyone to understand how I operate.
  • I will no longer take on responsibility that is clearly not mine.
  • I will no longer be intimidated by anyone who thinks they have all the answers.
  • I will no longer assume I know what others are thinking or doing.
  • I will no longer want “something more” for anyone who refuses to want it for themselves.

What are your “no longers?” How will you change your game? Stay tuned…I’ll be revealing my next game changer endeavors soon.

 

 

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My BNI Departure

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I’ve been thinking about how my new venture will benefit busy professionals who are looking for measurable success with their networking efforts. It’s no secret that I’ve been a die hard BNI fan for 10 years. There’s a certain camaraderie with BNI folks. We’re like family. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve closed business, we’ve lost business, we’ve celebrated, we’ve mourned.

But it’s also no secret that I formally resigned from BNI in January. Why? Because I’m at a different stage in my career, and my new venture is a better fit for my goals and the goals of my clients. Will I continue to refer people to BNI? Absolutely. Why? Because I know the hearts of the majority of the members. I’m sure I will always be a BNI fan. After all, it is where I learned a lot of my skill set, built meaningful connections, and I will be forever grateful.

I must admit my resignation did not come easy. It was probably the hardest, most heart wrenching decision of my career thus far. Questions plagued me. Who am I without BNI? Will I be able to maintain my credibility without BNI? Will people still seek my advice and direction? And to my delight, the answers became clearer. Who am I? I am a creative, passionate force to be reckoned with. I am a credible business woman because I always have my clients’ best interest at heart, not my pocketbook. And yes, people still look to me for business advice and counsel. The only thing that’s changing is my business address and the name of the group I have chosen to have a vested interest in. However, I will still have my clients best interest at heart meaning if BNI is a better fit for them, I will refer them rather than trying to make money off them. To me, that is the essence of being “sensitive to the feelings and rights of others.”

The attached article (at the end of this post) is my heart when it comes to working with integrity and honor. I pledge to first honor my own MBA Oath, but I also pledge to:

– “Never trample on the rights, dignity and virtue of others.

– Play an honest game that is based on ethical behavior and personal accountability.

– Let my success be based on my own potential and authentic substance.

– Realize that the higher I climb, the more personal responsibility I must assume and the greater my willingness must be to remain open to people’s suggestions, to listen and incorporate others’ ideas and to be ready to take the blame for things that don’t work out rather than shifting it onto others.

– Strive to always be considerate of the people I live and work with, so that when I do make mistakes, they will be understanding.

– Strive to keep my good reputation and dignity intact.

– Be more cooperative than competitive.

– Suggest ways to [find common ground to] collaborate on projects, tasks, activities, chores, events, etc.

– Remember cooperative approaches allow for differences of opinion, changes of mind, compromises and a way to showcase every person’s best talents at the expense of none.”

The article is attached if you’re interested to read more…How to Be Competitive in a Non-Destructive Way.

Happy connecting!

BNI Director Orientation

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So, I’m decompressing from BNI Director Orientation this evening. This makes the second orientation I’ve attended, and I feel beyond privileged to be part of a director team who truly lives in the spirit of Givers Gain, who raise themselves to a higher standard, and who expect nothing less of the BNI members they encourage and support on a daily basis.

My biggest takeaways were:

1. BNI is hands down the most effective marketing tool a business can invest in. If one will fully immerse themselves in a culture of learning and excellence, and take advantage of every tool available with the membership, there is no room for failure.

2. We are servant leaders and it our desire to lead with excellence and grow the businesses of our members by providing the support, training, knowledge, and events which allow for relationship building and opportunities to train other members how to be their sales force.

3. BNI is not just another networking club. People’s lives can go from mediocre to stellar if they will just show up and follow the policies and procedures. There are some people in the business community at large who are literally one paycheck away from losing their car, their home, their marriage, and their dignity. We can help turn that person’s business around and provide a way out through a step by step process.

4. I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. BNI is part of my calling. I’m 9 months away from an MBA with a Leadership Cognate, and I’m looking forward to using my knowledge and experience to achieve some dreams and goals I have for the upcoming younger generations of business professionals. BNI will always be a part of my strategy, and being able to meet people who want something different, inspire them, and introduce them to an organization that will change the face of their business is something I will always love.

Thank you God for allowing me the privilege of being a catalyst of change and a beacon of hope to those who seek both.