Secrets to networking, productivity + inspiring a team


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PSST! Can you keep a secret? (We can’t.)

Local pros gave us the secret scoop on networking, productivity + inspiring a team. Lucky for you, BusinessQ is a tell-it-all kind of gal.

To networking

“Friendly advice. It might sound a little outdated (like Jane Austen outdated), but I’ve always had the most success with introductions. Meeting and networking through mutual friends and acquaintances seems to be the most lasting and efficient. Cold calls never hurt anyone, but I always try to find a mutual relationship first.”

Emily Framefounder, Bijou Market and Small Fry Blog in Provo

“Be genuine. Even though I may know who I want to talk with — and how they could potentially help me — the most mutually beneficial relationships form when it starts with a genuine approach.  My adviser, Mike Peregrina (co-founder of Homie), always says, “Ask for money and you’ll get advice. Ask for advice and you’ll get money.”

Kristy Sevy, founder, Fuze Interactive in Provo

“It’s not you, it’s them. Have your top five “go to” conversation topics. And remember, people LOVE to talk about themselves. So ask questions about their lives and their business. Do not obsessively tell them about yours. Let it happen naturally.”

Andrew Smith, founder, Four Foods Group in American Fork

“Serve others. Get involved in your community.”

— Brigham Budd, founder, Vetora in Orem

“Understand the ‘why.’ Why are you networking? Is it to meet people? Sell to people? Learn from people? Join a community? Most frustration comes from misalignment and poor communication of your ‘why.’ Prepare for an event. Review the list of attendees, discussion topics, etc. Set goals. How many new connections and how many reconnections are you going to make? (Most opportunities come from reconnections.) Connect around passions. Commonality is one of the first great building blocks of relationships. Commit. Invest money and time in the follow up.”

— Jeff Rust, CEO, Corporate Alliance in Provo

To productivity

“Show up. Whether it’s with a bad attitude or messy hair, show up anyway. I can’t begin to tell you how many mornings I wake up and would rather cuddle my babies and stay in my pajamas. But if I just show up and start working, motivation and productivity almost always follow.

“Take time off. In startup mode, there is an unending workflow. But if I completely unplug on Saturday and Sunday, I am refreshed and pumped to start a new week.

“Dread and bear it. Do your most-dreaded task first. Get it out of the way so it’s not looming over you.”

— Kristy Sevy, Fuze Interactive

“Fail wisely. Since there is always more to do than is possible, make sure you fail at the least important things each day.”

— Scott Johnson, founder, Motivosity in Lehi

“Work smarter. Sharpen the axe before you cut down the tree.”

— Brigham Budd, Vetora

“Say no. Ironically, saying ‘no’ can be one of the greatest contributors to productivity. There are spontaneous, unpredicted issues that come up every day in my job. So when I really need to get something done, I put myself in a place where I can’t be interrupted.”

— Kim Wittman, director of HR, Vivint in Provo

“The big three. Every day I have three ‘wildly important goals.’ And I don’t stop until I have accomplished those goals (or at least gotten dang close to where I have momentum on a solution/action plan). To-do lists don’t work because they are always growing. You can have one, you just can’t look at that as a system for daily productivity.”

Andrew Smith, Four Foods Group

To inspiring a team

“Be character driven. The importance of character cannot be overemphasized when it comes to leadership. There are many leaders who are capable and successful but have personal lives that are a complete wreck. Those people can get results, but they always have a headwind. Character cannot be faked in business, and the only way to truly inspire a team is to be the kind of person others want to be like.”

— Scott Johnson, Motivosity

“Inspire ownership. Help employees “own” their job. Ask them for solutions — involve them in decisions that affect their department/responsibilities.”

— Brigham Budd, Vetora

“Be human. When your team sees your flaws and your fears, they get that you’re in it with them. They empathize with you.”

— Mike Templeman, founder, Foxtail Marketing in American Fork

“Lead by example. Never be above the most menial task so that you know how to appreciate people from the ground up.”

Emily Frame, Small Fry Blog

“Positivity breeds success. It’s my mantra, and my entire company knows it. I say it every day, and I live it. Positivity breeds actual success, creates new leaders, and inspires people when they are in that culture. Positivity is tangible.”

— Andrew Smith, Four Foods Group

“Be personality driven. Figure out what each person on your team responds to. Every employee has his or her own personality, and they respond differently to different goals set for them.”

Veronica Chapman, Pro Digital Photos in Pleasant Grove


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