Articles

#

By Pat Hammond

Those toothpaste commercials were right...

Way back in the day, when I worked for the City of Manchester I noticed that if I smiled at people they yelled at me a lot less and started smiling back at me.

Just so we're straight, people would come in off the street and start yelling about things that neither the city nor I had any control over, this was not a personal response to me or a reflection on my (superior) customer service skills.

"Breathe, breathe again, smile and relax"
- Thich Nhat Hanh

The results from the smile test were so compelling It inspired me to write a poem called SMILE and start using the simple act of smiling as a way to relax, diffuse unpleasant situations and boost my own day.

In this week's podcast I am going to share the hows and whys of embracing the silent power of a smile.

Read full post »
#

By Pat Hammond

Those toothpaste commercials were right...

Way back in the day, when I worked for the City of Manchester I noticed that if I smiled at people they yelled at me a lot less and started smiling back at me.

Just so we're straight, people would come in off the street and start yelling about things that neither the city nor I had any control over, this was not a personal response to me or a reflection on my (superior) customer service skills.

"Breathe, breathe again, smile and relax"
- Thich Nhat Hanh

The results from the smile test were so compelling It inspired me to write a poem called SMILE and start using the simple act of smiling as a way to relax, diffuse unpleasant situations and boost my own day.

In this week's podcast I am going to share the hows and whys of embracing the silent power of a smile.

Read full post »
#

By Pat Hammond

Even the people we look up to have those moments...

Poser, faker or fraud. No matter what you call it, there comes a time when we all look across the conference table and felt like an impostor.

No matter how much experience, skill or education there comes a point when we meet someone or come across a work situation that makes us feel like we're lacking some essential quality that distinguishes as a qualified professional.

Trust me, it happens to everyone.

On this week's episode of Kickstart Monday, I am sharing my top three tips for overcoming Impostor Syndrome.

Read full post »
#

By Pat Hammond

Stop the Excuses!

Everyone has an excuse, and it's usually something reasonable and valid, but at the end of the day all it takes are three easy little steps to overcome almost any situation and be productive.

This week's podcast isn't so much about finding the right time management system as it is about how to get yourself into position to use whatever system you use effectively so you can get to the things you need to get done.

Read full post »
#

By Pat Hammond

Finding Your Groove

Do you ever feel like you work, and work, and work but you're still not where you want to be?

On this week's episode of Kickstart Monday, I'm sharing tips on how to figure out what's holding you back and how to find your mojo when you're in a slump.

At some point or another, we've all been there and we'll probably go there again, but there are a few easy things you can do to get yourself back on track.

Read full post »
#

By Pat Hammond

You Want to Get Paid? You Gotta Follow the Rules!

In this week's podcast, I'm going to talk about the three rules for handling clients, why they are important and what to do when a client doesn't comply.

If you're not familiar with them, the rules are:

  1. Always get a contract
  2. Always get a deposit/good faith payment
  3. Never fall in love with a project

In twenty-five years as a freelancer and small business owner, I've had two occasions when I didn't get paid. In both cases, I broke the rules. I didn't get a contract, I didn't get a deposit, and I fell in love with the project.

Read full post »
#

By Pat Hammond

Review, Refine, and Re-boot

No doubt about it, September is the best time to call a do-over.

Think about it, when you were a kid September meant a new school year. You were in a new grade, with new teachers, and everything was new and exciting.

If you are like most people you spent 13 of your first 18 years starting fresh every fall. This is a learned behavior that was repeated over and over again. Embrace it. Make it work for you.

You weren't looking back at what you did or didn't achieve in March or April, you were looking ahead to figure out what you could do to reach your goals today.

Read full post »
#

By Pat Hammond

Feeling like this summer has been one big challenge? You're not alone...

I'm hearing from a lot of people that things have been spiraling out of control lately which got me wondering how people wade through the crazy without losing their mind.

In my world, the first step is always going to be to define the problem.

Is it a demanding client? Is it family, friends or co-workers? Is it a technical or mechanical issue?

Is the challenge just one person or are you being bombarded with people and problems all demanding your immediate attention?

My experience has been that crazy doesn't happen in a vacuum.Like attracts like and once you've got one disaster in your personal gravity field you end up with multiple people and challenges orbiting planet-you. And since I've already tortured my astrophysics analogy, I going to go all-in and say that if you do not take control of the situation you will end up like a big black hole sucking in whatever debris enters your personal space.

Read full post »
#

By Pat Hammond

Building Relationships

Do you know what's even better than a Monday? When Monday is the first day of the month.

I don't know why, there's just something clean about it, a new month, new week and a new opportunity to succeed. Can it get any better?

Since this month's Coffee Buzz Networking is tomorrow I thought it would be a good time to talk about How to Leverage the Power of Your Network.

As a lot of you know I recently teamed up with Chris Pastrana from NH Business Show for a Veterans Day promotion and this would never have happened if it wasn't for our network.

We didn't know each other and even though we do basically the same thing as far as promoting local businesses, we haven't been to any of the same events and don't know all that many of the same people. But we had one person in common, Piper Turgeon from Eco Chic Interiors.

Piper met Chris at one of the Gold Star Referral Club meetings, one thing led to another and she gave us an introduction. Now we're working a joint project and it's kind of big.

This is what I'm talking about when I say the "power of your network."

Read full post »
#

By Pat Hammond

The Power of No

A couple weeks ago my mother-in-law's looked at me and said "Pat, you've got to learn to say no once in a while."

Being a reasonably polite person I smiled and said "I do. In fact, I say no to people all the time."

I may be in the office six days a week and my calendar may look overwhelming to my mother-in-law, but I'm well aware how many hours there are in the day and I carefully plan how many of those hours can be spent on any given project.

I make sure that I include time for working out, reading and down time every day and I even schedule mental health days where I can either do nothing or go crazy and just do whatever I want. I also never eat lunch in front of my computer.

None of that was true when I worked in a cubicle. And it probably wouldn't happen now if I hadn't learned the power of NO.

No is a powerful word. It's a statement of autonomy that lets people know that you are in control of your own choices. And It doesn't have to be harsh or rude, it just has to be firm.

Read full post »