Articles

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By Pat Hammond

Do you spend so many hours at Starbucks people think you work there?

Do you know the wifi password for every coffee shop in town?

Have you ever been passed over for a contract because you're "just a freelancer?" (Didn't expect that question, did you?)

If you said yes to any of those questions it might be time to rethink your workspace.

Working from home may be the cube dwellers dream, but it's not always a good fit for every business.

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By Pat Hammond

Let me start by saying that photo anxiety is real and it has very little to do with vanity.

Sure, there are some who use the experience to fish for compliments or treat it as a look-at-me moment, but for many people, just the thought of having their picture taken or seeing a photograph of themselves can be stressful to the point of depression, debilitating anxiety, and even panic attacks.

And yes, I do know this from firsthand experience.

People think I'm being disingenuous when I tell them I really, really don't like having my picture taken, and I get it.

I'm a very confident person. I have no problem walking into a room full of strangers and starting a conversation. And I frequently draw attention to myself with my offbeat sense of humor.

You'd think I would be the first person in line for a photo op, but you'd be wrong. I have extreme photo anxiety. My camera issues sometimes lead to panic attacks and have resulted in me passing on business opportunities because I couldn't handle the idea shooting videos and having my picture taken. 

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By Pat Hammond

In case you can't tell, I've been in a sales frame of mind lately. Two weeks ago I went to Sandler's awesome introductory sales training and last week, I attended a free SCORE webinar presented by Steve Gordon, Founder of The Unstoppable CEO, called Land More Referrals (Without Asking for Them).

It was kind of last-minute, I didn't hear about the webinar until about five minutes before it started, but since every business owner needs to know how to generate leads and I've been looking for an excuse to try a SCORE webinar I filled out the form and followed the link. An hour later I walked away with a few useful downloads and three tips for getting all the quality referrals you want.

In a perfect world, all of your clients would love you and automatically introduce all of their friends and business connections to you, but that's not the real world.

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By Pat Hammond

Are you dreaming about starting a business? Do have a business problem with your existing business? Or maybe things are going great and you're thinking about breaking into new markets and expanding your business. The good folks at Merrimack Valley SCORE want you to know that no matter where you are on your business journey they are here to help.

For anyone who isn't familiar with SCORE, it is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to "Foster vibrant small business communities through mentoring and education." [1]

It is also one of the oldest partner programs under the Small Business Administration (SBA) umbrella, and probably the most misunderstood, so I thought I'd take a minute and share a few things you should know about this fabulous, underused resource.

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By Pat Hammond

Forget what you read on the internet.

If you build it, they will come is the biggest con of the 21st century.

Overnight success is an urban legend.

And the idea that a Facebook account is all you need to succeed is ridiculous.

If you feel like you're doing everything right and you're still struggling to succeed, I've got good news.

There are typically three reasons people aren't buying your products and services and they're easy to fix.

  1. Wrong Price
  2. Wrong Product
  3. Wrong Audience

 

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By Pat Hammond

Stop Dreading Your Next Presentation!

Who remembers doing show-and-tell in kindergarten?

Everyone hated standing in front of the class, but we all had to do it and if you were really lucky, showing off your cool new toy gave you some serious street cred on the playground.

By the time first grade rolled around your were happy to bury the memories of show-and-tell hell.  And they stayed hidden in some dark corner right up until middle school when the teacher introduced a whole new level of torture known as the speech.

Instead of standing in front of a room full of six-year-olds who were generally interested in hearing about your new Pokemon card, you had to look cool and sound confident in front of a group of people whose judgment could seriously affect your social status for the next six years until you could escape to college. That's when the real stress began.

You realized that public speaking wasn't a one-and-done.

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By Pat Hammond

Lessons in Leadership

Monday morning started with me dragging my husband out of bed (it was his day off) to help me move the two feet of snow plowed up at the end of the driveway so I could go to Nashua.

One of my goals this year is to learn about leadership. I want to define what makes a person a good leader and what it takes for someone to become a good leader.

I'm not even sure it's something that can be taught, but I'd been invited to hear Rocky Romanella, former CEO of UniTek Global Services, present a talk called "Be A Great Leader: Inspiring & Empowering Others To Do Their Very Best" in advance of his upcoming book launch and it was going to take more than two feet of snow to stop me.

I'd done my research and knew that Romanella had worked his way up from a dock loader to the C-suite and I'd seen some of his videos and knew he was an engaging speaker who relied on stories and personal anecdotes rather than his slide deck to share his message, but I wasn't sure if his corporate experience could be packaged into a one-hour how-to session that people could take home and apply to their own lives.

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By Pat Hammond

Love it or hate it, the fact remains the same, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, typically referred to as Obamacare or ACA, has created a lot of headaches for sole proprietors, and with this year's tax penalty for not having ACA-compliant insurance at 2.5% of your household adjusted gross income[1], those headaches have gone from being a gentle throbbing in your temple to an ice pick in your brain.

  • Premiums
  • Out of pocket costs
  • What is covered?
  • What has to be covered to avoid tax penalties?
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By Pat Hammond

Bouncing off the walls like a 6-year old hepped up on chocolate

As we wrap up the first week of the new year all I can say is wow. Every day this week has been a networking adventure and it's only week 1.

I started the week with the new NH Business Partner Finders group on Monday, Coffee Buzz on Tuesday, Millyard Networking and the Spanish Conversation group on Wednesday and that was just the tip of the iceberg.

I met so many new people this week that I'm in overwhelm. My phone is ringing off the hook. People are texting, emailing, and connecting all over the place and I am bouncing off the walls like a 6-year old hepped up on chocolate.

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By Pat Hammond

Refer a friend, get a gift card...

We all know I don't take paid ads on Queen City Buzz, but I do share promotions and this offer from Island Breeze Virtual Assistants is too good to ignore.

Island Breeze Virtual Assistants are already a very affordable option for anyone on a tight budget, but they just sweetened the pot by offering Amazon gift cards when you refer a friend. (see http://islandbreezeva.com/referral.html for details)

  • $10 Amazon.com gift card when your friend signs up for a 5 hour monthly support plan
  • $20 Amazon.com gift card when your friend signs up for a 10 hour monthly support plan
  • $50 Amazon.com gift card when your friend signs up for a 1 hour daily support plan
  • $90 Amazon.com gift card when your friend signs up for a 2 hour daily support plan
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