Whenever I wish someone a happy birthday I say “May your day be filled with love, laughter, fun and cake” which, to my mind, is a recipe for a perfect life, not just for a birthday. People then say variations of “Thank you” and I then ALWAYS ask “Will there be cake?” then, and because I am a very supportive person, I offer to help with any leftovers. Suffice to say I have never received any cake and I thought this was always going to be the case. Then one of my Linkedin connections said, “Where do you live?”
We discovered that we live about a mile apart. How amazing is that? Then she said, and this is not verbatim,” I’ve got loads of cake because apart from being my birthday I have also launched my book. I’ll bring some round”. Gasp! And she did! We had a lovely chat, with me about 4 metres away from her, and her being very respectful of the distancing. Then my beloved and I sat down to a cup of tea and some delish cakes (it was mid-afternoon on a Saturday afternoon when she arrived in case you are wondering).
When networking, I always want people to ask me for what they want or need. Why? Because I am always fabulous, but I am never going to be a mind reader (which is probably a good thing!). This applies to you and everyone you meet. If you need something you have to ask. That’s one of the reasons we network: people want to help. Don’t be pushy when asking, but that always applies in networking—and life—because no one likes pushy. Ask, don’t demand. Don’t get disillusioned or upset if you don’t get what you ask for, that’s how life goes. But one day you will ask someone like Elizabeth Forbes-Stobbe and you will get what you ask for and strengthen a connection.
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Have fun, stay safe.
One of the lessons I have been taught is that, until I ask the question, the answer, in my head, is always “No”. In business this often takes the form of delaying making that call or sending that email to ask a potential customer if they want to go ahead with that work. I think of a hundred and one things that are more important, like clearing out cupboards, tidying paperclips or looking out of the window, all the while thinking, they’ll say “No” and that will be awful. Then, courage in hand, I contact them, and they say “So glad you have called/emailed. Yes let’s get this moving”.
Why do we do this? Why do we always think that the answer will be “No”? It is because our brains are hardwired to think of negatives rather than positives. We know at some basic level that negatives can kill us. Evolution has taught us that we need to remember bad things because then we are better able to keep ourselves away from similar situations. When I was seven I was stung by a nest of wasps. As a child I really avoided wasps after that. So, when I see a wasp I remember having to have the wasps combed out of my hair, the pain of the stings and the awful camomile lotion. Now when I see a wasp I ‘talk myself down’. There is only one or two, not hundreds. I can take myself away from the situation, and there are some great wasp killers on the market. Now when I see a wasp I deal with it and move on, telling myself that it’s great that I managed a situation and refocus on the lovely day.
This brain processing is called negative bias by psychologists and knowing this can help manage our actions and our thoughts. We can decide to let the negative fester, or we can manage it. Imagine you are having a lovely day and then someone cuts you up on the road. Instead of thinking what a lovely day you are having, your brain is programmed to focus on the negative event. At this point you need to decide will you have a bad moment, or will you have a bad day? You choose because the answer will always be “No” in your head.
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Have fun, stay safe.