What makes you happy?

It's the International Day of Happiness - so how happy are you and what makes you happy.

The sun has come out - that makes me happy.

  • A lovely bunch of flowers - freshly delivered or picked from the garden - that makes me happy.
  • Chocolate (good quality) - that always makes me happy.
  • Watching the birds in my garden - that makes me happy.
  • Listening to my favourite music or an upbeat song - that makes me happy.
  • Children and babies - they make me laugh and smile with their wonder at the world.

There's more of what makes me happy on my Facebook Page.

Whatever you do in life - be happy! :)

Networking Tips: #40 So you want to start a networking group?

Are you thinking about starting up a networking group?


Not unless you're prepared to put in the time and effort to make it successful.

Many people start a networking group thinking it will give them a ready made audience for their products and services.

This is rarely the case.  They will see you as the 'meeting organiser' and while you're busy running the group, meeting and greeting, writing out name badges, you don't actually get much time to network.  People are busy chatting to everyone else but you.

Even if it's a free event and you do a minimum amount of 'running the meeting', you still need to send out emails and updates, advertise the group, find new people to come along, get the meeting venue ready, follow-up afterwards etc.

Running a networking group can take up as much time as running your own business.  I've spoken to several meeting organisers who've realised this and then given up after a couple of years.

I had to regularly update my list of local and national groups with all the new groups that were and still are starting up each year and removing those that were no longer active.

If you want to start your own networking group - you need to think:
  • What's your objective for running a networking group?
  • How much time and effort will you able to give it?
  • Who's your target audience - for the network, for your business?
  • Where and how often will you hold the meetings?
  • Will it be a business or social group?
If you want to run it as a business in it's own right and make money from it, that's one thing but you might find you've bitten off more than you can manage trying to run it alongside your existing business.

Image courtesy of [Ambro] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I'm working late are you?

Occasionally I receive an email sent either very early in the morning or late at night (nothing to do with different timezones).

What does this say about the person's working patterns or workload?

In many organisations, there's an expectation that if other people are working late, then perhaps I should be too.  These people are quite likely to expect a response or will make a call outside 'normal working hours'.

It's great to have the flexibility of working at a time that suits you.  However, if you're spending a lot of time working late or having to get up early to either get ahead, catch-up or clear a backlog, this will impact your productivity and stress levels.

The pressure of today's economy means more and more people are working later and later in to the evening and over the weekend.  If you work late or you see your boss working late, an expectation is set with your team.  You extend the working day way beyond normal office hours and can end up exchanging emails and even phone calls with colleagues at silly o'clock.

If you want to work flexibly - that's one thing but respect other people's time and don't expect them to be keeping the same hours as you.  Even if you're the boss - lead by example.

Keep your work and communication with others to 'office hours'.

What can you do to redress the boundaries and avoid burning the candle at both ends?

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)