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Things like this have never made sense to me:  Crash diets. Fitness boot camps. Write-your-book-in-one-weekend seminars. And people who network as if there will be no tomorrow.

Allow me to elaborate.

No shortcutsCrash diets: They just make you miserable. You feel deprived and droopy. Sure, you might drop a size in a day or two. But likely the weight won’t stay off. And you’ve totally messed up your metabolism in the process. Which means you just might gain even MORE weight back. Ugh. Who wants that? Why not toss the word “diet” out the window and begin the process (and it IS a process) of being more mindful, disciplined, and healthy in your eating habits?  Small shifts over time.

Fitness book camps: Oy vey!  When I hear about my 40+ year old friends (who have never worked out on a regular basis) enrolling in gonzo fitness boot camps, I just wince. I’m a fitness junkie, cyclist, and triathlete, and even with that in mind, I’d be terrified of participating in one of those sessions. Are you trying to kill yourself and end up in the hospital?  Why not turn over a fresh fitness leaf and commit to pleasant 30-minute-a-day walking program?  (Even better, take your dog with you. She will love it!) After a month, make your walks a little longer or more vigorous. Add in a yoga class or strength-building session now and then. Build your strength, flexibility, and fitness over time. You can do it! And you will love the results.

Write-your-book-in-one-weekend camps:  It took me about four years to write The Intentional Networker. Even longer if you count the years I collected information, researched, and talked to experts and colleagues, took workshops, and tried out the techniques and concepts I learned about.  What’s more, just when I thought I had the manuscript finished, I’d read something or have an experience that would make me go back and make changes.  The process took as long as the process took.  And four years later I’m still pleased with the results. What’s more, the book has earned two awards and is earning new readers and fans every day.

People who network as if there will be no tomorrow:  You’ve experienced them. Maybe you’ve been one of them. In an effort to build visibility, boost your business, or make sales quick, you attend a dozen events in a row. What’s more, you go armed with stacks of business cards, brochures, flyers, samples, and what-have-you.  It becomes a crazed contest to see how many people you can meet and give these materials to.  Ironically, if the conversations you have and the “connections” you make aren’t meaningful or generous or authentic in nature — or if you come on too strong — your image and marketing materials will likely end up in the circular file. Your efforts will be for naught. Why not make it a habit to reach out to a few people each day, graciously and generously?  Offer them something of value. Offer to help THEM. And create an overall networking strategy that really suits who you are, what you really want, and the reputation and business you are trying to build for the long term?

What are you thoughts here? Do you fall into the trap of wanting instant results in any facet of your life or work? Do you ever try to take the “easy” way out (which often is not only harder, but can be damaging as well in the long run)?  Confession time! Let’s hear it!
Big news!  My awesome editing and design team is putting finishing touches on a follow up book to The Intentional Networker as I write this. If you want to be among the special people in my tribe who receive a FREE Pre-Release Copy, stay tuned. And be sure to encourage your friends and colleagues who might be interested to sign up on my website ASAP so they can receive one, too!