We Supported Serena’s College Dream

Serena with comforter
I wanted to give you an update on the fundraiser you donated to for Serena’s college supplies. Jillian and I did finish the 5K in about 40 minutes. I posted the video of her running and juggling on our social media. We raised about $1,200 for Serena thanks to your tremendous response.
This past weekend was tax free weekend so we went shopping and it was an amazing experience for Serena. She was able to buy her first pair of name brand tennis shoes. She has a retail job where she stands for long periods of time and needed shoes that wouldn’t hurt her feet.
In her dorm room, she’ll have a bed to sleep in for the first time so she was able to buy bed sheets and a comforter as well as all the items she needed for her dorm room. She was able to get under garments and clothes she needed as well as a scientific calculator for her Pre-Calculus class.
She was overwhelmed that people she didn’t know would help her so she would have what she needs for her 1st year of college. Thank you so much for your generous support to help this wonderful young woman that has persevered over many obstacles to get a full scholarship and be the first in her family to attend college.

Building Social Capital to Enhance Quality of Life

This blog post was written by Major Ethan Frizzell of The Salvation Army.

Social capital (like human capital and even physical capital) is not a single, uni-dimensional variable. Rather, there are many forms of social capital, and different forms have different consequences.

  • bonding social capital (that is, links among people who are like one an- other) is important for “getting by,”
  • bridging social capital (that is, links among people who are unlike one another) is crucial for “getting ahead,”
  • linking social capital (that is, vertical links to people in positions of authority) plays a special role in development and poverty alleviation.

Let us build social capital together.

There are many kinds of social capital: [3]

  • financial – Money available for investment Real estate, equipment, and/or infrastructure
  • physical – Training that increases productivity on the job
  • human – Relationships of trust embedded in social networks
  • cultural – High cultural knowledge that can be turned to the owner’s socioeconomic advantage

Social capital is recognized as an individual and a collective property.  Many researchers take it for granted that social capital is collective, but most social surveys implicitly measure social capital at the individual level.[4]  Here is the ideal-typical situation in which individuals discover and use social capital: a group of people become connected via a certain kind of relations, and regardless of the exact nature of their relations, the members find that something possessed or produced by the group either itself is a valuable asset or can help them acquire other desirable benefits.

Three things in this situation are recognized as social capital, which overlap on top of each other: [5]

  • group membership
  • features of the relationship
  • resources under the control of the group or dependent on the existence of the group.

At the core of social capital is trust with three crucial elements:[6]

  • Repeat exposure to others tends to lead to greater confidence that others can be trusted (assuming that parties respect conditions 2 and 3 below);
  • The parties are honest in their communications; and
  • The parties follow through on the commitments they make.

Individual social capital is defined by three dimensions: [7]

  • the (number of) connections in the individual social network
  • the resources these connections give access to
  • the availability of these resources from alters to the individual, of which the willingness of alters is a major component.

On this basis, we define an individual’s social capital here as: [8]

The collection of resources owned by the members of an individual’s personal social network, which may become available to the individual as a result of the history of these relationships.  

Connect with Your Calling is found in connections, in networks that bring forth relationships that make the whole community stronger.  

Are you standing in your own way?

I’ve been writing this blog for 3 years about helping people find connections they need that can empower them fulfill their purpose.  I’m believing that I will be able to use this gift in my full-time career. I’ve gotten close a couple of times but so far nothing has materialized. Regardless, I’ve loved helping other people get the connections they need.

Okay, so I was set up. I thought I was going to see a comedy show in Nashville but in the middle of the jokes, I received a profound message.  Michael Jr. is a great comedian who’s also a Christian. He does some of his shows at churches. I believe my answer was revealed at his show.

I grew up as a latch key kid and from about the age of eight I had to be very independent and responsible for myself. I’ve always taken pride in the things I was able to accomplish on my own without support from anyone. The problem with this is that because I’m seen as a strong, dependable person, I help others and don’t like asking others for help unless I can’t do it.

Michael Jr. showed me that I have a problem receiving from others. Getting things from people makes me feel uncomfortable unless it’s for a special occasion. I may be the reason that other people haven’t offered to support me. Would if that’s the reason my dreams haven’t materialized? What I finally accepted is that I should give to others but I should let others also be blessed by letting them give to me.

Michael Jr. did something so amazing at his show. He called up an audience member that happened to be deaf and her interpreter. He asked her if there was anything she needed. She was reluctant (she probably also had a problem receiving) but she eventually said she could use a special needs nurse to help take care of her child so she could go out on a date sometimes with her husband.

Michael Jr. asked if there was a special needs nurse in the audience and the was only one. So he connected them and the nurse was willing to help care for her child. Of course this gave me goose bumps as a person who loves to connect people. Stay tuned, he plans on doing this more at his shows and I hope I can somehow be a part of helping this project.

A Fresh Networking Approach

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I was active in a networking group called, I Know Somebody Houston (IKSH). Now that I’ve relocated to Nashville, I’ve been looking for a new group to start rebuilding my professional network. My standards are pretty high because of how effective IKSH is at helping new members share their story to the group and find a like-minded connection.

This week I attended a meeting for the Levo League Nashville Chapter. This is a group of young women that make networking fun because it’s socially driven. For people that are intimidated by the concept of networking, this laid back, fun approach is for you.

It was a Happy Hour event that was very casual and geared towards getting to know each other. As you build on the connection, then you can see what areas you’re able to help each other. What I liked is that this event made everyone feel relaxed, they weren’t focused on trying to pitch themselves but on building genuine relationships.

I had a really interesting conversation with one of the leaders of the group Amanda Mishelle, a wardrobe stylist. She was sharing with me how she’s very excited about her new assessory line she just launched called NASHchic. During our conversation, I mentioned to her that I was very passionate about working on the new phase of a product launch event. She was so supportive that she has already offered to give me connections with industry professionals to test the product. I wasn’t expecting everyone to be so generous since I had just joined the group.

The Levo League has chapters in various cities around the U.S. If you’re a young woman that likes a laid back approach to build your professional network, I would highly recommend you check them out.

Ask What’s your story, Instead of What do you do?

One of the first questions we ask a person after meeting them is, “What do you do?” The reason this question is so important is because our culture places value on people based on their profession. People put so much emphasis on their career, that if they become unemployed, they feel as though they lack an identity.

Here’s the problem with making judgments about a person’s status or value based on their profession. We can miss out on where that person is headed or the potential they have. A janitor could aspire to start their own janitorial business or be a talented artist that’s working a job until their art is able to bring in a consistent income. We could miss out on a diamond in the rough.

Instead, a better question is what’s something you’re working on that you’re passionate about? By asking this question, you can learn more interesting parts of a person’s story and what they’re really about. I have a friend that does billing for healthcare companies but on the side she’s an entrepreneur that aspires to get a product sold in stores. When I met her, I asked her this question and she told me about her product. I loved the idea so much that I offered to help her figure out how to launch her product.

If I had asked her what’s your profession, she probably would have told me that she works in medical billing and most likely that would have been the end of the conversation. Both of us would have missed out on what we have in common and how we could help each other.

I challenge you the next time you’re networking or meeting someone new, ask them what’s something you’re working on that you’re passionate about? It will probably be a more interesting conversation and you never know, a connection could come out of it.

Tap Into the Hidden Job Market

In recent conversations, I’ve discovered that the “Hidden Job Market” is truly hidden because a lot of people have never heard of it. That’s why I want to give this information to as many people as I can. Recent stats show that up to 80% of jobs are not advertised. Employers would rather save time and money by hiring suitable candidates within the company or getting referrals from current employees.

So how do you find out about these job openings? I read a Forbes article that recommends a few key tips.

  1. Make networking a practice, not just something you do when you need a job. Make a point to regularly contact former colleagues and make new LinkedIn connections so you can stay in the loop about new job openings in your network. Also, you have to be willing to give in order to get, so share information with others so they will in turn want to give information to you.
  2. Tell people the specific jobs you’re looking for, follow up the conversation with an email and find out if they can introduce you to any hiring managers or other decision makers.
  3. Build your network by joining professional networking groups and going to conferences. I’ve gone into specific detail in previous posts about how to be effective at networking events for those that cringe at the idea of networking at big events.
  4. If you have a specific company in mind, see if any of your LinkedIn connections have contacts at that company first to set up an introduction. If all else fails, be bold and contact the hiring manager at the company you want to work for directly. Email or call to introduce yourself and explain how your background and experience would be useful there. This way, even if the place currently has a hiring freeze, you’ll be top of mind when positions do open up.

There are millions of jobs in the Hidden Job Market that are just waiting for you. I hope these tips help you to be proactive in leveraging your connections to tap into these career opportunities.

How to get a Response to your Request

In order to be effective at crowdsourcing, you need to get people engaged in what you’re trying to accomplish. Basically, if they don’t care about what you’re doing, they won’t help you with your need. If you struggle in the area of getting others involved in your cause, here’s some advice that can help. This technique, called Monroe’s Motivational Sequence has been used by some of the most persuasive motivational speakers throughout history.

If you’re speaking to a group:

• Attention
o Get the attention of your audience using a detailed story, shocking example, dramatic statistic, quotations, etc.
• Need
o Show that the problem about which you’re speaking exists, that it’s significant, and that it won’t go away by itself. Use statistics, examples, etc. Convince your audience that there’s a need for action to be taken.
• Satisfy
o You need to solve the issue. Provide specific and viable solutions that the government or communities can implement to solve the problem.
• Visualization
o Tell the audience what will happen if the solution is implemented or doesn’t take place. Be visual and detailed.
• Action
o Tell the audience what action they can take personally to solve the problem.

In a private conversation, use examples that relate to that specific person:

• 1. Attention: Hey! Listen to me, I have a PROBLEM!
• 2. Need: Let me EXPLAIN the problem.
• 3. Satisfy: But, I have a SOLUTION!
• 4. Visualization: If we IMPLEMENT my solution, this is what will happen. Or, if we don’t implement my solution, this is what will happen.
• 5. Action: You can help me in this specific way. Can you help me?

The advantage of Monroe’s Motivated Sequence is that it emphasizes what the audience can do. Too often the audience feels like a situation is hopeless; Monroe’s motivated sequence emphasizes the action the audience can take.