“Vistage is 23,000 CEOs in 20 countries worldwide and key business leaders taking a step back from their businesses one day a month to reflect, get other input from other their peers.”
“A good friend who is a Vistage Chair, and it was about a year and a half process where we had a conversation one day, we're sitting out for coffee and he says, Mervin, you really ought to consider this. You know, this is your passion. You love helping people, you love seeing people grow and you will be amazing.”
“The mission was to address what I saw, in my opinion, that was really going wrong out there. When I see people networking some of the a faux paux that they are making and wondering why networking is tough…”
“I was in a job transition now seven, eight years ago after I closed down my commercial loan brokerage and I was out networking and someone who, who I'd met said, Hey, I think you need to talk to John about something…”
“I have a built-in process with the business alliance. We are a membership organization. We host events and programs, right? So, we do 75 plus of these a year. So, I'm constantly in front of my network in that capacity.”
“Be a giver. Don't be in a rush to try to get. Just be a giver.”
“For me, I'm a people person. Nothing beats a face to face conversation, sit down looking into another person's eyes and checking out their body language and all of that.”
“I would just say break out of your shell. People aren't concerned about you, they're concerned about them.”
“I'm kind of a junkie when it comes to reading. Currently, I'm juggling only two…I just finished one, finished a third, Can't Hurt Me recently. And so, I'm reading The Power of Peers…”
“Get out there and get active. We see so many folks who get excited about being part of a new network and then they let their business or life get in the way.”
You can get in contact with Mervyn at:
LinkedIn: Click Here
Mary Beth Klatt is a writer with a specialty in writing about real estate, design, and historic preservation. She has been published in the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, the Christian Science Monitor and other publications. She is also the host of the Mid-Century Modern Show, a podcast that focuses on all aspects of modernism as it relates to design, residential and commercial real estate and fashion. She's also using a typewriter for the second draft of her murder mystery novel.
“…I really hit the keys and that's what you want to do is to really connect with your keys. And I don’t know, I think it just makes the whole experience of writing just more three-dimensional.
“Tom Hanks is hugely passionate about typewriters. He collects them all over the world. He, um, yeah, he's very vocal and he shares about all these typewriters and that has had the, uh, the rollover effect of actually affecting the sales…”
“When you're having a writing freeze as something you're writing on your laptop, take a break, get on your typewriter and just write whatever you were trying to do on the laptop and just, you know, see if that kind of breaks through you're writing’s dry spell.”
“But then maybe a couple months later I got a handwritten note from my nephew's wife and I almost burst into tears. I mean, it was so thoughtful and she kind of quoted back the card and I just felt so touched. Like I made a difference in the world.”
“I think those thank you notes are important. And you know what, I talked about typing but it doesn't have to be typed. I just think it needs to be personal.”
“…focus on one thing and then do it.”
“…at the end of the day, we're still human beings with a need to connect with other human beings, face to face talking. And, um, I, I think you need both.”
“I think my younger self would really say focus on the result. You know, what do you want to say, you know, you've done at the end of your life…”
“I've been talking about Tom Hanks the whole show. Actually, I have had this idea that I want to, and he's very good about this apparently, you can send Tom Hanks a note…”
“You know, you've got to read your genre, the murder mystery genre. But I'm also because I, uh, my, my protagonist is a nun, I'm also reading a lot of books that have religious elements right now…”
“Just focus on one way to really connect with people and go for it. And the payoff may not occur right away. You know, it may be weeks, months, years, but just go for it. Make your mark and just um, you know, personalize it.”
You can get in contact with Mary Beth Klatt at:
Apple Podcasts: Click Here
Instagram: Click Here
LinkedIn: Click Here
Nick Myers is the Founder and CEO of RedFox Creative in Madison, WI. RedFox Creative is a technology-driven marketing and consulting company that helps brands give themselves a voice through the power of AI and voice assistant technology. Nick is a TEDx speaker and has spoken across the U.S and soon internationally on topics ranging from the future of AI in the workplace, 360 video, AI and social media, and how brands can begin leveraging the power of Voice-First today to help tell their story.
“So, my story is a bit interesting in how I got involved. You know truth be told, my background is actually in marketing and communications…”
“I think ultimately marketers are going to be the key decision-makers to actually, you know, moving the hand of C-level folks within large organizations to actually invest in it. But I think the one thing that's going to change above all else is just…”
“…But I'm trying to educate people saying that that's, that's fine and dandy, but you need to have a, a reason that you're doing it. You need to be solving some type of pain with their customers or from within your organization that voice can help solve.”
“So, couple months ago, actually back in September, October of last year, um, I was following, her name is Marie Ryan on Linkedin and I'm, I'm very, very active on Linkedin by the way…”
“So, it's become harder definitely over the past couple of years because I've been able to meet so many people and it's really hard to message and just interact with everybody. And it's almost like I have, you know, it’s actually on my to-do list every week, I have a follow up with, like a bunch of people.”
“A first piece of advice as if you're not on LinkedIn. Get on LinkedIn because like I said, most of my success over the past couple of years since starting…”
“Actually, I'm going to go ahead and say a combination of both because I would say a lot of the really strong relationships, I've met actually have been in person more so than online…”
“Learn Code, Learn Code, get more involved in computer science. I mean, that is definitely the first thing I would tell myself, especially being in the space…’
“I would go and head right now and say somebody that I really would like to connect with. Truth be told, and this'll never happen is Jeff Bezos of Amazon just because I guess I've been working so much in the voice space…”
“So, one thing I'm telling people is if you really want to pull the trigger now is the time, while we are still kind of in the early stages here…”
You can get in contact with Nick at:
LinkedIn: Click Here
Twitter: Click Here
Theresa is the brand stylist, graphic designer and creative problem solver of Wilmot Designs, LLC. She works with business owners to help them give a voice to their message and mission through creative and effective design. Her background includes working for a global consumer goods company in their art department, a theater playbill publication and a hat company where she had her first experience with textile design. Theresa is taking her business to the next level with fun, new clients!
“…Someone in business for themselves probably does a wider variety of things than a person who works for a larger agency. And those things can span the, both the print and digital world.”
“So, after working in the areas that I worked in professionally, um, I say professionally, but for someone else, I, decided to go out on my own because we were living in Bentonville, Arkansas at the time…”
“So, a well-developed brand like I was saying before, is more than just your logo. It is your presence when you are not there. So, what a well-developed brand should do is communicate…”
“I belong to a women network and my favorite story out of that group so far is having volunteered to help with a promotional booklet that they were going to put together for a women's entrepreneurship week here in Milwaukee.”
“I'm actually just getting to know the people themselves because to me, part of networking is not only what I could do for them, but what they could do maybe for someone that I know or even for myself.”
“I would say to not be afraid of it, be open to the idea of it as being something that could be very natural and not canned or fake…”
“I think about this a lot lately just because of the business I'm in. And I think right now I'd have to say the traditional sense just because it's newer to me and I'm typically, I'm pretty good at making connect genuine connections with people.”
“To trust that I am enough, that I am talented enough that I am skinny enough that I am funny enough that I, I feel like back in my twenties I doubted myself a lot.”
“Aaron Draplin, the graphic designer, um, who I've been following… I would love to connect with him because he is a designer without, um, he seems very approachable. I think that's a good way to put it.”
“I love yours because it's, you interview a wide range of guests in a wide variety of businesses, um, about networking but also about their business journeys.”
“I would just say to be patient with yourself. Um, don't go into networking thinking that you have to, you know, make so many contacts right away or I know some people do that, some people have goals, you know, they want to make so many contacts at this event or that event.”
You can get in contact with Theresa at:
Facebook: Click Here
LinkedIn: Click Here
Lisa Dregne founded Yorkshire Insurance Advisors, LLC after being in the industry for seven years and she saw a need to provide individuals, couples and small businesses with comprehensive insurance planning either directly, or preferably in collaboration with their financial advisor, CPA or attorney. Although all areas of insurance are equally important to Lisa, her passion has been working with individuals/families on their long-term care planning.
“Definitely not. Um, and that's a common misconception is that insurance is a commodity, that it's the same no matter where you get it.”
“Absolutely. And the reason I say that as I've gotten a lot of feedback from, individuals that I've been working with, colleagues that they really like my business card, they actually remembered me.”
“It's actually been my number one resource for networking past those initial people that you already knew.”
“My favorite one, it was actually about a month ago is how it initiated with somebody. I had used to work with an advisor, and we got together for coffee at Starbucks, my favorite place to get together…”
“So, as I build my network, I am looking to try and at least keep in touch with the prospects, the best prospects once a month on with a personal touch, whether it's a phone call or an email, just with some tidbit of information I think would be helpful.”
“I guess leverage the relationships you have and don't be afraid to ask for those names and referrals primarily because if you are passionate about what you do and you believe in what you do, other people will help you.”
“Definitely the traditional networking in my particular space, insurance planning is a very personal thing. I'm also a certified financial planner, meaning that I've got that financial background.”
“That was an easy one. Now that I've found my passion, I really wish I had looked for my passion sooner. I ended up coming back to the state of Wisconsin…”
“I primarily read. There's a journal for long term care insurance specifically in it. It gives a lot of wonderful stories and helpful tips on how to present long term care to clients in a way that doesn't make it sound like you're selling something. Just pure education.”
“Never stop. Don't be afraid of it. I was in the beginning and now it's just so much fun. I have loved meeting so many different individuals and just networking. It's, it's funny, it ends up being a pretty small world the more you do it.”
You can get in contact with Lisa at:
LinkedIn: Click Here
Phone: (262) 366-2702
Kim Stezala is Senior Partner at Design Group International, a group of consultants that help leaders, businesses and nonprofit organizations navigate transformative change. Primarily working in higher education and philanthropy, Kim uses the power of process consulting to help organizations design effective programs and innovate, evaluate and improve what they do. Recently named CEO of the Society for Process Consulting, she is also building standards, courses, and credentials for the field.
“So, process consulting was really created quite a while ago by Edgar Schein who's a professor out of MIT. Okay. And it takes basically a very humble and iterative approach to consulting where even though we might have expertise in a certain area, we work with clients to really pull out their expertise.”
“So, it really came from many of us who were doing process consulting, looking for place, if you will, looking for community and wanting to work together to put these standards and ethics in place to provide…”
“Well I happen to work with a lot of scholarship providers and the attending their national conference not only as a regular participant but as a speaker is really successful in terms of networking because I have a really niche market with some of the clients that I work with.”
“I would like to say I used to be better at it. I'm, I'm kind of circling back, I had a huge growth spurt in my business and kind of trying to keep up. Um, but in terms of staying in front of people, I really prefer the personal touch.”
“I would say, um, get out of your own pond or your own pool. Okay. And so sometimes I will go to events where I don't know a single person there. And the reason is to just understand how other industries work and operate.”
“For my particular type of work, it's definitely the traditional. Okay. Because it's so relationship-based. Probably 90% of my business comes through referral and…”
“I really thought about this, you know, and for me, I think I would tell my younger self to listen more. I was a kid who on the report card in school would always say talks too much in class…”
“Okay, you're probably going to laugh. My husband told me that this is crazy. I have a celebrity crush on Jackie Chan…”
“Well, um, two books. One is about building communities of practice by Emily Weber. I think she's a British author and I, I go back to it. I've read it before. It's so simple. It's like 70 pages, but it helps me learn and understand that because our business is structured as a community of practice…”
“I think the biggest thing, just listening over the last half hour is really that thing about getting out of your comfort zone.”
You can get in contact with Kim at:
Cheryl Litvin is a master question asker and problem solver for Mangen-Kloth Insurance in Brookfield, WI.
After graduation from St Norbert College in 1996, she started her cross country living while learning the ropes of OSHA and federal contracting. After 22 years and 6 states, she and her family moved back to Wisconsin to become the 4th generation owner of MKI. She is a proud member of the Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce, eWomen Network and the Brewer’s Association.
“Probably the biggest difference is I work for you. I have your back. If you were to have a claim, you deal directly with someone local here in your area. Me, you know, you have cell phone numbers. You don't have to always go back and go to the 800 and re-explain your story 15,000 times…”
“…and then having to go back and try to find the person to fix all of those problems and you could never talk to the same person, uh, was really, really, really trying…”
“A lot of people think that they, that you can just get insurance from anywhere, which I guess you can. It's not always in particular in my case. I wasn't insured correctly, which made me have to fight as a consumer to fight to get what we were entitled to have. So, it's not a one stop fits all. It's a very unique…”
“So I started getting into these networking groups and what I found with that, I was actually finding women who really wanted to move, do something better, um, and change this community that they were in.”
“I'm not a spotlight kind of person. If I can push that onto you, if I can help you in any way, I know that in my past experiences that it will somehow benefit me down the road. Whether you see it, or you don't see it. So that's serving others. Yeah. Serving others is a huge benefit I think to those that are successful…”
“I think that you have to find your unique niche and I know that's an overused term. Um, yeah, I was in a networking group and it just didn't feel right. Went to a few others and I knew right away that these were the same likeminded people that I was looking for.”
“…I just have to be me, and I have to be transparent. Um, and I found that it's easier on social media to kind of bust through some of the myths that, are either out there about my industry…”
“…I didn't think I needed personal or professional development. Um, and when I started doing that, probably just five to, yeah, probably five years ago, it changed a lot. Changed how I interacted with people, um, how I viewed myself.”
“I would love to meet JJ Watt. Okay. Not because I'm a football fan. Sorry… He grew up and went to the same high school that I did. And so, Pewaukee Wisconsin, super small. Like tiny… But more importantly, he's, he's him…”
“I am currently reading sales differentiation. Of course, the author is like escaping me, but again, it's about being different. Um, and I also am rereading actually relistening to, cause it's not a book, it's an audible, Mel Robbins take action or take control of your life.”
“Do what makes you feel uncomfortable. That's where the growth is, is outside the comfort zone.”
You can get in contact with Cheryl at:
Facebook: Click Here
Traci is a dynamic, thoughtful and innovative HR professional that is committed to putting humans first while achieving customer engagement and profitability goals through authentic and concise HR solutions. Her experience includes non-profits, union and non-union organizations in healthcare, manufacturing, education, retail, and construction. She has built an HR department from the ground up, created strategic talent pathways, implemented compensation and benefits programs along with consulting with small business in an outsourced HR model.
“It's gold. Let's just start there. Right? You know, most often we are more likely to look at and hire individuals that we know something about, and we know that our best referrals into our organization come from our employees. Therefore, networking with individuals and being really crystal clear about what you want in a position…”
“Absolutely. So as a business owner to further your business, you know, when you're networking, you're not only looking for that next top talent in your organization, you're also looking for the tools to improve your processes so that your employees have exactly what they need to be successful in their role.”
“Yeah. And there are several ways that marketing can be detrimental to your business. And one of them is, you know, not putting yourself out with that best foot forward.”
“Oh, my goodness. There's so many. And I would say my favorite networking has really come through. You want me to network? Um, and the reason why I love you women network and those networking experiences because of the mastermind that happens…”
“Yeah, this is a key piece of networking, right? I and I'm going to circle back around to that question, but so often I find individuals or networking, networking, networking, but they're not doing the follow-up. The gold is in the follow up of the networking…”
“what I would say is be very specific about who you're looking to grow your network with. Okay. You can go to a, you know, a hundred different networking events and it might not be the right event for what you're looking to grow your network for.”
“so, I am human resources, right? So, I love putting the people behind that. So, you know, I personally love the in-person networking events and at the same time I have gotten so much out of like zoom meetings as well as zoom networking events where I can still see the body language of individuals.”
“I would say trust and enjoy the journey. Um, they're so often where I've been so focused on getting to an outcome that I haven't enjoyed the process and haven't enjoyed that journey.”
“You know, I'm really struggling with that question because so often I think we look for, and I've struggled with this question since I first read it and I hadn't come up with a good answer. But the reason why I struggle with that is so often I think we're looking so far in the future that we've missed the things that are right in front of us.”
“so, from a podcast perspective, Brooke Castillo and the life coach school, um, is Oh, juicy golden nuggets all the way through. Um, so if you've not heard of her, listen to her podcast, she has, I think 270 some episodes now.
“Yeah. What I would say is when you're growing and supporting your network, truly be intentional and be intentional about that follow-up, um, and the positivity and that is so incredibly important. Not fake, but authentic. You know, being authentic with your network will absolutely help to grow it.”
You can get in contact with Traci at:
Facebook: Click Here
Mark is the owner of Supporting Strategies Milwaukee, his franchise provides bookkeeping and controller-level services to small and middle market businesses as well as nonprofits.
He is a former CFO for a division of GE and he held senior finance roles at JPMorgan. Mark has experience with mergers/divestitures, international financial management, pricing, comp planning, strategic planning, new product development, cash/treasury management, and dealing with large, matrixed organizations.
“every year, in every market that Supporting Strategies works in, we try to have an event where we try to give back to the local business community. Both to our clients as well as some of the strategic partners we have…”
“…your controller is kind of like your chief accountant. So, they’ll help you with making sure your recognizing revenue the right way. So, if you are in certain industries there are certain ways you should be accruing for revenue.”
“…people try to do everything. And you’re not going to necessarily get the best level of service if you are going to somebody that does taxes, they’re also doing all of your accounting and bookkeeping…”
“so, I’m a member of a BNI chapter. And I took a look at a couple of different networking groups. One of the big things in my franchise that they preach from the get-go is were big on what we call an angelist development or center of influence development…”
How do you stay in front of, or best nurture your network community?
“so, one of the things is the event I just talked about in the start of the show which is the Business Fundamentals Bootcamp. Another thing I try and make sure of is I tend to make a cursory appearance to every single networking group that I’m in.”
“I would encourage you to take a look at Eventbrite and take a look at things like BNI or any of the chambers of commerce.”
“so, I do both. I think digital is more to keep me top of mind. As opposed to developing a huge section of potential clients or partners.”
“don’t worry so much about the hours, worry about your on the job education.”
“I think one thing that would help my business is getting to know franchisors and talking to them a little bit about what they’re doing for franchises when it comes to accounting and bookkeeping…”
“I’m reading the Trusted Advisor, by Richard Wagner…”
“It’s not about net-taking, that’s one of the things I always try to caution people about. If you are in a networking situation and the first thing you do is hand somebody your card, you’re probably doing it wrong.”
You can get in contact with Mark at:
Jason Treu (Troy) is a leadership and performance coach. His programs help individuals, teams, and organizations achieve their most ambitious goals by skyrocketing their skills, abilities, and teamwork. He spent 15+ years in leadership positions in Silicon Valley working with leaders such as Steve Jobs, Reed Hastings (CEO at Netflix) and Mark Cuban. Jason is the author of Social Wealth, a how-to-guide on building extraordinary relationships. His team building game is being used by 12000+ employees.
“well I think one of the challenges today is teamwork, is the most misunderstood and most important soft skill that is out there. Because 75% of work is done collaboratively.”
“well, I just don’t think they know where to start and how to go about doing it. I think that’s the challenge right. I think when people think about sharing information and getting to know people…”
“I think the key is to get them together and one of the research studies that I came across a few years ago that really changed my perspective on building relationships and what’s possible…”
“well, Google back in 2012, you can literally google the study, Project Aristotle, and what they were trying to understand globally, was what’s the makeup of our highest performing teams. Because they found that they were bringing in more revenue they were becoming in…”
“we went to the TEDx conference in Vancouver. And so, we created some opportunities to meet people and he hosted an event with someone else, he had never been there before… and so we set up a cocktail hour we invited enough people to come…”
How do you stay in front of, or best nurture your network community?
“you got to get people together in groups, that’s probably the easiest thing to do ultimately because you can only stay in contact with so many people at once. I think you just got to think ahead…”
“well, I think you need to find those groups that you really enjoy going to. And I think a part of that is like dating, you got to go and find them. And start to just get out there.”
“…I mean digital is just keeping the pot warm until you can actually access it. So, if that’s all you are doing it's not really real, I mean that person is only going to do so much for you…”
“you know I think it would be to really understand how to build trust with people a lot faster and really. And id say probably to network more and build more relationships with people.”
“it would probably be either Oprah or Brene Brown…”
“…The Body Keeps Score, by Travis Van Kessle, it’s about PTSD and self-awareness. And a book called, The Fearless Organization, by Amy Edmondson. Brene Browns book, Dare to Lead.”
“I think you just got to do it. You have to start somewhere. And you have to make it a priority.”
You can get in contact with Jason at:
Trina Martin shares her personal experiences networking including an invitation to visit the De Beers diamond mine in Africa.
Jonathan Stark shares valuable insights into maximizing your income by transitioning out of the hourly billing model.
Kelley Budinoff shares her passion for owning a business that was inspired by her parents.
Susan Thomson of Action COACH of Madison shares valuable insights into how to make more money with your business while leveraging your networking time investment.
Ashby Fiser of the National Democratic Training Committee shares how being yourself can bring successes and opportunities.
Kevin Davenport shares his transformation story about embracing communication to maximize his relationships.
Diane Mader discusses the importance of being an empathetic, compassionate, plus healing with relationships.
Lisa Raebel of Rebel Girl Marketing shares insights into infusing humor into your marketing strategy.
Lynda Knudtson of LyndaFit shares why it's important to be in the moment while being ready to change.
Patty Jackson of Clear Inner Focus shares the four things you can control in personal leadership.
Ronda Arndorfer shares her knowledge on the connection between gut health and your brain, as well as her networking journey.
Jennifer Buchholz shares great advice for networking as an introvert, and how she networks while she travels.
Paige Engle shares her experiences from networking to her love for Paris.
Jennifer Rash, owner of Rash Designs shares valuable insight on how design is used for strategic visual communication.
Stacy Jones of Hollywood Branded shares lots of powerful details around establishing an influencer marketing relationship.