Smile, Dammit!

There are times when I’m so grateful for the parents I had. Both of them were automatically pleasant to people. If mom or dad happened to make eye contact with you, even if you were a total stranger, they smiled, nodded their head or made some form of acknowledgment. Mom, even more so. She was so pleasant she made some people uncomfortable.

Portrait of a happy romantic couple outdoors.I was raised the same way, not by teaching but by example, though I’m nothing like mom was. Not many are. I chuckle thinking about her friendliness to all.

This past weekend I attended a seminar on Internet marketing. It’s mostly for the newer people in that world. Those who want to promote their businesses or start a new business using the power of the Internet to create income and even a lifestyle.

I ran into a few people I know, and they all asked me if I was speaking there. I’ve been in and around the Internet for many years and once co-created a program for beginners in online marketing that filled a need that neither I or my partners could find when we were starting out.

So, those who knew me were surprised that I was there as an audience member. First, I always learn something from any program I attend, even if it’s just meeting someone new who inspires me to go beyond where I’m at or someone I can help in some way. The latter is always enjoyable for most of us. This one, Profit Academy, was given by Anik Singal, an absolute genius in the industry, which was another reason to go.

The primary lesson I learned about seminars years ago, both as a presenter and attendee is that the most important assets you can take away are often the relationships you create by being there.

That’s where mom and dad’s lessons and examples have been so valuable to me. I don’t give it much thought, If I catch someone’s eye, I smile and nod. If I’m on an elevator with people with the same badges, I marvel when nobody is talking to one another. So I do. I can almost guarantee that any such elevator ride concludes with a

group of people laughing or smiling as they emerge.

Studio portrait of a handsome young man astonished with somethingAs I walk down the hallways to and from the meeting hall, I see most people diverting their eyes, avoiding any contact with another fellow attendee. If I said what was on my mind, they’d likely run away too. “SMILE DAMMIT!”  Oy, so judgemental am I at times.

Three different people made it a point to not only smile and greet me; they introduced themselves. They are standouts, memorable and interesting if nothing else, for that fact alone.

I used to be a trainer at IBI (now CEO Space) an entrepreneur’s 6-day “boot camp,” where the emphasis was on building relationships. I was privileged to give one of the initial talks on the subject, making eye contact, introducing one’s self, etc. We were even into hugging, and, in fact, that became a natural occurrence during those sessions.

I’d just finished my talk, and we were on a break when a woman got on the elevator with one of our badges. I said hello and gave her a big hug. She was unusually tense. When we released, I realized her badge was from another event. Fortunately, we weren’t alone in the elevator, and she also learned how big her eyes could get.

Interacting with others, even if no lasting relationships result, makes the attendance more enjoyable (well, maybe not to that lady on the elevator). But the relationship potential? For those who take the time to connect there is real gold to be mined and to be shared. Almost all the people I met this weekend, once the ice was cracked, were friendly and open far beyond the personas of those I saw who were so shy otherwise. Isolated full length studio shot of a businesswoman  reaching out to shake hands with the camera

Note: Some time ago I did an audio about how to make the most of any seminar or convention you attend. It’s a simple system, but people over the years have told me it was extremely valuable both pre and post-conference. I’m going to make a video and give it away to anyone holding conferences just in case I’m in attendance, so I don’t have to repress my frustrations. LOL.
Click Here to be notified when it’s ready.

If you would like one for yourself and your organization, email me and I’ll notify you when it’s ready.

NOTE 2: If you’re an entrepreneur or want to be, you might find an article I wrote about simple start-up businesses anyone can do. Both the pluses and minuses of each.
Click Here to read it.