Manage All Those Business Cards – Then Let Them Go

BManage All Those Business Cardselow are seven steps for managing ALL of those business cards that you collect at networking events and/or from being out and about at various business functions. You may be able to increase your revenue by 1 – 2% over the next 8 months, by simply following up with the business cards you have laying around and stacked up around your office.

  1. Categorize your business cards by industry
  2. Sub-categorize them according to the products are services you offer
  3. Decide what data you need to keep
  4. Set up your database according to industry, products/services you offer, and the data you need to collect in order to market effectively
  5. Create a script for email, snail mail, and/or phone – for each industry and each product/service
  6. From the scripts – create templates for follow up email and letters
  7. Send out your messages to each each of the databases

THEN, let those business cards go – recycle them. Literally shred them. Any info you want to keep and/or follow up on from the cards, simply put in to the database.

Don’t have time to create a database system of your own? No problem! Lucy M. Barela, a business colleague, suggested the following resource. This website is a good start for getting in the habit of collecting, inputting, and following up with your potential leads – immediately after you get them. Its getting in the habit that matters the most.Letting Go Cafe-messy business cards

Lucy recommended www.zoho.com. This website will allow you to set up a database that will facilitate the execution of the seven steps above. Zoho’s introductory level is free.

Every time you attend a networking event and/or meet someone and collect their biz cards, immediately plug those cards in to your follow up system and then – let the cards go. By letting them go I mean shred and recycle the paper (smile). Remember – any and all info you want to keep regarding those cards, you can put in to your database. Why not save a tree, or two, or three (smile).

For more tips on business growth and development – stay tuned to this website by signing up to get updates. The sign up box is on the left side of your screen, near the top.

Until next time…
Darren L Johnson
Author and Organization Development Cosnultant

Today Is National Letting Go of Stuff Day – Celebrate!

Today, March 26, 2015, is the day for all of us – you, me, and everyone we know – to begin the process of letting go of stuff in our lives.

National Letting Go of Stuff Day is a great day to begin the journey of change in your life.

This is a day to identify what you want to change (let go) and improve about your life, make the claim to improve it, and create a plan to move forward.

Next year, on this same day (fourth Thursday in March), you will be able to measure your success and progress as to how well you did with letting go of stuff in your life.

Today, as you begin your Letting Go of Stuff® Journey, founder Darren L Johnson is asking that you join us today on Facebook. Enjoy the posts, links, and take a moment to “like” that page. That way, when we announce the details of the 2014 National Letting Go of Stuff Day Cruise, you will not miss out.

The proceeds of the cruise will go toward supporting those who have survived domestic violence.

Join us on Facebook today – right now – and show your support for this important day and cause.

How I Cleaned Out My Parents 4300 Sq. Ft. Home

Original article published May 12, 2008

letting go adviceTalk about Letting Go of Stuff! It all began with a decision that was grounded in emotion. I wanted to keep my parent’s house in the family. My two brothers and sister had neither the time, not the inclination to keep it. So, quite simply, I bought them out.

The sale happened in July 2004. I moved into the house around September of that same year. Now all the time I was negotiating the sale with them, I was focused on one thing – keeping the house in our family. After all, at the time, I felt strongly that it represented my parent’s dreams and hard work.

So there I was, in this 4300 square foot home, surrounded by wonderful memories, warm and fuzzy feelings, grounded in love, and full of excitement. It also had damaged and rotted out balconies, leaky gutters, thirty-five year old shag carpet, and three bathrooms in which the showers and tub needed gutting out. And this list covers only a few items that needed attention.

Each of the bedrooms were absolutely filled to the brim (so to speak) with stuff; but I had a plan. It was to start with the big stuff, and eventually make my way down to the little bitty papers, books, and other stuff. Here is how I did it.letting go of stuff

First, I contacted my siblings and gave them a date to come and get what they wanted. Next I opened the house to friends and others who wanted to take advantage of the free stuff. Next, I rented large dumpsters and threw away broken furniture, boxes, trash, and other items. Then I hired someone to come in and gut out the showers and tub, and to replace a couple of the toilets. Everything was moving along well – until – I got to my Dad’s office. That is when, what I had been feeling in my gut during this process, came to the surface; and I got stuck. Not only did I get stuck, but I had a physiological reaction to the process and got very sick.

Here is where I got stuck. When I began to go through my Dad’s papers, hand written notes, letters to associates, pictures of family, and the tens of boxes in his office, the emotion of his passing emerged. I then began to attach the emotions of love and endearment to every letter, every hand written note (even though I couldn’t read the writing), and to every little trinket in his office. My logic was that “someone may need this…” and that logic allowed me to hold on to it. So I did.

I stayed stuck for weeks. Then I got depressed, because I was stuck and couldn’t seem to figure out how to get “unstuck.” Once I got stuck on one thing, it snow balled. I then began to hold on to his clothing, his shoes, and other stuff as well. Then I wanted to hold on to broken furniture, that my Dad never got around to fixing. Eventually, the house began to (at least in my mind) get clogged up again with stuff. I began to get frustrated with myself, and that affected my ability to deal with my business and other aspects of my life. Something had to change.

Then one day, a friend came by to visit the house. While walking around and looking at all the stuff, I shared with her that I was stuck. She looked at me and said, “Darren, I know a guy who wrote this book that may help you. It is called Letting Go of Stuff®.” Then she laughed and left. I was shocked that she had the audacity to hint at the fact that I needed to let go. But then again, she was correct. I was stuck and needed to apply my own philosophy. So I did.

The first step (I call it a secret) was for me to acknowledge being stuck, and explore why. Without acknowledging however, I could not have been prepared to explore the reasons why. Acknowledging is the first secret to Letting Go of Stuff®. This step sounds simple, but you may be surprised at how many people are in denial of needing to change. That is why; this is the most important step. Until I am ready to acknowledge I need to change something, I won’t. My friends and family can tell me I need to change. They can even have interventions to assist. But until I am ready to accept and acknowledge it, it won’t happen.

The second secret is to realize that I would go through changes in trying to make the change. We often tend to naturally resist change. When we attempt to change something about ourselves, we sometimes become our own internal change resistor. Claiming change, yet unconsciously resisting it can keep you in this two steps forward, two steps back dance with your self.

The third secret is to manage and listen to your internal conversation. We all talk to ourselves. I believe the internal conversation is the most believed of all conversations. So it is easy to convince yourself that you don’t need to change, or let go of something, because you believe what you say – to you.

Paying attention to that conversation is critical. Becoming consciously aware of what you say to your self is powerful in that it will allow you to begin to change that conversation into what you want. Especially since you believe everything you say, to you. Think about it.

These are three of seven secrets that will assist one in getting “unstuck.” They certainly helped me to clean out my parent’s home. Which by the way, is on the market today.

I know, I went on and on about keeping it in the family and all of that. But hey, what can I say. It was my parents dream home not mine. We do have a dream for our daughter’s future. It is that she remains healthy, makes great choices for her life, is happy, and that she honor her parent’s memory in any way she sees fit. The same way I have done for mine.

Selling the house is my way of closing the chapter on this phase of my life. I will start a new chapter knowing that I did everything I could to enable the house being sold with dignity and grace. That, to me, is honoring my parents. Though it is really for me, it makes me feel better that in my heart; I am honoring their memory.

That is a big part of what Letting Go of Stuff® is all about; doing what you can to influence a situation by focusing only on what you can control, then choosing to move on with dignity and grace. That is the sixth secret to Letting Go of Stuff®.

Until next time…