Second Acts

November 2, 2006

Volume 2, Number 4

" ... you can reconnect with anyone in your life, ..."



This Issue ...







"Women in business can no longer afford to hold back when there is opportunity..."






Reconnect & Rebuild!!!
By Michele Alexander Owner of 4 The Perfect Fit Coaching and Consulting

It's that time of year again. Time to reconnect!!! Remember between now and mid January you can reconnect with anyone in your life, not just close friends but colleagues you have lost touch with. This newsletter is dedicated to one of the building blocks, of 4 The Perfect Fit Coaching and Consulting, to help you make connections and build an affective support network. Don't forget check out 4 The Perfect Fit's new blog, too. It's called Metamorphosis and it will also have articles and exercises to help you start reconnecting as well as discussions on other relevant hot topics.

How to Re-Connect & Re-Build Your Network in Seven Simple Steps

By: Michele Alexander, CTACC

Did you know that the best time of your to reconnect with old friends, distant family, colleagues and even forgotten networking contacts is now, mid - November to mid - January? It's because those months represent the holiday season. However, when I discuss this with my clients or at events, the response is how do I do this? or I'll try; but, I don't know. Because of these responses, I put together these tips to help get you started reconnecting to rebuild your network. It's really simple and only takes seven steps.

  1. Sit down and write a list of everyone who is in your personal and extended network. If you come up with 25 or 30 that's average. Initially, don't spend too much time on this step. You are going to have the opportunity to go back to it.

  2. Get your elevator speech together. That's 60 to 90 seconds of what you've been doing, where you are now and what you hope to do or for in the future. Write it down, know what you want and own it.

  3. Review your list. Identify your contacts remember include yourself and add accordingly. It breaks down in the following way:

    • You - I call it a table of six, the perfect amount of guest for a dinner party. These people know you.

    • Level Two-These are individuals who know your primary contacts. Think about all of the people that your friend might refer you to, parties or networking events you attended because you were forwarded an invite, people you would invite to a charity event.

    • Decision Makers and Experts - These are the people who can help you get a job, loan, give you advice in a crisis or move you to the top of the list.

      Now that you have gathered you list its time to start reconnecting. How? The last four steps will tell you.

  4. Define how your will make contact:
    • Email
    • Phone
    • Snail mail
    • In person

  5. Make calls and set appointments, write notes and cards, and mail cards and greeting.

  6. Develop a tracking system. Excel is a wonderful simple database spreadsheet.

  7. Don't forget to include follow-up and Follow-up! Follow-up!! Follow-up!!!

Now you've reconnected and started rebuilding your support system. Don't be a pest. Also, don't take it personally if you don't reconnect immediately or get the results that you want. It takes time to rebuild a relationship of any kind.

About The Author

Michele Alexander is the founder of 4 The Perfect Fit Coaching and Consulting. 4 The Perfect Fit Coaching and Consulting focuses on single thirtysomething and fortysomething women's issues to help them realize their dreams and live their best life. Also, check out Metamorphosis, 4 The Perfect Fit's New blog, that discuss hot topics for single women in mid-life. .

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Five Stumbling Blocks To Successful Networking And How To Overcome Them

By Lydia Ramsey

The ability to connect with people is essential to success in any business. Professional networking events present opportunities to interact with others on a personal level and to develop profitable relationships. These occasions are critical for anyone who wants to grow a business or promote a career.

Many people are simply not comfortable walking into a room full of strangers and striking up conversations. Here are five common stumbling blocks that you may face and tips to help you overcome them.

1. A Reluctance To Talk To Strangers.

You were taught at an early age not to speak to people you don't know. It's not safe. In certain situations today this is still good advice. In business, however, talking to strangers is a way to generate interest and support for your products and services. If you only talk to the people you already know, you will miss out on opportunities to make new connections and establish valuable contacts.

To get past your discomfort in talking to strangers, set a goal for yourself before you attend any networking event. Decide how many new contacts you want to make or how many strangers you want to meet. In some cases, you may specifically target individuals whom you'd like to know.

Next come up with some icebreakers or conversation starters. Have questions prepared that you can ask anyone you meet at the event. You may want to inquire about other people's business, their connection to the sponsoring organization or their opinion of the venue.

2. Lack Of A Formal Introduction.

It's much easier to make a new contact when there is someone else to handle the introduction and pave the way. If you wait for another person to make the move you may not meet anyone. At networking events, the goal is to meet as many people as possible.

This is the time to take the bull by the horns, walk up to people you don't know, introduce yourself and start a conversation. You can do this if you have prepared your self-introduction in advance.

You will not introduce yourself the same way on every occasion. Perhaps it is your first time to attend an association meeting. In that case, you might want to say that as part of your introduction. Let people know who you are, why you are there and give them a reason to ask more abut you.

3. Fear Of Being Seen As Pushy.

You may think that you will turn people off if you are assertive and that if they want to talk to you, they will make the first move. If this is your line of thinking you will find yourself spending your time alone at the reception or meeting function and leaving without a single new connection. Being open, friendly and interested does not turn people off.

You will not come across as overly aggressive if you seek out the "approachable" people. These are the ones who are standing alone or who are speaking in groups of three or more. Two people talking to each other are not approachable because they may be having a private conversation and you would be interrupting.

4. Thinking That Other People May Not Like You.

There is always the risk that the other person is not interested in you and doesn't want to meet or talk to you. It happens. If that is the case, don't take it personally. Nothing ventured is nothing gained. When you get a cold shoulder, smile, move on and say to yourself, "Next?"

5. Having Your Intentions Misunderstood.

Approaching someone of the opposite sex to begin a conversation may seem more like flirting than networking. This is more of an issue for women than men. Women have an equal place in the work arena and need to make professional connections the same as men do. Women in business can no longer afford to hold back when there is opportunity at hand.

Neither men nor women will have their motives misinterpreted if they present themselves professionally in their attire and if they keep the conversation focused on business issues or topics that are not personal or private.

Whatever your stumbling blocks, face them before the next networking event and devise a personal plan for getting past them. Once you do, you will find yourself connecting with confidence and courtesy on every occasion and the results will be reflected in your bottom line.

2004, Lydia Ramsey. All rights in all media reserved.


About The Author

Lydia Ramsey is a business etiquette expert, professional speaker, corporate trainer and author of MANNERS THAT SELL - ADDING THE POLISH THAT BUILDS PROFITS. She has been quoted or featured in The New York Times, Investors' Business Daily, Entrepreneur, Inc., Real Simple and Woman's Day. For more information about her programs, products and services, e-mail her at or visit her web site

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4 The Perfect Fit Coaching & Consulting

New York, NY 10128

(212) 987-6177


We're on the Web!


Surround Yourself With Support Systems to Keep Your Aspirations Alive

By Teresa Thomas-Carroll

In these troubling times, it is especially important to be surrounded by a strong system of support to keep our aspirations alive. A message I've heard countless times is that in order to strive effectively for peace in the world, we must also nurture a sense of peace with ourselves. To hold peace within ourselves is so much easier when we have the support we need.

Many years ago, I experienced a drought with my creativity. This is a big deal for someone who identifies primarily as a creative person. Looking back, it's easy to see that I was overcommitted with responsibilities that weren't recharging my creativity and I was experiencing burnout. Though I was immensely blessed with affirming support from family and friends, I also needed another level of support -- one that would challenge and encourage me to pursue interests that would exponentially grow my creativity as I put it to use.

Fortunately, I found a circle of women who support each other to reach our creative goals. We met every two weeks and continue to meet to this day. The group's discussion differs from that of friends and family because we specifically meet to talk about our goals, stepping stones and stumbling blocks. In other words, we do more than "hang out;" we have focused conversation and relentlessly encourage each other. Through this circle, I met and began regularly checking in with a skilled life coach who has always known just the right questions to help me dig a little deeper and clarify my intentions and goals. I quickly realized the immense benefits of building a loose advisory network to lend me inspiration and energy to carry out my work. The drought disappeared. Creativity once again bubbles out of a deep well, saturating everything around me.

Mini-Reflection Exercise
(It may help to have a journal or paper at hand.)


Who are your friends, family members, neighbors and colleagues who listen well, ask the right questions, challenge and inspire you?


What would the world be like if everyone had a nurturing support system? What choices might you make if you received all the support you needed?

Setting a goal

Is there a specific type of support that you would find helpful right now? Can you think of different or additional ways to garner the support you need? If so, set a goal for yourself to try strengthening your support system. If you are lucky enough to already have an effective network of people who lend you support, let your goal be to let them know you appreciate them.

Taking action

When what you really need is a specific type of support from someone, try asking for it. If you want a particular person to offer a different type of support than she is used to giving you, let her know if you need to be challenged, listened to or just accepted for your venture. People in your support network may be unaware of how they could best be of assistance. In turn, when people come to you for support, ask how you could be most helpful for them.

About The Author

Teresa Thomas-Carroll is the director of Purple Crayon Factory, which offers refreshing workshops and services for reflection, goal-setting and action in pursuit of an ideal life.

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Inspiration Corner

"Character is power; it makes friends, draws patronage and support and opens the way to wealth, honor and happiness."

--John Howe--

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What's Going On!

Check out "What's Going On" below.

  • Request the the Free ebook Dare! Dream!! Achieve!!!, (Six Steps to Writing a Personal Mission Statement.) E-mail This is a $19.95 value.

Quick Links

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Contact information

Michele Alexander


Phone: (212) 987-6177



I would like to thank all of the readers of Second Acts ezine for your continued support. I would love to hear you comments and stories. Please e-mail me at


Michele Alexander, CTACC

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