When It’s Over, It’s Over: How to End with Grace and Finality

Katie Corbett holds the book "The Art of Gathering"

By Katie Corbett

 

It can be easy to let events extend well beyond the point at which they should end. The reality is that all things, no matter how good or fun, must come to an eventual end. Knowing this and taking it into consideration will keep guests from getting bored, parties from going on too long, or people continuing to meet well beyond the purpose of the initial meetings.

 

The book “The Art of Gathering,” by Priya Parker, talks about when to end, and the importance of ending with finality.

 

I recently planned a virtual brunch to celebrate Easter with friends. I stayed attuned to the room and the moods of my guests, waiting for the natural wind-down point. A few announced they had to go, and I checked with the others to see if ending at that point would be a good idea.

 

I was once at a party that ended a bit sooner than expected. I had to trust that the host knew what she was doing as the ending was announced.

 

Going to parties at my parents’ house can be exhausting, because there is not a definitive endpoint. I have started making endings for myself—when the timer goes off letting me know it’s time to go home to feed the dog, once I have been there a certain amount of time, or after cake and presents. This helps me feel like I can bring the event to a close and move on with my day. Don’t leave your guests feeling like they have no option but to stay if the event has truly ended.

 

Keep in mind that with masterminds and groups that have become close, the temptation will arise to continue the event long after it should have ended. Being firm about that ending helps create a sense of finality for the attendees. You will need to be firm with your guests about this and explain why the end is a hard stop, as some will want to continue meeting.

 

Do you have a story about an event that ended too soon or dragged on forever? Let me know in the comments.

 

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The Event Experience Starts Well Before the Party

By Katie Corbett

 

When it comes to planning events, it is a good idea to keep the entire experience in mind. Many just plan the event itself, though this is a bit short-sighted. The entirety of an event begins as soon as your guests learn of the event, and ends sometimes well after the event has taken place.

 

In the book “The Art of Gathering,” by Priya Parker, it is noted that as soon as guests become aware of your event, the experience has started for them. Create an experience as soon as the invitations go out. This will set you apart from others who host events, as many questions guests might have will be answered in advance. This is good because it will make your guests feel prepared to attend your event.

 

I recently took on a leadership role planning a book club. My co-host and I thought about what we would want to know as attendees well before the first meeting. We made sure information went out in advance, sent reminders to sign up, ensured participants knew where to get a copy of the book, and were aware of what chapters to read before the first meeting, among many other pieces of information.

 

These preparations could be used for any type of party. What to bring, any information that could be gathered to make game play more interesting, and even knowing in advance with whom they will be sitting will put guests at ease as they come to your event.

 

Do you have an event coming up that you’re excited to plan? I’d love to hear all about it, so feel free to leave me a comment.

 

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Every Party Needs a Purpose: Decide Why You’re Really Gathering

Katie Corbett holds the book "The Art of Gathering"

By Katie Corbett

 

Choosing a purpose for your event is necessary no matter where the event takes place. It might seem like not much planning is required for virtual events, since spaces don’t need to be decorated and not as much coordination is needed to get everyone into the same space. Even though many events now take place virtually due to the COVID 19 pandemic, choosing a purpose for each gathering is important. I’ll explain why in this post.

 

I recently read “The Art of Gathering” by Priya Parker. The book explained how purpose informs everything about an event, from where it takes place, to who is invited. I had seen this concept in action before, though this was the first time I had pondered the reasoning behind it.

 

I worked for a company that hosted a lot of committee meetings and work group planning sessions. I recall one such session that I wanted to attend. The CEO of the company had specific reasons that she preferred that I not attend. I was annoyed at first, but quickly came to realize that she valued my time and didn’t want me wasting it at an event where I truly didn’t need to be present.

 

To determine the purpose of your event, think about what you would like to achieve. What would you like the outcome to be? Do any special circumstances need to be in place to achieve this outcome?

 

The next time you plan an event, get very clear on the purpose. That will help you decide where to host it, what needs to be done beforehand, what to do once you are there, and who is best suited to attend.

 

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The 11 Words That Will Change Your Life

Katie Corbett holds the book "Fanatical Prospecting"

By Katie Corbett

 

It might be the end of a long day. You are likely tired. You have worked hard and you are ready to call it quits. Before you rush out the door, let these words of advice remain in your memory: “When it is time to go home, make one more call.” I’ve done this, and the advice has been a game-changer in my business. Don’t believe me? I’ll explain how.

 

I read these 11 words in the book, “Fanatical Prospecting” by Jeb Blount. He said that whenever he is tired at the end of a long day, he thinks of these words and acts on them. I recall that he has them taped up somewhere in his office. Though I do cold LinkedIn messaging rather than cold calling as Jeb does, I have found this advice to be fruitful.

 

Once, I was searching on LinkedIn for people to message. It took longer than usual and I was getting ready to give up. I thought of these words and figured I would do just one more reach-out. It turned out to be a great decision, because that person ended up being my next paying client.

 

Whether you are requesting informational interviews, sending out updates to people who know you are job hunting, or calling companies to learn of open positions, I hope you will remember those 11 words of wisdom. Even when you’re tired, hungry, or feel like giving up, just make one more call (or send one more email, or LinkedIn connection request, etc.).

 

Do you have a down-to-the-wire success story to share? I’d love to hear it. Feel free to leave it in the comments.

 

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How to Set Yourself up for 90 Days of Job Seeking Success

Katie Corbett holds the book "Fanatical Prospecting"

By Katie Corbett

 

“The prospecting you do in this 30-day period will pay off in the next 90 days. ” I read that advice in a book about sales and have found it to be applicable in my own business. It could work for job hunting as well.

 

In “Fanatical Prospecting” by Jeb Blount, this rule is touted as a major success principle that, if ignored, can spell trouble in the future. Here are some tips to make the next 30 days of reaching out easier.

 

Tip 1: Think about your current life load and decide on a reasonable number of reach-outs you want to do each day or week.

Tip 2: Remember that this is a marathon and not a sprint.

Tip 3: Track your progress.

Tip 4: Make sure results are something you can control, such as the number of people you will email each day.

Tip 5: Set a time and a reminder in your calendar to do reach-out activities.

Tip 6: Have a script to make the process more automatic.

Tip 7: Develop a follow-up plan.

Tip 8: Decide on a rewards system to keep yourself motivated.

Tip 9: Do your job hunting activities early in the day.

Tip 10: Do job hunting only on weekdays to give yourself a break.

 

Talking with people consistently will help you share about what you do. These tips have helped me find jobs, and make networking and sales just another thing I do in my business. I hope you find these tricks helpful, too.

 

Have a tip that you plan to work on? Let me know in the comments.

 

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Objectives for Prospecting, Job-Seeker Edition

Katie Corbett holds the book "Fanatical Prospecting"

By Katie Corbett

 

Last week, I wrote about the importance of creating a job hunting activities list. The next question that naturally arises is: What counts as a job hunting activity? I’ll break that down in this article.

 

In “Fanatical Prospecting,” by Jeb Blount, objectives are clearly defined relating to sales conversations. Since job hunting is essentially selling oneself, I wanted to list objectives related to job hunting. Here is the list:

 

  1. Learn about open positions. This can be done by conducting a brief online search, talking to employees, and attending job fairs. This could also happen through cold calling, informational interviewing, or setting a job search alert on a job board.
  2. Informational interviews. These are a great way to learn more about what it is like to work for a specific company or the ins and outs of doing a specific job. This is not the time to ask if the company is hiring, although that might come up naturally throughout the conversation (but only if the person you’re talking with brings it up). I once had an informational interview with the CEO of a company and she was so impressed with me that she followed up a few days later and ended up getting me a job.
  3. Update on progress. After you have started conversations with people at various companies, you will want to update them on the progress of your job search. This is particularly important if they put you in contact with someone else at the company. You’ll also want to update the rest of your network on a regular basis if you’re job hunting.
  4. Build familiarity. Continuing to follow up with people and have conversations in a friendly and non-pestering manner will grow your know, like, and trust factor. People help those they know, like, and trust.

 

Each of your job search activities should fall into one of these categories. Before having a conversation, consider which objective it fulfills. Is it a conversation to gather information about openings? Will you be emailing to update this person on your job search progress? Your conversations will be more fruitful once you have established an objective.

 

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Know Your Numbers: The More You Prospect, The Luckier You’ll Get

Katie Corbett holds the book "Fanatical Prospecting"

By Katie Corbett

 

When I was job hunting, I discovered that the more activities I did that related directly to talking with people and following up on job leads, the more likely it was that I would land a job. This might seem like common sense, but it can be easy to get caught up in the false sense of accomplishment that comes from filling out job applications, so I wanted to stress this point. There is an entire hidden job market that is based on who you know and who you talk with, and I have heard of people landing jobs without filling out a single job application. I’ve done this four time in my career, so I know it’s possible.

 

I read a book called “Fanatical Prospecting,” by Jeb Blount, and this idea applies in sales, too. To help me stay on track, I made a list of all my job hunting activities. Here are some tips if you want to create your own job hunting activities list.

 

  1. Count the number of weekdays in the next month.
  2. Write down three job hunting activities you want to do each day.
  3. Make sure each activity involves interacting with a person.
  4. Remember to include follow-ups in your list.
  5. If you have items on your list that make you nervous, schedule an appointment in your calendar to get them done early in the day.
  6. As you get job interviews and informational interviews scheduled, add them to your list.
  7. Choose a way that you will reward yourself each day as you complete the three tasks.
  8. Once you accomplish the three job hunting tasks for the day, give yourself the rest of the day to relax.
  9. Find a friend who might be willing to serve as an accountability buddy; you might find it helpful to call, email, message, or text that person when you have completed your three daily tasks.
  10. At the end of the month, make a list for the next month.

 

I hope you find these tips helpful as you create your job hunting activities list. I found this to be the quickest way to land a job. It works especially well when you have a specific type of job you are aiming to find.

 

Was one of these tips particularly helpful? Let me know in the comments.

 

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