Deborah Fike

Deborah Fike is the founder of Avalon Labs, which provides marketing consultations and writing services for start-ups and online businesses.   She carves out a significant portion of her time to raising her two young daughters.

How to Build a Real Network (Not a List of Strangers)

online network

In this digital age, we are obsessed with networks. We want to keep in touch with our 3rd grade friends, so we check their Facebook profiles. When we meet new people, we greedily gather their contact information and store them at LinkedIn. Even our mothers love networks, if the sheer amount of forwarded spam email is any indication. Information hording makes us feel like we are part of something bigger, that we have a network of support we can leverage at any time.

Unfortunately, that might not be true. You could have 1,000 friends and not have even a mediocre network. Like all relationships, you need to work at maintaining them in order to get anything from them. If you decide to friend everyone you know and never talk to them, you don’t have a network. You have a list of strangers.

Networks rely on real communication, the kind of bonds that keep us interested in each others’ lives. It may seem like a daunting task, but you can engage in real communication every day with your network. Doing so not only makes you part of the network, but builds relationships over time you can turn to in times of need.

online network

5 Ways to Remove Negativity From Your Life

how to remove negativity

If there was one word on this planet that killed more change, it would be the word ‘No.’ No, I don’t have the energy to launch a new business. No, I don’t have time to write a novel. No, I’m not smart enough to learn Chinese.

It can be hard to turn a ‘no’ into a ‘yes,’ especially if we ourselves are the sources of our own negativity. It’s possible, though, if we work to eliminate the sources of our self-doubt and indecision.

how to remove negativity

Throw Away Your Labels and Accept Change in Others

change in others

The hardest part about change isn’t that it happens to you. Of course it happens to you. You remember how breaking up with that guy made you see life from a different perspective. How quitting your job made you learn a new skill. You are a constantly evolving person and, for better or worse, you have learned to cope with change all throughout your life.

But do you realize change happens to those around you too?

Before you say “yes,” consider this anecdote from my childhood. I grew up in a family with six children. Separated from oldest to youngest by 13 years, you can imagine that we had a wide variety of personalities amongst the siblings. My oldest sister was the Care Giver. My brother, the Logical Scientist. Me, the Dreamer. My younger sister, the Lazy Genius. My youngest sister, the Hard Worker.

change in others
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