As part of the influenSPHERE (iS) blog roll, I will be sharing Business Development, Networking and Relationship Tips from the perspectives of Respected Business Professionals.
Featured Influencer Profile ~ Al Gonzalez of QuadAir Communications PART 2
Al Gonzalez: Since I’ve returned to Northern Cal, I’ve been attending a lot of Social Media networking groups. A third of my income is from clients that I had before and are now continuing with our association. I’ve got clients of 12 and 15 years. That goes to the relationships you develop. I think it’s important that the individual who’s out there with a product or service, self-employed, utilizes every vehicle that is out there for meeting potential clients.
iS: What would you say to the person who says, ‘I don’t know how to network.’
AG: Learn. Literally, learn. There’s nothing more powerful than reaching out to family and friends who do have a business and ask them how they do it. The chambers of commerce are pretty good to start off with because they are there and they are focused on business. And you can find one in your town or your city that has en event every month, a mixer, a networking event every month and you can just go, and sometimes you can go free as a guest. Ask for a mentor. That is so important. Find a mentor.
All it takes is just to ask.
Should I talk about the workshop that you and I are going to do about small business and leadership and mentoring?
iS: Sure, let’s talk about that!
AG: Let’s talk about that. One of the new projects that is coming up at the end of this year, or the beginning of next year is an opportunity for Michele and I to present a workshop, a one hour workshop on how to reach out and find a mentor. There are so many resources available for business people that are just starting out or that are in business for the first one to three years. From time to time they lack the ability to connect with someone who has gone through that process and can shoulder them a little bit and kind of coach them. Not every day, but once a month you can send an email or make a phone call and spend 30 minutes and get some juicy tidbits and that’s what’s missing. We, the business people in education, encourage that with the students; I think it’s important that the adults practice that as well.
iS: Absolutely! Do you think that a mentoring program is really visible today, because there is so much competition. Do you find that mentors are making themselves available and known enough?
AG: No, no.
iS: So that’s our goal, right?
AG: Yes, that’s our goal.
iS: Because I think there’s some intimidation, especially in the asking part. I think a lot of businesses are willing, but they are not making that known.
AG: No, no they’re not. Because everybody’s busy, but there’s no greater compliment than to ask someone for advice, for their point of view, how did they get there, what did they go through. We all want to give back; we just need to be asked. You don’t ask, you don’t get the sale.
In my producers bootcamp workshop, I talk about how you can reach out and get a mentor: what are the steps an individual takes to seek advice from others in their specific industry.
iS: Perfect! I am excited for that. Let’s go back to film. What is the next hot thing you’re working on right now?
AG: Five years ago I released a feature documentary on the history of mariachi music, entitled ‘Viva El Mariachi’. I created the documentary as a three-part series, so I have now begun to develop part two, which is ‘Women in Mariachi.’ I’m also working on developing a screenplay on a feature western, which is my favorite genre. Back in the early 90′s in Sacramento, I had the privilege of being part of a group of individuals that, along with the then-Mayor Anne Rudin, formed the Sacramento Film Commission office, so I have been very involved with production and film-making in the true sense of film, 35 film, not just video and the term is used very loosely. I can’t stand that.
iS: That’s the artist in you.
AG:So that’s one of the big projects/ I am planning a Mariachi Festival for next year. I am also developing a half hour TV pilot for the Roseville Police Department. We’re still in development, but It’s a reach out to the community to allow the community to see what the Police Department does and how it does help in communicating with the community and opening up doors so they;re a lot more at ease with working with officers.
iS: Well, I asked for one HOT thing Al, and you gave me four or five, so it’s apparent that everything you do is HOT!
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About the Author: Michele Jennae, owner of influenSPHERE, a Networking & Business Relationship Consulting company, helps new and established business professionals discover and fully utilize their inherent networking strengths to have greater positive impact in their sphere of influence through a mix of old-school networking techniques with a healthy dose of online networking.
Tags: Al Gonzalez, influenSPHERE, Mariachi Festival, networking, QuadAir Communications, Viva El Mariachi