Successful People Are Chameleons

Chameleons Adapt and Successful People Do Too!

Green Chameleon

Have you ever seen a chameleon? As you can see from the picture chameleons blend in; they adapt to their environment. It’s a protection mechanism!

Chameleons Are Safer When They Blend In

Obviously it’s not a matter of the chameleon making a choice; rather it’s a natural response or instinct. Blending in is their defensive mechanism which kicks in when they sense danger.

We Feel Safer When We Blend In

Many people use the same defensive mechanism, they blend in to overcome their natural fears. They use this defensive mechanism as they move into unfamiliar situations or encounters with people they don’t know.

There Are Simple Ways To Blend In

Some of the simple things we do to blend in include: smiling when someone smiles at us. Saying hi or hello if someone says hi or hello to us. Taking someone’s hand when offered and shaking it. These responses make you a chameleon because you are blending in. You are doing what is expected so you can blend in; no more, no less.

As I describe the process; I’m describing myself. I only did the minimum that is until I got to know someone and became comfortable with them. But eventually I was inspired to do more from the get go!

Inspired to Be More

In my desire to learn more about networking; not just connecting but actually turning connections into acquaintances and acquaintances into friends I started reading and studying. I found books by Roger and Sally Horchow, Nicholas Boothman, Debra Fine, Keith Ferrazzi, Liz Lynch, Malcolm Gladwell, Brian Tracy and a host of others. They were an inspiration in my goal of being a better connector, acquaintance and friend.

In his book, “How to Connect in Business in 90 Seconds or Less”, Nicholas Boothman identifies the importance of being chameleon like. Unlike the chameleon or even himself blending in with the environment; Nick talks about blending with your audience. Whether it is an audience of one or many what can you do and how can you act to make your audience feel more comfortable? The answer: blend with them, become one of them.

Successful People Act Like Chameleons

Successful people go beyond the basics of simply smiling, saying hello or shaking hands. They know there are many additional ways to make people more comfortable.

What successful people do:

  • They reach out with friendly gestures;
  • They make others feel comfortable and at ease;
  • They take cues from and follow the actions of others;
  • They get excited when others are excited;
  • They talk fast when others talk fast;
  • They laugh when others laugh;
  • They talk softly when others talk softly;
  • They sit forward when others sit forward;
  • They listen intently when others talk;
  • They don’t spend time talking about themselves, they encourage others to talk;
  • They relax when others relax; and
  • They take on characteristics of their audience.

Why We Need to Become Chameleons

Whether you are on either side of a job interview, meeting a new prospective customer or in any number of other social or business situations the ability to put others at ease will set you apart. Your goal is to connect, not just add a name to your list of contacts, and what better way to connect then to have others feel comfortable with you.

You want an audience mind-set that says…

I want to do business, employ, work for, serve with or whatever with this person and I will do whatever it takes to make it happen.

We must become chameleons to make this happen! We must connect with and understand our audience.

Think about the people who make you feel good, those you enjoy being around; what’s the draw? If you step back you will see it’s all a matter of being comfortable. Take the opposite approach and think about the individuals who do not give you a good feeling; they make you uncomfortable and you will do anything to avoid being put in a situation where they are present. The more comfortable you are; the deeper the relationship.

Learn to Be a Chameleon

In business, in life and in connections we need to learn to be chameleons. We need to learn to blend in because it allows our new connections to feel comfortable with us. We need to be chameleons to speed up the connecting process.


There are many things we can do which go far beyond being a chameleon during the initial connection. Boothman talks about many of these including how you speak, the cadence of your voice, the vocabulary you use, the speed with which you speak, the way you hold your head and hands, the way you sit and posture, or the way you lean in or sit back.

Watch the other person and follow their lead. As Boothman has found in his research acting chameleon like can elicit the comment, “I feel like I have known you for years and here we have just met for the first time.”

Overcoming the Stay-At-Home Mom Stigma

This is the first in a series of posts about Stay-At-Home Moms who want to return to the workforce.

Do you get irritated when you hear people say, “She’s just a stay-at-home mom.” I do! I know lots of extremely intelligent and capable women who have chosen to be a STAY-AT-HOME MOM and I admire them for the decision.

Being a Stay-At-Home Mom is:

  • Not an easy job or decision;
  • Often a sacrifice and takes a dedication many women are unable to give; and
  • A commitment which frequently not only goes unappreciated, but society often demeans.

The Stay-At-Home Mom Stigma

The “stigma” society places on being a Stay-At-Home Mom can be difficult to overcome and often leads to women undervaluing themselves as they attempt to return to the workforce. I don’t know how many times I have heard a former Stay-At-Home Mom say, “I’ve been out of the workforce so long, I just don’t have any skills to offer.” This is not the mom speaking, rather it is society speaking about the value society places on Stay-At-Home Mom skills.

Stay-At-Home Mom Skills

I was talking to a young mother recently and she was echoing the lack of skills sentiment so I had to remind her of the skills she has developed. See if these ring a bell with you:

  1. Scheduling and being on time. Maybe mom doesn’t need to be somewhere for herself, but her children have to be at school or other appointments at a given time and they don’t do it without mom. She ensures they are on time and MANAGES their schedules; typically multiple schedules;
  2. Chauffeuring her children and their friends can take an enormous amount of time out a mother’s day. Those  simple little trips eat up hours for little recognition;
  3. Managing the family budget and paying bills;
  4. Shopping for food and clothing;
  5. Arbitrating family disputes;
  6. Negotiating with her children and husband to do their chores;
  7. Meetings with teachers;
  8. Helping with schoolwork; and
  9. Serving in various volunteer and frequently leadership capacities- church, community, school and charitable organizations.

Not that every Stay-At-Home Mom does all of the above, but they do perform many of these tasks.

Stay-At-Home Moms Before You Start a Job Search

The point is if you have been a Stay-At-Home Mom; you have developed many skills. Before you do anything pertaining to a job take some time a write down the skills you have acquired. This will do three things 1) better prepare you for writing a resume and interviewing for jobs, 2) build your self-confidence so you recognize the value you do have to offer an employer, and 3) help to establish your value when it comes to negotiating your pay.

Watch for my next post which will discuss how Stay-At-Home Moms can use temporary employment opportunities to build credibility and increase their pay.


My name is Tom Staskiewicz and my goal is to help everyone do a little better, get a little further and reach the success they are destined to achieve! Whatever I can do to help you or anyone to move forward in reaching your goals; I’m all for it.

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What Can You Do with an Email Service

What Email Service Is Right for You

Have you thought about using an email service to stay in touch with your customers and prospects? I’m sure you have, if for no other reason than the intensive marketing being done by Constant Contact.

Before You Select a Service; Know What You Want to Do

The truth is that all email services are not created equal. Some have features that others do not. Some charge based upon the number of emails sent and others charge based upon the number of subscribers you have.

How Many Subscribers Do You Expect?

Knowing how many subscribers you will have and how often you plan on contacting those subscribers can make a huge difference in the cost.

How Many Email Lists Will You Have?

Another factor is how many email lists will you have? Will you have both a list of active customers and prospects? Will it be a single list? Will you have a list for customers of each type or category of product or service you offer?

Are You Going to Do Email Campaigns?

Maybe you are asking what is an email campaign, so I will give you a brief overview. A campaign is typically a series of emails sent to subscribers.

The campaign starts with a letter of invitation to join the list (usually an opt-in or double opt-in) process to make sure you have the correct person.

Following the opt-in there is an immediate follow-up with the additional promised information. A few (7-10) days later there is another follow-up to ensure that they received the information and provide a second promotion. 12-14 days later there is another follow-up typically with some type of incentive to sign up. That may be it or 60 days later there could be one last follow up. It’s really up to you.

Some email services support email campaigns, some do not, and others only limited email campaigns or a limited number of campaigns.

To Opt-In or Not; or Will You Spam

Opt-In basically says do you want to participate and lets the reader know that they can opt-out at any time.

Do you want an opt-in or double opt-in process where the people signing up must go to a sight or respond to an email and confirm that they want to be on your list. If you don’t have an opt-in some, maybe many will report you as spam and can get you blacklisted; opt-ins are preferable to blacklists. Unless you are closely monitoring the service you won’t know that your emails have been blocked.

If the service isn’t offering an opt-in option that can be a problem. Maybe you don’t irritate the users but that doesn’t mean that someone else using the service won’t irritate their recipients and the backlash can hit you!

Opt-ins protect you as much or even more than they protect your recipients.

Will You Have Mini-Memberships?

A Mini-Membership has people sign-up typically paying a fee for a limited-term-membership (compare it to a four – 12 week class and sometimes up to one-year). Each week or month they will have the next part of their course delivered to their email box.

Some email services support this and some do not. Some will support several limited-term-memberships and others will support only one.

Before you select a service know what you services you are expecting them to provide.


Tom Staskiewicz speaks and coaches on Social Media/Social Networking topics helping businesses, organizations, and individuals establish and manage their Social Media presence. Your Social Media presence doesn’t just happen and will not take care of itself. Tom helps you with those processes so your Social Media efforts will work for you.

Your Fan Page Needs Your Friends

Do My Fans Need to Know I Administer the Facebook Fan Page

Here’s the deal. You created a Fan or business page under your personal profile; that makes you the administrator of the page. Unless you post something on the Fan Page that gives it away as to who you are; your Fans cannot tell.

Two Steps to Better Hide Your Identity

If you are still worried the best way to hide the details about yourself is through the security settings on your personal profile. What you want to do is manage the information that you want to share with everyone, your friends, and your friend’s friends.

The other protection is deciding who you will accept as a friend. You can control this and if there are people that you do not want to have access to your personal information do not send a friend request or accept a friend request from them.

You can also classify your friends using the FB “list” process and create lists and then assign your friends. When you post you have the option to select the lists that you want to see the post you are leaving. That provides an additional method of restricting who sees what content.

Why You WANT the Two Connected

The last thing is that your business reputation and brand come for most of us from our personal reputation. What role does your personal reputation play in your business and how much do you count on your friends for referrals. The more restrictive you are the fewer the referrals you will receive.


Tom Staskiewicz is a Social Media/Social Networking Coach helping businesses, organizations, and individuals to establish and manage their Social Media presence. Your Social Media presence doesn’t just happen and will not take care of itself. Tom helps you with those processes so your Social Media efforts will work for you.

Can Your Business Really Have an Identity Separate from You?

Can You Really Separate Yourself and Your Business?

I do not think you could ever truly and completely separate yourself from your business. Today, I am thoroughly convinced that any attempt at separation is even more difficult than ever. In fact, the attempt to separate may be a death knell to your business as you attempt to establish your brand.

Businesses have always been tied to the owners/proprietors from the earliest shopkeepers to some of the largest single purpose corporations. The owner/proprietor was responsible for creating and building the brand.

Social Media/Social Networking Makes Separation More Difficult

Social Media/Social Networking offer incredible opportunities to build and promote your business and your brand. The problem is that many business people want to separate the two and that is extremely difficult, if not downright impossible.

I constantly receive emails and posts from people that want to separate themselves from their business. I am never told why they want to separate the two, just that they do.

Why is that? Are they afraid of something? Do they think that is how all big businesses became big businesses?

I have my business, UPPROACH, but the reality is that I cannot separate it from me. UPPROACH may be the name, but people know that it is my business. Whatever name I chose or will choose; the initial reputation and the reputation that the business will have for a long time is based upon my reputation and what I bring to the table.

I have worked many years to establish my reputation and brand; why wouldn’t I want to bring those efforts to my business? Why do I want to start over creating a new brand?

Proctor and Gamble, Colgate, Ford Motor Co

We can all agree that Proctor and Gamble, Colgate, Ford Motor Co, etc are all large companies. Where did they get their names? A little research shows you that these are the surnames of the people that started the business. Just like your business; these businesses got their start based upon the reputations and even the surnames of their founders.

Microsoft, Apple, IBM

Again these are all large companies and although the company names are not the last names of the founders; the reputations of the founders were critical to the initial acceptance of the businesses. We know the names and backgrounds of these company founders. We also know that the initial reputations for these businesses came from their founders.

The truth is that our personal and business reputations are intertwined and if you think that is not so; you are only fooling yourself.

Social Media/Social Networking Sites Present Challenges to the Idea of Separation

For sure Social Networking Sites present challenges to the idea of separation. It is increasingly difficult for owners to keep themselves separate from their business. A quick search on Google, Bing, Yahoo, or other search sites will quickly connect you to your business.

I believe that many of these people want to maintain the separate identities because they want the freedom to express themselves as they see fit in their personal life. While keeping those activities separate may be the desire or goal; the fact is the Internet may not allow that to happen. That would be great if you could do it; the reality is that the chances of truly pulling that off are slim to none.

The reality is that who we are and what we are is all over the Internet. Maintaining any semblance of privacy and controlling what people see is a figment of our imagination. Some people think because they have not established themselves on the Internet that they are therefore not on the Internet and even that is foolish thinking.


Tom Staskiewicz is a Social Media/Social Networking Coach helping business, organizations, and individuals to establish and manage their Social Media presence. Your Social Media presence doesn’t just happen and will not take care of itself. Tom helps you with those processes so your Social Media efforts will work for you.

Social Media Does Not Provide Instantaneous Results

Going Viral Takes Time

I was talking with one of my clients recently about their Social Media efforts. The owners had been questioning whether the Social Media effort, which they had started about 5 months ago, was producing anything tangible. She told them that it was and was able to give one or two examples. That provided a little bit of satisfaction, but not too much.

Ironically I had been thinking about that same thing with this client and had done a couple of Google searches to see how we were doing. I was pleasantly surprised at the results. This client had two pages of Google results and upon review I saw that some of the results were from reposts of our Blog articles.

I forwarded the search criteria so they could perform the same search and see for themselves what was happening. No, it is not bringing droves of people into their office thus far, but it is starting to take effect.

You Must Have Patience

The reality is that there are billions of businesses, articles, blogs, and everything else on the Internet and taking or making your place in that thriving world takes time and patience. Even when you are attempting to make a dent in a small segment of the Internet it still does not happen overnight.

You Must Create Your Own Following

To be successful you must be able to create a following and you do that by having interesting and informational posts. The fact that you post something is of little consequence; the fact that you post something that interests and attracts an audience makes all the difference.

Identify Your Target and Then Focus Your Efforts

Creating a following takes time and effort. Here are some key questions that you need to answer before you proceed:

  1. What is your target market?
  2. Is your target market…
    1. Local?
    2. Regional?
    3. National?
    4. Worldwide?
  3. Who is in your target market?
    1. Male?
    2. Female?
    3. Young?
    4. Old?
    5. Metropolitan?
    6. Suburban?
    7. Rural?

Obviously there is much more to the process than these few questions, but the ability to answer these questions will make your process much more successful and targeted. There are many people pushing the idea of building your list by the thousands every day, the question is whether you are adding valuable names or simply adding names. Be focused in your efforts so you create an audience that is interested in your message.


Tom Staskiewicz consults with individuals and businesses on the use of Social Media to help you build your brand and your business. Don’t waste time where there is no value. You must have a strategy so you don’t throw your money away on wasted efforts.

Does Networking Work?

Have you ever wondered if networking pays off?

Here is my latest experience. Approximately 8 weeks ago my contract was ended. I had been contracting at one company for the past 3 ½ years and it was only supposed to be a 1 year contract. That worked out well for me and I am happy that it lasted that long. I will get back to the end of the contract in a little bit.

Prior to this contract I had been looking for work for about 6 months. I had some things here and there that kept us going, but it was tough regardless. What is important, however, is what I did while I was with this company.

Take Action

The first action, not under my control, was shortly after I started I was called to a regional employment role in my church. The second action was I started using LinkedIn. The third actions was the more I learned the more I wanted to learn on how it could help me with my search.

Learn to Network

By learning how to network and allowing my network to get to know me I made many great contacts. I didn’t know everyone in my network at first and in many cases I am still getting to know them; but I will keep working on this.

Make Lots of Connections

About 1 1/2 years after getting into LinkedIn I started on Facebook. I had watched my teenagers use MySpace and then Facebook and thought they were wasting their time. I was wrong! At least with the idea that Facebook offered nothing for me. I started connecting with all kinds of people and it has been great.

I now have over 850 connections on LinkedIn connecting me to over 8 MILLION people and I have over 650 connections on Facebook. Some of the LinkedIn and Facebook connections are duplicated, but most are not.

After the Contract Ended

Anyway back to having the contract end… I contacted my and other recruiting companies to see what might be available. It wasn’t long and I had a couple of opportunities presented. One ended up panning out and I started the Tuesday after Labor Day.

Emailed Over 170 Contacts

The other thing that I did, however, was send an email to about 170 of my email contacts. That process generated over a dozen responses with possible opportunities. Where I went wrong was not sending that email out earlier in the process.

Let People in Your Network Know Who You Are and What You Can Do

When people in your network know you, know what you can do, and know what you want to do; they are there to help. My email went out a couple of weeks ago and I am still being contacted by members of my network to see what they can do to help. The truth is that I still have well over one thousand people that I could contact; a majority of whom I did not know three years ago.

I connect with new people all the time; it is my goal to be adding 5 – 10 new connections either on LinkedIn of Facebook every week. Sometimes it is as many as 20 per week and this is what YOU must be doing as well.

Networking works when you give it a chance.

Networking May Be Right Up There With The Fear Of Speaking

My LinkedIn Poll

I have an unscientific LinkedIn poll with a few results, but I am going out on a limb to draw some conclusions because I find it interesting.

The question I asked and the possible responses:

What is your greatest networking challenge?

  • Identifying possible connections?
  • Lack of comfort when inviting?
  • Available time?
  • Understanding networking value?
  • Believe it to be bothersome?

I was and still am asking about your biggest challenge to networking (go to my poll to participate). I am suprised by the responses I have received. The results are split 50/50 between small and large organizations, 33% women and 67% male, 33% C and VP-level, and all respondents were between 35 and 54.

As to response all but one indicates a lack of comfort when inviting people to connect and one of the non-C and VP level individuals indicated time constraints.

As I said above 50% of the current responses are from C and VP-level respondents and these individuals all identified the lack of comfort inviting as their biggest challenge as well. This really surprised me. I expected time challenges to be their reason.

What Do the Responses Mean

Although I received just a couple of comments; those comments and my experience lead me to the conclusion that the problem is a fear of rejection. The fear of rejection is powerful and it stands in the way of many successes. Successful people, however, do not let this fear stop them. They continually move forward.

When you invite people you do put yourself out there and invite a potential negative response, but that is a risk you must take; if you are going to be successful. If you are still laboring over a no response; you must really question your commitment.

The reality is that the worse that can happen is someone says: no. At that point you just need to dust yourself off and move on. Don’t dwell on it when someone says no; keep moving forward to your next invitation.

Your level of success can be measured by the size of your rolodex. The truly successful realize that they cannot do it on their own, it is with the help of others that they will continue to move forward.

I would appreciate it if you would take a minute to respond to my poll, so we can build better results.