Being Bruce -: December 2009

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Another Striking Bouquet from Moxie Floral Design Studios

One of my great pleasures this year (it's still 2009 as I write this) was getting re-acquainted with Cynthia Lee and meeting Djenana Ninkovic, who together run Moxie Floral Design Studios on Princess Street in downtown Wilmington.

When I'm downtown and have money burning in my pocket I often stop in to buy flowers for Marge. Well, I was downtown this morning and had some money so I did it again!

In the photo below it's Djenana Ninkovic, who put together this elegant bouquet in almost no time. I asked her to laugh, she did, I took the photo and here you have it:

I couldn't wait to get home to give the flowers to Marge. I didn't have to ask her to smile, as you can see.

For you guys reading this post, do not, ever, ever, ever underestimate how much flowers are appreciated. Probably any flowers are great, but if you can find a design studio like Moxie, that does lots of weddings and other special occasions, and if they get to know you and the woman you're buying flowers for, the results are amazing!

New Book Now at Pomegranate Books and Another Awesome Review on Amazon

As of yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon, Wilmington, NC area residents have a second local place to purchase copies of 31 Days to Networking Event Mastery.

Now you can buy my book at Pomegranate Books, located at 4418 Park Avenue has the book in stock. Pomegranate Books, which describes itself as a "progressive, independent bookstore in Wilmington, North Carolina, run by avid readers", is a comfortable, friendly bookstore with knowledgeable staff. They are highly supportive of local authors and host author workshops and meetings often. Check out the Pomegranate Books website at

31 Days to Networking Event Mastery is also available at RBR Books in Leland, NC, located in the Waterford Shoppes. RBR Books is another comfortable store owned and run by book lovers, in this case Clif and Laura Bridgers. RBR Books website is

Of course you can buy 31 Days to Networking Event Mastery on with this link, but there's no deal buying it on Amazon, it's sold for $9.95 on Amazon and at the local bookstores. And even though Amazon ships quickly, you can get the book immediately at the local stores.

As time goes on we may place the book in a few other small local bookstores where you can buy it off the shelf, likely it will be available in one more local location very soon - I'll keep you apprised of that.

In the meantime, the book also got another strong review on Amazon. Here it is, quoted in full:

"With 20+ years of experience as a leader in a Direct Sales company, I'm always on the lookout for effective training tools for new recruits. Bruce Brown's "31 Days to Network Event Mastery" is a compact but complete instruction guide for maximizing networking opportunities - such a critical skill in today's business environment. Each tip presents a "nugget of wisdom" that might at first glance seem obvious to the experienced networker, but at close read is a clearly stated objective that not only tells you what to do, but why it's important to do it! We all have a lot to learn from this book.

It's my plan to provide new recruits with this awesome guide at the beginning of their careers, but I'm also going to use it to "re-kindle the fire" within my existing team. What a terrific new resource!" - Nancy Duetzmann, Ansonia, CT

Yesterday I had a great time recording the book for the audio version. We'll have that ready in a week or so, but it was fun doing the initial recordings. (Today we'll listen to them . . . that may be interesting.) Here's a shot of me getting ready to record (and btw, I had more queries about the microphone than about the book - so to head off more questions on that, it's an entry level Alesis brand microphone that I bought in a kit. And yes, James, it does have a USB plug).

So thank you sincerely to all of you who've already purchased one or more copies of the book (I think it's cool that already at least two small companies are buying copies for all their sales staff). Here's a way you can help, if you'd like: whether you buy 31 Days to Networking Event Mastery locally at Pomegranate Books in Wilmington or RBR Books in Leland OR on Amazon, you can still post a review on I'd sure appreciate that because it helps sales to people who don't live in our area. Also, if you buy locally and like the book, please tell the people at the bookstores, because they'd like to know and that way they're likely to recommend it to others.

Of course, the book itself is all about making the most of live networking events, something I'm enthusiastic about because I know it helps my business and, if done correctly, can help many other business people as well. I love to speak about this topic and have already done radio interviews, with more scheduled. I'm also booked to speak at events from Wilmington to Myrtle Beach. If you'd like me to speak at your group, or know of a group where it might help to learn about strategic networking, please give me a call or pass my name on. I'd appreciate that, too.

Have a very happy and safe New Year.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

First Book Reviews for "31 Days to Networking Event Mastery" Are In - Wow!

I am honored and highly appreciative that the first three reader reviews on of my new book, 31 Days to Networking Event Mastery were so positive and strong. All three reviewers saw fit to give the book 5 stars!

Here are the reviews (each quoted in its entirety):

"Bruce Brown has created a true and easy step by step bite-size guide to "Networking Event Mastery." This is small enough to keep with you and meaty enough to make a real difference. Applying one action step daily will truly take your business networking to the next level and today business is all about relationships. This book is packed with nuggets from a master networker who knows that it can be intimidating to the uninitiated and overwhelming to those of us used to online networking. Real time, face to face is essential to every business person's success. Brown has assured your success when you follow his lead." - Melissa Galt "Prosper by Design", Atlanta, GA

"31 Days to Networking Event Mastery, by Bruce Brown, is a simple and straightforward guide to maximizing the networking experience. Each tip is practical and often obvious, but using this book as a complete guide, the obvious becomes masterful. He provides everything for you but a ride to the event! Although he gears the tips towards business, most apply to any networking you do. The author is gifted at having a pulse on the process. Brown lays out his tips with such a common sense and encouraging tone, you finish it feeling you have the tools to network your way through any crowd with ease." - Anne Levine, Westport, CT

" As a person with more than forty years of experience in owning and building small businesses, I have read and studied hundreds of self-help/how-to books. The ones I value most, get quickly to the point with a minimum of fluff and filler, thus conserving my most precious asset, time. It is my opinion that in today's business climate, effective networking may be the most cost efficient way to grow a business or profession. Bruce Brown has provided a small, concise, easy to read book about networking that reminded me of techniques and strategies that I already know, but sometimes forget and some new to me (social media/blogs etc.). But perhaps more importantly, he weaves throughout the book the "why" of networking that is crucial to understand, whether one is a novice or seasoned veteran in his or her chosen field. I can't think of another book that gave me so much hands-on value and yet required from me so little in time and money." - Doc Hamm, North Carolina

As most of my blog readers know, I wrote this book to provide newbies and old pros alike with an easy-to-read reference to tips and strategies for getting the most from live business networking events. Networking and relationships have always been a major part of business but in our present 'interesting' times, finding and building new trusted customers, clients, and referral sources has never been more important.

Networking isn't rocket science, which is good for me since I'm clearly not a rocket scientist. Networking is a great place to meet new people and touch base with folks you already know. And yeah, it is social, and can be fun, but when it's done within the context of making and building business relationships (and when the other attendess understand that as well), these events can be very effective for finding and keeping customers and clients.

You could just show up at one of these events and see what happens. I believe, however, that many if not all of us in business today don't have the luxury of random efforts and waiting to see what the results are. So that's why I wrote 31 Days to Networking Event Mastery, to give people tools, tips, strategies, and a system for making the most from these ever more important marketing opportunities.

The primary objectives were to keep it short and keep it affordable. Each tip needs just one page - I left out as best I could lengthy explanations, loads of examples, and theory and just give you the tip with no more insight or exposition than fits on one page. This book is for busy business people who are better off out networking than spending long hours reading yet another weighty exposition on simple points.

We've also priced the book at $9.95, so it's affordable. I make about $2 per book at this rate, but that's fine - I'd rather sell a lot of them and help a lot of business people than make a bundle on each book and only help a few people.

I also did my best to make each tip readable, human, and occasionally a bit humorous. I tried to have some of my own personality and love of networking and people come through.

You can network. You can do it successfully and it will bring you more business. I believe both of these statements fully. I also believe 31 Days to Networking Event Mastery can help you start right if you've never been to a business networking event or do it better even if you've been attending them for years.

So buy the book. Read it and pass it on to someone in your company,in your family, or among your friends so they can learn how to network better, too. (Or buy a bunch a pass them out, that would be pretty cool, too!)

Thanks. Oh, and one more time, here's the Amazon link:

31 Days to Networking Event Mastery

And if you live in or near Leland, NC, it's also available at RBR Books in Leland and soon will be in some other bookstores in Wilmington.


Friday, December 18, 2009

FREE Newsletter 'Bruce Brown at the Edge'

I'm sitting here grinning while I type. We're about to launch 'Bruce Brown at the Edge', a free weekly e-zine (aka an email newsletter). The content will include short (I promise) pieces with tips, advice, tools, techniques, insights and resources.

(If you'd rather not read the rest but want to subscribe to check it out just fill out the form below)

The consistent theme of the newsletter pieces will be about you being successful. We're calling it 'Bruce Brown at the Edge' because there will be two perspectives:
  • Getting ready to make your next big business or personal leap
  • Actually making the leap into great success and your life purpose
As you know (or will soon find out), I believe we are each here for a unique purpose. Our individual combination of skills and gifts suit us perfectly to attain our purpose. As we learn about or realize our purpose, it's helpful to be sure we're ready to make the leap. Also, if we are truly aligned with our purpose and committed to it, sometimes it's a bit scary to "jump off the edge". And that's why I'm writing this newsletter. It's also why I founded Quantum Results Coaching.

You see, I know my purpose. My purpose is to help as many people as possible become fully successful in life following their passions to achieve their own purpose.

'Bruce Brown at the Edge' will be focused on providing the best information I can to help you get ready to make the leap and then to actually make the leap into the best life you've ever imagined - your personal, unique purpose.

So please subscribe, if you're interested. The first issue will be out soon and I'd love for you to be with us in the beginning. You can always easily subscribe and don't worry, we won't do anything bad with your email address like sell it or share it with others - we promise.

It's easy to subscribe to 'Bruce Brown at the Edge'. Just fill in the form below. And please, feel free to forward this info to others.

Thank you,


Subscription form:

David Merrill's Wilmington Networking Events Calendar 2.0

Want to build your business? How about relationship marketing? One of the best and fastest ways to grow a small to medium-sized business is to go to business networking events.

How to find and choose between networking events is often a concern. In the greater Wilmington, North Carolina area there's a great tool to help. David Merrill, who by day works for Hertz Local as an area manager, has created the Wilmington Networking Event Calendar, which you can find at

David had an earlier version of Wilmington Networking Event Calendar that he produced with a Google calendar page, but the new web site has much more, including great descriptions of major area networking groups.

David calls the new release version 2.0 and is already working on 2.1 (I've seen it, it's very cool) but wanted to get 2.0 up and available to help people find where to go for networking in the greater Wilmington area.

So check out Wilmington Networking Event Calendar and if relationship marketing at networking events is in your 2010 business plan, make it a practice to check Wilmington Networking Event Calendar at the beginning of each week.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Strictly Business at Antonio's in Leland 12-16-09

Well it was Strictly Business at Antonio's Pizza and Pasta Restaurant in Leland, NC last night and the place was hopping. We had a super turnout at the ever-more-popular business networking event sponsored and run by Sea-Comm Media's Big Talker FM and hosted by Curtis Wright, the Big Talker Morning Show guy.

Each week Strictly Business meets at a greater Wilmington area restaurant for networking and conviviality. Usually the food, which is provided free by the host restaurant consists of generous arrays of appetizers. Well we all sat down at Antonio's because Manager Doug Manning provided trays of lasagna, sausage and peppers, and their famous garlic knob bread twists. This was definitely not stand up and walk around with a glass of wine food - this was sit down and dig in food. And we did.

But before, during, and after there was a whole lotta networking going on.

Denise Kinney, Broker in Charge of the Leland office of Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty (who is also my boss) was a first time attendee at Strictly Business and she was also one of the big prize winners during the drawings at the end of the event - Denise won a free radio spot on Curtis Wright's morning show which is pretty cool.

Each week at Strictly Business a nonprofit organization is the beneficiary of the raffle ticket proceeds (all prizes are donated by area businesses). This week it was the North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce. Below is NBCC's Executive Director Terry Grillo.

Kris Peterson, a Wilmington area accupuncturist and Jim Tuzzeo, a financial planner with Blueprint Advisory Group. Kris was another big winner in the drawings - he scored a year's membership to the North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce.

Sea-Comm Media's Michael Snyder and Steve Haughey of Worldwide Express.

Jim Tuzzeo with Derek Sellers, an aptly named sales guy with Sea-Comm Media.

Addy Bullara of Bugsy's Cigars.

Linda Killian of Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty. Linda won rounds of golf at Beau Rivage Plantation.

Denise Kinney with Jeff Harvell, NBCC Board Member, developer, and publisher of Cape Fear Business News.

Denise with Liftech's Rob Whitney (they pick stuff up with cranes), and Don Swartz of 360 Wilmington.

Kris with Monica Clark of Prepaid Legal and Derek.

Mark Johnson of Buff Masters Car Detailing, Jerry Ellis of e-Telcom Communications, and Scott Gales of The Becker Building Supply, Co.

NBCC Board Members Frank Williams of Pioneer Strategies and Tony Vlach of Hibiske Nationwide Insurance.

NBCC Board member Franklin Rouse of State Farm Insurance.

Mary Bennies of the Town Planner (an area-wide event calendar - it just came out and is way cool) with Terry Grillo.

Marilyn and Greg Darrow of Images 8 Photography.

US Cellular's Devon Nichols and Joyce Diggett. This was their first time at a Strictly Business event and they've also just joined NBCC, so a double welcome.

Stephanie Williams with Edward Jones and Elaine Williams with Riegelwood Federal Credit Union. Hey, are you guys related? Got to find that out. When I cropped this photo I thought you sorta looked like happy trouble makers - I wonder if you are sisters?

Marge Brown of SendOutCards talking with Donna May of Party Lite Candles.

Paul Whitehouse of Lopermedia.

Marketing consultant for nonprofits Susan Rivenbark who is also the new Marketing and Event Coordinator with Boys and Girls Home of North Carolina. Susan is here with Terry Grillo.

Hertz Local's David Merrill (David's also the guy that publishes the very helpful Wilmington Networking Event calendar) with Marge Brown.

New NBCC members and Strictly Business first-timers Christina and Robert Cappiello of The Family Tree Nursery and Garden Center, located on Route 17 in Winnabow.

Peter "The Man" Larson of Franklin Rouse State Farm Insurance.

The crowd sticks around the Strictly Business events because there are plenty of cool prizes each week.

Here's Curtis Wright during the drawings, assisted by Big Talker FM Producer and photographer Paige Freeman.

One of the prize winners was Scott Reeves of Azalea Place Rentals. You might recognize Scott as one of the guys who ran the Leland Under the Lights car show in Septemer. (You more likely might recognize him as Santa Claus - Scott is very busy this season with many many appearances - including at last Saturday's Christmas Festival and Parade sponsored by The Unity Group.)

Marge Brown and Monica Clark.

Marilyn and Greg Darrow talking with Brad Walker, Sales and Marketing Manager for Cape Fear National, the (awesome) new golf course in Brunswick Forest.

So as you can see, this was a blow out, great Strictly Business event. Next week Strictly Business moves to Cameo Nightclub in Lumina Station (5-7PM) - come check it out. There will be no event on December 30th, but then on January 6th the first Strictly Business of 2010 will be upstairs at Caprice Bistro in downtown Wilmington. The stay current with the Strictly Business events, check out The Big Talker Web site event page. And for all area events, don't forget David Merrill's Wilmington Networking Event Calendar.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Networking Tips Book available on Amazon

Yesterday was a red letter day for me and for Quantum Results Coaching. My new book, "31 Days to Networking Event Mastery" is now available on for sale on Amazon for $9.95.

Here's how the book came into being:

Long an avid networker, in part because I just love to meet new people but also because it's a major part of my marketing, I started last August putting up tips on my Being Bruce Brown blog on how to effectively participate in live business networking events. I'd observed others networking successfully (or not) and also have found what works for me (and doesn't) in those same events. So I figured it could be helpful to others if I posted my best ideas on how to make the most of those events.

After posting a half dozen tips I got a call from my good friend and former business partner Alfred Poor, who has a cottage publishing company called Desktop Wings (which doesn't really run from a cottage, but rather from a barn in eastern Pennsylvania). Alfred suggested there could be a book project if I had more tips. At the time I had identified 26 tips but was only writing and posting one per day. Alfred suggested I get the number to 31 (which was easy) and we'd work together to create a book.

So that's where the book came from. Calling it Volume I. of the 31 Days to ... Series is another whole story.

The book is short. We intentionally kept each of the 31 tips to just one page, which meant a lot of cutting and editing from the original blog posts. The point is that this is a book that distills just the important value points for busy business people. It's not a scholarly study, it's not full of case studies, this is stuff that works. Or advice that should keep you from wasting your time at networking events and instead getting the greatest benefit.

In the process of writing and publishing "31 Days to Networking Event Mastery" we sent an early draft to 70+ people around the world, including other authors of business, networking, and marketing books as well as some business coaches and consultants we know or to whom I was introduced in the process.

I was elated by the response, not only the kind words that so many had, but also their generosity with their time and sharing. Many people made comments or suggestions to change or tweak the book that we were able to incorporate. We didn't choose to include case studies or anecdotes or add graphics, all of which would have been helpful, because I wanted to stick to the original idea of writing a short book that would actually be read by busy business people. I even considered just writing one sentence per tip, to get right to each point with less chance of confusion and to minimize the time, but in the end we decided to stick with one page per tip. I hope, if you buy the book, that length works for you.

Our various reviewers wrote that this little book would be a great time-saving value for networking beginners as well a good list of reminders for seasoned pros. We kept the price low so that shouldn't be a barrier for someone to buy it for themselves, for friends, or maybe for their employees.

The best way to buy one or a few copies is via Amazon, where you can find it with this link: "31 Days to Networking Event Mastery". If you want to buy 20 or more copies, let me know and we can probably work a bulk deal. Also, if you are interested in 20,000 copies or more, we can do private labelling and would be happy to talk with you about it.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

NBCC Speaker Luncheon with Stephen G. Greiner, Ed.D. President, Brunswick Community College

At today's North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce monthly speaker luncheon, Dr. Stephen Greiner, President of Brunswick Community College spoke about the pivotal role, the "hotbed" of economic development that our part of the county has become. Joining Dr. Greiner at the lectern was Velva Jenkins, Dean of Continuing Education and Workforce Development.

Below, NBCC board member Mike Leggett of the Local News Reporter and Frank Bullara of Bugsy's Cigars before the luncheon.

NBCC Executive Director Terry Grillo and board members Brenda Bozeman and Connie Reeves.

Chamber member Karen Chevrotee of Wilmington South Realty.

Pam Potter of First Federal Bank.

Magnolia Greens Comfort Suites Sales Manager Lee Ann Mitchell.

Poe Butler of H2GO.

Mike and board member Frank Williams of Pioneer Strategies.

Board member Todd Godbey of Kidsville News.

Brendan, Karen, and Lee Ann.

Mary Lou Hurst of The Innkeeper, Lessie Butler of H2GO, and Elaine Williams of Riegelwood FCU.

Debbi Kidd of Coble Ward-Smith Funeral & Cremation Service and Alice Razzano from NBCC.

Holly Stevens and Monica Clark of Prepaid Legal.

Board member Peggy O'Leary.

Dr. Greiner.

Dean Jenkins.

Antonio's Manager Roger Manning and server Craig Conger.