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You know earlier in the week when I said I was prepping for a busy 2019 and that it was going to be good? Well, it’s well on its way and I am definitely experiencing that busy-ness in my business. Had to figure out how to make that phrase work, I guess I did it right. Right?

Anyway, whether it’s personal business, business business or monkey business, I have it and am getting more of it. Yay! I look very much forward to that, too! I’ll be pulling more studio time and more VO time, it looks like, which is good, too. I like money. I like to make it. I would like to make more of it (who wouldn’t?). And, I’m going to do just that! Dang it!


(l-r: Ed, Ray Morgan, me, Corey, Kelly, Flannery. ©Kandi Villano)

One thing that will help me do that better is my network of people.

Sure, I have my regular “network” of folks but I actually have a bona fide network at my disposal. 20+ personal account managers/business locators that work “for me” and I for them. I may have mentioned this before, and I know I have on The Less Desirables, but I am in one of those “referral groups.” But, this is not like most referral groups. This is The Best Damn Referral Group. I’m not just looking for a reason to cuss, either. It is what we call it. The Best Damn Referral Group or “TBD Referral Group” or just plain “TBD.”

Now, on this podcast when I say TBD that usually is my lazy speak for The Beer Dads, but today, it’s not. We are 20-30 business-like-minded folks who not only refer business but we are friends family. This just works.

Think about it. We all know people that do stuff, right? We know that “computer guy” or “yoga instructor” or “insurance guy” or “person that makes crocheted thingies,” right? But, if someone mentions to you that they’re needing a service, most likely you’ll just say, “I’ll keep an ear out for that.” And, chances are, you’ll not think of it again until your friend either mentions still needing that something or they complain that it “cost this or that.” It happens all the time.

But, if you have a friend, a real friend that does something for a living, you’re going to refer that person to your friend-in-need first, right? You know you will.

If I hear someone say they need a website done, I have the person, Ray Mitchell at SixFour Web Design.

If you need an application or software developer, I have Josh Schuminsky with Solutions Afoot.

Have a wellness problem like you’ve constantly got colds or aches and pains? How about some elemental help with Carly Sink at Vibes Up! or supplements from Linda McDermott with Shaklee, or aromatherapy with Melissa Curran at Scented Balance or plant-based foods and diet structures from Sha’retha Davis aka Happie Food, yoga with Shakira Bethea and Train to Relax, massage therapy from Beth Blair at Seamless Living NC? Need to talk over your worries? I have Michele Hannah. Or Timmy VO/BeYou360/Tim Johnson for personal training needs. I mean, I have my own wellness collective, right there!

Have a presentation or job opportunity but you’re not sure if your regional or southern accent will be understood? I have Margaret Morris at Triad Speech Consultants to help you work that out.

There’s a computer problem? Yo! CATS (or Computer and Technology Solutions) with Kandi Villano and Lori Noel can solve it.

Have too much debt or need financial help? Corey Hodges at Fortified Futures and Donnie Stiles at Edward Jones can help you get on the right track. Insurance? Corey can help with that, too or Jim Annas and his Nationwide (soon to be something else) group can help.

I used to be a travel agent, remember? Well, I’m not, but people still come to me. The first thing I tell them? Go to Ed Dean with Cruise Planners.

Have a drab and listless office and you’re needing a touch-up? Kelly Holcomb at River’s Edge is there for you.

Need a cool little gift for a loved one or even for yourself? Try a crocheted piece of sunshine with Whitney Morgan’s Whit’s Whimsies. Her husband, Ray is my co-host on The Man Who Ate the Town podcast but he also is working to get into a ministry and he dedicates a lot of time volunteering and if you need a place to get rid of that overflowing coat closet’s lost and lonely treasures, he volunteers for the Shalom Project of Winston-Salem. And speaking of places to do volunteering or look for work-training for less fortunate folks, Tempy Albright at Goodwill is your person.

Here ya go, this one’s a bit different. You have recyclables or even non-recyclables that you’re looking to get rid of? I mean like cups, paper and things like that? Want to be part of a cool little project? How about stop-motion animation? Or puppetry? Puppetry is cool. My pal Flannery Holton has Alley Cat Studio and does just that… well, and a lot more. He does some 3D printing as well. He, Timmy VO, Ray Morgan and I could sit around a table and do voices for projects. Or for fun. That would be cool.

This one is particularly for the ladies that read my blog. When you walk at night, be it from a store to your car, the stroll with your four-legged friends or just being out, you want to feel safe and secure, right? Sometimes owning or purchasing a gun isn’t the right solution for you. I have my friend Heather Sherer who is starting her own Damsel in Defense-affiliated business and will be able to equip you with implements of self-defense-destruction!

Dealing with a family matter or even light-criminally leaning issues in your family? Need an attorney who will help work out wills, agreements, adoption and other legal things? Denise M Gold is your person.

Buying a house can be a daunting task or a scary proposition. Lorraine Howard at Blue Door Group (at Wilkinson ERA) can find homes of all types for her clients. She is very accessible and takes a lot of the “pain” out of “painstaking” house hunting. Have a loved one that is getting up in their years and need to start looking to downsize their stuff in their life? Well, Lorraine can help find a house but in case they’re older and looking to get moved to a new facility, home or otherwise, then Jen Hammon at Monarch Living can help make the transition a lot easier on the families.

You hear me talking about the awesome work that Nate Geipel at X1 Communications does with their “beamed” high-speed internet. But, it never is too much because the internet is lightning fast and reliable.

Okay, so you need a headshot or action shot or whatever kind of photo in your business social media or just because you think it’s cool? Stallone Frazier Photography and Graphic Design is the main man! He did TMWATT’s new logo, too. Great work. Need that new logo or picture on a t-shirt or banner? Well, Janice Schmitz does t-shirts with her biz, Ink It Promotional Products and David Stanley does banners and signage at Image360. Yes, I have my own printing specialists but as Machine Gun Graphics (my folks) and Janice and David all say, there’s enough biz to go around. Plus, I’ve given introductions to all of them so, full disclosure, there.

Did you just start a new business and want to make sure that you have or are using all the right tools you need for your business to survive? Not just get started and flounder? Jason Berry is a business coach at Action Coach and will be starting his own franchise soon.

Yes, I know this post turned into one big promotional push for this group but I truly believe in each and every one of them and think that referring their businesses is part of my duty as a colleague, as an associate, as a friend. I wouldn’t refer any of them if I didn’t think they had the skill, talent, determination, dexterity, competency or faculty for the business that I send them. And them me. I have to be on my best attention and business mindset for when they have someone in need of what I do.

I get excited to help them procure business for their own enterprises.

But, as I said, they’re not my business contacts. I don’t think of them like that. I don’t see them as networking folks. They may be those things and may just be that to others, but to me, they’re my friends. They are my family. I dig them the most! I love them. I said it.

And, if you are looking for a stuffy referral group where you sit quietly while people beg you for business and expect you to give it to them, this isn’t that. Far, far from it. This group is alive! This group comes with their hand ready to shake, not take (thanks Ray!).

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!

“Entrepreneurship is a muscle, and winning is an endurance game.” – Caroline Ghosn