Silicon Valley’s Most Prominent Connection CSIX Connect: It’s The People

Today’s CSIX Silicon Valley networking meeting was another example of why I am willing to drive 65 miles through three counties, 60+ minutes of mayhem similar to LA style freeway traffic in order to attend: it’s the “touches.” The personal nature of this meeting is it’s strength as people are given the opportunity to really meet, build relationships, and foster the ultimate connection-friendship.

Hamid Saadat, the sparkling presence with MC qualities and charismatic flair, provided much needed reminders of the importance of a clean-updated resume. He gave away 3 timely handouts: Top 10 Guidelines-Resume; The Eight Worst Things to Say in an Interview; and Networking, what not to do. This dovetailed perfectly with impromptu presenter Pamela Livingston of M Shift.

Pamela a woman of obvious boundless energy, provided what was the best most succinct tips of the day. She spoke of the importance of networking, the idea that nearly every waking moment of the day is an opportunity to network, and most important of all–give value and give often.

As the Vice President of Business Development for M Shift, Pamela related stories of her own employment history, her strategy in becoming more valuable to an organization, and a general approach to life that has a lets get it done together feeling.

Attendees with Expertise

1. Barbod Varjavandi- An irrepressible charismatic man with fantastic communication skills, Barbod’s expertise includes: Engineering Operations; Software Engineering; Product Management; Release Engineering; Information Technology. Barbod is the type of person every organization should have in order to prosper. Contact Barbod at barbod@varjavandi.com and 408 802-9120

2. Nobuko Isomata- Nobuko is such a joyful intelligent woman. She is fluent in English and Japanese and her background specialty is Asian Market Entry and Product Launch. Her consulting services, Market Entry Experts, provides a full array of market to market management and strategy. Contact Nobuko at nobuko@marketentryexperts.com and (650) 922-1786 or 240-0460

3. Joyce Phillips-Joyce is a Human Resources expert with a focus on H.R. Management and Business Partnership. She is looking for an opportunity with a large company. Joyce has the savvy and warm intelligence to relate to any situation as well as substance factor. With companies facing an ongoing battle for human capital “assets”, Joyce would be key acquisition for any organization. Contact Joyce at jelp444@gmail.com

4. Susan Siegel-Susan is an intelligent communicator who I only had a moment to connect with at our meeting. She impressed me as well spoken and hard working in her approach to business and networking. Susan can be contacted at smsiegel1@aol.com or (415) 602-1120

5. Bill Gascoyne-A man of substance he is an ASIC Engineer, a corporate technical trainer, and an amateur Physics lover. Bill is the type of guy who can train and relate to an audience of experts, hold their attention, and most important of all–be effective communicating complex theory in the most effective manner. Contact Bill at bill@billgascoyne.name and 408 497-5682

6. David Strom-David is a Technical Writer with expertise in API, software, and digital video. David’s strength is not only his substance factor but as an effective communicator through both the spoken and written word. Contact David at davestrom@mac.com and www.davestrom.com

7. Barb Kinnune-Barb is a Career Consultant with experience as a Personal Coach. Barb’s focus is talent management, career mapping, resume building, and networking. With experience in Silicon Valley, Barb would be an asset in order to move employees forward with a plan for success. Contact Barb at bkinn_1@yahoo.com

Finally me, Dean Guadagni, I have 23 years of business development experience. I am utilizing my substance factor as a blog consultant, free lance writer, and agent to author Susan Hanshaw. I am the Business Director of Inner Architect and Inner Architect Media. I represent Susan Hanshaw’s newly released book “Inner Architect: How To Build The Life You Were Designed To Live” our workshops, keynote speeches, and products are aimed at providing the platform for you to become your own life coach, identify your passions, and plot a new destiny built upon your passionate interests.

“Can I Buy You Lunch”: CSIX Founder Hamid Saadat’s Successful Vision

Hamid Saadat was newly out of work and getting restless with his new routine at home. He had just been victim of a layoff during a brutal economic down turn in the Valley circa 2001.

Feeling like getting out, Hamid decided to wander over to a nearby neighborhood Chinese restaurant for some lunch and a change of pace. On his way to the restaurant, Hamid decided that if he could find someone to go to lunch with he might make a new networking connection.

Eying a man walking near the restaurant, Hamid asked “Can I buy you lunch?” With that innocuous question, he unwittingly launched a new career and provided Silicon Valley with one of it’s most powerful networking organizations in the process.

Hamid Saadat is Founder and Chairman of the Board of CSIX Connect. Under his leadership CSIX Connect has grown from 2 people at its inception in 2001, to more than 3000 members, who share job leads, job search resources and mutual support.

Substance Factor

A veteran Silicon Valley player, Hamid has more than 20 years experience with companies like Cisco, Marconi, Network Equipment Technology and Calinet Networks. His expertise lies in Operations primarily in the networking industry.

Hamid holds his Masters Degree in Physics from the University of Oregon.

That Certain Something

Charisma is often a over used and abused word when describing people. In the case of Hamid Saadat it truly fits the man. A gregarious and joyful crowd pleaser, Hamid has that certain something so many people gravitate toward. He is a genuine, helpful, supportive power who’s goal is to help everyone find and land their desired job.

If you want to network, network effectively, create new friendships, and connect with Silicon Valley’s best then you should strongly consider paying CSIX a visit–it’s the place to be.

Networking Tip #11: Non Profit-Charitible Organizations’ Powerful “Client” List

In what has long been a high society secret some of the greatest most influential connections can be made while you are performing a great service to your community: charity volunteering.

Simply put associations, non profits, charities, and foundations solicit community business and political leaders for help. The list of volunteers is often a Who’s Who of your area. The help comes in fund raising as well as “substance factor” mentoring.

How Does This Benefit Me?

If you are looking for a place to network and meet your community leaders, business stalwarts, and possible networking partnerships, then volunteering at a well established charity organization is a powerful networking opportunity. Here are the 3 benefits involved:

1. Provide assistance to a worthwhile cause by giving back to your community

2. Network and meet influential networking connections

3. Become a speaker or mentor further advancing your name recognition and public perception

Where Do I Start

1. Begin by visiting your local Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, and National Foundation (ex-Cancer) for information on the local scene.

2. The best source is the A to Z Charity Listing for the American Institute of Philanthropy at charitywatch.org.

3. Charity Rating System at http://www.charitywatch.org/ratingguide.html is a fantastic report of the top 500 Charities nationwide

4. Local “Society Sheet” is usually contains the favorite charities of your local power brokers, business mavericks, and politicians. A great example of this in my area, San Francisco, is the NobHillGazette.com.

Final Analysis

Even if these kinds of society gatherings make you feel intimidated or uneasy, the possible connections are truly worth a few hours of self consciousness. At the very least, you will providing a service to a good cause and you can report your experience on your blog-website and at local industry meetings.

CSIX Silicon Valley: The Best “Human Capital” Networking Meeting In The Valley

The days of displaying your resume in local newspaper want ads, employment sections, and even the online venues are beginning to change. With the power of Web 2.0 networking, real world networking meetings for people in transition have taken on a new role: channel to employment.

The most powerful, networking meeting for people out of work, looking to change, transition from industries, or human resource-organizational development recruiters is the CSIX Connect Group.

CSIX Logistics

CSIX networking meetings are every Tuesday 10:30-1:00pm, include lunch, and are held at iRestaurant at 20007 Stevens Creek Blvd in Cupertino. The cost is an amazingly economical $12.

CSIX Meeting Format

The crowd of 25 was split between 3 tables of 8 attendees. The meeting begins with a short introduction of new attendees. Job leads anyone has are then presented. Then in what is a simple but a brilliant idea, each attendee is given the opportunity to ask for a “contact request.” Simply put if anyone has a connection within a company that somebody else is trying to connect with they are asked to provide a warm contact. In my 5 years of networking meetings, I have never seen any group or organization utilize this strategy. It is brilliant and very powerful! After this initial business is completed, a second 15 minute networking break is taken so that you can mingle with people at other tables aka part 2 below.

1. New member introductions, job leads, contact requests, and announcements
2. Networking-15 minute break to network with members not at your table
3. Speaker’s presentation followed by lunch 12:00

After having the chance to learn important information from that meetings guest speaker, the reinforcing of networking breaks and opportunities is really solidified over lunch. The final hour to hour and a half are spent getting to know people networking over lunch.

You really get a chance to hear a person’s story, find out their substance factor, and then assist them in finding what they are looking to achieve. The 3 chances to network make this, easily, the most powerful networking format I have every experienced.

Attendees With Expertise

1. Linda Alejandro-Dumont-Linda has 10+ years Human Resources and Organizational Development experience in a large well known Silicon Valley firm. Email Linda at lindaadumont@gmail.com

2. Ken Weidner-Ken has 10+ years as a credit analyst in Silicon Valley. His experience would be a benefit to any firm looking for proven expertise. Email Ken at kaweid@pacbell.net

3. Bill Cascoyne-Bill is an engaging and well versed technical trainer. He has the personality to capture an audience and the intelligence to be considered an expert amongst a room of experts. Email Bill at billgascoyne@earthlink.net

4. Rebecca Kieler-Rebecca gave a very practical and thought provoking speech. Her delivery engaged the audience and she is a solid choice to perform keynote or workshop duties. Email Rebecca at rebecca@kielercareerconsulting.com

5. Oliver Barrett-Oliver has experience and substance factor as a Electro-Optical Test Engineer. He has 10+ years design/development experience, electronic and optical instrument programming, and test software methodology development. Email Oliver at orbs@triangulum.net

6. Barbod Varjavandi- Barbod’s experience is software engineering including engineering operations, product management, release engineering, and information technology. Barbod has the technical background and positive personality to provide leadership and value to any team. Email Barbod at barbod@varjavandi.com

7. Nobuko Isomata- Nobuko is easily one of the most intelligent and charismatic individuals you could hope to meet. The owner of Market Entry Experts, www.marketentryexperts.com, Nobuko is a dynamic sales and business development expert. Market Entry Experts handles all aspects of transpacific market development. Whether you are an American Company looking to develop the Japanese market, or a Japanese company looking to develop the U.S. market–Nobuko and her team can handle the job.

Email Nobuko at nobukoisomata@yahoo.com

Final Analysis

I met another 5 people who I apologize to for not including them in this piece. This is a testament to the power of the CSIX platform, the willingness of it’s participants to share their stories, and the complete cooperation from attendees to help everyone who asks for assistance.

A truly remarkable experience. I highly recommend this group to anyone in transition, connected to the employment field, or any professional wishing to increase their connections in Silicon Valley

Quick Business Guide #1: The 5 Key Questions You Must Answer Before Launching Your Business

Watch this video of Jay Abraham to understand Key Question #3 in this Quick Business Guide

In order to understand the importance of preparation in going to market with any business, you must first install processes that will support your business. One of the most important overview processes to perform is answering the 5 Key Questions to starting a successful business.

If you do not have answers for any of these questions, it is important to stop and examine the “missing ingredient” that may create long term problems for your new startup.

The Five Key Questions

1. What is Your Substance Factor?

These are experiences, education, career titles, collaborations, successes, or lessons learned from failures you accumulated throughout your career that provide the “expert” substance factor that will give you credibility in your business

2. What Are You?

This is identifying what type of company you are about to launch and the market you are targeting

3. What Are Your Products, Services, and Market Strategies?

This is simply identifying whether you provide a tangible or intangible product, services only, products and services, and the strategy that allows you to cross sell and or up sell your customer base on an ongoing basis.

The #1 Market Strategy you can review before going to market is provided by the $7 Billion Dollar Man Jay Abraham in “3 Methods To Grow Your Business”

4. Who Is Your Customer?

Identify your customer, their demographics, their propensity to buy, and the habits this target market exhibits. Identify if you will sell to the general public, small businesses, large corporations, or a combination of the aforementioned. Investigate the possibility of opening up to a global-world wide market

5. What Is Your “Differentiating Factor(s)”?

What makes your product-service special or standout from the marketplace? Do you have an advantage that your niche competitors do not have in their businesses? Can you market this differentiating factor and make it a driving factor in your launch? How can you leverage this differentiating factor in order to convince an established business, in your niche and with established-developed channels into the market, to partner-collaborate-or present you to the marketplace?