Partnering For A Purpose

Jeff Cochran


A mentor is an important influence and indicator of business success. How you define and shape your career is largely based on who you emulate and partner with. But how can you find a mentor or partner to help you create a purposeful career and a meaningful life? By following these steps, you can cultivate a relationship that lasts and enables you to succeed in the business world.

  • Determine what you’re looking for. The first step of the process is to determine exactly what you are looking for. For example, are you seeking a mentor who can help you get a promotion, guide you in a new position, or introduce you to top executives in your field? Asking yourself these questions will aid you with determining what a mentor means to you.
  • Try a mentoring program. If you’re having trouble locating a potential mentor, the human resources department at your job is an excellent place to start. Many large corporations offer mentoring programs that allow you to easily locate someone with the potential to become your trusted partner. You can also try mentorship programs through major associations in your industry.
  • Use all your resources. When you are searching for your mentor, ensure that you use all your resources. You should not only look within your office, but also outside it as well. Your mentor doesn’t necessarily have to be a business partner; he or she could also be a neighbor, relative, or acquaintance from another organization. Another way to find a mentor is to search on LinkedIn.
  • Find out if you click. Once you have located a potential mentor, your job is not complete. You still need to determine whether or not you are compatible. To find out if you and your mentor have chemistry, have some one-on-one conversations. These interactions will help you figure out if this is a relationship that can last.
  • Show them your strengths. Next, convince this person that he or she should invest his or her time and resources in you. Show your strengths, as well as how he or she can help you achieve your goals. Provide evidence to support the idea that this will be a mutually beneficial relationship.
  • Make the most out of your relationship. After you have found your mentor, it is important to maximize your relationship by nurturing and building it over time. A great way to do this is to check in with your mentor on a regular basis through email or by phone. Tell your mentor how the relationship is benefiting you and allowing you to succeed in your business endeavors.

Achieving Your Full Potential Through Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Jeff Cochran


Do you eat well every day? Do you feel sluggish in the afternoon, succumbing to the urge for caffeine or sugar to get you through the rest of the day? A healthy diet and regular exercise are just the beginnings of a successful life and career. By making healthy lifestyle choices, you enhance your mental, spiritual, and social well-being, in turn helping you reach your personal and professional best. Making the following changes today will benefit you tomorrow – and well into the future.

  • Exercise daily. You know that exercise is important, but do you feel as though you simply don’t have the time to exercise daily? If this situation describes you, it is critical to make exercise a priority. Whether it’s taking a walk, going for a run, working out at the gym, or squeezing in a quick yoga session, daily exercise is one of the most significant parts of living a healthier lifestyle. Try to work out in the morning before you start your day, because this will leave you feeling refreshed and energized.
  • Eat right. It may sound simple, but eating right is another healthy lifestyle choice that often falls to the wayside as you focus on your job, personal life, and other commitments. Ensure that you eat a healthy breakfast every day – don’t assume that coffee will suffice. Also try to incorporate more raw and whole foods into your diet. Experts recommend that you eat a minimum of 50% raw food, which are high in micronutrients, fiber, and water.
  • Manage your stressors. Does your job create a huge amount of stress in your daily life? By properly managing your stressors, you can live a healthier lifestyle. Stress takes a huge toll on the body, raising your blood pressure, making it difficult to sleep, causing aches and pains, and even leading to weight gain. Get a handle on your stress by learning to prioritize life’s demands and set boundaries when necessary.
  • Create a schedule. Another way to promote a healthy lifestyle is to plan your schedule each day. By implementing a routine that includes your to-dos and goals, you can easily prioritize your responsibilities and ensure that you are also meeting your own needs throughout the day. Additionally, when you create your schedule, make it top heavy. This means accomplishing the least desirable task at the beginning of the day – not putting it off until the very end.

Looking for more ways to live a healthier life? Forbes Living TV now offers a new series on making healthy choices to live a healthy lifestyle.

Meet SNI’s Spring Interns!

Jeff Cochran


Join us in welcoming SNI’s interns for the 2014 Spring semester!


Trevin Jaggars

Trevin’s main job at SNI is to assist Ron Shapiro on projects and help with any research and writing proposals. He is in grad school at Georgetown for sports industry management.  His favorite dessert is cheesecake and he even writes poems! His current career goal is to get a full time position with a sports team or company.


Dimetria Jenkins

Dimetria is our fiance and accounting girl. She is a senior business major with accounting and finance concentrations. On her birthday, she’d love to eat either tiramisu or crème brulee.  She knows how to play the saxophone and is a great chef and baker! Before continuing on to get her MBA and other certifications, she is hoping to gain some work experience in the accounting and finance industry.


 Matthew Legg

Matt is a second year law student at the University of Maryland School of Law and is a legal intern this Spring at SNI.  On his birthday, his favorite dessert is yellow cake with chocolate icing (and plenty of those thick icing balloons…).  He took an independent study in college on 3D animation, and knows how to create basic digital animations.  After he graduates from law school and passes the bar exam, he’s hoping use his law knowledge foundations and experience to further establish his career path.


Glen Rock

Glen is our marketing guy. He helps with social media, blogs, email campaigns and other creative tasks. His favorite birthday dessert is a brownie fudge sundae and for fun he wakeboards and snowboards! He is a Senior at Towson University studying Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing.  His current career goal is to find a position in sales or marketing, possibly in Austin, Texas!

Negotiation and the Gender Divider: Women Don’t Ask

Jeff Cochran


The infographic below details differences in negotiation by gender. Negotiation avoidance comes with a high cost both at work and in personal life. Missed opportunities or settling for what one is given results in a continual trend that can compound and get bigger through life. Habits are hard to break, but through exposure to the issue and education, there is hope to correct the trend.

Infographic pertaining to gender differences and negotiation.

Olympian Habits that Will Make You a Better Manager

Jeff Cochran



The Sochi Olympics came with the stories of great success and triumph achieved by overcoming significant obstacles. The global group of athletes represented at the 2014 games devoted their lives to achieving athletic excellence, but the focused habits that got them to Sochi also translate to the boardroom. These Olympian practices can help you capture the gold as a leading businessperson.


Break It All Down

Olympians don’t wake up one day able to complete a triple axel or race down the giant slalom. No, these skills are the result of years of dedicated practice during which outstanding athletes break down their larger goals into smaller, more easily achievable steps. The same idea applies to getting that big client or launching a successful IPO. Try approaching problems as smaller tasks; accomplishing each one will make you feel more capable and confident and help create the sense that you are moving towards that ultimate achievement.

Every Interaction Counts

Olympians are expert image builders. These outstanding athletes know how to work the media and they recognize that every interaction with the press contributes to shaping their overall image – this is how every business should approach the media. It’s not just formal press conferences or official interviews that count towards how your business appears in the public eye, but how well you can present yourself when those interactions are a surprise.

Managing Team Conflict

National Olympic teams are not typically made up of people who train together all the time and who have rapport to see them through conflict. These teams are typically made up of individuals who are more often competitors than teammates, and that can lead to conflict. An Olympic team, just like the teams internal to any business, must learn to manage conflict if they are to succeed. Successful business leaders understand how to negotiate with team members, work through tensions and competition, and focus on shared goals. Business leaders must also function like team captains, acting as the mediators between other teammates to prevent the team from disintegrating.

Keep an Eye on the Competition

Every Olympian hopes to come home with the gold, but to strive for that ultimate goal, peripheral vision is key. What is your competition doing, and is it giving them an edge? Similarly, business leaders should always know what the close competition is doing when it comes to business strategy, advertising, and more. This knowledge allows your brand to adopt techniques that are successful for the competition and can help keep your company ahead of the curve, moving swiftly towards that corporate medal stand.