Vision for good success

“I can’t overstate the importance of first impressions, they determine in large part the rest of the experience we have with a person or a business.” This was the opinion of Maureen Gaffney, clinical psychologist, author and columnist who was speaking today at the Good Food Ireland conference in Dublin.

She stressed: “If somebody forms a negative first impression of you or your business, which happens in seconds, it will take nine bits of positive information before you are ready to consider changing your mind.

“That’s an awful amount of things that have to go right to change someone’s opinion. If you or the people that work for you are in a negative mood. That is such a high risk for your business. That is what people will go home with,” she noted.

“I’m a passionate foodie myself” she stated. “I’m tremendously interested in how the food industry is going to develop in Ireland. But a shift needs to take place if food is going to go on to a new level. In terms of its importance to Ireland as a destination and in terms of how food will be woven into our social lives.”

In her speech Gaffney, outlined the importance of having vision for your business. “People nowadays talk a lot about brand and of course that’s important. But you are your own personal brand. Values are really important. They are the way you make choices. They are what dictates the direction you go in life or how make decisions. People in this industry need to know there values.”

She noted that people who are driven by a higher set of values do better. For the simple reason, the more meaningful you believe your enterprise is, the more motivated you are to make it succeed.

“Vision is the most important bit,” she said. “It is the foundation stone for all the other stuff. Your vision is your dream of what could be and your confidence that you could make it happen.

“That’s what inspires you day-in day-out that connects you to your purpose in life and work. The only way to predict the future in any accuracy is to make it happen yourself,” she added.

Gaffney also stressed the power of social networks to business. “Real social networks” she said.

“They have become more important now because hard information is so widely available on the internet. People are no longer an expert anymore. They are not the guardians of professional information anymore. Because it’s now all available on the internet.

“But we need to be able to find out what’s junk and what’s good on the internet. Soft information is now more important. Personal experience and insight, context information and personal recommendation is now much more important than hard information.

“The most important people in a social network are not those who are on top. But the people with the most connections. Those most embedded in their communities.To be successful in life you have to be smart, emotionally intelligent but now a third part, how connected are you are you absolutely embedded in your industry.”

And these are key ingredients of Good Food Ireland, she said. “Getting to know people, just to get to know them. You never know when that person will be useful to you in your life.”

The Good Food Ireland 2013 Awards take place in Dublin’s Shelbourne tonight. AgriLand will be reporting live.

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