TNNWC Publications And Informational Products Division publishes The National Networker (TNNWC) Weekly Newsletter and The BLUE TUESDAY Report especially for entrepreneurs and early-stage venturers; free weekly subscriptions to these informative publications are available online to all entrepreneurial Members of TNNWC.

Membership in TNNWC is free (it's automatic for any subscriber to any TNNWC Publication) and available at our website. When you arrive there, just click on any of the JOIN US or BECOME a MEMBER buttons or links.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Self-designated “Token Male” Proudly Steps Forward

By Ann Barczay Sloan

Women's Networking Editor

Ann's article is brought to you by The Joy of Connecting

Introducing Bruce Newman

Vice President, The Productivity Institute


Mid-Atlantic Bureau Chief, The National Networker


The Joy of Getting Acquainted

I actually got to “meet” Bruce Newman over the phone – he in Carmel, New York, I on Bainbridge Island, Washington during a recent TNNW Bureau Chiefs / Editors conference call. When I mentioned I was looking for my next interview subject, Bruce jumped in:

“How about me? I am the only man in an all-women company, so women would still be our main focus – right?” We both chuckled – and immediately realized this would be a novel twist on my Women’s Networking articles. So, after a couple of phone calls (when I first connected with Bruce’s wry sense of humor), we proceeded with the interview.

How would you briefly describe what you do, Bruce what’s your “elevator speech”?

“My company, The Productivity Institute, LLC (PI) offers a free service that matches the needs of companies with the expertise of rated outstanding consultants.”

Terrific! And what is your specific role?

“My position is Vice President, in charge of the technical aspects of this process including the web site and much of the marketing functions. Actually, I am the ‘token’ male in a 100% female owned company.”

That’s got to be interesting! How many women comprise Productivity Institute?

“Currently, there are three women and myself. Hopefully, we’ll be able to add staff as the business continues to grow.”

I’m curious: how is it your services are free?

“It’s simple, really: We only work with independent, consistently rated “outstanding” consultants who pay us a small fee for our matching service. Since they pay the fee, there's no cost to our clients.”

What is the primary goal or mission of what you do?

“You mean me, personally? At this point in my career, I no longer desire to set the world on fire. Instead, my beliefs and attitudes have evolved into being able to accomplish specific things to the best of my ability. These include being a great dad, helping people and successfully growing PI.”

You speak of wanting to be a great dad. Tell me about your kids genders, ages?

“I have two children, the oldest is 18 and has very special needs. She’s a wonderful young lady who is operating at about five years old. My son is 15 and an honors student. He was adopted from El Salvador.

Would you share a bit about your “helping people” activities?

“My activities primarily center around special needs children as I have a very special needs daughter. I also work as a volunteer in an old age home where I talk with several of the residents.”

Now let’s take a closer look at your organization, as described on your web site:

“There’s an excellent summary, if I may say so, on our home page:

The Productivity Institute, LLC is a 100% woman-owned company, built on the construct of prodinst. Our approach reflects the initial values of the Internet providing a free service that can help people and companies. We discovered the large need for this type of service based on our work with many clients and through numerous conversations with a wide range of businesses and consultants. “

I see your team has coined a unique term: Prodinst.

“Yes, and you can see the meaning right alongside: Prodinst (def): Services that enhance value and increase productivity.”

Give an example of usage?

“Again, here’s an excerpt from our web site:

Consulting, when done properly, can greatly enhance the prodinst of a company. The converse, however, results in a low prodinst and can be detrimental in many ways to a company's performance, often not even addressing its specific business requirements.”

Tell me a bit more about consulting services offered by PI:

“Here’s how it works. Each client goes through a four-step process – each step at no charge:

1. Create an Account

2. Select Consulting Service area(s)

3. Refine his/her specific needs criteria

4. Receive proposals from rated experts”

We assure our clients that:

  • At no charge or obligation, we provide up to five independent, rated outstanding consultants to meet their company's specific needs.
  • We constantly track our consultants’ performance to ensure that their work is consistently outstanding; anything less is unsatisfactory. Rated outstanding consultants greatly enhance value and prodinst so each client can focus on what their company does best.
  • We will not send solicitations for signing up -- and will not share their private information with anyone else.”

Great! I see you also offer an Affiliate program at PI!

“Yes, we extend an invitation our web site to become an Affiliate Partner. It’s a win-win for all. Here’s how we describe it:

The Affiliate Program provides an opportunity for affiliate partners to refer companies to our site either automatically through their website or by manually filling out a form on our website. Payment to the affiliate member is made once a referred company signs up with a service provider through our website… Participation in this program is free.

I’d like to switch directions again. How did you get started in all this, Bruce, and how did you arrive where you are currently?

“I have 25 years of experience in the computer field. In 1991, my (then) seven month old daughter began having seizures. At the time I was the Vice President of Software Development in a company INC magazine had recently named to its 500 fastest growing companies.

I went on the ‘daddy track’ at that point and two years later, started a consulting company. The Productivity Institute, LLC, where I am now, is the evolution – for me of that consulting and is based on the consulting experience and business acumen of its staff and founder.”

How much of your work is focused specifically toward women?

“Women play an important role in our paradigm at PI. Maybe it sounds sexist to say this, but I think women think differently than men – not better or worse, just differently. The viewpoint of the women here at PI is generally geared more towards relationship building than hard-hitting sales. They are tough, but very insightful. I’m happy to be here: I’m really learning a lot from these ladies. “

What are some of the ways you promote your enterprise?

“We are promoting our company through networking with groups, writing numerous articles, and obtaining visible positions such as my presence as the Mid-Atlantic Bureau Chief for The National Networker. We will also be starting a press release campaign in late July and a newsletter in September. We are really focused on generating interest and attention towards our website and our activities.

I would like to add that our strategy also includes using professional ostensibly non-social networks like LinkedIn (once we really figure them out) as a part of our networking strategy.”

Whom or what does your network currently include? How far does your network extend?

“Right now, our network is small. We’re still in the building stage of researching and reaching out to the many networking groups that are around. Their number is truly amazing. One of the things we have been careful about is being able to manage our contacts effectively. We do not want to overlap contacts or offend them by misusing them.”

What has been the best about building a network: Positive experiences? Benefits, expected and unexpected?

“I really enjoy developing relationships. Getting to know people is really exciting. One problem that I am encountering within myself is being able to translate these relationships into clients. That seems to be a major problem inherent with Web 2.0.”

Would you expand on that?

“I have found a lot of people talking about doing things but there often seems to be a disconnect between talk and actions. Not surprisingly, those people who have taken some action have been much more open and informative about many subjects. I have truly enjoyed interacting with them and building relationships.”

What challenges (if any) have you found in your networking experiences?

“The biggest challenge seems to be learning how to positively grow and interact with our network. It’s important to remember that everyone has things to do and no one likes being overwhelmed or unappreciated because of our actions. Sometimes, it seems like we’re operating along a thin line. Over time, I expect this feeling to lessen because we’re gradually becoming more adept at handling these networking relationships and also because we’re building stronger relationships and trust with the people and groups we’re interacting with on a regular basis.”

Any challenge that particularly stands out?

“I think organization is the biggest challenge. As my networking tree has expanded, I have found it increasingly difficult to manage all of my contacts while also generating new ones. I think the key to successful networking is to know where to prune your tree and how to manage all your contacts. I remember a sales trainer saying that when he saw a salesperson’s folder bursting with several months of potential clients that he concluded that the salesperson was doing a poor job because he was spending too much time on prospects with a very low percentage of success rate.”

Besides networking, how else are you promoting PI?

“Our key method of website promotion will involve an intensive writing campaign which will include numerous articles, press releases and commentary. We see this as an important means of generating buzz. Furthermore, as this campaign progresses, we plan on using our networks to further enhance our article reach. “

Which do you view as the primary vehicle and what makes it more important than the other(s)?

“I have always believed that communication is the key. Whether that involves writing, speaking, attending meetings, telephones or email, without good communication a company cannot be very successful. Our vehicle is being able to fuel these communication modalities until they are self-sustaining and increasingly widening in scope and reach.”

Bottom line – What's working especially well for you at PI?

“The use of trusted contacts and personal connections has provided a good starting point. The key thing we're working on now is being able to make the jump from this relatively small group to the development and ability to use a larger one. The lesson here is to use what you have first and learn from it so you are (somewhat) prepared when you make your jump to the next level.”

Which of your projects are you currently most excited about?

“I am very excited about Productivity Institute. I love the operating paradigm of providing free services to people / companies that need it. Having been involved with the Internet almost from its inception, I have not liked its recent movement to gross commercialization where even shareware is no longer free and rarely inexpensive. Our paradigm here at PI reflects more of the original spirit that the Internet first exhibited.”

What’s the achievement or accomplishment you’re most proud of at this time?

“Actually, this is a non-work related accomplishment: Watching my kids grow up and develop. Even very special needs kids grow and develop. The only difference is that their steps are much smaller. It’s essential to keep in mind that they’re still people with very real feelings and hopes and goals. (I only wish more people would realize this.)”

What are your plans and goals for the future, especially regarding networking activities?

“I plan on rapidly expanding our networking ability. In September, we will start releasing our newsletter which, based on my networking, will include much more feedback than we originally planned.”

Anything else you would like to add? Perhaps words of encouragement and/or inspiration for our readers?

“Never give up! Believe in yourself and what you do. I know this sounds trite, but it’s true. You can do anything you want. Appreciate what you have yet at the same time look ahead: figure out what you want to have and how to get it.

My wife says there are two types of people in this world: the optimists and the pessimists. It’s easy to see the difference: The pessimists take the safe (and boring) path and are often jealous of the achievers. The optimists, on the other hand, are those “Don Quixotes” who take a chance. They might not always succeed, but they are the do-ers in this world.

So, here’s the heart of my message: Believe in yourself and be a do-er.”


Contact Information:

The Productivity Institute, LLC
2005 Nutmeg Drive, Suite 100
Carmel, NY 10512

Phone: 845-510-3133
Fax: 845-230-3259

For comments, feedback or
to submit an article:

Forward/Share This Article With Colleagues And Social Media:

No comments:

Blog Archive

BNI News Feed

The Emergence of The Relationship Economy

The Emergence of The Relationship Economy
The Emergence of the Relationship Economy features TNNWC Founder, Adam J. Kovitz as a contributing author and contains some of his early work on The Laws of Relationship Capital. The book is available in hardcopy and e-book formats. With a forward written by Doc Searls (of Cluetrain Manifesto fame), it is considered a "must read" for anyone responsible for the strategic direction of their business. If you would like to purchase your own copy, please click the image above.


Site Credits:

Featured in Alltop
ALLTOP Business
News Wire. HOT.
Cool Javascript codes for websites  Fabulous Free Calendars

Create FREE graphics at