Ivan Misner, Author at Dr. Ivan Misner® - Page 3 of 101
Paolo Mariola

Collaborating Instead of Competing – by Paolo Mariola

International Networking Week: “A New World of Opportunity” stories from various international BNI leaders

Submitted by Paolo Mariola

National Director – BNI Italia

Paolo Mariola

When we talk about work, or more generally about the changes we are dealing with everyday, a word is often recurrent: the word opportunity. A word that, in the right phrase at the right time, create in the listener a series of thoughts, and hopes of reaching a goal or to realize a project. One of the synonyms of opportunity is a favorable occasion, that brings with it a positive change (almost everytime). And if we think about it, we live in an age where many opportunities are at hand. But above all, we live in what we could define the most relational age ever. The age in which relationships are not a way but a real aim.

When I think about this, I begin to reflect on the great opportunities that referral marketing has brought and continues to bring to professionals and entrepreneurs all over the world. And I always pause on one in particular. When we talk about marketing strategies, we usually declare “beat the competitors”, “doing better than competitors”…and so on. Referral Marketing turns upside down this point of view by finding in collaboration and not in competition the real opportunity for growth starting from a precise assumption: the global result coming from collaboration is larger than the sum of the single results that would be obtained individually. It is an approach to the business world that looks at the Other not as a competitor but as an opportunity: a great resource from a professional, intellectual, human point of view, able of enriching us and giving us the possibility to reach goals that we would not be able to reach alone.

For years I have worked as an entrepreneur in information technology and business processes. I have always realized that if I had tried to go on looking only at my interest or I had kept for me every business opportunity that came from my client, I could not say today that I had succeeded as entrepreneur. One of the fundamentals of my success, is that I have always been able to have competent and specialized people around me in those fields where I was not up to the task or who did not represent my specific preparation

Seeing today many Italian entrepreneurs and professionals who apply this approach to their business is certainly one of the things that makes me proud. Approaching the market by practicing the culture of abundance brings positive benefits for the customer, for suppliers, for the market and for the whole economy in a larger scale. Therefore, thanks to Referral Marketing and the culture of abundance, a new world of opportunity opens up to us. An opportunity as big as the world.

Wishing everyone a fantastic International Networking Week 2019!

Paolo Mariola National Director – BNI Italia

Ryszard Chmura

Nowy świat możliwości – by Ryszard Chmura

International Networking Week: “A New World of Opportunity” stories from various international BNI leaders

Submitted by Ryszard Chmura

National Director – BNI Poland

Ryszard ChmuraThe Polish economy is becoming more and more dynamic. In 2018, the GDP increased by 3.8%, thanks to which Poland aspires to advance in the ranking of the largest economies in the world. More and more companies are being established in our country year after year. There are now 3,175,407 of them operating in Poland. About 25,000 new business activities appear on the Polish market each month.

Many entrepreneurs, at different stages of development of their business, have to deal with challenges in their companies on their own, without any help or support from outside.

At BNI, we enable business owners to collaborate in groups, thanks to which we connect them in business. BNI is the largest business organization in Poland, bringing together reliable entrepreneurs and responding to all the problems faced by business owners in our country.

Currently, BNI operates in 25 cities in Poland and consists of 2 thousand members, who generated an additional net revenue of PLN 446 million from  BNI referrals in 2018 alone.

Because Success Can Be Planned

I joined BNI with an advertising agency in which I employed only 1 person and my company belonged to the BNI Group in Kraków at that time. In BNI, I went all the way from a Member, through various positions in the Leadership Team, Chapter Director Consultant, Chapter Area Director Consultant, to National Director.

Two years after joining BNI, I became involved in the development of the organization and started opening new chapters. Together with other entrepreneurs, we set ourselves the goal of bringing together as many business owners as possible in BNI. We have expanded the organization to 12 chapters and nearly 500 Members in the region.

From 1 to 150 Employees in 5 Years

BNI was the main source of growth for my company. The dynamic expansion of the organization in the region made my company grow very quickly. Using business referrals, I grew the company from 1 to 150 employees in 5 years.

Apart from receiving referrals from BNI Members, I was also able to learn from them how to run a business and manage a company. Thanks to BNI, I met my future partners and associates.

Since 2014, I have had the pleasure of being responsible for the development of the entire organization in Poland. There are two main goals that I have set for BNI. I want BNI to be present in every city in my country and I want BNI Poland to bring together as many reliable entrepreneurs as possible who are close to the idea of cooperation in business.

Business Growth on an International Scale

Being part of BNI is A New World of Opportunity. Our organization is not just a group of dozens of entrepreneurs operating locally. BNI is an organization that is built by business owners from around the world who want to support each other in business.

Mariusz Skalmierski, the owner of a company in the construction industry from BNI Victory Rzeszów, has found out about its strength and business opportunities on an international scale. Mariusz decided that he would go abroad with his business and start operating on the global market, especially in India.

He began his attempts to enter the Indian market with economic missions, meetings with politicians and local government officials, and visits to various fairs. However, these actions did not bring tangible results.

Only thanks to BNI and after holding meetings with companies from BNI in India did his activities on their local market gain momentum. Thanks to the help of other entrepreneurs from BNI, he managed to achieve his goal. His partner, Yash Vasant, is the director of two BNI Areas in India. They are opening a factory together and are going to specialize in the prefabrication of ventilation elements.

“Nowy świat możliwości” is Polish forA New World of Opportunity”

Thanks to your membership in BNI, you too can grow your business not only locally but also internationally. BNI is a global network of contacts – with almost 250,000 BNI Members around the world. It is a huge growth opportunity for your business and it is up to you how you use it. This is a new world of opportunity. Looking forward to meeting you at the 2019 BNI Global Convention in Warsaw this November.

Wishing everyone a fantastic International Networking Week 2019!

Ryszard Chmura National Director – BNI Poland

Marcos R. Martins

Co-creating a More Collaborative Society – by Marcos R. Martins

International Networking Week: “A New World of Opportunity” stories from various international BNI leaders

Submitted by Marcos R. Martins

National Director – BNI Brazil

Marcos R. MartinsEverything started in 2002, when I was in USA in a business trip and I was invited to a BNI meeting. It was winter, a dark cold morning when we arrived at the meeting place. We were very well received by the chapter members, and we kept an eye on the dynamics of the meeting. Frankly speaking, my first impression was that the meeting was an American thing made for American people. Because my focus on that trip was elsewhere, so I didn’t give continuity. Everything changed five years later, in 2007, when I was working with Executive coaching based on the development of Networking skills, so I remembered that experience with BNI. Searching BNI, it caught my attention realizing that this organization had doubled in size in the past 5 years, going from 2,400 chapters, 50,000 members in 20 countries to 4,900 chapter and 110,000 members in 44 countries. I also noticed that South America was the only continent without BNI presence. I immediately contacted BNI head office in USA, and the rest is history.

Now, 10 years after my first BNI training in January 2008, we placed Brazil and South America in the BNI maps. Today, there are 130+ chapters and 5,000+ members in 8 States and 70 cities in Brazil. These numbers are important to illustrate the growth of BNI in Brazil and around the world, but the best was about to come. BNI’s essence are the people. They are the ones who build those numbers and make the difference in our lives. Therefore, it’s not hard to imagine what happens when those people decide to help each other and recommend business opportunities to one another, in other words, to practice the reciprocity law. The Givers Gain philosophy permeates the BNI organization. If I give you a business opportunity, you’ll be interested in give me business in return or to somebody else in our chapter. Only the ones who are a part of BNI are able to understand the transformational power of the Givers Gain philosophy. That’s the beauty of Networking. We never know where it will take us, the doors that potentially will open in front of us. This philosophy may appear simple, but it is not obvious. Very few companies have such a strong culture as BNI.

What if I tell you that this organization and its strong culture has changed my life, professional and personally?

And has been doing the same in the life of thousands of people around the world? It seems too good to be true, right? As the CEO of BNI Brazil, I’m suspect to talk about it, but what can we say about the hundreds of members and directors here in Brazil who has witnessed the change that BNI has done in their lives and companies? They say that BNI leveraged their sales in 50%. Others say that 80% of their clients come from referrals of their chapter members. There are those who say they have completely redesigned their companies through strategic partnerships with other BNI members. Not mentioning many cases where professionals and entrepreneurs come to thank me, saying that because of the business opportunities received through BNI they managed to avoid shutting down their companies during the economic recession. How grateful it is to receive this feedback! To know that we are making a difference in people’s life is priceless! This is what motivates me to keep waking up every morning searching the expansion of BNI to reach more and more entrepreneurs all over Brazil.

Highlighting only one aspect of this transformation provided by BNI, for the first time in my professional life I was able to align my professional and personal values. I don’t have to be someone at work and someone else at home. Those who have already worked in big companies know what I’m talking about. When someone gets this alignment, simply, work stops being a burden and starts being a journey with purpose. During these 10 years leading BNI Brazil, the experience has shown me that in a bigger or smaller scale, people are being touched by BNI, members, directors, employees, also have given us the same feedback about this experience of alignment between values and purpose. Working in a collaborative way for the good of the others makes all sense to us in BNI.

A new world of opportunity

We know we are building together something much bigger, we are not just fostering more business to BNI members, we are contributing to transform people into better professionals, we are catalyzing business efforts to improve local communities where BNI is located. We are changing the way the world does business. BNI brings out the best of human being. As Dr. Ivan Misner, founder of BNI, says, the BNI Organization haven’t helped only the evolution of mentality from competition to collaboration, but, more important, the evolution of mentality from collaboration to co-creation. Nowadays, if companies like Uber and Airbnb are in the vanguard of collaborative economy, BNI organization went beyond that, it was not only visionary materializing the collaborative economy more than 3 decades ago, but also as the precursor of the co-creative economy. Where all stakeholders get together to build a greater good for society. Literally, they live the profit with purpose mind set. It is not enough serving the stakeholder with good products, good services, good salaries and good profits – all of that combined effort needs to be grounded in a higher purpose, positively impacting society in which this organization is inserted. Of course, we from BNI, seek to grow our companies’ profits, but we know that at the same time we are co-creating a more collaborative Society where fierce and predatory competition (scarcity mentality, which divides and subtracts: for one to win, other has to lose) gives place to “coopetition”, in other words, cooperation between people and companies, generating more business opportunities for all, as well as strategic partnerships between peers and / or competitors. This is the mentality of abundance, which sums and multiplies for everyone to win. This is the BNI organization in action. Be welcome to the world’s largest referral organization, where a new world of opportunity is waiting for you.

Wishing everyone a fantastic International Networking Week 2019!

Marcos R. Martins National Director – BNI Brazil

A New World of Opportunity

A New World of Opportunity

The 2019 International Networking Week™ continues our global theme called a “New World of Opportunity”.

 

Over a decade ago, I started “International Networking Week” to recognize the value and importance of networking to entrepreneurs. International Networking Week really is about creating new opportunities. Opportunities for our BNI members and opportunities for the communities in which our members do business. I believe to be truly successful in building your business you need to build a personal powerful network.

Show your appreciation to your best customer or colleague by giving them the gift of a larger network and the opportunity to pass and receive
quality referrals. Please invite your best customer or a trusted colleague to visit your BNI chapter during International Networking Week.

Guest Blogs:

This week I will be posting blogs on my website about networking from the following international business leaders:

Visit InternationalNetworkingWeek.com for more information.

Steve Farber

Steve Farber says “Love is Good Business”

Fellow Transformational Leadership Council member and friend, Steve Farber, talks to me about focusing on finding love in business. Steve is one of the best speaker’s I’ve seen on the stage.  His message is both surprising and impactful. When we were in Cancun together last week, he talked to me about love being a part of your every day mantra as a business owner.

It’s true. Love is just damn good business. Here’s the logic:

1. You have a massive competitive advantage when your customers love your product or service.

2. The only way to create that experience for customers in a meaningful and sustainable way over time is to create an environment or culture that people love working in.

3. You can’t create that kind of culture unless you love your business, your team, your colleagues, your employees, your customers, yourself, first.

4. Employees will model how they are treated by their leaders.

Love being part of our every day business

Businesses that promote love and celebrate love still need profits to keep their doors open, but they understand the powerful connection between loving what you do in the service of people who love what you do. It builds strong relationships, trust, loyalty, and the commitment that allows a business to not only make money but make a difference. Love being part of our every day business is no more complicated than the Golden Rule: treat others as you would like to be treated.

Steve Farber, founder of The Extreme Leadership Institute, is a popular keynote speaker and leadership expert. Steve’s been featured on my blog before. He’s the bestselling author of The Radical Leap, The Radical Edge, and Greater Than Yourself. Learn more about Steve on his website at stevefarber.com

Think of this the next time you order a pizza. It’s a great example of “love is just damn good business” in action. 

balance

Harmony vs. Balance

If you’re like most people, at some point in time—possibly even today—you’ve thought about having better balance in your life. In this crazy, hectic, technology-driven society, balance is an ever-present concern for many people.  I am often asked the secret to finding it in your life. How can you get the most out of work, life, friends, family, and all of your other activities? Would you like to learn the secret to balance? Are you ready? Here it is:

The Secret to Balance

Forget about balance; it’s an illusion. “Balance” assumes that we spend an equal amount of time in all or most areas of our life. It is like the image of the scales of justice where everything is completely in balance and equal. However, the concept implies that we must spend a certain portion of each week devoted in some equal measure to every item important in our life. The problem with this is that most people can’t actually achieve this on a regular basis. We tend to live such hectic, busy lives that it is incredibly difficult to fit it all in. Balance assumes that we spend equal amounts of time in each area of our life, which realistically, is impossible. I believe in harmony, in finding ways to creating synergy between the things you love to do and the things you’re paid to do (if you’re lucky, they’re one in the same!)

But there’s good news. We suggest striving for “Harmony“. You simply cannot have balance in your life. You can, however, find harmony. This is more than semantics—it is a different way of looking at life. It is possible to create a life that is in harmony with your values and vision of who you are and what you want to do. Even the symbol for harmony (the yin yang) is out of balance if you look at each piece separately.

Here are some keys to a life that’s in harmony.

  • Be Here Now
  • Set time aside for the things that really matter.
  • Find ways to integrate different parts of your life
  • When you’re 70 years old, you’re not going to wish you spent more time at the office

Harmony is created where harmony is sought. What do you do to create harmony in your life? I’d love to hear your thoughts so please share your ideas/tactics in the comment forum below.  Thanks!

develop a diverse network

Develop a Diverse Network

Diversity in your personal network enables you to increase the possibility of including connectors or “linchpins” in your network. Linchpins are people who in some way crossover between two or more clusters or groups of individuals; this allows them to link groups of people together easily. The best way to increase the number of possible connections in your network is to develop a diverse network – not a homogeneous one.

The truth is when it comes to networking – not having a lot in common with someone may mean that they can be a connector for you to a whole world of people that you might not otherwise be able to meet.

Networks are by nature “clumpy”

(that’s the technical term). It is human nature to congregate with people that are very much like us. People tend to cluster together based on education, age, ethnicity, professional status, etc. When we surround ourselves with people who have similar contacts it may be difficult to make connections with new people or companies with whom we desire to do business.

If you wish to build a powerful personal network – branch out. Build a diverse network of professional contacts that include people that don’t look like you. Finds others who do not sound like you, speak like you, or have your background, education, or history. The only thing that they should have in common with you and the other people in your network – is that they should be really good at what they do. Create a personal network like that, and you’ll have a network that can help you succeed at anything.

Benign neglect

Mastering the Art of Benign Neglect

Benign neglect takes many forms. It’s any decision you make that allows a person in your room (or an activity associated with that person) to move toward the back, which in turn allows someone else to step a little bit closer to you.

Here are some examples:

  • Suggesting that instead of holding weekly in-person meetings with a colleague, you have virtual meetings every other week.
  • Strictly limiting your consumption of news or social media to a set amount of time each day.
  • Maintaining membership in an organization but no longer holding a leadership role.
  • Speaking with a friend when she calls, but only initiating a call to her once a month.
  • Opting out of “pub night” or “wine night” in favor of staying in with your spouse or partner.
  • Telling someone no.
  • Not responding to phone calls or emails quite so quickly.
  • Shifting your time and energy to other people and not being available as readily.

The bottom line here is that benign neglect works—even if you do it by accident. We’re suggesting that, when appropriate, you do it by design. It can be progressive—meaning that you gradually move into benign neglect over time. It doesn’t have to be overnight. This is the premise behind the newest book, “Who’s in Your Room? The Secret to Creating Your Best Life” by Ivan Misner, Stewart Emery, and Rick Sapio.

To order the book, please use this link: https://tinyurl.com/WhosInYourRoom

referral coincidence

A Referral Coincidence?

In this video, I share a story about a referral coincidence.

Understand the process of building relationships. It’s not the number of contacts you make that’s important, but the ones that you turn into lasting relationships. You’ll always get better results trying to deepen relationships with people you already know than starting relationships with strangers.

Luck is where persistence meets opportunity.

When it comes to networking, “luck” is where persistence meets opportunity.  There is no coincidence about repeat referrals.  It comes because every day you execute the activities relating to building referral relationships.  Although it can’t be measured as easily as tracking cold-call ratios – the results are dramatic and almost never coincidental.

A misconception occurs when someone focuses on the referral rather than on the relationship that produced the referral. Networking is not about luck, it’s about relationships. No one person is likely to turn your business around. However, by building relationships with a diverse group of business professionals over time, they can make a difference together.

Your networking results are an indication that the system of building relationships is working. Not that these referrals were basically coincidences. It is no more coincidental that you receive referrals from the people in your network than it is that a fisherman casting a net catches fish. The fisherman concentrates on his action of casting the net, not the individual path of one of the fishes that swam into it. If he did base his decision on that one random fish he would quickly come to the conclusion that it was a coincidence.

Click here to watch this video

storage space

Clear Your Clutter in the New Year (Making Use of Your Room’s Storage Space)

Mentally relegating these people to your storage space allows you to regain control over areas of your life that they may have controlled. Take those people and memories, put them in a storage box, and put it on a shelf. Don’t let them continue to control your life. The intentionality of saying to yourself, “I’m no longer thinking about you,” can be wonderfully freeing.

We also encourage you to thoughtfully reflect on the experiences and people you are putting in storage and try to learn from them. This thought process will allow you to then circle back to your “Doorman” to make sure no other similar people or experiences will enter your room.

Here are a few examples of people and the experiences related to them that you might box up—and learn from placing in your storage space:

A social group: I thought I’d enjoy joining this book group, but it’s not been a valuable experience. Rather than learning from the experience, all I hear about is small-town gossip during our meetings. I’ll politely quit the group and free up one night a week for someone from whom I can learn.

An employee: I knew when I hired Joe that he would need mentoring, but I’m finding it frustrating to support him when it seems like he doesn’t care. More than that, he’s late to work consistently—a trait that falls into one of my deal-breakers. I’m going to let him go and make sure his replacement values punctuality and demonstrates ambition.

A boss: I’ve been putting up with my boss’s disorganization and rude remarks for three years, and the situation hasn’t improved over time; it’s only gotten worse. I’m going to see if I can switch departments. If that doesn’t work, I’ll plan my exit strategy from the company by researching my options, networking, and applying to new positions.

A grudge: I resent that my ex has turned my children against me by telling them lies. I am going to move on from that resentment and instead take actions regularly to reconnect with my children to show them I care and love them.

Guilt: (This is a big one.) Sometimes I let people in my room out of guilt. Once they are in, I continue to give them attention—out of guilt. Many times I tolerate people’s behavior out of guilt. Guilt does not make for good relationships, and it creates a caustic room. I am not going to feel guilty because of someone else’s “stuff.”

Family-member syndrome: They’re family—what can I do? They may be family, and it’s true I had no choice on whether they are in my room, but I’m not going to let them run amuck in my space any longer.

So all of this sounds good, but how do you transition to putting them on a shelf?

This is the premise behind the newest book, “Who’s in Your Room? The Secret to Creating Your Best Life” by Ivan Misner, Stewart Emery, and Rick Sapio.

To order the book, please use this link: https://tinyurl.com/WhosInYourRoom

Standing

Standing in the Middle of a Room Full of Referrals

 Referrals are all around us. Are you paying attention? You are standing in the middle of a room full of referrals.

Referrals are all around us, it’s just that we’re not paying enough attention to what’s going on in order to identify them.  You see, there’s a part of our brain that’s called the Reticular Activating System.  It can be described as a filter between our conscious and our subconscious mind. Your subconscious screens out things you determine that aren’t important and it alerts you about things you think are important. Therefore, understanding how it works can be a great tool to recognize the daily referral opportunities surrounding us.

Standing in a Room Full of Referrals

Watch the video now to learn not only about the Reticular Activating System but also about another powerful tool which I call the “Language of Referrals”.  After watching the video, you will likely begin to remember times when your Reticular Activating System was in full effect. However, you just didn’t realize it at the time.  You may also remember instances where you’ve clearly heard the language of referrals in conversations with people.

I’d really love to hear about your referrals experience with one or both of these things so please share your story/stories in the comments below.  Thanks!

mixed reality

Why Mixed Reality Meetings of the Future Will Be Face-to-Face

When I started BNI in 1985, the biggest question from the media was: “Is this networking thing just a fad?” Well, 34 years and more than 8,700 groups later — it’s clearly not a fad. There have been changes over time though. The biggest change has been the introduction of the internet. Ironically, online networking has contributed to the success of face-to-face networks by greatly reducing the communication hierarchy and allowing people to communicate through mixed reality on online platforms.

Today around 50% of all small businesses are home-based and nearly half of the US workforce is expected to work remotely by 2020. This means that 50% or more of future entrepreneurs and employees will be working remotely within the next few years.

Mixed Reality

Today, I see an even more amazing trend on the horizon as it relates to remote work, technology, and business networking.  That trend is the emergence of mixed reality within the realm of personal networking. Mixed reality is the merging of real and virtual worlds where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time. Mixed reality takes place not only in the physical world or the virtual world but is a mix of reality and virtual reality.

As this technology develops, it will allow remote teams to work together and tackle objectives no matter where the individuals are physically located.  People can enter a collaborative, immersive virtual environment in order to develop and activate relationships, increase business, enhance knowledge, expand one’s sphere of influence, or serve the community.  And, in the not too distant future, I predict that they will be able to network remotely through a mixed reality environment. I believe the future of networking is a blending of the physical world with the digital world.

One of the current missing elements of a video discussion is the lack of intimacy with online communication. However, as this technology advances, people will be better able to read non-verbal language like crossed arms, leaning in, or signs of nervousness. People attach value to the feeling of physically sharing space with another person. The more technology enables that feeling to mirror reality, the more effective it will be. Science has shown, the brain is often unable to determine what is real and what is not as it relates to virtual reality.

True,  a virtual mixed reality meeting is not the same as being there — but it will be getting closer to “real” reality when networking.

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