How to Achieve Optimum Career Performance & Enjoy Retirement

At a recent TLC conference in Mexico, I had the opportunity to talk to my good friend Eric Edmeades, one of the world’s leading experts in entrepreneurship, about his take on the one thing entrepreneurs need to nurture in order to achieve phenomenal success and to be able to actually enjoy their retirement once they enter into it.

What is that one thing? . . . Watch the video to find out.  I will tell you that if you don’t have it, your brain will not be capable of functioning at full capacity and it will be very difficult to achieve lasting success.  Also, you won’t be fully able to enjoy the retirement you worked so hard for when that stage of your life finally arrives.

Once you’ve watched the video, I highly encourage you to help out the community of blog readers on BusinessNetworking.com by sharing one of the most effective things you do to nurture the area of your life that is so crucial to succeeding and thriving throughout your career and ultimately making the most of your retirement years.  Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comment forum below–thanks!

 

 

Vitality + Health = Greater Success in Business

As this is a blog about business and networking, you may be wondering why some of my recent blogs have seemed to have a fairly apparent focus on health.  I think the video I’m sharing with you today should answer that question for those of you who may wondering.  Over the past couple of years, I have indeed become quite an advocate of the importance of health in regard to achieving success and there is good reason behind that.

In this short video, I talk with my good friend Lise Janelle, renowned success coach for companies & entrepreneurs across the world, about the role that vitality and health play in achieving ultimate productivity and success in business.

Lise offers three keys to achieving vitality and explains why it is important not only for business owners, but also for all of their employees, to focus on staying healthy and engaged in order for any given business to truly thrive.

After watching the video, if you’d like to find out more about Lise Janelle and how she helps businesses and people alike to achieve their full potential, please visit www.HeartAtWorkInstitute.com.

To find out more about the book I mention in the video, The Misner Plan: How We Healed Cancer Naturally with Food, Nutrition, and Healthy Living , please click here.  If you’d like to learn more about the Misner Plan, please visit www.MisnerPlan.com.

Do you have certain habits and/or tactics you employ to stay healthy?  Do you  have specific ways of making sure you stay connected to your core values?  I’m really interested in hearing your thoughts on this and, also, if you have questions pertaining to this topic, I highly encourage you to ask them!  I am more than happy to do a future blog addressing your questions and to consult with Lise about them in order to get you the best answers possible.

 

Branding Small Business for Dummies

While in Mexico for a TLC conference, I had the opportunity to talk to my very good friend Raymond Aaron about his book, “Branding Small Business for Dummies,” and why it’s so important for small businesses to build their brand. Unfortunately, it’s a common misconception that branding is something only large corporations need to focus on and this video outlines the key points regarding what small businesses really need to know in relation to branding.  For example, if you don’t build your brand on purpose, it get’s built for you and that’s not necessarily a good thing.

Watch the video now to learn how to use branding to differentiate yourself from your competitors and to find out how to easily get a free digital download of Raymond’s book, “Branding Small Business for Dummies.”  I can’t recommend this book highly enough and if you are familiar with it, I’d love for you to share your take on the book in the comment forum below–thanks!

Me, Write a Book on Health? You’re Crazy!

If you would have told me two years ago that I would have a best-selling book about health – I would have told you that you were crazy!  However, this week my wife Beth and I released the Kindle version of The Misner Plan: How We Healed Cancer Naturally With Food, Nutrition and Healthy Living at Amazon.com which hit #1 in “Hot New Releases.”

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I can also say that I never thought I would say that a cancer diagnosis would provide a gratifying opening for me to give back in a way that is extremely fulfilling, but it did. And because of the size of my network and the relationships I have formed over the past several decades, there are many people who want to know how I approached healing naturally from cancer. This book tells the story of my journey to remission from prostate cancer.

I want to be completely clear that I am not a medical doctor, I am not selling health-care products, I am not advising anyone else how to approach their own health conditions, nor am I giving you medical advice. Beth and I are sharing what we did and the things we learned along the way in hopes that it might help other people in some way.

Here is an excerpt from the opening of our book:

The visible changes in BNI’s Founder Ivan Misner’s health, his weight loss and improved fitness level have led to request after request to share his eating protocol and fitness regimen after his cancer diagnosis—so many requests that we felt we needed to create the Misner Plan in order to share this information with many more people than he is able to email on a daily basis.

We all know and love far too many people who are obese and/or suffering from many health issues which are due primarily to how and what they are eating. Many people know they need to make changes, but they are not interested in doing so. Many people want to make changes, but they don’t know exactly what to do. There is a lot of conflicting advice out there and there may not be a lot of support for the changes they do want to make. We need support and community in which to make lasting changes. And having the input of someone who has been there before and has regained health is very powerful.

The Misner Plan offers both information and support for you as you seek to transform your life and improve your productivity, while increasing your outlook for a long and healthy life. We have learned many things on this journey, and we want to share what we have learned with you. We are still learning new things, continually finding ourselves amazed at all the things there are to know and understand about medical nutrition.

In this book, you will find stories of our personal experiences, struggles and successes. We also share input we have received from other well-informed and renowned health-care professionals. As you read through the content, we encourage you to underline and highlight the sections which illuminate your own path.

Your success means so much to us and we are thrilled you have found the Misner Plan. Focusing on eating REAL, healthy, nutritious foods can save your life and can make a good life a fantastic life.

Eat real food.  Enjoy real health!

If you are interested in reading more about my experience, please take a look at The Misner Plan: How We Healed Cancer Naturally With Food, Nutrition and Healthy Living. If you read it, please leave a review and your comments to help others decide if they want to learn more by reading it, too.   We also have a Facebook Page: www.Facebook.com/MisnerPlan and a website: www.MisnerPlan.com. If you’d like to follow us.

If you, or someone you know, has had a great experience in their health based on a change of diet, please leave a comment here on this blog.

The_Misner_Plan_Book_Cover

The Law of Reciprocity Works in Mysterious Ways


The Law of Reciprocity is a part of social capital theory and, in simple terms, it basically states that what you give/put out to the world will come back around to you in equal measure (i.e., ‘what goes around comes around’) and if you help others, you’ll receive help in return.

The interesting thing is that the Law of Reciprocity is not always immediate and the way in which it’s actually working is not always clear cut or easy to see.  You may help a person in their time of need and find that your good will toward them comes back to you in the form of good will or help repaid to you from someone completely different.  That’s the beauty of it though . . . when you have pure intentions toward others and act positively on those intentions, life (via the Law of Reciprocity) will reward you in surprising ways (And good surprises are much more fascinating and enjoyable than being able to predict exactly how the good you do will come back to you, right?).

In this video, in addition to discussing my general view on the Givers Gain® and the Law of Reciprocity, I share my initial reaction in regard to recently finding out how my son helped a friend in a time of dire need and I talk about how I believe the Law of Reciprocity will no doubt come into play for him as a result.

Do you have a story about how the Law of Reciprocity has affected you?  If so, please go to www.SubmitYourNetworkingStory.com and share your story for consideration of inclusion in the upcoming networking book I’m writing with Jack Canfield, and Gautam Ganglani.  Also, I’d love for you to briefly summarize your story in the comment forum below as well.  Thanks in advance for your participation!

Think “That Online Networking Stuff” Is Just for “Young People”?–Think Again . . .

Many of my video blogs of late, including this one, focus on topics that Jack Canfield, Gautam Ganglani, and I will be focusing on in our upcoming book about networking.  I’m posting these videos to share my own thoughts and stories about different networking topics because Jack, Gautam, and I are looking for personal story submissions from networkers across the globe and these videos give examples of the kind of stories we’re looking for.

In this particular video, I talk about different aspects of online networking in relation to face-to-face networking.  It seems that younger networkers (mostly those belonging to the millennial generation) are often all about online networking and don’t see the point in face-to-face; whereas networkers from the older generations tend to be completely on board with face-to-face networking but see online efforts as a fad or a waste of time.  One of the things I emphasize in this video, however, is that networkers today should never take an “either” face-to-face “or” online networking stance–instead, for maximum results and increased opportunity, they should take a “both/and” stance, integrating each type of networking into their overall referral marketing strategy.

If you have a story similar to the one  I share in the video about making powerful connections online, please visit www.SubmitYourNetworkingStory.com to submit your story for a chance to be published in the upcoming networking book which I mention above.  Also, I’d love for you to briefly summarize your story in the comment forum below as well.  Thanks in advance for your participation!

The Butterfly Effect of Networking Explained

The Butterfly Effect is part of chaos theory, which is a part of mathematics.  It basically proposes that the flapping of the wings of a butterfly alter something extremely minute but which starts a domino effect of altering one thing after another until something finally gets altered which actually changes the weather.   So what does the Butterfly Effect have to do with networking?  Take 5 minutes to watch this video and find out!  I tell a pretty powerful story about how the Butterfly Effect caused some very unexpected things to happen in my life, resulting in an amazing experience.

As I’ve mentioned in a couple of my recent video blog posts, Jack Canfield, Gautam Ganglani, and I are currently working together on a book about networking.  Today’s video is one of several short videos I’ll be posting which cover networking topics we will be focusing on in the book.  These videos are the result of brainstorming sessions for the book and, ultimately, we want to gather stories from networkers like you who have experience with the different topics I discuss in these videos.

If you have a story relating to the ‘Butterfly Effect of Networking’ which demonstrates the power of this concept in a significant or remarkable way, please visit www.SubmitYourNetworkingStory.com to submit your story for a chance to be published in the upcoming book on networking that Jack Canfield, Gautam Ganglani, and I will be publishing.  Also, I’d love for you to briefly summarize your story in the comment forum below as well.  Thanks in advance for your participation!

The VCP Process® Explained–What’s Your VCP Story?

As some of you may know, Jack Canfield, Gautam Ganglani, and I are currently working together on a book about networking.  This short video is one of many others, some of which I’ll post in the future, that cover networking topics which we will be focusing on in the book.  The videos are the result of brainstorming sessions for the book and in this particular video, I explain each step of the VCP Process® approach to networking in careful detail, emphasizing that credibility is really the key to networking success.

I share a personal story which demonstrates why trying to drum up referrals from people you’ve never met before is an exercise in futility as you’re not even at the visibility stage with them, and I outline the absolute best way to establish credibility with others.

If you have a story relating to the VCP Process® which fits the criteria I describe in the video, please visit www.SubmitYourNetworkingStory.com to submit your story for a chance to be published in the upcoming book on networking that Jack Canfield, Gautam Ganglani, and I will be publishing.  Also, I’d love for you to briefly summarize your story in the comment forum below as well.  Thanks in advance for your participation!

 

Understanding Behavioral Profiles

A couple of weeks back, I posted a blog outlining some tactics for tapping into the customer’s perspective in order to increase sales in your business.  In that blog post, I promised I would write more in a future blog about behavioral profiles and today I am following through with that promise.

Understanding behavioral profiles is essentially about understanding the four different styles of behavior when looking at individuals.  It  is an excellent way to gain knowledge about how to craft your sales and reporting program to the style of communication most comfortable to the client as well as how to best connect with your fellow networkers.  All customers and all networkers like to be communicated with in a manner that is most familiar to them, and knowing their personality profiles/behavioral styles helps you customize a sales or networking approach for each unique individual.

RFORBlog

In the book Room Full of Referrals which I co-wrote with Dr. Tony Alessandra and Dawn Lyons, we offer insight into the four different behavioral styles and I have listed the character traits for each style below (I’ve also included information on how to best communicate with each style) in order to help you identify someone, adapt to their style, help them feel comfortable, and make them feel good so you can better connect with your customers as well as those you network with.

Go-Getters

Characteristics: Driven, Bold, Opinionated, Decisive, Direct, Strong Desire to Win, Strong Desire to Lead, Like to be in Charge, Love Control, Goal-Oriented, Have a “Get It Done Now” Attitude

How to Communicate With Them: Be Direct, Ask Only for a Short Amount of Time to Start–Say 30 Minutes Or So, Say You Will Come to Them–Makes It More Convenient for Them, Remind Them of What You Think You MIGHT Be Able to Do For Them But Don’t Commit to It Without Knowing More about Them (Networking), You May Be Able to Agree on a Date on the Spot–Do So, State That You Will Confirm Everything Via E-mail or Text (Whichever They Prefer) and Send Them a Reminder E-mail One Day Before–Do Not Call Them, Make Sure to Do What You Say

Promoters

Characteristics: Energetic, Outgoing, Fun-Loving, Positive, Talkative, Love Recognition, Dislike Details, Love to be the Center of Attention, Enjoy Simple Uncomplicated Things, Tend to Have a Large Social Network

How to Communicate With Them: Keep Your Energy Up and Smile, Let Them Know You Are Having a Great Time With Them (Networking), Describe a Bit About How You Think You Can Connect Them to Other People Who Could Be Very Interesting to Them (Networking), Say Something About a New Hot Spot That Just Opened or a Cool Place to Meet and See If They Can Fit You into Their Busy Schedule (Networking)–Makes Them Feel Important, If They Have Their Calendar Available Select a Date to Meet for About an Hour–You Will Need It As You May Not Get Down to Business Quickly, Let Them Know You Will Call Them to Reconfirm Everything, End by Saying Something About the Possibilities that Might Result From the Two of You Working Together–Describe the Vision and Have Them Buy into It

Nurturers

Characteristics: Patient, Helpful, Understanding, Sentimental, Reserved, Careful, Pleasing, Have a Difficult Time Saying “No,” Have Deep Relationships, Are Focused on Helping Others

How to Communicate With Them: Make Sure to Really Have Them Talk and You Listen, Share With Them How You Think the Two of You Would Be Really Compatible and How You Need to Understand More About Who They Are and How They Work With Their Clients (Networking), Tell Them You Would Love to Spend More Time With Them and See What Could Develop Over the Long-Term (Networking), Do an Option Close (an option close is when you give someone two options that you are okay with, so whichever one they choose you are already fine with and can move forward) on the Appointment and Ask, “Would it be possible to look at our schedule and see if we might have some time to spend together in the next week or so OR would you like me to call you next week and go from there?”–They Tend to Make a Quicker Decision When You Do an Option Close, Whichever Selection They Make Be Sure to Follow Up, Ask If It Would Be Okay If the Location Was a Bit Quiet So You Could Really Be Present With Each Other (Networking), Book out 1.5 Hours Just to Be Safe (Networking), Make It Clear That You Really Want to Get to Know Who They Are in Business Because You Truly Think You Can Help Them (Networking), Ask If It Is Okay to Call Them to Confirm the Appointment, Call to Confirm and Spend Several Minutes on the Phone with Them at That Time

Examiners

Characteristics: Effective, Efficient, Thorough, Research-Oriented, Avoid Risks, Loyal, Knowledge-Seeking, Analyze Everything, May Take a Long Time to Develop Trust, Make Calculated Decisions, Enjoy Strategies and Processes

How to Communicate With Them: Remember That You Will Need to Ask Them Lots of Questions as They May Not Give Information Out Freely, Ask Them If They Are Looking for Ways to Be More Effective in Their Networking (Networking), Talk To Them About Why the Two of You Could Be Effective Together (Networking), Ask If It Would Make Sense for the Two of You to Spend More Time Together to Figure Out the Details of How You Could Work Together (Networking), Ask If a Meeting at Their Office Would Be Appropriate–Makes It More Convenient for Them and They Don’t Waste Time Traveling Somewhere, Do an Option Close on the Appointment and Ask, “Would it make sense to book an appointment now or would you like me to e-mail you?”–Again They Usually Make a Quick Decision When You Do an Option Close, Based on the Answer Complete That Task, See If an E-mail or Text Is the Preferable Way for You to Confirm the Appointment, Show Up Early to the Appointment and Be Fully Prepared With an Agenda and Lots of Questions for Them

If you pay careful attention to the behavioral characteristics your customers and fellow networkers exhibit, you’ll get better and better at pinpointing which of the four behavioral style categories they fall into and you will be much more capable of communicating with them effectively by speaking their language and adapting to their style.  When you’re able to communicate at the highest level of effectiveness with your customers and those with whom you network, your sales will increase and your business will grow.

After reading through the lists of behavior characteristics above, start by pinpointing which style you are and if you have any additional ideas about how to effectively communicate and connect with others that share your same behavioral style, please share your suggestions in the comment forum below–I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!

Crucial Conversations

We’ve all heard the phrase “It’s not so much about what you say, it’s more how you say it that really matters” and, let me tell you, I learned the hard way how true that actually is.  Conversations can be tricky–especially when one or more of the people involved are upset.

 

Back in the 1980s when I first started BNI®, there were only a handful of chapters in existence, as the organization was in its very beginning stages, and it was still small enough to where I was able to make personal visits to chapter meetings.  One day, the chapter president of a local Southern California BNI chapter called me up and asked me if I would come sit in on their next meeting and offer some insight into how they could improve because they were having some challenges keeping their networking group running smoothly and effectively.

I was more than happy to help out however I could so I went to their next meeting, sat back and observed, and then when the chapter president called me up to the front of the room and asked me to offer my feedback, I stood up and began to go over my list of suggestions and changes they should make in order to improve their effectiveness.  All of a sudden, one of the chapter members raised her hand and said, “Excuse me but who in the heck do you think you are, sashaying in here (I didn’t know that I “sashay”)  and telling us everything you think we’re doing wrong?!–You don’t know anything about us!”

How did I respond?  I didn’t respond . . . I reacted.  I went with my gut reflex which was to defend myself, saying that I was the founder of the organization and I tried in vain to argue that my points were valid and that they needed to listen to what I had to say if they wanted to improve.  The way I handled it was completely ineffective because, in a heated situation where somebody was obviously very upset and already convinced I was the enemy, I had no strategy for guiding the conversation in a positive, solutions-focused direction and trying to argue and stick to my guns only made things worse.

That day, on my commute back home from the meeting, I spent the first twenty minutes fuming about how rude the woman was to me in spite of the fact that I had gotten up early to drive out to their chapter meeting and taken time out of my day to go above and beyond to help them.  In the privacy of my own car, with my blood boiling, I drove through traffic flaring my nostrils, vehemently muttering several choice words (which I will not detail here) while I verbally bashed them for being so ungrateful (suffice it to say, I definitely would have been in trouble if there were anyone else in the car to hear me!).

But then I started to calm down and think about how I might have handled the situation differently and it was during that same lone car ride that I came up with BNI’s corporate policy (which is used to this day) on customer support and handling customer complaints.  Below are a few select bullet points from the policy:

  • Remember–people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care
  • Listen and let them talk.  Then . . . listen, listen, listen.
  • Ask questions.  Then . . . listen!
  • Acknowledge the information
  • Understand their complaint and ask how you can help
  • Follow up
  • Thank them
  • Remember–diplomacy is the art of letting someone else have your way.  Be diplomatic!

Some years later, I came across Crucial Conversations, a book which teaches people how to prepare for high-stakes situations, transform anger and hurt feelings into powerful dialogue, create situations where it is safe to talk about almost anything, and to be persuasive not abrasive.

Not only are some of the tactics and strategies right in line with what I outlined for BNI’s policy on dealing with tense situations, but it contains a slew of additional tactics that are immensely helpful for ensuring that whatever it is you are trying to say in any given situation is presented in the best possible way (i.e., “how you say it”) in order to achieve the best possible results for everyone involved.

If you really think about it, all conversations are crucial on some level because once you say something you can’t take it back and saying the wrong thing can have sometimes have tremendously negative repercussions.  Whether you are conversing with your fellow networkers, your business associates, or with those close to you who you love and care about, it’s always best to know what you want to say and how you want to say it (and to have a plan to diffuse things if the conversation gets heated) before anything comes out of your mouth . . . take it from someone who definitely learned this the hard way. 😉

To learn more about Crucial Conversations, please CLICK HERE or visit: http://www.vitalsmarts.com/crucialconversations/.

 

Ever Dreamt of Being Published?–Submit Your Networking Story!

NOTE: My apologies for the poor sound quality of this video–Please turn up your speakers.  Nice as the breeze may have been, it was unfortunately far from ideal for filming purposes. 😉

In this video, Jack Canfield (co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul Series) and I discuss the new book we’re writing about networking along with our co-author Gautam Ganglani.

Because the power of a story is the most effective way to demonstrate a point, we’re searching for real life networking stories that will have a positive and lasting impact readers and we would love to hear from you!

Do you have a story about how you (or someone in your network) has used networking in a way that has inspired people? Do you have a networking-related story about overcoming an obstacle, or achieving a goal you didn’t think was possible?  Did you have a major networking breakthrough that would inspire people to network more, or use your networking technique?

Have the courage to write and submit your networking story!

PLEASE CLICK ON THE PDF DOCUMENT LINK BELOW FOR DETAILS ON HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR NETWORKING STORY:

Networking Book–Submission Criteria

Thanks in advance for your participation and don’t hesitate to use the comment forum below to submit any questions or comments you may have about this book project or how to submit your story.  I’m really looking forward to hearing your networking story (or stories)!

The 3 Networks You Need to Join If You Haven’t Already

In the book Room Full of Referrals (click here for the paperback edition and click here for the Kindle edition) which I wrote with Tony Alessandra and Dawn Lyons, we talk about the Top Ten Referral Marketing Basics and number one is:

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Belong to Three Different Networks

  • A Service Network like the Rotary Club, for example.  Service clubs are devised for just that, to provide service to an organization.  Your main reason for joining a service clubwould not be to gain business.  Most people truly believe in what the organization is doing and have a passion for it.  While your main goal is to serve the community or organization, you will also be building relationships and, yes, business may come to  you through this group.  However, it should not be your main reason for joining.
  • A Casual Contact Network, like a Chamber of Commerce.  Casual networks provide a way for you to meet a larger amount of people at one time.  There are less restrictions with this group, and they mainly do large mixers.  A key benefit to the casual contact networks is that you can meet people who would be good referrals for your referral sources.  Having a large sphere of influence is important in your being able to give lots of referrals on a regular basis.
  • A Strong Contact Network, like BNI. Strong contact networks like BNI provide exclusivity.  For example, only one person per profession is allowed to be part of the group.  They also incorporate more structure and commitment from their members, which in turn greatly increases the amount of loyalty and participation.  These groups are designed to gain referral business.  The key is to only belong to one of these types of groups to ensure follow-through, commitment and loyalty.

When you create a strong referral network, you’ll want to be able to give lots of referrals to them as well.  You’ll need a wide sphere of influence within which you have substantial credibility, so as they need things in their life, you can refer them.  It’s as Referral Institute® Partner Mike Macedonio states in the book:

“It is not just the breadth of the relationships that you have, it’s the breadth and depth of the relationships that are the most important.”

Being involved in three different networks will give you breadth–all you have to do is create the depth! 

What are you going to do this week to expand your networking involvement to include all three networks and to deepen your relationships?  Please share your thoughts in the comment forum.

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