Ask Ivan

Ask Ivan – Managing Your Contacts

Ask Ivan video

The first video in our new series of Ask Ivan videos answers a question submitted by Rob Youngblood.

Rob Youngblood, of Elite BNI in Richmond, VA, asks: “When you started BNI in 1985, what tools did you use to keep track of your contacts and how do you manage your network today?”

When I started BNI in 1985, I used a Roledex to manage business cards. Today, I recommend software to manage your contacts. Use the system that works for you.

Please watch my answer in this video

Have a burning networking or business-related question? Submit it for a chance to be featured in a future video.

Submit your own question to me below.

Healing Begins in the Kitchen

Healing Begins in the Kitchen

I was one of those guys when talking about healthy food that would think, “yea, yea, yea, blah, blah, blah.  I want my diet coke.  Then I was diagnosed with Cancer.  Things changed.  This is the story.

Read some of the introduction below…

Get Well and Stay There with the Misner Plan

The visible changes in my health, including my weight loss and improved fitness level, have led to requests to share my eating protocol and fitness regimen after my cancer diagnosis and subsequent state of remission without standard medical treatments (chemotherapy, surgery, and/or radiation). We received so many requests that we felt we needed to create the “Misner Plan” book in order to share this information with more people than Beth and I are able to e-mail on a daily basis.

We all know and love far too many people who are obese and/or suffering from many health issues that are due primarily to how and what they eat. 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. We need support and a community in which to make lasting changes. Having the input of someone who has been there before and has regained health is very powerful.

Eat real food. Enjoy real health!

The book, “Healing Begins in the Kitchen”, by the authors: Ivan Misner PhDBeth MisnerEddie Esposito, and Miguel Espinoza MD offers both information and support for you as you seek to regain and maintain your health 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 continue to learn new things and find ourselves amazed at just how much there is to learn 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 healthcare professionals. As you read through the content, we encourage you to underline and highlight the sections that illuminate your own path.

Your success means so much to us. We are thrilled that you have found the “Misner Plan”. Focusing on eating real, healthy, nutritious foods can save your life and make a good life a fantastic life. “Healing Begins in the Kitchen” is now available on Amazon at the http://amzn.to/2sVW3jm website! It has hundreds of pages of recipes! If you pick up a copy – I’d really appreciate if you would PLEASE do a review. Next, we will be working on the Kindle edition.

http://tinyurl.com/HealingBeginsInKitchen

Typical Day

A Typical Day for Ivan

I’ve recently been having people ask me what a typical day looked like for me.  The last person that asked me that questions caused me to ask a question to him in return.  I asked him, why he was curious about?  He replied, that he believed that “successful people had some routines that helped them achieve their success” and that’s why he was curious.

I thanked him for including me in that list of people he thought were successful and told him I would write about it in an upcoming blog – and here we are.

I believe my friend was correct – I too believe that successful people have routines that keep them focused and engaged.  Routines are truly different for every successful person.  What is the same is that they have a routine and they follow it. I can’t say that mine are that exciting but, they are mine and I like them.

I should note that I travel a lot and when I’m traveling – the routine is much different.

If I’m not traveling or attending a meeting, this is my normal routine.

  1. 7ish wake up.
  2. 30 minutes exercise in my home gym. Nothing crazy – walking, (sometimes outside – but often in the home gym watching the news), push-ups, crunches, stretching, simple bar weights.
  3. Steam shower (contemplative meditation).
  4. I try to eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.  (All the meals are generally organic and always healthy).
  5. 9 am I walk the 51 steps to my home office and tackle email communications
  6. I am a zealot about my schedule. Almost every hour is scheduled with something (including time to think, research, and/or write).  Most importantly, I color code my calendar to know what kind of activities I have scheduled for the day.  The things I love doing are all in various shades of green.  (Red is bad, very bad.  They are the things I don’t want to do but must do – yes, I have some of those too).
  7. My primary focus is writing, speaking, and doing interviews.
  8. On writing days, I only tackle urgent emails and then focus most of the day on writing related activities (research, writing, editing).
  9. Throughout the days I do scheduled media interviews (these are always a priority) or record videos for BNI regions.
  10. End around 6 pm.
  11. Wine O’clock on the balcony to watch for deer or wild turkey on our property. Almost always a big bold – “hit you over the head” – red wine. 😊
  12. Dinner around 6:30 pm.
  13. Around 7, I watch some movie or TV shows recorded on my DVR (yes, I have some guilty pleasures that I do NOT feel guilty about).
  14. If necessary, I go back into my home office around 8 – 9 pm to get some work done.
  15. Head to bed between 10 pm and 11 pm.
  16. Read the news or a book for up to an hour.
  17. Generally asleep by 11:30 pm.

This is a normal day – I don’t always have those but when I’m home, this would be pretty normal.  The routines I have that I think are worth noting include daily exercise, contemplation, healthy food, a specific routine for the work, guilty pleasures (wine, TV, or movies), and reading time each evening.

And that my friends, is a day in the life of Ivan Misner.

What surprises you or what would you like to add to your list?

quality

Quantity is Good but Quality is King

The more people you meet at an event, the more successful your networking efforts are–and that’s simply not the case.  Instead, the quality of the connections you form is much more significant than the quantity of connections you make.

A few years ago, I had a long conversation with a good friend who was considered a networking expert in Europe.  He did a lot of work with online networking or social networking.  During this conversation, we got into a fundamental disagreement on the subject.  He believed that networking was first and foremost a numbers game.  He said that “the more people you were connected to the stronger your network.”  At first, I went along with this comment agreeing that the number of people in your network was in fact, very important.  I then said, “the only thing more important than the quantity of people was the quality of people in your network.”  Suddenly, our paths diverged.  He said the “quality of people in your network are really not that important, instead it is all a numbers game.” 

To this day, I steadfastly disagree.  Networking is not a numbers game.  It’s more like a people puzzle.  It’s about building relationships with the close people in your network.  That means that it’s about finding ways to interconnect the relationships you have to build a powerful personal network.  In order to do that – you actually have to have a fair number of quality relationships in that sea of contacts.

If your network is a mile wide and an inch deep, it will never be successful.

Instead, your network needs to be both wide and – in places, deep.  That is, you need to have a wide set of contacts but some of those need to be connections that go deep.  Therefore, the quality of your network is just as important, if not more important than the quantity of your network.  This doesn’t mean that quantity isn’t important.  It is important.  The thing is that a small network of quality people limits your success.  However, a large network with multiple quality relationships makes for a much more powerful, personal network.

It is a little like your left hand and your right hand.  Both are really important. But one is generally stronger, more powerful, and generally used more than the other. You can’t accomplish what you want as easily without both.  However, one is the stronger hand.  This is similar to the quantity vs. quality argument in networking.

I believe that it is NOT, what you know, or who you know – it’s how well you know each other that counts.

Strong relationships take simple “contacts” and turn them into powerful “connections.”  It doesn’t really matter if I have an amazing database of people with many phone numbers.  What really matters is if I can pick up the phone and ask some of them for a favor and they take my call then are willing to do that favor.

By the way, since that argument a few years ago, my friend is no longer in the networking business.  Quantity is good but quality truly is King.

referral coincidence

Referral Coincidence?

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

A misconception occurs when someone focuses on the referral rather than on the relationship that produced the referral. 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.

Networking is not about luck, it’s about relationships. No one person is likely to turn your business around, but together, over a long time, they can make a difference.

Click here to watch this video

 

leader

A Great Leader Does Not Tell You What To Do, They Show You How It’s Done

If you’re a business owner or entrepreneur, you know how challenging it can be to find the path towards leadership that works for you. If you find yourself wondering how to become a leader in business, follow these steps:

Click here to watch this video

The Path to Business Leadership

1. Focus on solutions, not problems
2. Collaborate with your team
3. Be a culture champion
4. Care about the success of others–REALLY care!

Finally, leadership is about accomplishing more than people thought possible. In your business, what are your wildest dreams? What’s your ultimate goal? Never lose that idea and constantly be working towards it.

Watch the video to hear more about the four steps towards becoming a business leader, and leave me a comment on what YOU think makes a leader.

Who's In Your Story

Who’s In Your Story?

I share a personal story about someone who has impacted my life, my high school football coach, Art Hiett.

Click here to watch this video

Who’s In Your Story?

A BNI Foundation-USA Video Contest!

WHO: When you were growing up, did you have an adult (teacher, coach, mentor, NOT immediate family) who significantly influenced your life? Then, we at the BNI Foundation want to hear from YOU!
 
WHY: We want you to share your story with us so we can share it with the world so people will see and hear the huge impact that adults can have on kids!
 
WHAT: So, tell us in a 1 minute or less video, about the person who inspired you, possibly even changed the trajectory of your life when you were between age 6 and graduating from high school. We especially welcome stories in which a small gesture or action made a big difference, showing how easy it can be to help our youth, without always spending a ton of time over many years. It does NOT need to be professionally filmed or edited. Just grab your phone and press record.
 
WHEN: May 18 – June 15, 2017
 
WHERE: U.S., Email your video contest submissions to: marketing@bnifoundation.org
 
– Subject Line should read: Who’s In Your Story? Video Contest
– Email should include:
  • Name
  • Location
  • Video (1 minute or less) embedded or attached
  • Link to Google Docs/Drive platform for downloading video
 
HOW: (RULES): All submissions must:
– Be NO more than 1 minute long
– State, at start of video, your name & location (city & state)
– Be received by 11:59 pm (Eastern Time) on June 15, 2017
– Be a spoken testimonial of how this special person positively influenced your life
– Include a signed photo release consent form (downloadable here)
 
BONUS WHY: (PRIZES): 3 Overall Winners
– 1st prize – 2 days in Austin, TX for winner + 1 guest (1 day to be spent with Ivan & Beth Misner), including airfare and hotel!
– 2nd prize – $75 Amazon Gift Card
– 3rd prize – $50 Amazon Gift Card

 

Strategic Alliances

Strategic Alliances

A strategic alliance is an arrangement between two companies that have decided to share resources to undertake a specific, mutually beneficial project. With strategic alliances, each member will contribute to your success. No one person is likely to turn your business around, but together, over a long time, they can make a difference. By having a series of small actions over time, you can gradually enhance your relationships and really yield big results

Don’t give up if there’s no immediate payoff. The key is to stay in touch. The best strategic alliances stay connected several times over the year. Plus, you meet in person on several occasions. During that time, you discuss some really simple ways that you can help each other. Therefore, you gradually enhance the relationship.

Successful networking is a series of small actions. Most people who are successful at networking and creating strong strategic alliances view the process as a series of small actions taken with many people to create long-term positive growth for your company. It’s not a get rich scheme. By working with multiple people over a long period of time, you build your business. Don’t just write somebody off if they can’t add something or contribute something to your business immediately.

If you are a member of a networking group, look at the members of the group. Each of them will contribute to your success and they layer a little bit of success on top of each other for you. Each one is a little layer of success for you. No one person in your chapter is likely to turn your business around, but together over a long period of time; they can make a dramatic difference.

In conclusion, I highly recommend that you form strategic alliances with others. By working with multiple people over a long period of time, you build an incredibly solid foundation for successful business.

characteristic

The Least Important Networker Characteristic

What is the least important characteristic for a great networker?

The answer might surprise you.

In this video, I share the five least important skills for networking according to a survey of 3400 business people. Knowing what not to do can be as important as knowing what to do. Furthermore, it is also clear from these results that great networkers and great salespeople have different skill sets.

In conclusion, many people think you need to be an extrovert to be a good networker, but that’s not what the survey says. Here are five least important skills for networking.

You don’t need to be:

  1. Fearless
  2. A salesperson
  3. A self-promoter
  4. Direct
  5. Social media savvy

Click here to watch this video

Leaky bucket

The Leaky Bucket Syndrome of Learning

Teaching is a leaky bucket process. You start with a whole bucket of information. When you train someone how to do something, a little information leaks out. When they train someone else and that information is taught to someone else, some of that information leaks out. The people being taught only get that limited version of the information based on their understanding and ability to articulate the material.
 
By the time you are in the third or fourth generation of people passing along the information, you only have about half a bucket remaining and you’ve lost half the information. There’s a sense that something’s missing. What do they do? When the bucket of information gets low, people start putting in their own content in. The problem is that it might not be good content. Very rarely does the material improve over time with this process. 

So how do we plug these leaks?

I learned early on the best solution is to write everything down and to develop “train the trainer” material so there was consistency in the system and the training needs to be conducted in a way that is scalable. When teaching, your “whole bucket” needs to be written down and all the parties who conduct the training need to follow the process without adding or substituting their own stuff. Making the training as part of a replicable system is the best way to fill the leaks. This became even more important as we spread BNI into various countries and cultures worldwide.
Thank you, Colin Horner, for the graphic
solutions

Focus on solutions, not problems.

What was the last problem you faced?

  • An employee issue
  • A difficult client
  • Financial hurdles
  • Competition from another business
  • Time management concerns
All too often, when facing a problem, the first thing we tend to do is focus on the negative situation. We continue to repeat our patterns, doing the same things that do not work, until we dwell in a feeling of negativity. Many people let their minds wander toward the negative, which then prompts them to focus on more problems instead of searching for ways to resolve the situation and grow from it. You must begin to start focusing on ways to actually resolve the situation by focusing on solutions. Do not just react, take the time to fully analyze the problem then make a list of possible solutions.
  • Identify the problem(s)
  • Identify what you did before in a similar problem
    Brainstorm possible solutions.
  • Change what doesn’t work
  • Find and use resources
  • Decide which solution is best
  • Put that solution into play
  • Build on each successive step
  • Try to do more of what works
  • Use an alternative solution if not achieving the required results
Regardless of how bad your problem may be, the solution is there if you think long and hard enough. Not every solution will work for this problem. However, when we start to think of more ways to overcome our problems, we can grow from the situation at hand by being more prepared for the next problem we will face down the road. We can even avoid future problems because if we focus on problems, we will get more problems. If we focus on solutions, we will get more solutions. By being aware and reminding yourself of your list of solutions you just created, you can focus on solutions, not problems.
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