Make your time and efforts worthwhile in networking groups. Success in networking comes from building trust with the other members in your networking group. Ivan Misner shares his Top 10 ways many people waste their time networking in this video.
Barnet Bain, director of the film “Milton’s Secret” talks to networking expert Ivan Misner about the importance of emotionally-charged connections between people and his film, Milton’s Secret”.
“Milton’s Secret”is a dramatic feature film based on the book by Eckhart Tolle and Robert S. Friedman. Milton’s Secret is a coming of age story about an 11-year-old boy growing up in an economically depressed suburb, and the elderquest of his grandfather. Milton’s troubles seem to be coming from every direction. His mother and father are workaholics with marital and financial problems, and he is being bullied at school. Fear and dread are everywhere. When his unconventional grandfather visits, Milton learns that rehashing bad experiences and worrying about the future are preventing him from finding true happiness in the Now.
As business people and networkers, and even in our personal lives, we are often trying to make things harder than they need to be. There is an abundance of techniques, for sales, communicating, and general business practices, that are tried and true, so much so that they seem too simple to truly be effective. We re-evaluate them, we “improve” upon them, and we overcomplicate them. Possibly worse, we sometimes just scrap the old way and try to start over from scratch.
Often, we think we are smarter than those who came before us. Our egos prevent us from listening to those who have more history. The danger here with reinventing the wheel is that it puts us in danger of history repeating itself.
Here are three common warning signs that you may be falling into the danger zone of repeating work, and what to do about them.
- Instead of solving a problem, you come up with new features to cover it up. First and foremost, this is poor customer service to add features to try to distract from a known issue with a good or service. Instead of wasting your time coming up with new features on an old issue, spend time diving into the old issue and make minor changes on existing features to elevate the whole product.
- When something with history doesn’t work perfectly, you think it might be easier to start over. Without a doubt, there was a reason things got to where they are. Instead of erasing all of the work of those before you, do a little research. Take time to talk with your predecessors and learn what the motivation behind choices were. Chances are you will discover the core problem, and be able to instead make moves to target that issue, instead of starting over.
- The wheel you’re looking at reinventing is a common wheel that many business people are faced with. Is your wheel unique to you, or is it something that many in your profession are faced with? If the latter, it is highly possible that there are many people also working to reinvent that wheel right now. Perhaps it is a standard business practice in your field that simply doesn’t work. Instead of putting forth resources (including time and money) to tackle it on your own, see if there is a group in your field working on this issue. If you are working to forge new paths at the same time others are trying to do the same thing, you’re all wasting resources and could likely work more effectively as a team.
Have you ever tried to reinvent the wheel? What happened?
In this video, filmed during a recent TLC (Transformational Leadership Council) Conference, I talk to my good friend, award-winning motion picture producer and writer Barnet Bain, about his newly-released book, The Book of Doing and Being.
In the video, Barnet talks about how creativity has a significant place in our businesses and our relationships, but that the ‘really big game’ is in innovation. He says, “Innovation is to creativity what e-mail is to snail mail.” Watch the video now to find out how innovative thinking is available to absolutely all of us, despite the fact that very few of us are trained to see the world in terms of innovative responses as opposed to creative responses.
Barnet has devoted his life and career to manifesting his creativity in a way that not only gives his life purpose but brings meaning and hope to the lives of others. With this book, he reveals to us how we can do the very same thing. Put simply, if you want your life to count in ways you’ve previously only dreamed of, you owe it to yourself to read The Book of Doing and Being.
So what do you think of Barnet’s ideas in the video? If you’ve already read the book, what are your thoughts on it? Please leave your comments in the forum below. Thanks!
Though there is evidence that business is currently on the rise and the economy is moving in a positive direction, the recent downturn in the economy prompted many people who found themselves unemployed to tap into their entrepreneurial spirit and consider starting their own business.
This begs the question above–are there efficient ways to get in touch with people who can help you start your own business?
The answer is yes, and here are my three recommendations:
1) Go through your contacts and talk to people you personally know who have started a business. Set an appointment. Let them know what you are doing and ask if they’d give you an hour of mentoring. If possible, meet with them in person. Show up with specific questions written out in advance. Send them the questions prior to the meeting so they have a good understanding of what kind of information you’re looking for. When you meet, focus on those questions, write down the answers, and stick to the time frame you promised. If the conversation goes well, ask if you can meet with them in the future. Follow this process with two or three people who have opened a business successfully. I guarantee you will find this to be very valuable.
2) Find a business coach who has experience with start-up businesses. Hire them to coach you through the process.
3) Read, read, read! There are a lot of books out there on opening a business. I have personally reviewed many of the books published by Entrepreneur Press on starting a business and they are excellent. Go to EntrepreneurPress.com to see some of them.
I strongly encourage anyone genuinely interested in starting their own business to pursue the endeavor. I have owned my own business for thirty years (that’s a picture of me at top right, when I first started my company, BNI, and was running it from my house and garage with only one other employee in the mid ’80s) and it continues to be an amazing and fulfilling journey. I don’t think I would ever go back to working for someone else.
It was 11:30 AM in Paris last Wednesday and Beth (my wife) and I had a lunch meeting that was set for 12 noon with a couple business associates. As we headed out to the curb to get into a taxi in order to drive to the restaurant, we noticed something odd. There were no taxis in the taxi stand in front of our building!
Unbeknown to us, the taxi drivers in Paris, were all on a two-day work stoppage (yes, a strike) in protest of the “Uber” App, (a personal sedan service that can be requested via an app) which has been cutting into their profits, according to the taxi drivers. Apparently, they are hoping that the French government will ban the use of Uber in France!
We have used Uber with great success in the United States, and had not thought about using the app while here in Paris. It has been so easy, frankly, to just step outside and into one of any number of waiting taxis, that we didn’t need Uber.
But standing on the curb in the quickly intensifying sunshine with little time to spare to get to our appointment, we wondered if there was any chance of using the app now to book a car for our lunch. Beth tapped the app on her iPhone and within seconds we received confirmation that our Uber sedan would be with us in 15 minutes. After only six minutes, the car pulled up on the curb in front of our building.
Anyone who knows me at all, knows that I put a high premium on a company’s ability to under promise and over deliver. They definitely did just that in the humid Paris heat!
As we headed to our lunch meeting, we began talking about the irony of the taxi drivers’ strike actually driving us (pun intended!) into the waiting arms of the very competitor they were protesting! What marketing genius thought of this blunder-head idea!? To me this is the perfect example of something I call the “unintended consequences of a ‘seemingly’ good idea.” Did no one have a conversation about how this would actually play out? Maybe something like – “let’s see, why don’t we go on strike to protest an online application that will – oh, actually force people to use that online application while we’re all sitting at the brasserie enjoying croissants.” Yea, really smart.
Because of their actions, we have now been reminded of how easy and pleasant using Uber is. There is no money to change hands – all payment arrangements are done through the app. We can enter the request for a car while finishing up whatever it is we are doing and then head straight out into the car once we receive the text notification that it has arrived. We can actually watch the progress of the car as a GPS tracker shows an icon for it en route on our Uber app’s map. Even better – the vehicle is very clean and professional (we drove in a Peugeot to the restaurant and in a Mercedes on the way back – AND it was less than a taxi ride!).
I really like the emailed receipt after being dropped off at our destination. It shows what the average speed of the drive was, the duration of the drive and the final amount. Even better is that Uber ROUNDS DOWN to the nearest dollar! I mean, who actually does THAT?
So, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the taxi drivers who held this work stoppage for reminding me how amazing their competitor really is. Talk about the law of unintended consequences! I wonder how many other people took advantage of this strike to become new Uber customers. I can tell you that I will be requesting an Uber car more frequently on this trip now as a result of the strike.
Epilogue – Note to the Paris Taxi Driver’s Association:
Dear Paris Taxi Driver’s Association, the year is 2014. The internet actually exists and will most likely not disappear no matter how often you go on strike. The Genie cannot be put back into the bottle. Rather than try to “ban” a competitor who actually had a good idea – why not create your own app (as some taxi companies around the world have!) and join the rest of us in the 21st century.
Just a thought.
At a recent TLC Conference in Cancun, Mexico, I had the opportunity to talk with wealth expert Roger Hamilton to discuss the Wealth Dynamics system which Roger created to help entrepreneurs achieve ultimate success. I took the Wealth Dynamics profile test myself and found out my wealth profile is that of a “Supporter,” which I found quite surprising yet very informative, helpful, and enlightening.
In this video, Roger explains how the Wealth Dynamics program can specifically help people who want to build their business through a referral-based marketing program. Watch the video now to learn about how everyone is different in the way they form connections and how the Wealth Dynamics program can teach you to identify your best way of connecting with others through understanding your individual connection style, and also through pinpointing and understanding how other individuals would like to connect with you.
For more information on Wealth Dynamics, please visit www.WDProfileTest.com where you’ll find a complete explanation of the eight different Wealth Dynamics profiles and more. If you take the test, I’d love for you to come back and share your results and what you learned from them in the comment forum below. Thanks!
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!
In this short video, I’m joined by my good friend, master speaker and trainer Lisa Nichols, to talk about “Powerhouse Speaking.” It’s nearly impossible to grow a business without speaking, which is why business owners around the world use speaking to increase their customer base.
The question is, what is the most effective way to build your speaking platform and hone your core message in order to create the most revenue and financially infuse your business? How do you systematically move your audience to action? Watch the video now to learn how you can become a Powerhouse Speaker, build trust and rapport with your audience within the first seven minutes of speaking, and increase your closing ratio from 10 to 25 percent.
In what ways, large and small, have you used speaking to grow your business? Have you joined a weekly networking group where you give a short speech about your business to your fellow networkers each week? Have you made a habit of speaking to community service clubs such as Rotary or Kiwanis? There are so many ways to use speaking to build your revenue stream and I would love to hear about the particular ways you’ve used speaking and what results you’ve experienced from it. Please share your stories in the comment forum below and, as always, thanks so much for watching my video blogs and participating by offering your feedback–I absolutely love hearing from BusinessNetworking.com blog readers!
For more information, be sure to visit Lisa’s website: www.MotivatingTheMasses.com/Powerhouse.
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/.
Ugh . . . jet lag–the dreaded tormenter of travelers far and wide. I know a thing or two about traveling as it’s a huge part of my career and my years of consistent traveling have taught me the one and only thing I need to know about jet lag which I’m going to share with you today. Last year alone, I traveled on roughly around 50 flights, many of them being international routes requiring long (and I’m talking LONG) hours of plane travel and adaptation to some significant time zone changes which can sometimes make the simple act of sleeping a very challenging task.
When people learn of my travel schedule, I’m commonly asked how on earth I deal with what must be horribly exhausting jet lag–a common affliction for business professionals in any industry which requires extensive travel. I actually have a very simple tactic for overcoming jet lag and, I made this brief video to explain it in hopes that it will help others to whom jet lag is a big challenge.
I can almost guarantee you that if you adopt this jet-lag-combatting strategy, you’ll be up and at ’em, networking like a pro and doing business like a true sales star no matter where your travels take you or how hectic and exhausting your schedule is!
Do you have any creative strategies or sure-fire tips for dealing with jet lag? If so, please share your ideas in the comment forum below–there are tired travelers all over the world who would LOVE to hear your suggestions!
With all due respect to the Mayans, 🙂 it appears that we need to give some thought to our plans for 2013.
Each year, a few days before New Year’s Eve, I head off to my mountain retreat in Big Bear Lake, California, to recharge my batteries. Getting away to the mountains is something I’ve done for almost two decades. It’s a great opportunity to spend time with the family and prepare for the onslaught of the coming year.
It’s also a good time to give some thought to the vision I have have for my business and life over the next year.
It’s hard to hit a target you’re not aiming at. The end of the year is a great time to think about some of your plans and goals for the next 12 months (and beyond). Even if all you have is a couple days, take the time at the end of every year to slow down and do some “vision making” for your business. Remember that a successful businessperson needs to work “on” the business as well as “in” the business. Work “on” your business this month by creating your vision for next year.
It’s also good to include some personal goals in your planning. Some of the business and personal goals I set for next year include:
- Regular dates with my wife.
- Several mid-week visits to our Lake House
- Several business/personal trips this year.
- Turn business trips into more fun trips.
- Complete at least one new book.
- Refinance a commercial property.
- Review a strategic plan regarding one of my businesses.
- Continue to support charitable causes.
- Work more “on” the business and less “in” the business.
What goals do you have for 2013? Also, do you take a little time off at the end of the year to think about it? Share your ideas here.