The Profit Puzzle of Business

I recently had several business associates ask me about finding a good model for a business plan that they can use for their franchise.

Being able to market your business is, to a large extent, based on understanding your business.  Understanding your business begins by creating a plan.  One of the best models I’ve seen is one that I have used and recommended for years.  It’s called the “Profit Puzzle.”  It was developed by a good friend of mine – Don Osborne.

Below are the key categories (or puzzle pieces) that Don uses in his system.  If you need, or want, to produce a business plan for your business.  I recommend you check out www.ProfitPuzzle.com.  Just remember – once you have a structure for your plan – it requires that you commit a fair amount of time and effort to actually complete the plan (the plan doesn’t complete itself!).  You have to do the hard work to think about what goes into each part of the puzzle.

Check out Don’s  categories below.  They are very thorough.

Emotional Equations

I had the opportunity to hear Chip Conley speak at the Transformational Leadership Council this last weekend.  He spoke about his new book Emotional Equations.

Chip created this self-help paradigm in order to break down life’s toughest obstacles into manageable facets that you can see clearly – and influence.  When Chip suffered a series of tragedies in the space of just a couple years – and his heart inexplicably flatlined after a speech – he began using what he came to call “Emotional Equations” (like Joy = Love – Fear) to help him understand and articulate what was going on in his internal system. These simple formulas helped him focus on the variables in life that he could deal with, rather than ruminating on the unchangeable constants (the bad economy, death, taxes) he could not.

Emotional Equations give people a new perspective on life and lead them beyond the concept of emotional intelligence and into an emotional fluency that enables someone to identify, name, and manage elements that can define, hurt, and help them. Equations like “Despair = Suffering – Meaning” and “Happiness = Wanting What You Have ÷ Having What You Want,” have been reviewed for mathematical and psychological accuracy by experts. With compelling real-life stories, Conley inspires people who study his material through these equations and to formulate others to address their own circumstances.

Chip says: “In these turbulent times, when so many are trying to become ‘superhuman’ in order to deal with life’s speed bumps, tragedies, and setbacks, Emotional Equations guides you toward becoming a ‘super human’ being.”

I highly recommend the book.

Business Networking and Sex: Not What You Think

Business Networking And Sex (not what you think)

Business Networking and Sex (not what you think) is officially released this week in bookstores.  This book was more fun to work on than any book I’ve ever written.  My co-authors: Frank De Raffele and Hazel Walker were fantastic to work with.

You may be wondering what sex has to do with networking.  You may also be excited to learn how to use your sexual prowess to influence business deals.  Well, get your mind out of the gutter!  Sorry to burst your bubble, but this book is really more about gender than sex, but who’s going to want a book called Business Networking and Gender (do you hear the crickets chirping)?  Not many people walk around thinking about gender, but many people think many times a day about well, you know.

The book is based on the findings from a survey that we conducted.  Over a four-year period, more than 12,000 businesspeople from every populated continent of the world participated in a study focused around 25 simple questions.  Beyond irritating you, the answers may also make you excited and motivated to learn how to work with the opposite sex.

So, pick up a copy of the book – if you dare.  But be WARNED.  It might make you angry.  Oh, and there’s some statistics too.

If you would like a sample chapter or would like more information, go to www.BusinessNetworkingAndSex.com If you have an advance copy of the book – tell me what you like most about it.  What surprised you?  What annoyed you?

 

 

Year-End is Time for Vision Making

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. 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 you have for your business and life over the next year.

It’s hard to hit a target you’re not aiming at. The new 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 2012.

This is what I did back in the mid 1980’s when I had some time to reflect on this little networking enterprise that I started, called BNI.  It was during one of these year-end retreats that I created an organization chart for my company as part of my 5 year plan.  At the time, I had two part-time employees.  However, I created an organization chart with 15 different boxes on it.  I put my name in about 11 or 12 of the boxes for the areas I was responsible for and I put my part-timer’s names in the boxes for the areas they were responsible for.

Over the next 5 years, I scratched my name out of each box and put someone else’s name in that box as I hired someone to handle that area.  It was a great exercise that helped me achieve my goals over the next 5 years and it came from one of my year-end retreats.  Clearing your mind and thinking about your the future of your business can be a very good thing this time of year.  Even if you only have a couple days – get away and do some vision making.

If you use this time of year to think about your goals for the future, tell me what you do here in my blog.

Have a great New Year!

Ivan

 

Visit WorkingOnIt.com and Build Business with Systems

In this video, Michael Gerber and I discuss one simple idea: SYSTEMS.

I used Michael’s ideas about systems to build my business and as a result, my networking organization has grown to over 6,000 chapters in 50 countries around the world.

Watch this video to find out more about building business with systems and about Michael’s new website www.WorkingOnIt.com–a fantastic resource for business owners and entrepreneurs around the world.

Susan RoAne Shares One of “The Secrets of Savvy Networking”

When it comes to networking, we’ve all unfortunately encountered people who believe that the simple act of meeting another person entitles them to ask that other person to share their contacts with them in order to try to drum up more referrals.

In this video, Susan RoAne, my good friend and an international networking expert who consistently puts out some of the most outstanding content on networking around, explains why anybody who believes that networking is an “entitlement program” (i.e., the type of people who meet you once and think you should share your contacts with them) is completely off track and will never get any referrals while operating under that perception.

The concept that networking is an “enrichment program” as opposed to an “entitlement program” is one of the fresh, powerhouse ideas unique to Susan’s latest book The Secrets of Savvy Networking.  I highly encourage you to go to www.SecretsOfSavvyNetworking.com to learn about the book and/or visit www.SusanRoAne.com for more information about Susan Roane.

Share your feedback on Susan’s content and/or your thoughts about this video in general in the comments section–we’d love to hear from you!

Entrepreneurial DNA

One of the reasons I am so endlessly passionate about business networking and finding new ways to inspire the growth of businesses around the world is because I absolutely love surrounding myself with people who exude the entrepreneurial spirit.

As children, we have the sense that “the world is our oyster,” so to speak, and that anything is possible.  Unfortunately, over time, many people lose this sense of wonder and adventure and the accompanying faith that anything is possible.  Entrepreneurs, however, never lose this open-minded outlook about opportunities and possibilities and we have a constant desire to make a unique mark on the world.  This is why I am continuously inspired by the entrepreneurs I meet in my travels across the globe and why I will continue to focus much of my effort on encouraging and supporting entrepreneurial enterprise in much of what I speak about and write about.

So, when I recently read a book called Entrepreneurial DNA written by Joe Abraham, Founder of the BOSI Performance Institute, and realized what a powerful tool it is for entrepreneurs, I couldn’t wait to share it.  I was so impressed by the content that I endorsed it as the ultimate roadmap to building a thriving business and life as an entrepreneur.  I would like to encourage entrepreneurs in every part of the world to read this book because I believe it offers tools to optimize your entrepreneurial business endeavors that you won’t find anywhere else.

Joe has outlined a breakthrough entrepreneurial profiling system called the BOSI system which empowers entrepreneurs to align their business to their unique strengths because, clearly, all entrepreneurs are not the same.  As the inside cover of Entrepreneurial DNA states:

Entrepreneurial DNA proves the simple but critical fact that not all entrepreneurs are cut from the same cloth.  After all, nobody would put Donald Trump, a multilevel marketer, and the owner of a local pizza parlor in the same category.  Everyone possesses unique entrepreneurial “DNA”–and discovering yours is the critical first step to success.

To help you build a successful business or optimize results within your current business, serial entrepreneur and business strategist Joe Abraham has developed the BOSI system–a simple, structured process for determining your own entrepreneurial tendencies, strengths, and growth areas.  With the BOSI system, you can create a strategic plan mapped to your entrepreneurial DNA that will improve all aspects of your business and leadership journey. (The) system provides four entrepreneurial categories that people fall into.  Which type of entrepreneur are you?

Builder:  Strategic, always looking for the upper hand
Talent: creating scalable business ventures

Opportunist:  Speculative, always in the right place at the right time
Talent: making money fast

Specialist: Focused, in it for the long term
Talent: providing exceptional client service

Innovator:  Inventive, with a desire to make an impact
Talent: creating game-changing products

If you are an entrepreneur, you owe it to yourself and your business to read this book–you’ll thank me later. 🙂

To learn more about Entrepreneurial DNA, CLICK HERE.

To order the book through Amazon, CLICK HERE.

To order the book through Barnes and Noble, CLICK HERE.

JT Foxx’s Key to Networking with Millionaires

In this video, I’m talking with my good friend JT Foxx about his ideas on making connections with the wealthy and how to effectively get them to take notice of your business.

JT has some great advice when it comes to the art of networking with extremely successful people who can often be very difficult to network and connect with, and I can say from my own observations of JT’s networking tactics that he certainly walks the walk and has proven time and again how effective his approach really is.

If you like what you hear in the video, be sure to check out JT’s website (www.MegaPartnering4.com) which offers all the details about JT’s upcoming October 2011 event Mega Partnering 4.  This event in Chicago is one of the top, large-scale networking events in the world and brings together some of the most successful people from across the globe to build relationships.

So, what do you think of JT’s ideas?  Have you had success networking with in-demand, successful, hard-to-connect-with people using JT’s tactics or other networking tactics?  I’d love to hear your comments . . .

“Tell To Win: Connect, Persuade, and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story”

Peter Guber, Chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment, has a powerful new book coming out on March 1st called Tell To Win.

This book is not only an extremely interesting read, it is also an important resource for networkers in every part of the world.  Peter is a master storyteller and, with this book, he teaches readers how to achieve success in business and life by connecting with people and engaging them on an emotional level through the power of stories.

I met Peter at one of his storytelling symposiums which he conducted in preparation for this very book and, I can assure you that if there is one person in the world with the expertise to teach others how to change lives through the power of stories, it’s Peter.  Tell To Win offers dynamic storytelling techniques that are greatly beneficial in a face-to-face networking setting. Below I have pasted an excerpt of Peter’s words, specifically discussing the importance of telling your story in a face-to-face environment.  If you find this material useful, which I have no doubt you will, I strongly encourage you to pick up a copy of Peter’s new bookLearning how to connect with others through storytelling is an ability that will continue to serve you well throughout your entire lifetime.  It is an invaluable skill that you will be endlessly grateful for obtaining and, as you can tell from Peter’s words below, he is the ultimate teacher.

The highest and best use for telling purposeful stories in the room, face-to-face, breathing the same air and reading each other’s micro-expressions–something you can’t do in any other medium.  In writing my new book, Tell To Win, I conversed with the foremost folks in technology–people like Chris Kemp, chief information officer at NASA Ames Research Center, Phil McKinney, the chief technology officer at Hewlett Packard, Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post, and many others–and asked them if digital or state-of-the-art technology could replace what I call state-of-the-heart technology.  Their response was an overwhelmingly consistent “not at this time.”  In fact, Arianna said it best when she asserted in front of one of my masters UCLA classes (I’ve been a professor at UCLA for over 30 years), that the more time we spend in front of screens, the more we crave the intimate in-person interactions where we tell our stories to realize our dreams.  And, she didn’t stop there!  She exhorted my students that if there’s something incredibly important upon which everything depends, you always want to be in the room.

You can’t yet duplicate the same effects of telling oral stories in the same room, breathing the same air, pressing the flesh.  However, many of the critical elements of telling purposeful stories work in other mediums.  Always motivation comes first which starts with you–your intention.  This authenticity must shine through.  The trick is not to try to be interesting, but to be interested–know what your audience is interested in and deliver what’s in it for them.  All good telling of stories has a goal–the action you want your listener to take.  Don’t hide it.  Interactively engage your listener, your audience, so it’s not a monologue, but a dialogue.  It is a conversation in which the telling becomes a “we” experience rather than a “me” experience.  A critical marker is the willingness of the teller to surrender proprietorship over the story so the listener can own it and viral market it as her own.  The story content is lurking everywhere–first person experience is best, but equally powerful is an observed event, a movie/book/artifact, or even a metaphor or analogy.

To learn more about Peter Guber and Tell To Win, please visit: http://www.peterguber.com/telltowin


International Networking Week 2011

Welcome to International Networking Week, 2011!

Take a few minutes to check out the video for International Networking Week® 2011, on YouTube!

The short, eight-minute video discusses the history and significance of this event which will be recognized across the globe February 7-11, 2011. It also explains a concept many networkers fail to recognize but which all networkers need to be aware of–the ‘networking disconnect’.

This is the fifth year for International Networking Week® and it is now recognized by many countries around the world, with thousands of events being held during the Week. One of the main goals of the week is to help businesspeople everywhere build their networking skills.

For additional information about International Networking Week, go to www.InternationalNetworkingWeek.com.

Also – you should know that this week is the birthday of www.Ecademy.com. Ecademy is my favorite online social media outlet for business. A big Happy Birthday to Penny and Thomas Power – the Founder and the Chairman for Ecademy!

Making Connections to Start Your Own Business

I recently got asked a really great question on Ask Entrepreneur: Where do I get connected with people who can help me open a business?

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 almost 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.

How to Make Networking Comfortable

Very few people argue with the value of networking, so why do people resist doing it? Aside from all the excuses–I don’t have time, I’m not a good networker, I don’t like to network–what’s the REAL reason people resist networking?  I was reading a book the other day called “Manifesting for Non-Gurus,” which was written by my friend Robert MacPhee (pictured at right) whom I’m in the Transformational Leadership Council with, and the book explains a concept which I think gets right to the core of this question–Comfort Zones.

The real reason most people do not network is because it makes them uncomfortable.

We’ve all heard about the concept of Comfort Zones before.  However, Robert explains it in a very unique way. He talks about how our resistance to doing something new often shows up as wanting to continue to do what is comfortable–even if it is not working well for usIn outlining his “Manifesting for Non-Gurus” approach, Robert explains that a comfort zone exists when our beliefs about who we are match the results we are getting. Think about it . . . if you consider yourself to be a great networker, do you show up at a networking meeting or event and present yourself differently than someone who thinks of himself as a poor networker?  Who is more comfortable?

Are you a great networker?

Hopefully you can answer this question with a highly-confident YES.  Unfortunately, most businesspeople would probably answer with a resounding NO.  Their image of themselves is of not being a great networker so, to remain comfortable, they will avoid networking, despite the fact that they know networking is valuable. Crazy, right?  Yet, we all know people who do this.

Fortunately, Robert explains that there is a very simple solution for anyone stuck in this kind of comfort zone.  It starts with a simple decision that part of who you are is a great networker. To declare that you love meeting new people, sharing what you do, and helping them in any way you can.  Start thinking about networking events as the valuable, exciting opportunities they are, instead of as dreaded situations that will pull you from your comfort zone.  This is the way successful networkers see themselves and perceive networking functions and that is a huge part of why they are successful networkers.

So, what about that voice in your head saying, “What about the evidence that seems to support the fact that I am not such a great networker?”  Well, according to Robert, that’s just your comfort zone crying out to reel you back in because the “I am a great networker” statement doesn’t match your current results.  If a “great networker” is who you want to be, the next step is to continue to declare that you are a great networker and “act as if” until the results you want start to show up!  This is the same thing you have done your whole life with any new skill you successfully learned.

Robert teaches a simple five step approach to making these kinds of changes more quickly and easily, getting out of our current comfort zones, trying new things and creating the lasting results we want.  I highly recommend his work.  Maybe we can get him to write “Networking for Non-Gurus” next . . . 😉

For more information about Robert and his work, please visit www.ManifestingMonth.com.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
1 2 3 4
   Follow Me

Get every new post delivered to your inbox