Relationships Archives - Dr. Ivan Misner®

## 30th Wedding Anniversary Thoughts

Yesterday my wife, Elisabeth, and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary together in the Champagne region of France.  We just left a BNI Conference in France and wanted to take a couple of days to celebrate alone.

This gave me time to reflect on the many ways she has been such an amazing life partner and I wrote down some of the things that I’ve said about her over these many years. She is the greatest referral of my lifetime.

#### Here are just a few 30th wedding anniversary thoughts:

• You bring color to my black & white world.
•  I make the living and you make the living worthwhile.
•  It’s hard being me – without you.
•  You are always the most beautiful woman in a room.
•  I am a compass and you are magnetic north. I will gravitate to you wherever you are.

She is my bride of 30 years. I wish her another 30 years together.

## Are We Now Connected to 5.6 Billion People Worldwide?

Here’s an interesting question:

“Hi Ivan – How are you? With BNI at 250,000 members in 70+ countries according to Dunbar we are all 1 degree of social connection from 38 million people, and 2 degrees from 5.6 Billion people (or about 3/4 of the worlds population). Dunbar says 150 people each so 250,000 x 150 x 150 = 5.6 billion people. Is this correct?”

I received this question in my inbox and it is a very reasonable “Ask Ivan” question.  From a purely mathematical perspective it sounds true.  However, the short answer is, “sorry, no.”

### The idea that 5.6 billion people are ALL connected by six people is a myth.

Here’s why.  The Dunbar Number is a sociological equation not a pure mathematical equation.  For example, if you use pure math you must assume that there is no overlap between the 150 people you know and the 150 people I know.  However, we both have many of the same 150 people in our own personal sphere (hence the sociological equation vs. a pure mathematical equation). In addition, don’t forget that Stanley Milgram’s “Six Degrees” is actually a fallacy.  Check out this short video as to why:

https://ivanmisner.com/santa-claus-easter-bunny-six-degrees-separation/

Sorry.  I don’t mean to be a “kill-joy.”  It was a good question.  Maybe the best question I’ve had in a long time.  I like the way you think. I highly recommend for everyone to please continue to send me your questions and I will attempt to answer as many as possible.

## Relationships Are Currency

How can you deepen the relationships with people to get to the point where they will be be willing to help you out in the future? Here are four quick steps about relationship currency to get you moving in the right direction.

### Social capital

Social capital is the international currency of networking, especially business networking. If you take as much care in raising and investing your social capital as you do your financial capital, you’ll find that the benefits that flow from these intangible investments will not only be rewarding in themselves, but they will multiply your material returns many times over.

How many times have you seen an entrepreneur, maybe even yourself, go to a networking event, meet a lot of good people, then leave and never talk to them again, right? It probably happens too often. Not because the entrepreneur doesn’t like them; it’s really because they haven’t had system to connect. New contacts are really where future business is often born. It’s meeting those new people and getting into visibility that leads to the rest of your business.

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.

Relationships are part of the fabric of the development of your social capital. You must keep investing in the relationship if you ever expect to make a withdrawal.

## Tomorrow is the Unveiling of Ivan’s Inner Circle

Ivan’s Inner Circle is addressing both of these pain points because I will be your mentor. I will teach everything I have learned over the past 30+ years in networking and referral generation, and our technology partner at Synduit will become the only marketing software you need to build and implement your marketing plan for the entire year. I have not been this excited in years because the impact that all of us will produce together will be seismic in the world, and it will also take your franchise to the next level while supporting all of your members as well.

The more I think about this launch, the more I realize how vital this program is to the success of small business owners and franchisers. Networking, referral generation, and marketing have become somewhat of a lost art and nearly every marketing software that I have ever seen is too complicated for the everyday user.

I am ready to share Ivan’s Inner Circle with you and anyone else you decide to invite during our official unveiling tomorrow – Tuesday, March 26 at 12 pm ET (9 am PT).

If you have not done so, please make sure to register here: https://tribe.synduit.com/IvanInnerCircle0001

## Be a Part of my Inner Circle

Networking, referral generation, and emotional intelligence still aren’t taught in colleges and universities and nearly every marketing software system that I have ever seen is too complicated for the everyday user. For the past decade I have been thinking about building an environment where I could easily share the top lessons and skills I have acquired on networking, referral marketing, time management, and scaling a company with a select inner circle.  I am pleased to say that I found the perfect partner to make these lessons an absolute game-changer for business people.

#### Ivan’s Inner Circle

I am really excited, because after 10-years of contemplating this idea, my friends at Synduit have developed a program they call “Ivan’s Inner Circle” which will officially launch on Tuesday, March 26 at 12 pm ET (9 am PT) during a FREE live webinar and Q&A.

I will be your mentor. I will teach everything I have learned over the past 30+ years in networking and referral generation. Our technology partner will become the only marketing software you need to build and implement your marketing plan for the entire year. Allow me to mentor you on networking, referral generation, and marketing with the simplest marketing software for your business that you will ever find.

The first webinar topic is: “Who’s in Your Network?”  It is a spin on the content from Who’s in Your Room? but it is specifically aimed at BNI members and networking. Please invite other business people you know to this experience too.

I invite you to please join me by registering here: https://tribe.synduit.com/IvanInnerCircle0001

I have not been this excited in a long time, and I am eager for you to take part in this monumental launch of “Ivan’s Inner Circle”.

## Collaborating Instead of Competing – by Paolo Mariola

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

Submitted by Paolo Mariola

National Director – BNI Italia

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

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

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

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

Wishing everyone a fantastic International Networking Week 2019!

Paolo Mariola National Director – BNI Italia

## Improve Your Life by Learning How to Say No

Sometimes people come knocking at your door because they want something from you. However, you either don’t want to work with them or that project doesn’t resonate with you or your values. Other times, you may be dealing with people already in your room, and we feel this is an important aspect of our message. Here are seven ways you can say no and not come across like a jerk (or worse):

• If I say yes, I’m afraid I’d let you down. A very effective way to tell someone no is to tell them you believe you’d let them down if you do what they are asking. It might be because you don’t have the bandwidth, the knowledge, or the expertise to do what they are asking; but, in any case, you’re not the person to help make this idea a success, and you don’t want to disappoint them. This type of response not only gets you off the hook but also affirms your work ethic and shows you want the person and their project to succeed.
• Know the difference between an opportunity and a distraction. Recognizing this distinction begins by knowing your own personal or professional mission. If you know your purpose/expertise/mission, then you can say no when someone comes to you with something that is a distraction to that mission. This strategy can be particularly helpful for projects that perhaps interest you in theory but don’t align with your goals and mission in practice, right now. One of the best ways to apply this concept is to use the technique below.
• Refer them to someone more qualified. When we say no to someone, we always try to refer them to someone who is more qualified or more suited to help that person. We also try to refer them to someone whose mission is more in alignment with their project. Just because you can do something doesn’t necessarily mean you should if it’s not truly your area of expertise.
• I don’t do that. Sometimes the request and response can be very simple. For example, when someone tries to convince Ivan to have a piece of cake or pie, he simply says, “Thanks, but I don’t eat processed sugar.” When they say something like, “Oh, just a bite,” he has no problem telling them they should feel free to have his bite—because he doesn’t eat sugar.
• Don’t “Seinfeld” it. One of the really funny things on the old TV series Seinfeld was how the characters would go off on some crazy, complicated subterfuge or ruse and end up getting in more trouble than if they had just been candid to start with. Be polite, but be honest and direct.
• Propose something else. If you are unable to do something that you’re being asked to do, offer them something else instead. If you are a restaurant owner, maybe you can’t afford to cater that 5K charity race for free, but maybe you can afford to donate several gift certificates for the charity to raffle. By proposing something else, you can still build a relationship.
• When you say it, mean it! Be a broken record. Sometimes people don’t take no for an answer. Try to be polite, smile, and repeat what you said before. Don’t be surprised if you have to repeat yourself multiple times before people understand you meant what you said.

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

The Kindle edition of “Who’s in Your Room” is available for a limited time for only \$1. Download it while the Cyber Monday special lasts.
https://tinyurl.com/WhosInYourRoomKindle

## Are the People Trying to Enter Your Room Engines or Anchors?

Over the years I’ve recognized that there are some people who are positive and supportive individuals that I really want to be around.  They are solutions focused relating to most problems and are almost always willing to talk through challenges with a positive end in mind.  These people are engines.  They help me be my best self and they motivate me to drive forward.

I’ve also noticed, as I’m sure you have, that there are some people who complain as though it were an Olympic event (for the record – it’s not!).  They tend to be negative, argumentative, and obsessed with problems.  I’ve learned not to spend much time with these people because they focus on all the things that are wrong relating to most challenges.   If all someone does is focus on problems – they become an expert on problems and not on the solutions.   These people are anchors, they hold me back and weigh me down.

### Who do you surround yourself with: engines or anchors?

This is an important question for everyone.  It’s particularly important if you are trying to build a powerful personal network of people around you.  Is your network full of people who are engines helping you go to the next level in your life or your career?  Or, are they anchors weighing you down with the plethora of issues, problems, and complaints? Do they hold you back, or do they drive you forward?

The funny thing here is that no-one thinks they’re an anchor.  No one!  Of course, they’ll tell you that they are an engine – they just do not like the direction you are going and that’s why they come across the way they do.  For the record – they’re an anchor – with a motor attached. My advice is to call for “all hands on deck,” cut loose the anchors in your life, partner up with your fellow engines and go full-speed ahead.

### Doorman

This is where your Doorman comes in. Your Doorman is looking for engines, people helping you go to the next level in your life. Your Doorman should forbid entrance to the anchors, people weighing you down with a plethora of issues, problems, and complaints.

This is just a little of the content from my new book, “Who’s in Your Room? The Secret to Creating Your Best Life.”  Check out the book here: https://tinyurl.com/WhosInYourRoom.

## The Secret to Creating Your Best Life is to Know How to Manage Who’s in Your Room

Do you love the life that you created? Learn how to live your best life, embrace happiness, and discover how to manage “Who’s in Your Room”.

This video will give you a good overview of what the book is about. Therefore, please watch this video at creating your best life

### Live your life to the best by learning how to manage the best room to live in

• is your room too loud?
• is your room full of drama?
• is your room full of angry people?
• is your room full of weird people?
Do you feel lost without people who can provide friendship and advice?
The solution is to take control of your room and take control of your life.
X
The quality of your life depends on the people in your life. First, learn the secret to creating your best life by managing “Who’s in Your Room.” Therefore, change your life and click on this link: https://tinyurl.com/WhosInYourRoom

Learn how to live your best life, embrace happiness, and discover “Who’s in Your Room”.

This 2 ½ minute video will give you a good overview of what the book is about. Therefore, please watch this video at https://tinyurl.com/CreateYourBestLife

### Live Your Life to The Best

This is what Jack Canfield says about this book: “Who’s in Your Room is one of the most powerful personal-development books you will ever read.  It has changed my life and it will change yours.”
The quality of your life depends on the people in your life. First, learn the secret to creating your best life by managing “Who’s in Your Room.” Therefore, change your life and click on this link: https://tinyurl.com/WhosInYourRoom

## Quality Truly is King in Networking

Quantity is important, but networking is not so much a numbers game as a people puzzle, one that works by making connections between other people. You need to have a wide set of contacts, but your connections need to go deep. It’s not just who you know, but how well you know them. If you know your connections well enough to be able to call and ask for a favor–and get it–that is a powerful network. Quantity is good, but quality truly 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.

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.

## How long does it take for people to receive referrals from their network?

From my experience, strong referral relationships are a lot like building close personal friendships. It takes time for people to become close enough to receive referrals from their network. Facebook has redefined what a “friend” is, but I’m talking about truly close friendships with people. In a study published in 2018 by the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, it was found that it takes about 50 hours of interaction to move from being an acquaintance to becoming a “casual friend.” It takes a total of 90 hours to be become “real friends,” and a total of 200 hours to become “close friends.” According to the study, “friendship status was examined as a function of hours together, shared activities and everyday talk.”

#### So, how long does it take for people to build a close relationship where they trust you enough to give you regular referrals?

So, you want referrals and you want them now?  Well, you can’t have them. Unless you’ve built meaningful relationships with your referral partners first. Well, it takes somewhere between 90 and 200 hours for people to receive referrals from their network.

I know that 90 – 200 hours sounds like a lot but that matches up almost perfectly with what I’ve seen in BNI. When BNI members hit the 90-hour mark of participation they almost always begin receiving more and more referrals. Based on an independent study published in 2012 for BNI, when those same individuals cross the 200-hour mark, they generate an average of over five times the number of referrals they did in their first year! Yes, you read that right: more than 500% more referrals when they have built strong friendships with their referral partners.

#### The Steps You Should Take If You Want to Build Business Off Referrals

Ask yourself the following four questions until you have attained success and the answers become obvious.

2. Am I regularly making stimulating, educational presentations to my fellow networkers about the value I provide to my clients?

3. Am I doing business with others in my network so I can give them dynamic testimonials and steer business to them in hopes they will return the favor?

4. Am I meeting regularly with my networking colleagues to learn about their businesses so I can confidently refer my contacts to them?

If you’re following these simple tactics, then you are well along the road to getting all the referrals from others’ networks that you deserve. Building a referral-based business is all about building a powerful, personal network. If your network is a mile wide and an inch deep, you will never get the kind of referrals that will make a difference for your business. This means that you have to go deep in building a number of strong relationships.

The best way to speed up the process is to actually spend time in the process of developing relationships with the people you are networking with. Networking truly is more about farming than it is about hunting. It is about building relationships and friendships with other business professionals. Remember, it takes time to build friendships.

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