Have you ever wondered what it is you need to do in order to be successful? I have found that many people are looking for some mysterious and ever-elusive secret to success beyond what they already sense to be important. The truth is, there is no great mystery. In fact, very often “success is simply the uncommon application of common knowledge.”
When I was interviewing average business owners and entrepreneurs for my book, Masters of Success, I asked thousands of them what they felt the “secret” to success was. Everyone I interviewed or wrote about regarding the secret to success – from Buzz Aldrin to Erin Brockovich, from average businesspeople to undergraduate college students – gave me virtually the same answer. They generally told me things like: vision, goals, passion, persistence, and systems. So if we all know what it takes to be successful, why is it that we aren’t all as successful as we’d like to be?
Click on the graphic below, or click here, to see this video. Learn more about my definition of success.
A friend of mine once said, “If we could get every single business person in the world, every single entrepreneur, to play their part, we could get on top of most of the world’s problems.” That friend was Richard Branson, and I took his message about his Plan B Initiative.to heart. It made me think about what I could do through BNI to make an impact on the globe and sent me on an introspective journey about being a business owner and the responsibility we had to serve not only our customers but society as a whole.
What I came up with are four ways to help your business find direction and purpose in helping others, whether it be in your local area or in the global community.
Garage to Global
In this video, I discuss how businesses can give back to the community. This is a part of what I call the “Ivanisms Series”: all of my personal quotes and phrases and why they have worked for me. Therefore, please watch this video to understand what Richard Branson means.
Can Your Business Serve the Greater Good?
All of us are in business to make a profit. But if that’s the primary driving force in business, we become mercenaries to that process. I believe that I should serve a greater need than simply to make a profit. I believe that business can be honorable. It can make a difference in individual lives as well as communities.
Business can be honorable. It can be something that improves people’s lives as well as supports and helps local communities. It can do so, by not only helping to generate more business for one another, but by giving back to the community, mentoring others, immersing in a culture of shared learning, and by collaborating with others.
The BNI Foundation
When corporations have a vision bigger than their profit and loss statement, amazing things can happen. BNI, the world’s leading referral organization, is one such corporation. Started by Ivan and Beth Misner in 1998, the BNI Foundation has been supporting children and education in the United States and around the world by mobilizing resources to give kids everywhere a quality education. The focus of the BNI Foundation is to help the youth of our community to find the path to productive and successful lives. For us, the mechanism to help with this shift is by investing our time, treasure, and talent to assist in education where we can. http://bnifoundation.org/
What is Business Voices ™?
The BNI Foundation has a long, proud legacy of helping out where schools have needed extra funding for projects not provided for by school districts or state funding. A pivotal factor of our philanthropic work was the creation of the Business Voices™ initiative to provide even more to the schools which have with the greatest needs.
Our initiative pairs BNI members and concerned, engaged and motivated corporations, service clubs and community groups with schools and educational organizations. The goal is to help them find the resources they need to have maximum impact on the kids of our communities.
How intelligently collaborating with your competition can vastly improve your business.
While counter-intuitive, partnering with your competition may be among the best ways to grow your business. By intelligently creating a partnership with someone who you would otherwise work against, you can combine your client bases and maximize return on your investment. However, you never know what kind of positives can come from what may otherwise seem like a negative.
Watch this video
In this video, I discuss how to deal with competition in business. This is a part of what I call the “Ivanisms Series”, all of my personal quotes and phrases and why they have worked for me. Therefore, please watch this video to understand what Ivan means.
The value of collaborating with your competition
I was doing a seminar about how it is possible to increase your business by cooperating with your competitors.
A man sitting in the audience argued passionately about not consorting with the competition. We were having a pretty lively debate when an older member of the audience stood up to weigh in.
The story he told made a believer out of everyone else in the room:
I’ve been in the investment business my entire professional career. A few years ago, I was courting a company for an investment package that included retirement and more. It was huge — one of the biggest projects I had ever worked on. Spending weeks getting to know the client’s intricate needs and putting together a comprehensive package, the client told me they were going with someone else.
Therefore, I was just gobsmacked, completely shocked. After I caught my breath, I asked him who he had chosen. It turns out he was giving it to a competitor in his mid 20s. This kid had no experience and yet, here they were giving him this monster project. I felt like I had spent enough time with the client to ask him why he would choose this person over me and my package. He looked at me and said, “You want the honest-to-goodness truth? It’s my brother in law, and my wife will go crazy if I don’t give him the business. However, I do trust him, but I know he hasn’t got the experience you have.”
In my entire professional life, I had never done what I did next. In my area of business, it’s usually dog-eat-dog, but I called the kid and congratulated him. I told him I knew a lot about the company and if he ever needed anything, I was happy to help.
The kid’s voice literally jumped out of the phone. He said, “I’m from a wealthy family, but I really have no idea how to manage a project this big. I’m connected and I have four more deals just like this one, and I don’t know how I’m going to get it all put together. Could we partner up? In conclusion, I know I can get even more deals like these, but to manage it well, I could really use your help.”
We did just that: partnered up. And that kid is a rainmaker. We have worked on so many deals, all of them the same size or bigger than that original one I thought I lost. Therefore, I made more money than I had ever made before by calling up my competitor and offering goodwill and advice if he ever needed it.
Therefore, as you might suspect, the young man in my audience had a change of heart after hearing this story.
Will this happen every time you try to work with a competitor? Of course not. But it will never happen if you don’t reach out.
What are some effective ways you’ve been able to collaborate with competitors? Let us know in the comments below.
My solution on how to deal with competitors is simple: Don’t pay attention to competitors. Success in business is about constantly improving your product or service, team, and culture. If you focus on these aspects, you’ll improve your position in the marketplace.
Focus on the fundamentals of your business. Keep up with metrics and constantly share your organization’s core values. These are a few ways that you can improve your business. But whatever you do, don’t obsess over what competitors are saying about you. If you keep bettering your own business, you’ll have no need to fear your competitors.
“The competitor to be feared is one who never bothers about you at all, but goes on making his own business better all the time.” – Henry Ford
Watch this video
In this video, I discuss how to deal with competition in business. This is a part of what I call the “Ivanisms Series”, all of my personal quotes and phrases and why they have worked for me. Please watch this video to understand what Ivan means.
In business are you a puppy with a ball or a dog with a bone?
The lesson here is I never give up.
I am absolutely a dog with a bone. I may not be the smartest man in a room or I may not be the most talented man in a room, but I am almost always the most determined man in a room.
Watch this video
When you are in business, you need to be like a dog with a bone. This is a part of what I call the “Ivanisms Series”, all of my personal quotes and phrases and why they have worked for me. Please watch this video to understand what Ivan means.
Excellence is not a single act. It’s a habit.
If you want to be successful, think things through and then act on that like a dog with a bone. Often times, the more successful you are, the more failures you’ve had. If you believe in your objective, keep going. One of the reasons for my success is my persistence, tenacity, and doggedness in dealing with challenges. There are things that I have let go, but when I feel certain when I have great information and feel confident in my vision and my goals, then I am a dog with a bone in my focus in not giving up.
Where is your cell phone right now? For many of you, you’re reading this blog post on it. For those who aren’t, it’s probably within arm’s reach. However, we are always connected to our jobs, our families, our outside lives. All thanks to that little ringing device we carry in our pockets and bags. Therefore, this state of hyperconnectivity leaves us often dividing our focus. Rarely are we 100 percent paying attention to any given thing.
Check out this week’s video blog by clicking on the graphic below, or clicking here, to hear what I have to say about this rising phenomenon.
How many times have you been at a networking function and realized that half of the people there are paying more attention to their mobile devices. Therefore, they are not paying attention to the other attendees? Worse, have you yourself been guilty of staying so glued to your phone or tablet that you have missed the opportunity to make a powerful connection with the person standing right in front of you?
Continuous Partial Attention
We are living in a world that is more connected than ever. There are some definite pitfalls in our hyperconnected world as it intersects with our business relationships and our networking. One of these pitfalls is that hyperconnectivity can lead to a state of what I call ‘continuous partial attention.’
In this video, I introduce the concept of ‘continuous partial attention’. I also discuss the risks and repercussions which accompany it. Watch the video now to learn how to avoid falling into a state of continuous partial attention and prevent it from wreaking havoc on your productivity at work and your ability to achieve your goals.
If you have any stories about how falling victim to a state of continuous partial attention has affected you or someone you know, I’d love for you to share your experience in the comments below. Thanks!
In this video, I share the story of the philosophy of BNI: Givers Gain®. Understanding an important philosophy based on the law of reciprocity can make your networking far more powerful, but only when self applied.
Click on the graphic above, or click here, to see the video!
If you bring people into your network who embrace your core value, you will create an amazing network. Incorporating the philosophy of Givers Gain ® into my organization was one of the things that have really set BNI aside from the other networking groups. We have inculcated this core value into the fabric of BNI. Therefore, “Givers Gain ®” became part of the very DNA of the organization. That is incredibly special.
Givers Gain® is a philosophy based on the law of reciprocity. In the context of networking groups, people who adopt this philosophy dedicate themselves to giving business to their fellow networkers rather than making their foremost concern getting business for themselves. In doing so, other people naturally become eager to repay their kindness by sending them business in return.
This is another classic video in the “Ivanism” Garage to Global series, hosted by Entrepreneur.com. I expand on common phrases I’ve used over the years. How can they apply to your business and referral networking style? Today I discuss the Ivanism, Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast
Culture is a blend of attitude, beliefs, mission, philosophy and momentum. As a result, culture helps to create and sustain a successful brand. The way people interact with one another and the overall growth of your company is affected by culture. What creates organizational culture? Culture is key in an organization for long-term success. It is the most important thing in an organization and it applies at all levels, from the top of the organization all the way down. Rules, regulations, and operating standards are important, of course, because you have to have systems in place to guide activities. But culture is the factor that stands above all others.
Strategy is often talked about in business schools, in fact it’s a primary focus. Culture however, is less understood. Culture involves a variety of contributing factors including a blend of attitudes, beliefs, mission, philosophy, and momentum that help to create and sustain a successful brand. It represents the vision, norms, symbols, beliefs, behaviors, and traditions that are taught to new members of an organization. Organizational culture affects the way people within an organization interact with one another and the people they serve.
There are many factors that go into building an organizational culture. Each successful company has a different combination of factors that makes their culture successful.
The factors that go into building the organizational culture and will make your company successful are…
TRADITIONS AND CORE VALUES
Please watch my video to learn more about these factors and share your comments below.
This is the second classic video in the “Ivanism” Garage to Global series, hosted by Entrepreneur.com. I expand on common phrases I’ve used over the years. How can they apply to your business and referral networking style? Today I discuss the Ivanism, “Working in Your Flame vs Your Wax“
In this classic video, I explain why I equate the phrase ‘working in your flame’ with being in business and loving what you’re doing, and the phrase ‘working in your wax’ with being in business and really not liking or enjoying what you’re doing.
Are you flame or wax happy? That sounds like a bizarre question–but it’s not.
When you’re working in your wax and when you’re working in your flame are two very different things, and can affect you in different ways. If you’re flame happy, you’re excited, motivated and ready to pursue your ambitions. But what happens when are wax happy, and simply complacent with working on things that you aren’t passionate about?
The video below talks about this idea and ways you can make sure you’re always flame happy.
Watch the video now to learn how to take small yet significant steps in your journey toward truly loving what you do for a living! What does working in your flame mean for you? What is it you do in your chosen profession that you truly love? Likewise, what is it you do that causes you to work in your wax and how might you delegate those tasks to another employee who might actually enjoy those same tasks? I’d love to get your feedback on this–thanks!
In this classic video, I talk about productivity and setting priorities. This Ivanism, “If you want to scale a business, do six things a thousand times; not a thousand things six times“, is one of my quotes that I’m asked to talk about a lot and I thought I’d post this video again.
What I often find is that business people look for these bright, shiny object,” he says. “Oh look at this, this is a great idea, let’s try this, let’s try that… no. Do you want to be successful? You have to do things over and over and over again, consistently.
“We are what we do, repeatedly. Therefore excellence is not a single act — it’s a habit.”
The following video is classic rebroadcast of my “Ivanism” Garage to Global series, hosted by Entrepreneur.com, where I expand on catch phrases I have used frequently over the years. Originally published on May 31, 2016.
I know, it’s a strange concept: “Ignorance on fire is better than knowledge on ice.” Most people read that statement and think, someone who’s excited but ignorant can do more harm than good. I’m here to tell you that the opposite of your intuition is true. That’s right–and you’ll see why below.
Ignorance on fire
One thing I have learned over the last 30 years is I can teach people how to do something.
I can teach them how to network.
I can’t teach them to have a good attitude.
I can’t teach them to have a fire in your belly.
I don’t have time to send them back to mom to get retrained.
The only thing better than ignorance on fire is knowledge on fire. So as you develop skills and you develop knowledge, don’t lose that fire. Hang on to that.
I would rather have a member in BNI who really doesn’t know how to network but they are committed versus a member who says, “Yeah, I know how to do this,” but they are not committed. Ignorance on fire is better than knowledge on ice. The only thing better than that is knowledge on fire.