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.
Last night Beth and I were at a black-tie event together. We were milling around in the ballroom lobby with about 600 other guests, waiting for the grand doors to open, when Beth noticed a diminutive lady looking around as if she were lost.
“I think she needs some assistance,” she quietly said to me. When she got closer to us, Beth caught her eyes and smiled reassuringly.
“Excuse me,” she said breathlessly.
“How can I help you?” Beth asked her.
“Can you tell me, please, who is in charge of the event?”
Instead of simply pointing to the ballroom and telling her that the event organizer was inside preparing the room for the attendees, Beth shot a quick glance over her shoulder as if to say, “Just go with it,” to me, and gestured to her to follow us. The three of us started to move toward the closed doors.
It was then that I noticed she was wearing a press pass. A cameraman with a video camera and gear bag slung over his shoulder was trailing along behind her.
What was this?
We entered the ballroom and gave the large hall a quick look-over. No organizer. Understanding that it would not do to just leave her and her cameraman in the room, we invited her to come up to the very front. We showed her the table where the organizer could be found later on in the evening.
“I’m from NTDTV, a Chinese news affiliate out of New York,” she told us as we walked together to the front of the room. Now, it just so happened that my third book to be translated into Chinese, Masters of Sales, had been released the past week in the Chinese market. Beth simply could not resist the temptation to share that with her, as well as a friendly “nie-hou-ma,” to which she responded with great delight.
She then asked if it would be okay for her to interview me at the front of the room while we waited for the event organizer and the CEO of the event we were there to attend.
Hmmm, let’s see.
I paused for exactly a nanosecond before responding that it would be more than okay: “shiea-shiea,” Beth said, bowing slightly.
She spent the next 15 to 20 minutes interviewing me. We discussed networking tips, my new book, differences between American and Asian businesses, and a little bit about BNI. Please watch a segment of the interview below.
Therefore, it goes to show you that you just never know where that simple phrase: “How can I help you?” is going to lead. How have you used this phrase, and found that something fortuitous has happened?
In this video, I share with John Maxwell how BNI started with my personal need to build my business with referrals. I also share who are my mentors and the philosophy of Givers Gain. Finally, we discussed how you should make decisions based on the information you are provided WITHIN the context of your value system. Please click on the photo below to watch the video of my personal interview with John Maxell.
John Maxwell Interviews Ivan Misner on “Building Relationships”
Educating your networking group’s members about the type of referrals you want (and even the names of the individuals with whom you want to meet and develop relationships) is much more important to the success of your networking in a closed contact network than selling to the members. This demands a shift in how you see your networking partners and educating them about your business. They are not the clients! They are, in effect, your sales force! In order for any sales force to get out there and sell you effectively, they have to know who to sell you to and how to sell you.
People who say that networking played a role in their success spent an average of 6 1/2 hours a week networking and had half of their clients from their networking time. However, people who did not invest as much time networking also did not report as much reward.
Therefore, spend about 8-10 hours per week networking and do the right things to build the relationships first when networking.
Are you taking advantage of the holiday season when it comes to marketing your business? You should be! Festive posts really attract audiences who are feeling sentimental or those who are looking for some services specifically around the holidays.
In this video, I share with John Maxwell how I manage the “rainbow” of my day to attempt to have a “green day”. I also share with him my “secret to success” and my “secret to balance”. Please click on the photo below to watch the video of my personal interview with John Maxell.
John Maxwell Interviews Ivan Misner on the “Secret to Success”
People often ask me, “how can I stay in touch with people or get back in touch with people that I haven’t seen or spoken with recently?”
Start by making a commitment to improving this area. There’s a great Chinese proverb that I really like – “When’s the best time to plant an Oak tree? The answer is – 20 years ago. When’s the second best time – now!”
So, here are 4 strategies that will help you improve in this area. If you can’t do them all – do what works for you.
Sort through your list of people. You can’t stay in touch with everyone. Who do you want to make sure to stay connected with and why? It could be personal, it could be professional, but create a list that you want to focus on.
Use the system they use! It doesn’t have to be Facebook or LinkedIn – use Pinterest or other programs, Snapchat, What’s App – whatever they use. Each of my children uses different systems. If I want to connect with them – I need to go where they are. For my oldest daughter, it’s texting or a phone call. For my second daughter, it’s What’s App or texting. For my son, it’s an online game called Steam. I have some business associates who only reach out to me on Facebook or LinkedIn. Others are strictly email or a phone call. The key here – is to go where the people you want to talk to, hangout.
Use social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ or Twitter to your advantage by sharing news and reading updates without having to reach out to people on an individual basis. Social media is fantastic. Instead of starting your next call with, “What’s new?” you can jump to, “You cut off your hair!” “You have a new job!”
From time to time, use snail mail! Yes, OMG, send a handwritten letter or a card. It’s so “old school” and it’s almost guaranteed that someone will read it.
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.
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.
How many times have you seen an entrepreneur go to an event, meet people, and never talk to them again? Contacts are valuable, and your relationships are currency. Don’t fall into this networking pitfall. When it comes to your contacts, it is how well you know each other that counts, not how many contacts you have.
What is the best way for you to grow and utilize your relationships? Check out my latest video on my Networking for Success YouTube channel by clicking here, or by looking below.
As many of you know, I was given the fantastic opportunity to spend a few days with John Maxwell at his Leadership Conference in Orlando Florida last week. (You can read my initial reaction to winning the Leadership award here.)
John shared a story that I thought was a great networking lesson, and it’s something I want to share with all of you.
He began his story when he was a very young pastor in the 1970s. He wanted to learn and grow in his field and he decided that he would try to interview ten of the most successful pastors from across the country. Being a thoughtful man, John realized that their time was valuable and he wanted to pay for it-but at the time, he only made $4,200 a year in salary.
John reached out to the ten pastors he wanted to seek advice from and offered them $100 each for less than an hour of their time to help mentor him in his journey. $100 each doesn’t sound like a lot of money, but multiplied by ten people that equaled almost one quarter of his annual income! But John felt that it was important to show them that he didn’t want something for nothing and would truly value their mentorship.
He went on to explain that only two people took him up on his request. He met with the two pastors, asked his questions, and received great information and took copious notes. Before he left each of them, he asked if they knew any of the eight remaining people on his list. He needed a referral!
Both of them new many of the remaining pastors, so John asked if they would be kind enough to call some of the other eight and make a personal introduction. Both men happily did so. After a short time, John was able to meet with all ten pastors because of the introductions that these two pastors made.
John obtained fantastic insights which enabled him to achieve many of his goals as a young man, and he did it through referral networking.
There were many lessons to be learned in this story, but here’s some of the ones that I got out of it:
Don’t expect something for nothing. Asking for favors from people you don’t know, just doesn’t work well.
Be prepared. Have well-thought out questions.
Take notes and follow the advice.
Most importantly, he asked these individuals if they felt this was worth their time. It was only after they said yes, that he asked for an introduction to the rest of the people on the list.
This last one is an important example of the referral process. He showed up prepared, stuck to the time he promised, did a good job and THEN asked for a laser specific referral if, and only if, they felt that the meeting was worth their time. John was successful because he knew how to be a professional, make a good impression, and then, and only then, ask for the referral.
I consider myself a pretty humble guy; but when you win an award, it makes you feel even more gracious and grateful for the opportunities you’ve been given in life.
Last night, I was honored to be awarded the John C. Maxwell Leadership Award. The award was given to me at the Maxwell gala, held at the end of a three day training conference, The Certified Live Event. As I reflect on the night over the next few days, I’ll be able to write a longer blog about my experience on Monday. But for now, let me say that if there’s one emotion I can immediately convey, it’s gratitude. I absolutely couldn’t have gotten where I am in life if it weren’t for others supporting, guiding and recognizing me. Being recognized as an influential leader is something I only achieved by following the lead of those who came before me, those who taught me and those who believed in me. For that, and so much more, I am truly grateful.
For me personally, the best part of the award is being able to donate the $10,000 prize money to the BNI Foundation. I have such passion, as does my wife Beth, for helping children and giving them as many opportunities to succeed as possible. This donation will make a lasting impact on children’s lives, which to me, is the greatest award imaginable.