Ivan Misner, Author at Dr. Ivan Misner®

Don’t Write Off 2020

Don’t completely write off 2020 and erase the year from your memory banks. There are many things we can learn from last year. Instead, recognize the things that happened and approach things differently in the new year. In this video, I share what I recognized from 2020 that has become valuable takeaways for me

Do not regret what you did in 2020. Instead, consider what you learned from last year and what your positive takeaways are from that experience. As you look back over the past year, recognize why things happened and approach things differently in the new year. You will be a better person for it.

Stories

We All Tell Stories

Today’s guest blog is an extract from “The Introvert’s Edge to Networking”, by Matthew Pollard about the transformative power of stories. Matthew is the founder and CEO of Rapid Growth, LLC. He is a good friend who has shared much of my content on his platform. I thought you might enjoy some of Matthew’s great material.

Bethany and Shan Jenkins were luxury custom home builders. They worked with people who wanted that “crown jewel,” the $3–$10 million home that blew you away. While networking, they’d meet people who wanted a home like this, but would say, “We’re looking for a designer now; we’ll reach out to you when we’re looking for a builder.” Or, “We have a builder we like already; we’re just looking for a designer to get it drafted.” When they’d try to network with realtors, the response was generally, “We already have a builder we recommend.”

But Jenkins Custom Homes isn’t just a builder—it’s a design-build firm. The distinction is important. When the design and build are done by separate firms, the two sides rarely communicate well with each other, leading to last-minute chaos. The stress can take its toll on a marriage, leave customers with a house they resent, and even turn a dream home into a nightmare. That’s why it’s so important to work with a design-build company who knows what the extras cost and how to design their client’s dream home within budget.

The Jenkins team had a problem communicating this. Bethany felt they came off sounding as though they were bad-mouthing the competition—or trying to scare prospects into giving Jenkins their business. I told Bethany we could create a system for her that leveraged her natural introverted strengths. She asked, “How do I not sound salesy when people say, ‘I’ve already got a relationship with a designer; I’m just looking for a builder’—or vice versa?” “Just tell them stories,” I said. “For example, have you ever had a prospect come to you with a designer’s plans, only to inform them that the design didn’t fit their budget?”

Stories Sell

Bethany told me about Megan, who came to their office, explained what she wanted, then handed over her designer’s plans. The discussion went well, so to conclude the meeting, Shan said, “Great, let us take a look over your plans in more detail and we’ll get back to you on a fixed price.”

Megan replied, quite anxiously, “Can you just give me a ballpark figure now?” Normally, it takes time to calculate all the costs correctly. But Megan was quite insistent. So, Shan gave her a rough guesstimate. Megan burst into tears. She told them that she had informed her designer what her budget was. But after getting the plans, she’d gone to four different builders whose prices were double what she’d budgeted. Megan had worked with her designer for two years to plan the home of her dreams . . . and now five builders had told her there was no way she could afford it. She was either going to have to cancel building her home or spend more money to design a lesser home, always knowing it wasn’t what she really wanted. “How could this happen?” she cried.

I said to Bethany, “As unfortunate as poor Megan’s situation is, it’s a perfect story for showing—not telling—people why working with a designer and builder separately is so risky.” Today, when networking, if someone says, “I’ve already got a relationship with a designer, I’m just looking for a builder,” Bethany simply responds, “Congratulations on starting the process toward your dream home. What a huge milestone. If you’ve already locked in with a designer you’re happy with, excellent. However, has anyone told you about going the designer-then-builder path versus the design-build path, and why it matters so much?”

Many look puzzled and say, “No, what’s that?” Bethany continues: “Well, the major difference is—actually, you know what? Let me give you an example. See, when Megan came to us . . .” Bethany then wraps it up with: “So, of course, I’m not saying if you design and build separately this will happen to you, and I really hope it doesn’t. However, regardless of whether you use us or another design-build option, I strongly suggest you explore the possibility.”

When they do, who do you think they’ll see as the only logical choice? Isn’t that so much easier than self-promotion or feeling like you’re coming across as instilling fear? A simple story neatly sidesteps all that. You’re not expressly telling them they’re doing it wrong, so it doesn’t come across as judgmental. You’re not lecturing. You’re not even saying they should hire you or that their way won’t work. Megan’s story served as a way to educate prospects on the risks while inspiring interest in a different solution. It showed that Bethany understood her listeners, their fears, and how to avoid them.

Megan’s story and two other stories catapulted Jenkins Custom Homes from an annual turnover of $6 million after almost twenty years of operation, to more than $18 million the following year. Moreover, it took an introvert from hating the idea of selling and networking to loving it and dominating her industry! That’s the transformative power of stories.

The Introvert’s Edge to Networking

Matthew Pollard’s new book, The Introvert’s Edge to Networking, is available now.

Download the first chapter free here and check it out for yourself.

Purchase your copy of The Introvert’s Edge to Networking today.

When you purchase, Matthew will also give you free instant access to over $700 worth of bonuses, including The Official Introvert’s Edge Step-By-Step Implementation Training and a personal invitation to his private Facebook community of like-minded introverts.

To claim your bonuses, sign up here with your name, email and order confirmation number.

necklace

The Necklace

As many of you know, my wife passed away a few months ago.  I’ve wrestled with sharing the necklace story because it is a bit out there for a left-brain business guy, but friends have suggested that I should share it, so here it is.

After Elisabeth passed away, all my children came over for a private memorial at our house. We gathered around her Bagua Circle (pictured here).  Elisabeth loved to do Tai Chi and Qigong (Chi Gong) in the circle with nature all around her.

That evening, I brought my two daughters and daughter-in-love (as Elisabeth called our daughter-in-law) up to her closet and I gave them some of her jewelry to remember her.

I told them that I would eventually give them most all her pieces except for two that I wanted to keep; her wedding ring and a necklace.  The necklace was a heart with a lock and key that she often wore.  We looked everywhere for the necklace – her jewelry drawers, the safe, everywhere.  But we couldn’t find it.  I was distraught because this necklace had a lot of sentimental value.  I bought it for her on a long romantic weekend trip to New Orleans and we both loved this piece a great deal.  Ashley, my eldest daughter, said that sometimes women drop a piece of jewelry in their purse and so we went through every purse she had.  (OK, so can I just say – OMG, I had no idea she had so many purses!!!!). We did find some jewelry but not the one I wanted so badly.  I was distraught because the necklace held so many happy memories.

The Necklace Dream

After the family left, I went to bed.  That night, I had the first dream about Elisabeth since her passing.  I had a very vivid dream about hands (that looked like Elisabeth’s) holding up a small pocketbook to my face and opening it up.  I couldn’t see anything else and I woke up and wrote the dream down.

A couple of weeks later, my daughter, Dorian (AKA Cassandra) came over for Thanksgiving Dinner (an American tradition).  While she was there, she asked if she could look through some bags that were in our pantry that had a lot of Elisabeth’s things in them.  She was looking for a Switch game that they both played together.  Dorian couldn’t visit Elisabeth’s island on the game without permission and she wanted to do that.  I told her to feel free to go through the bags and if she happened to find the necklace to let me know.  She sat on the floor and started going through everything.  I stood next to Dorian wondering if I should tell her about the dream I had.  It was so “out there” for me that I thought she would think I was losing it.  However, I felt compelled to tell her and so I shared the dream.

Just as I finished telling her about the dream, I looked down at her and she opened a small pocketbook and held it up to my face – “does it look like this?” she said as she opened the pocketbook and pulled out the necklace.  And there was the pocketbook exactly like in the dream I had.  I realized that it wasn’t Elisabeth’s hands in my dream, it was our daughter’s hands, and it was held up to my face just as in the dream except in her other hand was the necklace.

The fact that I shared the dream with her just as she found the pocketbook and necklace at the same moment was surreal.  We laughed, we cried, and we were both dumbfounded.

No one really “knows” what happens after we pass on – but today more than ever, I believe our loved ones can come back to us in mysterious ways with messages.

I have no answers – only my experience.  And that experience was stunning.

Have you ever lost a loved one and felt that they somehow spoke to you afterward?  If so, tell me about it here.

competitors

Collaborating with Your Competitors Can Improve Your Business

During my years as a management consultant, I would regularly participate in management organization “hubs” made up of other consultants, many of whom could be considered my direct competitors. However, each of us also had specializations in addition to our general management skills. Someone would have much stronger skills in reading a financial statement; another would be a technology guru; someone else would be a true master of closing large sales.

Depending on the needs of the client, I could turn to one of these competitors for assistance on particular projects with my clients, and they could also pull me in at times to help with theirs. We had a clear delineation and understanding of whose client it ultimately was, but we all became better providers of knowledge for our clients by occasionally using this collaborative approach.

I developed this concept in my book, The World’s Best Known Marketing Secret. For my management consulting approach with my clients, I was the “hub” who brought in other professionals with specific talents as needed. This approach made me a better consultant than I could be on my own.

I was doing a seminar many years ago on networking and was talking about the value of collaborating with your competition from time to time, and how it is actually possible to increase your business by collaborating and cooperating with people who might be your competitors.

A man in his early 20s sitting in the audience raised his hand and argued passionately about how he didn’t think it was a good idea to consort 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.

It is a good idea to consort with your competitors

I’ve been in the investment business my entire professional career. A few years ago, I was courting a company for a gigantic investment package that included retirement, investments, insurance, and more. It was huge — one of the biggest projects I had ever worked on. I spent weeks getting to know the client’s intricate needs and putting together a comprehensive package. I was so close to closing the deal, but literally days before I thought it would close, the client told me they were going with someone else.

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. I do trust him, but I know he hasn’t got the experience you have.”

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? 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. 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.

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.

36

Celebrating 36 Years of BNI

Today, on January 8th, Business Network International® celebrates 36 years of helping people “Change the Way the World Does Business”. We are celebrating BNI’s 36th Anniversary today with the theme, “36 Years of Growth”. Please watch the video below to hear my announcement about the several incredible growth milestones BNI® achieved in 2020.

BNI’s 36th Anniversary Video

“36 Years of Growth”

36 Years of Consecutive Growth

To celebrate our 36th anniversary as a company, I thought I would share our growth chart for the last 36 years. Few companies can say they have had 36 years of back to back growth. It is amazing that BNI was still able to grow during a year with a global pandemic. I love what BNI is doing for members and I love what Graham is doing with this company.

 

275,000 Global BNI Members

Restart the World

On September 15, 2020, BNI launched the “Restart the World” initiative. The goal is to help local, national, and global businesses worldwide get back on their path to growth. Since its launch, over 40,000 businesses have joined a BNI chapter and contributed to the boosting of our BNI member count to over 275,000 members worldwide

 

$16.3 Billion of New Business Revenue

During 2020, the craziest year on record, our BNI Members helped their fellow BNI Members globally to remain in business during the pandemic. In 2020, BNI chapter members passed over 11.5 million referrals among the 275,000 BNI Members worldwide. These 11,500,000 referrals resulted in generating globally over $16.3 Billion of business revenue.

 

 

Over 10,000 BNI Chapters Worldwide

In mid-1986, I estimated that BNI could have 10,000 chapters someday. I predicted that it would take at least 75 years to hit that 10 K milestone, but I knew it was possible. Well, I am proud to announce that at the end of 2020, BNI officially crossed over 10,000 chapters worldwide. We did it in half the time I thought possible.

 

Today, now more than ever, you need your network and you need to be networking with them.  You need a team of people who will be there to help you during difficult times.  During 2020, many people became frozen by their fear.  However,  I also saw many people became focused by their fear.  They were focusing on surviving and thriving. That’s what happened to many of our BNI members. The truth is, “BNI is a beacon of hope in a sea of fear”.

BNI is not only a great way to get business – it’s an even better way to do business because we are doing business within our principal core value of Givers Gain®.  This is more than a phrase to me.  It’s a way of living one’s life.  Givers Gain is a perspective to view and interact with the world.  It is an attitude, not an expectation, and when it’s applied properly, it will change your life and when it changes enough lives, it will change the world.

giving

Giving is Transformational

The world can be a dark and contentious place. Illness, famine, poverty, hostility, and desperation are all around us. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The world can be a better place. We can make a choice — a choice to be a voice of change, a change that can transform the world we live in. Entrepreneurs are well-positioned to help make that change. Giving is an idea that proclaims we can be something bigger than ourselves. It’s a reaffirmation that our lives have significant meaning and that, through the community, we can be our best selves.

Years ago, I implemented a phrase into the fabric of the core values of my company. That simple, two-word phrase, Givers Gain®, was a game-changer in giving people a different framework relating to the way they network with others. For people who get it, this philosophy unlocks a whole new world of meaning and opportunity. So, our job is to help people “get it”. More importantly, we can be intentional about helping people reach that place.

The Science of Giving

In 2010, Greater Good Magazine wrote that the National Institutes of Health found that when people give to others, “it activates regions of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection, and trust, creating a ‘warm glow’ effect. Scientists also believe that altruistic behavior releases endorphins in the brain, producing a positive feeling known as the helper’s high”.

Researchers at the University of California at Berkley found that people who volunteered to multiple organizations were “44 percent less likely to die over a five-year period than were non-volunteers”, and John Cacioppo, author of Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection, says, “the more extensive the reciprocal altruism born of social connection …the greater the advance toward health, wealth, and happiness”.

The Philosophy of Giving

There is a profound ripple effect that takes place through the act of consciously practicing a giving philosophy. I have seen the dramatic impact one person can have on another. I’ve observed the surging ripple that takes place as an act impacts one person and the next person and the next person, and so on. Within a community or a network, the ripple effect that takes place from this philosophy can influence hundreds or thousands of people. In fact, I believe it can influence the world. Giving is contagious. Conscious giving can be infinite.

There is a saying:

“If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap.
If you want happiness for a day, go fishing.
If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.
Chinese Proverb

For centuries, the greatest thinkers have suggested the same thing: Happiness is found in giving. The results of this philosophy cannot be observed as a straight line in life. It is a complex zigzag of interconnected relationships that lead to a place of contentment and fulfillment, and it begins with the right mindset. It’s about taking off your bib and putting on an apron. It’s not about what’s in it for you, or how much can you get. Giving is about serving and helping others in a very conscious way. Not doing so in a way that ignores the fact that there are takers in the world, but in a way that consciously chooses to find your fellow givers in the world. It’s easy to be cynical and think that the help you can offer is negligible, but it only takes a small gesture to change someone’s life.

The Story of Giving

We’ve all had people who are in “our story”. They are the people we talk about who have changed our lives in some way. However, there is something even more important: The real question is not who’s in our story but whose story are we in? Whose life have we made a difference in? This is what creates a meaningful life. It’s about being a role model for the people around you.

We often look at the world and hope that someday things will be different. But as my friend and author Sam Horn says, “Someday is not a day of the week”. If we wait for someday, we are waiting for others to make the first move.

“Someday” can be today and it can start with us. Today is as good a day as any to be our “someday”. We can all make a difference starting today. And that difference starts with a transformational change within us in how we deal with the people around us and the world beyond them. We would be giving without a transactional expectation and giving to people in all parts of our life appropriately. We would understand that we give what we can afford and that it’s OK to gain in such a society — a humble society is where saying “thank you” is the norm.

Start small but start today. Begin local but think global. Therefore, when you influence one life, you will begin to influence the world. Just start with the person next to you and know that: “You may not make a world of difference, but you can make a difference in the world”.

No Regrets

No Regrets in 2020

As I look back over the year, it was a year full of changes: Networking changed. Businesses changed. BNI changed.  My family changed. The one thing that did not change: I had no regrets in 2020 on the decisions I made.

I’m sometimes asked some variation of a question about whether I have made any major mistakes that I’d like to have a chance to do over. Or, if I have any regrets about decisions I’ve made throughout my career. I always welcome that question but I generally re-position it in a way that I feel is very important.

Mistakes are your tuition to success, and I’ve made a lot of mistakes and paid a lot of “tuition” over the years. I’ve learned from those mistakes and I always endeavor to never repeat them, but I don’t have any regrets. I don’t have regrets because those mistakes have molded me into the person that I’ve become. You see, if you are clear about your personal values and you live a life striving to live those values to the best of your ability – you shouldn’t regret the decisions (even the bad ones you made when looking back) because you were being true to those values.

I think many people feel deep regret when they waiver from their values or make choices that were expedient and possibly not congruent with their inner beliefs. When that happens, we are likely to regret the choices we’ve made. As a rule, I have always tried to make decisions based on having as much information about an issue as I can – while making sure to get advice from the people I trust. Many times, that has served me well. Other times – let’s just say it was definitely a “tuition” opportunity.

Mistakes are ok. Paying tuition is good. Regrets – no thanks.

2021 International Networking Week

2021 International Networking Week

The 2021 International Networking Week is just around the corner. Fourteen years ago, I helped BNI® launch an initiative we called International Networking Week which is held during the first week in February of every year. This initiative continues to grow year after year and it is open to ALL businesses around the world.  It provides business leaders a chance to celebrate networking by providing gratitude and appreciation for those people who are in their networks.

This will be a week of global recognition and gratitude from February 1 to 6, 2021 to thank those business owners who have helped you to grow your business while networking. Therefore, it’s time to build your powerful personal network now. Invite various business owners who helped you to grow your business to your BNI online chapter to network and to recognize the power of networking. Watch our promo video for the 14th Annual International Networking Week.

Announcing the 14th annual 

International Networking Week

The 2021 International Networking Week theme is A World of Thanks”

Building on last year’s success, we are continuing this initiative by connecting the BNI core values of Recognition and Building Relationships through a program we’re calling, “A World of Thanks”. Studies show that gratitude improves the connection between people and enhances trust.  This, in turn, actually improves performance. Please use these hashtags when posting your thank you messages, photos, or invitations on social media: #WorldOfThanks  #INW21

2021 International Networking Week Video Contest

“Thank you’s” make a difference. So, I ask you to take this opportunity to thank someone who has helped you in some important way.  Thank them in person, in writing, or on social media.  But thank someone who has been there for you or your organization. We are looking for your story and we would love stories from every country worldwide. Please create a 30-90 second testimonial video of your story expressing gratitude to another BNI member who helped you this year. The submission deadline has been extended to January 15, 2021. Submit the video at https://internationalnetworkingweek.com/

I would like to take this opportunity to be the first to thank BNI leaders and members.

2020 was the most challenging year I’ve ever seen for business people around the world.  I am incredibly proud of how members and BNI leaders got focused by fear and not frozen by fear.  We watched people come together to support one another both personally and professionally. BNI members have told me that they are proud to be part of this organization, and so am I.  I was humbled by what I saw happen last year and I want to thank everyone for living the philosophy of Givers Gain and being there to support the people in your network.

I would like to especially thank the following BNI leaders for agreeing to participate as an International Networking Week guest blogger this year.  Look for their articles about “A World of Thanks” on my website during the week of February 1 to 6, 2021.

  •  Frank De Raffele   BNI USA
  • Avryl Au                    BNI Thailand
  • Bijay Shah                BNI UAE
  • Diana Ninsiima      BNI Uganda   
  • Tiago da Cunha      BNI Spain SLC

See, it’s that easy to thank someone.  Now it’s your turn.  Be specific and have it come from the heart. Take a minute to think of people you can thank during the week of February 1 to 6, and celebrate The 2021 International Networking Week with us.  You, and they – will be glad you did.

Merry Misner Memory

A Merry Misner Memory

It has been an unusual year full of stress. Therefore, I have decided to take a break from my educational business referral marketing blogs. Instead, I have decided to take a moment to share a merry Misner memory to spread some holiday cheer.
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Take a few minutes to watch and enjoy this video about a fond memory from one specific Christmas in the Misner family. So much has changed in our family since that Christmas Day, so long ago.
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A Merry Misner Memory

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The memory of building that Barbie DreamHouse years ago really stands out in my mind and makes me shake my head and smile all at once. I really had fun recording this video. It allowed me to reminisce and reflect on a wonderful memory. So many unforgettable and irreplaceable memories are made each year by families around the globe during the holiday season. I hope this video stirs up some great holiday memories for you.
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The Barbie®DreamHouse™

Here are the 17 steps for building the Barbie DreamHouse. Note: NO words, only this blueprint.
merry misner memory
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How a Barbie DreamHouse is supposed to look. Mine had architectural and design variations.
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I wish a very Merry Christmas to those around the globe who take part in celebrating Christmas tomorrow. Happy 2020 Holiday Season to all from the Misner family!
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before Christmas

‘Twas BNI’s Week Before Christmas 2020

I hope you enjoy this holiday poem influenced by Clement Clarke Moore’s poem in 1822 about the night before Christmas. This poem provides our BNI members tips to restart the world by helping their fellow local small business owners struggling in 2020 from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It is the week before Christmas, and all thru the town,
The pandemic is causing business owners to feel stressed and down.
We work from home while time passed by in such a flurry,
causing many small business owners still to worry.

The holidays are here with poinsettias in bloom.
However, this year’s holiday party is online using Zoom.
We, at BNI, want to remind you with Christmas so near,
that we are wishing your holidays are still full of cheer.

Tis the season of Giver’s Gain®, we know your spirits will lift,
while you are shopping online for that last-minute gift.
Keeping six feet apart, the lines are long in the mall,
after they ransacked the shelves and grabbed it all.

However, BNI® can help you with your shopping mess,
and help you to avoid some holiday stress.
Just log into BNI connect, and give another member a call.
They can ship to your family their gifts; big or small.

Who in your chapter do you know that needs more business?
Their storefront is closed and they are unable to share their wiseness.
If you know a BNI member like this, you know what to do.
Fill out a mobile referral, or send it online too.

Are you having a virtual party to celebrate the season?
Ask your guests to visit your BNI online chapter. Do they need another reason?
Tell them about the BNI’s philosophy of “Giver’s Gain”,
and invite them this week to your meeting. It’s that easy, no pain.

Did you enjoy my holiday poem, adjusted for this Covid-19 year?
2020 is almost over, 2021 will be a time to cheer.
Take a moment today to show that you care,
by clicking below to like, leave a comment, or share.

To all my colleagues in BNI,
Let’s “Restart the World” in 2021 with these ideas to try.
I wish you all, without reservations,
Season’s Greetings, Happy New Year, and YULETIDE FELICITATIONS!

U.S. News & World Report

Resources from U.S. News & World Report for Small Businesses and Startups

Ashley Mcnamara, an Outreach Associate working with U.S. News & World Report, reached out to me personally and asked me to share these resources for small businesses and startups with my followers. She wanted to connect with me because Ashley feels that BNI is a great resource for small business professionals and the information found on the BNI website stood out to her and others at U.S. News & World Report. I am happy to connect with her, too.
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There are many resources available in the USA for small businesses, as well as certain nonprofits and other employers. The U.S. News & World Report has compiled a list of resources that are designed to help small business owners learn more about business loans and other financial options that are available. You can find these various resources listed in the links below.
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Small-Business Loans

Small-business loans can help you start or expand an existing business. And during the coronavirus pandemic, small-business financing could help your business stay afloat amid disaster. Loan programs from direct lenders and the Small Business Administration, including the SBA Paycheck Protection Program, can infuse working capital loans and other financial support when you need it the most. Learn how you can access capital for your business with the best small-business lenders.

Unsecured Business Loans

Small-business loans typically require collateral, which can be business or personal, and include real estate, equipment, savings, or other assets. But if you don’t have collateral to pledge for the loan or don’t want to put personal assets on the line, you do have no-collateral business loan options. Discover the benefits and risks of unsecured business loans as an option for business financing.

Bad Credit Loans for Small Businesses

If you have a checkered credit history, traditional banks or credit unions may be unwilling to approve a business loan. Luckily, alternative lenders, which provide options outside of conventional banks, offer small-business loans if you have a bad credit score. Get a small business loan with bad credit to start or grow your company.

Best Business Credit Cards

If you’re running a small to midsize business, you know how difficult it can be to get funding or to qualify for credit. One solution is to consider getting a business credit card. Many get confused about the difference between small-business credit cards and corporate credit cards. Small-business credit cards are ideal for someone who operates a business but who hasn’t yet established a business credit profile. Corporate cards are used by larger companies that have already built up a business credit history. Compare the different offers and choose the best business credit card that is right for you.

I have found these articles from U.S. News & World Report valuable and I am honored to share them on this website so that my followers, other small business professionals, and our BNI community can access them and “Restart the World” together.  I would like to thank Ashley Mcnamara for sharing these with me. Please also express your gratitude to Ashley for reaching out to me and providing these resources to you in the comments below.

Attention Non-USA Members: If you have information that would help members in your country, please share it in the comments section below.

share

When is the Right Time to Share?

Today’s guest blog is an extract from Andy Lopata’s book, “Just Ask”, about when was the best time for me to share my cancer diagnosis with others.

When Ivan Misner was diagnosed with prostate cancer, working out how to fight his illness was just one challenge he faced.

Ivan was the figurehead and CEO of the world’s largest face-to-face business networking organisation, Business Network International (BNI). As much as he might have liked to focus on his medical challenges with just the support of family and close friends, he didn’t have that option. Particularly as he had chosen to fight the cancer naturally, by drastically changing his diet.

Ivan told me how he planned to share the news with his wider network and different stakeholders in his business. “People are going to find out, they are going to ask, ‘Why are you eating so crazy? Why are you losing weight?’ I’m going to doctor’s appointments all the time, so I figured just talk about the elephant in the room, calm everyone down and tell them that you have a plan.

“I made a list of eight different levels of people. Number one was extended family; my wife and kids were technically number one but they found out immediately. Number two, close family friends. Number three were key management people in the company, the top managers in BNI.

“Number four were the employees at headquarters. I literally called a staff meeting and said, ‘Hey, this is what’s going on, I just wanted you to know, what questions do you have for me? That was really important; if you don’t let them ask their questions, they are going to be asking each other and they are going to be making stuff up.

“Franchisees worldwide were number five. The sixth one was global employees and independent contractors. Number seven was an email that directors could share with members and number eight was a public posting on my blog.”

Ivan was inspired by self-development guru Brian Tracy, who had suffered from throat cancer a couple of years before and who had been very open on his blog about his journey. Ivan resolved to share ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’, making sure that people would know at all times how he was progressing. He posted every three or four months for the first year and then once a year after that.

“It calmed everyone down. This may not work for everyone but I liked it because everyone knew I had a plan. I kept saying to them, ‘If it doesn’t work, I will go and get surgery, I promise.’

“You can’t control the message but you can manage it. I was constantly managing the message, to the point of writing a book sharing the full story and the recipes that I used to completely change my diet”.

Timing is a key factor in ensuring that you benefit the most from sharing with the people around you. Leave something too long and you may find that you’ve missed the moment when other people’s help would have been most effective or their suggestions would have worked. You also face the risk, as Ivan observed, that people notice for themselves that something is wrong and you start to lose control of the message.

If you ask too early, you may feel that people will see you as someone who is not able to find solutions for themselves, who panics or who overshares. Every situation is different. Ivan calculated when he should share his news with each interested party to remain in control of the conversation. Think about the best time to share and whether different people need to be involved at different times.

Andy Lopata‘s book, “Just Ask”, is available now.

The book is available to buy on Amazon (UK) and via Amazon (US) and from booksellers around the world.

Digital copies of Just Ask are available via: http://lopata.co.uk/justask/

Please click here to find a list of online outlets.

You can also order it from an independent book retailer in your area. 

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