Become a Networking Mentorstring(26) "Become a Networking Mentor"

As I was playing chess during my lunch hour yesterday and mercilessly dominating the game (Norm, BNI’s CEO, who I was playing against might possibly tell a different story but don’t believe him . . . after all, this is my blog), I was struck by the thought of how valuable of an experience it was when I coached my son’s school chess club a few years back.

It’s common knowledge that if you want to improve your skill, then you should teach someone else.  By teaching young people the rudiments of chess strategy, it inevitably made me focus on improving my own game.  It’s the same with networking.  When you become a networking mentor for someone else, it will improve your networking skills by acting as a refresher for what you’ve learned and it gets you to refocus your efforts on areas you may have forgotten.

Perhaps there is someone who already considers you a mentor, or maybe you know someone you’d like to mentor–someone who reminds you of yourself when you were just getting started in business.  If so, don’t let the opportunity to be an active mentor pass you by.    When you selflessly share your wealth of knowledge to help others succeed and help them avoid making the same mistakes you made, not only will they benefit greatly but so will you.

Do you have an inspiring story about someone who has been a mentor to you, or someone that you’ve mentored?  If so, leave a comment and share it with everyone else.

Find an Accountability Partnerstring(30) "Find an Accountability Partner"

Last night at dinner, I asked my son the dreaded question . . . “So, Trey, how’s that homework coming?”  Needless to say, I received the typical, teenage, roll-of-the-eyes response and the standard “I was going to finish it after dinner” answer.

Even if you don’t have kids, at one time you were a kid so I’m sure just about everybody can identify with this scenario.  Being held accountable for completing your homework as a kid was never fun, but face it–when we’re held accountable for our actions, performance, and commitments it tends to heighten our awareness of what we are responsible for and what we have promised to do.

So it is with networking your business: accountability is important.  When you make a commitment to yourself to get out of your cave and attend productive networking functions, the reality is that sometimes other things come up and we forget those promises or push them to the back burner.  So why not find and accountability partner for networking your business?  That way, every time you commit to a new networking strategy, your accountability partner can keep you to the task.  Each week, perhaps by phone, meet with your accountability partner to identify your strategy for the week and because you have someone waiting to hear of your progress, you’ll be more inclined to focus on the task at hand.

To find the right accountability partner, ask yourself these questions:

1.  Who do I highly respect as a business colleague?

2.  Who would not be afraid to push me and keep me focused?

3.  Who would I never think of disappointing?

4.  Who is also interested in networking her business so that we can be accountability partners for each other?

5.  Who knows me–and my tendency to procrastinate?

6.  Who will follow through on this commitment to me?

7.  Who has the time to help me?

Think about it.  No one likes to knowingly disappoint someone else, and no one likes to waste her time or have her time wasted by someone else.  The urge to comply compels us to perform at a higher level and this leads to greater networking results.

Networking is a Verb Not a Nounstring(31) "Networking is a Verb Not a Noun"

Today, I have a guest blog written by my good friend Frank DeRaffele.  Frank is a BNI Director and radio talk show host for the Entrepreneurial Excellence Radio Show.

Networking is a Verb Not a Noun.  What does that mean?  A verb, as described, by our 4th grade teachers, is an action word. A noun is an object or thing. That means that in order to network you must take action … do stuff … not just show up at things and be seen. If you go to a chamber meeting and just “be there” then you are a noun … you are just an object. If you go and actually participate and make things happen … you are now taking action … you’re a verb.

You are not going to find any form of marketing more important and probably more effective than your networking efforts during the next 12 to 24 months. That means that no matter what type of marketing campaigns you are doing they will be 5 to 10 times more effective if you are supplementing them with relationship networking.

If you are in a strong contact network (such as BNI) you have an advantage over every other businesses out there, especially your competitors. You have a group of like-minded people who believe in the development of relationship marketing and they practice the Givers Gain® philosophy.

There is no recesssion for you … so go take action … go BE A VERB!

Welcome to International Networking Weekstring(40) "Welcome to International Networking Week"

Welcome to the third annual International Networking Week (Feb 2-6).

Now, more than ever, we need to ignore the doom-and-gloom headlines and focus on what we can do to promote our own business growth.

International Networking Week is about celebrating the key role that networking plays in the development and success of business around the world. It’s about creating an awareness of the process of networking.  Not just any kind of networking, but what I call “relationship networking,” an approach to doing business based on building long-term, successful relationships with people through the networking process.

Last year, International Networking Week was recognized by tens of thousands of people around the world, and it has garnered acknowledgements from several governmental agencies across the globe. It’s expected that the number of people participating in this year’s worldwide celebration of the week, through hundreds of large events and thousands of smaller events, will be double what it was in 2008.

If you belong to any networking groups, be sure to tell them that this is International Networking Week and let them know they can visit for more information.  Let’s join together in celebrating the things we can do do promote global prosperity, instead of worrying about the things we can’t control.

Watch this 10-minute video talking about International Networking Week 2009.  Share the video with anybody and everybody, and feel free to show it at your networking meetings during International Networking Week.

So what will you be doing to recognize International Networking Week?  Share it with us here–we’d love to hear about it.

Triple Your Business Revenue By Writingstring(39) "Triple Your Business Revenue By Writing"

A business contact of mine telephoned me awhile back to ask why I wasn’t including writing in my business training anymore. I had previously included it in my training sessions because I think it is an extremely valuable way to establish credibility in business. However, when I checked the numbers, I realized that only about 2 percent of the people I trained in writing really picked up on the message and followed through.

In other words, 98 percent of people I trained never used the advice at all. So of course I stopped teaching it. Well, my business associate asserted over the phone that I should be training on writing regardless of the small number of people who were doing something with the advice because, he claimed, the results for the people that do take action are absolutely phenomenal. He urged me to include writing in my business training because it is worth teaching for the sake of those 2 percent who get amazing results.

In my most recent show on, I talk more about how this business colleague of mine took my advice on writing years ago and turned his business around. By his own calculations, he tripled his revenue by becoming a well-published author of business articles.

Watch the show HERE and then think about how writing might help you increase your business revenue.  Will it take hard work and dedication? Yes.  Is that hard work and dedication worth the results you will get? Definitely.

You Never Know Who’ll Give You a Great Referralstring(53) "You Never Know Who’ll Give You a Great Referral"

One of the biggest mistakes you can make in networking is to dismiss someone too early, to assume that he or she has nothing to offer you because of his or her professional background or some other reason, and not pursue the relationship.  Unfortunately, I see this happen a lot.

The truth is, you simply never know where your next great referral is going to come from.  You should make it a point to consistently connect with high-quality professionals from all fields, from any and every background. Forget about trying to contact the VPs and high-level executives–they don’t want to hear another sales pitch. But any professional who is good at what he or she does will be well-connected to other highly successful businesspeople.

Take my painting contractor, for example. Through his work he has come to know A-list Hollywood celebrities, among many other affluent people. He’s one of the most connected people I know.

I have a favorite story, which I think illustrates this point perfectly.  In this case, a multimillion-dollar referral (one of the biggest I’ve seen recently) was given by a dentist in Malaysia. She briefly shut down her practice to attend a networking conference. When she reopened, one of her clients asked her about the conference and, as a result, she was able to connect the client with someone she’d met at the conference–which led to the the multimillion dollar referral.

If you want to hear the details of this powerful story, watch my latest show on

By the way, my shows on yourBusinessChannel are related to my involvement in the Million Dollar Challenge.  The Million Dollar Challenge invites promising businesses across the globe to take the challenge and have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform their business and skyrocket it into success with a team of acclaimed business experts.  CLICK HERE to find out more.

Transformational Yakovstring(22) "Transformational Yakov"

I am in Hawaii for the Transformational Leadership Council (TLC) meeting this week. I have been a member of  TLC for several years and have always enjoyed the very eclectic group of authors, trainers and thought leaders. But I must say, it just got even more interesting.  Joining our group this week was a new member: actor and comedic legend Yakov Smirnoff 

We were pleased to have him do about 30 minutes of his material during one of the sessions. I can’t remember when I’ve ever seen someone take an audience from uproarious laughter to tears and back to gut-wrenching laughter so quickly and effectively. It was the sign of a true master of the art.

In a time of great challenges for many people, his “Love and Laughter” presentation was a refreshing change of pace. In talking to him later that day, I discovered that during this part of the year, he is doing keynote presentations for organizations around the world.  Hmmm, he might make a good keynote presenter at a business conference (I’m just thinking).

If you ever have a chance to see him perform in person, I highly recommend it.  He’s an outstanding comedic performer who tugs at your heart while making you laugh.

Do What Others Don’tstring(26) "Do What Others Don’t"

To some businessspeople, networking is something to try when they’re hurting for business.  However, networking is actually a primary strategy for generating business relationships that lead to more referrals.  When done correctly, networking is a proactive strategy for business growth, not a reaction to slow business.

I think the most important single idea in networking is to do what others don’t.  Doing what others don’t gives you an edge.  It can position you head and shoulders above your competition.  It helps you stand out in a positive way and, when you do, people are attracted to you and your business, and your success grows stronger, deeper and more durable.

So go beyond the norm. Take the time to gather information for improving your business by getting straightforward feedback from people.  This will help you identify your business’s strengths and weaknesses so you can take corrective action.  Some more ideas that most people don’t take the time or effort to implement are:

  •  Adopt the attitude of a host at networking mixers.
  • Use your influence and professional status to help members of your network solve problems.
  • Learn to specifically ask for referrals.
  • Take every opportunity to educate yourself on how to better your business and your networking efforts.

Networking Entrepreneur Blog is in The Top 30string(45) "Networking Entrepreneur Blog is in The Top 30"

I’m pleased to let my readers know that this blog has been ranked as one of the top 30 blogs for Entrepreneurs.  It was ranked No. 26 out of 150 blogs by as shown here by the website.

Thanks to all of you for reading this blog.  A special thanks to the many of you who regularly leave comments.

All the best.

Ivan Misner

New Networking TV Show on yourBusinessChannel.comstring(49) "New Networking TV Show on", a website dedicated to bringing TV shows packed with top business tips to people around the world, is now airing a new TV show where I talk about the great void that exists in business schools and universities as a result of the fact that they neglect to teach networking as a part of their curriculum.  CLICK HERE to view the show where I discuss in more detail why this problem exists and how we may be able to solve it.

I’ve also written a couple of previous blogs addressing my frustration over this issue, as well as my optimism that the problem may be obsolete in the future. To read those blogs, click here and here.

I’ve recently signed on as one of the participating business experts on a great new project run by yourBusinessChannel called The Million Dollar Challenge.  As a result of my involvement in the project, I will be doing more TV shows for yourBusinessChannel, so I’ll notify all of my blog readers each time a new show comes out.

The Million Dollar Challenge is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for businesses around the world to have a team of experts, which would normally cost around a million dollars to assemble, offer them the strategies and advice that will skyrocket their growth.  If you’d like to know more about The Million Dollar Challenge, CLICK HERE.

I invite you to watch my new show on and let me know what you think by posting a comment below.


International Networking Week: Mark Your Calendarstring(49) "International Networking Week: Mark Your Calendar"

International Networking Week, Feb. 2-6, 2009, is quickly approaching and it’s a great way to start off the New Year.

Make 2009 the year you see opportunity when others see problems, seek growth when others expect collapse and see success when others see failure.  Watch the short 2009 International Networking Week video and find out about how to join me and many other successful business people in recognizing and participating in this year’s International Networking Week. Focus on what you do best, and don’t let other people sidetrack you from building your business.


Is Your Network a Mile Wide and an Inch Deep?string(45) "Is Your Network a Mile Wide and an Inch Deep?"

In Southern California we have many huge, tall, lush eucalyptus trees that topple over fairly easily in the high winds that occur almost every year.  When they’re uprooted and blown over, you can see that their root system is broad and wide but not very deep.  I think this is a powerful metaphor for what to consider in building your personal network.  To go deep in establishing your network, you can do three things:

1.  Build quality relationships. Take time beyond normal business interactions to deepen your relationships with referral sources.  Invite them to social functions, learn their hobbies and interests, and help them pursue their personal goals.

2.  Network in new places. Other than your strong–and casual–contact groups, look for new areas to find partners with common interests, such as charitable organizations and professional support groups.  Don’t prospect right away; let the relationships mature.

3.  Focus on others. Rather than having a “What’s in it for me?” mind-set, ask yourself, What can I do for this person?  Continually look for ways to bring business and benefits to others in any group you’re a part of.  Make yourself known as the person who always has something for others.  This is a powerful way to both deepen and broaden your network.

If your network is a mile wide and an inch deep, it will not hold up in the winds of today’s economy.  Go deep in building relationships and you’ll do well in these challenging times.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, so please leave a comment.

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