Ivan Misner, Author at Dr. Ivan Misner® - Page 3 of 118
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. 

Ask for a Favor

When Is It Appropriate to Ask for a Favor?

Most of us have been in situations where someone asked for a favor long before they built the social capital to make that kind of request, if they built any capital at all. Building deep referral relationships is almost completely dependent upon the social capital you have built with someone. Social capital is similar to financial capital in a very important respect. To amass financial capital, you have to invest and grow your assets. You have to have money in the bank before you can make a withdrawal. Relationships are very much the same – referral relationships in particular.

How Alex asked for a favor

Alex was what I would call a casual business associate, but from early on after our introduction, every time I spoke to him, he invested in the relationship. He gave me ideas, gave me his time, he even did some work on a website for me mostly as a favor. He invested…and invested…and invested.

I kept asking how I could help him, to return the favor and reciprocate for all the kindnesses and great help he’d been to me. His answer every time was, “I don’t need anything. I’m happy to do this.”

This went on for almost a year. Every couple of months, Alex would show up on my radar and do something for me.

Then, one time, he phoned me and said, “I have a favor to ask…” and I stopped him right there.

“Yes!” I said.

“But you didn’t even hear what the favor is!” laughed Alex.

I replied that I didn’t have to hear what the favor was. I told him I knew him well enough to know he was not going to ask me something impossible, and that he had invested so much into the relationship that I would do anything in my power to help.

You may ask for a favor

Before you ask for a withdrawal, make sure to make an investment, and build a deep referral relationship. If you can answer “yes” to most or all of the following points about a person and his or her business, you would have a pretty deep referral relationship:

• You trust them to do a great job and take great care of your referred prospects.
• You have known each other for at least one year.
• You understand at least three major products or services within their business and feel comfortable explaining them to others.
• You know the names of their family members and have met them personally.
• You have both asked each other how you can help grow your respective businesses.
• You know several of their goals for the year, including personal and/or business goals.
• You could call them at 9 o’clock at night if you really needed something.
• You would not feel awkward asking them for help with either a personal or business challenge.
• You enjoy the time you spend together.
• You have regular appointments scheduled, both business and/or personal.
• You enjoy seeing them achieve success.
• They are “top of mind” regularly.
• You have open, honest talks about how you can help each other further.

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Throughout my career, I have had huge number of folks come to me and ask me to promote something for them. The thing is, the majority of those who contact me have never met me, never had a conversation at all. They’ve never invested in the relationship, yet they want a withdrawal from it and ask me for a favor!
Zoom

The 12x12x12 Zoom Rule

What is the 12x12x12 Zoom rule? In 2010, I introduced the original 12x12x12 rule when attending in-person networking events in my book, “Networking Like a Pro”. Ten years later, with all of us using our computers for online networking, I adapted the 12x12x12 rule in 2020 for Zoom.

What do you look like 12 feet around you?

Since everyone is broadcasting from home these days, it is important to pay attention to the setting of your personal meeting location. Make sure what people will see behind you is as professional as possible. Remove the visible clutter around you and close the door to keep your kids, or cats, from interrupting the call. If you are using a virtual background, choose something related to your industry. However, keep the background photo professional, like bookshelves or an office setting. Do not use a tropical beach background, unless you work on a beach or as a travel agent. Remember, your background says a lot about you. Hang a solid-colored green sheet behind you as an easy green screen when using a virtual Zoom background.

What do you look like 12 inches away from your web camera?

Have you dressed appropriately for the meeting? I mean, are you FULLY DRESSED for the meeting with both a professional top and bottom? Too many stories have been shared on the TV news about people getting up from their chairs and being caught in pajama pants, athletic shorts, or unfortunately even less. I’ve been known to wear sweat pants on camera but never wear something (or not wear enough) that would end up with you on the TV news. Make sure your hair is combed and you are not eating on camera. Plus, be prepared with a pen and notepad to take notes.

What are the first 12 words out of your mouth on Zoom?

This is the most important point. Have you thought about what you are going to say to someone else at a networking event? The worst time to think about what you want to say is when you are saying it. Think about concise ways you can get your points across: what you want to say about your business, your target market, the benefits of your product or service, etc. Finally, use a microphone so that everyone can clearly hear you

Before you log in to your next online networking event or Zoom meeting, remember these tips, and verify that you are following the 12x12x12 Zoom rule. 

think

We Don’t Pay You to Think

Recently, my assistant, Dana made a couple of suggestions to me.  She then asked if I minded her giving these suggestions. I immediately said that not only did I “not” mind her ideas, I wanted her to think and share her thoughts with me.  I then told her the following story about an experience I had many years ago.

You gotta do what you gotta do

When I was 21 years old, I was finishing up my bachelor’s degree in California.  I had scholarships to help but I still needed to work a job to pay for my living expenses.  I found a good paying position working for a large chain grocery store stocking shelves from midnight until 7 am four days a week.  Ugh.  That was brutal.  On some days, I would work all night, go home to get a shower, and then go straight to classes at 9 am.

Even then, I believed that sometimes You gotta do what you gotta do to get to do what you want to do.  Early on, I knew one thing for certain and that was that I did not want to work at a grocery store stocking shelves (at any hour of the day) for a career.  I came to that realization because of one conversation that I had with the “Early Shift Assistant Manager” of the store soon after I started my employment there.

The night crew had some serious quotas for boxes that had to go up on the shelves each and every night.  While it might not sound very hard, the truth is that it was back-breaking work and one of the most physical jobs I ever had. One morning as I was coming off a break, I had a conversation with the Assistant Manager. I suggested to him that I thought would help in moving the many pallets of boxes that had to be taken by dolly to every aisle in the store.  It was a small suggestion but I thought it might help.  That’s when the Assistant Manager gave me a “life lesson” that I would take with me for the rest of my career. He said, “Ivan, we don’t pay you to think!  We pay you to get lots of boxes on lots of shelves every single night.  Now get back to work.”

I Pay You to Think

I remember so vividly standing there and thinking – “Someday, I’m going to own my own business, and I promise that I will never, ever, say that to anyone who ever works for me.  Ever!”  In fact, I will tell them the opposite: “I pay you to think!”  I want ideas, input, and engagement from everyone.

I have no idea where this manager is today but if I ever meet him again, I would tell him that I appreciate that comment because it cemented my belief that managers and entrepreneurs need to do the opposite of what he said to me.  They need to listen to the ideas that employees have.  They may not all be gems but listening shows you care about them and their ideas.  It also gets engagement and possibly even a certain amount of loyalty because the employee feels that their input matters. I may not have applied this perfectly over the years but it is something that I have truly strived to always do with the people who worked for me.

I kept track of him for about ten years after I left the company.  At that point, he had been promoted to the “Main Shift Assistant Manager” and I was well on my way to building a global enterprise that now has operations in more than seventy countries.

I believe that “paying people to think,” is exactly what entrepreneurs and managers should always be willing to do.  Sometimes we get our life lessons from people who give us great advice and sometimes we get our life lessons from people who give us horrible advice.  By applying a little discernment, they can both be a gift.  His was certainly a gift for me.  I did my best to never, ever, follow it.

Giving Tuesday

Infinite Giving on Giving Tuesday

I have asked Julian Lewis to write a guest blog for my website.  Julian is one of my co-authors of the book, Infinite Giving.  Today, he is sharing the topic of “Giving Tuesday”, which is occurring in the USA tomorrow. Even though Julian is from Great Britain, and never heard about “Giving Tuesday” before, he is truly an expert on giving year-round.

As one of the co-authors of the book, “Infinite Giving”, you would expect me to be excited by “Giving Tuesday”, and I am. I am excited because for lots of people it is a reminder of the way we should live our lives every day. In a way, it is sad that we need a day for giving. However, I am a realist and I know that life is not one smooth path and we all need reminders from time to time.

The book, “Infinite Giving” was written by two Brits and a Yank. As a guest on The Yank’s Blog, I have to say “Giving Tuesday” is not a big thing in Britain. That said, nor was “Black Friday”, “Small Business Saturday”, and “Cyber Monday” years ago, and they are now. So, I suspect that “Giving Tuesday” will follow on. Hence, I am interested to see how “Giving Tuesday” develops.

I know that for many there are quite a few days that people practice giving throughout the year. For people who understand the concept of “Infinite Giving”, every day is an opportunity to give and to gain. I think to provide “Giving Tuesday” some balance it would be better described as “Givers Gain Tuesday”. Givers Gain® is the philosophy of BNI®, and the subject of our book focused on how you make giving infinite with The Seven Principles of Givers Gain®.

Givers Gain is more than a phrase—it’s a way of living one’s life. It’s a perspective to view and interact with the world. It’s an attitude, not an expectation. When it’s applied properly, it will change your life and when it changes enough lives, it will change the world.

When we give others gain, everyone can give something which means also everyone can gain. Just imagine a day where you know that you have something to give and at the same time you will be in receipt of a gift. Then start to imagine that is every day, not just one day in November or December. Let your imagination go wild and see what the world now looks like with all this giving in it. Giving truly can be infinite and what the philosophy of Givers Gain can achieve is also infinite.

What are you going to give? Here are some ideas.

  • Give your ears to somebody who needs to talk
  • Give you time to help a neighbour
  • Give your contacts to recommend a quality supplier
  • Give your knowledge to upskill someone you work with
  • Give your influence to change people view
  • Give your spare funds as a donation to the BNI Foundation

So if you have not yet started your “Infinite Giving”, today is the day to start. Continue on tomorrow and then the next day, do it on purpose for over 20 days and it will become a habit.

There are so many things we can give each and every day. One act of giving matched with one act of gaining can make a difference to the world. Once everyone in the world embraces an “Infinite Giving” mindset the problems of the world can melt away. Let’s all use “Giving Tuesday” to start a chain reaction. 

Gratitude Effect

Thoughts on The Gratitude Effect on Thanksgiving

I have asked Greg Davies to write a guest blog for my website. Greg is one of my co-authors of the book, Infinite Giving“.  He is sharing the topic of “Thanksgiving”, which is a holiday occurring in the USA today. Even though Greg is from Great Britain, and never has celebrated Thanksgiving before, he is truly an expert on the gratitude effect.

This is a bit of a weird one, a blog about Thanksgiving from the co-author of Infinite Giving, the Seven Principles of Givers Gain, which was written by Two Brits and a Yank. Why is that weird, I hear you ask? Well, I can easily discuss the gratitude effect as explained in our book. However, I am firmly in the “Brits” camp and have not attended a single thanksgiving celebration in my entire life (as we don’t celebrate it in the UK). I found myself researching this iconic holiday for the first time. Here is Ivan’s Thanksgiving message from last year. Now at this point, I roll out the elementary school presentation.

The First Thanksgiving

In 1621, 90 Native Americans and 53 Pilgrims gave thanks for a successful harvest with a feast that lasted for at least 3 days, etc etc. Fast forward a few hundred years and we have Turkey, Mash, Pumpkin Pie, and the now infamous Black Friday. What I would much rather do, is point out that the “First Thanksgiving” was far from it.

Yes, it is the most referenced and the one that was recounted by attendee Edward Winslow in the American tradition and yes….well….maybe yes, it was the first where Pilgrims and Native Americans sat down and shared a meal (the jury is still out on that one), but the fact is those at the Plymouth Plantation would regularly give thanks for many different gifts that were bestowed upon them. The early Pilgrims would offer days of thanks for blessings such as military victory, end of a drought, recovery of a sick community member, and in this case, a successful harvest. They had built into their culture that when something good happens you need to take time to recognise it and say thank you.

The gratitude effect is not new-age, it’s science.

We cover this in the book, Chapter 11 Principle 7, The Gratitude Effect. There are some wonderful examples in the book of studies that show just how powerful saying “thank you” can be.

Gratitude, like so many other principles of success, is simple, but not easy.

The Pilgrims built gratitude into their religion and daily lives, it became a pillar of their belief and a cornerstone of their community, and for us to adopt this simple act will take a habit defining decision.

The gratitude effect requires a life-long journey of developing our ability to be grateful.

While the above may sound a little heavy, the actual effort involved in giving genuine gratitude is minuscule, but to begin with, it just feels weird. Try crossing your arms the other way, if you normally go left over right, go right over left or vice versa, SEE! IT JUST FEELS WEIRD. This has nothing to do with one way being right and the other wrong, it is just because your neuropathways have formed, and by doing it the other way, you are forging a new path.

That right there is the point, we must choose to forge a new path. We must accept that it may feel strange to begin with, but stick with it and recognise all of the wonderful things that are happening to us and say thank you. Then, a new habit has been formed.

The gratitude effect doesn’t take much effort and costs little or nothing.

I am thankful for the fact that I was asked to write this blog. I am thankful that in the single most challenging year that we as a planet will (hopefully) face in our lifetime, I have forged some of the strongest friendships, met some of the most inspirational people, and been touched by the light of human kindness like I never have been before. I hope that one day, people will give thanks for the difference I have made to them, because the real question is not who’s in our story but whose story are we in? Whose life have we made a difference in? Happy Thanksgiving from England, the original home of the Pilgrims.

first date

Love at First Date

Someone recently asked me how I knew Elisabeth was my soulmate after our first date. I’ve told the story many times and I cover it a bit in the book, Givers Gain, but I don’t think I’ve ever written it down as one story so here it is:

I first met Elisabeth in 1986. It was at a BNI Leadership Team training I conducted in LA (Los Angeles). I vividly remember meeting her. She was young (23) and very motivated and I could see why the group elected her the President. I also recognized that she was very smart and she was… gorgeous. Although I was undeniably attracted to her – I was also in a relationship and didn’t connect with her again for two years.

In that time, unbeknownst to me, she moved from LA to Prescott, Arizona (many hours away). I was scheduled to speak in Phoenix (about 2 – 3 hours from Prescott) and out of the blue she called me. Now in 1988, I was no longer in that relationship and when she called, she said, “I don’t know if you remember me, but we met in LA a couple years ago.” My heart pounded but I calmly said, “Yes, yes, I remember you, Elisabeth.” She told me that her chapter knew had she met me and they asked her if she would call me to see if I would “swing by” Prescott to speak to their group – so she asked me that question. I knew I couldn’t just “swing by.” I knew it was an overnight trip so I did something I have never done before – I said, “If you’ll have dinner with me, I’ll drive the 2 – 3 hours over to Prescott to speak to your group,” and she said “Yes.” That was about April or May of 1988.

Honestly, for her it was a business meeting but for me, it was a date. I could tell pretty quickly that she wanted to keep it professional and I remained a perfect gentleman all evening. We spoke for hours. Many, many hours. I didn’t get her home until almost 1am and we had the BNI meeting that morning at 7am.

There was something special about this woman (after the first date)

When I got home to LA the day after the meeting, I had a conversation with the nanny (Pia Jacobsen – PJ) who was watching my young daughter (whom Elisabeth later adopted). She asked me how that “date” went that I was looking forward to so much. I told her that it was a “good thing that she lived so far away” and she asked me “Why?”. I told her, “Because if Elisabeth lived nearby, I would ask her to marry me”. PJ said, “Are you crazy, you just got divorced – you can’t get married again so soon and especially after one date!” I agreed that it was crazy and I told her I knew that I was a logical, left-brain thinker, but that there was something special about this woman and it was probably good that she lived so far away. It would give me time.

Elisabeth and I then started talking a couple of times a week by phone. This was back in the day when long-distance phone calls were crazy expensive. Beth couldn’t afford the calls so when she wanted to talk she would call me and we’d hang up immediately and I’d call her back because she didn’t make enough money to afford talking for very long. And I, of course, called her directly – a lot. We saw each other in person a couple times over the next seven months but the relationship was almost exclusively by phone.

We’re going to be a great team!

In late December, we were talking and she said she had just gone to a Chiropractor’s conference (she was a Chiropractic Assistant). I was still running my consulting business full-time AND doing BNI close to full-time. She asked me for some “business” advice. She said she had two job offers and wanted my professional opinion (as a business consultant) as to which was the better opportunity. My first question was – “Where are the jobs?” She said, “One was in Dallas and the other was in Pasadena” (close to me). I immediately told her the best one was Pasadena. She said, “But you haven’t even heard anything about the offers!” I said to her – “I don’t know if you get it by now but I’m interested in you. I recommend Pasadena.” So, she moved out to California in February. (The cover photo above of Elisabeth and I was taken in February 1989. I took her to the BNI Murder Mystery event in San Diego. It was our first getaway together) Then, she left the chiropractor and came to work with me in March (see the note from Elisabeth to me below). I asked her to marry me in April, and we were married in May, 1989 (see photos from our wedding at the bottom of this blog).

While it wasn’t love at “first sight” it was, for me, love at “first date”. We were married for 31 years. I don’t know “how” I knew. I’m not sure that “knew” is even the right word. It was something I “felt.” And for someone like me, who values tangible information and facts, to get such an overwhelming feeling – I knew I needed to pay attention to it. I’m glad I did.

Please visit the Elisabeth Misner memorial website and leave your memories or stories about Elisabeth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Census

Census Survivor – 40 Years Later

Your first thought after reading the title of this blog might have been . . . “Census Survivor,” what’s there to survive?”  Well, for one medium-sized suburban district office of the 1980 census, not that much . . . unless you count six dog bites, three car accidents, and 11 attempted assaults (two at knifepoint, four at gunpoint, two with a baseball bat and the rest merely by hand), as well as a census worker who fell down a flight of steps, another who had a door slammed on her hand and, of course, the census worker who fell in a hole in someone’s front yard.

These were but a few of the challenges I ran into when I was the Field Operations Supervisor of the 1980 Census in Covina, California.  It was my first management job. I was a young man in graduate school who had over 500 people who worked for me during this operation.  I actually hired (and fired) more people in those nine months than I did in the next 40 years combined!

Tales of an Enumerator (Census Taker)

The battlefield of suburbia was not the greatest problem faced by enumerators. Maintaining their sanity in the face of adversity was the greatest challenge.

We had water balloons dropped on enumerators at a local university, we did a set of interviews at a nudist camp (OK, in all honesty, the Census taker in that situation didn’t mind it too much), we had enumerators being propositioned–a lot–and we even got information about residents from dog tags!

My favorite tactic was used by a woman who would go to particularly unwilling individuals and sing Happy Birthday To You to the unsuspecting person, who would say, “It’s not my birthday,” to which the enumerator would say, “Really? When is your birthday?” The resident would blurt out the date and the enumerator got some basic information.  Generally, the resident thought that was so clever, he or she would then cooperate.

I’d like to say that I miss this experience but . . . I don’t. It was trial by fire. That said, I am very glad I went through it. It gave me an opportunity as a young man of only 24 to manage and supervise over 500 enumerators. It was an experience I will never forget and always be grateful for . . .  mostly. 

Behavioral Styles

Knowing Behavioral Styles Will Win You Referrals

Many entrepreneurs rely on referral marketing, or the use of personal recommendations through networking, to spread the word about their business. When you’ve taken the time to build the right relationships, referral marketing can be a substantial part of your business. But when I ask entrepreneurs if they are getting all the referrals they want when networking, nearly every person says no. They all talk about wanting more referrals, but they have no plan for how to get them. Where to begin? Let’s start with knowing behavioral styles, a term that refers to what motivates you.

The Four Common Behavioral Styles:

  • Nurturer: Slower-paced, people-oriented, dislikes confrontation, and takes care of others.
  • Promoter: Fast-paced, people-oriented, gregarious, and likes to be in the spotlight.
  • Examiner: Slower-paced, task-oriented, methodical, relies on the facts, and dislikes hype.
  • Go-Getter: Fast-paced, task-oriented, driven, and hates being wrong about anything.

As an entrepreneur, you must understand your own behavioral style, learn how to quickly identify behavioral styles in others, and, most importantly, adapt your approach to those different styles.

For example, imagine you’re a florist at a networking function, and you meet a wedding planner. You’re enjoying your conversation and you feel that this could be a good connection, so you decide to set up a lunch meeting.

At lunch, they ask you a series of questions about your business. Your new contact wants to know how long you’ve been in business, what your company organization looks like, all your products and services as well as your pricing, not to mention a laundry list of technical questions.

For a Nurturer, this interrogation might seem off-putting in the context of a “get to know you better” meeting. But for an Examiner, this approach is completely natural. What seems comfortable to one person may seem either confrontational or rude to the other. While some people need as much information as they can get to move forward in a relationship, others like to ease in more gradually, taking their time to get to know you as a person before getting to know your business.

Warning signs

To be clear: neither person in this scenario is right or wrong. People behave in the way that’s most natural to them, but if you aren’t attuned to the behavioral style of the person you’re dealing with, both sides could walk away feeling awkward and exhausted. There are signs to watch out for that will clue you into what behavioral style you’ve got on your hands.

  • Nurturers have a relaxed disposition and tend to be warm and friendly. They are good team players but are risk-averse.
  • Promoters prefer to schmooze with clients over lunch rather than work on a proposal in the office. They are idea-people and dreamers who excel at getting others excited. They are risk-takers who are not inclined to do their homework or check out detailed information.
  • Examiners are generally in control of their emotions and maybe uncomfortable around people who are less self-contained. They tend to see the complex side of situations, but they also tend to have an off-the-wall sense of humor.
  • Go-Getters believe in expedience and are not afraid to bend the rules. They figure it is easier to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission. They may appear aloof because they are goal-focused.

Once you identify a person’s behavioral style, you can tailor yours to match. If you’re dealing with a Nurturer, be patient, and ask questions to get to know them as a person. However, if you have a Promoter on your hands, be excited about the news they have to share about themselves. If you are dealing with an Examiner, come prepared with facts and data and be willing to listen to the information they share. Finally, if you’re dealing with a Go-Getter, get to the point fast, be concise, and be gone.

The content of this blog is from the book, “Room Full of Referrals”. Your behavioral style is affecting your referability! Are you treating others the way that they want to be treated?

ROOM FULL OF REFERRALS® …”and how to network for them!”

By Dr. Tony Alessandra, Dr. Ivan Misner & Dawn Lyons

This book will create a new mindset in the business networking world. You are not walking into a room full of people when you go to networking events; you are walking into a Room Full of Referrals®. The real question is – do you know HOW to network for those referrals? “There is one major obstacle to overcome at networking functions – you!”

 

 

Elisabeth Misner

Elisabeth Misner – Humanitarian, Author, Minister, and Mom

Elisabeth was the love of my life.  She brought color into my black and white world. Elisabeth Prevo was born on June 13th, 1964, in Fort Worth, Texas to John and Mary Prevo.  She was the eldest of three children.  Her brother is Jon Prevo and her sister is Tammy Prevo. She obtained both a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in theology.  She was later ordained as a Christian minister. Elisabeth started her career as a chiropractic assistant where she met her husband, Ivan Misner.  She left that field to work for BNI where she served in many roles. She then transitioned to the Marketing Director handling PR and marketing for the organization.

In the last few years of her life, Elisabeth called herself a “Lovetarian.”  She loved people and she loved life.  Anyone who knew Elisabeth knew this to be true.  She was a gentle, loving soul who will be missed by everyone who knew her well. Elisabeth Misner passed away on October 29th, 2020. She is survived by me and her three children, Ashley Misner, Dorian Prin, and Trey Misner Tempest.

“All my life I have found creative ways to incorporate service to others into my professional life. From being a chiropractic assistant, managing special projects for BNI, and leading the prayer ministry at my church, my one question has always been, How can I help you? I want to know what I can do that will make things better for those whom I support and encourage.” Quote by Elisabeth Misner

Humanitarian Efforts of Elisabeth Misner

Givers Gain was a way of life for Elisabeth and myself. She taught us all how easy it is to be a positive part of someone else’s story.

  • As a child growing up in eastern Tennessee, Elisabeth collected the discarded aluminum cans from the various roadways near her home and recycled them. Furthermore, she donated all the funds from recycling the cans to the scouting program at her church.
  • As an adult living in Southern California, Elisabeth donated her gently used business suits to the House of Ruth for their clients to wear at job interviews. The House of Ruth provides critical, life-saving, and supportive services to victims of domestic violence in Pomona, California since 1977.
  • In 2005, Elizabeth Misner was named the Red Cross Humanitarian of the Year for her disaster relief support after Hurricane Katrina.
  • Internationally, Elisabeth Misner helped Building Blocks to build schools in Bangalore. This organization works for the betterment of slum children across India by providing them with a well-rounded education on par with most private schools.
  • Elisabeth supported the Little Rock Inclusive Early Childhood Development Centre in Kenya. They provide a great start at growth and learning to disadvantaged and special needs children living in the urban slums. They make it possible for children to reach physical, emotional, and cognitive development milestones and gain school readiness skills.
  • Elisabeth was the co-founder with me of the BNI Foundation and helped to raise millions of dollars for children and education all around the world. She also created their “Business Voices” initiative which creates an awareness of the local educational needs with the local business professionals.
  • Elisabeth was the administrator of The Misner Family Foundation. Beth, our three adult kids, and I would decide together which causes or charities to support as a family.

“It is so overwhelmingly gratifying to be able to impact the lives of kids all over our planet, whether they are in Kansas or India. I was raised with an understanding that we have an obligation to make life better for others wherever and whenever we can.” Quote by Elisabeth Misner

Books Authored by Elisabeth Misner

Elisabeth Misner was a New York Times Bestselling author. She wrote or contributed to seven books. Her latest book was published just one month before her death.  It is titled, Called Out of the Church.

Elisabeth Misner was an Ordained Minister

One thing that would tell you a lot about Elisabeth is that she transitioned from being called Beth to being called Elisabeth.  She did that because she said that Beth means “house” and “Elisabeth” means “house of God.”

Elisabeth was an ordained minister with a Bachelor’s degree in theology. Plus, a Master’s degree in theology with an emphasis on spiritual formation. She was the founder of the Journey Center (Claremont), a center for spirituality, healing, and wholeness in California. Elisabeth’s spiritual journey planted the seed of passion within her to be an instrument of peace and grace for others. She had a way of working with her clients to tap into their unconditional love. Her goal was to bring them to spiritual clarity and peace. It did not matter their faith path or tradition. Elisabeth was a meditation and prayer leader.

“There can be no doubt that the ability to intuitively listen to the voice of the Spirit is important.” Quote by Elisabeth Misner

Elisabeth Misner Loved Being a Mom

Elisabeth would always say that the most important job in her life was that of “mom”.  She loved being a mom and she immensely loved our three children: Ashley Misner, Dorian Prin, and Trey Misner Tempest. While raising our children she also obtained a black belt in Shotokan Karate. Finally, Elisabeth studied Tai Chi and later become a Qigong Master teaching at the Austin Spa Resort in Texas.

“I have always been a full-time mom, and feel that God has taught me so much in the process of raising these three amazing young people.”  Quote by Elisabeth Misner

Final Thoughts on Elisabeth Misner

Elisabeth’s hobbies and interests included gardening, scrapbooking, and travel. Furthermore, she also loved reading, writing, painting, drawing, quilting, speaking, decorating homes, fine art, wine, astronomy, and meditation. Beth was fluent in Spanish and German, the language of her Mennonite great-grandmother, Elisabeth Kroeker. Yes, she was named after her. Elisabeth also spoke French and she knew sign language and a little Japanese.  Elisabeth was truly a life-long learner. She especially loved Texas. Beth always told people she was from Texas, even when they lived in California.  Texas was her home wherever she resided.  She was incredibly happy to come back to Texas for the last six years of her life. The world, Texas, and our home are a little less perfect without her in it.

In Lieu of flowers, our family would prefer donations to the BNI Foundation.

Please visit her memorial site and leave your memories or stories about Elisabeth:
https://www.forevermissed.com/elisabeth-misner/lifestory

I will be making an announcement later on Facebook when her online Memorial will be held. All are welcome to attend.

Ice Breaker

Small Talk: The Mighty Ice Breaker

One of the most important aspects of networking is the small talk that occurs at networking functions. The small talk acts as an ice breaker to open up the initial conversation between strangers. This initial conversation is important. It is the first opportunity to grow a mutual connection that may lead to future referrals.

Locubrevisphobia

This big word is the fear of making small talk, often resulting in the sufferer avoiding social and networking events. Many people simply dread the thought of having to carry on conversations with people they do not know. It is easy to label these people as shy. However, only a small minority of people are too shy to enjoy talking with others. Most people are not afraid to talk; they are just intimidated by the task of finding something to talk about.

For this reason, business owners need to stay on top of pop culture and current events. The latest issues and stories in the news are great ways to break the ice and help you find common ground with a person you may never have met before and with whom you may not have much in common. But with the media explosion, it’s increasingly difficult to have a firm grasp on water-cooler talk, particularly when it comes to conversations with people in different age brackets. So, how do you start — and maintain — a conversation at a networking or other event with someone you don’t know at all?

Just ask questions as an ice breaker

This sounds simple because it is. A great way to get people to talk is to ask a few “feeder” questions that will help you learn what the other person is interested in. Simply hone in on that subject. You don’t have to know anything about the topic to converse about the topic. You just have to know enough to ask the questions.

It’s easier you think. Online news sites have set up their pages with easy-to-read convenient categories, such as Top News, Sports, Entertainment, and Tech. Either at night or first thing in the morning, just take a few minutes to read the headlines, and maybe the first one to two sentences. You’d be surprised how much you can learn about “what’s hot” from just a cursory glance. You have enough information to start asking questions and conversing with someone new.

Make the other person feel like an expert

I still remember when I realized the value of asking questions and letting someone answer them. I was flying for business, and just before taking off, I struck up a conversation with the person seated next to me. I’m not sure what started the conversation, but I wasn’t familiar with the business he was in, and I asked a question. That question led to another, then another until the end of that two-hour flight. I realized that he had “small talked” during the entire flight. We made a good connection, I had learned something new, and, as we were gathering our belongings, he complimented me for being a good conversationalist.

A savvy networker, Susan RoAne, reads the sports section in her newspaper from cover to cover every single day, even though she has zero interest in sports. “Why on earth would you subject yourself to this?” I asked her, as I am admittedly not a sports fan, either. She replied, “My networking functions are primarily attended by men. I don’t want to stay on the sidelines while important conversations are going on, conversations that invariably start with a discussion about last night’s game.”

Take a few minutes each day to browse enough headlines to arm you with enough knowledge of current events, pop culture — and yes, even sports. Use this knowledge as an ice breaker to ask questions and get conversations flowing. Using small talk is simply a good networking strategy. As a bonus, you’ll learn a lot from these conversations you might never have learned otherwise.

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