Subscription Revenue for Your Business

Subscription Revenue for Your Businessstring(38) "Subscription Revenue for Your Business"

I have known Robert Skrob for several years; he is one of my co-authors of the book, The Connector Effect: The Proven Way to Grow Your Business Right Now.

Robert is the #1 authority in subscription revenue growth, and I talked with him about how small businesses can expand their revenue exponentially through subscriptions. He shared information from his recent book, The 9 Proven Models for Exponential Subscription Growth.

Today’s customers are increasingly looking for subscription offers and are more amenable to buying a subscription to a restaurant, to a professional service, or other companies that they use and frequent.

Robert says that this can be a lucrative opportunity for small businesses. Rather than getting a customer one time with a single transaction, they can get a customer that purchases a preapproved series of transactions.

Many businesses don’t think of themselves as having the opportunity to do a subscription model. However, most businesses DO have that ability. Yes, there are a lot of large companies offering subscriptions – think of Costco and Netflix. If we look a little closer, we find that small businesses everywhere also offer them.

Examples of Successful Subscriptions

Many businesses use a VIP model. A restaurant can offer a benefit for VIP members or subscribers to go to the restaurant during certain hours available only to them or to have exclusive VIP access to certain tables while other customers have to wait in line.

A pre-approved supplier business that provides goods or services can invite clients to have a subscription. You may have heard of Dollar Shave Club; they were able to completely disrupt the razor business by providing razors for significantly less cost to consumers. This worked without a distribution system as they were going direct to their customer. Additionally, because they used a subscription model where their customer had pre-approved several orders and thus had a higher lifetime value, Dollar Shave Club was able to disrupt an entire industry.

I realize that there are some businesses that might say, “Well, I don’t see how I could have a subscription.” I asked Robert about the types of businesses that could have the opportunity to do a subscription model.

He said that quite a few businesses already do – from landscaping to pest control, they are already a regular service that people subscribe to. There are some Certified Public Accountants (CPA) that have an audit defense subscription. The client pays an annual fee and if they are ever audited, the CPA firm will come to their defense.

A home roofing company can have an annual gutter cleaning service, sold together with a new roof purchase, or as a stand-alone item. Heating/air conditioning businesses and plumbing businesses offer a type of subscription program. When they go to a home and give an estimate, they say, “It’s this price to do the repair. Or if you would like to become one of our members? You can enjoy the member discount on this repair, and it also entitles you to these additional benefits.”

I personally enjoy membership for this type of service. I have a subscription with an AC and plumbing company that comes to my home every three months and checks my air conditioning units and my plumbing to make sure everything is working well. I appreciate that the company automatically schedules the appointments, and I don’t have to keep track of when it next needs to be done. It also builds customer loyalty. I am not going to call anyone else if something happens between the quarterly visits.

Going Beyond Products and Services

In many businesses, the customer is buying services, or they are buying an item. Whereas with membership, clients are buying a type of promise that they’re going to be connected. For many companies, subscriptions add another revenue stream that doesn’t cost them money to fulfill. It can be a very high margin revenue stream with a large impact on customer value.

Robert says the biggest difference between successful subscription businesses and unsuccessful ones is that their 4 Subscription Growth Drivers work together and are appropriate for their specific subscription model. Each of the nine models is unique and has its own way of attracting subscribers by demonstrating value. Subsequently, the 4 growth drivers, which include pricing and retention, are customized for each model, as he clearly explains in his book, which I recommend.

Consider your business – is there a way to reward your most reliable clients with an opportunity to upgrade to VIP status, or to invite your customers to pre-order and receive a regular delivery of pre-approved goods? There is ample consumer convenience in a subscription model and if you are the company that makes people’s lives easier, you can increase their loyalty and longevity.

Favorite Booksstring(14) "Favorite Books"

I recently shared this informal poll on my social media platforms:
“I would love to know which of my books is your favorite, and WHY it is special to you.”

I appreciate everyone who responded with their favorites, and I’d like to share some of the answers I received.

The book, Who’s In Your Room? The Secret to Creating Your Best Life, was identified as the favorite for most of the people who replied. Some of the comments were:
“As a therapist, I refer to it in sessions all the time.”
“It rocked my brain for days.”
“…it gives me perspective to regulate my immediate circle and surroundings.”

This is the premise of Who’s In Your Room? :

Imagine you live your life in one room, and that room has only ONE door, and that door is “Enter Only – No Exit”. Whoever comes through this door will be in your room, and in your life, forever!

This is a metaphor, however, what if it were true? Would you be more selective about the people that you let into your life? This book helps people identify their personal values and learn to set boundaries to live the life they want to live.

These three books were tied for second as the favorites among the others who replied:
Infinite Giving: The 7 Principles of Givers Gain®
Networking Like a Pro 2nd Edition
Room Full of Referrals

Comments included:
“Infinite Giving helps me check myself so I do not get overwhelmed.”
“I love Room Full of Referrals!”

What do you think – do you agree with the top choices?
Which of my books is YOUR favorite?

You can find my books on the ‘BOOKS’ tab on the upper right side of this page, and on Amazon.com.

The Book that Influenced My Focus on SOLUTIONSstring(46) "The Book that Influenced My Focus on SOLUTIONS"

What is it about human nature that causes many of us to focus so much about problems that we don’t spend enough time focusing on solutions?

I feel like I’ve spent my entire career nudging people to focus on solutions.
Why? What started my journey down the solutions path versus the problems path?

It was 1972. I was a high school Junior on the varsity football team. The head football coach gave us all a “bootlegged” cassette tape audio recording called Psycho-Cybernetics. He copied it for every football player on the team.

I listened to that tape over and over and over again. When I realized that the recording was just a summary of the book, Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz, I went out and bought the book because I wanted to know more. 

It’s amazing to me how it influenced the person that I was to become. The book that I bought in 1972 influenced my focus on solutions.

Words in the Book

Do any of these themes sound like a variation of something I might say?

“Decide what you want, not what you don’t want.”
“He visualized success.”
“Happiness does not lie in the future; it lies in the present.”
“His self-fulfilling prophecy made failure certain.”
“You make mistakes, mistakes don’t make you.”
“Think in terms of possibilities.”
“The choice is always up to you.”
“Old recordings can be changed.”
“Put more years of life and more life in your years.”

These are all words that are in the book. Words that became part of the foundation for BNI®, the organization I founded in 1985, and words that are woven into the messages that I have shared for many years through interviews, books, and presentations.

The Power of Positive Thinking

This book influenced me a good deal. Psycho-Cybernetics helped me think about the power of positive thinking and it is a concept that I have embraced for decades.

There are certainly other books out there, and there may be better books since this one came out in 1960. But it influenced me, and there are books out there that can influence YOU to focus on solutions, and not just problems.

We all have opportunities to make a difference in many people’s lives. Not by the problems we identify, but by the solutions we create when we keep the FOCUS ON SOLUTIONS.

Networking Quotient

Build Your Referability Degree and Networking Quotientstring(54) "Build Your Referability Degree and Networking Quotient"

Today’s guest blog is an extract from the book, “Networking Quotient” by my good friends and BNI® Leaders, Paulo Corsi and YP Lai, about two immensely powerful measurements that determine the ability of your network to generate business for you, your Networking Quotient and your Referability Degree.

As a networker, have you ever asked yourself how effective your network is in bringing business referrals? And have you ever pondered which strategy will bring you better results? Should you expand your network and get to know more people? Should you build a deeper relationship with the people who are already in your network? Well, the secret to getting the answers is being able to measure your network. That sounds simple, right? However, what is the right measurement to use? The size of your network? The depth of your network? Or perhaps something else?

Let me introduce you to two powerful measurements that determine the ability of your network to generate business for you.

Your Referability Degree

The Referability Degree points out how much of your network is working for you. However, it does not tell you if your network has the right size to generate more business opportunities for you.

The Referability Degree is calculated by dividing the number of contacts in your network who have given you a referral in the last six months and dividing this number by the total number of contacts you have. (e.g., 30 people that gave you referrals / 100 people in your network gives you a Referability Degree of 30%).

  • If you have a Referability Degree of 50% or less:

Your focus should be on developing better relationships with the people who do not regularly give you business referrals. Through nurturing the relationship, you will teach them how to generate referrals for you. At the same time, you will be learning ways on how to create value and bring referrals for the other person and develop a long-term mutually beneficial relationship.

  • When your Referability Degree is above 50%:

You are ready to expand your network. As you expand your network, you should simultaneously strengthen the relationship so that both parties can bring good quality business referrals for each other.

Imagine a person that has a Referability Degree of 90% – which is exceedingly high. However, the size of the network is only 10 people. This indicates that he has deep relationships with his existing contacts but has only an extremely limited network. In this scenario, he must expand his network to more people. A network of 10 people will not be sufficient to create a constant flow of opportunities for him.

Your Networking Quotient

The Networking Quotient is simply the number of people that have given business referrals to you in the past 6 months.

For a continual flow of business by referrals, it is recommended to have a Networking Quotient of at least 100. This means having an active community of at least 100 people that you are constantly in contact with, build rapport with and know how to bring you good quality referrals. Building up your Networking Quotient takes time, and with constant practice, it will become your daily habit.

“Networking Quotient”

Networking Quotient  Paulo Corsi and YP Lai in their book, “Networking Quotient”, share in detail how to calculate the Referability Degree and the Networking Quotient. And more importantly, they share proven strategies to build your Referability Degree and your Networking Quotient.

The eBook / Kindle version of “Networking Quotient” is on sale for $1.99 until 11 pm (PDT) TONIGHT – April 1st, 2021.

 Download the eBook version of “Networking Quotient” today.

 

“Work Less Earn More”

Work Less Earn More

Accompanying the Networking Quotient book, YP Lai has written another book, “Work Less Earn More” about the 10 proven strategies to be wealthier, healthier & happier.

This book acts as a guide for busy entrepreneurs to get their lives into harmony, ensuring that while they are in pursuit of material wealth to provide for the family, they also focus on other important things in life like health, fitness, and happiness.

The eBook / Kindle version of “Work Less, Earn More” is on sale for 99¢ on Amazon until 11 pm (PDT) on April 2nd, 2021.

Download the eBook version of “Work Less Earn More” today.

Stories

We All Tell Storiesstring(19) "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.

Infinite Giving

Infinite Givingstring(15) "Infinite Giving"

I have a new book,Infinite Giving”, that was just released this week and is available for purchase on Amazon.

Our book reveals for the very first time, the 7 principles of Givers Gain®  which leads to a life of giving not just for the benefit of others, but most importantly for you as well.  All the while allowing you to protect your time, energy, and resources to ensure you can practice Infinite Giving throughout the world. This law of reciprocity has allowed hundreds of thousands of people to take part in this powerful philosophy while also building a business to support them and those they care about. Givers Gain seeks to imagine a world where giving is a strength, and everybody can create success through Infinite Giving.  The philosophy of Givers Gain® has the potential to change the world. Full stop.

The Seven Principles of Givers Gain®

  1. Are They in Your Light?                     ∞ Do you want to live a more fulfilled existence, one
  2. Give Without Expectation                    where you’re building a life and business where you
  3. Give More Than Expected                     don’t have to choose between winning or helping?
  4. Give What You Can Afford                ∞ Have you ever felt like people take advantage of your
  5. It’s OK to Gain                                           good nature, both in life and business?
  6. Stay Humble                                         ∞ Do you feel alone when you need help, despite your
  7. The Gratitude Effect                               previous generous activities?

The Infinite Giving Authors

Two Brits and a Yank make an important decision about the book in this video.

Dr. Ivan Misner is the Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of BNI, the world’s largest business networking organization.  He has written over 25 books including three New York Times bestsellers.

Greg Davies is a corporate trainer, inspirational speaker, and multi-award-winning Director of BNI.  He also has a passion for stories and is known as The StoryFella, using narratives to inspire people and businesses all over the world.

Julian Lewis is a portfolio entrepreneur, with diverse interests including, IT, film making, and business coaching, he is also a multi-award-winning Director of BNI.  He continues to coach, mentor, and consult to businesses globally.

Infinite Giving is available for purchase on Amazon.  

Infinite Giving

∞ Order multiple copies of this book for yourself and

    others.

∞ The possibilities of who you can be GIVING this book

    to are INFINITE.

∞ Please use this link to order your own copy of this

    amazing book: https://tinyurl.com/InfiniteGiving

 

Acclaim for Infinite Giving

“The perfect balance between developing yourself and impacting others”
Lisa Nichols, Author of Abundance Now

“If you like stories, you’ll love this book. These aren’t just stories that inspire because they show vs. tell; they’re real-life examples from around the world that motivate you to give generously because it’s a shortcut to a meaningful life, successful business, and enduring legacy. Read it and reap.”
Sam Horn, CEO of the Tongue Fu! Training Institute 

“These principles will always work if you work the principles”
Jack Canfield, Author of Success Principles and Chicken Soup for the Soul

Intentional About Diversity

Being Intentional About Diversitystring(33) "Being Intentional About Diversity"

Being Intentional About Diversity was written with my co-author of Networking Like a ProBrian Hilliard.

With everything going on in the world today, we thought it would be a good time to take a step back and talk about diversity, and more specifically, about diversifying your business network. Developing a truly diverse network is not only the right thing to do, it is also the smart thing to do. Because let’s be honest, different people bring different things to the table in terms of who they know and how they might be able to refer or otherwise assist your business.

As we said in our book, Networking Like a Pro, networks are by nature, clumpy. Human beings have a tendency to congregate and surround ourselves with people who are similar to us. . . whether by race, gender, religion, or professional status. Unfortunately, this approach to networking has unintended consequence – namely, that we tend to form clusters. This is why it is so incredibly important to be intentional about the way we develop our personal network. A diverse personal network enables you to increase the possibility of including connectors to your network. These are people who cross over in some way between two or more groups of people. The best way to increase the number of possible connections in your network is to intentionally develop a diverse, heterogeneous network that has connections to other clusters of people.

If you go with the premise that relationships are the currency of today’s modern business person, then it stands to reason that having an ethnically diverse business network – comprised of people who look different than you – actually is the next logical step when it comes to building a thriving referral-based business.

But for a lot of people, especially those in the majority, the question becomes how.

In other words, how as a white businessman (or woman), can I diversify my network and get to know more business people in the African American, Asian or Latino communities?

That’s a great question and one that, at first glance, can seem daunting to say the least.

But as with most seemingly complicated questions, the answer is quite simple: Be more intentional about it.

In other words, as a member of any ethnic group, the tendency is to spend time around more people like yourself. So whatever ethnicity I am, I’m more likely to have friends and business contacts of that ethnicity. And while that’s understandable, we feel that entrepreneurs who diversify their networks – based on ethnicity, gender and a host of other factors – are actually better positioned to be more successful.

As a matter of fact, McKinsey & Company did a report in 2015 (“Diversity Matters”) which determined that companies having a high racial and ethnic diversity are actually 35% more likely to perform above their industry’s national median return.

So the question becomes what can we do to branch out and overcome the gravitational pull we all feel towards spending time around people who look like us? How can we, instead, become more intentional in our actions when it comes to actually meeting and engaging others in different communities?

Another great question…and we have some thoughts.

1. Recognize that diversity is a process, not a program. In other words, diversifying your network has to be something you want to do and commit to doing on a daily basis. It needs to become part of your core beliefs that you’re going to be intentional about meeting and engaging people who don’t look like you. Anything less than that is almost guaranteed to eventually fail.

2. Look at your phone and business contacts on social media. Do they all “look” the same in terms of ethnicity, age, education and gender? If so, then keep reading because you might have some work to do. As we said above, diversity is a process, not just a program. This has to be an ongoing process.

3. Consider volunteering for certain organizations which put you into contact with people who are different than you. This could be as simple as volunteering as a coach for a local sports team, scheduling some time to visit an inner city school during “career day,” or sitting on a local community service board. Just take it upon yourself to broaden the scope of contacts you have with various ethnicities.

4. Make it a point to talk to people who don’t look like you. This is one that I (Brian) personally started doing 2 years ago, and I love it! So as a black man in his 40’s who grew up in the North but lives in the South, I take it upon myself to talk to ANY white person who may or may not have the same education as me, or who may or may not be in the same physical shape as me, or who may or may not be originally from the North like me. And it’s not a question of patronizing people or anything like that…I just make it a point while passing them at the grocery store, walking to my car in the parking lot, picking up some Chinese food to say “Hey, how’s it going?” And depending on the situation, sometimes that leads to more conversation, sometimes it doesn’t. But it gets everyone out of their comfort zone for a bit engaging new folks.

5. Invite different people of different ethnicities to your networking group. If you’re in a local Chamber of Commerce or a BNI Chapter, this is a perfect opportunity for you to engage others and invite them to your group. For example, maybe you’re out networking and you see a person of color and you decide to implement Point #4 from above. Ok, then during that conversation, you let them know about your group and see if they’d like to attend. And that’s it. Super easy to do, and it is very intentional.

6. Make this a top down initiative wherever you are in the organization. For those of you who have employees in your business, this point is crucial. If you want to have diversity in your organization and be more successful as a business because of it, then you absolutely must take the lead and make diversity a “thing.” Which means it is something that people value, something that people do, and something that you, as the leader, set as an example on a regular basis for them to emulate.

7. Hard-code diversity into the fabric of your business. Similar to the previous leadership point, if you’re going to be serious about diversity in your business, we recommend you seriously consider making it one of the core values of your company. Put it in your public material, address it when talking to your team/employees, and make it a part of the DNA of the organizational culture so people are crystal clear how you feel about it and how it plays out in your company.

It is important to note that there is a subtle but crucial difference between inclusivity and diversity. You may have an organization where the members feel like it is very inclusive, but when you look at it from the outside, does it truly look diverse? If not, you need to be more intentional about being inclusive to create diversity. Diversity is a fact; inclusiveness is a choice. Intentionally acting in an inclusive manner is what creates diversity.

Don’t beat yourself up if you’re not there yet…maybe you haven’t done these things as well as you could have. But today is the day to start. It’s never too late to do the right thing.

NETWORKS AREN’T FLAT: The Seven Stages of Professional Relationships by Andy Lopatastring(85) "NETWORKS AREN’T FLAT: The Seven Stages of Professional Relationships by Andy Lopata"

Today’s guest blog is an extract from Andy Lopata’s book, “Connected Leadership”, about the seven stages of professional relationships.

When we picture a network it’s easy to visualize a flat entity, a single structure comprising all of the people we know. Much network theory focuses on the number of people in the average network, with classic studies such as Girard’s Law of 250(1) and the Dunbar Number(2) often quoted.

In my opinion, both of these studies are flawed. They are flawed in their interpretation: The Dunbar Number was never intended as an indication of the average network size. They are outdated: they were both developed in the last century, well before social media dominated our lives and networks. And flawed in the basic premise: Girard’s Law is based on the observation that the average number of guests at a wedding or funeral is 500. I went to a funeral recently that was described as ‘busy’ and I can promise you that nowhere near 500 people attended.

The way both studies have been used in network theory is the biggest flaw. We have been told that ‘the average network size is 250’ (based on Girard’s Law). Other objections aside, this oversimplifies the nature of a network.

Rather than being a flat structure or simple grouping of contacts, networks are more complicated organisms with people flowing in and out and between various levels. I tend to visualize a network as seven levels of a professional relationship with a group of expanding circles, much like the side section of half an onion.

The Seven Stages of Professional Relationships

Within that network, there are seven levels of a professional relationship:

  1. Recognize
  2. Know
  3. Like
  4. Trust
  5. Support
  6. Advocate
  7. Friend (moving into your personal network) 

 

Towards the center of the network are people you have a lot of time for and want to support. That feeling is likely to be reciprocal and you’d be available whenever the other party needs and, at stages six and seven, actively looking out for each other.

This is what we’d call your trusted network, people you are likely to see day in day out, week in and week out (although absence doesn’t necessarily exclude people from your trusted network).

As you move further out through the layers, the relationship becomes a little less trusted, not as deep. You might see each other less frequently, be less inclined to share openly with each other, or ask for help.

At the outer edges of your network are people who come in and out. If we meet at an event or dinner party I’ll be in your network for a few days. By that, I mean that if we bump into each other or I call you, you will remember me and know who I am. But that link is tenuous. After a few days or weeks, we will probably be strangers again.

Compare this to someone in the center of your network. You could probably go three years or more without speaking to each other but still, pick up where you left off as if no time had passed.

People on the outskirts of your network will come in and out. If you want to embed people in your network, your first challenge is to get beyond that outer circle and into their long-term memory.

 

Andy Lopata‘s book, “Connected Leadership” can be bought from amazon.com at a promotional price of $0.99 TODAY. As Ivan’s readership is global, this page lists the book on all of Amazon domains. 

Circles of Support

Richard Branson Shares his Circles of Support Conceptstring(53) "Richard Branson Shares his Circles of Support Concept"

Last week, I was back on Necker Island to celebrate “International Networking Week®” by “networking up” my circles of support with Richard Branson. I did a video a few years ago with Richard when we talked about a concept he had called, “the B Team”. It was brilliant and as a result of that conversation, we created the “Business Voices” initiative for the BNI Foundation. My wife, Beth, came up with that concept based on the conversation we had with Richard.

The B Team

Richard has an organization called “The Elders”, which is supporting some of the big issues in the world today: such as climate change and other things. He thought that maybe a business version of “The Elders” would be good too. They now have about 40 of the topmost respected business people in the world as part of “The B Team”. They are doing great things.

In his book, “Finding my Virginity”, Richard discusses his concept about circles of support. It perfectly aligns with my networking organization. Richard shares with me about circles of support in this video.

Circles of Support

According to Richard, when a new person joins Virgin, they will say, “Don’t try to solve all the problems of the world, just draw a circle around yourself first”. Start by drawing a circle around yourself to make sure everything inside that circle is working well. Ask yourself: Am I meeting my fitness goals? Have I got my alcohol intake right? Have I got my work-life balance in harmony? Once you feel that circle is fine, you widen the circle to include family and friends. Once all that is manageable, you can start thinking about bigger things and do everything you can to help others. If you have a small business, make a difference in your city. Support local programs that support health or education. Finally, you can draw a circle around your country and the last circle around the world.

circles of supportOrder this book by Richard Branson on Amazon

I highly recommend the book, “Finding my Virginity”, by Richard Branson. The concept of managing your circles of support on page 354 works so well for BNI members. The network that I created is where you got a small circle of people and over time, taking that circle a step further by building relationships. If everybody who reads this blog creates a circle, the world will be a better place.

circle of support

 

 

Entrepreneur

Through the Eyes of a New Entrepreneurstring(38) "Through the Eyes of a New Entrepreneur"

What was going through your mind when you first decided to become an entrepreneur? To many of us it exciting, amazing, confusing, overwhelming, and frightening. You did not know what to do. However, that was a long time ago. Now, you believe that was the best decision you made.

It may be over 10 years for you since you first became an entrepreneur, but is the first few weeks for a new entrepreneur.  Think about what you know now and think back to the things you wish you had known then.

The same thing occurs with business networking

It may be years for you since you first started business networking, but is the first few weeks for a new entrepreneur who has recently joined a networking group like BNI. Therefore, I want you to take a moment and see “networking” through the eyes of a new member. Think about what you know now and think back to the things you wish you had known then.

That’s the reason I wrote “The Networking Mentor”

I have a newly revised book, “The Networking Mentor”, that is available on Amazon. “The Networking Mentor” is a parable about the transformation of someone’s life because another person took them under their wing and mentored them relating to the do’s and don’ts of networking. It starts with a struggling business owner, Ken, who is invited to a BNI networking group by a business associate. He proceeds to mentor Ken and helps him learn how to network effectively and build a referral-based business. Ken’s mentor teaches him very specific strategies on how to network better and at the same time, the mentor improves his skill set as well.

I wanted people to remember by writing this book, the concerns, fears, and frustrations when they first became an entrepreneur and started business networking with others.  Most importantly, I wanted to show how a mentor can make a HUGE difference in someone’s life. Volunteer to be a business networking mentor and you will also become a better networker. You will improve your game; you will improve your skill set.

We all have someone in our story. However, whose story are you in? At your next meeting connect with a new member.  Take them under your wing.  Teach them what you’ve learned and be in their story.

Please review this book

If you read my book. “The Networking Mentor”, I’d really appreciate if you would post a review on Amazon using this link. https://tinyurl.com/reviewsofthenetworkingmentor

For everyone who does a review of “The Networking Mentor”, we will send them a link to a one hour webinar that I did on Who’s in Your Network. It is a free gift for anyone who helps me out by posting a review. After posting your review, please send me a private message letting us know you posted a review. We will reply with a link to the recorded webinar.

Networking Mentor

The Networking Mentorstring(21) "The Networking Mentor"

 

I have a newly revised book, The Networking Mentor, that is now available on Amazon. It was just released this week!

“The Networking Mentor” is a parable about the transformation of someone’s life because another person took them under their wing and mentored them relating to the do’s and don’ts of networking. It starts with a struggling business owner, Ken, who is invited to a BNI networking group by a business associate. He proceeds to mentor Ken and helps him learn how to network effectively and build a referral-based business. Ken’s mentor teaches him very specific strategies on how to network better and at the same time, the mentor improves his skill set as well.

Each and every one of us have people in our lives who made a difference. We all have someone in our story who influenced the path we took—or perhaps motivated us to carve our own path. These are the mentors we’ve had in our life. Their impact can be life-changing. We firmly believe in the power of mentors to make a positive difference in the lives of others. By devoting time and attention to a mentoring relationship, both parties reap deeply powerful and meaningful rewards that extend well beyond simple financial gain. As we mature and gain more experience, we have the opportunity to transition from mostly being a mentee to also being a mentor. This book is for both mentors and mentees. This book is the second edition of a book originally titled: “I Love Networking.” It has been expanded with additional chapters and graphics.

Please use this link to order your own copy of this amazing book.

https://tinyurl.com/TheNetworkingMentor

Every person that believes in mentoring new members in their network needs copies of this book. It is the story of how a mentoring relationship changed someone’s life in a BNI group. We’ve all had mentors who are in “our story”. When we talk about how our life has changed through our experiences with them, they are part of that story. Mentors can make a positive difference in someone’s life. By devoting time and attention to a mentoring relationship, both parties reap deeply powerful and meaningful rewards that extend well beyond simple financial gain. As we gain more experience, we have the opportunity to transition from being a mentee to also being a mentor. We’ve all had mentors who are in “our story”. 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? That’s what creates a meaningful life, and that’s why this book is for both mentees and mentors.

So, I have two questions for you.  Whose story are you in as their mentor and how have you helped someone else?  Who is in your story as a special mentor to you in your life or business? Share your story here on my blog.  I’d really like to hear it.  Post it below in the comments.

Honor the Event

Honor the Eventstring(15) "Honor the Event"

Networking is a lifestyle you need to incorporate into everything that you do. However, I also believe that you must HONOR THE EVENT. For example, networking at a chamber mixer is one thing, while networking at a church social is completely different.

What is Networking

I believe that networking is part of the process of developing your social capital. Building your social capital hinges on the development of meaningful relationships with other people. Since one should always be working on building meaningful relationships with other people, they should always be networking. However, that doesn’t mean someone should always be trying to “sell” something to someone, because that rarely facilitates the development of meaningful relationships. Herein lies the misinterpretation of the practice of networking. Some people think that networking means to be constantly “selling” your products or services.

To me, networking means that you should be constantly building relationships. The best way to build relationships is to help someone whenever possible. A good networker has two ears and one mouth and should be using them proportionately. Hence, if you understand networking to be the process that one uses to develop relationships and build one’s social capital – then it makes sense that someone should be networking everywhere – including the Church social. They key is that you must “honor the event”.

Honor the Event

Your networking must be different in a chamber meeting compared to a social event. In both cases you want to be making contacts, putting people together, helping others and building relationships. However, you should NOT be actively promoting your business in one of those two groups (hint – it’s not the Chamber). Instead, you want to focus on putting people together and helping others portion of the process.

Let me give you an example of what I mean:

Last year, I had the opportunity to attend a formal dinner put on by the “Friendly Sons of St. Patrick.” This was a black-tie social event, NOT a business networking dinner. Yet, I was able to make a great contact that ended up being immensely successful for me (and, I hope, for one of the people I met there!). At my table were seated a prominent senior partner to a major international law firm, a former member of the Beach Boys, and Buzz Aldrin. He was part of the first mission to set foot on the moon and now an entrepreneur as the founder of the ShareSpace Program! During the course of the evening, I mentioned to Dr. Aldrin that I was working on my book, Masters of Success. He’s certainly attained a well-known level of success and has some very strong feelings about the future of the space program so I thought he might be interested in sharing his thoughts in this new book. After getting to know each other better, I asked him if he would be interested in contributing a chapter to the book. He was! Consequently, he was one of the prominent contributing authors to the book.

So you can see that it is desirable to keep your networking goals in sight at all events and opportunities, without becoming a networking vulture, or someone that everyone else runs from when they see you coming! Honor the event; tailor your networking strategies so that you fit in without being tuned out.

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