Yesterday my wife, Elisabeth, and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary together in the Champagne region of France. We just left a BNI Conference in France and wanted to take a couple of days to celebrate alone.
This gave me time to reflect on the many ways she has been such an amazing life partner and I wrote down some of the things that I’ve said about her over these many years. She is the greatest referral of my lifetime.
Here are just a few 30th wedding anniversary thoughts:
You bring color to my black & white world.
I make the living and you make the living worthwhile.
President John Adams always depended on Abigal Adams as his advisor and confidant. You have always been my “Mrs. Adams.”
It’s hard being me – without you.
You are always the most beautiful woman in a room.
I am a compass and you are magnetic north. I will gravitate to you wherever you are.
She is my bride of 30 years. I wish her another 30 years together.
Life for people in this day and age is crazy busy. People will take up every spare moment in your life if you let them, so it is important to create a life that has “margins.” Build free time, family time, and personal time into the margins of your day-to-day existence. If you don’t schedule it, it won’t happen. You’ll be happier when you create margins—we promise. Schedule time to relax.
I have scheduled time to relax. Beth and I are taking a vacation this week with my good friend and co-author, Stewart Emery, with his wife. We have been enjoying this week together in Bordeaux France sipping wine and enjoying the sights.
In this video, we discuss “Margins”. You create “harmony” in your life by creating space in your life. Harmony is the access to the things that really matter to you and being fully present; while avoiding those things that do not.
“Who’s in Your Room?: The Secret to Creating Your Best Life”
This is the premise behind my newest book, co-authored with Stewart Emery, and Rick Sapio. We believe this book can change people’s lives. Learn the secret to creating your best life.
You can be a founding member of Ivan’s Inner Circle. We listened to your comments and it is now strictly the webinar platform and Facebook Community coaching along with live events. I’d love to see you there.
I hope you are able to attend because it includes very impactful content relating to building the “right” network of people. It is based on content from my book, “Who’s In Your Room?” However, this Master Class will focus on applying the concepts from that book into your personal network. During this experience, I will help you assess who is in your network (aka your life) and who should stay in it. Nearly every business owner that has experienced some type of challenge will admit that the root of this trying time was because they let someone into their network that was not aligned with their values. Whether this person did poor work, created drama and angst, or simply distracted you from your focus – they ended up not being a positive influence in your life or in your group.
I’m going to be sharing my solution to this in the free Master Class, Who’s In Your Network?
The quality of your life is a direct reflection of who is in your network. How you manage who you let into your network is very important. This webinar is free and you are welcome to invite your fellow members and friends to it. The class is sponsored by Ivan’s Inner Circle which has recently been changed to focus exclusively on my educational content. I’d love to see you there.
When my wife, Elisabeth and I are out together at large events, someone will inevitably say that it’s nice to meet the woman behind the man or “behind every great man is a woman.” Now I’m not offended by that and I don’t think she is either – however, I also don’t really agree with it.
I would change that expression to “beside every great man is a woman.” The key here is that I think that it’s much easier for someone to achieve success in business and in life when you have your life partner next to you in the journey. I sincerely doubt if I would be where I am without her and I’d like to think that she wouldn’t be where she is without me. That makes it a partnership. Partners walk side by side in life.
So, if you see the two of us together sometime, know that I won’t be offended if you say the traditional expression, but I’ll be very impressed if you say “beside every great man is a woman.” In fact, she’s pretty amazing in her own right so I wouldn’t even mind if you said, “beside every great woman is a man.”
Happy Valentines Day.
I totally get the issues relating to gender and life partner expressions and I’m also good with anyone putting whatever gender they want to put into this expression. That said – I’m a man and my wife is a woman and so I am looking at this in my context – feel free to alter it to your own context.
Fellow Transformational Leadership Council member and friend, Steve Farber, talks to me about focusing on finding love in business. Steve is one of the best speaker’s I’ve seen on the stage. His message is both surprising and impactful. When we were in Cancun together last week, he talked to me about love being a part of your every day mantra as a business owner.
It’s true. Love is just damn good business. Here’s the logic:
1. You have a massive competitive advantage when your customers love your product or service.
2. The only way to create that experience for customers in a meaningful and sustainable way over time is to create an environment or culture that people love working in.
3. You can’t create that kind of culture unless you love your business, your team, your colleagues, your employees, your customers, yourself, first.
4. Employees will model how they are treated by their leaders.
Love being part of our every day business
Businesses that promote love and celebrate love still need profits to keep their doors open, but they understand the powerful connection between loving what you do in the service of people who love what you do. It builds strong relationships, trust, loyalty, and the commitment that allows a business to not only make money but make a difference. Love being part of our every day business is no more complicated than the Golden Rule: treat others as you would like to be treated.
Your New Years just got a whole lot better. Now, you have an effortless and affordable way to enjoy “Who’s in Your Room?” in audio. I am so thrilled to offer you the opportunity to enjoy my latest book seamlessly through Audible, it’s about to become your new favorite audiobook.
Can you imagine living a better life in 2019? Would you like to surround yourself with more supportive people? There’s hope! You see, the quality of your life depends on the people in your life. The simple and powerful ideas in this book can change your life forever in the new year.
“Who’s in Your Room?” introduces you to the concept of your life being like a room – a room where anyone who enters affects your life…forever. Although this concept may sound frightening, this book gives you the tools and exercises you need to make a New Year’s resolution to take control of your room and live the life you desire in 2019.
So, head over to Audible now to pick your first Audible Original. After all, there’s nothing better to read — or listen to — for the new year than “Who’s in Your Room?”. If you’re still not convinced on the book, take a listen to an exclusive clip from the audiobook below:
By knowing why you are networking and what you want to achieve, it is possible to plan accordingly and get great, measurable results. If you have any comments about Andy’s “V” list or any additional “V” words about networking you will want to add to the list. please leave me a comment below.
As a business networking strategist, Andy Lopata works with companies on how to use networking tools to develop their businesses. Networking is not just about sales. Whether for lead generation, breaking down silos internally, recruitment and retention of top staff or developing future leaders, networks and collaboration have a key role to play. Andy works with clients to help recognize that role and put the strategy and skills in place to leverage it.
Over the years I’ve recognized that there are some people who are positive and supportive individuals that I really want to be around. They are solutions focused relating to most problems and are almost always willing to talk through challenges with a positive end in mind. These people are engines. They help me be my best self and they motivate me to drive forward.
I’ve also noticed, as I’m sure you have, that there are some people who complain as though it were an Olympic event (for the record – it’s not!). They tend to be negative, argumentative, and obsessed with problems. I’ve learned not to spend much time with these people because they focus on all the things that are wrong relating to most challenges. If all someone does is focus on problems – they become an expert on problems and not on the solutions. These people are anchors, they hold me back and weigh me down.
Who do you surround yourself with: engines or anchors?
This is an important question for everyone. It’s particularly important if you are trying to build a powerful personal network of people around you. Is your network full of people who are engines helping you go to the next level in your life or your career? Or, are they anchors weighing you down with the plethora of issues, problems, and complaints? Do they hold you back, or do they drive you forward?
The funny thing here is that no-one thinks they’re an anchor. No one! Of course, they’ll tell you that they are an engine – they just do not like the direction you are going and that’s why they come across the way they do. For the record – they’re an anchor – with a motor attached. My advice is to call for “all hands on deck,” cut loose the anchors in your life, partner up with your fellow engines and go full-speed ahead.
This is where your Doorman comes in. Your Doorman is looking for engines, people helping you go to the next level in your life. Your Doorman should forbid entrance to the anchors, people weighing you down with a plethora of issues, problems, and complaints.
This is just a little of the content from my new book, “Who’s in Your Room? The Secret to Creating Your Best Life.” Check out the book here: https://tinyurl.com/WhosInYourRoom.
People often ask me, “how can I get back in touch with people or stay in touch with people that I haven’t seen or spoken with recently?”
If you want to connect or reconnect with others, do what is best for you, but go to where these people want to meet with you. So, here are seven strategies that will help you improve in this area — now. If you can’t do them all — do what works for you.
Don’t be a cave dweller. Please watch this video
1. Sort through your list.
You can’t stay in touch with everyone. Who do you want to make sure to stay connected with and why? It could be personal, it could be professional, but create a list that you want to focus on.
2. Use the system they use.
It doesn’t have to be Facebook or LinkedIn — use Pinterest or other programs, Snapchat, What’s App — whatever they use. Each of my children use different systems. If I want to connect with them — I need to go where they are. For my oldest daughter, it’s texting or a phone call. My second daughter, it’s What’s App or texting. For my son, it’s an online game called Steam. I have some business associates who only reach out to me on Facebook or LinkedIn. Others are strictly emailed. The key here — is to go where the people you want to talk to, hangout.
3. Use social media platforms.
Use social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter to your advantage by sharing news and reading updates without having to reach out to people on an individual basis. Social media is fantastic. Instead of starting your next call with, “What’s new?” you can jump to, “You cut off your hair!” “You have a new job!” If you need help with this, contact Brian Bentzen, my social media coordinator.
4. From time to time, use snail mail.
Yes, OMG, send a letter or a card. It’s so “old school” and it’s almost guaranteed that someone will read it.
5. Skype or other instant message systems.
I’m not a big fan but — it’s not about me, it’s about the other person. What are they using? I see many people using messaging systems online? If you want to stay connected, connect where they are.
6. Periodic phone calls.
I know, crazy idea, actually talk to people. Your smartphone has a green button — use it. If appropriate, set up regular calls. My wife and her sister have done that for many years.
7. Face to face.
Don’t be a “cave dweller.” Nothing beats actually meeting someone face to face and having a conversation. You have to eat breakfast and lunch every day, so why not do this a few times a week with a good referral partner? You can kill two birds with one stone by strategizing with your referral partner about how to help each other over a meal.
Benign neglect is a horrible thing when it comes to building social capital. Start today to stay in touch. Pick a few of the techniques I listed above and “touch” someone. You have to start by making a commitment to improving in this area. If you haven’t been good at this in the past, start to focus on improving today. I would love to hear any more that you might have. Do you have a strategy to add? Or an example of how you use one of the seven? Share it in the comments.
Those tendencies standing “in your way” can be “the way”‘ to success and can become your greatest asset. When I was in elementary school, I generally received good reports from my teachers. However, one thing that came up time and time again was a comment by almost all of my teachers: “Ivan talks too much in class.”
My mother had numerous conversations with me about this but to no avail. I figure that she thought my grades were pretty good and she generally liked to pick and choose her battles on issues. Consequently, she didn’t really push the matter, and so… I talked and talked and talked in class. It showed up on many of my report cards. My teachers felt that it was a problem for me in school. On the other hand, my mother didn’t give me much grief on the subject.
My Greatest Asset
My talking too much in class was thought of as a roadblock by my teachers. Candidly, at one point, they almost had me convinced that it was a problem. My mother — not so much. She didn’t see my talking as such a big issue and that gave me the freedom to be myself. True, I had to tone it down a bit — but it wasn’t drummed out of me. I am grateful for that because, despite the fact that some people thought that talking was blocking my way, the truth is — it would eventually become “the way” for my life.
While the teachers definitely felt that it was a roadblock to my learning, I think they may have been wrong on that. What my teachers saw as a problem ended up becoming an incredible asset. I talk a lot. I talk to individuals, small groups, middle size groups, large groups, and massive groups. Any way you cut it — I’m a talker. It is my greatest asset. My job today is to talk to people. In fact, I get paid to talk. I get paid a crazy number to talk to companies, associations, and organizations. I love to share ideas with people, I love to coach people, and most of all I love to inspire people. And to do that — I talk.
I believe the secret is to take the thing that is “in the way” and channel your efforts in a manner that makes that problem part of the solution. I have noticed that my wife, Elisabeth, has been able to channel what was in the way for her as a child and how powerfully that has served her. She was constantly being told that she was “too rebellious.” She had a very hard time doing things she was told she had to do just because an authority figure in life told her she must do them. Now when she was faced with a medical diagnosis and told by her medical doctor that there was only one path, her strong “rebellious” nature found another, more effective and gentle healing path. What was in her way has become her way!
Some of us do this unconsciously. However, imagine how impactful this paradigm could be if we were more conscious of it at work in our lives. I would encourage you to think about something you were told was “in the way” as part of your life? Has it “become the way” for you and your greatest asset? If so, how? For me — of the first things in my life that were in the way was that I talked too much in class. Looking back, I’d have to say it worked out pretty well.
People who say that networking played a role in their success spent an average of 6 1/2 hours a week networking and had half of their clients from their networking time. However, people who did not invest as much time networking also did not report as much reward. So, how much time should you spend networking?
Therefore, spend about 8-10 hours per week networking and do the right things to build the relationships first when networking.
The secret to getting more business through networking is. . . spending more time doing it! OK, well, it’s a little more complicated than that because you have to spend time doing the right things. However, devoting the necessary time is the starting point. So how much networking time (or NetTime) should you spend developing your personal network and what kind of results can you expect to see?
The survey results
Based on a survey that I helped to write and conduct of over 12,000 business professionals from every populated continent in the world, we finally have a definitive answer to those questions. The study found that people who said “networking played a role” in their success spent an average of 6.3 hours a week participating in networking activities. On the other hand, the majority of people who claimed that “networking did NOT play a role” in their success spent only 2 hours or less per week developing their network.
Clearly, those people who spent very little time engaged in the process felt that networking was not an effective way to build their business. As with many other aspects of life, you clearly reap what you sow. It’s no wonder that the people who didn’t invest as much time also did not realize as much reward. This demonstrates the direct correlation between the amount of time you devote to the networking process and the degree of success that you will likely realize from it.
You may be reading this article and thinking – OK, I now know that I need to be spending at least 6 ½ hours a week networking. Well, that’s true IF you want to be average (and what successful business person wants to be average)! If on the other hand, you’d like to be above average – you need to devote more time than that to the cause. The optimum amount of NetTime is more likely to be 8-10 hours a week if you want to be one of those people that are generating well over half their business from referrals.
How much time do you spend networking each week? More? Less? and what percentage of business do you get from your networking efforts? Comment below.
When I was a child, my teachers all had the same complaint: “Ivan talks too much.” What my teachers saw as a problem ended up being an advantage. My job is to talk to people, and I am paid well to “talk too much”. I was able to take what was in the way and turn it around. It now becomes the way.
My teachers felt that it was a problem for me in school. My mother, on the other hand, didn’t give me too much grief on the subject. While the teachers generally thought it was a roadblock to my learning, I think they may have been wrong on that. What my teachers saw as a problem ended up cutting an incredible passion: I love to talk.
The secret here is to take the thing that’s in the way and channel your efforts in a manner that makes that problem part of the solution.
Please watch this video:
In 1985, I had a massive thing in his way. I had lost a client and could hardly manage to pay the mortgage, so I started a referral group to help myself and my friends generate more referrals in a structured way. That group became BNI, bringing success not just to me, but to thousands of business owners around the world.
Successful people know how to focus on a roadblock and turn it into an overpass. I think the secret here for anyone is to take the thing that is in the way and channel your efforts in a way that makes the problem part of the solution. What are your achievements?