Mentors Archives - Dr. Ivan Misner®
MINO

MINO: Members In Name Only

Being a member of the group is not enough. What I called a MINO (Member In Name Only)  If you are not contributing then why are you there.

Whatever the issues are, just ask, “How can we help?” If we respond negatively, they become defensive. The power is to focus on a constructive approach. If you ask them, “How can we help you?”, their answer will always be either a “Can’t do” or “Won’t do” answer. The person will either explain why they are having difficulty with the situation because they “don’t know how to” address it effectively, or they will give an answer that illustrates that they “don’t really want to” do this for some reason or another. If they are going to say they are really challenged: I can’t do.

How to handle a “Can’t do”:

The printer in a chapter was dead last on P.A.L.M.S. report. We did not tell him that he was dead last. Instead, we asked him, “How can we help you?” The print shop is new, I don’t understand networking. I sleep at my print shop. I do not know how to do this networking stuff. This is a classic “Cant’ Do” response. It is our job to teach them. We were all “can’t do” when we first started. We all make tons of mistakes. When someone alleges they can’t do, they are open to being coached. It is our job to teach them.  If we were just negative and told them they were dead last, he would have quit. Pour into them and help them. They become champions in BNI.

We came up with this together and brainstorm the idea. Not my idea, but I helped. Where the clients come into the lobby area of his shop, he put up a sign where everyone could see it with slots for the BNI members’ business cards. Get 20 copies of everyone’s business cards to fill signs with only the cards from BNI members. Tell them that Bob’s printing referred you. If someone not in BNI wants to give you their cards for the sign, invite them to the next BNI meeting. True story! Nobody just took a card and left. They asked Bob his opinion on each of these. He gave a testimonial with everyone he had cards for. Bob went from last to number one in giving the most referrals. He went from being embarrassed to the top referral giver within 6 months. Bob was the winner of the year. He now loves BNI. We changed his business by coaching and mentoring Bob.

How to handle a “Won’t do”:

It’s too difficult. They give excuses, they are busy, I’m different. With a clear-cut “won’t do”, you open the door for them. They will leave on their own. “I understand your frustration, it is ok to leave the group, feel free to come back if things change”. If you kick them out, they will become defiant and negative towards BNI. They blame and claim it is everyone’s fault. It’s ok to leave on top. If they don’t save face, they will fight you all the way. They don’t hate you if you give them the option to leave in a positive manner. Throw them a “retirement party”. You can cut down the percentage that will require a tough conversation by 90%. Then only 10% of the time you need to have the tough talk about opening their classification and not renewing their membership.

The best part about BNI is friendship; the worst part is the friendship. Ice hockey without rules would be boxing on ice. Without rules, your networking group would be chaos.  You want to be invested in their success. Being a member of the group is not enough.   If you are not contributing then why are you there? Do not become a MINO.

Entrepreneur

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 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.

Mentor

One Time, One Meeting

My daughter, Cassie (AKA Dorian Prin – professional name), is a graphic designer and she’s working on the cover of my next book: The Networking Mentor.  I’m including a “sneak peek” of the working graphic for the cover of the book here in this article.

I was talking to Dorian about the paragraph below which is excerpted from the book:

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. 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.

In our conversation I mentioned that sometimes you might meet someone only once but that meeting is so profound, it can have an influence on you for the rest of your life.

一期一会

Dorian spent some time in Japan and can speak the language.  She said the Japanese have a saying that relates to this concept.  She said the Japanese phrase is: 一期一会 (ichi go ichi e).  Its direct translation is “one time, one meeting” but it probably can be translated more accurately as “once in a lifetime meeting” and is about the cultural concept of the importance of the unrepeatable nature of connections between people who meet. It is a Buddhist concept specifically tied to the tea ceremony and was the topic of contemplation for the tea ceremony she once participated in during one of her visits to Japan.

The lesson here is that you never know how the things you say may influence someone else.  Even if you only meet them once.  An off-handed comment can have a profound effect (either good or bad) on the person you are talking to.

So, I have a question for you.  What has someone said to you that profoundly affected you in business OR in life?  Share your story here on my blog.  I’d really like to hear it.  Post it below in the comments.

Brigadier General

What a Brigadier General Taught Me About Business

When I was a young man just starting my doctoral degree at USC, I had the opportunity to study under a retired Brigadier General from the army. In retrospect, he was one of the best professors that I had during my tenure. In that course, he told me a story that has stayed with me for many decades.

The General told me this story in the early 1980’s. He said that when he was a young first lieutenant (which was decades before that) he was stationed in Britain. As a lieutenent, he was tasked to do a “time and motion study” of a British artillery division. My professor went to the unit and carefully watched as the men prepared to fire the guns. He said he watched as they prepared the weapons to fire. When they were ready, one man marched confidently to the left and stood at attention with his hands behind his back and nodded to the artillery men. They then, proceeded to fire the guns.

The general (then a lieutenant), asked the man why he marched to the left and stood at attention before they fired the weapons? The soldier told him that was the way he was trained to do the procedure. The lieutenant asked the soldier who trained him. The soldier replied that the sergeant trained him. Consequently, the lieutenant went to the sergeant and asked him why he trained the men to march to the left and hold their hands behind their back before they motioned for the weapons to be fired? The sergeant replied that the master sergeant had trained him to do it that way. So, the lieutenant went to the master sergeant and asked him why he trained the sergeants to train the men to fire the weapons that way. The master sergeant said “that’s the way we’ve always done it in this man’s army sir.” He had no further insight as to why it was done that way.

The leaky bucket…

So, my professor (then a lieutenant), went off to produce his report regarding the process. One evening he decided to take a break and went to a local pub frequented by many military personnel. While there, he found himself sitting next to a very elderly retired sergeant major from the army.

Now you have to understand that I met the retired general in the early 1980’s and he spoke to this sergeant major when he was a very young first lieutenant. He said this retired soldier was involved in the military back in the old “cavalry” days.

My professor told the retired soldier that he was very perplexed by this artillery process and he asked him if he had any idea why the men would march to the left and hold their hands behind their back. When my professor asked his question, the old sergeant major said, “why lad… they’re holding the horses of course.”

The general, now my professor, said that it had been decades since the military had to hold the horses before the men fired the guns. Yet, there were still men holding these non-existent horses! He also had another great story about communication.

mentors into your room

Let Mentors Into Your Room

How can you increase the number of mentors into your room?

First, create a two-column list. In the first column, write down everyone’s name who is currently in your room who enhances the quality of your life. That can be your personal life, your professional life, your spiritual life—anything that matters to you. These people can be family members, friends, community members, business associates, coaches, colleagues, spiritual leaders, and so on. Don’t neglect anyone who is a positive force in your life.

Next, in the second column, write at least one action you can take to strengthen each relationship. For family members, it might mean arranging more quality time together. If a spiritual leader is on your list, make it a priority to attend services more frequently if you are attending sporadically now. For business associates, perhaps you’ll want to extend an invitation for a lunch meeting or a discussion over coffee. Ivan has written extensively on the value of building strong networks in business, so if this is a new and unfamiliar area to you, consider reading more on the value of business networking to cultivate these positive relationships.

The steps you write don’t have to be complicated or earth shattering.

The point is, you want to create a concrete plan that will help you fortify the relationships you already have with mentors. Then pick up the phone, send the email, or attend the social gathering. Take steps today to strengthen your relationships with mentors by engaging them and, when appropriate, expressing the value they have in your life.

Put your Doorman to work to let mentors into your room. Then dedicate the time necessary to develop those relationships. The impact will have a compounding effect.

This is the premise behind the newest book, “Who’s in Your Room? The Secret to Creating Your Best Life” by Ivan Misner, Stewart Emery, and Rick Sapio.

To order the book, please use this link: https://tinyurl.com/WhosInYourRoom

networking

Four Questions to Ask about Networking Mentors

We don’t teach networking in colleges and universities hardly anywhere in the world — we didn’t when I went to school, and we still don’t today.  I meet so many entrepreneurs who are hungry to learn how to network effectively.  Many things about networking are actually counter-intuitive to what business people may actually think.  So – how do entrepreneurs learn?  Other than through trial and error, I recommend finding someone who can mentor you on how to network effectively.

Recently, I had someone ask me four questions about this process.  Here are the questions and my answers to them.

  1. Who should your mentors be, and how do you find them?

First, you need to determine your values (they can be aspirational values – values that you are striving to achieve), or they can be values that are clearly part of your life now.  Next, you need to think about your personal and professional goals. Have you noticed that many successful people tell people to set goals?  There’s a good reason for it – they work!  So think about yours before you look for a mentor.  Once you’ve looked at your values and thought about your goals, then, look for people that you believe embody those values and goals.

Try to “network up.”  Look for successful people whom you admire, who embody values congruent with yours, and who may be able to help you with your objectives.  Look for people who have the characteristics that represent your values, who may have achieved some of the same kind of goals that you have established, and then go to the places where you can actually have meaningful conversations with these prospective mentors.  Unless you pay for coaching, trying to get the “sage from the stage” to be your mentor may not be realistic and will definitely not be easy.  Talk to people you’ve met, know, and respect.  They are the most likely candidates.

  1. Should the relationship be formal or informal?

It is not either/or, it is both/and.  Both can work.  I have had many, many informal mentoring relationships, as well as formal ones.  I’d recommend creating a formal mentoring relationship for about a year (if the prospective mentor is willing), then let it transition to something more casual over time.  If the mentor is only available informally, go with that.  The “right” person is the key.  Work with this person as much as is reasonable and respectful of their time.

  1. What should you expect from your mentor, and what should they expect from you?

It depends on whether your relationship is formal or informal.  In both cases, you want the relationship to be congruent with your values and goals.  It always comes down to that.   Formal relationships should have structure and processes in place.  They should include regular meetings in person or by Skype (generally monthly).  There should be a set objective or topic to discuss at each of these sessions.  I have found it helpful if the person I’m mentoring sends me questions in advance so I can give thought to them before we talk.

  1. How do you both determine whether the relationship is working and also recognize when it’s time to move on?

As long as you continue to receive value from the relationship and/or give value to the relationship – it is working.  I have had some mentoring relationships where I started as the mentee, but it evolved over time where I was a peer mentoring my mentor on certain issues.  That’s when you know you’ve developed a long-term friendship.  Ideally, a strong mentoring relationship evolves into a long-term connection and friendship.

Some people tell me they don’t have time to be a mentor.  To them, I say, “find a way to make the time if at all possible.”  You see, every time I was a mentor to someone – it was also a learning experience for me.  When I was given topics from people I mentored, I always did a little research or looked through my files to see if there was something I could offer them to help them through the issue.  What I realized over time was that I was improving myself while trying to help them.

This really struck home with me when many years ago I coached my son’s elementary school chess club.  I remember going into it thinking that it would be great to spend time with my son and his friends – but at no time did I think that I would become a better player by coaching 10 and 11 year olds!  I soon discovered that I was wrong.  By coaching these young chess enthusiasts, I had to really brush up on my game.  More importantly, I had to do my homework to learn the names of many of the moves and strategies that I had done intuitively for years.  I was amazed at how my game improved by coaching elementary school kids.

The same is true with mentoring people to network better.  The process not only benefits the mentee, it also benefits the mentor.

John Maxwell

John Maxwell Interviews Ivan Misner on “Building Relationships”

In this video, I share with John Maxwell how BNI started with my personal need to build my business with referrals. I also share who are my mentors and the philosophy of Givers Gain.  Finally, we discussed how you should make decisions based on the information you are provided WITHIN the context of your value system. Please click on the photo below to watch the video of my personal interview with John Maxell.

John Maxwell interview

John Maxwell Interviews Ivan Misner on “Building Relationships”

Ivan Misner on “Building Relationships”

from The John Maxwell Team on Vimeo.

Three Reasons Why Your Mentor is Your Greatest Asset

Where is your cell phone? Close by? Some of you may even be reading this on your phone right now. Most professionals will have easy access to the internet, and so many of us will jump straight to Google when looking to answer the simplest of questions.

mentoringGoogle can’t always answer your questions, though. Articles and message boards can only get you so far. Occasionally you will have a question or concern in your business so specific that you would really benefit from a direct answer to your situation. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to reasons why every successful businessperson could benefit from a mentor. So why should you have a mentor? Here are three reasons why a mentor could be invaluable to your business.

Hone your craft

Your mentor will likely be someone who has years of experience on you in your field. They know how to accomplish tasks that you might not, and as a person who has a genuine interest in you and your success, they will teach you how to communicate more effectively, succeed at a networking event, or set worthy and empowering goals. Whatever your hurdle is, your mentor can help you overcome it.

Access to relationships

So often we forget the power of the network those in our network have. As you are networking and working to grow your business, your mentor once upon a time did the same for their business. Their network is a powerful resource to you, and they would likely be more than happy to get you in contact with members of their network as need arises.

Building your confidence

Having a mentor can help build your confidence in numerous ways. For one, having an individual that you trust and respect backing you, perhaps someone with a reputation in your industry, can help you feel as if you have made the right decisions. Additionally, hearing their stories from when they were at the same juncture in their career can help you see your situation with a different clarity, and help you feel empowered.

Do you have a mentor? How have they helped you the most? Leave your comments in the field below!

If You’re Not Networking Up, You’re Not Tapping into Your True Potential

In this short video, referral marketing expert Tom Fleming and I explain what networking ‘up’ is all about and why it’s imperative to the success of your business that you focus on networking up.

Though our natural instinct is often to stay firmly planted in our own comfort zone by associating with people who are either equally as successful or less successful than we are, if we want to achieve higher levels of success, it is crucial that we network up by making an effort to surround ourselves with people who are more successful.

Jack Canfield often says that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with and that concept holds quite a bit of truth; if you surround yourself with and spend the most time with people who are more successful than you, you are in a perfect position to constantly learn from them, meet other successful and accomplished people through their networks, and continually challenge yourself to achieve higher and higher levels of success.

Take a minute to think about a successful person you admire.  What is something they have experience with that you could use their advice on in order to improve your business?  You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by contacting them and asking them to share their knowledge with you so what are you waiting for?  Make it your goal to connect with them in the next seven days and to start putting consistent effort into nurturing your relationship with them.  Next, repeat this process week after week with other successful people you would like to surround yourself with and learn from–I guarantee you will be amazed at the results and pleasantly surprised at their willingness to help.

If you’re already networking up, what are some of the most invaluable things you’ve learned from the successful people you’ve been brave enough to reach out to and build relationships with?  Please share your thoughts in the comment forum below–I’d love to hear about your experiences with this!

What Wind Sprints Taught Me about the Fundamentals of Success

I learned an important lesson about the fundamentals of success while playing football many years ago.  We had a fairly good team my junior year of high school and most of the players on the team were juniors.  The following year the team had mostly seniors, and we had some pretty high expectations for the season.  A situation like this can make one over-confident, and that’s exactly how we were at the beginning of my senior year.

When the season started, we experienced that brutal rite of passage for all football teams known as “Hell Week.”  It’s called Hell Week for very good reason; the conditioning that a team is put through is pure hell.  The team does very little other than drills and exercises.  I’m talking about isometric exercises, wind sprints (short-distance sprints as fast as you can possibly run), hitting bags, tackling dummies, running in place and hitting the ground on command, more wind sprints, running up and down stadium steps, hitting the sled (while the most overweight coaches known to man are standing on them yelling at you) . . . and, did I mention wind sprints?  Lots and LOTS of wind sprints!

We were doing so many drills, we never even saw a football (except when they were thrown at the backsides of some of the slower players)!  We knew we were going to be a good team, and we felt we didn’t need to go through all this nonsense.  We wanted to play ball–not run around the field, hit bags, and do wind sprints!  So, we formed a little rebellion.  We decided to pull our coach aside after practice and tell him, “Coach, we don’t want to do wind sprints anymore–we want to play ball!”

From my experience, coaches generally have two answers for anything they don’t like.  The first is “NO!” and the second is, “What part of NO don’t you understand?”

Imagine our surprise when he said, “Okay, I’ll make you a deal, if you get here an hour early tomorrow morning for a little bus ride, I’ll let you drop the conditioning program.”

It took us all of about two seconds to say, “Road trip and no wind sprints?–We’re there, Coach!”  We were there early, and rode a bus with the coach to Cal State University Fullerton.  At that time, the university stadium was one of the practice fields for the Los Angeles Rams.  When we realized we were going to see a Rams’ practice, we were beyond excited!  We were in awe.  It’s one thing to be in a football stadium looking down at the field.  But it’s something completely different to  be on the field, looking up.  Even though it was the same size field as the one back home, it felt gigantic!  If that wasn’t enough, the Rams began to come onto the field.

If you’ve never seen professional football players up close and personal, let me tell you–these men are huge.  When they’re suited up, they are absolutely gigantic!  Imagine a door frame with a football helmet–these guys were frightening to stand next to.  We watched as our heroes stepped onto the field.  We watched in total awe as they lumbered out onto the grass and, for the next two hours . . . did wind sprints!  Yes, that’s right–wind sprints.  They were out there tackling dummies, hitting bags, running in place, attacking the sled (they had their really overweight coaches on the top yelling at them)–and did I mention wind sprints? Lots and LOTS of wind sprints!  The truly amazing thing was, they were not only doing the same conditioning exercises we did, they were doing them in the exact same order were did them in.

When we returned to our own campus, the coach took us out and put us in a big semi-circle in the parking lot.  Here, this football coach from this fairly small, lower-middle class high school said to us:

“Boys, it doesn’t matter if you’re talking about Pop Warner Football, high school football, college football, professional football, or life.  If you do not learn to execute the fundamentals flawlessly, you will never be a champion on or off the field.  It doesn’t matter if you are talking about football, school, or work.  When you leave this school and go on to college, you must learn the fundamentals and do the drills that will make you successful in your continuing education.  When you go on to your professions and careers, you will see that there are fundamentals that you must learn in order to be a champion in that profession.  Only those of you who are willing to develop the physical and mental conditioning necessary to execute these fundamentals will ever succeed.  This is something you must choose.  I can’t choose it for you.”

It took about 10 seconds for the entire team of 39 young men, including me, to enthusiastically choose to do–you guessed it–wind sprints.

We had a great season.  But, more importantly, we learned an incredible life lesson.  Success comes to those who execute the fundamentals flawlessly.  It comes to those who work hard on the “right things.”  It comes to those who drill and learn and drill some more.  It comes to those of us who, day in and day out, are willing to do the wind sprints necessary to succeed.

Are there fundamentals in your business which you need to work on in order to execute them flawlessly?  There’s no better time (and no more necessary time!) than now to start doing the necessary “wind sprints” that will ensure lasting success for you and your business.  Take it a step further by holding yourself accountable–leave a comment below outlining what business fundamentals you’re going to work on this week and tell us how you you’re going to work toward flawless execution of those specific fundamentals.

Making a Difference in Someone’s Life

There are little ways and big ways of making a difference in someone’s life.  More likely than not, there’s someone you can immediately call to mind who has impacted you and really made a difference in your life, whether it happened recently or even back during your formative years.

There are definitely certain individuals in my life who have made a big difference for me and in this five minute video, I tell the story of how one of these people in specific really made a positive impact on my life back in high school and helped shape me into who I am today simply by believing in me and giving me a chance when it seemed that no one else would.

After watching the video, please share a story of your own in the comment forum below about a person you are grateful to for the way they positively influenced your life and made a difference for you.

On Friday, April 5th I will review all the comments and I’ll pick the top three standout stories.  If your story is one of the top three, I’ll send you an autographed copy of Masters of Success and, additionally, if you have a current mailing address for the person who made a difference in your life, I’ll send an autographed copy of the book along with a personal note of recognition to them as well.  A little bit of recognition can mean a lot and, who knows . . . simply bringing to light that you are grateful to them may even find you making a difference in their life.

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