Dont Promise Just Deliver

Don’t Promise, Just Deliverstring(29) "Don’t Promise, Just Deliver"

How are you viewed in your personal and professional networks? Are you perceived as a person of action, or merely of words? The words we say and the actions we take are part of building credibility with our referral partners. A successful relationship, whether a personal or a business relationship, evolves over time. We go from being aware of each other – visibility, to being reliable and worthy of confidence – credibility.

I have found that there are three types of referral givers in business networking groups. Most professionals and entrepreneurs have heard the saying, “Under promise and over deliver,” and many of them operate with that attitude. There are also those who do the opposite; they overpromise and underdeliver. And then there are those who don’t promise at all, they just deliver.

Three Types of Referral Givers

  1. Overpromise, underdeliver
    Often, these people have a challenge with their credibility. They are always “working on something”, and yet they seldom bring any closed business to the table. They promise to make connections and introductions but never get around to doing so. They don’t follow through and, consequently, they often leave their referral partners in the lurch. Their words are empty promises.Here are two reasons why someone may talk a good game without doing what they said they would.- Some people just talk too much and never truly intend to do anything about it.
    – Some people are anxious and, while trying to help, they overcommit themselves.Whatever the reason, they are not helping because they are not following through. Other people judge them on their behavior and determine that they are someone who does not keep their promises, which hurts their credibility among their peers.
  1. Underpromise, overdeliver
    These are excellent referral partners to have in your network because they ask the right questions to get the best information to learn how to provide business referrals and opportunities for others. They may say something like, “I understand that you’re looking for a referral, however I need a bit more information. I have someone in mind who may be a good connection for you. I’ll contact them and keep you updated.”These referral partners don’t make guarantees or oversell the possibilities of a referral. Along with underpromising what they are going to do, they also maintain open and frequent communication about the potential referral with the members of their network.
  1. Don’t promise, just deliver
    Master networkers invest the time to build deep relationships. They take notes about people’s referral needs; they learn their networking partners’ target markets and how to talk about their businesses.Master networkers don’t talk about what they are going to do because they are busy formulating a plan based on everything they’ve learned. They work quietly behind the scenes to provide high-level referrals and ultimately closed business for others.The “don’t promise, just deliver” networkers often surprise others in the best possible way by giving a great referral that has the prospect ready and willing for a conversation about buying the product or service. They tell their referral partner, “Someone is waiting to talk to you. Here’s why and this is the best way to contact them.”

Be a Better Referral Partner

Here are some suggestions to become a better referral partner in your business network.
~ Listen to others, keeping a sincere desire to help them grow their business.
~ Take notes when they talk about their target market and how their product or service helps their customers.
~ Have regular one-to-one meetings with those in your network so you become familiar with different aspects of their company.
~ Understand the pertinent jargon of their industry so you will recognize it when you hear it, which can help you identify a good referral for them.

My recommendation for successful business networking is to move from “Overpromise, underdeliver” to “Underpromise, overdeliver” to “Don’t promise, just deliver!”

These are the people who have built their credibility by the words they say and the actions they take. They don’t make promises. They just deliver.

I would like to hear your thoughts on this topic. Do you have a tip that has made you a better referral partner?

Success Disconnect

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I love what I do. I am passionate about helping people improve their business and their networking efforts to achieve the success they desire. Sometimes I meet people who would like to be more successful, however, they are not very committed to making a change in their circumstances.

They have what I call a Success Disconnect. They want to be more successful and yet they do not recognize the connection between their desire for success and the behavior they are choosing. They may say that they would like to make more money, and minutes later say things which indicate they are uncomfortable making the necessary changes to get what they just said they want. 

A common Success Disconnect statement that I hear is: “Ivan, you don’t understand. That won’t work because…” followed by the latest excuse

Complacency in Networking Groups

Over the years, I have found that this can also happen with business networking groups.

In his book “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t,”  author Jim Collins said, “The enemy of great is not bad, the enemy is good.” 

In a business organization where strong relationships are critical for effective networking, members find that it is sometimes difficult to hold friends accountable for their performance in the group. Occasionally, successful groups will go through a slow phase and struggle with growth.

When I ask these groups why they believe they are struggling, they tend to answer with a variation of one of these themes:
~ “The group is becoming too lax; we’re not following the system very well.”
~ “We’re letting people get away with things we shouldn’t accept.”
~ “Our group is okay; we’re doing good enough.”

I have found that “good enough” eventually leads to “metastatic mediocrity.”
Accepting mediocrity is often at the core of a group that is facing challenges. When a  networking group, a person, or any organization accepts mediocrity, growth and performance stagnates. Complacency is the enemy of being great.

We Can Choose Excellence

People, similar to water, tend to seek the path of least resistance. The problem is that the path of least resistance may not be the best path to take for the results we want to achieve. When we expect the best from our fellow networking members, we will get it. If we expect, and accept, less than the best, that is exactly what we will get.
Why accept mediocrity when excellence is an option?

To overcome Success Disconnect, remember that we can choose excellence. Choose it for yourself and talk about it with your referral marketing group. Be willing to look for behaviors that are out of alignment with the desired outcome. Realize that overcoming the discomfort of change may be exactly what is needed to make the most of our networking opportunities.

As Jim Collins says, “Greatness is not a function of circumstance.
Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline.”

Networks Are Clumpystring(19) "Networks Are Clumpy"

Networks are cluster-like, they are clumpy. We tend to build friendships and hang out with people that are like us. The challenge with surrounding ourselves with similar people is that they also tend to have similar contacts and know the same people as us. 

This video is part of my Master Class from the BNI®  2021 Global Convention.

Business Networking Diversity

A diverse personal network enables you to increase the possibility of having connectors in your network. Connectors are people who cross over between two or more groups or clusters which allow them to easily link different groups of people together.

When it comes to business networking – not having a lot in common with someone may mean that they can be a connection to a whole world of people that you would not otherwise get to meet. A diverse network is a POWERFUL network.

It is important to build a diverse network of professional contacts that include people with different interests and backgrounds. The only thing that they should have in common with you is that they should be really good at what they do.

You’re Going to Need a Bigger Boat

You’re Going to Need a Bigger Boatstring(36) "You’re Going to Need a Bigger Boat"

In the 1975 hit movie “Jaws”, Martin Brody, the Police Chief of a small summer resort town in the northeastern United States, utters one of the most quotable lines in film history when he gets his first up-close look at the Great White Shark.  As soon as he sees it, he slowly backs into the wheelhouse and says to Captain Quint, “You’re going to need a bigger boat.”

This is the prototypical ‘Brody Moment’: a shockingly unambiguous realization that the current resources are no longer a viable option to achieve the results you’re looking for. 

I hope to explain how my Brody Moment came about.  However, the most important thing is for you to think about “your” Brody Moment as you read about mine.  Understanding your Brody Moment can help you think about your motivations and move forward successfully with your entrepreneurial endeavors.

My Brody Moment came at the end of 1985 after I had opened 20 chapters of BNI® by accident – without a plan, without even trying. That’s when I realized that I had struck a chord in the business community.

The “Why” for BNI

I was a management consultant in Southern California and I needed referrals for my consulting practice. I needed referrals for my own business, and I hoped that I would be able to refer some of my friends. So, I put together a group where we could start passing business to each other.

I had previously gone to networks that were incredibly mercenary, everyone was trying to sell to me. I went to other groups that were totally social, with happy hour and hors d’oeuvres, but there was no business happening at those events.

I wanted something that had a focus on business without being mercenary and was relational but not transactional; something that wasn’t totally social because I wanted that relationship-building aspect that led to business. Therefore, I created a network that I hoped would satisfy those two considerations. 

I wanted to merge that focus on business with the relational aspect, and the glue that would hold it together is the principal core value of Givers Gain® – the idea that if I help you and you help me, we will all benefit by working together.

That one networking group led to another and another until there were twenty chapters within 12 months! That first year, I was method-acting my way through the process; I was figuring it out as I went. I was young – 28 years old when I started the company, and I really thought most businesses had this figured out. The thing is, nobody had it figured out because we don’t teach business networking in colleges and universities anywhere in the world. What I didn’t expect to find was that everyone has this challenge and that was my Brody Moment.

BNI was an example of necessity being the mother of invention and it helped a lot of businesses. At the end of 1985, I figured out that I “was going to need a bigger boat”. This way of business networking was going to be much larger than I anticipated, so I sat down and created my business plan to scale the company.

A BIG Goal

In June of 1986, I had a goal in mind. I went to the library to gather information on populations. (Remember, at that time there was no such thing as Google.)
After extensive research and many calculations, I felt that BNI could have 10,000 chapters someday.

Shortly after that, I told a friend that I thought there could be 10,000 groups someday. And he said, “10,000?” I replied, “Yeah, I think it’s possible.”
Then he asked me, “And how many groups do you have now?”
I answered, “30.”
He said, “And you think you could have 10,000?”
“Yes, I think it’s possible,” I replied.
To which he said, “It’s good to have goals, Ivan.”

Yes, it was a big goal. And every year, near the end of December, I took time to reflect. I had read the E-Myth by Michael E. Gerber early on and used that as a baseline strategy. I looked at what was working well, and what didn’t work at all.
Each year, I adjusted my plan and revisited the small goals that were all striving toward that one big goal of scaling my company into a global enterprise.

In December 2020, we reached it – BNI had grown to more than 10,000 chapters! And we continue to grow, helping BNI members around the world do business through referral marketing.

As a leader, you’ve probably experienced a few Brody Moments over the course of your career, and you’ve probably got a few more coming. What you do as a result, and how fast you do it, can turn a Brody Moment into a defining moment.

Be Passionate, Not Pushy

Be Passionate, Not Pushystring(24) "Be Passionate, Not Pushy"

Passion and enthusiasm are key components for success in business, as well as for success in business networking. However, passionate people sometimes come across as being pushy, often because they truly believe that what they are offering to someone is really going to be beneficial for them. Their excitement to share the opportunity can be overwhelming, causing others to feel pressured. When people feel pushed or pressured, they are unable to fully hear the message.  

Our Intention

Our intention plays a huge part in how we speak and interact with others. If we don’t believe in the value of what we are offering, or we come from a place of desperation, our words will sound forced or salesy. When we come from a space of love – looking to impact lives, and service – adding value to others, there is more opportunity for the other person to understand our pure intention.

When I started BNI® in 1985, I opened 20 chapters in one year. I did it without any collateral marketing materials and without today’s technology. I did it with ONE sheet of paper and that was the one-page meeting agenda that I personally typed up.

I had one other extremely important thing. In addition to the one sheet of paper, I had passion. I was passionate about spreading the word of referral marketing and passionate about my intention to help more and more people succeed in their business. I was the poster child for “ignorance on fire is better than knowledge on ice!”

Inviting People to Your Networking Meeting

I have seen what happens when someone invites a guest to visit their BNI or other business networking meeting. People are so passionate, that sometimes others may feel it’s pushy, when in fact, the members are genuinely excited about inviting someone to meet their group.

When we are so enthusiastic that we say, “Hey, you have to come to this chapter, you have to come and meet this particular member!” we may go a bit overboard. When we say, “Hey, I would like to introduce you to a person that I think will be a good connection for your business,” the focus is on them. By clearly sharing our intention to connect them to a particular person that is going to benefit their business, our authentic desire to help is more clearly understood.

Speaking Their Language

It is important to meet people where they are. This is especially true when you are marketing or talking with potential customers and clients. They may not be emotionally, mentally, or even financially ready right now for your products or services. However, you can plant a seed for future harvest. This is in line with the philosophy of Givers Gain® – even if the person is not ready now, we leave them in a better place than before we met them. It can be with the benefit of knowledge we shared, or an offer to make a helpful introduction for them.

We can also connect with people on a deeper level when we understand and respect their motivation and their behavioral style. We must first understand our own style, then learn how to identify behavioral styles in others, and most importantly, adapt our approach to those different styles. This allows us to communicate more effectively because we are speaking their language.

Remember, how you communicate is important. When we talk about our business with enthusiasm and energy, backed by our intention to help others, our passion shines through.

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International Networking Week® guest blog

by Charlie Lawson, National Director, BNI UK & Ireland

International Networking Week is about celebrating the role networking plays in the development and success of businesses across the world. One of the key tools in networking is the Business Card, but as the world works its way out of the pandemic, I’ve noticed a difference in the way people are using them.

Business cards just aren’t as prevalent as they once were – and there’s a few reasons for that. Check out the video to find out more…

I’d love to know – do you still use business cards? Or have you switched to a technology solution?

Charlie Lawson | BNI UK & Ireland

Don’t Keep Score

Don’t Keep Scorestring(18) "Don’t Keep Score"

When it comes to business networking and passing along referrals, it’s not about who’s giving what to whom. There is no rule that says, “For every referral you give, you can expect one in return.” Similarly, when you hand out more referrals, it does not mean that other business professionals will automatically do the same. It just doesn’t work that way in referral marketing.

If you hear of a business opportunity that would be well suited for a referral partner – not a competitor – think of it as “excess business.” When you pass this kind of excess business to others in the form of a referral, you’ll wind up attracting more prospects who want to work with you.

There are plenty of fish in the water. Most fishermen don’t see themselves in competition with the other person whose fishing boat is a hundred yards away. They know there is a plentitude of fish, enough for everyone. In fact, if they pass each other on the way back to the shore, they’ll probably wave to each other and ask if they did well and how many fish they caught.

Do Good Things for Others

The principle of “sowing and reaping” states that when you do good things for other people, those good things have a way of coming back to you – often from a different person or group of people. Even if it seems that you’re not directly benefiting from the referrals you are giving to others, take note of all the other business that “just happens” to come your way:

  •         The person who checks out your website because a friend shared your blog post on social media and gives you a call.
  •         The old prospect you haven’t heard from in months who suddenly wants to get together for lunch.
  •         The inactive client who contacts you to say they want to renew their contract with you.

Even though it seems like happenstance, some or all of that is likely to be new business you attracted by giving away other business, in the form of referrals, to people you know. You can attract new business through the relationship-building process you commit to and can strive to become a networking catalyst to ensure that these things happen on a regular basis.

I recommend that you don’t keep score. Instead, think of giving referrals in the context of the “abundance mind-set,” which is the awareness that there’s more than enough business to go around.

What is your experience with receiving more after giving more?

Telling Your Company’s Storystring(30) "Telling Your Company’s Story"

If you want to get referrals from your networking efforts, people must know about your business. There are two kinds of audiences that need to know your company’s story. One is the people you interact with directly while networking. These could be people you meet and exchange pleasantries with at a chamber of commerce event, or people in a dedicated referral networking group such as BNI®. These are the people you want to build relationships with so that they may become reliable sources of referrals for you.

The other audience is people you don’t meet, at least not right away, but who are told about you by your networking partner or referral source. They are your prospective clients or customers that your networking partners are connected to.

Your Unique Selling Proposition

Many businesspeople think that word-of-mouth marketing is about telling everyone they meet everything they do, and that getting more referrals is simply a matter of talking to more people. Quite the opposite. In fact, it is often boring to people and overwhelming with much more information than they can remember.
In getting your message across, less is more.

You want to come up with a succinct, memorable unique selling proposition (USP) that you can use at all your business networking events.

Your USP is a brief description of the purpose of your business, stated in the most concise and compelling way possible, in order to help others understand the unique value of what you do.

A good USP simply tells people what you do in a manner that gets them to ask how you do it. Think of it as your answer to the inevitable question about work: “What do you do?” 

THREE STEPS TO CREATE YOUR UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION

  1. Focus on two or three target markets for your business – groups of people for whom your product or services are best suited. 
  2. Identify some challenges facing your target market that you and your business can help solve. 
  3. Create a one- or two-sentence USP using this formula: “I help ____ [target market] ____ [solve this problem].”

USP Examples

Your unique selling proposition tells people the type of client you work with and the benefits you provide to them.

“I work with bright, successful, family-oriented business owners who are so busy on the immediate that they lose sight of the fundamentals that can affect their family’s financial well-being.”
– a financial advisor

“I help nonprofit organizations connect with their community through the game of golf.”
– a golf fundraising specialist

“I work with municipalities on capital improvement projects in the areas of water, wastewater, and drainage.”
– a project engineer

An effective USP is short and straight to the point. When you share it with someone who fits your target market, or who knows someone in your target market, it should elicit the question, “How do you do that?”, which leads to further conversation about your business.

This is a great way of telling your company’s story while highlighting how you can help others. It is important to have a good USP because it describes your business in terms of the needs it can fill and allows people to decide whether they want to learn more.

What is YOUR one-or-two sentence unique selling proposition? I invite you to share it in the comments.

Networking Is All About Referralsstring(33) "Networking Is All About Referrals"

Yes, it is true that networking IS all about referrals. However, it may not be all business referrals. Even business networking may not be all about business referrals. It can be about sharing ideas, resources, contacts, and information that will help others be successful in their business. Networking is more than just passing referrals for business. Networking can also be about helping others improve their personal, social, and spiritual lives.

Mindset and Skill Set

Networking takes both a mindset and a skill set.
A mindset is a mental attitude or inclination. A skill set is a collection of skills and abilities that can be applied to a professional or creative endeavor.

The mindset for successful networking is helping people – the concept of Givers Gain®
and the law of reciprocity. The skill set is knowing the appropriate techniques and applying them in the right situations. Having the right attitude is half of what is needed. However, if you don’t apply the skill set, it doesn’t matter how good the mindset is.

Conversely, many people acquire a good skill set but fail to develop the right mindset. That is the transactional versus relational approach to networking.

Transactional vs. Relational

If you are focused on the transaction – simply making a sale, you are never going to create the relationship and trust needed to generate the business referrals you seek. I’ve seen so many people say, “Hello, it’s nice to meet you,” and then jump right into business without getting to know the other person at all.

A survey I did for my book, Business Networking and Sex (not what you think), showed that people who focused first on building relationships and then on business, scored higher in success. They said that they were much more successful at networking than people who focused first on business and then relationships.

Remember, it’s great to have a large network, but if your network is a mile wide with lots of people and very few deep relationships, it will never be powerful. A deep network contains the contacts that you know well and who know you very well, too. Those are the contacts who develop referral opportunities for their networking partners.

Yes, networking is all about referrals. And those referrals become possible when you change your plan from focusing on business transactions to focusing on building business relationships. When you invest time in business networking and really get to know your fellow networkers, amazing things can happen.

What networking success have you had by building strong business relationships? I’d like to hear your story in the comment section.

How to Leverage International Connectionsstring(41) "How to Leverage International Connections"

In 2018, I wrote an article for Entrepreneur.com about the future of face-to-face being online. I felt it was inevitable that business networking would go online because of technology, such as mixed reality and holographic imaging, becoming more and more prevalent in the next decade.

Thankfully the technology was available to help us transition with the global challenges of 2020 and now we are doing much of our work, and our networking, online. With our adaptability and willingness to change as solutions and options become available, we are able to network with businesspeople all around the world. Those options bring new opportunities for all of us to develop and leverage international connections for our business.

Identify Who You Want to Meet

If you want to expand and scale your business internationally, you need to identify the types of international businesses that you want to work with.

What country or continent are they located in?
What specific industry are they in?
What products or services do they specialize in?
Do you want to work with suppliers or buyers?
Who is the person from that company that you want to meet?

With that information, you are then able to find the types of organizations and events that can give you the kinds of contacts you’re looking for. Remember, networking is a contact sport; you must go out, make the effort, and get involved; become engaged in the organizations where you invest in membership. You also have to diversify the kinds of networks that you belong to. A local Chamber of Commerce and Industry is a fantastic network in your local community.

If you’re looking for international business, you want be part of a global organization that does international business. Attend events like the annual BNI® Global Convention, where thousands of professionals from dozens of countries are looking to meet and build relationships with other businesspeople. Trade groups, business councils, and professional peer organizations are all excellent places to create mutually beneficial connections.

 

Know the Type of Referrals You Want to Receive

Your company may be in a position to open new international revenue streams by finding opportunities to sell your products or services in a new country. Developing connections and relationships with the people you previously identified can lead to the referrals for those opportunities.

Other companies, particularly those that provide local services, may just want to get additional business through international referrals. I have seen dentists, and even a landscape architect, get new clients from international connections that led to referrals. Again, it is important to be specific with what you want and then identify those potential connections to help you reach your goals.

Our current technology provides many networking options, making it easier than ever before for everyone to participate, engage, and network on a global level. I’d love to know how you have leveraged international connections to grow your business. Share in the comments below.

Networking Takes Time and Money

Networking Takes Time and Moneystring(31) "Networking Takes Time and Money"

A BNI® Executive Director told me that before becoming a BNI Member in 2014, they had a home security business for 16 years. For five of those years, they spent $5,000 USD a month to advertise in the Yellow Pages part of their local phonebook. They spent $300,000 USD in five years to get some leads! They only got leads – people who were calling around to two or three companies listed in the phone book. As the leads dwindled, they invested in a membership in BNI, a global networking organization, and within two years the amount of business they received was at the highest level of what was achieved from all the Yellow Pages advertising. Their monetary investment in their membership was substantially less than $5,000.

Business networking takes time AND money. To be effective, you must invest in both.
By investing the time to build relationships with fellow members of the group, this person received real referrals – a warm introduction to customers who were looking for their services.

Oftentimes people get so caught up in the money part of networking, that they neglect the building relationships part and the time that is necessary for successful results. Paying more money does not always mean that you get more results.     

Track Your Results

How do you know if your networking efforts are paying off for you? You can do some simple tracking.
How many business organizations do you belong to?
How much time do you spend in networking efforts with people in that organization?
How much money does it cost to belong to the group? This includes travel to meetings, meals, and other expenses in addition to the membership fee.
How much money have you made from business generated in each of the organizations?
Which people in your groups are the ones giving you referrals that result in closed business?
Are you consistently thanking those people, and are you looking for ways to also give referrals to them

If you are paying for group memberships and are simply “busy” with networking activities without creating deep business relationships, it is hard to reach the goals that you want to achieve. By measuring the time and money you give to your networking efforts, you will be able to adjust your networking strategies to make them more effective in getting the results you want.

Thank You for Closed Business

In BNI, the members use a mechanism called Thank You for Closed Business (TYFCB) to track the amount of business generated between, and for, each other. Reporting the TYFCB provides a way to recognize the people who pass quality referrals to other members. It also allows each BNI Chapter to see the combined results of their networking efforts in tangible numbers. Many of the 10,400+ global BNI chapters regularly generate $1+ million USD each month for their members.

In fact, in the rolling last 12 months, BNI Members generated $18 Billion USD in Thank You for Closed Business! That’s an enormous figure. Because it can be hard to imagine a billion of anything, we’ll explore that figure in another way.  

Let’s look at time – time measured in seconds. If you measured $1 Million in seconds, it would be 1.65 weeks. If you measured $1 Billion in seconds, it would be 31.7 years! And $18 Billion would be more than 570 years!! That is a LOT of business resulting from referrals between networking members!

Beyond the Dollar Figures

Yes, tracking our networking activities can show us the dollar figures that result from those efforts. However, there is more beyond those figures that may be harder to see. There is also the community impact. We all live in the smaller economies of our cities, towns, and neighborhoods. Those networking dollars help to stimulate local economies and contribute to the huge economic engine that is moving all over the globe.

It takes time to build a business – you have to spend time cold calling; you spend time talking to your existing clients to get referrals; you’re going to do advertising which costs money. Oh, and how do you make the money? You make the money by spending a lot of time doing direct selling. To me, networking is so much easier than direct selling. And it’s a great use of your time because it truly is about farming not hunting

You may be in business alone, but you do not have to BE alone in business when you are part of a powerful network. Successful business networking takes time AND money. Investing your time with like-minded, positive people, and building strong business relationships will help you reach your goals.

If you were paying $5,000 a year for your network – how would you treat it differently than you are now?  Try treating it like that type of investment and see what results you get.

The Longer You Hold Something, the Heavier It Becomes

The Longer You Hold Something, the Heavier It Becomesstring(53) "The Longer You Hold Something, the Heavier It Becomes"

A psychologist once walked around a room while teaching a stress management course and she raised a glass of water. Everyone expected her to ask the “Is the glass half empty or half full?” question. Instead, she asked, “How heavy is this glass of water?” The audience called out answers that ranged from eight ounces to 20 ounces.

She replied that the absolute weight doesn’t really matter. “What matters is how long I hold it,” she said, “If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change. But the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”

She continued to say that the stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Deal with them for a little while and nothing happens. Deal with them a little bit longer, and they begin to hurt. And if you deal with them all day long, day in and day out over time, you’ll feel paralyzed, incapable of doing anything, because of the weight of the worries.

The Way We View the World

We live in an age of sweeping conflict, widespread skepticism, and intense anxiety. Contention feels pervasive and balanced discourse is a thing of the past. Pundits regularly tell us what’s wrong with society. People complain like it’s an Olympic event. (I’ve checked – it is not.)

Gurus in the marketplace obsess over the massive problems they see in the world, and negativity seems to be part of the new normal. The last couple of years have been hard. It’s been a very stressful time for almost everyone. We all feel it.

I love astronomy and I’ve learned that by choosing different lenses or filters for my telescope, I can literally observe different things in the night sky. By changing the lens, the things I view can appear or disappear before my very eyes. Objects can be overwhelmingly bright and painful to view, or they can be a beautiful sight to behold.

I believe that our lives are similar. The lens you choose to view the world through influences your life in ways that will determine your future.

You Are Not Alone

Today, more than ever, your network can help you. When you are part of a caring and effective network, you are not alone. Your network can help you take some of the weight of your business, and your life, out of your arms and give you relief when there doesn’t seem to be any around you. With the support of our network, we’re getting through these challenging times because we have each other to help us believe and achieve.

Throughout my lifetime I’ve seen ordinary people do extraordinary things. I believe anyone can do extraordinary things with the right mindset, plan, and effort. I believe that our vision controls our perception, and our perception becomes our reality.

Set a vision that makes a difference to the people around you – then hold the vision, NOT the obstacles. This is the thing that is so difficult for people; they continuously focus on the obstacles. The truth is if you want to be successful, hold the vision, not the obstacles. Forget about the noise and distractions all around you. There have always been distractions; there will always be distractions. Focus on your vision.

Today is the Tomorrow you were so worried about Yesterday. Maybe it’s time to set the worries aside and put the vision in front. Let your network help you. You are not alone.

It’s important to recognize that we all have challenging times, all of us, myself included. The secret to getting through them is the lens that we look at life through, and the ability to focus on the VISION and not the obstacles. The more we all can do that, the more successful we’ll be in our professional life and in our personal life, as well.

I would love to hear how your network has helped you.

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