I ‘Absolutely’ Refuse to Participate in a Recession!

Last month I wrote a blog article headlined: “I Refuse to Particpate in a Recession.” It clearly resonated with many entrepreneurs. A lot of people posted responses to this blog with a clear understanding of how to apply this idea. There were, however, some who e-mailed me directly with a bad case of the “Yeabut Syndrome.” It goes like this, “Yea but” Ivan, things are different for me or different in this area or different in this business or different in my situation or different in my alternate universe, etc., etc.

Sometimes I feel like saying to these people, “Yes, you are different than the people I am talking about. You will fail; they will not” (oh, sorry, gotta remember–must keep that as internal dialog).

I’ve been through three recessionary periods in my business. I don’t need a crystal ball; I have history. Here’s what my history tells me: People with a strong network will survive and even thrive during downturns in the economy. I’ve seen this repeated over and over. Here’s how it plays out in my networking organization, BNI .

[Cue music and fade away to a vision of the past].

The first three to four months of all the past recessionary periods, membership tends to slow. Not as many people join. They say things such as, the economy is bad, I can’t afford it, things are different in my universe, etc., etc. Then something amazing happens. People start to realize that they better do something and do it quickly! They finally recognize that a recession is here and their business is going to “hell in a handbasket” right before their eyes. At this point, the magic happens. They get “networking religion.” They realize that they better get out of their cave and really, really network to build their business and that they’d better do it quickly. Then we start getting more and more people trying to join the organization (some can’t join because they waited too long and their profession is already taken)!

[Cue music and fade back to today].

So here we are today. It looks like we are in the beginning of an economic downturn. You have a choice to make. Are you going to wait six months, like many of the people I’ve seen in the past–or are you going to take control of your business and get a head start on your networking efforts? Only the strong, smart, and “networked,” suvive a recession.

You still have time to start and/or improve your existing personal network. If you’ve been active in networking, now’s the time to get back to basics and reintroduce yourself to the fundamentals. If you’ve done some networking but need to really expand it, take yourself to networking school. Immerse yourself in materials that will help you. Here’s a good place to start for almost 80 free articles on networking: Entrepreneur.com Networking column archive. If you haven’t done much to build your personal network, what are you waiting for? The recession to be over? By that time, your business will be over! Start now!

There’s an old Chinese proverb: When is the best time to plant an acorn? The answer is 25 years ago. When is the second best time? The answer is today.

So, share with me–what are you doing to improve your network today?

16 thoughts on “I ‘Absolutely’ Refuse to Participate in a Recession!

  1. Three cheers for Dr. Misner!

    This was great exhortation. When business is less marketing needs to be more. From a cost to results ratio, you can not beat smart networking.

    Seems like everybody wants to solve all there problems through the Internet. As Dr. Misner said, “They realize that they better get out of their cave” and go meet flesh and blood instead of electrical impulses. Push away from the desk.

    To me it is the people that refuse to participate in a recession that wind up pulling everyone else out and turning the tide of consumer confidence back to the high side.

    Thanks again, Dr. Misner, for not just being a great networker, but a great American as well.

    All the BEST,
    Tom Doiron

  2. Yeah, Dr.Wiser is 100% right. Whether it is recession or no recession, we need to cultivate networks, maintain it and expand. People by nature tend to deal with people whom they know for their requirement of services or products. Or atleast, they tend to get the advice of their peers or pals for their necessities. This is how networking operates successfully.

    To successfully network, one has to set aside a certain amount time every day. Naturally, only a networked person succeed never matter a recession or no recession.

    C E O

  3. Networking is very important tool for surviving in terms of long term goals, however. But what about immediate steps? I would rather simplify everything and reduce expenses right now than start networking. Good post, thanks.

  4. You are absolutely right…as soon as I read the title to the last blog, I decided to not participate in the recession. I became more active, took on the role of president of my BNI group and decided it would be the most thriving group in the area! It currently is the best group in Reno, NV and I put my all into every meeting to keep the energy up. I was busier this last month than I have been since being in business!

  5. I agree entirely, I also choose to not participate in this recession. There are always the sinking ships in times like this and we will not be one of them. Great post!

  6. Thank you for the tag line of our times. I’m a big fan of mental tools and tricks to keep me focused, and declaring out loud that I will not participate in a recession is brilliant. I haven’t allowed myself to get caught up in the sob stories so far, and I’ve actually been having the best year of my 11 year career. Your post here helped solidify my thinking and keep me in the zone. Thank you.

  7. Dear Dr. Misner,
    I have been a member of BNI in Studio City, Thousand Oaks, and Santa Rosa, CA (up and down the California Coast). I have NEVER been wanton for business, in and out of recessions, primarily due to my participation and Networking in BNI. I was at BNI as a CPA, as a Marketing Specialist for Service Businesses and as a Business and Life Coach(retired but for that spark that fires me to a client who is really willing. I can’t say no, so I work with a few). I say all this only as background because my real reason for writing is to let you know that I sat down with my wife last night and we were talking about going on this vacation, buying that car, doing this to the house and in a very alarmed way she stated, very emphatically, “don’t you
    know we are in a recession?” I explained ..er or tried to tell my loving wife that there isn’t a RECESSION, out THERE!
    I told her there isn’t a MARKET, out THERE! I said that without people, us, you, them, there is NO MARKET and there is NO RECESSION. We talked about how that fear is created and snowballs; you watch and read and listen and then you pass it on to your colleagues and workers and friends and tennis partners and social friends and they pass it on and so on and so on (and we aren’t even aware that we are doing that or what we are creating) and wallah!..like the old Toyota Theme: “you asked for it, you got it! Thought is creative, market is creative, recession is creative. It exists if we say so and ONLY if we say so. We might have to reallocate some resources, we might have to look at our budgets from a different perspective. THEN I READ YOUR ARTICLE, which I have read before, AND YOUR BLOG, which I have not and I said: “I always thought you were a genius and after my experience and reading your article, it just confirmed it. Do I think it is coincidence; my discussion with my wife and your blog? I don’ believe in coincidence..maybe sometimes good timing. We have actually met on several different occasions and each time, I left a different person. “You the man” when it comes to marketing. Your marketing methods and strategies have produced profound results in my life and now in my wife. I helped find my profession, thanks in part to you, and my e-mail name and my tag line because I believe in what they stand for, which coincides with the principles that you have taught me. Zorro was a man of the people, as I believe we are, he was a person striving for social change out of learning and doing what is right, as I believe we do and have, and he brings it forth to create harmony, change and light into the darkness. THAN YOU IVAN. CoachZorro@sbcglobal (Business and Life Coach) “We Bring Good Life to Things”

  8. Well I thought I wrote a “brilliant” piece on this blog and it seems like it disappeared in the sending..although..ya neva know what will show up. These are the high points:
    1. Dr. Misner, whom I have met several times, is a genius!
    2. I have been in BNI in Studio City, Thousand Oaks and Santa Rosa, CA over a period of 15 years and I have never been wanton for business through wars, pestilence, plague and recessions.
    3. There is a poem whose ending line is “and only God can make a tree” Well only man/woman can make a MARKET or a RECESSION. We create what we have; thought is creative; pass around, oh whoa is me often enough and get oh whoa is me! Talk about a shrinking economy and pass it to all you know while talking about a recession and passing that as dessert, pretty soon you a a flopped soufflé. I wrote because after talking to my wife last night, I opened Dr Misner’s article, which I have read before and his blog which I have not. The essence of it was how I responded to my wife about her fear about improvements on our house, buying a car, going on a vacation. If we all flush at the same time, we all go down the drain. I have been A CPA, Marketing Specialist and Business and Life Coach throughout my time in BNI. I was never lacking for business and I sometimes had to refer to someone else or turn down business because I had more than I could handle. I derived my name, Coach Zorro and my Tag Line, “We Bring Good Life to Things” out of the principles taught by Dr. Misner and BNI. I saw that leading my clients out of “darkness” and going with them to a place of light and joy and promise, was the highest and best thing I could do; I learned that in BNI. I made up a song that I used to sing at all of the meetings during my 60 second infomercial. My fellow BNI Members, after a few times, learned the words and sang along with me, every time I sang it. It was joyous, it was the spirit that Dr. Misner taught me to bring to BNI, to my client’s and to French-Connected-Coaching. Life is not a down-turn, although you might experience some. Life is not a recession, unless you choose it. Life is to be lived to its absolute fullest, joyful and for me, I would like to have on my tombstone, “Here lies Coach Zorro”, of the people, by the people and for the People. BURNED OUT! USED UP!

  9. Three CHEERS for someone actually verbalizing what I have believed all along… “Recession” is another word for drama, and negativity never breeds success. My husband and I are both in the Automotive industry, and are constantly inundated with the dregs of the “recession”. As a country, America isn’t programmed to scale back, and even when forced, we will still find a way to spend money. Maybe someone can’t buy a new house or car right now, but they can go get a tube of lipstick or a new haircut and feel immediately better. This is called the “Lipstick Effect”, and I have friends in the beauty industry whose business is booming out of control.
    The internet, while definitely useful, has become inundated with so much, that grassroots marketing, i.e. networking, has become a fresh idea again! And, you just might make a few friends along the way!
    Remember… it’s not who you know, it’s how many you know!

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