The 29% Solution

The 29% Solution book is 10 years oldstring(37) "The 29% Solution book is 10 years old"

 

 

The book, The 29% Solution: 52 Weekly Networking Success Strategies, is ten years old.

This year, The 29% Solution is celebrating its 10 year anniversary. Looking back when Michelle and I shook hands in Long Beach, we began a memorable journey together as co-authors. Therefore, our journey included many, many hours of blending our writing styles, phone calls, and collaboration. Additionally, it included multiple versions of a title and cover design. Furthermore, our journey included changing the publisher mid-stream. Finally, it involved loads of radio interviews, speaking opportunities, and book signings. Most notably, our journey ended with a lasting friendship. Today’s blog is from my co-author, Michelle Donovan.
Happy Anniversary Michelle and a toast to “The 29% Solution”…CHEERS!
  

Celebrating 10 Years of Friendship and Collaboration in Seven Languages

By Michelle R. Donovan

Growing up in a small town outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I never gave much thought to becoming a Wall Street Journal bestselling author. That is until I met Ivan Misner!

In 2006 I was performing the role of Education Coordinator for my BNI chapter, the Circle of Excellence, in BNI Western Pennsylvania. One week, while preparing for my spotlight, I came up with what I thought was a great idea for a book. I wanted to create a book for business owners that had one networking focal point each week for 52 weeks. I formulated an outline for the book and began to write a few chapters.

Since I had never written a book before, I thought it might be a good idea to share the concept with others to see if they too felt that the idea was a good one. There was one person in particular that I knew needed to see it and that was Deanna Tucci Schmitt, the owner of my BNI region at the time. Once she read the first two chapters, she said, “I think we need to show this to Ivan.”

As a BNI Director, I was scheduled to attend the next BNI Conference in Long Beach, CA with Deanna and some other colleagues. The plan was that Deanna would arrange a one-to-one with Ivan while at the conference to show him the concept. We had hoped that he would give us his blessing and maybe a few tips for a new author.

We met with Ivan around 9:30 pm in his suite. I remember it well because I was quite nervous. I didn’t know what to expect but I knew I would follow Deanna’s lead. Ivan, the icon of BNI, comes around the corner in a t-shirt and sweatpants. Instantly, I felt myself relax. The three of us discussed the concept while Ivan reviewed the outline and first few chapters. He passed it over to his wife, Beth. She gave her nod of approval. Ivan liked it!

What happened next changed my life. Ivan offered me two options 1) He could give me some tips and offer any help with some connections or 2) We could co-author the book and he would make me a bestselling author. Hmmmmm? Which would you choose? You guessed it. We shook hands on a co-authored book deal that would eventually make me and Ivan the Wall Street Journal bestselling authors of The 29% Solution.

Today, The 29% Solution is currently published in seven languages. When I see this book on my shelf in multiple languages, it warms my heart. I am reminded of how much I love to write, the generosity of my friend Ivan Misner and the true power of networking to make even my unimaginable dreams come true. I am grateful to Deanna for bringing Ivan and me together for a book that keeps on giving to its readers.

Happy Anniversary Ivan and a toast to The 29% Solution…CHEERS!

The 29% Solution: 52 Weekly Networking Success Strategies

 

solutions

Focus on solutions, not problems.string(33) "Focus on solutions, not problems."

What was the last problem you faced?

  • An employee issue
  • A difficult client
  • Financial hurdles
  • Competition from another business
  • Time management concerns
All too often, when facing a problem, the first thing we tend to do is focus on the negative situation. We continue to repeat our patterns, doing the same things that do not work, until we dwell in a feeling of negativity. Many people let their minds wander toward the negative, which then prompts them to focus on more problems instead of searching for ways to resolve the situation and grow from it. You must begin to start focusing on ways to actually resolve the situation by focusing on solutions. Do not just react, take the time to fully analyze the problem then make a list of possible solutions.
  • Identify the problem(s)
  • Identify what you did before in a similar problem
    Brainstorm possible solutions.
  • Change what doesn’t work
  • Find and use resources
  • Decide which solution is best
  • Put that solution into play
  • Build on each successive step
  • Try to do more of what works
  • Use an alternative solution if not achieving the required results
Regardless of how bad your problem may be, the solution is there if you think long and hard enough. Not every solution will work for this problem. However, when we start to think of more ways to overcome our problems, we can grow from the situation at hand by being more prepared for the next problem we will face down the road. We can even avoid future problems because if we focus on problems, we will get more problems. If we focus on solutions, we will get more solutions. By being aware and reminding yourself of your list of solutions you just created, you can focus on solutions, not problems.
John Maxwell

John Maxwell Interviews Ivan Misner on “Building Relationships”string(67) "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.

Are you educating your network or just selling to them?string(55) "Are you educating your network or just selling to them?"

Educating your networking group’s members about the type of referrals you want (and even the names of the individuals with whom you want to meet and develop relationships) is much more important to the success of your networking in a closed contact network than selling to the members. This demands a shift in how you see your networking partners and educating them about your business. They are not the clients! They are, in effect, your sales force! In order for any sales force to get out there and sell you effectively, they have to know who to sell you to and how to sell you.

Read More
time

How Much Time Should You Spend Networking?string(42) "How Much Time Should You Spend Networking?"

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.

Therefore, spend about 8-10 hours per week networking and do the right things to build the relationships first when networking.

holidays

Marketing Your Business for the Holidaysstring(40) "Marketing Your Business for the Holidays"

Are you taking advantage of the holiday season when it comes to marketing your business? You should be! Festive posts really attract audiences who are feeling sentimental or those who are looking for some services specifically around the holidays.

Read More
John Maxwell interview

John Maxwell Interviews Ivan Misnerstring(35) "John Maxwell Interviews Ivan Misner"

In this video, I share with John Maxwell how I manage the “rainbow” of my day to attempt to have a “green day”.  I  also share with him my “secret to success” and my “secret to balance”. 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 the “Secret to Success”

 

Ivan Misner on the “Secret to Success” from The John Maxwell Team on Vimeo.

Four Strategies to Stay in Touchstring(32) "Four Strategies to Stay in Touch"

People often ask me, “how can I stay in touch with people or get back in touch with people that I haven’t seen or spoken with recently?”

Start by making a commitment to improving this area.  There’s a great Chinese proverb that I really like – “When’s the best time to plant an Oak tree?  The answer is – 20 years ago.  When’s the second best time – now!”

So, here are 4 strategies that will help you improve in this area.  If you can’t do them all – do what works for you.

  1. Sort through your list of people. 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 uses  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.  For 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 email or a phone call.  The key here – is to go where the people you want to talk to, hangout.
  3. Use social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ 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!”
  4. From time to time, use snail mail! Yes, OMG, send a handwritten letter or a card.  It’s so “old school” and it’s almost guaranteed that someone will read it.

Next week I will share more tips.

Culture Eats Strategy For Breakfaststring(35) "Culture Eats Strategy For Breakfast"

VIDEO BLOG:

Culture is a blend of attitude, beliefs, mission, philosophy and momentum. As a result, culture helps to create and sustain a successful brand. The way people interact with one another and the overall growth of your company is affected by culture. What creates organizational culture? Culture is key in an organization for long-term success. It is the most important thing in an organization and it applies at all levels, from the top of the organization all the way down.  Rules, regulations, and operating standards are important, of course, because you have to have systems in place to guide activities. But culture is the factor that stands above all others.

The factors that go into building the organizational culture and will make your company successful are…

  1. TRADITIONS AND CORE VALUES
  2. VISION
  3. ENGAGEMENT

Please watch my video to learn more about these factors and share your comments below.

Relationships Are Currencystring(26) "Relationships Are Currency"

How many times have you seen an entrepreneur go to an event, meet people, and never talk to them again? Contacts are valuable, and your relationships are currency. Don’t fall into this networking pitfall. When it comes to your contacts, it is how well you know each other that counts, not how many contacts you have.

What is the best way for you to grow and utilize your relationships? Check out my latest video on my Networking for Success YouTube channel by clicking here, or by looking below.

Lifelong Learning: Lessons in Leadershipstring(40) "Lifelong Learning: Lessons in Leadership"

 

As many of you know, I was given the fantastic opportunity to spend a few days with John Maxwell at his Leadership Conference in Orlando Florida last week. (You can read my initial reaction to winning the Leadership award here.)

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John shared a story that I thought was a great networking lesson, and it’s something I want to share with all of you.

He began his story when he was a very young pastor in the 1970s. He wanted to learn and grow in his field and he decided that he would try to interview ten of the most successful pastors from across the country. Being a thoughtful man, John realized that their time was valuable and he wanted to pay for it-but at the time, he only made $4,200 a year in salary.

John reached out to the ten pastors he wanted to seek advice from and offered them $100 each for less than an hour of their time to help mentor him in his journey. $100 each doesn’t sound like a lot of money, but multiplied by ten people that equaled almost one quarter of his annual income! But John felt that it was important to show them that he didn’t want something for nothing and would truly value their mentorship.

He went on to explain that only two people took him up on his request. He met with the two pastors, asked his questions, and received great information and took copious notes. Before he left each of them, he asked if they knew any of the eight remaining people on his list. He needed a referral!

Both of them new many of the remaining pastors, so John asked if they would be kind enough to call some of the other eight and make a personal introduction. Both men happily did so. After a short time, John was able to meet with all ten pastors because of the introductions that these two pastors made.

John obtained fantastic insights which enabled him to achieve many of his goals as a young man, and he did it through referral networking.

There were many lessons to be learned in this story, but here’s some of the ones that I got out of it:

  1. Don’t expect something for nothing. Asking for favors from people you don’t know, just doesn’t work well.
  2. Be prepared. Have well-thought out questions.
  3. Take notes and follow the advice.
  4. Most importantly, he asked these individuals if they felt this was worth their time. It was only after they said yes, that he asked for an introduction to the rest of the people on the list.

This last one is an important example of the referral process. He showed up prepared, stuck to the time he promised, did a good job and THEN asked for a laser specific referral if, and only if, they felt that the meeting was worth their time. John was successful because he knew how to be a professional, make a good impression, and then, and only then, ask for the referral.

Great story John.

 

A Humbled Manstring(13) "A Humbled Man"

I consider myself a pretty humble guy; but when you win an award, it makes you feel even more gracious and grateful for the opportunities you’ve been given in life.

Last night, I was honored to be awarded the John C. Maxwell Leadership Award. The award was given to me at the Maxwell gala, held at the end of a three day training conference, The Certified Live Event. As I reflect on the night over the next few days, I’ll be able to write a longer blog about my experience on Monday. But for now, let me say that if there’s one emotion I can immediately convey, it’s gratitude. I absolutely couldn’t have gotten where I am in life if it weren’t for others supporting, guiding and recognizing me. Being recognized as an influential leader is something I only achieved by following the lead of those who came before me, those who taught me and those who believed in me. For that, and so much more, I am truly grateful.

For me personally, the best part of the award is being able to donate the $10,000 prize money to the BNI Foundation. I have such passion, as does my wife Beth, for helping children and giving them as many opportunities to succeed as possible. This donation will make a lasting impact on children’s lives, which to me, is the greatest award imaginable.

Photo Credit: John C. Maxwell Team

Photo Credit: John C. Maxwell Team

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