The Hard Path is Easier

I am writing to you today from beautiful Vail, Colorado, while attending a meeting of the Transformational Leadership Council. TLC is a group made up of trainers and “thought leaders” helping to transform people’s lives in various ways.

During the five days of seminars and meetings, I had an opportunity to sit in on a presentation by Steve D’Annunzio that I felt compelled to write about. Steve spoke of many things, but one point that really resonated with me was his discussion of taking the easy path or the hard path in the decisions that we make throughout life.

He said, “taking the hard path often makes life easier and taking the easy path often makes life harder!”

I thought about how that applies to what I teach people in business. I’ve used a phrase for years: “It’s not net-sit or net-eat, it’s net-work! If you want to be successful in your networking efforts, you have to work the process consistently and regularly. I see people nod their heads in agreement and then go out and continue to go through the motions of networking and relationship building, refusing to do the hard work necessary to create a powerful network.

The real irony of this is that those are the same people who later say this “networking” thing doesn’t work for them, and they continue to struggle in business. They take the easy path, and business continues to be hard. On the other hand, I see many people who truly work hard at building relationships and going deep in their networking efforts. These are the people who consistently see great results over time. What seems like hard work at first leads to things being easier for them later.

He asked, “Are you practicing hard/easy or are you practicing easy/hard in your life?

A powerful question with significant meaning. So, I’d love to hear from you. What have you done in your life that seemed hard but made life easier or, what have you done that seemed easy but made life harder?

7 thoughts on “The Hard Path is Easier

  1. Dear Ivan,
    Previous to BNI, I was an “easy/hard type, since I joined one year ago, I’ve been practicing “hard/easy”, with some successes. It sometimes seems like a long road, however when I look way back at my progress, or lack there of, I’ve come to believe I’m now on the right road. There’s an additional factor, and that’s the matter of enthuasism.
    Successes, no matter how small, do add up and if you stay positive and keep expecting success, it will come and eventually come large. If you give up, you end up with even less than you started with…especially time lost.
    Thank you for your insite, wisdom, and the opportunities you offered to all of us to grow.
    All the best
    Richard Kearns
    President, Creatice Plastics Fabrication

  2. I started my sole proprietorship without a lot of funds or business help. Initially, a lot of determination and shoe leather paid off and I was “half-booked” by six months. At that time, I was a massage therapist. Many of the people I went to school with never even went into business. They asked about my success and all I could answer was that I was flying without a net; so I had to work hard to make it successful as soon as possible.

  3. I can’t imagine what my first full-time year in business would be like without the relationships I’m building in BNI. I agree that there is a difference between “going through the motions” and paying lip-service and actually making a true effort to build relationships. One-to-one meetings and consistent contact throughout the week are essential for the indepth growth Dr. Misner is talking about.

  4. Ivan, the HARD Path IS much easier because there is less traffic. When I attended my first BNI Meeting in October 2005, I had been practicing the ‘Pay It Forward’ mantra, daily, for 4 years. Witnessing the power of BNI’s Giver’s Gain Philosophy, in action at that first meeting, was an AhA Moment for me! At last, I had discovered a serious network of practicing givers. The BNI Experience continues to be a most rewarding and satisfying adventure. Thank you, Ivan for your nurturing and sharing. Best Regards, Gordie

  5. Dear Ivan

    How right you are.

    I certainly feel strongly about this easy/hard path. Having left a corporate job 8 years ago because my beliefs were no longer congruent with ethos of my senior managers. At the time I could have just ignored my own feelings and continued taking the easy route and the very good salary I was receiving.

    Instead I set my own company up and thanks to BNI I have built a huge business and I was priviledged to become and an ED of the Scotland West region. This was not the easy route but the rewards at the end are worth the effort during the journey.

    Thanks for sharing this information with us. It just highlights the business is now always easy but if you make the right decision and with a little hard work, we can all get what we want.

    Rob Copeland
    BNI Scotland West
    “For the business you and your company have always wanted”

  6. Dear Dr. Misner,

    Like Lori, I had no safety net. I had taken the easy road by accepting a generous offer of a partnership that grew increasingly harder and harder.

    I had been netWORKING feverishly in my BNI chapter for about ten months when I decided to change to the harder path and go it alone. When I announced my decision to break out on my own, my chapter members gave me a standing ovation. With the help of their professional services, I had all my new business details well handled.

    In that moving moment I decided that I could not invest my time and dollars in a better marketing venue than BNI. Now almost another year later, I am turning in more revenue from my referral partners than most in our chapter of 30 members.

    It is work, but it truly nets better results.

    Thanks Dr. Misner for building the track for us to run on.

    All the BEST,
    Tom Doiron

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