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In this video, filmed at a business networking conference in Nashville just last week, I talk to my very good friend and Business Networking and Sex Co-author, Frank De Raffele, about the difference between simple, compound, & complex referrals. Frank explains the importance of understanding that there’s a certain amount of time and energy spent correlating to each different type of referral and that there is, indeed, one type of referral that is considered the ‘ultimate’ referral–the type...


A while back, I was one of the featured speakers at a conference for small business owners and one of the other speakers offered a list of things that all business owners must have in place in order to truly be in business and position themselves for success.  The speaker said, “If you don’t have all these things in place, you’re not really in business!” This really stuck with me because there is a lot of validity to it.  With all the responsibilities of being a business owner, sometimes circumstances can g...


Last year, My wife Beth and I posted a question on Facebook in search of the most creative and interesting answer.  The question was: “If you had an opportunity to ask Sir Richard Branson one question, what would it be?” In this video, I reveal the best, most interesting question that someone responded with: “What venture or company do you wish you had started instead of someone else, or what business did you have a chance to invest in but didn’t and now regret not investing in it?” I g...


When we hear the term “work-life balance” we think about trying to spend an equal amount of time in all areas of our life.  The problem with that is that almost no entrepreneur can actually achieve that. While life can’t be fully in balance, it is possible to create a life that is in harmony with your vision. Here are some simple techniques: Wherever you are – be there. If you are at work, don’t be thinking about the time you didn’t spend with the family the night before, or what you should be d...


I once had an interesting conversation with an associate who was surprised that she’d gotten flak from a referral source for taking five days to follow up with a prospect that the referral source had referred to her.  My associate explained to me that she doesn’t like to follow up with prospects for four or five days because she doesn’t want the prospect to feel like she’s too eager. I told my associate that I strongly disagree with her follow-up strategy.  My reasons why are outlined in the following parag...


A few months ago, I started watching some episodes of “Shark Tank” and I got hooked!  There are some serious business lessons that can be learned by viewing the show and I saw one of them last week while I was watching a rerun from a previous season (it’s sad, I’m completely hooked now and I’m checking out past episodes). There was an entrepreneur on the show by the name of Raven Thomas.  Raven started a food business called, The Painted Pretzel (pretzels covered with chocolate and other confectio...


In this video, I talk to Ireland-based business networking expert Sandra Hart about the importance of embedding the facts about your business within the form of a story. When you’re networking or advertising for your business, the most powerful way to present your message is to use a story to ensure your message is heard.  Facts by themselves are, for the most part, simply not memorable to most people.  If you are a banker and you tell people that you specialize in offering low-interest home loans, people may...


I have been good friends with small business expert Jim Blasingame for over ten years and I can fully attest to the fact that his knowledge of what it takes to achieve success in small business is unparalleled (but don’t take my word for it, check out his bio below*).  I am excited to announce that just a few weeks ago, he released a revolutionary new book that will change the way the we think about buying and selling. This short video offers a quick overview of the premise of Jim’s newly released book, ...


At a recent TLC Conference in Cancun, Mexico, I had the opportunity to talk with wealth expert Roger Hamilton to discuss the Wealth Dynamics system which Roger created to help entrepreneurs achieve ultimate success.  I took the Wealth Dynamics profile test myself and found out my wealth profile is that of a “Supporter,” which I found quite surprising yet very informative, helpful, and enlightening. In this video, Roger explains how the Wealth Dynamics program can specifically help people who want to buil...


Over 1,000 business people from every populated continent in the world responded to the BNI Business Index for year-end, 2013.  According to the survey results, almost 76% of the respondents felt that business was better today than in 2012.  That’s up over 9% from the 2011 survey.    In addition, only 6.1% felt that it was declining in the 2013 survey which is down from the 9.6% that said that business was declining in 2011. The most promising news was the hiring trend numbers.  The 2013 survey found that 55....


At a recent TLC conference in Mexico, I had the opportunity to talk to my good friend Eric Edmeades, one of the world’s leading experts in entrepreneurship, about his take on the one thing entrepreneurs need to nurture in order to achieve phenomenal success and to be able to actually enjoy their retirement once they enter into it. What is that one thing? . . . Watch the video to find out.  I will tell you that if you don’t have it, your brain will not be capable of functioning at full capacity and it wil...


This week marks the 8th annual celebration of International Networking Week® which is recognized each year by thousands of people around the world. International Networking Week is about celebrating the key role that networking plays in the development and success of business around the world.  It is about creating an awareness relating to the process of networking.  Not just any kind of networking, but what I call “relationship networking”–an approach to doing business based on building long-ter...


As this is a blog about business and networking, you may be wondering why some of my recent blogs have seemed to have a fairly apparent focus on health.  I think the video I’m sharing with you today should answer that question for those of you who may wondering.  Over the past couple of years, I have indeed become quite an advocate of the importance of health in regard to achieving success and there is good reason behind that. In this short video, I talk with my good friend Lise Janelle, renowned success coac...


While in Mexico for a TLC conference, I had the opportunity to talk to my very good friend Raymond Aaron about his book, “Branding Small Business for Dummies,” and why it’s so important for small businesses to build their brand. Unfortunately, it’s a common misconception that branding is something only large corporations need to focus on and this video outlines the key points regarding what small businesses really need to know in relation to branding.  For example, if you don’t build yo...


With 2014 having just kicked off, it’s a whole new year and a perfect time to re-examine why you’re doing what you’re doing. You may think you know why you’re in business, but perhaps it’s been years since you gave it serious thought. Ask yourself the following questions: What is my business mission? — Beyond simply making a living, what are my long-range professional goals? Do I wish to become the standard by which my competitors are judged? Is it my dream to help make the world a better place? Where i...


Despite what a lot of people might think, there are actually many more similarities between business networking and career networking.  In this short video, I point out some of the key similarities between these two types of networking and explain the ideal time for people to start thinking about their career needs and making efforts toward career networking. Watch the video now to learn the five magic words that can completely change the dynamic of potentially challenging conversations and open the way to form impo...


The new video for International Networking Week® 2014 has just been released! This short, six-and-a-half-minute video, sponsored by the Referral Institute, explains how the week of February 3rd-7th, 2014 will bring about great opportunities for businesspeople around the world and increase worldwide awareness about the powerful benefits of business networking.  2014 will mark the 8th annual celebration of International Networking Week which is now recognized by many countries across the globe, with thousands of e...


A few years back, I was speaking to a friend of mine who is a partner in an international consulting and training company. We discovered that we had a mutual acquaintance who is a bestselling author and fairly well-known speaker. In our discussion, we found out that he had contacted each of us individually to see if there were any possibilities for some type of strategic alliance with our companies. We were both open to that possibility but couldn’t see any immediate and dramatic way our companies could link up wit...


In a radio interview I once did, the host of the program asked me whether I consider referral marketing the safest form of advertising. Without the slightest hesitation, I confidently answered, “By all means, no.” Based on his response, I’m sure he was shocked by that answer. I went on to explain that I believe very strongly in the tremendous benefits that word-of –mouth marketing can bring. However, there are unique risks associated with referral advertising that are not an issue in commercial or other forms...


During a conversation some years ago with Leslie Fiorenzo, a colleague of mine in the networking organization I founded, she made an interesting point of comparison between appreciating opera and learning to use word-of-mouth marketing in your business.  She said, “The best way to experience opera is to see it on the stage, and the best way to use word of mouth is to put a referral marketing plan in place. The novice, in either case, may not know where to begin.” We started talking about a system to generate bus...


In business, there are endless opportunities to learn from the successes and mistakes of others who have ventured into the entrepreneurial waters before us.  So, why is  it that we often ignore the lessons we can learn from others’ mistakes and doom ourselves to making the same bad decisions?  People in business and sales do this all the time.  For example, there are tried-and-true sales techniques that are so simplistic it doesn’t seem as though they can really be effective so we write them off and t...


Success may be a lasting accomplishment, but the thrill of success is transitory; much of the joy is the journey.  Once it’s over, we begin to wonder, “What’s next?”  This feeling of emptiness cues us to step up and get ready for the next level because success goes on as long as we keep building new steps.  We graduate from one level and, equipped with what we’ve learned, go on to new accomplishments in the next.  Each accomplishment becomes something we can stand on to reach higher....


The dark side of the VCP Process® occurs when people get disconnected from what networking is really all about–they’re not carrying out the VCP Process as it is meant to be carried out and that’s when everything goes wrong. As I mentioned in the video blog I posted last week, Jack Canfield, Gautam Ganglani, and I are currently working together on a book about networking.  Today’s video is, again, one of several short videos I’ll be posting which cover networking topics that we will be ...


Local communities and organizations–be they service clubs or professional groups–depend on sponsorships to make ends meet at some of their events.  This is also true for association trade shows and exhibitions.  In most cases, the dollar amounts for sponsoring events of this sort are modest–ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. How many times have you been asked to be a sponsor?  How many times have you offered to sponsor a select event in order to help out someone in your network...


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