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Givers Gain® is a philosophy based on the law of reciprocity.  In the context of networking groups, people who adopt this philosophy dedicate themselves to giving business to their fellow networkers rather than making their foremost concern getting business for themselves.  In doing so, other people naturally become eager to repay their kindness by sending them business in return.  Givers Gain is a great way to live life in general and it is a standard which we can all apply to ourselves—key word being “ourse...


Sometime ago, one of my blog readers asked me this question: I was wondering what do you do when your motivation level is lacking as well as your self esteem? What do you do to regain the motivation needed to move on with your plans and pursue your endeavors? This is a great question and here’s my answer: First of all, let me say that I am as certain of what I’m about to say as anything in my life – motivation comes from within you not from outside you. No one can motivate you but yourself. I’...


Stewart Emery (Success Built to Last) was over my house a few months ago.  At breakfast one morning he told me about an interview he did with a well-known billionaire in the computer industry.  The billionaire shared an intriguing story with Stewart about an experience he’d had when the senior executives of a company interested in purchasing his company visited his office to discuss the possible purchase.   At lunch, the billionaire told the senior executives of the company he was negotiating with that h...


I am very pleased to announce that today marks the 500th blog post on BusinessNetworking.com!  To celebrate, my wife Beth and I recorded this video where we reminisce about which blog posts have been our favorites over the five years I’ve been doing this blog and why these individual posts stand out to us. Below you’ll find the links to the specific blogs we mention in the video so you can check them out if you’re interested.  To celebrate this 500-blog milestone, I’d love nothing more than ...


I wrote an article on Entrepreneur.com last week entitled “Why Everyone Should talk About Politics While Networking” and in my opening line I state, “Yes, I believe everyone should talk about politics (and religion) while networking . . . if they’d like their network to go up in flames, that is!” Though I may have been very active in politics over the years and I do, indeed, have a definite religious/spiritual leaning, I have found that it is undoubtedly best not to mix my views/beliefs ...


“Who’s in Your Room?”  This was the question asked by a close friend of mine, Stewart Emery (pictured in this blog) at a presentation of his that I attended a few months ago. He posed an interesting series of questions and ideas to the audience; “What if you had to live your life in one room?  Whoever you want to interact with in life is in that room.  There is only one door.  It is a one-way door.  Whoever is in your room, stays in your room forever.  Whoever comes into your room impacts yo...


I recently received an unsolicited e-mail message from a man named Chris.  The message stated: I watched the “video for International Networking Week and… I found it personally offensive and amateurish.  I just thought you would like some feedback.  Consider that when you make your presentation on the Today Show [next week].” OK, so I should begin by saying – I don’t know Chris.  I’ve never met him and have never talked to him.  Why he would feel compelled to send me such a ‘pleasant’ communicati...


I recently read an article in FORTUNE magazine entitled “OMG!!! The End of Online Stupidity?” The article was written a few years ago but it stated that “internet veterans have long complained about the steady erosion of civility — and worse, intelligence — in online discourse.”  I couldn’t help but think that things haven’t gotten much better in the last few years. It never ceases to amaze me how some people behave online (especially if it is anonymous)!  For exampl...


Over and over again in life I am reminded that exceptional performance is not achieved by looking for exceptions.  I don’t feel very diplomatic today so, I’ll just say it like I see it.  I find it really tiring to deal with people who want “great” results but don’t want to put in “great” effort.  I honestly think that if people spent half as much time focusing on the fundamentals of success in the areas they are interested in – they would get twice the results of what they are currently getting...


An important and invaluable lesson I’ve learned over the years is that clear, open, honest, direct communication with people solves most problems. So often I have seen relationships deteriorate to the point where people are talking “about” each other instead of talking “to” each other. This can happen more easily than you might think.  For most people, when things don’t go the way they expect in a relationship, the tendency is to talk to EVERYONE they know EXCEPT the person they h...


UPDATE:  Before you read this blog (which was posted on Saturday the 8th), I’d like to give an update.  I was contacted by John, the Director of Customer Advocacy at the Marriott Hotels.  He contacted me when he heard of my complaint.  He handled the situation with concern and professionalism.  He also made the matter right in the best way I think he could.  All companies make mistakes, attempting to make it right says a lot about a company.  Thanks John for your follow up. Just yesterday I wrote about ...


The business I’m in involves a lot of coaching and guiding of franchisees to teach them how to coach and guide entrepreneurs, salespeople, and professionals to generate referrals for themselves and others.  Sometimes this feels a little like ‘herding cats’; entrepreneurs hate being told what to do and it takes a real skill set to move them in a direction that involves a lot of hard work but will help them achieve the results they want. One of the biggest challenges I have in this process is not w...


An old friend of mine, Don Osborne, shared with me some material he wrote many years ago about how many of us use the “I’m different” syndrome to simply avoid doing something we don’t want to do. I’ve revised it a bit and am sharing it with you here today.  I hope you find it interesting. When it comes to ourselves, we’re always the exception.  Everybody else should do what’s been proved to work. Personal development works as soon as we stop treating ourselves as the excepti...


Yesterday, I received a rather disturbing email message from someone berating me for sharing what he felt were some aspects of my success via my FaceBook Fan page (mostly relating to discussions about my business travel and corporate meetings I did from my lake home over the summer).   I have to say it brought me down a bit so I went to my library and picked up a book I wrote about 7 years ago called Masters of Success.  I read a piece in it that I wrote called “Success is Not an EntitlementR...


Smart, enterprising businesspeople know the importance of networking and how it is a huge opportunity to increase word-of-mouth and gain business referrals. However, one of the biggest mistakes people can make is failing to follow through. One of my employees recently told me a story that should serve as an important lesson to all of us on how networking without follow-through is nothing more than a waste of time. Note: The names in this story have been changed to protect the innocent . . . and the guilty. My emp...


Census Survivor08/26/10

 

Your first thought after reading the title of this blog might have been . . . “Census Survivor,” what’s there to survive?”  Well, for one medium-sized suburban district office of the 1980 census, not that much . . . unless you count six dog bites, three car accidents and 11 attempted assaults (two at knife point, four at gunpoint, two with a baseball bat and the rest merely by hand), as well as a census worker who fell down a flight of steps, another who had a door slammed on her hand a...


I had a conversation with a franchisee a few weeks ago and I’ve been thinking about it for some time since.  We were talking about a marketing strategy that has proven to be very successful for many franchises within his company for many years. When I asked the franchisee why he wasn’t participating in the program he said, “I don’t want to do that.  I don’t think it works.”  I said, “Really?  The top three franchisees around the country use it– just what about...


My philosophy about competition is best summed up by Henry Ford, who once said, “The competitor to be feared is one who never bothers about you at all, but goes on making his own business better all the time.”   In my business organization, BNI, members or directors often express concern about other competitive networking groups that are forming and bad-mouthing our company or attacking our program in some way. I tell my team that if they feel like someone is biting at our backsides, it’s bec...


My recently completed Referral Institute study of more than 12,000 business professionals from all around the world has ended, and I’ve been going through mountains of statistics and data (oh joy).  I thought I might share an important one with my readers.  This statistic will not surprise anyone in the real world (yes professors, I’m saying you live in a fantasy world):  91.4 percent of all respondents claimed that networking played a role in their success.  Only 6 percent said it did not, and I...


Last week I wrote a blog called “Premature Solicitation,” which was about a situation where someone whom I had never met and didn’t know asked me to introduce him and his product to a very important connection of mine. I shared this blog in a couple of venues, including one of my favorite online social networks.  A great dialog ensued with most people sharing their horror stories and frustrations about people who pounce on them at networking meetings asking for business even though they’ve ...


Have you ever been solicited for a referral or for business by someone you didn’t even know?  Michelle Villalobos, a BNI member in Miami, calls this “Premature Solicitation.” [Say that fast three times and you might get in trouble!] I agree completely with Michelle, and I’ve been a victim of “premature solicitation” many times.  I was recently speaking at a business networking event and, before my presentation, someone literally came up to me and said, “Hi, it is a real p...


OK, let me start by saying that my real beef is with civil litigators, not all lawyers and though I may use the term “lawyer” in my blog, it is the litigators I am really upset with. I also understand that we need rules of law and people to help guide us through them, such as my colleague here on the Entrepreneur.com Blog Network, Nina Kaufman, who writes the Making it Legal blog (Nina, please don’t hate me . . . for what I’m about to say). Not all lawyers are litigators. However, all litigato...


Recently, I had lunch with the president of a Southern California University along with his dean for the School of Business. We spoke about many things but, specifically, he wondered what I thought the school could be doing better to teach students graduating from his university. My answer was easy–”start teaching courses on networking, social capital and/or emotional intelligence.” He asked me why.  I told him that if you ask the average business person or entrepreneur what one of the most importa...


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