I Refuse to Participate in a Recession! 03/27/08


Many economic gurus are saying the “R” word …. recession.For the most part, the U.S. economy has been strong and business has been good for the past decade.However, the economy goes through cycles. Even if we don’t see a full-blown recession, business is slowing for many people.

Unfortunately, every time the economy takes a downturn, the fallout is felt strongly by salespeople, business owners and professionals alike.Successful business professionals learn from the past.For some, this will not be our first recession.

So what did we learn from previous economic downturns?In the early ’90s, right in the middle of a nasty recession, I was at a business mixer in Connecticut meeting many local business professionals.It seemed that everyone was feeling the crunch from the slow economy.Throughout the entire event, the favorite topic of discussion was how bad the economy was and how things were getting worse.The whole affair was depressing because nearly everyone was obsessed with the problems of the economy and its impact on his or her business .

I was introduced to one of the many real estate agents attending.Given the decrease in property values in the state, I was leery of asking this gentleman the standard “How’s business?”question.He shared with me, though, that he was having a great year.Naturally, I was surprised and asked, “You did say you were in real estate, didn’t you?”
Yes.”
“We are in Connecticut, aren’t we?”
“Yes,” he said with a slight grin.

“And you’re having a good year?”I asked.

“I’m actually having my best year ever!” he said.

“Your best year!”I said in amazement.

After thinking for a moment I asked him, “Is this your first year in real estate?” “No,” he replied with a laugh. “I’ve been in real estate for almost 10 years.”I asked him how he was doing so well, given the conditions of the economy and the stiff competition.He reached into his pocket and pulled out a badge that said:

I AbsolutelyRefuse to Participate in a Recession!

“That’s your secret?”I asked.”You refuse to participate in the recession, so business is booming?”“That’s correct,” he said.”While most of my competitors are crying the blues about how bad business is, I’m out drumming up a ton of business networking with my contacts and generating referrals.”

Considering what he said, I looked around the room and listened in on people for a whileas they complained about how bad business was.While nearly all were commiseratingwith one another, I concluded that very few were actually networking and working on seeking new business.As a result, very little business was actually being accomplished.If you want to do well in business, you must understand that it does absolutely no good to complain to people about tough times.When you complain about how bad business is, half the people you tell don’t care and the other half are glad you’re worse off than they are.

While you cannot control the economy or your competition, you can control your response to the economy.Referrals can keep your business alive and well during an economic downturn.During the last recession, I watched thousands of businesspeople grow and prosper.They were successful because they consciously made the decision to refuse to participate in a recession.They did so by developing their networking skills and learning how to build their business through word of mouth.

Don’t let a bad economy be your excuse for failure.Instead, make it your opportunity to succeed.While others are looking at the problems, those of us looking for opportunities will not only get through a bad economy but will prosper.

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42 Responses to this article

 
John R. Mazurek, MSW March 27, 2008 Reply

I’m a clinical therapist in solo practice. Shortly after I entered this field, I discovered that if my practice slowed down, it was because I had let my marketing efforts slide. Now, whenever my caseload is down, I consider it both a reminder to network and an opportunity to do more marketing than I usually do or to try something new. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for complaining, and it amazes me how quickly referrals start to come in again.

 
Betty Jo Waxman March 27, 2008 Reply

I love your declaration that you REFUSE to participate in a recession. Attitude and mindset trump external conditions and skills every time! I work with people on a daily basis on how the story they tell themselves about what is happening is key. Sure, we need skills. External conditions are a factor. But we can all point to the chapter member who has read all the books, listened to the tapes, and doesn’t apply the information. We also know the member who is “rough around the edges” but approaches it all with a mindset and “can do” attitude that leads to success. It is definitely a choice!

 
Lisa Maahs March 27, 2008 Reply

I am with you and I can’t wait till the call tommorrow!!
Stand up Business Owners!!!

 
Gary Iuliano March 27, 2008 Reply

At our BNI meeting last Tuesday I remarked that while our competitors are tossing and turning in their beds wondering what to do we are up and networking and making things happen.

 
CardExpressions.net March 27, 2008 Reply

This is a great time to be fostering relationships and building your network. Some people are feeling a bit down in the dumps…sharing your positive thoughts will inspire others to do the same. Thanks for a great article!

 
Jeff Ensinger March 27, 2008 Reply

I’m sorry but I don’t hear any of my BNI members complaining about the economy EXCEPT to say they are tired of hearing about it.
Very Strange!!!

 
Mark Anthony March 27, 2008 Reply

I agree, people who ‘let things happen to them’ will always experience recessions and whatever else comes their way. People who get out of bed every morning with the intention of ‘making things happen’ will never experience a recession. I have a real estate person in my BNI group with a somewhat similar outlook to the one used in the blog.

 
Tom Doiron March 27, 2008 Reply

Dear Dr. Misner,

Regardless of the economic conditions, someone always has some money to spend. With word-of-mouth marketing, it is easier to connect with that someone with money to spend.

Although it would be nice to have a lot of work in the pipeline, all you really need is the next project.

If the competition wants to waste their time complaining to each other, then that leaves all the more customers for me to harvest.

Life is always a balance. Like a see-saw; if the money is light in one place, then it must be heavy in another place. Referral marketing helps identify those places with heavy money.

Thanks for a great article, Dr. Misner. I absolutely refuse to participate in a recession, too.

All the BEST,
Tom Doiron
http://www.TomDoiron.com

 
Don Morical March 27, 2008 Reply

Very well done…

 
Kim Harper March 27, 2008 Reply

Thank you for the eye opener. This really hits home and whilst SA’s position is probably nowhere near the Recession that is being experienced in America we are still in what appears to economists to be a slight recession. One thing though that is for sure is all of the economists are predicting an up swing in the economy and you are 100% correct in saying that we need to focus on the positive. Only too often it is so much easier to moan about things that you actually do not have too much control of – WHAT A WASTE OF ENERGY! This is where you need to better use your energy in BNI as we all know the more we give, the more we gain. This is what is going to grow your business. I have really had a tough 8 months and one thing that I can say is that I increased my participation as Assistant Director into BNI and WOW, I am seeing light at the end of the tunnel. Surrounding yourself with positive people that have one goal in mind – growing business always has a tendancy to lead to great things. I will definately pass the message on in Port Elizabeth and thank you for a wonderful article.

 
Abe Silos March 27, 2008 Reply

I absolutely agree, recessions are often the result of media hype in the negative direction. Thank you for those great comments!

 
Roy Michael March 27, 2008 Reply

My company and I share the same philosophy, when others don’t want the business, we will take it. We are an independant mortgage bank. We are currently expanding in this market. A positive attitude will always prevail.

 

Vision, goals, passion and the determined will to succeed. There is no room for the “R” word. It only gets in the way.

Thank you for a great article. I am forwarding it now to my BNI chapters and especially to the two groups we are inspiring to become strong new chapters.

Ed Woods
Chief Science & Technology Officer
Suncoast Marketing Partners
http://www.edwoods.name

 
David Burke March 28, 2008 Reply

Dear Dr.Misner

Greetings from Ireland

Thank you for your excellent words of wisdom, we are having our own difficulties in Ireland (the dollar is far reaching), but with the help of networking we will ride the storm together and build up relationships with like minded individuals and come out of this stronger.

I was at a networking event last night with a presentation by Bill Cullen, author of “its a long way from penny apples”. Such a positive business book and an inspiration to anybody who reads it. I would recommend it to anybody who has a can do approach to business.

I have now become a sneezer for Bill Cullen

 
Steve Gamlin March 28, 2008 Reply

Dear Dr. Misner,

In early 2008, I was hired to be a ‘humorous speaker’ at an association meeting. When I asked who my audience would be, I was informed that they were mortgage brokers, bankers and real estate agents (and that they were NOT happy!!). When I arrived to greet them and sit for the first half of their meeting…wow! It literally felt like a funeral. We shared many laughs as I reminded them why they are ‘great’, which did help to lift spirits and rekindle the ‘career’ passion for some (according to the person who hired me), but I do wish this article had existed prior to my speech. Excellent points made!

 

Hello again,

I just printed out the big “Refuse To Participate” button and am bringing it into my BNI meeting this morning http://bnireferralmasters.com/ and posting this right at the front door.

“WE shall Refuse to Participate in a” – what do ya call it?

http://suncoastmarketingpartners.com/images/i-refuse-to-particpate-in-a-recession-badge.jpg

Chief Science & Technology Officer
Suncoast Marketing Partners
http://www.edwoods.name

 
Howard Zien NYC March 28, 2008 Reply

Over the past several years, when business was roaring, many of us spent over 90% of our time immersed in the daily activities, pressures, and deadlines of our business. We spent the remaining 8% to 10% of our time planning, organizing, or thinking. During boom times, we have plenty of money but never seem to have enough time.

Business cycles happen. When slowdowns occur, we should be grateful for the the gift of time and the opporunity to invest this time in planning, organizing and thinking about ways to improve our business. In a slowdown phase of the business cycle, we devote 70% of our time with the routine of business and have the luxury of using the remaining 30% in thinking about how to improve our marketing, operations and finance. We devote time to training, evaluating new products, and creating new relationships of all kinds.

When the robust business climate returns, as it inevitably does, we are vastly better eqipped to exploit the opportunities that arise.

As a director in BNI in Manhattan, I always think of August as the month of greatest opportunity to add BNI members. Why? Because business slows down in August and business men and women have the luxury of thinking about how they can grow their businesses faster and more effectively.

To the salesmen in Dr. Meisner’s article I would say “It is inevitable that a robust business climate will return. What investments in time and ideas are you making now to give you and your firm a competitive advantage to exploit future business opportunities.

 
Howard Zien NYC March 28, 2008 Reply

Over the past several years, when business was roaring, many of us spent over 90% of our time immersed in the daily activities, pressures, and deadlines of our business. We spent the remaining 8% to 10% of our time planning, organizing, or thinking. During boom times, we have plenty of money but never seem to have enough time.

Business cycles happen. When slowdowns occur, we should be grateful for the the gift of time and the opporunity to invest this time in planning, organizing and thinking about ways to improve our business. In a slowdown phase of the business cycle, we devote 70% of our time with the routine of business and have the luxury of using the remaining 30% in thinking about how to improve our marketing, operations and finance. We devote time to training, evaluating new products, and creating new relationships of all kinds.

When the robust business climate returns, as it inevitably does, we are vastly better eqipped to exploit the opportunities that arise.

As a director in BNI in Manhattan, I always think of August as the month of greatest opportunity to add BNI members. Why? Because business slows down in August and business men and women have the luxury of thinking about how they can grow their businesses faster and more effectively.

To the salesmen in Dr. Meisner’s article I would say “It is inevitable that a robust business climate will return. What investments in time and ideas are you making now to give you and your firm a competitive advantage to exploit future business opportunities.

 
Solveig McCormick March 28, 2008 Reply

Hey Kim I agree! Complaints are killers and so is criticism. Hurdles are an excuse to jump so let’s jump! Recession? oh no, it’s a learning curve.

SABNI Northern Peninsular Region, BNI Shiraz, BNI Die Wingerd, BNI Atlantic Table and BNI Connections.

 
Brendan Newe March 28, 2008 Reply

Dear Dr Misner

This is the first of your blogs that I have read. You know common sense is such an undervalued commodity, if we think “R” then that is the message we give off to our fellow Chapter Members even sub-consciously. I whole heartedly agree with the real estate agent in your blog and this theme will become part of our education slot at regular intervals in our Chapters over the next few months. We in BNI are about bringing only positive contributions to our fellow chapter members and by getting agreement from our members to “Refuse to Participate in a Recession” can only enhance these positive contributions.
Looking forward to meeting you some day soon!!

 
Neil Scott MD DDS March 28, 2008 Reply

I agree. People want to be around positive individuals. Being a general dentist and owning a home office in Hamburg, NY (near Buffalo), the main issue has always been how can I be different from other dentists in the area. I finally found my niche in the field. That is performing Emergency Dental Care 24/7 and no one, but no one else in WNY and many states of the USA for that matter are performing this great service. According to mathematical calculations, if one person tells two, and those two people tell two more the next day and each of them tells just two people of the fantastic service available and this continues for a mere period of just 30 days (without any overlapping of people), then after the 30 days, over 10,747,000 people would know of what I can do for them when they cannot reach their dentist or if they do not have one to get them out of pain or to correct whatever problem they might have. The emergency rooms are not equipped to correct the problem except to give the patient antibiotics and analgesics if it is deemed appropriate by the ER physician.

Each person should find their “unique niche” in their own business career that makes them stand out from others in their field.

Thank you and good luck to all that read this comment. May it help in this “recession”.

 
Melinda Potcher March 28, 2008 Reply

Ivan~

I would love your permission to repost this on my blog giving you full credit.

Please let me know if this is acceptable.

my blog is a tab within my website; http://www.HomeLoansAlbuquerque.com

I am an area director in Albuqueruque under Gayle Williams, Executive Director.

best,

Melinda

 
Don Markofski March 28, 2008 Reply

Right On! Recession is a Word…a dirty, nine-letter word! I choose to RECEDE from the Recession, and continue to SUCCEED.

_______________________________________

“I will help you create brand awareness, increase market share, launch new products and boost sales.”

Don Markofski
DON MARKOFSKI & ASSOCIATES
eMail: dmarkofski@hotmail.com
Website: http://www.MarkofskiCreative.com
PH: 909-593-8540

 
Don Markofski March 28, 2008 Reply

RIGHT ON! Recession is a dirty, 9-letter word! I choose to RECEDE from the recession and SUCCEED with my business ventures.

Don Markofski, CEO/Creative Director
DON MARKOFSKI & ASSOCIATES

_______________________________________

“I will help you create brand awareness, increase market share, launch new products and boost sales.”

Don Markofski
DON MARKOFSKI & ASSOCIATES
eMail: dmarkofski@hotmail.com
Website: http://www.MarkofskiCreative.com
Ph: 909-593-8540

 
Rick Itzkowich March 28, 2008 Reply

Dr. Misner

As always you are right on. I recently posted an article on
my blog
that underscores the fact that we find what we are looking for.

Rick Itzkowich
Productive Learning & Leisure, LLC

 
Sabina Brown March 29, 2008 Reply

Thank you Dr Misner for this valuable advice. Sign me up too! I refuse to participate in a recession! I’ve always found a positive attitude works wonders in life and work. As the new Educational Co-ordinator for the Battle BNI Chapter in East Sussex, UK, I shall be forwarding this to all members.

 
Diana Herman March 29, 2008 Reply

Dr. Misner,

Your article was very refreshing, thank you. I am a Visitor host with Chapter 21 in Manhattan and our chapter is growing strong. This is because we are busy passing referrals and seeing how we can hele other peoples businesses grow. My business grew by 20% last year. I love “I refuse to participate” it leaves no room in my mind because what you think about expands !

 
Daniel Sanders March 30, 2008 Reply

Dr. Misner,

Reading your article was like listening in on my own conversations with other business peoplle in the last 6 months. An R is the product of media and pundits repeatedly uttering that dreadful word, therefore I refuse to do so and will not tolerate those around me doing so.

When someone does use the R-word, my response is simple. I do not know what they are talking about. At Four Sales Ltd (www.foursales.com) our business is up 30+ percent year on year, we’ve opened a brach office and tripled our staff. In 36 continuous years of business, we’ve never been busier or more profitable. Doesn’t sound like an economic downturn to me…

Thank you for clearly stating an anti-R position.

Daniel Sanders
Four Sales Ltd, the Mid-Atlantic’s Largest Professional Estate Sales Company
http://www.foursales.com/MailingList.html

 
Mike Kneffel March 31, 2008 Reply

That says it all, doesn’t it. I refuse to participate in a recession. Love it! I will definately share that with the other BNI members.

Mike Kneffel
2XL Company
Helping Companies To Excel!

 
Barbara Cochran April 1, 2008 Reply

The Law of Attraction is real. What we hold in mind produces like kind. There are always people wanting our services or goods, if we are totally committed and present, in integrity and willing to play and be creative and collaborative.

Barbara

 
James Peterson April 3, 2008 Reply

My family and I started as Horse farmers and I have to say made ” Bucks ” in the business. The business bottom fell out, we redirected our effort for our passion of animals and supplying products and services to those that share the same passion toward them to Dogs and small animals and business even though it is slow right now since it is essentially a new startup is more lucrative then the horse industry and less fickle to the state of economy. I lean toward the ” If one door closes another door opens ” train of thought.

 
Susan Almon-Pesch April 7, 2008 Reply

“As an independent marketing consultant, I am the first one to hear from my clients, ‘Gee Sue there’s no business; People are hunkering down, Don’t you know there’s a R out there?’ I then ask them how they’re so certain. The answer comes back, ‘From the media, and I was talking with supplier at the coffee shop this morning, and he agreed.’ I let him know the first step in making the phone ring is — to politely tell the supplier, he must agree to disagree, and assure him that there’s always work for all of us. It’s a mindset. Then quit drinking coffee and talking about ‘it,’ and get out and make some sales calls!”

 
Mike Harrison April 8, 2008 Reply

Thanks Ivan. Great idea! I created some badges and ordered them for everyone in my BNI Chapter. http://www.cafepress.com/norecession

 
mark Flannagan April 19, 2008 Reply

recession what recession? What we say is what we get! If we all talk prosperity that is what we will get!

 
ANG Ah Sin May 8, 2008 Reply

Everything happens for a reason.

For recession, it was created to wipe out the failures so that the rest can succeed.

Recession is also the sandpaper that is needed to bring back the shine for those who are not afraid to be rubbed!

 
Audrey May 10, 2008 Reply

I am with you 100%. I too refuse to participate in a recession.

 
Jay Shrestha May 10, 2008 Reply

I like your insights on overcoming recession. Although I have failed to succeed in my business due to the current economic slowdown, I am sure with such determination, I can break through.
There is a phrase, which I read recently. It goes: “There are two things that a person should seek to succeed in life, one is setting a goal, and the next is a burning desire to achieve it.”

 
Steve Odierno November 19, 2008 Reply

This one sentence says it all: “While you cannot control the economy or your competition, you can control your response to the economy.” And this is more true in November than when it was written. As the author indicates, let us not use this word as an “excuse.” We must seize control of our own destinies and succeed despite the obstacles (some real, and some perceived) that we face.

 
ANTOINE GARDEN CARE March 9, 2009 Reply

Hi Yvan !

I’m going to meet you in Paris this 25th march.
I’m very implacated in the BNI. I’m in france and we’re going to pass this recession without problems.

Thanks for you investisements in this Buisness.

Long life for the BNI

 
Dan-O the "shadow" August 30, 2011 Reply

LOL, i have been telling people to stop bitching about this for years. You hit the nail on the head with this. I am SO getting this badge made, i love it!

 
Tiago Maia June 9, 2012 Reply

I’m with you, Dr. Ivan Misner!
I refuse to sit with my arms crossed and wait for something diferente to happen.
I am a practitioner of Chinese medicine acupuncture and naturopathy BNI group in Active – Lisbon Portugal, and I believe we can make good deals even if the Portuguese economy is in chaos ….

 
Margaret September 27, 2012 Reply

I’m not sure exactly why but this weblog is loading very slow for me. Is anyone else having this issue or is it a issue on my end? I’ll check back later and see if
the problem still exists.

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