Subscribe to this feedBlog

We're saying "yes" too often.


It's time to learn " THE POSITIVE POWER OF "NO!"

Experts say the ability to communicate 'NO' really reflects that you're in the driver's seat of your own life; it gives you a sense of empowerment."

There are different ways to say no...

Check this out 'Luckies...

One technique is the "Refusal Strategy".

Studies have found that saying "I don't" as opposed to "I can't" allows you to extract yourself from an unwanted commitment.

"I don't" implies you've established certain rules for yourself, suggesting conviction and stability.

And since it's personal, it also maintains the social connection humans crave.

Here at BNI we're wired to say "Yes"— but don't give a knee-jerk 'YES' when it's more appropriate to say "no" to a misplaced referral request or commitment you can't really can't make.

Practice being more aggressive when the stakes are low.

For example, when a cashier asks you to sign up for a store credit card you don't want, try saying "I don't use store credit cards" instead of a mealy "I'm sorry..not today, but thank you,"

It's a lot easier to be assertive with a stranger than it is when, say, your pleading co-worker asks for a ride to the airport. So, get comfortable with your assertiveness when it's easy so you'll be prepared when there's more pressure.

'Come up with a few anchor phrases for different situations

"No, I don't go out during the week" for co-workers who want to go on a drinking binge on a Monday night.

When you have these phrases ready, you don't have to waste time wavering over an excuse.

We're not talking about being impolite...we're celebrating clarity and empowerment.

Now, would you like for me to come back next week and explain it all again?

As we all know, new members have to go to MSP within their first 60 days, and you can also go to erase an absence.

But did you also know that you can go there to make more money?

So how do you do that?

First, make sure you bring a pen and paper to that meeting, and get ready to write.

Similar to this meeting, at that meeting, they go around and everyone introduces themselves.

You should be listening very closely for the professions that are synergistic or that have the potential to refer you, and then make a note of those people.

After the meeting, connect with them before they go and invite them to have a 121 with you.

Diego did this at a recent MSP and he connected with an interior designer who has already referred him business, and will probably continue to do so for years to come.

So make the most of your time at MSP and connect with those synergistic professionals and you'll make more money!

A little over a year ago, I walked into BNI Lucky Chapter 62 for the first time. I connected with Conrad - the guy who, at that time, I only knew from the email that responded to my request to visit the Chapter. I had some breakfast, sat down, and made some small talk with a few members and guests.

And then Amy got up to start the meeting and I immediately noticed the way she powerfully held herself, and the room. And then one by one my now fellow luckys got up and delivered their commercials. The caliber of the people was so clear to me. I was immediately impressed. I believed that I could trust pretty much everyone who spoke. And that's the key, isn't it? We can only make referrals to those whom we trust.

There was greatness in this room then. And there IS greatness in this room now. You can feel it, right? And when we look around we can see it too.

I just came off of a full weekend of training - training a team of coaches, and always continuing my education to be a better coach. During one of the morning sessions, one of the Senior leaders of my team asked us an interesting question.

"What do you do with your greatness?"

A powerful conversation followed as we all took a look for ourselves and shared what we saw.

Ultimately we all had variations of hiding or playing small. And these are incredible people - remarkable coaches and leaders.

My assertion is that if you're willing, you can take a look and perhaps you'll see where you might be playing small. Maybe it looks like deflecting a compliment - instead of fully owning it. Or maybe it's declaring goals that are safe and unworthy of you. Maybe it's stopping or checking out after a loss, or even a big win. Sometimes wins are more confronting than losses.

We all have flavors of it. So today, ask yourself, "Where am I playing small?"

And when you find it, don't simply rush to fix it. Sit with it, get to know it. Be kind to yourself. Get present to what you really want to create. And simply take an action to move that part of life forward.

We all play small sometimes. It's safe, less scary, and it's inside our comfort zones.

But we don't have to. We can create whatever we want.

We deserve it. We're great. Really great. And if you look to your left and to your right, you'll see that it's not just within us, it's all around us.

So pass a referral. Ask for one. Invite a guest.

Give and gain. See what you want to create, and create it.

When it comes to generating business, most of the time it all comes down to three basic elements: needs, relationships, and actions. So today my intention is to leave you with a valuable nugget to take away in each category.

And, in all three of these areas, keep in mind that you can't provide for others what you haven't offered yourself.

Number one - needs. We all know that no matter what goods or services we provide - from branded swag, to super cool air, greener rooftops or support in selling your business for more green, what we're providing meets the needs of our clients or customers. But how are you doing meeting your own basic needs? There's a great acronym, HALT. Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. When you notice yourself experiencing any of these, stop and get the need met. If you're hungry, eat. If you're angry, find a healthy outlet to release the energy or a source of love or kindness. If you're lonely, find connection and support. And if you're tired, get some rest. Choices made from these depleted states don't typically work out too well. But when we're shored up, power and productivity follow.

Next, relationships. Again, in our businesses and practices, we're forming relationships with our clients and customers. While sometimes, we can just focus on the "doing," and just check the boxes, ultimately it helps to bring our humanity - to be kind and understanding, and to listen to what they're looking to create. It helps us give them exactly what they want, or to create their masterpiece, to consistently get them there, or provide a jab well done. So today your challenge - should you choose to accept it - is to give yourself a gift. For no reason other than because you say so, do something for you out of the goodness of your heart. It doesn't have to be grand or expensive. Maybe it's just time to sit in the park and relax for a bit, or maybe it's buying that fancier drink at Starbucks. Whatever it is, take that step to show yourself that you're worth it. It will feel good and lead to you paying it forward.

Lastly, we know how important action is when it comes to our businesses and goals. Well, there's a simple daily action that research shows can have a major impact on our lives.

As Charles Duhigg notes in his fascinating book, The Power of Habit, "making your bed every morning is correlated with better productivity, a greater sense of well-being, and stronger skills at sticking with a budget."

And Navy Seal William H. McCraven, commander of the forces that led the raid to kill Osama bin Laden, said, "If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. And by the end of the day that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed."

So my friends, in conclusion, if you want to create results in your business: meet your needs, treat yourself right, and make your bed!

So Mothers' Day is coming up this Sunday, and once again thanks to Amy's creative and caring invitation to incorporate outside goings on into what we do here, we have a few Mom's among us this morning.

And I'm so happy and proud to say that mine is here. She's right over there. Hi Mom, love you.

Who is more important to us than our Mothers? Or Mother figures? Whether we're close with them - as I am - or even if you may not be, what relationship has been more instrumental in giving you life in this world?

And this got me thinking, when it comes to our businesses, who has been more instrumental than our clients and customers? They are our lifeblood.

So today, I'd like to share with you some of the lessons I learned from my Mom. Listen for how they might be applied to how we show up in our businesses.

First of all, Merrie Anker was a successful and incredibly creative kindergarten teacher. She wrote her own songs, came up with her own lesson plans, and absolutely adored her students. But she had a goal, to become a full time mother. And she could envision that goal. And so along with my then soon to be Dad, she made a plan and took action in alignment with that goal.

From the moment the nurses put me in her arms, so I'm told, it was love at first sight. And from then on there has been an unwavering commitment to love and care for me. Despite any and all circumstances - time, money, fear, inconvenience, and discomfort, there have been no excuses. Just presence, consistency, and love. She always comes through, always delivers, always brings attention and care, and a willingness to ensure my happiness.

There is nobody in my life who has been a greater service to me than my Mom. She has created connection, understanding, and trust. She has communicated to me what I mean to her. When I speak, she listens. And so when she speaks, I listen too.

Before I even knew what a relationship was, I had someone creating the space, and setting the tone - modeling for me a standard which I could measure up to. And so showing up in a similar way, as a willing partner, just came naturally.

Consider that all relationships involve the balancing of needs. When we bring service, commitment, interest, care, consistency, trust, and sometimes even love in service of our clients, powerful and productive relationships naturally follow.

And that also holds true for the bonds we create in this room.

Imagine how things could go in your business if you brought that level of commitment to your goals, and to your clients.

Oh, and don't forget to call your mother. 

5.3.17 - Most Effective Commercial - Jeff Simon, Architect with Judge Mason Kashat, Small Business Alternative Financing!

4.26.17 - Most Effective Commercial - Amy Noelle, Director of Lend A Hand Uganda with Judge Matias Letelier, Corporate Illusionist!

Show of hands, who in this room will be heading off to work at some point today after the meeting? Ok, got it.

And of those who just raised your hands, who will also be engaged in some activity or responsibility in a non-working part of your life? Family, fitness, etc.? Great, thanks.

So we've got our working lives, and we've got the other parts. Some of the most common questions I get as a Coach are around Work/Life Balance. There are a ton of people in the world - perhaps many in this room - who think that happiness will come in the form of a perfectly orchestrated dance between professional and personal.

But what if balance isn't the answer? In fact, sometimes it's not even a good thing. Balance is a state of neutral. It may lead to calmness. But it's actually imbalance that creates motion, and motion is how we get things accomplished.

Perhaps rather than balance, what we're really talking about is mindfulness or peace, which can come from an experience of control. And since we can't control others, or sales, or margins, let's look at what we can control - our choices.

Consider that overwhelm is a choice. I know - you've got a ton of evidence to explain how busy you are. So do I, believe me. I've got more plates spinning right now than Villeroy & Bach. And, because I've been at this a long time, I know better. I'm creating it this way.

Why? I'm not always sure. But probably because it protects me from the REALLY scary things. What does your busyness protect or distract you from? What are the things you would be doing if you weren't so busy?

Think about it. Come up with two things - one you'd take on in your business, and one you'd take on in another aspect of your life. And then just do them. If you take a good honest look, you'll see that you're just choosing for it to go this way.

Maybe it's traveling, or launching that new line. Maybe it's revamping your marketing or hiring support staff so you can enjoy more downtime or scale up? Maybe it's actually getting your well being back by getting your workouts in, or getting enough sleep?

What if you chose powerfully to create your life and business to actually get all of your needs met?

I know, scary stuff!

We all walk life's "imbalance beam." Ultimately, it's less about creating a glassy, tranquil lake, and more about hanging ten on the waves of possibility.

Life goes according to how we choose it. Where are you choosing from?

4.19.17 - Most Effective Commercial - Jordan Metzger, Commercial Real Estate Attormey with Judge Matt Long, Commercial Wood Restoration.

I’ve been reflecting on my 7 years in BNI. And I’m not only really grateful for the one million dollars in closed business I have received. I’m really proud that I have been able to give a similar amount.

And that’s got me to thinking about the techniques that I have employed from time to time over the course of my tenure that has led to that success.

Now I know that all of us want to give and receive more referrals, but nothing worthwhile comes without a price, and that price is an extra 5 minutes in the time you commit to networking every week.

Can I get you to commit to that extra 5 minutes if it meant potentially doubling your referrals and maybe closed business? …Awesome!

Before we get into the tips, please dispel yourself of the notion that you have to wait for people to ask you for help before you try to make an introduction, but this comes with one caveat, and that is that your fellow member must want the introduction as well.

Please take out your pens and get ready to write. I’m going to give you 5 tips that will double the amount of referrals that you give and receive, and hopefully it will double the amount of closed business for all of us.

Jay Wright gave his 5 minute presentation last week and it got me thinking of whom he might be able to help and during his presentation, I made a list of 3 of my clients.

After the meeting, I proactively reached out to each of them with the following email:

Subject: You ship your stuff in from overseas, right?

Body: Mary, I just had breakfast with Jay Wright, CEO of InExpress. They provide discounted overseas shipping services.

He told me that he gets the largest discount possible, reserved only for highest volume shippers, from DHL, and then he passes those savings on to his small business clients.

Since you spend a significant amount on shipping, I thought of you.

Jay is also a big networker, so he’ll probably be able to refer business to you as well.

Would you like an introduction to Jay to get a competitive quote?

No worries if not, and I hope all is well otherwise.

… So I sent that unsolicited email out to 3 of my clients, and while it wasn’t a good fit for 2 of them, the third requested an intro and I made that happen this past Sunday.

Now it’s up to Jay to close the deal, but the door is wide open for that to happen.

And the email template I just gave you will work for any of your fellow members.

  • You had breakfast with someone important
  • They told you something valuable
  • That nugget of information made you think of them
  • You asked if they wanted an introduction

The worst case scenario is that the person thanks you for thinking of them and says it’s not a good fit.

The best case scenario is that you proactively opened a door and gave your fellow member a chance to close a deal.

So here are the 5 things I want you to commit to with regard to proactively trying to open doors for your fellow members:

First, for each of the featured speakers each week, please pay close attention and write a list of 1 to 3 contacts who might benefit from being introduced to the speaker.

Second, pick one commercial each week and write down at least one of your contacts who might benefit from being introduced to the member that gave that strong commercial.

Third, during every one of your 121s, you and your fellow member should make a list of at least 3 contacts whom you can introduce to one another, and then use 5 minutes during your 121 to actually send out the email.

One of the easiest ways to come with that list of 3 contacts is to pull out a laptop or phone, and then review each other’s linkedin during your 121.

Fourth, while referrals aren’t necessarily directly reciprocal, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try to return a favor immediately. Every time you get a referral from someone, go into your contacts and see if there is anyone that you be able to proactively introduce and then make that happen.

Fifth, every time you end a meeting with one of your contacts or clients say something like this “Now that our business is concluded, what is your next biggest challenge this week?”

Then listen and they will tell you who to introduce them to.

To sum it up, if we can commit to doing this extra five minutes of networking, than referrals and closed business will definitely go up for all of us.

I’ll post this to our blog shortly, so you can copy my email template. Thanks!