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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!

For those who celebrated the recent holidays, I hope you all had a Happy Passover and a Happy Easter.

Without getting into the religious aspects of these holidays, if we simplify them down to their most basic elements, Passover is about the Jewish people being freed from bondage - essentially getting "unstuck." And Easter is about Jesus' resurrection, which is essentially a kind of renewal.

It turns out that Monday night, even before last night when I was writing this, I submitted my renewal application. Because today, right after this meeting, I have my renewal meeting.

Right in the application, as most of you know, there is an opportunity to list our goals. And listing our goals is a great way to create traction, accountability, and forward motion. It's also a great way to create a structure that we can leverage during those times when we need to get unstuck.

So I'm going to share my goals with you, in hopes that you see something for yourself. Now, these aren't the "right" goals, or my only goals. But this list is something to strive for - a structure I can empower in service of moving forward and creating results I'm committed to.

Here's what I wrote:

Over the course of my next Chapter Year...

Within the Chapter:

- invite at least 10 guests

- do at least two 5 min presentations

- create at least 15 new education pieces (unless there's enough interest from others to take those spots - which I encourage and would support as needed)

- sit on the MC for a period of time

- invite someone from my world outside BNI to be a guest and it lead to them becoming a member

- generate at least 35k in closed business for myself

- generate at least 50k in add'l closed business for the chapter

- utilize the services of at least 10 members of the chapter with whom I have previously not yet done business

Outside the Chapter:

- launch my new website

- grow my mailing list to over 10k

- complete at least 5 ebooks

- complete the rough draft of the longer book

- drop 25 lbs

And I'm going to do my best to enjoy it all!

I hope you're inspired to declare your own goals.

4.12.17 - Most Effective Commercial - Josh Doyle, Residential Real Estate Sales Broker with Mike Nerenberg, Residential Real Estate Attorney (Judge)!

3.29.17 - Most Effective Commercial - Sharon Becker, Beauty Booker! with Judge Peter Dressl, Archtectural and Interior Design Photographer!

4.5.17 - Most Effective Commercial - Steve Conyers, IT Support and Carey David, Business Broker, with Nora Campbell, Recruiter, who was Judge for the day!

And I have to say it's been quite a ride the past few days. I was at a Coaching intensive all weekend long training other coaches. I left my home around 6:30am and got back after 9pm on both Sat and Sun. Can't say I really got a ton of rest. Anybody relate to that? Having their well being off? Totally, right?

And it gets better, because an even bigger impact has been that after three years of my wonderful kids being with our nanny, we had to make a somewhat abrupt change on Friday. And it wasn't so wonderfully orchestrated. Monday we started with a new nanny, and there's been training and someone new to get used to - for all of us. It's a big change, and it's uprooting our household. She's great, but to be honest it's been kind of a struggle. Who can relate to that? Discomfort from change? And an experience of powerlessness, because sometimes you have to do the uncomfortable thing?

Now, you know that I care about all of you, and I like that you're getting to know me. But there's another reason why I'm sharing these things. It's to make a point.

Vulnerability is access to connection.

Often we feel the need to hide our truth, our feelings, our struggles, our HUMANITY. But in fact, it's our humanity that connects us.

We all have our stuff. And, we want to be polished and professional, smooth and clever, and strong. We want to look good, and be appealing. We can be those things too. But be mindful of photo-shopping the truth so far that it cleanses you of your most precious asset - your authentic self.

So while I'm certainly not advocating that we all tell everything to everyone, keep in mind that people don't just buy what you have or do. They buy you!

The next time you want to create connection, share some of your humanity and watch it clear the space for the other person to share theirs.

That's the good stuff, the stuff relationships are made of. And business deals too!

3.8.17 - Most Effective Commercial - Jeff Simon, Architect & Matias Letelier, Corporate Magician, with Judge Rachel Levin, Personal Stylist!

Sometimes you may feel like people you reach out to with enthusiasm, refer business to, or connect with are not responding or not responding fast enough.

Chances are, you may not be aware of what is happening to them at the time you make contact.

Myriad things may be happening in their lives that you are not aware of and that they are not letting you or maybe anyone know. It could be anything from an ill parent to a family crisis to a medical diagnosis or something else.

The truth is: you just don't know what might be going on in their world that is delaying their response.

In recent months and weeks, I silently dealt with a Stage IV lung cancer diagnosis I received right before Thanksgiving. After surgery in January to prepare, I quietly started chemotherapy treatments at the end of January and kept coming to BNI. Few knew. Most of you did not.

Then early morning on Valentine's Day at 3am, my boyfriend's computer monitor burst into flames, causing a fire in our apartment that has now displaced us from our home ever since while our home is being remediated and rebuilt.

Add to all this a third layer: my business bank made a huge error, blocking my business account on the first of March when payments go out just like yours do. My account has been frozen for the last week for no viable reason, wreaking havoc on all the payments that usually get taken care of automatically. The block was just removed yesterday and now I have to clean up the mess this made.

Look left. Look right. You just don't know what is happening to the people around you.

So if someone does not respond in a timely fashion, ask them if everything is okay and offer support instead of feeling like they don't care or are not interested.

You just may find that they have more going on that is precluding them from paying attention to the contact you made.