Show of hands, who's been to a wedding recently? Ok good. Keep your hands up if at any point during that wedding you danced... or attempted to at least. Great.
As a younger man I liked to run around a lot. I always had to find the action. Ultimately that had to do with being a people pleaser, and also because being stimulated and surrounded by others was a way to avoid being alone with myself. I wasn't a bad guy - not even remotely. But there was a way I related to myself that had me need to run.
And my parents - in an attempt to help, aka fix - would often say to me, "You don't have to dance at every wedding."
And I would smile or brush it off because my identity was at least partly built on always needing to "dance."
But as I got older my perspective began to shift. And I was able to see the value in that phrase.
Today, I'd like to offer it to you in a slightly different format. It's the "power of no."
I know this group, this community. I have a lot of respect for the power and the success, the heart and conscientious nature of everyone sitting at these tables. It's incredible what we create in here, and out there. Over 7M last year. A goal of 8M this year. Amazing!
And at the same time, we don't always end up on our own lists. We are challenged to show up in all the places that matter. To be fair, this meeting is based on how we create business. But I know how much other elements matter to us. Our families, our communities, the areas where we can be charitable and make a difference, and so on.
And I believe we all know that by showing up strong in areas outside our businesses, we ultimately strengthen our businesses and our experience of ourselves.
So today I ask you, "Where are you saying yes that you should be saying no?" Where are you giving yourself away?
There's nothing wrong with saying "no." In fact saying "no" to certain people and certain circumstances often leads to actually saying yes to ourselves, so we can generate our own needs and then pass it on again by saying "yes" elsewhere.
There can be a lot of power in "yes," when it's chosen on purpose. But we have all experienced times when we say "yes" as an automatic. Consider that there are consequences to every choice. So I invite you to take a look across the landscape of your business - and even your life - to notice those places where you find yourselves avoiding "no."
Often times we even know we're doing it. And for what? Really?
There is power in saying "no." It saves time, energy, waste, and it can lead your business in a straighter and truer path.
Sometimes I leave you with a statement. Today I'm going to leave you with a question. What would you have access to if you became more comfortable with saying "no?"
When a company owner needs to sell their business, they can’t just stick a for sale sign in the window. They need the assistance of a business broker to locate and vet potential buyers. Carey Davis and Transworld focus on three core concepts: business brokerage, franchise sales and development.
Corey Anker always likes to joke about how I'm a systems guy. I try to find systems for everything I do so that things can be automated and use as little time as possible.
Well, one of the systems I've set up with my team is a weekly meeting where we discuss any issues that consistently seem to be coming up, whether they are just problems that my employees are dealing with or client questions or complaints. By show of hands, who here actually spends at least an hour or two per week with everyone from their company where they just focus on issues and figure out creative, permanent solutions to problems?
For those of you who don't have this type of system, or if you work by yourself, I highly encourage you to set something up where each week you take just an hour or two to focus on how to streamline your business. In this short time frame, you could potentially save yourself and your team many hours of work each week.
But make sure you figure out a way to make the meeting fun! If you're creative enough, you can even turn it into a team building activity! Maybe everyone eats lunch together and catches up on things, and then you transition into the meeting. That's how we do it at least, a simple, fun lunch-style meeting that lasts about 2 hours where we work through and fix problems, come up with ideas, and create systems.
Now, I'm going to tell you one awesome idea we came up with in one of these meetings. So, one of our issues was that many clients would contact us for big shoots and then we wouldn't hear back from them after a quote was sent. We'd forget to follow up with them and they would wind up booking with another client. I wanted to know why they chose someone else so we could make any modifications we needed to our sales process or pricing structure.
So we brought this up at our meeting, and doing a little research led us to discover a program called Follow Up Then, which is totally awesome.
Basically, it reminds you to follow up with people. All you have to do is BCC something like email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org. However long after you want the system to remind you, simply add the address into the BCC tab when you send the email, and after that period of time, you'll get an email back from Follow Up Then that says, "It's time to follow up with so and so."
It's so easy to use, and now no one on my team forgets to follow up with people, which leads to more bookings and finding out why certain people didn't book.
If you want to set it up, just send a blank email right now to email@example.com, and they'll email you back with instructions on how to set up an account. And its completely free.
Systems! Get systems in place that help you streamline your business so you can, as Conrad always says, "Make More Money!"
In a 1980 column, the famous composer Richard Rogers said in his column in the Boston Globe that "Showing up is 80 percent of life." Later on, Woody Allen adjusted this – and got the credit for the more memorable version of this quote – saying, "Eighty percent of life is showing up."
We all strive for perfection at times in our lives and oftentimes wait to show up until we're perfect, but the reality is we just have to be ourselves in the condition we are in right now and go, do and be in the world.
When I came back to BNI in September after my horrific medical experience, I was not 100% – in fact, far from it. However, my huge desire and goal I set to show up and be in the room again with everyone here was so strong and so compelling that showing up – even if I had to take the elevator to get down to and up and out from the meeting – was a success.
Well, if showing up is 80%, have you ever thought about what the other 20% is? You may have a bunch of ideas. I'd like to share what pops to the top for me – and that's community.
Paul McCartney and John Lennon wrote in the well-known song by The Beatles - "I get by with a little help from my friends."
Community is about the friends you make and colleagues you have who support you with reaching your goals. All you have to do is tell them what your goals are and clarify what you need help with to reach them – and your community will do whatever it can to show up for you to help you get what you said you wanted. In this scenario, YOU are the 20%, you see. You define the goals you want to achieve and the course you set. Then you inform your community about them and ask them to show up, kind of like asking for the specific referral you'd like to meet each week here. All you need is your community's 80% to help you along.
This BNI group and community, present and past, has continued to show up for me as I have been living through this unimaginable health experience. With your generosity of spirit and support inside and outside this room, I have continued to reach my goals I have set.
Once I reached my goal of getting here, I set a new goal. That's what we do – we keep moving forward and keep moving the ball down the field. My BIG goal here became the stairwell to get down to the meeting and to get up and out to the street after it ends.
I informed particular members of our BNI community that today I am going to attempt to ascend the stairwell after this meeting and walk out of this building without using the elevator at all for the first time. And now I'm informing all of you.
This has been a HUGE goal of mine since I got out of the hospital. I have done my 20% and worked very hard and very patiently to do this today. I have informed my community. I have asked for them to show up and they are here to do so. I'm scared but excited to reach this goal now – and know that I've got my community with me for this.
So I ask you: what is your "set of stairs" and the goals you have set, big or small? Where is it in your business and also your life that you have been waiting to show up until you're perfect for yourself and your goals or someone else and theirs? Or maybe you have your goals set but you have been waiting to tell members of your community about them and had the courage to ask them to show up for you?
As the saying goes, 80 percent of life is showing up, so get up and go show up – for yourself and others – and let others know what you want and need so you can reach your goals with a little help from your friends and community.
Happy Thanksgiving to our BNI 62 community – and all of yours beyond these walls!
Per our group's rules, you are allowed to send one email out to the chapter each week.
So get your pens ready to write because this week's make more money moment will help you get more business and more referrals from your weekly email to the group.
First, an extensive wall of text is daunting to busy people and won't get read, so the key to a successful marketing email to the group is to keep it as short as possible and to tell your readers what action they should take.
Second, your email should have two features;
A) What's in it for you and ...
B) What's in it for them, the reader.
For example, each week I email you about a website that I just completed.
The "what's in it for me" is that you get to see my work and another successfully completed project, and this may give you ideas on how to refer me.
Next, the "what's in it for you" is that I say that if you look at the site, and think my client might be a good referral for you, to let me know and I would be happy to make that introduction.
I'm essentially opening my client contact file to you, so why not take a gander; you might just get a referral and a good connection.
In summary, keep your email short to get a higher read rate, and offer something of value to the reader and I guarantee that you'll make more money!
A full-service Recruitment firm integrating a broad range of industries.
As we move through this month of November, we approach a holiday that's all about giving thanks. Giving. And thanks. Despite the Christmas music that began playing exactly one minute after Halloween ended, of course I'm talking about Thanksgiving.
We know the words "thanks," and "thankful," and "gratitude." But I want to take a closer look today because I believe it can provide access to a source of power that's all around us and always available.
Consider that in a moment when life is going well, and we're feeling good, it's possible that we will feel grateful for it. Maybe so, maybe not.
But in a moment when we feel gratitude, feeling that life is good is a definite. In other words, happiness *might* lead to gratitude, but gratitude is *certain* to lead to happiness.
That's because we all have a glass that has both water and air within it. And we all have the ability to perceive it as half full or half empty. Gratitude is not about being lucky that good things have occurred. And it's not about hoping that things go the way you want and then being happy about it if they do. That's way too passive. Gratitude is a *choice* - to focus on the water rather than the air. A choice to see - and appreciate - what is there, rather than what is not. We will always have gaps and missing pieces. But when we're aware of what we do have, and choose to appreciate it, our experience in that moment becomes that of abundance.
It is of course possible to lose this appreciation, even in the moment which immediately follows. Remaining in that state of abundance can be challenging, and it takes effort. But just as two pieces of physical matter cannot occupy the same space at the same time, two emotional states cannot occupy the same heart and mind.
We cannot feel grateful and depressed, or frustrated, or angry, at the same time.
So while life may challenge us to hold onto that good feeling, if we can get there – even for five minutes – we can enjoy the satisfaction from the experience that we not only have enough, but that we have quite a lot.
Especially given the recent events around our country, and around our world, I invite you to find the time to look around and appreciate what you have.
No matter how big or small your possessions are, if your life and health are among them, if for the most part your family and those close to you are alive and safe, you have enough to recognize the gifts you have.
And if you want to generate even more gratitude, take action in the spirit of giving. We would never give something away if we didn't have enough. So the act of giving actually forces the mind to relate to what we have as plenty - so much that we can give some away.
Later in the meeting, Jennifer Wilkov will talk a bit more about the charitable opportunities presented this month. Take advantage of not only helping others - which is certainly important - but also the chance to work the muscles of your own gratitude. Give, and feel thankful.
Here's wishing you a warm, safe and abundant start to the holiday season.
I'm grateful for many things, including you.
How would you like to make more money by selling less?
Did I say selling less?
In fact, you can make more money without selling anything.
So how do you do that?
It's simple: by helping people and solving their problems.
Sounds simple enough so how do you start to do that better?
In my case, at the beginning of a potential relationship, I start every one of my initial calls with a prospective client the same way. I say "tell me what's going on with your business and your website and I'll figure out if we can help."
And on the other side of the phone, I hear a big exhale of relief every time because they now know that I'm focused on their problem and I'm not trying to sell them anything.
Invariably, they tell me that when they called my competitors, my competitors told them about their pricing, minimum engagements, their extensive capabilities and bona fides, and that they didn't get to discuss their project until they were 15 or 20 minutes into the call.
Those things are important to discuss, but none of it matters unless you know what the problem is and that they know that you care.
So when you get back to the office focus on helping people and solving their problems with your offerings, and a strange thing will happen...you will definitely make more money.
So here we are at a special Thursday edition of BNI Lucky 62. And it's predictable that at some point today each of us is going to think a thought or take an action that's typically reserved for our Wednesday's. And hopefully we won't walk too far down that path. We'll realize and smile, and then wake up tomorrow and it'll be Friday, and that'll be cool.
We've been handed this little change this week. And it got me thinking about change in general. Life is change. It's organic, and mostly in constant flux. Change happens in our days and our weeks. It happens gradually across our years. And it happens dramatically in our moments. Lately some tragic events have brought the kind of change we hope we never have to face.
But one never knows how life or business, or even the day is going to go. So what do we do? We can't ignore it and pretend like change isn't happening. And yet, we can't get overwhelmed from the thought that everything is changing all at once, and there's nowhere to find stability or even safety.
I'm sorry for being so morbid this early in the morning but there's a point I'd like to make so bear with me. It's a statistical fact that in most serious auto accidents involving the consumption of alcohol, the drinking party tends to emerge with less harm than the sober one. And though many may think that's unfair, and have some unpleasant feelings about it, there's a reason for this. The people that have alcohol in their blood tend to stay loose throughout the event and the intense change of energy passes through their bodies. In contrast, the more clear-minded people are more acutely aware. They experience greater fear and anticipation, and tighten up. When we stay loose we flex and bend. When we freeze and tighten there's the potential to break.
Jeff Simon happened to send me a quote this week with a more positive way to frame how to interact with change. It's by Alan W. Watts... "The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance."
But how does this impact our businesses? Consider that when we wake up in the morning, we have very little idea about how it will go that day. Clients will cancel orders, bail on appointments, hire the competition, forget why they went with us in the first place. Mix-ups will happen, deadlines will change, orders will be doubled or halved, and given how many people on the client side and owner side there are - not to mention technology, transportation, mechanics, and at least five other categories, things are bound to unfold in ways we would not have chosen.
And there is only one question that you should ask yourself when they do... "Who do I want to be about this?"
And it may seem like you will have a variety of options. But I want you to consider that there are essentially two. You can be victim or leader. Powerless or powerful. You can point the finger and pass the buck, or take responsibility and ownership, and control what you can. The circumstance may seem like it's all very significant - even scary and confronting at times - and that it's all about us. But basically, life and business are either happening to us or we are the architect of them. Period.
So don't tighten up. Relax, take a breath, set your feet, and choose your next move.
"Who do you want to be about it?"