I was at a BNI Conference earlier this year and the Founder of BNI, Dr. Ivan Misner, did a presentation called “Who’s In Your Room.” It was all about who we let in our room and I took it to mean, for me personally, who is in my life or who do I surround myself with? I asked permission to use this as an opening for several leadership programs I was doing and it really started to sink in. When you train something, you really start to embrace it.
After training this concept to others, it occurred to me that I have recently started surrounding myself with extraordinary people. At first, it was somewhat by chance or by accident. Later, specifically over the last two years, it has been very much on purpose. This is the first of several blogs I am going to write on this topic.
I have been helping people get more referrals for over 15 years and a huge common thread between people who are really successful is they are in the enviable position of business finding them, not the other way around. They have filled their network with amazing people.
So, let me share with you what made me reaccess who’s in my network. We will go back to the end of 2005. Everything was going great until the Fall of that year. During the fall we had a big storm called Katrina. I was the co-owner of a business in New Orleans at the time. Katrina had a significant financial impact on me although I really did not worry too much about it when I looked at the massive impact it had on so many others, it was the start of a huge personal growth opportunity for me. Before this, I was basically debt free. Fast forward another year or two and we went into the great recession. I own several properties which became upside down in value and several businesses that did not do so well. I lost over $200,000.00 related to just one of those businesses. So, in a few short years, I went from debt-free to being under a mountain of debt. This financial downward spiral almost stretched me to the point of failure, but, in reality, it opened up opportunities for me that I might not have seen if everything remained status quo.
What does all of this have to do with who’s in my network? I’m glad you asked. What I found during this difficult time was that some people lifted me up with positive energy, positive words, and lots of referrals and business deals. I needed it. At the same time, others brought me down. They would complain about how bad everything was, how terrible the economy was, how terrible their business was doing. I heard enough of that from the media; I didn’t need it from my network.
It occurred to me that some of us are Tigers and some of us are Eeyores from the famed WINNIE THE POOH stories. I found myself rising to the level of the Tigers around me or sinking to the level of the Eeyores. When I was really feeling down after hanging around with some Eeyores, I heard a story that really struck home. A really successful businessman lost everything during the recession: his house, his business, even his $15,000.00 triathlon bike. Unable to handle the losses, even his family left. However, his opinion was of the situation was “No problem, since I still have my knowledge and my network I can rebuild anything.” WOW! I need to surround myself with people like that!!!!!
From that point on I decided that I would have some rules on who could join my network and walk into my room. I will share two today and later.
Rule 1: You have to be powerful, success-focused, and have a strong network.
Power is personal power. It’s Courage, Tenacity, Consistency, Love, Servitude, Integrity, Understanding, Kaizen, Compassion, and a Winning Attitude. Success is being joyful and fulfilled with where you are and alignment with your personal mission. What I have found is a strong network is always present when someone has BOTH: power and success based on the above definitions.
Rule 2: Once in, you can never get out.
Let me explain rule two in this way. What if everyone you let in your network stayed forever? In other words, every bad client and every negative person stayed forever. This would include family, friends, business associates, vendors, EVERYBODY! What if you were stuck with that relationship whether good or bad. WOW, that would probably make you think very carefully on who you let in your network.
The Results: Over the last two years I have attracted some incredible people. Many of whom are leaders in their industries. These people have led me to opportunities that I did not see before, they have shown me ways of doing things involving lifestyle choices and business practices that I was totally unaware of, and, incredibly, they have opened their networks to me. This year has been one of the best years of my life, and I am fortunate and grateful to the people who lifted me up and were already in my network and to the new people that I have attracted.o years I have attracted some incredible people. Many of whom are leaders in their industries. These people have led me to opportunities that I did not see before, they have shown me ways of doing things involving lifestyle choices and business practices that I was totally unaware of, and, incredibly, they have opened their networks to me. This year has been one of the best years of my life, and I am fortunate and grateful to the people who lifted me up and were already in my network and to the new people that I have attracted.
By carefully determining who is in your network, you can have personal power beyond what you feel is possible today.
Here is to powerful networking,