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An extract from Business Networking + Sex

The Survey Says… Family Obligations

Although family obligations were not a big issue to most, the figure below found that women generally found it to be a problem slights more than did men

Statement to rate: I find that family obligations prevent or hinder me from networking

Female Male
Usually or Always 11.9% (663) 9.6% (531)
Sometimes 25% (1394) 23.2% (1285)
Never or Rarely 63% (3502) 67.2% (3719)

Last month we cover what “He Says” about family obligations and networking. This month we look at what “She Says”

She Says… The Conflict Between Family Obligations and Networking

shesayIt’s 4.00pm and I’ve worked a long day, starting with getting the family and myself out the door early in the morning, to shuttle each of us to our respective activities.  In the span of a typical day, the speed of duties is breakneck. I’m running one child to soccer and another to baseball, picking up the dry cleaning, rushing home to get the kids started on their homework for school tomorrow, doing a couple of loads of laundry, putting the dog out, answering the phone, and packing lunches for tomorrow. At the end of the day, while I’m still in the middle of all of this, I hear a voice shouting through the house, straining over the din of the TV, that ask, “Honey, what’s for dinner?” I stop in my tracks and think, What is wrong with him? It’s like having one more child in the house.

As a mom, wife and business owner, managing my time is extremely important. I’m always seeking some sort of balance between those three areas.  Most of the time, I feel like the ringmaster of a three-=ring circus with lots of out-of-control clowns running around me. Before I learned the delicate balancing art of time management, I knew that networking was important for creating visibility for my business, but was torn between commitments with my kids, spouse, school participations and PTA involvement.

If I was going to a networking event, I had to make sure family was cared for in my absence. If it was an evening meeting, and I left the kids with Dad, I had to make sure he had something ready to feed them and leave notes reminding them to get their homework done. When I got home from the meeting tired, I still had to make sure their breakfast and lunch money were set out and ready to go for the next morning. Time permitting, I might even be lucky enough to throw a load of laundry before bed. This chaos and over-demand can be overwhelming and probably is the reason so many women choose to network less than their male counterparts.

The biggest complaint I hear from women is their inability to attend networking events because of family issues such as getting kids to school or daycare. In my own experience it made it difficult for me to network at times. There are more networking opportunities today than there were in the early 1990’s, so women now may have a wider variety of choices to accommodate their family schedules.

The very fact that we are so busy being the ringmasters of our own personal circuses makes it vitally important to make the best use of our networking and business time allotments.  Both genders can help themselves by developing good networking habits, meaning spending lots of quality time building deeper connections with the networks they are already part of rather than running around trying to meet more new people. This can be done in a very manageable fashion and will glean rich results from invested time.

This extract is from Business Networking + Sex (not what you think) by Ivan Misner, Hazel M Walker and Frank J. De Raffele Jr.  Contact your local director for a copy.

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Mar
20

Innovation can come from within

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As business owners we constantly need to be innovative in our approach to networking, referrals and relationships.  Heraclitus, the Greek Philosopher is credited with being one of the earliest creative thinkers.  Little is known about his early life and education, however he is regarded as self-taught, he was also known as the weeping philosopher.

He often said that delving into our own knowledge and intuition was a perfect way to gain insight.  If you compare this with our modern education system, there is little opportunity for reflection or insight gained from within yourself.  Our schools and universities are based on the “Gulp and Vomit” system.  That is you gulp down a lot of information and vomit it back out onto paper at the exam, in the exact same words if possible!

As a result of this process we come to believe that the best ideas are those provided to us from within someone else’s head, rather than our own unique thoughts and musings.  Heraclitus would like us to remember that there are many good ideas in our own heads, of course if we are willing to delve into the recesses of our brain.

We can with practice, develop our own innovation style.

Here are six ways that you can delve into your inner recesses to access your creativity and innovation skills.

Pay Attention to the Details

Have you ever got up early on a crisp winters morning and noticed the beauty of a spider’s web as it glistens in the early morning sun.  Or what about the precision with which ants leave their nest and return carrying a load of plunder from their day or hours of foraging outside the ant nest.  How do they know where to go to find the food and then how do they remember to get back, often precisely retracing their steps back to the nest.

I used to do this from natural wonder, now I ponder the detail and use this talent to observe detail in problems or challenges I face.

Become Detached

The best way to free up ideas is to let the best ones go.  That’s right, often times we come up with a good idea, which we want to use no matter what.  We literally fall in love with it.  Sometimes the pathway to enlightenment is rocky and we have to let go of love!  Leave that beloved idea to one side and explore other ideas.  Only after we let go, do we sometimes find exactly what we had been searching for all along.

Find Your Blind Spot

Johari Window, Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham created a four-quadrant model about relationship awareness.  In one of the quadrants, the Blind Spot, the two descriptors include that which is known to others, but not to ourselves.

Sometimes we are looking at a challenge or problem and we just can’t see a solution.  It’s at times like these that we may need to think of the Johari Window and ask someone else what is it that they can see that we can’t.  Looking at someone else’s challenge with fresh eyes is often enlightening and the blinding obvious stands out so clearly.

The Pressure Cooker Approach

The quickest way to cook vegetables on a kitchen stovetop is to use a pressure cooker.  It gets them cooked in half the time and makes the job easy.  If you are faced with a problem or challenge perhaps applying the pressure cooker theory may work.  That is set a short deadline and work hard and fast toward creating the perfect solution by the looming deadline.

This process works well with a group of people and the challenge to perform is often met.

Handle Rejection

Depending on the creative process being used, your ideas may be rejected by your work colleagues.  Be brave and let your ideas be tested, challenged and even rejected by others.  As part of the creative process, ideas need to be challenged.  Remember the best ideas often come out of a rejected idea.

Harness Your Ego

One of the worst errors we can make when we are searching for creative or innovative ideas is to let our ego interfere.  It’s our idea, so it must be good, it’s our idea, so of course it will work.  It’s our idea, so of course I’ve considered all the alternatives!  I’m sure you can relate to what I’m saying.

Let go of your ego, remain calm and go with the flow, you may be amazed at what happens next!

© Lindsay Adams 2013.  All rights reserved.

Article written by the Lindsay Adams National Director of the Referral Institue

Lindsay Adams National Director, Referral Institute The Referral Institute is a training and consulting company that specializes in working with business owners and sales people to help them develop referral their marketing vision, plans and goals, before they go to BNI to take action.  Find out more at www.referralinstitute.com.au or email Lindsay directly at Lindsay.adams@referralinstitute.com.au 

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Education Coordinators Mini – Workshop

How Others Can Help Your Business Part 3

This is a 2-4 minute workshop presented by the Education Co-ordinator or their nominee.
To the presenter: Please ensure that you are familiar with the objective of the workshop and read through the workshop before presenting it. What you say out loud to the chapter is written below.  The italics print is guidelines for you.

Purpose of this workshop: To help members understand, ways their Networking Partners can help their business.

Start by saying……

Over the last 2 weeks we have asked the question: Has anyone ever said to you, “If there’s anything I can do to help you with your business, let me know”?

Most people respond, “Well, thanks, I’ll let you know” instead of being prepared enough to take up the offer by replying “Thank you. Now that you mention it, there are a few things I need”.

Most aren’t prepared to accept help at the moment it’s offered and let the opportunity slip by because they haven’t given enough thought to the kinds of help they need.

When help is offered, it’s to your advantage to be prepared and to respond by stating a specific need and today, I’ll continue talking about systematic referral marketing and the 15 ways people can promote your business. Today we will go through number 11 to number 15 ways of How Others Can Help Your Business. You may wish to write these down:

11. Arrange a meeting on your behalf. When one of your sources tells you about a person you should meet, someone you consider a key contact, she can help you immensely by coordinating a meeting. Ideally, she will not only call the contact and set a specific date, time and location for the meeting, but… she will also attend the meeting with you.

12. Follow up with referrals they have given you. Your sources can contact prospects they referred to you to see how things went after your first meeting, answer their questions or concerns & reassure them that you can be trusted. They can also give you valuable feedback about yourself & your products or service, information that you might not have been able to get on your own.

13. Publish information for you. Network members may be able to get information about you and your business printed in publications they subscribe to and in which they have some input or influence. For example, a source who belongs to an association that publishes a newsletter might help you get an article published or persuade the editor to run a story about you.

14. Serve as a sponsor. Some of your sources may be willing to fund or sponsor a program or event you are hosting. They might let you use a meeting room, lend you equipment, authorize you to use their organization’s name, or donate money or other resources.

15. Sell your products and services. The best support that has the greatest immediate impact on your bottom line, is selling your product or service for you. Your network member could persuade a prospect to write a cheque for your product, then have you mail or deliver the product to your new customer. If you do so swiftly and cordially, you may gain a new lifelong customer.

So next time someone says to you, “If there’s anything I can do to help you with your business, let me know”?, you can be prepared to take them up on the offer.

©Copyright 2012 BNI

How Others Can Help Your Business Part 3  - BNI Education

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Members Details
James Maloney
Director
Mind And Body Connection
www.mindandbodyconnection.com.au
BNI Hub in the BNI Gold Coast Region

Tell us about your business:

I am a passionate Naturopath with over twelve years experience. I think I have the best job in the world, I get to help people every day. Teaching them what they can do to regain their health and create a better quality of life for their future. This could include taking herbs and or making changes to their diet and lifestyles.

What are your top 3 networking tips?

Listen to what the person is saying to you.
Answer their question as best you can and don’t be afraid to be honest.
Treat the person you are talking to with the respect they deserve.

What can’t you live without?

Oxygen,great food, fun, laughter and Yoga

Which Business Book Would Your Recommend & Why?

Loosing my virginity by Richard Branson, knowing enthusiasm and passion will lead you to great things.

How Did Your Find Out About BNI & Why Did You Join?

A friend introduced me to BNI. I joined because it was such a welcoming environment and seemed a great way to network.

How Long Have You Been a Member For?

3 years

What Position/s On The Leadership Team Have You Held? 

President, Vice President

What value & benefit have you or your business gained by being a BNI Member?

The value that I have gained from BNI goes way beyond the monetary value. I have made some great friends but more importantly I now have a network of professionals that I can confidently recommend knowing they are competent, trustworthy and reliable. That is the true value of BNI for me.

What Do You Wish Someone Had Told Your When You First Joined BNI? 

That you can have fun, make new friends and money all at the same event. All relations take time but those are the best ones to have.

Your Dream Referral Is…

A doctors clinic that would like to work with a Naturopath.

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