Achieve Success Through People – Networking, Mastermind, Hiring, & Firing

The people you attract on the road to wealth will determine your success as much or more than any other factor. At the same time, the mistakes you make in choosing those people will hinder you and hold you back as much or more than anything else. People are everything, so selecting the right people in your life and business is critical to your long-term success. To be really successful, you need the help, support, and trust of people inside and outside your business. Not only do you need people who can work with you and for you, but you need people on the outside who can advise you and guide you. The greater the range of your contacts, friendships, and business, the more insights, ideas, and assistance you will receive.
Let us start with a key entrepreneurial skill: networking and network with others. Join local business associations and attend meetings regularly. Introduce yourself to other members and ask what they do. Don\’t talk initially about your own products or services. Instead, encourage other members to sell their products and services to you. In networking, when you meet a new person, there are some powerful questions you can ask.

First. The first is what sort of work do you do? People in business love to talk about their work. When you show a genuine interest, they will tell you in great detail what they do and how it\’s going. Listen intently when they speak. The key to impressing people by the law of indirect effort is to be impressed by them. The key to having people find you interesting is for you to find them interesting.

Second. The second question you ask when the person slows down or stops talking about his or her business and your networking activities is.

And then what did you do? Or and then what did you say? This will usually start the person off talking again about his business and what is happening in his or her life; business is personal.

Third. The final question, and perhaps the best of all networking questions you can ask, is what would I have to know about your business to recommend a customer to you? People in business think about their businesses morning, noon and night. They think about attracting and keeping customers. They think about revenues and cash flow. They think about profits and growth. When you offer to send them a customer, they will immediately like you, want to talk to you, be interested in you and be willing to tell you even more about what they do and the type of customers they attract. Right after you meet someone in a business meeting and get his or her business card, drop the person a note or an email to tell him or her how happy you were to meet him or her and that you look forward to seeing him or her again at subsequent meetings. Whenever possible, include a small gift, even if it\’s just a poem like don\’t quit or carry on. Best of all, do everything you can to send your new contact a customer.

Think of the people you know who buy from you or your friends and associates. Is there anyone who might be a prospect for your new contact? If there is? Call them both and introduce them to each other. Even if nothing comes of this introduction, your new contact will be grateful and appreciative. He or she will remember you and think about you very positively.
In this description of networking, you will notice that I advised against trying to sell your product or services to the people you meet. By The Law of Indirect Effort, the more you don\’t try to sell your product or services to people you meet, the more likely it is that they will become interested in learning about what you make or sell. The less you say, the greater the impression you make, the more you encourage a person to talk about his or her product or service, and the more likely it is that he or she will be interested in your product or service. When you start a business, you will usually be all alone. Some of the biggest businesses in America were started on a kitchen tabletop like Amway Corporation, for example, or in a garage Hewlett-Packard Apple Computer, Ford Motor Company.

You will usually have to do everything yourself, from the first job in the morning to turning out the lights in the evening. When you start out, never be afraid to do dog work. The most respected leaders are always willing to roll up their sleeves and pitch in to help whenever they are needed. The example you set by getting in there and doing whatever is necessary is noticed by everyone.
The president of JetBlue Airways used to work as a cabin steward on his flights, going up and down the aisle, serving food and drinks, and talking with the passengers. By staying close to the customer, he maintained a deep sense of what people were thinking, saying, and feeling and continually found ways to improve services. When Alfred P. Sloan was president of General Motors, perhaps the most powerful executive in the world, he would periodically disappear from Detroit for several days each month. No one would know where he had gone.

During this time, he would get into his car and drive hundreds of miles out into the country to work as a salesman on the floor of a General Motors automobile dealership. He would meet, greet, and interact with potential car buyers all day long. He would ask them questions and listen to their concerns. He would demonstrate the latest GM models and ask for their opinions. He would make the sale or fail to make it based on the potential customers\’ tastes, desires, wants, and needs. After receiving enough feedback, he would drive back to Detroit to take up his duties as president of the company.

By the time Sloan retired, he was admired and respected as one of the greatest executives of all time. He always seemed to have wonderful insights into the mind of car buyers. It was only years later that people finally figured out where he had gone on his private journeys and how it was that he was so aware of how customers thought and felt. Is this something you could do? You will find that there\’s a direct relationship between the number of people in your market, customers, suppliers, competitors, and other entrepreneurs with whom you associate and the level of your success. One vigorous conversation worth two or three other entrepreneurs can give you ideas and insights into marketing and selling your products and services that you could get no other way. You should deliberately organize your time and activities to ensure interaction with other entrepreneurs and business people regularly.
Napoleon Hill, the guru of success in the 20th century, interviewed and studied 500 successful businesspeople for 22 years. He found that they all had certain qualities in common. He also found that none of them had started off with these qualities and that all of these qualities were learnable. Based on his research, he published the Law of Success in 1928. He then elaborated his success formula in Think and Grow Rich in 1937. In later years, when he was asked about what he considered the most important principle he had discovered in a lifetime of research among wealthy people, almost all of whom had gone from rags to great riches in one generation, he replied immediately. The mastermind concept is quite simple. Throughout history, it has been discovered that whenever two people get together and talk in a spirit of harmony and goodwill, a third higher mind is formed. Both of these people then seem to be able to tap into this higher form of intelligence that becomes available to both while they are talking.

In my seminars, training, and business consulting, I will often tell my audience, please take notes on what I am about to tell you, but don\’t write only the things I say; write down the thoughts that pop into your mind while we are talking. These thoughts will often come out of the ether and flash into your mind like a light bulb going off or like the lightning strike you see in the cartoons; this is what I call the “AHA” moments. This idea that comes to you, which may have nothing to do with what we are discussing in the seminar, may maybe the critical insight that will change your life. Over the years, many people have come back to me and said that one idea they got in a seminar with me changed their lives and made them wealthy. This is not simply a matter of luck or random chance. Whenever people come together in a seminar to learn how to be more successful, a large third mind is created, almost like an invisible cloud floating above them. This collective mind or oversee may contain thousands of ideas and insights that become available to everyone in the room when you are relaxed, positive, and happy in company with other people who feel the same way. The mental energy of this super-conscious mind becomes active in your life. Be alert for it.

Many participants that attended advanced coaching and networking training programs immediately started mastermind groups. One of my clients told me that when he completed that course, he was so excited about the mastermind principle that he phoned several businesspeople in his community, none of whom he knew very well, and asked them if they would be interested in becoming part of a mastermind group. To his surprise, they all accepted immediately. Their first meeting was over lunch in a nearby restaurant. He explained that all subjects were on the table during a mastermind meeting.

People can talk about whatever they like. The goal is to share ideas and insights from your own experience that might be helpful to other people in other lines of business. After the first meeting, he was again surprised when each of the four businesspeople phoned him to thank him for inviting them to the meeting. They had all enjoyed it immensely and were very much looking forward to the next meeting.

He told me he had been organizing these mastermind meetings one day a week over breakfast or lunch ever since. His business had doubled in less than three months because of the ideas and insights he had gleaned from these positive, upbeat conversations with other businesspeople. Now you can form a mastermind group in the same way. Take the initiative, invite one or more businesspeople you know, and respect to breakfast or lunch. Tell them or remind them of the mastermind concept and explain how helpful getting smart businesspeople together can be to each member of the group. You will get almost 100 percent agreement from the people you talk to. Every businessperson knows in his or her heart that it\’s necessary to interact with other businesspeople in order to stay abreast of what is going on in his or her world. But those people don\’t have the time until you call and offer to arrange a date and set it up. There will always be grateful to you for taking the initiative.

Some time ago, I was invited to join a mastermind group that met from six a.m. to seven a.m. once a week. The organizer of the group, a successful dermatologist, had begun building this group about two years before. The structure of the mastermind group was simple. Each week they selected a book, and enough copies were purchased for every group member. During that week, each person was required to read the book at the Mastermind Group meeting. One person was assigned the task of reviewing the book for the group. He would explain to the group what he had found to be the most valuable ideas in the book. This would stimulate additional discussion and opinions from other people about what they had considered being the most valuable parts of the book.

The people invited to join the group was from different occupations or businesses, so there was no competition. Over the course of two years, reading a book every week and then reviewing it every Tuesday morning from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m., the incomes and revenues of the people in that mastermind group doubled and tripled. They began to
emerge as the most dynamic and successful people in their fields in the community.

  • Rule. Givers Gain. The Law of Reciprocity will have many people referring customers to you if you refer customers without thinking of the gain for you. Be of Service to others!

Word of the mastermind group got out, and people begged to be allowed to join. Eventually, the founder had to cap the number of participants at 15. But with the clamor to get into the mastermind group, a couple of the members thought it was possible to have more than one mastermind group going at the same time. As a result, they formed their own mastermind groups on different mornings, but with similar structures. Soon, there were mastermind groups that met early in the morning before work. All over the city and all members of those mastermind groups saw their sales, revenues, and profits increase dramatically. You can do the same at any time.