Part One—Developing the Attitude for Networking
We have some terrific stuff for you on networking and referrals this month. Here is what we will be covering:
1. Developing the Attitude for Networking (and life). The old saying is true that your attitude determines your altitude. You will only go as far as your attitude will carry you. We will look at the kind of attitudes that will enable you to successfully expand your network and make your life all that it can be. There are certain attitudes you must have toward circumstances and those that you must have toward yourself and others. Your attitude also governs the process of what takes place when you are networking. We will take a look at the world of attitude in this week’s edition.
2. Becoming a Person of Influence. The ability to attract and influence others is paramount to being a successful networker. We will cover the principles of influence and what motivates others to follow your lead, which, in turn, builds your network. We will also discuss how to expand your contact list with people who want to go with you to greater heights. This will all be covered next week.
3. Working your Network. It takes a certain skill to search for and gain new referrals in order to expand your business. We will show you how to develop your network and grow your business—what to do before the meeting, during the meeting and after the meeting, all designed to help you grow your business through an expanding network of people. We will cover this in two weeks.
4. Getting the Referral. The success of your business depends on keeping your current customers satisfied while at the same time gaining new customers. The key to getting new customers is getting the referral. We will discuss a technique for this and also cover the ins and outs of working with people in such a way that they help you find others to grow your business—and gladly refer you! We will cover this in three weeks.
Get ready, because this month is going to be great. If you follow the ideas put forth in the following weeks, you will begin to see your network expand and your business flourish!
Developing the Attitude for Networking
When we talk about developing an attitude for networking, we need to break it up into a few areas: First, you have a general attitude about life and work. Second, you have an attitude about circumstances. Third, you have an attitude about yourself and others. And fourth, you have an attitude toward the process.
In every area, your attitude will be a significant factor in how successful you become in your networking endeavors. Just as in life, your attitude determines so much. If you have a bad attitude, it will affect how well you work with others and how you perform. So it is imperative that you consistently work on maintaining a positive attitude that will carry you on to success—not only in developing your network, but, more important, in developing your life!
Let’s take a look at the attitudes that will help make you a successful networker.
1. Your attitude about life and work. There are two basic attitudes that determine how we experience life: “Life is good” and “Life can get better.”
These are basically the tenets of optimism. Let’s take a look at each.
“Life is good.” It seems as though many people like to talk about how bad things are. They are constantly focusing on what they don’t have. But what would happen if you decided to focus on what you do have? Yes, there are going to be things that happen that you could point to and say, “See, life is bad.” But there will always be things you can point to that will enable you to say, “Life is good.” In fact, the very idea that you are alive to say it is proof that life is good! Like the old saying goes, “Every day above ground is a good one.” Think about life this way: If you are here to live, then you can certainly find a reason to enjoy it.
“Life can get better.” No matter where you are in life, it can get better. Yes, it can get worse, too, depending on what you choose. No matter where you are financially, it can get better. No matter how successful your business is, it can get better. No matter what kind of relationships you have, they can get better.
Think about these two attitudes, and, more important, embrace them. They will saturate your life with good things, if you will let them emanate from deep within you. They will shape your destiny. They will make you a better person. They will enhance every area of your life and work. They will make you a positive influence around people, and that will help you be a better networker.
2. Your attitude about circumstances. Circumstances come and go. The Bible says, “God causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” In other words, good and bad things happen to everybody. These “things,” or circumstances, don’t matter. What does matter is what our attitude is in the middle of the circumstances.
Here is the best attitude to have in any circumstance you find yourself in: “I can learn from this and use it to become even more successful!” If something good happens to you, then take advantage of it. If circumstances are less than what you would like them to be, decide to find out what you can learn from the circumstances. If you maintain a positive attitude about your circumstances, you will always be a step closer to achieving your goals.
3. Your attitude about yourself. The attitude that you maintain about yourself is probably the single most influential factor in your pursuit of success. What you believe about yourself and your possibilities almost inevitably comes true, no matter what it is.
Here are the best attitudes to have about yourself to guarantee success as a person—and as a networker.
“I am a person of value.” If you believe that you are a person of value—and you are—then you will be a person who provides value to others. What you believe about yourself and what you have to offer is exactly what you will give to others. Remind yourself frequently that you are a person of innate value and worth. Don’t be afraid of being an egomaniac. For most people, that isn’t the problem. You have a lot going for you and a lot to offer others. Never forget that.
“I determine my future.” You cannot wait around for someone else to make it happen for you. You alone set your course and determine what you will strive to achieve and what you will become. If you don’t decide to succeed, you won’t. If you don’t decide to work hard, you won’t achieve your dreams. If you wait for others to move you along, you will wait your life away. Remind yourself that you determine your future, and then do it each day.
“I can make my dreams happen.” If you do not believe that your dreams are possible, they won’t be. You are the key to whether or not your dreams come true. If you believe that you can achieve your dreams, you will most assuredly achieve them. If you think that they are just pie in the sky, then you will most likely never experience the thrill of living your dreams.
4. Your attitude about others. Your attitude about others comes shining through. In everything you do and in everything you say, it is easy to determine what you think about other people, and that will have a huge effect on how successful you become. Success requires interacting with other people. There is no such thing as a self-made man or woman.
Here are some attitudes that will make you successful with others.
“I am here to serve.” Ultimately, the key to success is to have an attitude of service. The more people you help, the greater your impact will be and the greater your income will be. We should never think of others as though they are simply here to fulfill our wishes. Instead, we are here to help them, and in doing so, we will achieve greater success. This is true in all areas of life, including networking.
“I have a responsibility to treat others as I would want to be treated.” The golden rule states: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” When we treat people poorly, we not only break the laws of humanity, but it is also bad business! Some people just don’t understand that! No matter what situation we are in, including our business situations, we should maintain the attitude of treating the other person in exactly the same manner we would like to be treated. This will go a long way toward ensuring a successful life and a successful business.
“I need others in order to be successful.” Although we each determine our own future, that does not mean that we do not need others. We choose our routes, but those routes always include other people. We need other people. We need them for ideas. We need them for help. We need them as customers. We need other people at every stage of life and work.
5. Your attitude about the networking process. How you act and what you believe in the middle of the process will determine to a great degree how the process will end. A good attitude about the process will help you see a positive outcome. Here are some attitudes to maintain throughout the networking process.
“No matter what happens I will remain positive.” If you still have this attitude, the outcome doesn’t matter. This puts you in a position of strength as you go about the process.
“The networking process makes me better.” We learn in the middle of it. We grow there. We get better, and eventually we will get to the point where we are “firing on all cylinders,” meeting new people, making new customers and closing all the deals we can, and that is great!
“Both parties should win.” This is Covey’s principle of a win-win. If one party loses, then both parties ultimately lose. If you “win” in the process and the other loses, do you think that customer will come back? No way. What does that mean? You lose, too. If you win and your customer loses, then your career will be a parade of one-time deals—and that is a pace that is hard to keep up. Your network should be filled with happy people who know they will win when they do business with you.
Remember, your attitude is so important. It is central to who you are, what you will become and what you will achieve. In the next few weeks, we will get specific on the networking process, but this week it is important to focus on the attitudes that govern our lives. In doing so, we will set ourselves up to become the best networkers we possibly can.
Until next week, let’s do something remarkable!
There are lots of things in this life that we don’t get to choose. On the other hand, there are lots of things in this life that we do get to choose. Our attitude is one of them. Nobody else lives inside our brain. Nobody else controls what or how we think. It is up to us, moment by moment, to choose what our attitude is. It is up to us to determine how we will look at and perceive the world around us. It is up to us to decide how we will react to the world around us.
Our advice? Choose a positive, optimistic attitude! Here are some thoughts on choosing your attitude.
We cannot choose our circumstances. For the most part, this is true. We cannot control if someone around us gets ill. We cannot control how another person treats us. We cannot control the global economy. We cannot control the direction our society as a whole will go. For some, this may seem scary, but it can be freeing. We don’t have to control our circumstances—running the whole world would be a big responsibility. It is good to know that we are not in charge of, or in control of, all of our circumstances. This dose of reality frees us to focus on what we can control: our attitude.
We can choose our attitudes. That’s right. We get to choose what our attitudes are for every situation. The definition of attitude is “the feeling or opinion about something or someone, or a way of behaving that follows from this.” We choose how we feel about others and situations. We choose our opinion about people and situations. We choose the way we will behave in relation to other people and circumstances. We choose it. It doesn’t have to be bad, and it doesn’t have to be anything but what we want it to be. We have the option.
The choice of a right attitude will significantly determine all future circumstances. Choosing to have the right attitude will change the world around you. This isn’t any sort of magic; it is just how the world works. Now, don’t get us wrong, it won’t cure everything and turn your world into a virtual Shangri-La, but it will significantly improve the world you live in. For example, let’s say that every day you go to work and gripe about life and work from the moment you get there until the moment you leave. Will others want to be around you? Will others ask your opinion? Will others like you? Will others ask you to join them for lunch? Probably not! But what if you come to work every day and you are the positive optimist of the crowd? Will everybody love you? No, but significantly more people will than if you are the office pessimist! Your choice of attitude will determine what kind of circumstances you get!
Ultimately, what kind of attitude we have is our choice. Nobody else can force you to have a bad attitude. Nobody else can force you to have a good attitude. It is simply a choice you make.
So, what kinds of attitudes make a difference? Here are five attitudes that will make you soar:
1. “I can.” This is the most basic of all attitudes. We simply must choose to believe that we can. Telling yourself that you can’t, will, in effect, make it so that you can’t. But telling yourself that you can, will, in effect, enable you to achieve much more. Even if you actually only achieve 50 percent of what you tell yourself you can achieve, you will achieve at least that much more than if you told yourself you couldn’t.
2. “I will be generous.” Another attitude that will make you soar is being a generous person. The attitude (and discipline) of generosity increases your likelihood of success for two main reasons: One, you are happier about yourself, and that puts you in a state of mind that is prepared for successful living. Two, people pay back people who are generous. Generous people receive in kind, and being generous will raise you to levels yet unseen.
3. “I will make a difference in the lives of those around me.” People who soar are generally people who have the attitude of helping other people. Yes, they may do it for monetary gain, but they are people-focused. They want to change the way people live and make life better. They are difference makers all around.
4. “I am not easily angered.” Whether or not we get angry is a choice of attitude. We determine whether or not we will be angry. Often someone who is struggling with achieving something comes off as an angry person. They have held onto an attitude that is angry at its root. When we take on an attitude that raises the bar on what makes us angry, we are positioning ourselves to be in a state of mind that is better able to live and work in such a way as to achieve success.
5. “I will look for the good in every situation.” This is basic optimism. Successful people who soar through life are those who are optimistic. They see the good, think the best and strive for greatness, believing all the while that they will achieve it because it is possible!
Where are you with your attitude? Do you have a good one? Why not sit down and give it some serious thought? Then, no matter where you find yourself, decide to take your attitude to the next level! If you have a bad attitude, decide to improve upon it by a couple of levels! If you have a good attitude, take it to the “great” level!
Your attitude is your choice. Choose wisely.