FYE Dr. Misner | Father Of Networking


Generate more money by building a bigger ship to bring more passengers. How can you build a generator of cash flow in business? In today’s episode, Dr. Ivan Misner, the Father of Networking, talks about the benefits of networking and how you can grow your business with relationships. He shares insights on why businesses thrive or survive during the pandemic. Do you want to know his secret to scale and become successful in your business? Tune in to this episode to hear more tips from Dr. Ivan Misner!

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Growing Your Business With Relationships: A Conversation With The Father Of Networking, Dr. Ivan Misner

I’m excited for the guest that we have this episode. I’m thrilled to be interviewing the one, the only Dr. Ivan Misner. Who has heard of BNI? I don’t even have to say what BNI stands for, even though it’s Business Network. I don’t have to say that. Why? Everybody already knows who BNI is. There are chapters all over the world. I have been a member of BNI for decades. Dr. Ivan Misner is the Founder and Chief Visionary Officer at BNI, the world’s largest business networking organization. It was founded in 1985. How many chapters are there around the world?

As of this now, 10,926. I get a daily report.

How many countries?

Seventy-six countries.

You are in all those different languages.

We have many languages. Going to a BNI convention is like going to a United Nations meeting with the flags all over the room. It is like a UN meeting where all the countries like each other. It is a blast.

You have managed to accomplish something. If everybody can go, likes each other, and gets along, that is an amazing accomplishment. BNI was founded in 1985. The organization has thousands of chapters. He said 10,926. Each year, BNI generates millions of referrals, resulting in billions of US dollars worth of business for members. Dr. Misner’s PhD is from the University of Southern California, where I’m also from. He has written over 28 books, including many Amazon and New York Times bestsellers. In my understanding, you have seven New York Times bestsellers.

No, I have three New York Times bestsellers, but about 20 of the 28 books are bestsellers in some media, Amazon and Wall Street Journal.

Even three New York Times bestsellers are a huge accomplishment. We had the numbers for Exit Rich to be a New York Times bestseller. I don’t know if you know Sharon Lechter, but she is my co-author.

I don’t.

She wrote Rich Dad Poor Dad with Robert Kiyosaki.

We have never met, but I know her.

We have the numbers to make it, and we didn’t make a list. It is quite an accomplishment to make the New York Times even once, let alone three times. He is a monthly columnist for Entrepreneur.com and has taught business management and social capital courses for several universities throughout the United States. He is called the Father of Modern Networking by CNN and the Networking Guru. We can all be better networkers. Misner is considered to be one of the world’s leading experts on business networking. He has been a keynote speaker to major corporations and associations throughout the world.

He has been featured in the LA Times, Wall Street Journal, and New York Times, as well as numerous TV and radio shows, including CNN, CNBC, and the BBC of London. This is what I think is the most important about your bio. All that was terrific and amazing accomplishments, but Dr. Misner has been named Humanitarian of the Year, and that was by the Red Cross and was awarded the John C. Maxwell Award for Leadership. Welcome to the show, Ivan. We are happy to have you here. In your spare time, you are an amateur magician.

I don’t have any magic tricks here. It has been a while since I have done it. Several years ago, I was a member of the Magic Castle in LA. I was a magician member. I never did shows. I did stuff for my kids. I got good at it and was able to qualify to be a magician member at the Magic Castle.

How many kids?

Three kids.

Have they followed in your footsteps?

None of them were interested in BNI. I kept telling them, “Do what you are passionate about.” They did that, and it wasn’t BNI.

You are a black belt in karate. I will make sure to stay on your good list. You have been wildly successful. BNI is, without a doubt, one of the largest community business-to-business, B2B networks in the world.

It is the largest business networking organization in the world.

Business Network International is the largest business networking organization in the world. Click To Tweet

I came and began to think, “What was Dr. Ivan Misner like as a little boy?” What were you like as a little boy?

I pretty much stayed out of trouble. I was a good kid. I wasn’t confident as most of us were in junior high. I wanted to be on the student council. I kept getting voted down in junior high. I had a teacher in high school who, for whatever reason, saw something in me. Nobody wanted to run for student council in this class. He picked me. He said, “Ivan, I bet you like to do it.” I said, “Yes, I would.” It was funny because the whole class was like, “No, not Ivan.” I was not popular. He was like, “No, you gave me the power to choose. I choose Ivan. He is in.”

It changed the trajectory of my young life. I was able to take a leadership role that I had wanted to do for a long time. I was never popular. That same class elected me to the student council for the next year. It is the same class who were like, “No, not Ivan.” They elected me because I did a great job. I was active in the student council for four years. I ended up being ASB President. That changed the direction of my life in terms of taking on a role of leadership. I was active in some sports but active in student government.

What led you to start the largest business network organization?

I was a management consultant. I was young. I was 27 when I was running my consulting business. I lost a big client who didn’t renew their contract. By then, I would be 28 years old. I had gotten all my business through speaking engagements and referrals. I had bought a house and had a mortgage that felt this big. I realized that to get speaking engagements. I needed a system to get referrals. I put together a group of people who I trusted. I hoped they would trust me. We agreed to refer each other. We got together every week. It was a weekly meeting. We took only one person per profession because I didn’t want my competition in the room and their competition in the room.

I had this vision of an international organization, but I needed some referrals for my consulting business. We got together. Someone came after a couple of months to the meeting. She couldn’t join because her profession was represented. She said, “This is fantastic. I could get a lot of business out of a group like this. Would you help me open up my own group?” I said, “No, this isn’t what I do. I’m a business consultant. I don’t run a network.” She said, “This is like consulting. You are helping me build my business. It is a stretch, but okay, fine.”

I opened a second chapter. Two people came to that second meeting. They couldn’t join because their profession was represented. Both of them said, “This is great. I can get a ton of business. Would you help me open up my own group?” I’m like, “No, this isn’t what I do. I’m a business consultant.” They talked me into it. We were off to the races. I ended up opening twenty chapters that year without trying.

At the age of 28, it is a huge accomplishment.

It didn’t seem like it at the time. We were small.

You didn’t even know what you had when you saw it for your own business to create referrals. Some of the best businesses and opportunities come from a need we find and have ourselves. That is how many entrepreneurs end up solving problems for the world.

FYE Dr. Misner | Father Of Networking

Father Of Networking: Creating referrals is where some of the best businesses and best opportunities come from. It is a need that we find ourselves in.


I came to that conclusion in December. The group had been around almost a year between Christmas and New Year’s. I always take a few days off to do goal setting. Where do I want to be at the end of next year? Where do I want to be in five years? How was last year’s plan compared to reality? That particular year was a Brody moment. I had my Brody moment. It was like, “How did this happen? I opened twenty groups.”

If you remember, in the movie Jaws, Sheriff Brody, at the end of the movie, the shark comes up. He sees the shark, turns to the captain, and says, “You are going to need a bigger boat.” That was my Brody moment. It was like, “I’m going to need a bigger boat. This is going to be way bigger than I ever thought.” I created my plan to scale the operation. It began with teaching people because we don’t teach this in colleges and universities anywhere in the world. It began with writing down what worked at networking, which ended up becoming many of my books. At the end of the first year, I knew that this was going to be huge

Was it like the domino effect where you had that one lady to say, “It helped me?” He set her chapter, and another one said, “Help me set up my chapter.” It was a domino effect. Did you have to advertise marketing?

No, I didn’t do hardly any marketing. It was almost all word of mouth. In the first year or two, I did do a couple of ads, and they failed. I asked an ad specialist. I got phone calls from people in professions that were already represented, like real estate and accounting. They were already represented. I couldn’t place them. Not only was I not able to place them, but they got mad. They would spend time calling me, and I couldn’t help them.

I asked this ad specialist, and he said, “Advertising is great for pre-sold ideas.” That is, if you want to buy a computer, you look for an ad for computers. If there is something you want to buy, you look for an ad. If you want to join a network, you don’t look for an ad. I stopped advertising after the first year. We built completely through referrals and word of mouth.

FYE Dr. Misner | Father Of Networking

Father Of Networking: Advertising is great for basically pre-sold ideas.


What is the art to networking? I’m an extreme introvert. I feel like I’m a great networker, but even I feel like, “I went to that mastermind. All I did was a mastermind that I go to every quarter and hang out with the same people.”

You don’t want to do that. You do want to mix and mingle.

What is the art of network? How can we all be better networkers?

The foundation of what I teach is called the VCP process, visibility, credibility, and profitability. I was the keynote speaker in London at an event years ago with 900 people in the audience. I don’t know what possessed me. It was an all-day thing. I was one of the last speakers. I watched people use networking as a face-to-face, cold-calling opportunity. They were pitching each other.

When I was on stage, I said, “How many of you are here hoping to possibly sell something?” Michelle, I saw 900 people raise their hands. The other whole audience raised their hands. I’m like, “Second question, how many of you are here hoping to possibly buy something?” Nobody raised their hands. Not one single person. I said, “That is what I would call the networking disconnect. People show up at networking events wanting to sell, but they are not there to buy. Why go?”

The networking disconnect is when people show up at networking events wanting to sell, but they're not there to buy. Click To Tweet

Except for me because I’m the first to run to the back of the room and get that product.

You get the book from the speaker, not necessarily the people you meet. You might buy from the speaker. Why? It is because you hear them talking. You are interested in their message. They are an expert in their field. For the people you meet, it is rare that you meet somebody and you go, “I need that. I want to buy that. Give me your card. I’m going to call you.” That is rare. It happens.

Even a blind squirrel can find a nut. You will stumble over the business. People generally use networking face-to-face cold calling. Why go to a network if the face-to-face cold calling is not working? You go to a network to work your way through the VCP process. I’m going to go through it in detail. It stands for visibility, credibility, and profitability.

You first have to be visible. People have to know who you are. If you go to a networking meeting and you are meeting somebody for the first time, they don’t know who you are. I have people who hand me 2 or 3 cards. They will go, “Maybe you will give this to a business associate.” I’m like, “I don’t even know who you are. I’m not going to give one of your cards to somebody.”

First, you got to be visible. People have to know who you are. Over time, you move to credibility. Credibility is where people know who you are. They know what you do. They know you are good at it. You have built a reputation in the community, so they know you are good at what you do. When you go from visibility to credibility, which is the credibility stage that takes the longest, only then can you get to profitability, where people know who you are, they know what you do, they know you are good at it, and they are willing to refer you.

This isn’t a sales process. It is not like they are willing to buy from you. It is a referral process. They are willing to refer people to you. That takes time. There is something I call the time confidence curve. On one axis is confidence, and on the other axis is time. It takes a certain amount of time before people have confidence in your ability to provide a quality product or service. The time confidence curve of moving through VCP varies depending on the profession.

If you are a florist, the time confidence curve is quick. You can go from visibility to profitability quickly. If you are a printer or a real estate agent, it is longer. If you are a financial planner investing somebody’s retirement plan, it is the end of the spectrum. That is the longest on the time confidence curve. It takes the longest before somebody is going to refer business to you.

I’m going to add to that in Seiler company. It takes a long time.

If you want a transaction of some kind, it is a process that generally takes more than a year, depending on where you are.

You are right about visibility, credibility, and profitability because everybody goes in wanting to put money in their pocket. Everybody thinks, “What can I make? How can I get a return on my investment at this mastermind and event?

The thing is that networking is more about farming than it is about hunting. It is about cultivating relationships with people. It is the old saying, “It is not what you know. It is who you know.” I don’t think it is either.

What do you think it is?

I don’t think it is what you know or who you know. It is how well you know each other that counts. I have some incredible contacts on my telephone, but it doesn’t matter that I know them. What counts is, “Could I call them? Would they take my call? If I asked for a favor, would they be willing to do the favor?” It is not what you know or who you know. It is how well you know them. How credible are you with them that if you ask for a favorite, they would say, “Yes, I would do that?”

I have probably one of the best connectors on my team of all time. I’m not going to say his name, but he knows who he is that is good at connecting. He will find somebody on LinkedIn. He will nourish that relationship for a year or two. One of the relationships he nourished was with somebody who is brilliant in AI. He relocated him to where we are here in New Orleans. He is a brilliant connector and great at building those deep relationships. These individuals become his brother. They fight like brothers. They also look alike. Did you want to elaborate on profitability?

Profitability is where you know someone well. You are at such strong credibility that you want to refer them. You are giving referrals to your best clients and associates. When you have a good relationship of credibility, you meet with the people you want to refer, and you say, “I got 2 or 3 clients that I think could use your services. I’m going to talk to them next week. I will make an introduction.”

That person does the same for you. You exchange connections. You make introductions. It is not like, “Here is somebody who needs your service. Give him a call.” It is, “Here is somebody that wants your service. I will make an introduction” It is that introduction that paves the way. Referrals are 75% to 80% more likely to turn into a sale than a lead-off of an advertisement.

What are your thoughts on the elevator pitch?

Everybody needs an elevator pitch. The thing is not a big fan of the term because you should never pitch somebody in an elevator. The first thing I say is, “Don’t pitch people in an elevator.” The idea is you tell somebody what it is that you do in roughly the amount of time it takes to go from a high floor down.

Everybody needs an elevator pitch. Click To Tweet

Most people understand that concept because it is common sense.

I have seen people do the elevator pitch in elevators.

That is why I say, “Common sense is not always common.”

The idea is that you want to say something short and sweet that gets people’s attention. You want to use a unique selling proposition, something that gets their attention. I have a good friend, Sam Horn. She has written a book called Pop! and Someday Is Not a Day of the Week. She calls it the eyebrow test. You want to pass the eyebrow test. The eyebrow test is this. If you say something to someone about what you do and they scrunch their eyebrows down, you have confused them. They have no idea what it is you have done. If you say what it is that you do, and they say, “How do you do that?” You have lost them. You pass the eyebrow test if the eyebrows go up. It can be the same words. How do you do that? It is the same words, different inflection, and you got their attention

That is one of your magic tricks.

I got to give credit to Sam. It is her concept of the eyebrow test. You use a unique selling proposition that has a good hook. There is a company called Incentive. They say, “We help people work less, make more, and create referrals for life.” People create referrals for life. It is like, “How do you do that? Tell me more.” You got them. You can have a conversation with them. The elevator pitch should be two floors down the elevator. Not a long thing. You want people

I have been on the Pitch Tank a few times. It is like when people are pitching me because I partner with people and invest in businesses. Their pitch needs so much work, especially when they get into their business. They over-describe, it is confusing, and nobody can make a quick decision because nobody understands what they are doing.

One of the things you want to do when you are going into more detail is you want to talk about the afters. What is your life going to look like after I do what I do? That is the key. What I do is not terribly important. What is your life going to look like after I do what I do? I will give you a great example. There is a BNI chapter, and they were brainstorming about how to explain what it is they do.

There was a divorce lawyer in the chapter. He said, “I do divorces. Nobody likes the topic. What do I say that gets people’s attention?” One of the members who had hired him to help with her divorce said to him, “Are you kidding, Frank? You helped me be able to sleep at night because you weren’t on the job. I could release all the anxiety I had and the sleep I was losing because I knew you were in my corner.” He was like, “I would have never thought to say that.”

That is profound.

You got to talk to your clients about what life was like after I did what I did for you. That becomes your pitch, part of your pitch, or the description after you do, you know, an elevator pitch. It is all about the afters. What are things going to look like after you do what you do?

I love that, especially for what we do. We buy and sell fixed-grow companies, but we help business owners retire rich. We, more than anybody, can focus on that after we do. It is funny because business owners will come back and say, “I shouldn’t have sold my business. I hate retirement. I’m bored.” The afters are important to focus on in your messaging in marketing. We have a question from Kenny. He says, “What is the key to following up with your network, and how often?”

Points are important, and you should have more touch points with the people you are at profitability with. Maybe a little less with the people you are at credibility with because you want to move that to profitability. The people you are at profitability with, you want to stay in touch with them fairly regularly, either through phone calls or meetings. Try and stay in the same networks. You are connecting with them regularly because nothing kills a networking relationship faster than benign neglect, where you lose touch with each other.

We are all guilty of that. I don’t know if you are Ivan, but I know I’m.

No, we all are. The people helping you the most are the ones that you want to stay in contact with regularly. Let’s take it a step further back and say we are talking about you meeting somebody new for the first time. How do you follow up with that person? In several of my books, I talk about the 24-7-30 follow-up system.

In Networking Like A Pro – Second Edition, I have this all in writing. Within 24 hours after you meet somebody, you should reach out to them by email or do something crazy, send them a card. Nobody sends anything through the mail anymore. If you want to stand out, do a card. You reach out to them within 24 hours and don’t sell to them. Instead, you say, “It was nice meeting you. I have enjoyed our conversation on XYZ and hope our paths cross again.” Within seven days, connect with them on social media.

One of the things you want to do when you are having a conversation with somebody you don’t know is find out, “Where are you most active? I’m most active on Facebook. I have 215,000 followers on my public Facebook page. Go to my public Facebook page if you are interested in following the kinds of things that I do.”

What I do on my Facebook page is called jab, jab, jab, punch. That is educate, educate, educate, and promote a book. It is mostly education. That is what I think you should do. There is a book by that title. It is about educating first and foremost. That is what I do with my social media. I tell people where I’m at. I’m on LinkedIn, Twitter, and all of the other sites, but that is where I do most of my stuff.

You find out where they like to be. I learned this from my kids. When they were young, I would call my eldest daughter, and she would answer the phone. I texted her, and she would respond by text right away. I’m like, “Do you know this device that you can put to your ear and have a conversation?” She said, “I know, Dad, but it was texting.” With my next daughter, I would call or text her. Nothing. I asked my late wife. I said, “What do we do? She is not responding to phone calls or texts.” This was a long time ago. She was 16 or 17. She said, “You have to WhatsApp her.” I said, “What is WhatsApp?” I don’t even know what that is.

I downloaded WhatsApp. I tested it. I called and texted. Nothing. I messaged her on WhatsApp. She responded immediately. I was like, “I got this figured.” My son wouldn’t answer a call. He wouldn’t text. He didn’t like WhatsApp. He was a gamer. In one of the many games that he liked, he would download from an online platform called Steam.

Steam has these games that you can download. They have an instant messaging feature. I particularly use this when I travel if I want to connect with my kids. I downloaded Steam. I bought a game so that I could have instant messaging. I tried the same thing. I called him nothing and texted him nothing. I messaged him on Steam. He was like, “What, Dad? What do you want?” I was like, “I got you.” I learned from my kids.

Why would you tell them, “Please answer your phone and text back?”

They wouldn’t do it. The key is I figured out if I wanted to stay in touch with them as their dad, especially when I traveled, I had to go where they wanted to be. Not where I wanted to be, but where they wanted to be. That was a lesson for me in networking because if you find out where the person likes, it might be LinkedIn or Twitter, connect with them there. If you want to connect with them, connect with them there, start a dialogue, comment on their posts, and interact with them in some way.

If you want to connect with clients, go where they want to be instead of where you want to be. Click To Tweet

That can be time-consuming. It is worthy.

It can be, or you could spend a lot of money advertising, which takes time to make sales.

What I was thinking is not advertising. What I was thinking is you got to have an assistant. If you don’t have an assistant, you are the assistant.

Maybe but that is part of your marketing. Sales and networking take time, but you are building a relationship and farming. When you get somebody who is a referral partner, it is not one-and-done. They will refer multiple people to you over time. You could be getting business while you are on vacation because they are referring people to your office. It is an effective way to build your business. I learned that you go where they are. That is the 24. Go where they are and connect with them. Don’t sell to them online, either.

Within 24 hours, email them, and send them a card of something. Within seven days, connect with them on social media. Within 30 days, meet them, preferably in person. Zoom is now common. You can meet on Zoom but do a one-to-one. You reach out to them and say, “We met a month ago at the BNI meeting or the Chamber of Commerce.”

Remind them who you are. You are like, “We talked about whatever. I have been following some of the stuff you posted on the internet. I love this topic. That was a great topic. I love to get together and learn more about what you do. Maybe you can learn a little bit about what I do.” Tell them, “I want to do it one-to-one.” You get together with them. Don’t sell to them. It is like a sales seizure. People can’t help themselves, and they sell. What you want to do is farming. You are building a relationship. That is the beginning of a relationship. The follow-up with a new person is 24-7-30.

I would like somebody on my team to put that in the comments because that is huge. We have another question. Let’s transition a little bit into marketing. Marketing is a crucial component of business success but can also be expensive and time-consuming. What low-cost, high-impact marketing strategies can entrepreneurs use to reach our audience?

Networking is the lowest-cost marketing you can possibly do, but it does take time. All marketing is going to take time or money. It is going to be one or the other. Networking or referral marketing is a little more time intensive but inexpensive. A quarter-page ad in a newspaper is going to cost thousands. You can have a one-year membership for a chamber or BNI for less than a quarter-page ad in a newspaper.

FYE Dr. Misner | Father Of Networking

Father Of Networking: Referral marketing is a little more time intensive but very inexpensive.


If you connect with somebody in BNI, they tell somebody who tells somebody.

It is a force multiplier. People were like, “I don’t have the time.” Buck up, buttercup. This is business.

If you don’t have the time, you can also have an assistant to help you.

I couldn’t run my life without people who have helped me. In the early days, it was just me. You are working long hours. If you want to build relationships, it is going to take a little bit of time. One of the books I wrote was about the difference between men and women and how they network. We surveyed 12,000 people. We found that the average amount of time that people spent networking was six and a half hours a week. That was going to networking meetings, making phone calls to follow up with people, having conversations, doing one-to-one meetings, and writing thank you cards. All of that was part of the networking process. The average for 12,000 people took six and a half hours.

One of the things I say to people is, “How many of you out there want to be average? Don’t you want to be above average?” We found that the people who generated more than half of their business through networking and referrals spent about eight hours a week. It is about one day a week, spread out over five days, and generates the majority of their business through referrals. That was based on a survey of 12,000 people all over the world, not BNI members. It was open to the public.

People who generate more than half of their business are through networking and referrals. Click To Tweet

You are a King of Networking.

I earned all this gray hair.

You are doing good. You still got all your hair.

I’m still happy I have hair. There is no question about that.

I have heard and followed different things before. I got a great network as well. If you choose to get started, join BNI. Everybody should be a BBI member. Identify who are the top ten people you want to contact this week. Start with a list because sometimes it can be overwhelming. You can start to say, “I want to contact these five people this month. This week I want to contact five people. Here is my objective. Here is how I think I can add a huge value to them.” You need to add a huge value to them before you expect to sell or go into a cell seizure and expect something from them.

If you are at credibility with people, it is much easier to get those names. What happens is people try to jump over visibility and credibility and get right to profitability, which in one of my books, we called premature solicitation. You don’t want to say fast three times. It will get you in trouble. If you are at credibility, you can do that.

I will tell you a true story. In LA, years ago, I was in a chapter and we were talking about being laser specific about who you wanted to meet. Think big. Don’t think small. Who is it? Be reasonable. You are like, “I want to meet President Biden.” Bring it down a little, but you get laser specific. For example, one person said, “I want to meet the manager of the Hyatt Hotel?” Who is the manager? What is his or her name? What Hyatt? There is a bunch of Hyatts. Give the exact name. If you don’t know who you want to meet, people aren’t going to find that person.

It sounds like the Law of Attraction.

This one person says, “I want to meet so-and-so.” They were the number one real estate agent in the United States. They happened to be in Southern California. They were the number one real estate agent for this real estate firm for 8 out of the last 10 years. They were a major real estate person. They said, “I have been trying to meet her for years. I can’t get past the assistant. Does anyone know someone who might know her?”

One of the members raises her hand. She said, “Sally, that is my sister-in-law.” Sally was like, “Why didn’t you ever tell me that?” The woman said, “You never asked.” When you are at credibility with people, you will be laser specific about who you are looking for. You will be shocked. I have been shocked at who has known people in this exercise when I have done it around the world. It is incredible.

When I make my list, it is a list of friends I have developed and acquaintances who I have spoken on stage with. I have met at all these different events. I have had them on my show. You don’t want to have this huge target that you want to go out and meet like President Biden or Oprah. Oprah is on my list. There is always a third degree of separation. Kenny asks, “What is your advice for a new business to effectively network like the Chamber of Commerce and Rotary business associations since masterminds can be expensive?”

One of the things I have talked about in multiple books is the importance of diversifying your networks and participating in a few different kinds of networks, but they should be different kinds of networks. A good financial planner would say, “Diversify your financial portfolio. Don’t invest everything in the stock market or real estate.” You should do the same thing with networking.

Kenny, you got it right. You named multiple groups. The Chamber of Commerce is great, and it surprises people to hear the Founder of BNI say, “Join the Chamber of Commerce.” You should because the Chamber of Commerce gives you a lot of visibility. Chambers have events with lots of people. You mix, mingle, and meet people. Chambers are a great networking organization to participate in.

FYE Dr. Misner | Father Of Networking

Father Of Networking: Chamber of Commerce is a great networking organization to participate in.


I’m a Pastor of Turin. I was in the Rotary for several years. I highly recommend Rotary Alliance and Kiwanis. They are great service clubs and organizations. I recommend BNI. It is a strong contact network. It allows one person per profession. We are focused on getting together to pass each other referrals. Each one has a different niche. When you participate in multiple ones, you got yourself covered. Don’t join two chambers. Don’t join Rotary and Kiwanis. You can’t join two BNI groups. We won’t let you. Join a group like BNI. Now you have diversified.

Visit the BNI groups because I have done that. You can visit the different clubs.

Even as a member, you can visit a group. When you build a powerful personal network and you start making money, you can afford mastermind groups. The mastermind groups are affordable. There are some local business coaches who have small mastermind groups that are affordable early on. The bigger ones are a little more expensive, the ones that have been around for a long time.

You got is look at what mastermind’s good for you. Vistage is for larger businesses. They are working with you on your business. It is a referral network. It is more like helping those businesses.

I was in a group that was competitive with Vistage. There weren’t many referrals that were done. What was done was a lot of discussion on how to work on your business, management issues, HR issues, finance issues, and funding issues. You are talking to peers who are not competitors. You are having conversations about how you handle problems being the CEO of a business. It was Renaissance Executive Forum that I was a member of. That is like Vistage, but it was expensive. You work your way up to that.

There are some masterminds that are less expensive, especially if you get in early on. I joined a mastermind in Florida that meets once a quarter. I got in for a much lower price. I got a return on my investment quickly. Another thing is not looking at the investment but looking at what you can get out of that investment. Let’s say it costs you $10,000, but you can return on that investment within maybe 3 or 4 months. Maybe sooner or a little bit longer. You have to look and see what you can get out of that. A lot of people say, “You can’t afford something.” I always say, “You can’t afford not to.”

Benjamin Franklin got it right when he said, “When you empty your purse to your head, you have something that no one can ever take away from you.” That is knowledge. Knowledge is power. You work your way to it. Don’t spend $30,000 on a program if you don’t have it. Don’t put it on a credit card that you can’t pay off, but you work your way up to it. Let’s say you can’t afford anything. That is why God made YouTube. There is so much stuff. That is why we have shows like this. Do you want to exit rich? You come to this show. You listen to people talk. What does it cost? Nothing.

When you empty your purse into your head, you have something that no one can ever take away from you. Click To Tweet

There is so much content that people can get. It doesn’t cost anything. Start there. If you can’t afford the mastermind, create your own by focusing on having virtual mentors. You are a virtual mentor. You are not sitting face to face with people, but people are coming to this. They are learning about business from you with many different guests. That is a form of mastermind.

There are lots of online masterminds. You have Clubhouse. I don’t know if Clubhouse is still around.

Clubhouse is still around. It did great during COVID.

That is a good network. There are a lot of masterminds that will also work out a payment arrangement or payment schedule. You don’t have to pay all up.

There is a question here about the pandemic.

Why do some thrive? Why do some survive? I have my own answers to that, but I will let you answer.

People get frozen by fear or focused by fear. You go back to our opening discussion. I could have been frozen by fear when I lost my big client and bought a new home. I was frozen for a week. I threw myself a pity party. It was like, “This isn’t getting me anywhere. I got to focus. How do I get most of my business?” I got focused. I get it where you get frozen for a little bit, but you got to get past that and get focused on the fear you may have. What I saw during COVID was I saw business people get focused.

I’m happy to say that our organization turned on a dime. I wrote an article for Entrepreneur. I wrote this in 2018, Why the Remote Meetings of the Future Will Be Face-to-Face. My organization went crazy. It was like, “The old man is losing it. This is not going to be online.” I didn’t see COVID coming, but I saw the technology advancing. It was clear holographic imaging, 3D technology, and metaverse were going to be doing more online.

COVID hit, and we were ready. We transitioned the entire world, almost 10,000 chapters from January to March 2020. In those three months, we transitioned 10,000 chapters from a weekly in-person meeting to a weekly online meeting. It was amazing. My messaging back then was, “These are difficult times. Hope is more powerful than fear. Hope plus a plan plus action will win every day.” I got people to focus rather than be frozen.

This is one of the best stories during COVID. I had BNI members doing one-to-ones like you and I are talking. They are on Zoom or Skype. They are having a conversation. They are doing one-to-one. They were in Northern California. One member has a furniture and upholstery business. They knew each other. He said, “You probably have a lot of cloth.” She said, “I have tons of upholstery cloth in my warehouse.” This is March 2020. If you think back to March 2020, the world ran out of masks. She had to let go of all of her employees. They were all laid off because it wasn’t a necessary business. She said, “I have tons.” He said, “Have you ever thought about making masks?” She said, “I hadn’t thought about that.”

She went into her warehouse. She made 100 masks. She gave 50 of them to people too. She said, “One is for you. Would you take the other and give it to a nurse, a doctor, a senior center, or a hospital with my business card and tell them I can manufacture masks immediately? They can have them in a few days.” She was overwhelmed with orders for masks. She was able to hire back every one of her employees. She physically distanced them in the plant. They started becoming a mask manufacturing business. That is the way you get focused by fear as opposed to frozen by fear.

I always say, “When you are in your fog, it is foggy.” All the time, you need an outsider’s perspective to see what your clothes are.

The same thing happened in Australia with a brewery. They sold them to restaurants on bars. He didn’t sell them to grocery stores. He had no business. All the restaurants on bars were closed. Somebody said to him, “Do you have a lot of alcohol?” He said, “I got vats of alcohol.” He said, “Have you thought about being a COVID hand sanitizer business?” It saved his company. He transitioned into doing hand sanitizer. We all have difficult times. What you want to do is try to get focused during those difficult times, not be frozen by it.

We all have difficult times. Focus during those difficult times, not be frozen by them. Click To Tweet

A lot of people are like, “I want to go network and get business out of this. I want to get an ROI out of this.” Sometimes the best thing you can get out of masterminds, BNI, or any of those groups is advice and those questions. Amazon did this way back when. Did you watch the movie, The Founder?”

Is it about McDonald’s?

Yes. Everybody should ask, “What business am I in?” In The Founder, he was overleveraging. He was trying to borrow money. A gentleman followed him out of the bank. He said, “What business are you in?” He says, “I’m in the restaurant business.” He says, “No, you are not.” He goes, “Yes, I’m in the restaurant business.”

He goes, “You are in the real estate business. You need to buy the real estate and lease it back to the franchisees. When they are not compliant, you void the contract and the franchise agreement, and you evict them from the location. You put another franchisee in,” which gave him the leverage to take McDonald’s from the McDonald’s brothers. Everybody should ask themselves, “What business am I in? What is my superpower? What business should I be? What business should I be in for the time and economy that we are in?”

Disruption is here to stay. We are going to continue to be disrupted. It is not something new. Disruption has been going on for many decades. Do you know Kodak? Kodak invented the digital camera in the ‘70s. They had a patent on the digital camera. They didn’t want to mess with their film processing business. They licensed the digital technology to other companies. There is an email from an executive at Kodak who said, “Who is going to ever look at photographs on a computer?” When you think about it, Kodak could have become Apple. How big of a jump is it from film processing to taking photos with a camera? It is no bigger a jump than having a computer and going into phones. It is a similar jump.

What year was that?

That was in the ‘70s.

The same story with Xerox with the mouse. Remember the mouse and the Xerox story?

They didn’t hold a patent. They didn’t hold that tight. That was unfortunate.

They said, “We don’t see the value in this.” Do you remember that?

They let Steve Jobs go through their research center. He saw that, and he was like, “That is a game changer.”

It is the reason why, Ivan, because I keep up with the stats. It used to be 95% to 98% of all startups were failing the first five years. Now it is not startups failing. Only 30% of startups were failing. It is the business owners that have been in business for ten years or longer. Of those business owners, 70% of them are going out of business because of what I call a lack of AIM. AIM is Always Innovate and Market. That is what Kodak and Xerox didn’t do.

Sears is another one. Sears is huge. You may be young to remember this, but do you remember the Sears Catalog? The Sears Catalog, for those of you Millennials out there, was a thick catalog. It would get mailed quarterly to people’s homes who subscribed to it. It had everything you could imagine in the Sears Catalog. You could look through the Sears Catalog. You could mail-order and pick it up at the store.

In 1993, Sears closed the Sears Catalog because they said the catalog business was dead. Amazon opened their doors in 1994. Sears said, “Do you know this internet thing? We might take a good look at transitioning from this printed document to online.” Sears could have been Amazon, but they got disrupted because the printed catalog business was dead.

The message to everyone is to keep an eye on what’s going on. Try to be ahead of the curve, or at least with the curve. BNI is an in-person networking organization. Although 30% to 34% of our organization now meets online or hybrid, sometimes in-person, sometimes online. We have always tried to be forward-thinking. You can’t own a three-letter domain, BNI.com, if you weren’t an early adopter of technology.

FYE Dr. Misner | Father Of Networking

Father Of Networking: Keep an eye on what’s going on. Try to be ahead of the curve, or at least with the curve.


That brings me to another question. I know we might be running out of time, and I want to talk about your book, but small businesses often face unique challenges, such as limited resources and competition from larger companies. What advice would you give to small business owners looking to grow and succeed in this market? I think that you have touched on some of that.

One of the things that small business has an advantage of is they can change quickly. The larger the business, it is like turning a battleship. It takes miles. You can’t turn a battleship around in yards. It is miles. A small business can turn on a dime. One of the advantages that entrepreneurs have is they can adjust quickly. A disadvantage that small entrepreneurs have is they have a tendency to chase bright shiny objects. They don’t get focused enough. I keep this in my desk drawer because I talk about this subject a lot. They are constantly chasing the bright shiny object. They were like, “Look at that. Let’s do this. Let’s do that.”

You have to be careful if you are the CEO and you have another person in your business like that.

The founder is the one that tends to be chasing the bright chain object. You have to be careful. One of the things I learned years ago is if you want to be successful in business, you have to do 6 things 1,000 times. Not 1,000 things 6 times. Entrepreneurs are constantly chasing the squirrel and the bright shiny object. They are doing 1,000 things 6 times. They can’t figure out why they are not able to scale. You scale when you get a system down, and you work it. You keep an open mind as to where the marketplace is going and what is happening with technology. You transition into that, but you should always try to transition in a way that still makes sense for your business.

Give me 2 to 3 tips on scaling because many companies always preach and teach, “Build a sustainable, scalable, and sellable company.”

The first thing is you have to create systems. They have to be replicable, and you have to write them down. You write everything down that you are doing. You create systems, and you write them down. Another important one is education. One of the things McDonald’s also talked about, in addition to being a real estate business in many ways, is they are also the largest training company in the world. People think, “McDonald’s isn’t a training company.” They are.

Xerox was one of the largest.

Xerox and McDonald’s are great at it. One of the things is you write systems down. You train to stop the leaky bucket syndrome. Consistency in training reduces the leaky bucket process. The leaky bucket process is if you train me how to do something without manuals, a system, and a process, but you train me, and I train somebody else. When you train me, some information leaks out. When I train somebody else, information leaks out. By the time we are in the third or fourth generation, something is completely different. It is a telephone game. Processes and systems help to reduce the leaky bucket syndrome. That is one of the things that you want to do to scale a business.

Consistency in training reduces the leaky bucket process. Click To Tweet

You also have to learn how to delegate. People talk about delegation. Here is a piece that I have never heard people talk about. When you delegate, you must delegate two things. You delegate responsibility and authority. You can’t delegate 100% authority to a learner. You hire somebody and give them responsibility.

What we tend to do is give responsibility and not authority. They get in trouble when they do something. They are constantly coming back to you and saying, “What do I do now, boss?” It is because you have not given them the authority to do whatever it is that they have to do. For a learner, maybe you give them 50% authority. You say, “This is your job. Come see me for this.” Over time, you give them 60%, 70%, 80%, to 90%. You should give your employees up to 95% authority within their field in stages, not overnight. That is a recipe for disaster.

I would give my employees authority in everything except for two pieces. One was a certain amount of money, and that was dependent on the position. If you hit this dollar amount, you got to come to see me or your boss. The second one is legal. If somebody is talking about attorneys, you got to see me. That was it. Otherwise, they have total authority.

I remember one person once made a $10,000 mistake. This was years ago. That was a lot of money for me. I called her in. She said, “Are you going to fire me?” She had the authority to do it. She did it. It was a bad decision. I said to her, “What would you do if it happened again?” She gave me a good answer. She said, “I would have done this instead of that. I can’t believe I did this.”

I said, “No, I’m not going to fire you.” She said, “Why?’ I said, “It is because I invested $10,000 in your education.” She was happy. I felt like, “I have made mistakes bigger than that.” The key was, did she do it because she wasn’t focused or careless? No, she made a bad decision. That was education. It was tuition. Sometimes don’t worry about whether people are going to make mistakes. They will.

I have somebody make a $50,000 mistake, and it is the same thing. He was like, “Are you going to let me go? Are you going to fire me? Are you going to take out my commissions?” I’m like, “No, I’m not going to beat you up any more than you are already going to beat yourself up. What did you learn from this? What are you going to do differently?”

On the other hand, there were people who made much smaller mistakes, but it was based on carelessness and them. No problem. Let them go. I have lost more sleep over people I have kept than people I have fired. I lost sleep over firing people. I have lost more sleep over people I’ve kept than people I fired.

Let’s change gears a little bit and talk a little bit about AI. It is increasingly shaping the way we live and work. We are getting ready to build out a huge AI platform in our company. In your opinion, how do you see AI changing the business landscape in the coming years? What opportunities and challenges does this present for entrepreneurs? I will have a follow-up question from Mitch on this.

I’m still wrapping my head around how AI is going to affect networking. I don’t have a good answer about that.

Another big question is how did networking change when you got LinkedIn and social media?

That has made BNI grow. It is their touchpoint. In the ‘90s, when the internet was getting bigger, people were saying, “The Internet is going to close down BNI.” In our first eleven years of BNI, from 1985 to 1996, we opened 500 groups. The internet started around ‘95 or ’94. In the next eleven years, from 1996 to 2007, we opened 5,000 chapters. It was usually the media. The internet had a big impact on BNI. We went from 500 in 11 years to 5,000. It is in a positive way.

You look for opportunities, and for us, it was touchpoints as a way of building the brand and connecting with our members and with the public. For AI, I’m not sure what businesses it is going to create. I need to wrap my head around that. I can tell you that some businesses are in trouble, like developmental editors for books. If I want to flesh out a concept, I can get on ChatGPT and ask a question. It could give me an unbelievable answer to flesh out concepts that I want.

FYE Dr. Misner | Father Of Networking

Father Of Networking: Look for opportunities to build the brand. Connect with members and the public.


You can write a book now.

I don’t think I would because it seems like you are cheating a bit, but you can. I’m sure people will. There are websites, and one is AI Or Human. You can punch into the website, and it is free, an article that somebody wrote. You can ask, “Is this AI or human?” It is unbelievably accurate. I did it on quantum physics. I punched in one of the articles that I wrote, and it said, “This is human.” Quantum physics said, “This is AI. It was 98% probability it is AI.” There are websites to determine whether you got AI or not.

Let me tell you the other two professions I think are in trouble. First and foremost, legal research. If you’re in legal research, you better start looking to ramp up or level up because artificial intelligence will be able to do that job and maybe do it better. The one that will take longer but will happen are physician assistants.

I have a guest, and I was talking to her about this. She was like, “No, the physician assistant is not going to be replaced.” I said, “Let’s ask about Lyme disease.” I type into ChatGPT, “What is the diagnosis for handling Lyme disease in the early stages?” The first thing it said was, “ChatGPT cannot be used for medical purposes.” It gave me this long answer. It was right on the money. I know it was right on the money because I was once bit by a tick with lime, and I had the bullseye. It said everything that you needed to look for.

Professions that involve not original research, but researching existing information, are in trouble. You could take almost any research position in a company. I used to work for a transportation company. There was a whole R&D department. They would do research on transportation. Departments like that will disappear unless they are doing original research. The original research is going to be okay. If they are doing surveys or creating their own database, they are going to be okay. Positions will probably be created to do original research, but positions that are researching existing data are going to be a thing of the past in the not-too-distant future.

Somebody could add that to the comments. That would be good when people go back and look at this. Add that to the comments, anything research related. I see a comment from my team, “When you delegate, you delegate responsibility and authority,” but they left off the second biggest part, which is the end stages.

 It has happened to me and my own business, delegating and giving authority and responsibility too soon without the right measurements, checks, and balances in place. You want to do it in stages. A question that Mitch had was, “How is this going to impact the economy?” Everybody is talking about job loss. If you go into banks, you don’t have as many tellers. If you go to fast food, you have machines. If you go to restaurants, you order from a kiosk. How is this going to affect the economy?

There will be job losses, but there will also be job creation. I’m in my 60s. In my lifetime, I can’t tell you how many times I have heard naysayers talk about technology, job loss, and we are going to lose all kinds of positions. That is true, and we are also going to create positions. What are those positions? I’m not sure yet.

For original research, we will create more positions in that. In doing original research versus researching existing data, there will be more of that. There are likely to be more programmers or computer technology people because running these is going to take more work. There are fields that will expand. There will be fields that we don’t know of that will be created, and there will be jobs lost.

If you look back, newspapers said, “Radio would put them out of business.” Radio said, “Television would put them out of business.” The television said, “The internet might.” Newspapers are after more than centuries. The internet hurt newspapers and magazines, but it wasn’t radio that put newspapers out of business.

We go to the negative. We immediately get frozen by fear. We are like, “We are going to lose jobs.” Yes, we will. What jobs are going to be created? If you are smart, you are going to be looking at the opportunities that will evolve. Here is ChatGPT. Here is something I have used it for. It saves me a boatload of time. I am working on a survey for a book called Garage to Global. How do you scale your business? How do you take it out of your garage and make it a global enterprise? I needed 50 questions.

When I do a survey, I write the survey and hand it to a few people. They give me feedback. I give it to a few more people, and they give feedback. I do a test survey, get that, and make changes. That whole process can take three months to do a good survey. I did it in one hour. I got on ChatGPT, and I said, “Give the top ten factors in scaling a business for finance, organizational culture, and HR.” I picked these topics. It gave me long answers.

I said, “Take those 50 questions and cut them down to a few words each to be included in a survey.” It took all 50 and created a survey for me. I’m going to take that survey. I will test the survey to make sure nothing is missing. That will take a week. What would normally take three months, I did it in an hour. I will test it for a week, and the survey is going to go up. There are legitimate, effective uses of something like ChatGPT in creating a survey. To me, it was one of them.

There is one thing that it won’t do. We went on it and asked, “What question has Ivan never been asked?”

Did you ask it that? What did it say?

An AI expert in my office went and pulled a bunch of great questions, but he came back and said, “I can’t do that.” I thought it would be cool to get a question to ask you that has never been asked to you before because I know you have done thousands of interviews and spoken on stage. Here is the bottom line. It goes back to what I said before, “If you want to build a sustainable, scalable, and exit rich one day, you can’t do the same thing.” Doing the same thing is a definition of insanity. Why do people go out of business?

One of the things you do if you are going to be in business for a long time is you have to reinvent yourself.

One of the things you do, if you will be in business for a long time, is you have to reinvent yourself. Click To Tweet

When people see AI writing on the wall, these business owners have to get with the program, start looking at it, throw the box away, and say, “How can I incorporate this into my business?” That is what we are doing in my business. The employees have to look at it and go, “What job should I be preparing? What schooling or extra education should I get? I won’t be in the line and not have positions.” Some of those lower-level jobs are going to be first, in my opinion. Companies need to invest some money in training their staff.

It is like robotics in factories. Vehicles are made substantially by robots now, and even grocery stores. There are not that many tellers. You self-checkout on most of them.

We have to get our kids to show us how to do some of this stuff. Why don’t we ask about your book coming out? Your book is called Who’s in Your Room? I love that title. It is a metaphor and a method for understanding how past and present relationships impact our lives. I started reading about this. With the help of my team, Im putting some things together. Imagine that you live your entire life in one room. Inside are all the people with whom you have ever had a relationship.

It doesn’t even have to be a deep relationship. It could be a one-week relationship. This room is huge. Anyone who you let in will be in your room for the rest of your life. Neurologist report that as far as your brain is concerned, the metaphor is real. Memories and motions continue to influence you for better or worse long after the external cause has disappeared. Who do you want in your room? Elaborate on this book. It sounds fascinating.

I love working on this book. It is the second edition that came out. For those who were reading, the first edition is an orange-cover book. It was a great book, but we took it from 15,000 words to 40,000 words. We expanded it greatly. You can find it on Amazon or in bookstores. The blue cover is the second edition. The idea is that we all have these relationships.

One of the people I interviewed was Dr. Daniel Amen, who is a psychiatrist and neuroscientist. He said, “When you have a relationship with somebody, personal or professional, their fingerprints are all over your brain.” Good or bad experience that you had is part of your existence and who you are. One of the things that we talk about is you have to have a doorkeeper, somebody who screens people that you led into your life. We are not talking about a real person. We are talking about your conscious and subconscious mind.

With your conscious and subconscious mind, you screen people who are trying to get into your life. In order to do that, you got to know your values. If you don’t know your values, you don’t know who to screen. You got to know what the deal makers and deal breakers are. This is not the person I want in my life. This is the person I want in my life. You have another conscious and subconscious person called the concierge. The concierge is the person who manages what is going on in your room. Sometimes you have let in people you shouldn’t have let in. You can’t get them out.

FYE Dr. Misner | Father Of Networking

Father Of Networking: You should know what the deal makers and deal breakers are.


The room starts here and ends here. It is your mind. You will never get them out. You can stick them in a box and put them up high or away. You have family members who have no choice. How do you deal with them? We talk about things like, “Somebody might be in your room, but their baggage has to stay up.”
You learn how to deal with people who are in your room that maybe you shouldn’t have let in or the family members who had no choice.

Here is a true story. This woman read the first edition. She sent me an email with this story, and it is in the second edition of the book. She said she had a family member. It was a cousin who would come to family gatherings. She said, “We have a big family. We have these family gatherings.” This cousin would come to the family gatherings. At some point, almost every time, she would lob in some verbal hand grenade. People would get mad. They start crying and yelling. People would leave. She would upset people. They talked to her and told her, “You can’t do this.” She kept doing it.

The family got together without her. This is in the second edition. They said, “When she comes next time, whatever she says, whatever it is, no matter how offensive, whoever heard it, turn to her, turn back, and continue your conversation. Don’t react and continue your conversation.” At the next family gathering, people all around looked at her and went, “Okay.”  They went back to the conversation. She stopped doing it because she wasn’t getting the reaction for whatever crazy reason she liked. She even stopped coming to a lot of family events. When she came, she stopped throwing in the grenades because nobody would react. Somebody might be in your room, but their baggage has to stay out.

That reaction was validation for her in some way.

She was no longer getting it. That made a difference. We have a whole thing in there about balance and the secret to balance. There is a whole chapter on that.

It sounds like a must-read. Are we calling for the New York Times on this one?

No, it was an Amazon bestseller. It made it number one in self-help on Amazon. We didn’t do the New York Times on this one.

What is next for you? Are you doing consulting or anything like that?

No, I mostly do BNI. Entrepreneurs either work in their flame or work in their wax. When they are in their flame, they are on fire, excited, love what they are doing, and passionate about it. You can hear it in their voice. You can see it in the way they behave. When they are working on their wax, it takes all their energy. You can hear that in their voice. You can see that in the way they behave.

FYE Dr. Misner | Father Of Networking

Father Of Networking: Entrepreneurs either work in their flame or work in their wax.


This is my flame. I love doing interviews, especially interviews like this. This is an hour-and-a-half interview. Do you know how rare that is? Oftentimes, they are three-minute interviews. You can go deep. I love interviews and speaking to groups of people. I do a lot of speaking engagements. I like writing. It is work. It is like bleeding from your fingertips sometimes.

How do you write 24 books?

I have co-authors. They come to me with ideas. It gets the juices going. In a way, I have gone from being King Arthur leading the charge to being Colonel Sanders, where I’m the spokesperson for the business, and I love it.

One more question, and make sure you tell everyone where to get the book. How can I reach out to you? Stefan asks, “Is there a difference in a strategy between an entry-level professional opposed to a seasoned veteran in the industry?” An entry-level position was like Kenny was asking those questions earlier versus somebody like me that has been in the industry for decades.

The quality and level of the people you know are going to most likely be different. If you are entry-level, you need to be a sponge. You need to meet people and begin the process of making connections. You want to educate yourself. I wrote a blog. It is on my blog. If you go to IvanMisner.com, search 40-Year Plan. When I was in my twenties, I wrote a 40-year plan. When I turned 60, I posted it on the internet. My twenties were my education years. Be a sponge, and learn as much as possible. I believe in lifelong learning, but the twenties were big-time learning.

FYE Dr. Misner | Father Of Networking

Father Of Networking: You should be a sponge. You need to meet people and begin the process of making connections. But you want to educate yourself.


My 30s were pick a lane. I wrote this in my twenties. In my 30s, I wanted to pick a professional lane and work in that, whatever it was. In my 40s, I wanted to start to achieve a level of success. In my 50s, I wanted to be at the top of my game, whatever that was. In my 60s, I wrote down that I wanted to be an elder statesman. I wanted to be out of the day-to-day, whatever it was I was doing. I wanted to share my experiences with people, be the elder statesman, and be the person that people ask questions about my experience. I got to tell you. I was never specific. It was in general terms. These are the things that I want my life to look like. Having that vision becomes the guidepost for who you are to become. It is never too late to do that.

Do you believe it in the hope vision board thing?

I have never done a vision board, but I have written goals every year. I would do personal and professional goals personally. My late wife and I did couples goals. Every year we would sit down. We would do these couple’s goals as to where we wanted to go, what we wanted to do together, and what our dream vacation home might look like. We did vision goal sheets, which were amazing. I have looked back at some of them, and I was like, “We nailed it.”

Ashcraft was in it, and he was doing a vision board. He ended up buying the exact same house that he had a photo of or drove.

I’m familiar with it. I got bumped from the movie because of that story. I drove home when we were finally going to move out of the house where I started BNI. I drove by home, pointed at it, and said, “That is my dream home. I’d love to have a house like that someday.” Three months later, it was on the market. Four months later, I owned it.

They need to do another sequel to that.

I met Rhonda, and she had planned on doing four. She was going to have the main one. She was going to do one on business, one on health, and one on love. It did well. She wrote a book.

Everybody should watch that.

It is a good movie, Law of Attraction, by Rhonda Byrne.

Even though Ivan is not in it, watch it anyway.

I ended up on the cutting room floor.

You have created enormous success. In everything that you have done and touched, you have inspired many people along the way. What is next for you?

I want to be in the elder statesman role still. I love what I’m doing. I’m passionate about it. I want to continue to write books. One of the biggest goals I wrote in my early 60s was it was time for me to enjoy life. I’m doing stuff I love doing.

We all need to be able to get to that. I love that 40-Year Plan. You have added many golden nuggets and words of wisdom. Any last-minute thoughts, and where can people buy your book?

We can get almost all my books on Amazon and many of them in bookstores, but Who’s In Your Room is available in bookstores and on Amazon. It is available in Audibles. Most of my books are audio. Not all, but most.

Is it in your voice?

No, one of them is in my voice.

I did it one time. I’m like, “Never again.”

It is brutal to do.

I’m like, “Let the voiceovers do that.”

I have a second book that will be on audio called Infinite Giving. That has been out for a while, but that one is partially in my voice, along with my co-authors. BNI.com, and go to Amazon for my books. If you want a lot of free content, IvanMisner.com. I have been blogging twice a week since 2007.

Any last-minute nugget?

If you do what you love, you love what you do. You got to reinvent yourself over time. I went from being King Arthur to Colonel Sanders. That was a conscious decision. I consciously focused on, “This is what I’m passionate about, and I wanted to have a five-year plan to get there.”

Your 40-Year Plan reminds me of the movie King Richard. I don’t want to draw a blank on the two daughters and tennis. He mapped out that whole thing.

That was my goal. It took me a little longer than five to get there, but I got there.

That was in your 40-year plan.

When I was in my 50s, I was like, “It is a few years away. I’m ready.” I thought I could hit it before I hit 60. I did. It was about 58 that it started to take place. It was 2014 when I stepped down from running the company.

You are probably making a bigger impact because you are speaking more on all more stages and podcasts. We are fortunate to have you on the show. Thank you so much for coming on.

Thank you for having me. I appreciate it and hope to come back someday.

Thank you for giving me time and giving our readers so much value. You have to go back. For all my readers, thank you for tuning in to the show. This is an episode that I encourage all of you to go back and read again because it is like drinking from a fire hose. Do you know my friend Jay Abraham?

I know of him. I have never met.

You got to tune in to Dr. Misner over again. There are many golden nuggets, tips, and words of wisdom. I also encourage all of my readers to share this message with all of your friends, community, and network. Get the message out there and always continue to tune in. Give us your questions and comments. It is much appreciated. Subscribe to the show. Dr. Misner, I can’t thank you enough for being on the show.

Thank you.

Thanks, everyone.


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