To The Millenials: Come, Learn, Stay

The path to anything you want is worth the journey. You may be tempted to shy away from the journey and the waiting and move on to the low hanging fruit. But I’m here to promise you that if you stay on the higher path, there are just a finite number of steps you need to take to get you where you want to go.

You can know for certain whether we are a good fit for you by asking yourself these two questions: How many people do you know today who understand your business and the type of customers you need? How many of those people are committed to going out of their way to help you grow your business?

If that number is less than thirty, then you should look closely at joining an NIA® group.

As you come to NIA® and allow yourself to integrate into our culture, you will become a master at networking. This will set you apart from your peers. You—who understand how to apply the law of the farm and build meaningful, mutually profitable relationships in every area of your universe—will be in a better position than your competitors in business and in life.

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To The Millenials: A Purpose

We also want to help you find your dream and your purpose. We will do that by first lending you ours. You will find that the best way to find yourself—your passion, your drive, your vision—is to first lose yourself in service. Your unique talents and passion for helping others will in turn help others who may be less fortunate.

We recognize the value of service, which is why we create service opportunities for all of our group members. Other networking groups don’t have time or even an interest in community service because they are so absorbed in the volunteer labors of managing their groups. Community service isn’t even on their radar. But with NIA®, this is the core of our culture—giving back to the communities that have been so good to us. It’s about making an offering of our talents and gifts, while also understanding that what we put out there comes back to us a hundred-fold.

As we thoroughly discussed in Building Your Community Through Service, every group is required to do an annual community service project. Every group has to find something to get behind in order to give back to their community. You will have an equal say within your group as you come up with ideas of what to do. The group members themselves are responsible for selecting their cause because we understand that you already have causes that are close to your heart. The first gift we ask of you is that you share that cause with us and let us get behind it with you.

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To the Millennials: A Learning Opportunity

This is what networking is truly about. This is why we make it such a high priority to first set these expectations with our members and to teach them what true networking is all about. Most groups don’t teach networking. Honestly, I can’t think of a single other group that does. You just have to show up and perform the best you know how. At the end of the day, it’s a game of survival of the fittest. You sink, or you swim. However, networking is not a game of luck. It is a game of strategy.

At NIA®, we will hand you the playbook for successful networking practices. Your group leader will work with you, one-on-one if necessary, to help you master the techniques that will bring you success. This is not some vague concept of success, either. Your success in NIA® is first measured by the minimum ROI that you and your group leader have agreed you must have within your first year. That success is our guarantee.

We will teach you about the importance of relationships and the law of the farm. We will show you the ins and outs of successful networking so that you can easily grow your business and your network. It’s imperative that you learn these skills—not just for your sake, but for ours. You are the next generation of leaders! There are nuances to leadership and relationships that you can’t learn without being steeped in that culture. At NIA®, we want to be a part of your growth.

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To the Millennials: Planting Seeds

I had a young guy join one of our Houston groups who worked for a telecommunications business. He was very socially forward and made friends fast. People warmed up to him and he warmed up to people easily. After being in the group about four months, he changed companies and wanted to drop out of NIA® because he didn’t think it was a good fit for him anymore. He wanted to spend his time exclusively with owners of large companies who had “multiple phone lines and needed massive telecommunications needs.” So, he was looking at the people in the room and saying, “These people can’t help me.”

I told him, “It works for every industry, but it doesn’t work for every person.” That means that every industry can benefit from networking, but not every person knows how to make that happen. He didn’t understand that he wasn’t there to get business from the pest control guy or to be hired by the CPA. He was there to gain access to the hundreds and thousands of people they knew within their churches, communities, families, and schools. This is a mistake that a lot of people make. They don’t understand that these relationships are the doorway to the real harvest. He was only focusing on the low-hanging fruit. He also failed to realize how much he, personally, had to offer the group.

He couldn’t be persuaded to stay, and we do not chase our members. You either get it, or you don’t.

Within ten days of his leaving the group, I bumped into him. He mentioned to me that his wife had been out of work for over a year. He’d been struggling with his mortgage, his two car notes, and meeting the needs of his beautiful daughter. However, his wife had just gotten a new position that was introduced to her by a member of his NIA® networking group. Because of the relationship of trust he’d formed with another woman in the group, she had gone to bat for his wife and helped her find a job. Now, that’s a heck of a return on investment! Even though he didn’t give it enough time to reap the kind of customer he was looking for, those contacts were life-changing for his family.

There is no way to rush these types of relationships. You just have to keep showing up and showing up the right way. If you’re not finding the success you hoped for, then you have to look in the mirror before you start pointing fingers at the group. These are proven strategies and techniques across thousands of individuals and every single industry on the planet. If something is off, it may be your approach that needs adjusting. If you are practicing the techniques, then trust that the time-honored tradition of building relationships will have a payday.

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To the Millennials: Relationships

We want to be at the forefront of teaching you, the next generation of business owners, about networking and the importance of sound business relationships. We coach you on how to build relationships that last a lifetime. In order for people to be comfortable referring to you, they have to know you, trust you, and know you’re going to take care of their family and friends. As a referral, you are an extension of their reputation, and they’re not going to put their hard-earned reputation at risk for a stranger they barely know. You can’t build that kind of relationship of trust by glancing down at someone’s name tag a few times a month. You can’t do that over a cup of coffee at Starbucks. You can’t do that when you’re just waiting for people to stop talking about what they do so that you can tell them more about yourself. No. Meaningful relationships take time and consistent deposits into the relationship bank account.

This is why world leaders get together for extended periods of time. Things happen when you spend time with people. There’s a long history of adversaries getting together because that one-on-one time opens you up to seeing things in a new way and with a new perspective. Leaders of the world go to Camp David to spend time together or they gather on the golf course because they understand that deals, alliances, and treaties don’t come from strangers. They come from people they like and trust. They come from relationships. Regardless of where you are right now in your career, it can only be improved by coming to understand the importance of relationships.

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To the Millennials: Introduction

Now I need to have a not-so-private conversation with the millennials. First, Network In Action has a place for you, too. Second, this organization is going to stretch you a little bit, but in a good way. And finally, when you succeed here as a member of our group, you will be prepared to succeed in every other aspect of your life. So, I invite you to come, learn, and stay.

You are a master of this fast-paced culture where everything happens for you in an instant. You don’t have to wait on food, mail, relationships, transportation, or information. Something this culture is not equipped to hand you in an instant, though, is a purpose. I know you crave that. I know you want to make an impact on the world around you. I know that you hunger to be seen and acknowledged for what you have to offer. I know that you want to contribute in a meaningful way. You are surrounded by people who tell you that you can be and achieve anything you want. However, what is often left out of that conversation is that in order for you to be and to get, you have to do. And it’s not about taking a certain number of steps, it’s about taking the right steps.

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Simple Triangle to Life

I know most of you have heard of Brian Tracy, and I want to talk about how applicable his ideas are. Have you ever seen Brian Tracy's Golden Triangle? Let me explain it to you in just a few minutes. You could pay thousands of dollars to attend his seminar, but I'll give you a brief overview. It's incredibly awesome and relevant to network connections in your franchise.

The most important thing in your life, which affects everything else, is your self-esteem. Throughout the day, our self-esteem is constantly influenced. How we feel about ourselves at the core determines our actions. It affects whether we feel motivated to make calls, schedule launches and learn sessions, help people, or contribute. Our entire life revolves around our self-perception. Recently, at the age of 65, I've undergone a significant transformation in my life. I've realized that the more I contribute, the better I feel about myself. It's astonishing to me that in the past 30 years, during my final push to contribute as much as I can, this realization has dawned on me.

Personally, I was raised by an old-school football coach who didn't focus on building my self-esteem. That wasn't his way, and it was not the norm for most parents at that time. Criticism, shame, and other negative approaches were prevalent. Although he was doing his best, he wasn't focused on building up my self-esteem. In contrast, my wife and I have established a rule in our household for our three youngest children. We don't criticize them. Of course, it doesn't mean they can run wild without boundaries. Instead, we look for other ways to reinforce positive behaviors. Our goal is to foster incredibly high self-esteem in our children.

If you are concerned about how you feel about yourself, it's actually easy to change. Simply affirm to yourself, "I have great value, and I'm willing to offer it." If you're not comfortable saying it out loud right now, at least type it in the chat: "I have great value, and I'm willing to offer."

The second aspect of Brian Tracy's Golden Triangle is responsibility. Responsibility is essentially our ability to respond to different situations. Let me give you an example. I used to coach a junior golf team, and there was a girl named Sasha on my team for five years. No matter what happened, Sasha always made an excuse for her performance. Rain, wet conditions, wind, or any other factor became an excuse. In my family, we have a phrase that we use when someone starts making excuses: "You don't want to be like Sasha, do you?" We emphasize the importance of being accountable. If you're interested in exploring accountability further, I highly recommend Brian Tracy's book called "No Excuses."

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