I Also Refuse to Participate in a Recession

Posted on December 15, 2010. Filed under: networking, Uncategorized | Tags: |

I Also Refuse to Participate in a Recession
By Trey McAlister

I was at the Referral Institute conference in Arizona a short while back and had
the opportunity to chat with Dr. Ivan Misner (Founder of BNI-Business Network
International and Entrepreneur magazine’s Networking Guru). We were talking about the
economic atmosphere and the conversation got around to the “R” word floating around
and he surprised me (pleasantly) by emphatically stating that “he refused to participate.”
I replied, “What?”
“I have been in business through several ‘recessions’ and I have found that with
the right approach things actually can work out good for people. I do attribute this
approach to a conversation I had back in the 90’s during another ‘recession.’ I was at a
business mixer in Connecticut meeting many local business professionals. It seemed that
everyone was feeling the crunch from the slow economy. Throughout the entire event, the
favorite topic of discussion was how bad the economy was and how things were getting
worse. The whole affair was depressing because nearly everyone was obsessed with the
problems of the economy and its impact on his or her business.

I was introduced to one of the many real estate agents attending. Given the
decrease in property values in the state, I was leery of asking this gentleman the
standard ‘How’s business?’ question. He shared with me, though, that he was having a
great year. Naturally, I was surprised and asked, ‘You did say you were in real estate,
didn’t you?’
‘Yes.’
‘We are in Connecticut, aren’t we?’
‘Yes,’ he said with a slight grin.
‘And you’re having a good year?’ I asked.
‘I’m actually having my best year ever!’ he said.
‘Your best year!’ I said in amazement.

After thinking for a moment I asked him, ‘Is this your first year in real estate?’ ‘No,’ he
replied with a laugh. ‘I’ve been in real estate for almost 10 years.’ I asked him how he
was doing so well, given the conditions of the economy and the stiff competition. He
reached into his pocket and pulled out a badge that said:

I Absolutely Refuse to Participate in a Recession!

‘That’s your secret?’ I asked. ‘You refuse to participate in the recession, so business is
booming?’ ‘That’s correct,’ he said. ‘While most of my competitors are crying the blues
about how bad business is, I’m out drumming up a ton of business networking with my
contacts and generating referrals.’”

Considering what he said, I looked around the room and listened in on people for
a while as they complained about how bad business was. While nearly all were
commiserating with one another, I concluded that very few were actually networking and
working on seeking new business. As a result, very little business was actually being

accomplished. If you want to do well in business, you must understand that it does
absolutely no good to complain to people about tough times. When you complain about
how bad business is, half the people you tell don’t care and the other half are glad you’re
worse off than they are.”
I have to say, after this conversation I took a different look at things. I have
always had a positive attitude, but this just reinforced my belief that “our attitudes
dramatically impact our altitude” (Dale Carnegie). I have always coached and trained
that we need to continue to develop our networks and focus at least a portion of our
efforts on generating referrals for others (so it will come back to us.) In times like now, it
is even more crucial to keep that “attractive” attitude and work even more to help others
so that things continue to flow back to us. While many are out there bemoaning the “R”
word, let’s turn tail and head the other direction and “refuse to participate” and instead
enjoy great success and prosperity.

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