Procrastination is the enemy for many of us. It will kill any chance we have for success.
Procrastination not only makes us ineffective, but it can also make us feel overwhelmed and frustrated. If we live a life of procrastination we will always live a life of stress and underachievement.
The challenge with networking is that in order to gain more referrals in our business many of us need to spend more time networking. But with everything else we need to be doing as a small business owner, or sales professional, who has the time?
This is the number one objection I hear when I talk with people about networking and word-of-mouth marketing. There is always the complaint of not having enough time in the day to go to networking meetings. I believe this that in most cases this is an example of procrastination.
If you have never read the book Eat That Frog! By Brian Tracy I highly recommend it. It is a fantastic book that will help anyone who feels they suffer from procrastination. The lesson of “Eat That Frog” is to do the things we don’t want to do, or don’t like doing first. Get it out of the way and then it won’t be a burden on your day. For me this year that is exercising.
I actually enjoy the feeling I have after working out. When I get into a good routine I enjoy the activity of working out. However my biggest challenge was that I was trying to work out in the evenings after work. By the time it came for me to start working out my head was full of every excuse in existence on why I couldn’t. I was tired, I needed to rest, I needed to spend time with the family, we have errands to run, I will do it tomorrow. I was procrastinating. I was gaining weight and getting the opposite results I truly desired.
So, this year I began a routine to wake up earlier and I do my workout first thing. I get right into exercising before I can even being to think of an excuse (besides my bed is comfortable). In order to achieve more success this year, compared to last year, we do need to make some sacrifices. We need to do something different as I wrote about in this blog post Most People Are INSANE When it Comes to Success in 2013. Are You? For many, like myself, the first thing I needed to do was stop procrastinating and begin doing the activity that would produce the results I desired.
This is the same with referrals. The number one reason most people procrastinate when it comes to networking is because they typically think of afterhours type events. The issue is by the time it comes to go to that event their head is filled with the same excuses I had for working out. We end up spending most of the day thinking about why we won’t be able to attend the event, so by the time it comes to go we have talked ourselves out of it. We will always state “I will attend the next one.”
I have two quick tips for helping you get over any procrastination troubles you may have when it comes to networking for the referrals you desire.
- Look into attending a MORNING networking group. Personally I found it extremely helpful, motivating even, when I belonged to a morning networking group. I would need to get up a little earlier than normal (remember success requires sacrifice) however I became more productive. I would begin my day by receiving referrals and it would motivate me for the entire week. I personally recommend you look for a morning chapter of BNI (www.bni.com) in your area to join.
- Learn how to become a more effective networker. When we achieve results from our activities we are far less likely to want to procrastinate doing them. One of the reasons most professionals find it easy to skip networking meetings is because of the lack of results they get when they do go. I know once I start seeing true results from exercising that working out will transition from being a “burden" or a “have to do” activity to a “FUN” and “Can’t Wait” activity. Networking is the same. If you learn the skills of networking, and produce better results, you will be far less likely to talk yourself out of attending that next meeting.