Mike Tyson has a great quote: “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.” Yes, it’s one of my favorites. Now, Tyson is no Shakespeare (although he has a lot of great quotes you can look up) but he is going into the Boxing Hall of Fame next month. That’s got to count for something.

Of course, what Tyson meant applies to the boxing ring. Once he hits you, scrap your game plan and make sure your life insurance is in order! And his 50 wins with 44 knockouts (28 in the first round) backs up the claim.

Establishing a game plan

The same claim can be made for your game plan for networking and generating referrals. I know, I know. You have all the best intentions in mind. You go to all the seminars in the world, read all the books, and learn everything there is to know about — well, everything. And after all of that, how many new ideas have you put into motion? How many new systems in place? How many new things have you tried? Answer – not enough. In essence, you get punched in the face. Actually, you punch yourself in the face. Here’s how:

  • You convince yourself that these newfangled ideas about networking won’t work for you.
  • You’re too busy doing too many things that don’t bring a desired outcome.
  • You tell yourself that you’re too shy, too introverted and too unsure to take the next step.
  • You just don’t have the time.

Yes, you punch yourself in the face. Remember, what got you here won’t get you there. Look at it this way: You’re reading this now, so you must be interested in growing your business. So try something! Something new. Something different. Something out of your comfort zone. Something that will produce a positive result. Something that will make what you’re working on more fun and interesting. Something that will give you the confidence to try something else new. Try one new thing that relates to growing your business (or improving your approach) and see what happens.

Finding your next step

Need some ideas? Establish a target market (where you do your best work). Go to a networking meeting and exchange business ideas with three strangers. Create and use that elevator pitch that helps you discuss who you are, what you do and what you’re after. Call those five prospects from that stack of business cards on your desk (the one in the snarl of rubber bands). Then call five more. Design and deliver a seminar that offers great information and value. Hire that assistant.

The opportunities are endless. Whatever path you take, just do something different.

Grab your calendar and post when you’re going to get started on a system that forces you to do any and all of this. Or to at least do that one thing you’ve been putting off forever. Do it now. Right now! And remember: Keep the left up before you get hit in the face.

Michael Goldberg is a speaker, consultant, author, and the founder of Building Blocks Consulting. His book, “Knock-Out Networking! More Prospects, More Referrals, More Business!” was published in March. For more information or to subscribe to Michael’s free blog, The Building Blocks to Success, please visit www.TheBuildingBlockstoSuccess.com or www.BuildingBlocksConsulting.com.