Four Simple Tips for Networking Outside the Box

by Todd Falcone

Box. What box? I don't live in a box! What are you talking about?

I'm talking about that little square we live in every day. No...not our home, not our room, nor our office. It's where we reside in our minds and how we go about living our lives. The box represents our actions and our thoughts that bring about different results in the things that we do.

You've probably heard the phrase, "Find out what everybody else is doing and do the exact opposite" if you want to be successful, right? That is certainly the beginning of living outside the box in one dimension.

To obtain better results, do something different. Do something unusual or unexpected. Stick out. BE yourself. Uniqueness is a wonderful quality. Establish points of difference in all that you do.

Living outside the box is much more than simply USP (Unique Selling Propositions). It's how we think, how we act, and how we live that makes the greater difference in not only our lives, but the lives we touch.

Even entrepreneurs reside inside the box most of the time. Yes...even the successful one's do. It's easy. It's what we know. Then, why in the world am I writing about getting out of the box? Is it just to give you more work, more to think about, more to do? The answer is both yes and no. Certainly, not for the simple sake of making you do more, but for the complexity of making you do more. Confused yet? I thought so.

You see, when your mind is stimulated, it creates. When you're challenged, you rise to the task. Yes, you could easily live inside the box your entire life and do quite well. Live a comfortable life, as they say. But, is that really living? It might sound like a great way to go. But there's no growth in simplicity.

What does "outside the box" mean? It actually has multiple meanings.

When you are outside the box you do things that are more challenging, more interesting, more intriguing, and more thought provoking. You simply do things unlike others. You make efforts to create memorable experiences. Your creations are lasting and people remember them. You are different.

Here are four ways to live life outside the box:

  1. Smile when least expected.
  2. First of all, smiling is contagious and releases all sorts of good thing in your body, including endorphins. Endorphins are substances that help to create a sense of pleasure, peace and well being. This may sound trivial or simple to you. But…it's something that can make a big difference. You see…most people don't really smile that often. You remember the song, "Don't Worry, Be Happy"? Look around…most people are worried and unhappy. Think about the difference you can make by simply putting on a smile! You'll feel better, they'll feel better and you'll be making the world a better place. Think about how different it would be to walk through the streets of Manhattan smiling at everyone and getting a smile back. That's a bit of a big task…but, at least you can do your part!

  3. Say it differently.
  4. How many times have we heard the hum-drum opening, " name is...I'm calling you because you were referred to me as….etc." First of all, I bore MYSELF silly if I stick to the same old stuff when prospecting. Imagine what I'd be doing to my prospects if I didn't throw them the "change up" every now and again! I'm not saying that you ALWAYS have to do it differently, but it sure keeps you more on top of your game when you force yourself to say things differently than you normally do. Think about how a prospect would feel if you picked up the phone and said something entirely different than what they may expect. Of course, you're all desperately waiting for me to share with you this brilliant new way of saying things to your prospects, right? Well…I wouldn't be forcing you to think outside the box if I said it for you now, would I?

  5. Advertise in a new way.
  6. Running an ad? Be a little crazy. Look at what everyone else is saying and say it differently. Stop using the same old headlines and ad copy. Get CREATIVE. Isn't that what "out of the box" thinking really is all about? It may take some time to get it down right. You may have to test out many different ads before you get it right. But, when you finally hit it right on the nose, you'll be amazed at the massive results you'll get.

  7. Present it uniquely.
  8. Learn how to tell your story so well, so efficiently, and in such an entirely different and entertaining way that you simply can't help but capture the interest of your audience. Once you have bonded and connected with a prospect that you would like to have in your business, you've got to tell your story. Telling your story is simply conveying information to your qualified prospect that allows them to review your business in detail. However, there are lots of ways of telling the story. There are different mediums like live one-on-one presentations, conference calls, recorded overviews, websites, and so on...

I think you're getting my drift here. Do it like everybody else does, and you'll get what everybody else gets. Look like everyone else does, and you'll be like everyone else. Sometimes it takes a little purple hair or a little flair to stick out in the crowd. Be daring with your business. Don't worry about being part of the "in" crowd when you go about your business. Sometimes even successful entrepreneurs get stuck in the repetitive routines of daily life and get a little on the dry side.

Expressing your unique points of difference in everything that you do can do nothing but great things for you. You want to stick out, not blend in when it comes to developing yourself into a successful entrepreneur or leader.

Be willing to step outside of the box and you'll be remembered. Stick in the box at all times and you'll likely blend into the mediocrity and the vanilla of society.

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