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The 29% Solution: 52 Weekly Networking Success Strategies Hardcover – September 1, 2008

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 286 pages
  • Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group Press; 3rd ptg edition (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1929774540
  • ISBN-13: 978-1929774548
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #152,663 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. This guide to networking by Misner, the founder and chairman of BNI (Business Network International), is an invaluable roadmap for businesspeople seeking to develop or fine-tune a necessary and often overlooked skill. Misner and Donovan's title stems from a study that spawned the six degrees of separation theory, which actually revealed that only 29% of the population is connected to this extent. The authors say that despite its proven necessity, networking is scarcely taught in business schools, and their self-study course aims to fill the void with a self-assessment test and 52 weeks of assignments to beef up networking skills. Accessible and smartly structured chapters include action items and helpful tidbits like worksheets, assessments and questions to help readers schedule their networking from day to day and over the course of a career, from setting preliminary goals to becoming a Networking Mentor. While readers might not be able to make it into the exclusive ranks of the highly connected 29%, they will assuredly derive new tactics, tools and motivation. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


An extraordinary book! It can take you and your business to a whole new level of success. --Jack Canfield, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul

More About the Author

Dr. Ivan Misner is the Founder & Chairman of BNI, the world's largest business networking organization. BNI was founded in 1985. The organization has thousands of chapters throughout every populated continent of the world. Each year, BNI generated millions of referrals resulting in over billions of U.S. dollars worth of business for its members.

Dr. Misner's Ph.D. is from the University of Southern California. He has written almost 20 books, including his New York Times Bestseller; Masters of Networking. He is a monthly columnist for and is the Senior Partner for the Referral Institute - a referral training company with trainers around the world. In addition, he has taught business management and social capital courses at several universities throughout the United States.

Called the "Father of Modern Networking" by CNN and the "Networking Guru" by Entrepreneur magazine, Dr. Misner is considered to be one of the world's leading experts on business networking and has been a keynote speaker for major corporations and associations throughout the world. He has been featured in the L.A. Times, Wall Street Journal, and New York. Times, as well as numerous TV and radio shows including CNN, CNBC, and the BBC in London.

Dr. Misner is on the Board of Trustees for the University of LaVerne. He is also the Founder of the BNI Misner Charitable Foundation and was recently named "Humanitarian of the Year" by a Southern California newspaper. He is married and lives with his wife Elisabeth in Austin, Texas. In his spare time!!! he is also an amateur magician and a black belt in karate.

Customer Reviews

Anyone who networks to grow their business needs to read this book!
Lynelle Reynolds
The 29% Solution gives you an easy-to-implement weekly plan to help you improve your networking skills.
Marion Suro
A good guide for networking and building relationships, particularly for business.
Pamella Putnal

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By J. Kennel VINE VOICE on September 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The authors start out with the premise that although networking is proven to be valuable in business, it is still rarely taught in business schools.

The book begins with a self-analysis test to help determine one's networking skills. Topics and assignments are broken down into 52 weeks, with spaces in some of the chapters for you to write in the book as you do that week's assignment. (Not every week has a writing area, so you may want to keep a separate notebook or keep notes and action steps on a Blackberry/PDA.)

It could almost be called Networking for Dummies or for Introverts or even for Clueless. I say that because the book addresses so many topics that brought some former co-workers and bosses to mind. MANY people who are in business at various levels could be helped by networking, but are not born schmoozers or networkers, and don't know where to begin.

This book charts out one of the simplest game plans for success that I've seen in quite awhile. It is not all new knowledge, but it is all in one place, so you can check off your progress and see what the next step is for growing your skills and your business. The plan is simple, but not always easy. As the authors say, it's netWORKing, not netEATing or netSITTing.

Topics included may require major changes or just minor tweaks to a person's life. Examples are: being accountable to a group, writing thank you notes, being engaging, writing a press release, getting and giving referrals, following up, being a change agent, becoming an expert, and more.

Recommended for complete wallflowers and introverts who may even know but don't ever DO. It's also good for extroverts and "self-made" individuals who think they are the best networkers in the world but who need refinement and more focus on others than just their own abilities and personality.

Terrific reference book to use and refer back to again and again.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
52 wonderful succinct ways to improve your business through word of mouth networking. Each of these also has an effective call to action at the end to help you put to use the advice just given. How many times have you read a good explanation of what to do, but were not sure of how to implement the tactic. The 29% solution not only give great advice on improving your business, but also provides instructions for putting the advice into action. This book goes beyond all the other networking books. For those businesses that can improve with word of mouth marketing, this book is a must read.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Gary Dale Cearley on June 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Years ago when I first started to realize how important it was to be connected I just went at it willy nilly - trying to meet everyone. Now I see that there is much more to it than that. You should set out to do networking with a plan. You should know not just the why, but the how to go about it and realize how to focus on getting people into your circle who can help you to move forward.

Ivan Misner and Michelle Donovan should almost call this book Networking 101, but I would imagine that this title has been taken already. Instead they named it The 29% Solution: 52 Weekly Networking Success Strategies after the successful participant of the famous Six Degrees of Separation experiment many years ago. Ivan Misner is world famous for being the founder if the global business networking group Business Networking International, or BNI as it is commonly known. He also has a doctorate and has been a professor of Business Administration in southern California for a number of years, so he writes from authority. And although this is her first book, Michelle Donovan is known in business circles as "The Referability Expert" and has been in the networking business for some time in the western Pennsylvania area so she is no stranger to the networking game herself.

My first comment of the review has to do with the fact that Misner and Donovan start from the premise that the reader knows absolutely zilch about business networking so they set out to give the reader the advice and tools that will be needed to get off the ground and get within the 29% networking group. For instance they made sure that you know there is a very big distinction between a contact and a connection and why this distinction should be meaningful to you.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dave Carpenter on October 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I have long been a believer of the power of effective networking. And, in the tough times we are encountering as a nation, I believe that effective networking will be even more important.

Ivan Miser, one of the county's leading authorities on networking, has collaborated with Michelle Donovan to write what I believe to be one of the best books in networking that has ever been written.(My other favorite is "Click" by George Fraser.)

I liked everything about the book...a lot...except for the title which is a case of copyrighting seemingly gone amuck. And to think that the subtitle doesn't even explain the mystery of the title. YUK!

But, get past the title and get on with the substance of the book and this book is an absolute gem. Jam packed with solid information, wonderful tips, and even helpful exercises.

Like some of the best things in life, there is no magic pill to effective networking. This point is reinforced by the central organization of the book into a year-long program to build networking effectiveness.

In turbulent times, being a silo, or a lone wolf, just is not going to cut it. I highly recommend that all professionals buy this book, follow the program and become one of the 29% who are separated from the rest of the world by just six degrees. (Ah yes, there is at least some rationale to the title.) Even more importantly than being part of that dubious group, by following this program you will increase the likelihood that you will have the relationships to help you prosper in tough times.
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