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Connext Nation


By Debby Peters,

Celebrating Our 18th Year of Helping Our Grads to REALLY Connect!

Our final social events for the year are graduation celebrations for both of our current classes.  Toledo’s networking after hours graduation will be November 19 from 5:30-7:30 at our favorite location, the Maumee Indoor Theater.  Cleveland area grads will celebrate at a lunch on November 16 from 11:00am-1pm at a location to be determined.  Come help transition our students to full-fledged members of the CN community and have a little fun besides.  Food and beverages are on the house.

Future Calendar Dates
As we enter the fourth quarter (already!) we are winding down the CN social calendar.  Now we begin to gear up for 2019 (already???).  Our first mini classes of the season are listed below.  Who do you know that should attend?

Nov 2nd     Toledo Mini Class, 2-4 PM
Nov 7th     Cleveland Mini Class, 2-4 PM

Social Media
Stay in the Know!!
Never miss out on a networking event again!  As CN confirms an event, it is set up under the Events tab on our Facebook page with all of the info and links to register if applicable.  While on our Facebook page, simply click on the Events tab and you will see the Subscribe button on the right just above the list of events. Click on it and you are set to go! You can also invite people to the events and share them to your Facebook page as well! Visit our page at today!

Member Spotlight:

Debby Peters
by Kevin Webb,

When Debby contacted me a couple weeks back and asked me if I would be interested in assisting with this month’s member highlight, I replied, “Only if I can write about you!”  Debby was looking more for an article about one of her students as she is always working so diligently to help us all, but I thought it was time we learn a little something more about our local networking guru and good friend, Debby Peters.  She reluctantly accepted.

Debby started in the networking world while she was working in payroll services from 1982 to 1993 in Detroit.  She was charged with the responsibility of building the business.  While managing a team of seven, she still managed to personally sign up approximately 300 accounts per year by doing what she teaches us all to do – build strong referral relationships!  While most sales personnel were working at building several accounts by reaching out to several prospects, they were only attaining 100 accounts per year.  Debby had only a partial handful of STRONG referral partners and was doing three times the norm!  How did she do it?  As CN graduates, we already know, as she taught us all the tools of the trade! After becoming so proficient with networking, she started working with John Meyer and Kevin Carmony, then Co-Executive Directors of BNI Ohio.  They brought the course Certified Networker to our region.  It was developed by Dr. Ivan Misner, founder of BNI teaching the power of networking to others.  In 2009, she decided to break off and form Connext Nation.  In doing this, with fear of reprisal, she called Ivan to break the news.  In the way we all know Dr. Misner to do, he said, “What can I do to help you?”  The rest is history.  She officially launched and held her first class in 2010.  On January 1st of this year, Debby merged CN with The Reluctant Networker, LLC and The Astilbe Group both based in Ann Arbor.  The newly founded company is named TriNet360 and is led by Debby’s daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Peters, PhD.  You may have had the pleasure of meeting Greg Peters, Debby’s son.  Together in business, Debby, Greg and Lisa are conducting speaking engagements, providing staff training, and providing one-on-one coaching.  While Greg is in the process of writing his second book, Debby is almost done with her first book.  

Debby and her beloved husband, Steve, live in Perrysburg.  She has three kids and seven grandkids.  They also have a yellow lab, Gable, named after American Olympic wrestler Dan Gable.  Debby loves to spend time surrounded by family and friends whether it is traveling to Costa Rica, her all-time favorite destination, or here locally.  She enjoys gardening and canning as well as sitting around a beautifully decorated dining table with those closest to her.  She loves to entertain!  She also has a secret vice related to dining – she absolutely loves to buy dishes!  Just recently, she had special drawers built in her newly-remodeled kitchen to store her colossal collection.  Outside of entertaining, her quiet time is spent reading fiction, cookbooks, and cooking magazines.  She enjoys jazz music in the background. 

I asked Debby what we can do to help her.  She replied, “Help me figure out how to get sales managers to see value of sending their entire team to class.”  “More importantly,” Debby asked, “How can I help YOU?”



CN Horn Tooting


Chris Watson will be opening a coffee shop, The Bard's Coffee in downtown Perrysburg in the next few weeks. He is converting an existing shop to a new, meeting friendly space that includes a back room for group meetings and great spaces to hold 1-2-1 meetings. The grand opening is still a bit up in the air (and will ultimately depend on county and city inspections). Chris says this is bringing together all of his loves: coffee, local bakery treats, a comfortable meeting space, and a place to continue to publish! The Bard's Coffee! This place will be the place for meeting, stories and community!

Elizabeth Peters of TriNet360, LLC (of which CN is a part of) is proud to announce that they are now a registered sponsor on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. This means that going forward all of their programs are eligible for continuing education credits for CPAs.

Diane Spadola, Bella Facia, Painting LLC, is proud to announce that her second Accelerate Your Success Class opens its registration doors on Friday, October 12.  The program is an online, small group coaching class that runs for six-months (November-April). Originally designed in 2017 for face and body painters, the program has been expanded to include any creative entrepreneur who is a solo professional. The course helps these creative folks to communicate “what you do” in an easy memorable way, and teaches several different relationship marketing tools and tactics so that participants can do what they like and what works for them. 

CN’er KC Allen (Allen Film & Video and 10 Ring Films, Findlay) has been co-producing a feature length film since spring.  It’s a Sci-fi thriller called “O9EN UP”, about a girl who wakes up in a 10x10 room, not knowing where she is, or who she is.  With only a countdown clock as company and using only a broken cell phone and a rope, she needs to piece together clues so she can escape before the clock counts down to zero.

Lisa Gourley, Simplicity Spa, used her seriously, advanced culinary skills recently, when she won first prize at Great Lakes Health & Wellness the chili cook-off.  

“Why You Do What You Do”
By Debby Peters,
Recently I was asked to provide a small part in a larger training for the BNI Fall Conference for NW Ohio. The theme of the whole conference was “Why”. Josette Brinkman and Barb Wilson, both CN grads, shared their why stores to the attending members and then I was asked to work with several who volunteered to find their “Whys.”

I first asked everyone to make a quick note of why they each do what they do!  After a minute or so I mentioned that if anyone had written, “To make money; help people or give good service,” that those weren’t viable answers.  I heard a lot of groaning and teeth grinding as these answers were scribbled out. After that I worked with three different individuals at each of the two sessions.  Within minutes, while maybe not yet perfect, we had together found why each one does what they do.  All three were surprised and amazed at this discovery, as none of the words we found had ever entered their conscious brains. 

You all know that this is a hallmark of the CN class, so you’re not surprised with what was said above.  What did surprise me was that several members mentioned that they didn’t need to go to this breakout session because as CN grads they already knew their “Why.”  Wrong!  Two CN grads told me that their “Why” was because they want to help people.  You can bet that they got the Debby gong!

I am now working on a way to help seasoned grads re-find their why statements.  I can meet individually or with a group to make this happen.  If you might be interested for yourself or a group you belong to, let’s talk about the details of this investment.

“How Much is Enough?” 
By Debby Peters,
More times than not, I am asked, “How much do I need to network?”  This question is sort of like asking your financial planner when the market if going to go up (or down).  Of course, my answer is very similar to the financial expert, “It depends.”

What Are Your Goals?
What are you trying to accomplish with your networking?  Do you want to find new referral partners, prospects or do you want to help your referral partners?  You could also just be looking for new friends.  Everyone is different, so you have to answer that question for yourself.

What Do You Need to Do to Accomplish Those Targets?
Let’s pretend that one goal for your networking is to find referrals for your fellow BNI members. Where do you need to go to satisfy that goal?  How often do you need to attend various groups to gain those prospects?  When you meet those people how many do you have to talk to in order to gain the desired result?  How are you measuring your success?  What method are you using to track your efforts?

You can see from the two above paragraphs that answering just a few questions will help you to know, “How much?”  Now get busy!  If you don’t play both at investing and at networking, you don’t get any result.  

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