I often ask people what keeps them as BNI members. You’d think referrals would be the number one reason and its up there, but without fail, members tell me that being in the presence of a group of amazing people is the single biggest motivating factor for renewal. Interestingly, BNI official surveys back this notion up, so I know it is not just in the region I manage, but a BNI wide motivator.
We’ve all heard Jim Rohn’s saying “you are the sum total of the 5 people you spend the most time with” but what if you were to sum total of 30, 40 or 50 + motivated business people who get together regularly to build deep and meaningful relationships and create business for each other? You truly have the opportunity to be with greatness in BNI.
It is this feeling that visitors often report as a ‘buzz in the room’ or that a chapter was full of ‘extraordinary and welcoming individuals’. You can ‘feel’ a BNI chapter where all members share in this notion. They create an environment that is electric and people want to visit. These chapters know that the members have their back and they are confident they will receive a steady stream of quality new business from people they know, like and trust.
These chapters also have very little trouble attracting visitors. When you have pride in your chapter, you’re going to want to share this experience with as many people as possible. These chapters also know that every member is important and as such, they hold each other to the highest level of accountability. Every member has a role in the success of the chapter and Directors never have difficulty selecting high calibre individuals to the Leadership Team.
We’ve all heard that to be successful you have to work ‘on’ your business, not ‘in’ your business. Successful BNI members know that the 90-minute meeting is the most important part of their business week. They rarely, if ever, miss a meeting. That’s because they understand that very few business owners actually take 90 minutes out of their week to work on their business. It is a clear pause in the week where members get to critically think about exactly the kind of referrals they want to grow their business and share this with their referral partners.
It can be exciting and intoxicating to realise that yesterdays ‘dream’ client is today’s ‘bread and butter’ client. BNI used properly can monumentally shift your business as you attract exactly the right kind of referrals that help you achieve the vision you have for your company.
When asked, Visitors to BNI chapters often comment how amazing they perceive the members of a BNI chapter to be. They recognise that it takes a certain type of business owner to commit to working on their business each week. Personally, I found the membership experience took me and my business to another level of professionalism. As an entrepreneur, I hated being told what to do, but being part of BNI where everyone is striving towards success in a collegiate manner, I found to be extremely empowering and motivating. Once I stopped reeling against accountability and went with it, BNI became the highlight of my week.
In fact, many business owners pay tens of thousands of dollars to participate in Mastermind/Motivation groups or the like. Before BNI, I was in one of these for several years and I loved it. Whilst these can be very beneficial to your personal and strategic business growth, they rarely yield the same result that can be achieved from dedicated BNI membership (for a fraction of the costs). Many members simply don’t realise the gold mine that their chapter is.
It’s very easy to view your weekly BNI commitments as a ‘chore’. I observe members who approach their BNI commitment in this manner and they rarely enjoy success in the chapter. People can sense this in others, humans are highly perceptive, even if they aren’t aware of this consciously.
It comes down to attitude. If you recognise the greatness in your room and you approach your weekly BNI activities as an opportunity to be with greatness, success in BNI can be unlimited. But as BNI Founder Dr Ivan Misner famously once said, it’s called Net-WORK, not Net-SIT. Nothing great in life ever comes without effort.