Avoid Politics and Religion When Networking

Avoid Politics and Religion When Networkingstring(43) "Avoid Politics and Religion When Networking"

Before I did my graduate work in organizational behavior, I received a bachelor’s degree in political science. As a student, I was very interested in politics — and I still am. Even so, I do not discuss politics while I am networking. Why? Your politics simply aren’t relevant to your professional life and to the goal of building your business. A political discussion in the context of networking is distracting. Even worse, it can be divisive and detrimental to team building.

If you want to build a powerful personal network for business, it is all about collaboration and cooperation. But I have seen political discussions turn many networking groups into a hotbed of anger, anxiety, resentment, and conflict — clearly not a good environment for developing a healthy business network.

Choose Wisely

The topics we choose to discuss while networking are important. Some people say it’s their right to discuss politics, religion, or anything else they want when they network. I completely agree, but just because it is someone’s right doesn’t mean it is a good idea.

I understand that there are political and religious issues about which we have strong opinions — I certainly have some — but you risk damaging your business relationships by bringing them into the networking conversation.

I have been a registered voter since I was 18 years old. Since that time, I have voted in every major U.S. election as a citizen of the United States. I have also been very active spiritually and I have well-established religious beliefs. However, you don’t, and you won’t, know my political or religious views unless you are a close friend. They are irrelevant to my role as a business leader.

Our networking efforts are most effective when we focus on our business mission and goals. Whether inside your organization, during work-related meetings, or while networking, it is wise to avoid politics and religion. Keep the focus on building strong business relationships for your networking success.

Growing Forward Together

Growing Forward Together™string(27) "Growing Forward Together™"

The global business world experienced many challenges with growing forward during “The Great Pause of 2020”. Last year was the most difficult economic time worldwide since the Great Depression. However, BNI® not only faced these challenges but thrived during the global pandemic. BNI’s Global Leadership Team focused on finding solutions instead of focusing on the problems. It is amazing that I love what BNI is doing for our members and I love what our CEO, Graham Weihmiller, is doing with this company.

Growing Forward Together™

Watch the first part of this video about BNI’s innovative programs from last year and what they achieved during “The Great Pause of 2020”.  Then, watch the second part of this video for announcements about upcoming BNI global initiatives, programs, and events as we enter “The Great Acceleration” phase of 2021.

The Great Pause of 2020

For over 35 years, BNI was the leader in hosting weekly local in-person referral networking meetings worldwide.  However in March 2020, for the safety of our members, BNI paused over 9,500 in-person BNI meetings and transitioned these to an online virtual meeting platform: BNI online.  This maintained business continuity and allowed our 275,000 BNI Members worldwide to support their fellow BNI Members during the pandemic. In 2020, our BNI chapter members passed over 11.5 million referrals which generated over $16.3 million(USD) of global business revenue for each other. Here are a few more of BNI’s innovative programs from 2020:

The Great Acceleration of 2021

BNI is a Beacon of Hope in a Sea of Fear

Today, now more than ever, you need your network and you need to be networking with them.  You need a team of people who will be there to help you during difficult times.  During 2020, many people became frozen by their fear.  However,  I also saw many people became focused by their fear.  They were focusing on surviving and thriving because “BNI is a beacon of hope in a sea of fear”.

Since 1985, BNI has created over $130,000,000,000 USD in revenue for BNI Members via over 130,000,000 Referrals. Today, the average BNI referral results in over $1,000 in revenue. And we’re just getting started. Your local BNI community can give you, and the people that you know, the support you need to thrive. Our BNI members are growing forward together. Today, more than ever, you need your network. Today, more than ever, you need BNI.

Networking Quotient

Build Your Referability Degree and Networking Quotientstring(54) "Build Your Referability Degree and Networking Quotient"

Today’s guest blog is an extract from the book, “Networking Quotient” by my good friends and BNI® Leaders, Paulo Corsi and YP Lai, about two immensely powerful measurements that determine the ability of your network to generate business for you, your Networking Quotient and your Referability Degree.

As a networker, have you ever asked yourself how effective your network is in bringing business referrals? And have you ever pondered which strategy will bring you better results? Should you expand your network and get to know more people? Should you build a deeper relationship with the people who are already in your network? Well, the secret to getting the answers is being able to measure your network. That sounds simple, right? However, what is the right measurement to use? The size of your network? The depth of your network? Or perhaps something else?

Let me introduce you to two powerful measurements that determine the ability of your network to generate business for you.

Your Referability Degree

The Referability Degree points out how much of your network is working for you. However, it does not tell you if your network has the right size to generate more business opportunities for you.

The Referability Degree is calculated by dividing the number of contacts in your network who have given you a referral in the last six months and dividing this number by the total number of contacts you have. (e.g., 30 people that gave you referrals / 100 people in your network gives you a Referability Degree of 30%).

  • If you have a Referability Degree of 50% or less:

Your focus should be on developing better relationships with the people who do not regularly give you business referrals. Through nurturing the relationship, you will teach them how to generate referrals for you. At the same time, you will be learning ways on how to create value and bring referrals for the other person and develop a long-term mutually beneficial relationship.

  • When your Referability Degree is above 50%:

You are ready to expand your network. As you expand your network, you should simultaneously strengthen the relationship so that both parties can bring good quality business referrals for each other.

Imagine a person that has a Referability Degree of 90% – which is exceedingly high. However, the size of the network is only 10 people. This indicates that he has deep relationships with his existing contacts but has only an extremely limited network. In this scenario, he must expand his network to more people. A network of 10 people will not be sufficient to create a constant flow of opportunities for him.

Your Networking Quotient

The Networking Quotient is simply the number of people that have given business referrals to you in the past 6 months.

For a continual flow of business by referrals, it is recommended to have a Networking Quotient of at least 100. This means having an active community of at least 100 people that you are constantly in contact with, build rapport with and know how to bring you good quality referrals. Building up your Networking Quotient takes time, and with constant practice, it will become your daily habit.

“Networking Quotient”

Networking Quotient  Paulo Corsi and YP Lai in their book, “Networking Quotient”, share in detail how to calculate the Referability Degree and the Networking Quotient. And more importantly, they share proven strategies to build your Referability Degree and your Networking Quotient.

The eBook / Kindle version of “Networking Quotient” is on sale for $1.99 until 11 pm (PDT) TONIGHT – April 1st, 2021.

 Download the eBook version of “Networking Quotient” today.

 

“Work Less Earn More”

Work Less Earn More

Accompanying the Networking Quotient book, YP Lai has written another book, “Work Less Earn More” about the 10 proven strategies to be wealthier, healthier & happier.

This book acts as a guide for busy entrepreneurs to get their lives into harmony, ensuring that while they are in pursuit of material wealth to provide for the family, they also focus on other important things in life like health, fitness, and happiness.

The eBook / Kindle version of “Work Less, Earn More” is on sale for 99¢ on Amazon until 11 pm (PDT) on April 2nd, 2021.

Download the eBook version of “Work Less Earn More” today.

36

Celebrating 36 Years of BNIstring(27) "Celebrating 36 Years of BNI"

Today, on January 8th, Business Network International® celebrates 36 years of helping people “Change the Way the World Does Business”. We are celebrating BNI’s 36th Anniversary today with the theme, “36 Years of Growth”. Please watch the video below to hear my announcement about the several incredible growth milestones BNI® achieved in 2020.

BNI’s 36th Anniversary Video

“36 Years of Growth”

36 Years of Consecutive Growth

To celebrate our 36th anniversary as a company, I thought I would share our growth chart for the last 36 years. Few companies can say they have had 36 years of back to back growth. It is amazing that BNI was still able to grow during a year with a global pandemic. I love what BNI is doing for members and I love what Graham is doing with this company.

 

275,000 Global BNI Members

Restart the World

On September 15, 2020, BNI launched the “Restart the World” initiative. The goal is to help local, national, and global businesses worldwide get back on their path to growth. Since its launch, over 40,000 businesses have joined a BNI chapter and contributed to the boosting of our BNI member count to over 275,000 members worldwide

 

$16.3 Billion of New Business Revenue

During 2020, the craziest year on record, our BNI Members helped their fellow BNI Members globally to remain in business during the pandemic. In 2020, BNI chapter members passed over 11.5 million referrals among the 275,000 BNI Members worldwide. These 11,500,000 referrals resulted in generating globally over $16.3 Billion of business revenue.

 

 

Over 10,000 BNI Chapters Worldwide

In mid-1986, I estimated that BNI could have 10,000 chapters someday. I predicted that it would take at least 75 years to hit that 10 K milestone, but I knew it was possible. Well, I am proud to announce that at the end of 2020, BNI officially crossed over 10,000 chapters worldwide. We did it in half the time I thought possible.

 

Today, now more than ever, you need your network and you need to be networking with them.  You need a team of people who will be there to help you during difficult times.  During 2020, many people became frozen by their fear.  However,  I also saw many people became focused by their fear.  They were focusing on surviving and thriving. That’s what happened to many of our BNI members. The truth is, “BNI is a beacon of hope in a sea of fear”.

BNI is not only a great way to get business – it’s an even better way to do business because we are doing business within our principal core value of Givers Gain®.  This is more than a phrase to me.  It’s a way of living one’s life.  Givers Gain is a perspective to view and interact with the world.  It is an attitude, not an expectation, and when it’s applied properly, it will change your life and when it changes enough lives, it will change the world.

36 years

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BNI is approaching 36 years of consecutive growth since it launched in 1985. I do not know of any other organization in the world that can point to that. In those 36 years, there have been many disruptions including recessions, wars, and major weather events (such as earthquakes, wildfires, and tsunamis). Nevertheless, BNI has continuously grown for 36 years.

2020 has been full of many of these disruptions in addition to a global pandemic, which led to people spending most of the year in “the great pause”. However, I believe we can actually help even more people this year recover and grow, too. Today, BNI has the most comprehensive set of collateral material, educational content, and technology available to help support and change the lives of business owners worldwide. Therefore, our local BNI members have every resource needed to help support and change the lives of their local business community.

Watch this video to learn about the special tool I used in 1985 to open 20 BNI chapters in that first year. The theme for this advice will help anybody in any business.

36 Years of Passion and Inspiration

Over the years, I was passionate about spreading the word and helping more and more people succeed in their business. Nothing great in life has ever been done without a little bit of passion. Although I love the technology, processes, and systems we have today, the one thing we need for chapters to grow is passion. What first made you passionate about BNI? Think about this and share your “MY BNI” story with other business owners. Share your passion with them and help inspire them to change their lives. I want you to inspire people. I want you to inspire people to inspire other people. Take away all the stuff and you can still inspire others to grow. Trust me, I had nothing but one sheet of paper and a ton of passion for what BNI could do for others. I was passionate about helping people with their circumstances to change their lives, and we grew and accomplished great things together.

 36 Years of Changing Lives

Today, people need BNI, communities need BNI, and countries need BNI. More than they did almost 36 years ago. I believe that together we can again make a difference in more people’s lives. Let’s make 2020 BNI’s 36th year of consecutive growth. Help me in spreading our “Givers Gain” philosophy and BNI’s mission around the world. Together, we can help other business people to get through these challenging times. Let’s celebrate 36 years of changing lives with BNI.

Passion: It’s the one thing no one can give you. With passion, you can make a difference. More importantly, you can change lives. Focus on your passion and focus on inspiring more people in your community to change their lives. They need you. Now, more than ever, they need BNI.

Jordan Adler shares “Why BNI”string(33) "Jordan Adler shares “Why BNI”"

Jordan Adler, a superstar from Send Out Cards, shares with me why he joined BNI. [Look for the celebrity that “photo bombs” us in the video].

About 15 years ago, I had just basically signed up with Send Out Cards and I was invited to a BNI meeting. There were only 12 people in the meeting as it was one of the smallest chapters in the United States. When we went around the room to introduce ourselves, I just held up a greeting card and explained what I did. I saw that BNI was a great opportunity to get involved and I joined. . .

Watch the video for the whole story and the celebrity “photo bomb.”

Send a thank-you card

I have recommended Send Out Cards for many years in many of my books. Sending a thank-you card is a great way to follow up with your referral sources.  Always a nice gesture, a handwritten thank-you card makes a great impression, especially in this age of electronic communication. Be sure to write a personalized note that mentions what you’re thanking your referral source for. SendOutCards is a great resource for this. Jordan Adler is absolutely a superstar and we are really pleased to have him and all the other Send Out Cards consultants in BNI. Learn more about Send Out Cards at https://www.sendoutcards.com/u/2988

Every now and then we get to hang out in amazing places, with interesting people walking by.

 

35th Anniversary

BNI® is Celebrating its 35th Anniversary This Weekstring(51) "BNI® is Celebrating its 35th Anniversary This Week"

BNI’s 35th anniversary is this week! The official kick-off of the first BNI group was January 8th, 1985.

35 years ago, I put together about 20 people in a small coffee shop in Arcadia, California for the very first meeting of BNI® (Business Network International).  Furthermore, the original organization, “The Network”, was run from a small bedroom that was converted into an office inside my house in La Verne, California. I recognized back then that I had struck a chord within the business community.  We don’t teach networking in colleges and universities anywhere in the world, and business people are hungry for referrals. They simply had no viable way to generate them regularly back in 1985.

In some ways, it seems like yesterday.

It is BNI’s 35th Anniversary this week!

In light of BNI’s 35th anniversary, I share the story of BNI’s surprisingly accidental beginnings. Furthermore, I open up about my astonishment at just how successful BNI has become. Please watch my special 35th anniversary message video by clicking here.

A must-watch video for BNI members worldwide! Please encourage all your BNI members to watch this video by playing the video during your BNI meeting this week as the “Purpose and Overview of BNI” and by posting this video’s YouTube URL on your BNI National, Regional, and chapter Social media pages too. 

It has been an incredible 35 years.  I am humbled by what BNI has become.  Its impact on the world of business and on individual lives continues to spread. I feel so proud of how the Givers Gain® philosophy has expanded around the world and I can never get enough of hearing about people’s experiences in the organization.

I look forward to many more years as part of BNI and hope to see most of you along the ride.

John Maxwell

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In this video, I share with John Maxwell how BNI started with my personal need to build my business with referrals. I also share who are my mentors and the philosophy of Givers Gain.  Finally, we discussed how you should make decisions based on the information you are provided WITHIN the context of your value system. Please click on the photo below to watch the video of my personal interview with John Maxell.

John Maxwell interview

John Maxwell Interviews Ivan Misner on “Building Relationships”

Ivan Misner on “Building Relationships”

from The John Maxwell Team on Vimeo.

Red Nose Daystring(12) "Red Nose Day"

What better what to celebrate a normal Thursday, than by putting on a red nose?

Trust me, it’s for a good cause–no–a GREAT cause.

Red Nose Day brings awareness and fundraising efforts to children’s charities across the globe. At the BNI Foundation, we support children in education, so this movement seemed like a great fit for us to support. Nonprofits such as charity: water, National Urban League and Save the Children will benefit from 100% of the proceeds raised through Red Nose Day.

Tonight, NBC will host a special featuring live entertainment from well-known celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres, Jimmy Fallon and U2, all while fundraising for children living in poverty.

Beth and I hope you tune in and donate to this very worthy cause. And meanwhile, enjoy this clip of us donning our own red noses!

Introducing Garage to Globalstring(28) "Introducing Garage to Global"

Garage to Global

What does it take to start a home-based business and turn it into a global organization?  I am sharing the many lessons I’ve learned to do just that.

In 1985, I started a small business from my home in Southern California.  Today, BNI has ovBNI Member Growth Through 2014er 7,400 locations in more than 65 countries around the world (see the member growth chart to the right).

From business networking to management, scaling a business, and surrounding yourself with good people, I will be sharing with you the secrets for building a global brand.

Go here and subscribe to my new Garage to Global Channel (part of the Entrepreneur Network) on YouTube: http://tinyurl.com/garagetoglobal.

Share with me below what you think it takes to go from “garage to global” (but don’t forget to subscribe to my new channel. 🙂

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