Givers Gain

Applying Givers Gain in Business

Givers Gain is not only a great way to get business; it’s an even better way to do business.  This is why BNI has made it our principle core value in our networking organization.

Giving has many cultural and legal differences around the world. In some cultures, giving is seen negatively, yet it is a positive force in society, and that this can be applied in every business regardless of location or culture.

The Philosophy of Givers Gain

What is important in acts of giving is our motivation. Here is a list of motivations that fits with the philosophy of Givers Gain® and helps us maintain mental clarity around our motivations when we give.

  1. We give because we understand that in a community, what we do, others will do, and we all benefit.
  2. We give because we know that in the same situation others would do the same for us.
  3. We give because we want to give back where we have profited before.
  4. We give because when we work together, we get bigger and better results than working on our own.
  5. We give because we enjoy it.

Having ethical motivation is key to giving. You can always give once and justify your motivation, but giving over and over again requires a motivation that is understood not only by you but also by the people you surround yourself with. Adopting one or more of the motivations above will help you stay grounded to your motivation.

Here are some examples of where giving in business changed lives.

Allen. is a commercial real estate agent in Orange County, California, USA.

Throughout 2009 and 2010, Allen had met with as many businesspeople as he possibly could, using his network to find these people and to book a meeting with them. They were not just from his local BNI group but were members throughout the county. The more people he met, the more he was able to become a super-connector for the local business community. He was generating a ton of business for the local economy simply by making connections and giving the gift of a referral.

He even won awards for it and became the star of his group. He was recognized as having the most one-to-ones, and he also gave out the most referrals. Allen focused on building relationships and once he was convinced he had found a good business opportunity for both of his contacts he would often phone the contact on the spot and put them together, thus creating a powerful introduction much more likely to lead to business.

When asked how all of this activity had affected his business at a bad time for real estate, he said, “I am completing the best year in my 26 years in the business. I have had a great, great year.”

Giving in business, as in life, works in many different ways. Here is another example.

David runs a fantastic print business. He offers a brilliant service, great value, and delivers when he says he will, if not before. If you ever try to pay him a compliment, he’ll offer a sheepish smile and an explanation that he was only “doing his job.”

Just up the road from where his business is based in the area’s largest independent hotel, which, of course, he is a trusted supplier for. After turning around an order on a particularly short deadline, the hotel manager, showing the gratitude effect, offered David a meal for two at the hotel’s restaurant as a way of saying thank you.

David thanked his client, graciously declined the offer, and instead asked for something else—for them to take the call of one of his other clients, a commercial designer, and project manager named Suzanne. Suzanne had recently asked for help and David, being a supplier of hers, decided to use this opportunity to get her the introduction that her business needed.

The introduction was made, business was done, and both of David’s clients were happy.

In the true spirit of giving, the additional revenue has allowed Suzanne to take on larger development projects, which David now prints for. The local sub-contractors who are used on these projects have increased revenue and now come to David when they are in need of his products and, due to the quality of his work and products, they become ambassadors and referrers for his business.

David is selfless, humble, and a wonderful networker because he embraces the principles of Givers Gain. The cycle of giving continues to benefit him and those around him.

Acts of giving change lives.

Acts of giving can be powerful in business regardless of the size.  We can give many things. Here is a list of the types of giving that makes a real impact in a business community.

  1. Give a referral opportunity between two other businesses you know—maybe a supplier of yours and a client of yours.
  2. Give mentoring to a business that needs your expertise.
  3. Give your knowledge to local business groups.
  4. Give to local education and youth community groups.
  5. Give to the elders of the community.

All of this giving activity is part of an ecosystem that will come back and benefit you and those you care about in a positive way. You choose how to practice Givers Gain that is right for your business. Once you make a commitment to using the power of Givers Gain to fuel your business, success will follow.

The more Givers Gain happens then the more energy can be given to important global social concerns such as climate change and sustainability of our planet. Infinite giving allows us to focus on the bigger picture. The bigger picture is living in a world of plenty where resources are plentiful, and the struggle of life is not against each other. Rather, it is against suffering and scarcity.

giving

Giving is Transformational

The world can be a dark and contentious place. Illness, famine, poverty, hostility, and desperation are all around us. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The world can be a better place. We can make a choice — a choice to be a voice of change, a change that can transform the world we live in. Entrepreneurs are well-positioned to help make that change. Giving is an idea that proclaims we can be something bigger than ourselves. It’s a reaffirmation that our lives have significant meaning and that, through the community, we can be our best selves.

Years ago, I implemented a phrase into the fabric of the core values of my company. That simple, two-word phrase, Givers Gain®, was a game-changer in giving people a different framework relating to the way they network with others. For people who get it, this philosophy unlocks a whole new world of meaning and opportunity. So, our job is to help people “get it”. More importantly, we can be intentional about helping people reach that place.

The Science of Giving

In 2010, Greater Good Magazine wrote that the National Institutes of Health found that when people give to others, “it activates regions of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection, and trust, creating a ‘warm glow’ effect. Scientists also believe that altruistic behavior releases endorphins in the brain, producing a positive feeling known as the helper’s high”.

Researchers at the University of California at Berkley found that people who volunteered to multiple organizations were “44 percent less likely to die over a five-year period than were non-volunteers”, and John Cacioppo, author of Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection, says, “the more extensive the reciprocal altruism born of social connection …the greater the advance toward health, wealth, and happiness”.

The Philosophy of Giving

There is a profound ripple effect that takes place through the act of consciously practicing a giving philosophy. I have seen the dramatic impact one person can have on another. I’ve observed the surging ripple that takes place as an act impacts one person and the next person and the next person, and so on. Within a community or a network, the ripple effect that takes place from this philosophy can influence hundreds or thousands of people. In fact, I believe it can influence the world. Giving is contagious. Conscious giving can be infinite.

There is a saying:

“If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap.
If you want happiness for a day, go fishing.
If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.
Chinese Proverb

For centuries, the greatest thinkers have suggested the same thing: Happiness is found in giving. The results of this philosophy cannot be observed as a straight line in life. It is a complex zigzag of interconnected relationships that lead to a place of contentment and fulfillment, and it begins with the right mindset. It’s about taking off your bib and putting on an apron. It’s not about what’s in it for you, or how much can you get. Giving is about serving and helping others in a very conscious way. Not doing so in a way that ignores the fact that there are takers in the world, but in a way that consciously chooses to find your fellow givers in the world. It’s easy to be cynical and think that the help you can offer is negligible, but it only takes a small gesture to change someone’s life.

The Story of Giving

We’ve all had people who are in “our story”. They are the people we talk about who have changed our lives in some way. However, there is something even more important: The real question is not who’s in our story but whose story are we in? Whose life have we made a difference in? This is what creates a meaningful life. It’s about being a role model for the people around you.

We often look at the world and hope that someday things will be different. But as my friend and author Sam Horn says, “Someday is not a day of the week”. If we wait for someday, we are waiting for others to make the first move.

“Someday” can be today and it can start with us. Today is as good a day as any to be our “someday”. We can all make a difference starting today. And that difference starts with a transformational change within us in how we deal with the people around us and the world beyond them. We would be giving without a transactional expectation and giving to people in all parts of our life appropriately. We would understand that we give what we can afford and that it’s OK to gain in such a society — a humble society is where saying “thank you” is the norm.

Start small but start today. Begin local but think global. Therefore, when you influence one life, you will begin to influence the world. Just start with the person next to you and know that: “You may not make a world of difference, but you can make a difference in the world”.

before Christmas

‘Twas BNI’s Week Before Christmas 2020

I hope you enjoy this holiday poem influenced by Clement Clarke Moore’s poem in 1822 about the night before Christmas. This poem provides our BNI members tips to restart the world by helping their fellow local small business owners struggling in 2020 from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It is the week before Christmas, and all thru the town,
The pandemic is causing business owners to feel stressed and down.
We work from home while time passed by in such a flurry,
causing many small business owners still to worry.

The holidays are here with poinsettias in bloom.
However, this year’s holiday party is online using Zoom.
We, at BNI, want to remind you with Christmas so near,
that we are wishing your holidays are still full of cheer.

Tis the season of Giver’s Gain®, we know your spirits will lift,
while you are shopping online for that last-minute gift.
Keeping six feet apart, the lines are long in the mall,
after they ransacked the shelves and grabbed it all.

However, BNI® can help you with your shopping mess,
and help you to avoid some holiday stress.
Just log into BNI connect, and give another member a call.
They can ship to your family their gifts; big or small.

Who in your chapter do you know that needs more business?
Their storefront is closed and they are unable to share their wiseness.
If you know a BNI member like this, you know what to do.
Fill out a mobile referral, or send it online too.

Are you having a virtual party to celebrate the season?
Ask your guests to visit your BNI online chapter. Do they need another reason?
Tell them about the BNI’s philosophy of “Giver’s Gain”,
and invite them this week to your meeting. It’s that easy, no pain.

Did you enjoy my holiday poem, adjusted for this Covid-19 year?
2020 is almost over, 2021 will be a time to cheer.
Take a moment today to show that you care,
by clicking below to like, leave a comment, or share.

To all my colleagues in BNI,
Let’s “Restart the World” in 2021 with these ideas to try.
I wish you all, without reservations,
Season’s Greetings, Happy New Year, and YULETIDE FELICITATIONS!

gain

It’s OK to Gain

Today’s blog is an excerpt from the book, “Infinite Giving – The 7 Principles of Givers Gain®”, by Dr. Ivan Misner, Greg Davies, and Julian Lewis. The book is available on either the Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk websites as a paperback book or a Kindle eBook download. Use these links to gain your copy or order multiple copies and “begin the giving” by gifting the book to others. Purchase the paperback book version at https://tinyurl.com/InfiniteGiving or download the Kindle Book version at https://tinyurl.com/InfiniteGivingKindle today.

infinite giving 7 principles

Givers Gain is two words and receiving is part of the philosophy

Right at the heart of Infinite Giving is the philosophy of Givers Gain. Remember the second word, Gain. Givers Gain is two words and receiving is part of the philosophy. Being a good receiver of a gift is vital to ensure the philosophy works and that it leads to a life of Infinite Giving. Without accepting that it is OK to gain, a giver will soon find themselves out of resources, and the giving will stop. It is vital that the great givers also gain what they need so that they can give over and over. In that way, Infinite Giving becomes a part of who they are and how they act daily. Many people talk about the concept of “you only get out what you put in”. This is often true of gaining within the philosophy of Givers Gain. Giving first is fundamental. But, you cannot constantly give at your own expense.

Brenda Jones’ Liver Story

The story of Brenda Jones illustrates this point beautifully. In 2016, Brenda Jones was a 69-year-old great-grandmother. She had spent a long year on the donor list waiting to receive a liver. On July 18, a hospital in North Texas called—they had a viable liver for her. It was the call she and her family had been waiting for; there was hope.

Meanwhile, 23-year-old Abigail Flores had a crisis, and she had suffered complete liver failure. She also needed a liver and only had hours to live. Her situation was more urgent than Brenda’s. Without a transplant, doctors feared Abigail had maybe one more day to live. The transplant surgeon Dr. Greg McKenna called Brenda and asked her if she would give up her donor organ to save the life of this young woman.

Brenda agreed to give the organ to Abigail. She said of the gift, “In my heart, I wouldn’t have been able to live with the liver if I had let this little girl die. I just knew this is what I had to do.” Brenda was placed back at the top of the donor list and got a new liver just four days later. Both women recovered together in the same ward.

There will always be people who need a new liver. However, Brenda gave away her first chance for what she saw as the greater good. This does not mean, however, that she needed to sacrifice her own life and pass up every opportunity offered to her. It was right for her to accept the second transplant and the new lease of life that came along with it.

Create Opportunities to Gain

It is OK to accept and create opportunities to gain provided you are an equal part of the Givers Gain Community. If you have put in, then it’s right that you should take out. Indeed, even if you have not put in then sometimes you just have to fill your cup so that it may overflow into your saucer.

This is the way Givers Gain works. We must be receptive to gaining. Even the biggest givers need to gain from time to time. One tendency when you are a giver is to push people away saying, “It’s OK,” I do not need help. This can come over as not wanting to impose or, more dangerously interpreted, that you are in some way superior to others in your community.

Build Trust in Your Network

Sometimes we don’t want to be a burden or appear vulnerable in front of our peers. The fact is, in a room full of people, there will always be some who are growing, some who are successful, and there will be those who are facing a challenge. We know it is better to face challenges together. The confidence to be vulnerable comes from building trust within a team or a group. When trust is high and strong, then people are more willing to ask for the help they need. Building trust in your network is a key strategy to unlock the power of the gain side of Givers Gain.

Our experience is that people can be very uncomfortable about seeking gain. They believe that Givers Gain is all about giving and that the gaining should not even cross their mind. This is an understandable thought process; however, it is also all part of the philosophy to ask your community for support when you need it and be open to gaining as much as you are to give.

Give the “Excess”

If you do not get this right, then eventually you will be running on empty and you will drop out of your Givers Gain Community. We should only be giving the “excess” of what we have available, and at the same time by gaining, you refill your reserves and allow others the opportunity to experience the gift of giving. We are often too busy in our routines to recognize when others are experiencing “pain.” This oversight is not through neglect or an unwillingness to assist. It is simply because sometimes life gets in the way.

Ask for what you need and not what you think the community can provide. The fact is that in high-trust groups people are very willing to work with you on what you need. We suggest that when the time is right you should ask for what you need and not what you think the community can provide.

Andy’s Asking Story

This is illustrated by Andy’s story. Andy spent two years in his BNI group, giving thoughtful referrals, doing the one-to-ones, and not always feeling much return. He knew the group trusted him and he got the odd referral here and there. The problem was that he was simply not being clear in what he wanted to gain from his group and membership.

He got to a point where his business was at a make or break time … so he stood up and asked the room for help. He said, “I want to be here; I want to succeed, and I could use all of your help to get there. I have three months to turn things around otherwise I’ll have to leave and seek employment.” Within an hour he had referrals and, more importantly, ideas and feedback. Six months later, his business model changed (thanks to a member’s advice). He now has regular repeat referrals from all of the business community, and he now asks for what he wants.

When you’ve built a meaningful relationship, you’ve earned the right to ask. The responsibility is on us to ask for assistance when needed. Therefore, I am asking for your help in making the book, “Infinite Giving”, an Amazon Best Seller this week by buying it as a Kindle eBook at https://tinyurl.com/InfiniteGivingKindle today.

7 Principles

The 7 Principles of Givers Gain®

Today’s blog is an excerpt from the book, “Infinite Giving – The 7 Principles of Givers Gain®”, by Dr. Ivan Misner, Greg Davies, and Julian Lewis. The book is available on either the Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk websites as a paperback book or a Kindle eBook download. Use these links to buy your own copy or order multiple copies and “begin the giving” by gifting the book to others. Purchase the paperback book version at https://tinyurl.com/InfiniteGiving or download the Kindle Book version at https://tinyurl.com/InfiniteGivingKindle today.

infinite giving 7 principles

The 7 Principles of Givers Gain

The 7 Principles of Givers Gain are a guide to obtaining and sustaining the wonderful concept of Infinite Giving. They are also a check and measure for every aspect ensuring that people maintain harmony in their lives.

7 principles

   The 7 Principles of Givers Gain
    1) Are They in Your Light?
    2)  Give Without Expectation.
    3)  Give More Than Expected.
    4) Give What You Can Afford.
     5) It’s OK to Gain.
     6) Stay Humble.
     7) Show Gratitude.

 

Live a life of Infinite Giving

People who live Givers Gain believe that the world is a better place when our first thought is to give. We codified the 7 Principles of Givers Gain in this book as a way of putting structure around a philosophy. It is designed to help people who wish to adopt the concept and use it to its full potential. The principles are the result of the combined experience of the authors. Furthermore, they build upon our thoughts and subsequent decades of implementing the concept.

Givers Gain is an elegant and simple phrase that people can unite behind both personally and as a group. Its simplicity is its power as with lots of great philosophies of life. Because it is so simple, it opens itself up to wild interpretation by those who hear it. Yet when left unchecked, simplicity can get corrupted and misinterpreted. When this happens the value and power of the philosophy are reduced both personally and collectively. The 7 Principles are designed to magnify the positive effect of the philosophy of Givers Gain.

Givers Gain starts with us all taking personal responsibility for our actions in the context of the 7 Principles, which will lead to a personal life of Infinite Giving. Once we have set the standard for ourselves, we can then move on to our wider community in ever-increasing circles. In addition to creating a much bigger impact on the world through Givers Gain, the principles introduce some new elements to the philosophy that allow it to move beyond its beginnings in BNI and into the global population with structure and purpose. One such element is the idea of Givers Gain Communities.

Givers Gain Communities

The Givers Gain Communities are distinct groups of people who have a strong connection with each other and to the philosophy of Givers Gain. Givers Gain Communities started in BNI. The 7 Principles of Givers Gain allow many diverse groups of people to adopt Givers Gain as a philosophy in life and business. These communities, whether a part of BNI or not, can use these principles to ensure that their giving and the benefits derived from giving are sustainable forever. When people in these communities understand the power of Givers Gain, they can use the principles to ensure that their giving is appropriate and sustainable.

The 7 Principles also introduce the concept of fairness and equality to Givers Gain. If abused, the philosophy can be manipulated to gain but not to give by people with low levels of integrity. On the flip side to that, some people spend so much energy in giving that their gain fails to meet their basic needs, and this can cause them hardship. Once everyone has adopted the principles of Givers Gain, then the whole world can both give and gain in a way that is viewed as fair in modern society.

The principles are also there to protect active members of our Givers Gain Communities. We’ve seen people who have stepped away from a group or community without feeling the full benefit of Infinite Giving. It’s often accompanied by the phrase, “they just didn’t get it.” What we realized was, is that what they didn’t get was that there were steps that had to be taken. Plus, principles that had to be applied before they could become a part of the Givers Gain Community.

Imagine a world where diversity is a strength, and everybody can create success.

Giving will only be sustainable when the principles are applied in full and the process of Infinite Giving can begin. We do, however, understand that, on a global scale, there will always be an imbalance. Some people have more resources than others. Givers Gain is simply a philosophy that says if I give to you then you will be motivated to give to me or others within our Givers Gain Community. If enough people do this within the boundaries of the 7 Principles of Givers Gain, then communities around the world will be in a better place.

When Givers Gain is understood well, people can adopt the philosophy as a way of life. They can spread the word in their communities and make the world not just a better place but also a nicer place. We will achieve a world where everyone can thrive in line with their talent and as a result of their hard work.

Infinite Giving

Infinite Giving

I have a new book,Infinite Giving”, that was just released this week and is available for purchase on Amazon.

Our book reveals for the very first time, the 7 principles of Givers Gain®  which leads to a life of giving not just for the benefit of others, but most importantly for you as well.  All the while allowing you to protect your time, energy, and resources to ensure you can practice Infinite Giving throughout the world. This law of reciprocity has allowed hundreds of thousands of people to take part in this powerful philosophy while also building a business to support them and those they care about. Givers Gain seeks to imagine a world where giving is a strength, and everybody can create success through Infinite Giving.  The philosophy of Givers Gain® has the potential to change the world. Full stop.

The Seven Principles of Givers Gain®

  1. Are They in Your Light?                     ∞ Do you want to live a more fulfilled existence, one
  2. Give Without Expectation                    where you’re building a life and business where you
  3. Give More Than Expected                     don’t have to choose between winning or helping?
  4. Give What You Can Afford                ∞ Have you ever felt like people take advantage of your
  5. It’s OK to Gain                                           good nature, both in life and business?
  6. Stay Humble                                         ∞ Do you feel alone when you need help, despite your
  7. The Gratitude Effect                               previous generous activities?

The Infinite Giving Authors

Two Brits and a Yank make an important decision about the book in this video.

Dr. Ivan Misner is the Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of BNI, the world’s largest business networking organization.  He has written over 25 books including three New York Times bestsellers.

Greg Davies is a corporate trainer, inspirational speaker, and multi-award-winning Director of BNI.  He also has a passion for stories and is known as The StoryFella, using narratives to inspire people and businesses all over the world.

Julian Lewis is a portfolio entrepreneur, with diverse interests including, IT, film making, and business coaching, he is also a multi-award-winning Director of BNI.  He continues to coach, mentor, and consult to businesses globally.

Infinite Giving is available for purchase on Amazon.  

Infinite Giving

∞ Order multiple copies of this book for yourself and

    others.

∞ The possibilities of who you can be GIVING this book

    to are INFINITE.

∞ Please use this link to order your own copy of this

    amazing book: https://tinyurl.com/InfiniteGiving

 

Acclaim for Infinite Giving

“The perfect balance between developing yourself and impacting others”
Lisa Nichols, Author of Abundance Now

“If you like stories, you’ll love this book. These aren’t just stories that inspire because they show vs. tell; they’re real-life examples from around the world that motivate you to give generously because it’s a shortcut to a meaningful life, successful business, and enduring legacy. Read it and reap.”
Sam Horn, CEO of the Tongue Fu! Training Institute 

“These principles will always work if you work the principles”
Jack Canfield, Author of Success Principles and Chicken Soup for the Soul

Growing Forward Together

Growing Forward Together World Tour

It was very exciting to present the BNI Growing Forward Together World Tour over the past three days. Furthermore, this event was the first live global event in BNI’s 35-year history. On July 14th, 15th, and 16th we streamed live in over 70 countries on Facebook and YouTube. Thank you to all of the BNI members, directors and visitors who joined in this historic event

The broadcast was open to businesses, entrepreneurs and business executives focused on leapfrogging the “lockdown recession” and doing more and better business in 2020 and beyond. The presentations were watched so far this week by nearly 45,000 viewers worldwide in twelve different languages.

During each broadcast, I shared my vision for the future as well as my insights for business growth and personal success. Furthermore, I talked about refusing to participate in the recession and how BNI and its 270,000 members are taking action leading businesses around the world to foster global business recovery with business growth and professional success. Therefore, now is the time to thrive!

I want to thank the CEO of BNI, Graham Weihmiller, for his inspirational vision for the future and much more. Furthermore, I also want to personally thank the BNI marketing team for the planning, the marketing, and the amazing execution of this global event. For example, watch this fantastic video their team created to promote the event on social media.

 

 

Different people, different places, different countries, different faces, different cultures…

We all speak the language of referrals, growing forward together.

In case you missed the LIVE event, would like to see it again, or want to share it with others, here is the presentation in 12 different languages:

Chinese Subtitled Version        Thai Voiceover Version         Japanese Voiceover Version

Vietnamese Voiceover Version           Portuguese (Brazilian) Subtitled Version

Spanish Voiceover Version  Portuguese (Portugal) Subtitled Version   German Version (Pending)

Italian Voiceover Version       Spanish (Spain) Voiceover Version       Bulgarian Voiceover Version

English version below from Day Two

BNI brings so many people together across so many boundaries for such a productive purpose.  Therefore, we build meaningful relationships and extend our hand to help others grow, and they in turn help and support us in the essence of Givers Gain®. At BNI, we are Growing Forward Together.

Givers

Separating the Givers From the Takers

The philosophy of Givers Gain® is about giving to other people first. Within this context, the giver cannot and should not expect an immediate return on their investment based on another’s gain. What they should focus on is that given enough effort and time, their generosity will be returned by and through their network of contacts, friends, and colleagues — many times over and in many different ways.

I incorporated the philosophy of Givers Gain into BNI almost 35 years ago, because I saw that many networking groups were far too mercenary in their approach. They used networking as a face-to-face cold-calling opportunity. I believed then, and I know now, that networking is all about relationship-building, and that one of the best ways to build a relationship is to help others first.  Through giving, you can gain in so many ways. I also recognize that there are takers in the world. There are people who either don’t understand the power of Givers Gain or who don’t really care or believe in the concept. I call these two categories of people “can’t do’s” and “won’t do’s.

The “Can’t do’s” and “Won’t do’s.

The can’t do’s do not know how to do something or do not understand why it’s important to do something. For these people, I’ve learned that with the right coaching, they may become willing to make that transition.

Then there are the people who are “won’t do’s.” They just want what serves them best and have no true intention of giving. It’s important to recognize them as soon as possible because they will abuse the relationship, not nurture it.

Life requires discernment. Sometimes, that is about evaluating the people in your network and whether they are willing to contribute to your relationship. Givers Gain does not mean you should be a “taker’s victim.” The world is full of givers and takers. Apply contextual insight and use appropriate judgment to give freely to the people who value the giving approach in life. Use discernment for the ones who do not.

Givers Gain®

I know a man who gave a half a dozen referrals to someone in his networking group over 18 months, but the individual never reciprocated. The man came to me seeking advice. I coached him to do the following…

Invite the person out for a one-to-one meeting, and come prepared to the meeting with as much detail as possible about the six referrals you gave. Start with the oldest and ask the following questions: How did it work out? Did it turn into business profit? If so, was it as much as you had hoped? Did the relationship work out well? Use open-ended questions to determine how well that referral worked out for the individual. After a few minutes, do the same for the next one, and then the next one, and so on, until you discuss all of the referrals you’ve given that individual.

What is a good referral?

Here is where your discernment needs to be fine-tuned. What if all those referrals you gave the individual did not work out as you thought? Then you need to ask the person how you could give better referrals in the future. However, if any of those referrals turned out to be good and possibly resulted in business, take a different tack. Tell the person that you are really glad the referrals you gave worked out well. Then pause a moment and say, “Since some of them worked out for you, I’d really appreciate it if you could do something similar for me. Maybe we could talk a little bit about how I can help you do that.”

From there, talk to the person about what a good referral is for you, how they can refer people to you, and even dive deeper into specific clients they may have that may be a good referral for you.

After the person I coached had his meeting, he came back to me and said he was so glad he followed my advice, rather than just end the relationship. He told me the individual “apologized profusely and then acknowledged this needed to be a two-way relationship. We spoke at length about how he could reciprocate, and he has already done so. The referral he just gave me turned into a big client!”

Reciprocal Relationships

Sometimes people are so busy in life they are just not thinking about the importance of having a reciprocal relationship. Sometimes they don’t know how, and sometimes they don’t care.  All three require discernment, and that discernment requires a different response strategy. Your giving energy should be focused on people who are aligned with the need for reciprocity. They may or may not be able to give back to you directly, but observe their behavior before you continue to blindly evolve into a giving victim.

The more energy you have for giving, the more you are able to give. Giving more where you have strong relationships makes you able to practice this philosophy in a healthy way. Givers Gain® is about taking off your bib and putting on an apron. It’s about building a relationship by helping others first.

MISNER AUDIO PROGRAMS

MISNER AUDIO PROGRAMS

I wanted to spotlight different audios from my legacy audio library available on MISNER AUDIO PROGRAMS. These professionally produced audios cover a wide variety of topics that can help you refresh and re-energize; get a new perception – be exposed to or reminded of new skills, ideas, and techniques.

One of the interesting things about audio learning and one reason I created the BNI podcasts is that so many members tell me that they can do other things while they learn-allowing them to learn more and more often. And an even more interesting audio learning research fact for you – is that retention is much higher in audio learning then video -so it’s the best of both worlds; convenience and effectiveness.

Networking and Word of Mouth.

I believe word of mouth is a basic skill for success in any life. I first introduced this concept to the world through BNI and it is even more fundamental now 30 years later as the pendulum swings from all the social media back to the interpersonal relationships that are the baseline of successful referrals. These audios available through www.misneraudioprograms focus not only on the basics but much much more. Many people have commented to me that having these audios to listen to educate, refresh and inspire. I’ve said this often, and it is still true, they do not teach this in college. Audios are a great way to learn it. BNI is the way to experience it!

BNI Networking Secrets

Understand the time confidence curve for your business and its impact. Do you know how it underlies every interaction you have and how knowing this information guides you in building your word of mouth and what to do when. Avoid scorched earth interactions-move at the pace of the curve for you and your client.

Knowing your target market is critical. Learn why being laser specific is so important. Target market is the key to only being referred to those people you want to do business with. And, once you know your Target Market, finding your Contact Sphere will take your business to the next level in a shorter amount of time then you might realize. These two business models will change the way you look at your business and your referral streams.

Entrepreneurs and Everyday Leaders

I always tell people – belong to several networking groups. Learn WHY diversifying your networking experience will be important to you and which organizations will offer what to your business. Whether you are in BNI and want to brush up on the fundamentals and maximize your experience or you are thinking about adding these skill sets to your business tool kit and exploring networking as an additional aspect of business development this collection of networking nuggets will take you to the next level.

This and other single packages are available with the special promo code IVAN for an additional 30% off at www.misneraudioprograms.com. The entire library package and other special packages are already significantly discounted for this time!

Soft Skills

Why Soft Skills Make Strong Networks

I’m not much of a “new-age” guy. Yet, I believe in the immense power of the Law of Reciprocity. This concept touches upon the deep-rooted psychological urge to do something nice for someone who did something nice for you. There is certainly value in soft skills. If you would like to see some evidence as to why those skills work, I can tell you there’s a lot out there to support the Law of Reciprocity, starting with the Nash equilibrium theory (the acronym of which is, ironically, NET).

Nash’s equilibrium theory

Nash’s equilibrium theory basically states that the best result will come when everyone in the group is doing what is best for both themselves and the group — a form of reciprocity. The optimal outcome of a situation is one where no individual has an incentive to deviate from their chosen strategy after considering the other participant’s choices.

Reciprocal altruism

Reciprocal altruism is another form of reciprocity. It involves an equitable balance between collective altruism and personal need. Collective altruism looks at the needs of the group but doesn’t give strong consideration to the needs of the individual. Reciprocal altruism attempts to consider both.

In early writings by Socrates and Alexis de Tocqueville on ethics, the concept of enlightened self-interest was all about reciprocity. Enlightened self-interest is a philosophy which states that people who act to further the interests of others, or interests of the group or groups to which they belong, ultimately serve their own self-interest. In other words, it is possible to do well, by doing good.

Givers Gain®

As I grew my company BNI, I incorporated the use of the term, Givers Gain® from the very beginning. The underlying foundation of this term is predicated on the age-old concept of “what goes around, comes around”.  However, it’s more complex than that.

Networking is about relationship building. I have found that the best way to build a relationship with someone quickly is to help them first.  If you can help someone — and I’m not talking about selling them your product or service, I mean genuinely help them — by giving them an introduction, information, article, really anything that serves their need, and you will begin a professional relationship with them.

Creating a relationship helps build trust. Trust is the cornerstone of effective networking. When you practice Givers Gain often enough, you will be on the road to building a powerful personal network predicated on trust, built through helping to serve someone else.

This concept, whatever term you choose to use, serves as a bridge between individuals and a community of people for collaboration of all kinds, and it fuels individual and professional growth – not to mention increased referrals and business.

Cooperation

Research has shown that social cooperation is rewarding to our brains. Cooperation increases the frequency of dopamine release within the brain. Interestingly, dopamine decreases without social cooperation. Each of the above strategies are about cooperation and collaboration, and each can increase dopamine production.

Some time ago, I received an email from Amruth, a BNI member in India with a great metaphor for this philosophy. He said words to the effect of: imagine that you have two spoons, a small spoon and a large serving spoon. Which one are we using the most? The small spoon serves only us, but the large spoon allows us to serve others. The more that we all use the large spoon, the more we will all have plenty for the small spoon.

A networking group using the large spoon for everyone creates amazing success for all. In the book Go Giver, co-written by my friend, Bob Burg, the authors say, “Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.”

Call it Nash’s equilibrium, reciprocal altruism, enlightened self-interest, or Givers Gain. I believe that reciprocity is about taking off your bib and putting on your apron. This kind of networking is where individuals enter, and communities emerge.

Givers Gain®

Givers Gain® – The Video

In this video, I share the story of the philosophy of BNI: Givers Gain®. Understanding an important philosophy based on the law of reciprocity can make your networking far more powerful, but only when self applied.

Click on the graphic above, or click here, to see the video!

Givers Gain®

If you bring people into your network who embrace your core value, you will create an amazing network. Incorporating the philosophy of Givers Gain ® into my organization was one of the things that have really set BNI aside from the other networking groups. We have inculcated this core value into the fabric of BNI. Therefore, “Givers Gain ®” became part of the very DNA of the organization. That is incredibly special.

Givers Gain® is a philosophy based on the law of reciprocityIn the context of networking groups, people who adopt this philosophy dedicate themselves to giving business to their fellow networkers rather than making their foremost concern getting business for themselves.  In doing so, other people naturally become eager to repay their kindness by sending them business in return.

Givers Gain

Givers Gain®

If you bring people into your network who embrace your core value, you will create an amazing network. Incorporating the philosophy of Givers Gain ® into my organization was one of the things that have really set BNI aside from the other networking groups. We have inculcated this core value into the fabric of BNI. Therefore, “Givers Gain ®” became part of the very DNA of the organization. That is incredibly special.

Years ago, I was sharing those words with a well-known business consultant and friend.  He was going to be speaking at a big BNI conference the next day. He listened to me and said, “Oh Ivan, you know that’s not true, am I right? You know that the Founder of every organization thinks that some key philosophy is embraced by most everyone in a company. It is really not so” I told him, “No, it really is inculcated into the DNA of the company.  Most everyone knows it in BNI. Don’t believe me – confirm it yourself.  Ask your audience about it tomorrow.”

So, the next day, during his presentation, he stopped and said “Oh, I have a question for you, what’s the philosophy of this company?”  He then heard a resounding, “GIVERS GAIN!”

He was astonished and said to me, “Ivan, do you know how incredible it is that almost everyone in an organization at all levels of that organization understand the company’s guiding core value?  Do you?

I understand how amazing that is. Therefore, I do not take it for granted.  It is one of the things that make BNI special.  “Givers Gain®” is BNI’s principle core value.  It is based on the age-old concept of “what goes around comes around.”  Furthermore, if I help you, you’ll help me – and we’ll all do better as a result of it.

In conclusion, he owed me dinner that night based on a little wager we had.

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