Plan B

Involve Your Company In Charitable Activitiesstring(45) "Involve Your Company In Charitable Activities"

During the summer of 2013, while spending a week on Necker Island with Sir Richard Branson, I had the opportunity to discuss his “B Team” concept in depth with him. The B Team is a group of internationally renowned business and thought leaders that seek to accelerate the implementation of Plan B, an equal commitment to the planet and people, as well as profit. When I interviewed Sir Richard, he said, “We can’t leave every problem to government — non-profits alone cannot solve the tasks at hand. We cannot continue to do ‘business as usual”.

Plan A

Plan A for business has traditionally been to focus only on making the largest profit possible. You know that adage, “He who dies with the most toys wins?” That is how I have personally seen most people in business approach their corporate and personal success. Now we are seeing more and more successful businesses giving back in order to make the world a better place.

Conversations are taking place in the marketplace that reveal this shift happening. Books like Conscious Capitalism by my friends Dr. Raj Sisodia and John Mackey, and We First by my good friend, Simon Mainwaring, have become best sellers. It is encouraging to see that a new focus has reached critical mass and is rapidly moving toward the tipping point.

Plan B

As I interviewed Sir Richard about the B Team and Plan B, he began to inspire me question what it would look like within my own company if we were to seek to implement Plan B. Then my thoughts led me to consider what it would look like in our communities if not only my company implemented Plan B, but many others did so as well.

1. Create a nonprofit arm of your company.

While you may feel that it is too costly or needs a lot of administration to create your own nonprofit charity, that’s simply not true. Most cities and even states have community foundations in which you would be able to create a donor-advised fund. When my own company, BNI®, started to really become successful, we chose to start a corporate charity with a focus on children and education. The BNI Foundation awards grants to teachers who can’t secure funding from their school districts or states for the resources they need so badly.

2. Get to know the nonprofit organizations that are working hard to support life-changing and environment-sustaining causes.

For the BNI Foundation, that means learning what we can about organizations like the Boys and Girls Clubs, and Junior Achievement. They need resources, like computers and tablets, consultants and mentors, as well as host businesses so students can come in and learn about business — to find the inspiration to press through their challenges in order to graduate from high school or even to dare to dream that they may one day go to university. They also need community members to be involved on their boards and with their fund-raising efforts.

In order to reach in and help out, you have to know what the needs are. Keith Ferrazzi, in his book Never Eat Alone, encourages us to use our lunch breaks as power meetings with others with whom we want to network. You can set aside one lunch per week (or more, as your time allows) to have with the organizers of charities you want to get to know better. This is a great way to develop relationships with the people who are pouring into the causes that matter to you.

3. Bring your employees and clients along with you.

Show them how they, too, can help out. Consider holding a staff volunteer day at a school site that needs hands-on help. There are many ways your company can work together to address the many needs these schools have.

Without our help, inner-city high schools will continue to experience the average drop-out rate of nearly 40 percent. This is certainly not good for business! We need a strong, well-educated working class in our country. As we have implemented our call to action and are getting to know the educational support organizations in the major cities of our nation, we are learning that students who are able to access mentoring from the business community have a high-school graduation rate of between 95 to 100 percent. The BNI Foundation is starting an initiative we are calling Business VOICES  to let entrepreneurs know what needs are out there. You can start something similar as it relates to your company’s cause or join us. 

Business VOICES:
  • Values 
  • Our 
  • Inner 
  • City 
  • Education & 
  • Schools

4. Host a Get-Acquainted Meeting for a nonprofit that is having a positive impact in your community.

You can be a gatekeeper for the organizations which need support. You might have space at your office to host a gathering there. If not, consider underwriting a get-acquainted meeting at a local establishment. Some of these organizations have regularly scheduled get-acquainted meetings and would benefit greatly from your support in sponsoring one or several of these events.

These are just some of the ways you can plug into Plan B and help make a difference. Charitable activities are an important part of building a powerful personal network. Things will change for the better when small companies adopt local issues and bigger companies adopt national issues and global companies adopt international issues. I believe business can be noble and change the world in thousands of positive ways!

SynAtria

Rodent Roller by SynAtriastring(25) "Rodent Roller by SynAtria"

I’m supporting the start-up of a small gaming company called SynAtria and their new video game called “Rodent Roller.This game combines platforming, ball physics, and collect-a-thon gameplay into one fun and unique experience. Important: read below to learn how you will get a special gift from me by supporting an amazing small business.

About SynAtria

The name of the video game company is SynAtria. They combined the words “synapse”, the base component of the brain, and “atria”, the main chambers of the heart. Therefore, their name symbolizes their goals – to make meaningful games with integrity. SynAtria has a big vision of creating whimsical and engaging games. However, without the overstimulating (and often hyper-violent) experience of typical video games.

Founders Trey and Aria Tempest (my son and daughter-in-love) share the positive and negative effects of video games in this video. The games/products developed under SynAtria focus on spreading positivity and supporting mental wellness. They are a determined team to create products with a message and a purpose. SynAtria’s goal is to connect with their players in a very special way by touching upon the minds and hearts of their audience.

Get my complete professional audio library (valued at $119) with a $50 donation to their game campaign.

All donors of $50 to Rodent Roller’s crowdfunding campaign (make sure to pick the Ivan Misner Founder’s Pack) will receive an email with a coupon code within 60 days after their donation. This special code will provide one FREE download of my complete professional audio library (valued at $119) from Misner Audio Programs.

Therefore, consider the free networking and business audio programs as a gift from me, to the supporters of SynAtria. Help them to create amazing new games for the videogame lovers in your life. In conclusion, a win, win, win!  Click here.

Richard Branson

What Can Business Do About It?string(30) "What Can Business Do About It?"

A friend of mine once said, “If we could get every single business person in the world, every single entrepreneur, to play their part, we could get on top of most of the world’s problems.” That friend was Richard Branson, and I took his message about his Plan B Initiative.to heart. It made me think about what I could do through BNI to make an impact on the globe and sent me on an introspective journey about being a business owner and the responsibility we had to serve not only our customers but society as a whole.

What I came up with are four ways to help your business find direction and purpose in helping others, whether it be in your local area or in the global community.

Garage to Global

In this video, I discuss how businesses can give back to the community. This is a part of what I call the “Ivanisms Series”: all of my personal quotes and phrases and why they have worked for me. Therefore, please watch this video to understand what Richard Branson means.

Can Your Business Serve the Greater Good?

All of us are in business to make a profit. But if that’s the primary driving force in business, we become mercenaries to that process.  I believe that I should serve a greater need than simply to make a profit. I believe that business can be honorable.  It can make a difference in individual lives as well as communities.

Business can be honorable. It can be something that improves people’s lives as well as supports and helps local communities. It can do so, by not only helping to generate more business for one another, but by giving back to the community, mentoring others, immersing in a culture of shared learning, and by collaborating with others.

The BNI Foundation

When corporations have a vision bigger than their profit and loss statement, amazing things can happen. BNI, the world’s leading referral organization, is one such corporation. Started by Ivan and Beth Misner in 1998, the BNI Foundation has been supporting children and education in the United States and around the world by mobilizing resources to give kids everywhere a quality education. The focus of the BNI Foundation is to help the youth of our community to find the path to productive and successful lives. For us, the mechanism to help with this shift is by investing our time, treasure, and talent to assist in education where we can. http://bnifoundation.org/ 

What is Business Voices ™?

The BNI Foundation has a long, proud legacy of helping out where schools have needed extra funding for projects not provided for by school districts or state funding. A pivotal factor of our philanthropic work was the creation of the Business Voices™ initiative to provide even more to the schools which have with the greatest needs.

Our initiative pairs BNI members and concerned, engaged and motivated corporations, service clubs and community groups with schools and educational organizations. The goal is to help them find the resources they need to have maximum impact on the kids of our communities.

My Journey Into Healthstring(22) "My Journey Into Health"

Since my announcement that I am in remission, I have been receiving many requests to share the details of what I did to get healthy—so many that my wife and I  have created the Misner Plan in order to share this information with many more people than I can individually.

We all know and love far too many people who are obese and/or suffering from many health issues which are due primarily to how and what they are eating.  Many people know they need to make changes, but they are not interested in doing so.  Others want to make changes, but they don’t know exactly what to do.  There is a lot of conflicting advice out there and there may not be a lot of support for the changes they do want to make.

We are not selling anythingAll the information on the site is free (donations to the Misner Charitable Foundation are welcome – but notMisner Plan Logo with Photos required).

The Misner Plan offers both information and support for you as you seek to transform your life and improve your productivity, not to mention increase your outlook for a long and healthy life.

At the Misner Plan website, you will find blog posts with our personal experiences, struggles and successes, as well as upcoming contributions from other well-informed and renowned health-care professionals.  You will find recipes using the specific food list I have been using during my recovery. As you read through the content, please share anything you feel would be of benefit with your own social media followers and join in the conversation on the blog page.

A big thank you to my wife, Beth Misner.  It was her vision and hard work that led to the Misner Plan.

Do you know anyone who’s health has changed because of their change in diet?  If so, share it here.

Success Is Not an Entitlementstring(29) "Success Is Not an Entitlement"

Yesterday, I received a rather disturbing email message from someone berating me for sharing what he felt were some aspects of my success via my FaceBook Fan page (mostly relating to discussions about my business travel and corporate meetings I did from my lake home over the summer).   I have to say it brought me down a bit so I went to my library and picked up a book I wrote about 7 years ago called Masters of Success.  I read a piece in it that I wrote called “Success is Not an Entitlement” which I hoped would re-focus my mindset after receiving this vitriolic piece of email.

I’d like to share an excerpt from it with you here today in my blog.  I’ve updated some of the material in brackets.  The excerpt at the end about “being lucky” goes out to my email critic.  I hope everyone (including my critic) can see some value in this message.

Everyone wants some degree of success. We might want it in different forms, but I’ve never met anyone who didn’t want to be successful at something important. This is good. I believe everyone is entitled to pursue success.

But success itself is not an entitlement.

Not long ago I was talking to someone I’ve known for years about my personal success, the growth of my business, and some other personal goals I’ve recently met. He said, “Man, you’re lucky! It must be nice.”

 “Yeah, I’m lucky,” I responded. “Let me tell you the secret of my luck.  First, I went to college for ten years. During that time, I started several businesses, and for the next [twenty five years] I worked really, really long hours.  Along the way, I mortgaged my house a couple of times for one of the business and I wrote [twelve] books.  If you apply that kind of effort to whatever you do, you too, can be just as lucky.”

 He laughed and said, “Okay! Okay! I get it!”

 Did he really get it? I don’t think so, because he hasn’t changed his behavior or started making different choices.

 For about twenty of my twenty five years of hard work, I didn’t feel very lucky or incredibly successful. It took time, effort, hard work, and decent choices before I felt a modicum of success. The problem is that many people want to go from point A to point Z and bypass all the challenges in between. They work hard, so they “deserve” the success they want.  And they tend to resent the success that other people have!!!

 Success is not an entitlement. It’s not a right or a claim that we should have. Yes, people have the right to pursue success, but that’s it. Success is most often earned, not handed over because you are entitled. If being successful were that easy, everyone would have the success he thinks he deserves. I think I was in my thirties before I truly understood and internalized that idea.

I’ve been trying to instill this wisdom in my nine-year-old son [now 17] by teaching him my “mantra of success.” [Years ago] I asked him, “Trey, what’s the secret to success?” He said, in a young boy’s slightly bored singsong tone: “The secret to success without hard work and good choices is still a secret, Dad. Can I go out and play now?”

OK, maybe nine was a little young to start the training. But maybe not.

————————–

True success is the result of hard work, period.  I love my business, I love helping people, and I’ve achieved a level of success doing both.  I am very grateful for my success and proud to have achieved it in a way that benefits others and helps them grow their businesses as well.  I am also very blessed to be able to open my home and a large part of my life to the people from my companies, and to give back to the world through the BNI-Misner Foundation

From time to time, I share comments about these things on my social media sites and true friends are most welcome to share in the positive conversation about these things.  If it troubles anyone to read about these things, however, I certainly won’t be offended if they unfriend me.

A True Givers Gain Achievementstring(30) "A True Givers Gain Achievement"

In 1998, my wife Elisabeth and I co-founded the BNI-Misner Foundation, a nonprofit program supporting charitable causes. We created the foundation because we truly believe in the philosophy of Givers Gain, on which we founded BNI, our worldwide business networking organization. Simply put, Givers Gain means that if you help others, others will want to help you in return (think “what goes around comes around”).

Now, thanks largely to the generosity and kindness of BNI members and directors around the world who also believe firmly in the Givers Gain philosophy, as of May 2010, the BNI Foundation has contributed more than $1 million to charities around the world since its inception 12 years ago.

The foundation has a focus on children’s educational programs but allows donor-directed contributions as well. Looking back on the significant contributions the foundation has been able to make, I am continually inspired by the willingness of BNI members worldwide to give of themselves to help others. They made it possible to donate more than $100,000 to the 9/11 relief effort, $72,000 to tsunami relief, more than $25,000 for Haiti earthquake relief and tens of thousands of dollars for Hurricane Katrina relief. The foundation has built preschools in India, built preschools and a library and put tin roofs on schools in Indonesia, bought school uniforms for students in Kenya and stocked a library in South Africa with books.

Why am I telling you all of this?  I’m sharing these things with you because I truly believe that the more people genuinely give to others, the more successful they will be themselves. I fully attribute the worldwide success of BNI and its members (read some of their stories here) to this very concept. When you give to someone else because you want them to succeed, everybody wins, and you’re setting yourself up for success because the more good you do for others, the more good others want to do for you.

Starting this week, make a continuous effort to conduct your networking efforts, your business and your life with the philosophy that Givers Gain. Help people because you can and because you want to, and you’ll be amazed by the things you can achieve for yourself as a result.

To find out more about the BNI-Misner Charitable Foundation, click here.

Become a fan of the BNI-Misner Charitable Foundation on Facebook by clicking here.

Haiti Earthquake Relief Effortstring(30) "Haiti Earthquake Relief Effort"

Master networkers know that genuinely helping people is a huge part of networking because building social capital is key, and master networkers know the importance of giving.

This is exactly why I founded my international networking organization, BNI, on the philosophy that Givers Gain–meaning, if I help you build your business and accomplish your goals, you’ll naturally want to do the same for me.  Sometimes, however, situations occur that call on all of us to help–situations that are bigger than business, bigger than building social capital and bigger than networking.

One of these situations occured at 2:14 p.m. (PST) on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010 when a 7.0 earthquake struck in Haiti. On behalf of my entire organization, I would like to express our sincere sorrow to the people of Haiti who have been afflicted by this disaster.  As a result, BNI’s nonprofit charitable foundation has opened up the Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund and the BNI Foundation will match the first $10,000 USD donated to the relief effort.  This means that every dollar you give is worth $2 for the cause.

All monies donated through the BNI-Misner Foundation will go directly to the Red Cross, which has mobilized many resources, doctors and nurses to the devastated area.  Donations to the Haiti Relief Fund can be made to the BNI Foundation via the foundation’s secure credit card donation site by CLICKING HERE and writing “Haiti Relief Fund” in the comment field of the online donation form.

I applaud anybody and everybody who would like to join BNI and myself in contributing to the effort to aid the survivors of this tragedy.  Even if you cannot donate, simply passing this information along to all those in your network is a great way to contribute your help!

(Please Note–Donations are tax-free contributions for residents of the United States.  If you are a non-U.S. resident, you can check with your CPA or accountant for guidelines.)

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