Keeping the "Fun" in the Fundamentals

Keeping the “Fun” in the Fundamentals

When it comes to business, having fun is something that’s almost never talked about–it’s almost like people think fun and business are two completely unrelated, and mutually exclusive things.  However, I don’t share that opinion at all.  I definitely think it’s important to have fun in business; in fact, over time I’ve learned that having fun is something businesses and networking groups alike need to do in order to truly enjoy lasting success.

In this video, I talk about how important it is to keep the “fun” in the fundamentals.  To sum it up, if you don’t have fun, it’s easy to lose track of why you are where you are and why you’re doing what you’re doing–it’s easy to lose your excitement.  Once you lose your excitement for something, your passion for it is gone and it’s very hard to be successful at anything if you’re not passionate about it.  This is why it’s so important to have a good time in whatever you’re doing–business, networking, or otherwise.

After watching the video, please share some of the ways you (when it comes to your business and/or networking) or your networking group (when it comes to your networking meetings) keep the fun in the fundamentals.  In the spirit of fun, I’ll review all the comments next Friday (3/29) and I’ll send a surprise gift to the ten people whose tactics for keeping the fun in the fundamentals were the most striking, impressive, and creative.  Thanks and I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

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33 thoughts on “Keeping the “Fun” in the Fundamentals

  1. In our BNI group we will put every members name into a hat and then have members draw a name out. The member then has to give the info commercial of the member who’s name they drew out. This is a fun thing to do with group and it also shows who is paying attention at the meetings during info commercials.

  2. Sorry! I see your video is about the same thing I discussed. I have to say, it was just as fun as you stated.

  3. Hi Ivan, here’s my idea for having more fun in the fundamentals: let each member integrate / re-use one (key)word or sentence in his 60sec presentation from the member that held his presentation before him. As a result there’s more focus on each others presentations and it’s a lot of fun, especially when two members are doing complete separate things and have to use the same word or sentence…

    Eelko Vooijs
    BNI Mars Netherlands

    1. Great idea, Eelko! My Communications Supervisor, Erin Mellinger (erin@bni.com), has sent you an e-mail message and once you reply to her with your mailing address, your surprise gift will be mailed out to you. Thanks so much.

  4. Hi Ivan,
    I agree having FUN with the Fundamentals is important!!! Our chapter’s favorite SMM meeting stimulants are writing poems about our businesses/products and during holidays we have food/toy drives and correlate our SMM to the item(s) we bring in. It tends to be a competition of who brings the most, how quickly they can relate it to their business and how hard we all laugh!!!

    1. Love this concept, Suzanne. My Communications Supervisor, Erin Mellinger (erin@bni.com), has sent you an e-mail message and once you reply to her with your mailing address, your surprise gift will be mailed out to you. Thanks for your input!

  5. Goodmorging Ivan,
    (it’s 08:29 in the morning here in the Netherlands)

    We in our BNI group had a 60-seconds change once. We all pict out a paper with another ones name on it.. The next week, or a week later, i don’t remember, we did the 60-seconds of the one who was on the paper. It was pretty difficult but also very fun to do. And it did set us to the chair because it was a great surprise who did your presentation… we kept it a secret from who we pict the paper. A lot of excitement and sometime also a laugh. But a great practice and a good chance to learn something else again about the other ones business.

    1. Hi Karin. You are describing Meeting Stimulant #1 or #2 (don’t recall which). It is a very good one. You can connect with your BNI Director to get a full copy of the exercise.

      1. Hi. 😉 i know! In DC and trying to start à nee chapter for Jules Baartmans in the Utrecht area. Kust wanted to mention IT because we did the # and IT worked!

  6. Dear Ivan,

    I love your blogs, especially this one. i am one of the founding members of the first belgian chapter, and we do think fun is a big part of the succes in our group. In only a few months our group went up to 40 members. And everytime we have visitors from the netherlands or other chapters they say they want to cherish the fun part of our meetings. Most of the time, it happens spontaneously, on the spot, some one does his 60 seconds presentation in rhyme, and everyone locks in, so i guess that also means our members are realy up to speed and attentive to what is going on. We LOVE to keep the fun in fundamentals! by this, do invite you to visit our chapter in the near future. Dispite the language barrier(and here i want to appologize for my bad english), you will see a very close group! fter all, humour in a group also shows and promotes a bond between members. You are welcome to experience BNI Polygoon anytime.
    Friendly greetings,
    stef

    1. Thanks so much for the feedback, Stef. My Communications Supervisor, Erin Mellinger (erin@bni.com), has sent you an e-mail message and once you reply to her with your mailing address, your surprise gift will be mailed out to you. Thanks again!

  7. Hi Ivan
    As an air conditioning guy it can be difficult to use props. However i overcome this by using a jar of “sweat” in my 60 seconds, and showing my 40 colleagues that this is the result of not having adequate air conditioning. usually gets quite a laugh, and has become infamous in the Durham & Teesside region.
    Best Regards
    Stuart

    1. Hello, Stuart. Thank you so much for your comment. Please send an e-mail to erin@bni.com containing the mailing address which you would like your surprise gift to be mailed to. Thanks again.

  8. Greetings Dr.Misner,
    Our chapter put the fun in fudamentials! My role as Event Coordinator is to. Keep the team upbeat and motivated.I keep it lively. As the Caterer/Event planner in the group I have the know how. Next week to commemorate our first anniversary the incoming president and I are planning a flash surprise birthday party for the chapter. Useing visitors in my sphere photgrapher, baker,musician,et we will both highlight visitors and celebrate with an over the top 5 minuet party in lieu of announcements as to keep the integrity of the meting. We passed 1.8 million dollars in our first year! Marie

    1. Marie, this sounds like a lot of fun and congratulations to you and your chapter on such a successful first year! My Communications Supervisor, Erin Mellinger (erin@bni.com), has sent you an e-mail message and once you reply to her with your mailing address, your surprise gift will be mailed out to you. Thanks!

  9. We began a really fun exercise for members called “celebrity endorsements” that has been used by many chapters in our region. Members are asked, “If you paid a celebrity to endorse your product or service, who would it be and what would they say”. The members create a sales manager moment and become the celebrity to deliver their message. It’s one of the most talked about meeting stimulants we’ve ever used.

    1. George, this is great! My Communications Supervisor, Erin Mellinger (erin@bni.com), has sent you an e-mail message and once you reply to her with your mailing address, your surprise gift will be mailed out to you. Thanks for your comment!

  10. On one occasion I supplied zero warning and throttled the 60 seconds down to thirty seconds for infomercial time. Expressions on faces were as rewarding as many of the “revised on the fly” mini presentations! Members were pleased that they could improvise on the spot.

    John MacLennan
    BNI Northwest Success
    Grande Prairie AB Canada

    1. Interesting tactic, John–thanks for sharing! My Communications Supervisor, Erin Mellinger (erin@bni.com), has sent you an e-mail message and once you reply to her with your mailing address, your surprise gift will be mailed out to you. Thanks again!

  11. The ladies in our chapter got together and decided we would all use the word “bananas” in our Sales Manager Minutes. But we didn’t tell the gents in the group. As we went around the room giving Sales Managers Minutes, there was a bit of confusion, then some laughter, and by the time we got far enough around the room the guys were trying to fit the word bananas into their SMMs as well.
    Debbie Thompson
    BNI Universal
    Australia

    1. Hello, Debbie. Very creative idea! Please send an e-mail to erin@bni.com containing the mailing address which you would like your surprise gift to be mailed to. Thanks so much.

    1. Kent, I really appreciate the feedback you consistently give on my blog posts. Thank you so much for your enthusiastic participation, your interest in this blog site, and your continued support. All the best!

    1. Charlie, this is fantastic–music is a great tool for making an impact and being memorable and it sounds like you really have fun with it. My Communications Supervisor, Erin Mellinger (erin@bni.com), has sent you an e-mail message and once you reply to her with your mailing address, your surprise gift will be mailed out to you. Please pass my congratulations on to your chapter for doing such a good job of being a “fun bunch” and keeping the fun in the fundamentals. Thanks!

  12. Our chapter in Phoenix, AZ USA did a meeting stimulant where a small dictionary was passed around. Each member opened it and randomly put their finger on a word, which had to be used in the next member’s presentation. Very fun and educational. We have done many types of stimulants but this one was exceptionally funny.

  13. Hi Ivan
    We had each member change their 60 seconds to the form of a well known fairy tale or nursery rhyme to promote their business. It worked well, people concentrated on writing their own 60 seconds more, listening to others and it gave us all different perspectives on each other’s business, whilst being fun too.
    Ailsa Watson, Chapter Director, Doncaster Vikings, England

  14. One week without warning, I asked the group to focus their 60 second commercials on their first job and tell us how that job taught them something they still use in their business or in some way relates to what they do today. What came from this was us all learning new & interesting things about one another. it made for a very fun, meeting.

  15. Dear Ivan

    Will you give me the tips for our 30 seconds presentation for fun in fundamental and we are trading with ups and batteries

  16. Hello Ivan, I am on GRC at Playmakers in Seal Beach, CA and I come up with the STIMS for my group. I do one once a month. For the last STIM, everyone had to bring an item related to their business and explain how it is used. Our accountant brought beans and a calculator, our landscaper; his clippers. I brought a device that we use to measure tall buildings for signage (I own a sign company). It was a lot of fun. I’m always looking to top my previous STIM!

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