It’s Up to Us to Make a Differencestring(36) "It’s Up to Us to Make a Difference"

International Networking Week® guest blog
by Michael Mayer, National Director, BNI Germany – Austria

Infinate Giving

It’s up to us to make a difference. Especially in times like these, in which our lives are dominated by a pandemic, worries and uncertainty prevail. However, we can make a difference by supporting entrepreneurs. Each and every one of us can contribute to making the world a better place and to improving the lives of people around us.

 

I often tell the story of a message I received from Frederik Malsy, a BNI® franchisee from Germany. In his message, he asked me, “Michael, since you are on my list today, how could I improve your life or help you (with contacts, etc.) by dedicating 20-30 minutes of my time to you? What can I do for you?”

Frederik has been doing this for two years now and it really inspired me. Since then, it has been my goal to truly help one person per day. I also write it down in a book. It’s all about taking action instead of only talking about it. If every BNI member, every entrepreneur and everyone else helped another person every day, it would have a major impact on our world. It does not matter if you help someone with a referral, your contacts, a piece of advice or by simply listening to them. In any case, it would not only have significant effects on the world of business but also on society in general. Imagine 285,000 BNI members helping others every day. With this initiative, we could help 8.55 million people per month to live a better and happier life. Wow!
I am inspired and motivated because I believe that this is possible if we all pull together.

It’s Your Choice

Another example of how we can change the life of others: A Polish BNI partner called me last summer. I had just arrived in Croatia where I wanted to spend my summer holidays with my family. I had planned to spend less time on the phone and actively try to relax. When he called, he asked whether I had contacts to an insurance company in Germany because his aunt had a brain tumor, and her insurance didn’t cover the costs for the necessary procedure. At that moment I had to make a decision. Do I want to help, or do I tell him that I’m on vacation and can’t help?
For me, the decision was clear. I called Britta Deuwerth, our BNI franchisee in the Northwestern region of Germany, and in a joint effort, we were able to help. In the end, the insurance covered the costs, and it was even possible to get an earlier appointment for the surgery.

Don’t Wait, Start Now!

My request to you: Choose a few people from your community, your BNI Chapter, your BNI region, among your employees, within your family and from your group of friends, contact them and ask them, “How can I help you?” Prepare a weekly schedule and make a note of who you are going to help today, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow and so on. Reserve approximately 20-30 minutes every day to help these people.

Of course, this is time-consuming, but together we can make a real difference. Sometimes it is enough to actively listen to people. A short while ago, a friend told me that he wanted to relandscape a flowerbed in his garden. With the simple sentence: “Have you already found someone to do the job? I know a great gardener I could call!” I was able to help. A few weeks later, the work on the flowerbed was completed, my friend was more than happy with the result, and the gardener had finished a job he would otherwise not have gotten. In addition, two neighbors saw the flowerbed and as a result, they also hired the gardener. Total contract value: 13,500 euros. Little things make all the difference and commitment definitely pays off. 

I can only speak for myself, but it really fulfills me and makes me happy to help others. And I can promise you that the help you offer is appreciated. Sometimes people might be surprised when you contact them. They might also not know immediately how you can help them. But that doesn’t matter. If you talk to them for a bit, you usually find out more about the challenges they are currently facing.

Let’s start a movement! Who’s in? At BNI, we simply do it. We are movers and shakers. If you have any questions on how to start, I am happy to offer advice and support. I invite you to play your part. It’s up to you if we only think about it or really do it! One thing is certain: We are changing the way the world does business based on Giver’s Gain®

 Michael Mayer | BNI Germany – Austria
#BNIGermanyAustria