givers gain Archives - Dr. Ivan Misner®
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.

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.

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.

Resist Coin-Operated Networking

When networking, do you only talk to those who can give you the most in return? Do you only give your business card to someone who you will bring you a ton of referrals? Do you only give referrals if you know you’ll get them in return?

If this sounds like you, you are doing it all wrong. Networking is not a vending machine. You don’t put in coins into the machine and get a candy bar every time–sometimes, you have to wait for your candy.

This mentality is called “transactional networking,” which is going to get you nowhere quickly in the world of referral networking. The “I will give you this, now you have to give me that,” point of view is only going to leave you sorely disappointed.

Instead, the proper mindset is, “Let me help you. I’ve got some ideas. I have a referral for you.” Over time, they’ll give it back you when the opportunity arises. This mentality is called “relational.” Keeping score or holding a referral back because you haven’t received one in return won’t always work, but thinking about giving before getting and making it the foundation of your business reputation, will.

Let’s take a closer look. If you’re keeping score and have given two referrals, but only received one in return, you might be a little disappointed. But consider the value of those referrals. You can’t simply go by the numbers. Two referrals to a florist are vastly different than two referrals to a real estate agent. By the same token, we don’t think it’s realistic to expect $1,000 worth of referrals from someone just because you passed them referrals of that amount.

By applying the Givers Gain philosophy, you will make your referral relationships relational rather than transactional and find success in this relationship. Let’s say there’s somebody you don’t know well, but you want to know that person better and build a referral relationship. You think this person may be able to help you and you know you can help them. You don’t start a referral relationship by asking them to sign a contract that for every referral you give him, he has to give you one in return! The way to start the process is to give.

I understand the hesitation to give referrals to someone you don’t know well–but giving doesn’t have to start with a referral. It can start with a conversation. If you’re having a conversation with a possible referral partner and they express a problem they may be having, you might say, “You know, I just read a great article on that. I’ll email it to you.” You hand them your business card with your email address on it, they do the same and –voila! A connection is made through giving.

Remember, networking is more about farming than it is about hunting. It’s about cultivating relationships.

State Side Once Again

Passion. Energy. Gratitude.

Those tokens are what I remember from those who attended the BNI Conferences of Italy and England.

For those of you who don’t know, my wife Beth and I were in Europe the past three weeks traveling to Italy and England for their BNI National Conferences. This was our first trip to Italy, and  I hadn’t visited England in several years, so this was a big deal for all those involved.

One of the reasons I enjoy traveling to the international conferences, is because I love meeting the people who drive BNI: our Members. Business owners who are working hard to make it in the world, who are dedicated to our core values, who are passionate about learning ways to make their business better. Seeing their energy and their commitment is what drives me to keep producing content and find new ways to give real people real advice on networking and small business performance.

In Italy, what impressed me the most was the hospitality of the people. The warmth and kindness was palpable and I had no problem opening up–even with the language barrier. Like I always say, networking is the same in any language, and culture can’t stop people from interacting from one another. (In fact, I challenge you to network with someone who practices a different culture than you do– you might be surprised at just how similar you are.) Everyone wants to succeed, everyone wants to use the tools given to them in the right way–which is something I felt deeply from Italian Members. At every turn there was someone shaking my hand, thanking me for helping them push through some of the hardest times of their professional lives–for that, I am grateful.

Our Members in England were unique in their energy, to be sure. The excitement and enthusiasm was something I wish I could bottle and take whenever I need a boost! Once I took the stage on Friday at their conference’s Members Day, the Tweets began multiplying like fireworks–hundreds within a mere few hours. It wasn’t ignorance on fire, but passion, which is even better. They took every word of my speech to heart, hung on every word, which made me feel completely humbled and appreciative. I look over those tweets and think, “Wow! They liked me–they really liked me!”

Take a look through this photo album and see if you can feel what I felt during that time. It was truly something I will never forget.

 

 

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Ivan on fire

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ivan17ivan15ivan14ivan13ivan11ivan10Ivan8.2ivan12

 

 

 

 

 

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!

Talking on Givers Gain, Passions, and Family

I have been interviewed by countless reporters, blog authors, and more. Usually once you hit the “dozen books published” line, they assume you have a thing or two to say. With all of those interviews, you’d think I’d run out of things to say. In actuality, I’ve found that the energy of the person interviewing me really comes into play and helps make each conversation unique.

Below are a few clips from a recent talk I did with Cordelia Henry of the Referral Institute. We cover a wide spectrum of topics, which I always love because it gives plenty of variety.

On Givers Gain:

On Working in Your Flame:

On Family:

On the Greatest Referral I Ever Got:

Thanks Cordelia, for the wonderful conversation!

Will You Take the Givers Gain Challenge?

Givers GainThis time of year always leaves me very reflective. Since it is Thanksgiving here in the United States today, I just want to take a moment to talk about something near and dear to me – Givers Gain.

I have a lot to be thankful for, from my wonderful family to my striving business networking organization. Thanksgiving isn’t the only day that I’m thankful, but it certainly is one day that gives me a chance to relax and enjoy the things that I am thankful for.

I’ve said it before, and I’m sure I’ll say it again – Givers Gain is a standard, not a sword. By giving to others, in all aspects of life, ultimately I will reap the benefits. However, looking at others and judging their actions against Givers Gain will never benefit anyone. After 3 decades of keeping this standard close to my heart, it remains just as true.

That being said, I have a challenge for you all. Go out sometime in the next week or so and do something selflessly for others. It could be for someone close to you, or a complete stranger, or a group of people. Whomever you do something for, do it with only their best interest in mind.

Share with me, either through this blog or on my social media, what happened when you were truly selfless. I’d love to hear your stories.

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