May 15, 2020

7 Ways to Go From Deciding to Doing

by Nellie Nutting

One of my favorite quotes to use when teaching leadership or self-management classes is by my favorite author, UNKNOWN.  Here it is: “Your beliefs become your thoughts; your thoughts become your words; your words become your actions; your actions become your habits; your habits become your values; your values become your destiny.”

In this uncertain time, living out our values keeps our businesses and communities going.  And as the quote states, your habits - what you do regularly - will move you in the right direction.  To help you get from DECIDING to DOING, I have compiled seven of my favorite steps, especially as they relate to BNI.

Nov 27, 2019

Dream Big – 2019 BNI Global Convention

By Executive Director Kris Vigneri

Vince and I had the opportunity to travel to Warsaw, Poland for this year’s Global Convention.  Besides catching up with our fellow Executive Directors from around the world, we had four full days of education and motivation.  The convention in Poland was the largest yet with over 1,000 members and 1,500 directors in attendance.  Dr. Ivan Misner, BNI’s Founder and Chief Visionary Officer, began the first day with the idea that big dreams can become a reality.  Begin by dreaming big, having a plan, and taking action, and from that presentation forward, the attendees were challenged to set a vision for big dreams.

A wonderful part of convention that we experienced were the member stories.  Over the years, members from around the world created video testimonials on how BNI has impacted their business and life.  This year, BNI members were also there in person, sharing their stories.  We heard members relate to their favorite BNI Core Value and how BNI has changed their lives.  Although technology has brought the world closer together in some ways, never underestimate the power of the in-person connection.  This is why I believe BNI will be around for a very long time.  In today’s world, we are losing the connection to people when texting and emailing have become the norm.  However, I believe we will continue to search out the personal connection, which BNI’s weekly meetings foster those relationships.

As with any job or business, we all need some reenergizing from time to time.  The most impactful part of the convention was the dinner Vince and I spent with Robert Skrob.  Robert is the author of Retention Point and presented on two different topics during convention.  Since part of my responsibilities within our region is working with new chapters, this dinner allowed me to put my passion into focus again.  Over the years, I have loved working with new chapters and seeing them grow from 1-2 members to 20-25 members.  And building the relationships from the very beginning has been amazing.  I asked Robert what are the two keys for BNI to retain members?  When he answered “Sponsoring a new member and giving a referral,” the light bulb went on for me.  Two of the primary pieces that I educate core group members on is how to invite and sponsor a new member AND how to give quality referrals.   Wow!!  When you receive affirmation on your work, this re-ignites the flame.

Now that we have returned, it is time to reflect on 2019 and set goals for 2020.  I’m going to dream big and put a plan into action.  Will you dream big for 2020?

Aug 14, 2019

The Power of Testimonials

by Carrie Langston-Dorhout

"People do not buy goods and services.  They buy relations, stories and magic." -Seth Godin 
What is a testimonial? One online consulting company tells us that testimonials are written or recorded statements that support your credibility and level of expertise. They also strengthen your reputation by expressing the trust that other people have in you and your business offerings.
Google defines a testimonial as "a formal statement testifying to someone's character and qualifications."

I like both of these definitions and find them to echo some core fundamentals of BNI and why BNI works for thousands of business owners across the globe. Let me explain. BNI is built on the principle of the VCP Process: Visibility, Credibility and Profitability.  We talk about these a lot with our new members in the Member Success Program.  Building our credibility with our members is key to our success in BNI.

As we look at the definitions of a testimonial above, we can see how positive and encouraging statements about our fellow members can rapidly and dramatically increase our level of credibility.  Credibility also requires trust. When we give or hear testimonials, it is one of the quickest ways to earn the trust of our members. This is one of the reason why BNI is the most powerful networking organization in the world.  BNI members have the opportunity every single week to give testimonials, expediting the speed of trust, creating favorable conditions for profitability.  
Ahh, Profitability, the ultimate goal of networking, right? It can start with something as simple, yet powerful, as a testimonial. When was the last time you gave a testimonial for one of your chapter members? Are you creating opportunities for your members to be able to give testimonials about you? Give it a try at your next chapter meeting! 
(Acknowledgments;, Google, for definition of a testimonial.)

Jul 17, 2019

Planning Your One to One

By Brandon Souba

A while back on a BNI Heartland Podcast I talked about the importance of planning and preparing for your One to Ones. (Listen to it here.) Since then, I have had a few people follow up and ask for the template I use for my One to Ones. For a long time, my answer was simply “I don’t have one,” because I feel it is unique to each person and situation. Your first One to One with a fellow member should be much different than your fourth or fifth. So while this isn't a specific template, I thought it would be helpful to lay out what goes through my brain when I am writing out my agenda for a One to One.