Growing your Business

Obligation vs. Opportunity – A New Mindset

by: Erin Perrin, Mortgage Expert with Academy Mortgage
Queen City BNI, Burlington, Vermont

We’ve all heard the saying “glass half empty or glass half full.” These are interesting times we’re living in, and sometimes I find it’s hard to be that glass-half-full kind of person. Mind you, every day I am still telling my boys “the choice is yours – it can be a good day or a bad day – it’s in your power.” But what happened to my power?
Then some interesting things happened. First, I heard a member of my BNI chapter talk about affirmations. She spoke about the power we all have to change the reality of our lives; to pivot, change direction, focus our energy in a way that helps us grow. She shared that our energy leads us, we can change that energy, and we can realize that our lives are a series of choices. Second, I heard the BNI Power of One Podcast 20 about obligation vs. opportunity. In this podcast, they detailed things that hit home for me about how I can choose each time to evaluate how I look at things.


These two seemingly unrelated incidences were the motivation I needed and everything clicked. The day-to-day challenges, big or small, could be my opportunities, not my obligations! It wasn’t just about my work, or the kids, or BNI, or continuous change. I just needed to change my mindset!


Mark Sanborn wrote a great book entitled “You Don’t Need a Title to be a Leader.” In it, he shares that while building his business he became so overwhelmed with answering the phone that he stopped wanting to answer the phone. He knew he needed to make a change. He goes on to say “I began to see what happened to me as an opportunity rather than an obligation. And it made all the difference. Now when the phone rings, I respond to each call as an opportunity to serve, earn, learn, influence, network, encourage, or teach. The difference isn’t in the caller or the purpose for the call; the difference is in my response. …Genuine, authentic leadership infuses meaning into your life, because you know that your efforts count and that you are serving the needs of others as well as your own.”


So, how do you view your BNI Membership?

Consider the weekly meetings: Are they an obligation, something you have to do, something you have to attend? Are they an opportunity, a chance to get in front of your Team, to further build relationships, and teach your Team how to find you referrals?


What about BNI Trainings? Do you view them with heavy obligation, or as an opportunity to take advantage of learning new skill sets to take your Chapter and your businesses to the next level?


You choose how you perceive BNI, your work, and your life. Everything can be either an obligation or an opportunity, and that choice will influence the results you get. I challenge you to look at the changes you’re facing in your business, in how you teach and play, and yes, even your BNI experiences. Remind yourself it’s your choice…and choose wisely!

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