Submitted by Peter Ruthenberg, BNI Intrepid, BNI South Peninsula, South Africa
I consider myself fortunate to have been invited to join a BNI core group in Cape Town before the chapter launched. I understood the benefits of being in a network group, but the deciding factor for me to sign up as a member was the structure that BNI offers, the repetitious nature of a simple-to-follow system that encourages being focused, and that members are held accountable – especially for giving good quality referrals and follow through when a referral is received.
I definitely benefited from our core group members pulling together for a common chapter launch goal, and from having the advantage of being in weekly training with a director consultant at a point where no “bad habits” might have crept into our meetings – as well as from attending Member Success Training. But, it took six months and a particular One-to-One for me to truly begin to gain the benefits of being a BNI member. About six months in I had a One-to-One with a BNI member who highly recommended listening to the BNI podcasts. I took up his recommendation and started at podcast #1. I have subsequently listened to BNI podcasts at a rate of about 15 to 20 per month and it has made a remarkable difference to my BNI membership.
From the start I have found it easy to have One-to-Ones and build relationships with my fellow members; and I take every opportunity to invite visitors, sharing with them firsthand how BNI has helped to grow my business, but that having been said, listening to podcasts, being trained by Dr. Ivan Misner, reinforcing the basics of The Power of One, and keeping my BNI goals firmly in view has made a significant difference to my membership – and I have not looked back!
I have found that BNI education comes in several forms: In being dedicated to self-education; in being continually educated regarding my fellow members’ businesses and their ideal referrals; and, as President of my chapter, in educating my fellow members by walking the talk. You first have to do what you would like other members to do – for the good of everyone in the chapter.