I have heard pleasant and unpleasant stories of BNI groups. I’ve concentrated on the past year to open networking (That’s where you go to an event and network without it being a membership organization or you having to be a member). I allowed other people to block my judgement. Well I was invited to a BNI group here in Houston yesterday by one of the speakers for WAGC Bootcamp. I walked into the unknown. First, the meeting started at 7 am. As an entrepreneur, I like to start my meetings no earlier than 10 am. I like to ease into my day. But I went and was surprised by what I learned.
The BNI group I went to this morning was very warm and inviting. I like the structure of their program. I won’t get into specifics because I don’t want to infringe on sharing their structure or philosophy. I do, however, want to share some connecting and networking lessons I learned yesterday.
- Enter a new environment with an open mind and willing attitude to meet new people.
- Listen attentively to what is being said. This will give you insight if you choose to be associated with the group or not.
- Stay a little afterwards to speak with a few people. You never know who you will have a conversation with or what opportunity will come from the conversation.
So this is what I learned about a closed networking group. Don’t always allow what others say dictate the opportunities that present themselves to you.
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