Ben Franklin once said, “If a man empties his purse into his head, no one can take it from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the highest return.”
Most people only pay lip service to education. Dr. Misner is convinced this is the reason that 50% of businesses fail in their first three years. Success requires that you embrace a culture of learning and work on your business.
Look at your financials. What have you spent for ongoing business education? How much time have you spent on free educational resources like this podcast?
If you don’t have a regular commitment to educational activities, go out and attend a seminar, subscribe to a podcast, or read a book.
If you go to Networking Now and enter the code “referralinstitute” you’ll get six months’ free membership.
Brought to you by Networking Now.
Complete Transcription of BNI Podcast Episode 076 -
Hello everyone, and welcome back to The Official BNI Podcast brought to you by NetworkingNow.com, which is the leading site on the Net for working dowloadables.
I am Priscilla Rice, and I am coming to you from Live Oak Recording Studio in Berkley, California, and I am joined on the phone today by the founder and the chairman of BNI, Dr. Ivan Misner.
Hello, Ivan. How are you?
I am doing great, Priscilla. Thank you.
Where are you today?
Well, I just got back from the U.S. membership drive. All of the winners from the membership drive got to go to Orlando, Florida, and I spent several days there. It was a great event. And this week I am visiting regions in Maryland and northern Virginia and other areas of Virginia as part of the book tour, and doing presentations regionally.
So, having a good time; having a chance to meet lots of BNI members. It’s great.
It sounds like fun. Well, tell us about this Emptying Your Purse into Your Head.
It’s a great phrase, and actually, I’m quoting Ben Franklin with this. And Franklin once said that, “If a man empties his purse into his head” – I guess they had purses back in the 1700s – “If a man empties his purse into his head, no one can take it from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the highest return.”
And I love that concept, and it really fits with what we’re doing with these podcasts.
Here’s the thing. Most business people that I have found pay lip service to education, maybe not the listeners to this podcast, because they’re actually taking the time to listen to the podcast and so they’re not paying lip service to it. But I think most people would agree that when you’re talking about education, everybody says, “Yeah, it’s real important,” but when people take the time consistently to listen to podcasts or to read blogs or to read books or listen to CDs, many people often don’t. So, I’m talking about the average business professionally. If you ask a group of business people if they’d be willing to attend a seminar on networking, three-quarters of the room would raise their hand and say, “Oh, yeah.” If you said, “Okay, it’s four weeks from tomorrow at 7:00 p.m.,” only a handful will actually sign up.
I teach management and business at local universities in Southern California, and it used to surprise me when I heard that 50 percent of all businesses fail in their first three years. Now that I have been in business for several decades and have seen a lot of entrepreneurs come and go, I’m a little surprised that 50 percent actually make it past three years, because many of them don’t spend time focusing on education for their business so that they improve.
Now, maybe I’m being a little harsh, but I don’t think too harsh. One thing that I’ve learned is that most successful business professionals embrace a culture of learning in order to excel. Personal and professional self-development is a journey, not a destination. It’s something that it’s always a work in progress. And oftentimes, business people get so caught up working in their business that the forget to spend time working on their business. Part of working on a business is one’s professional development.
With that in mind, here’s an action I would give to all the listeners of this podcast. Take a few minutes, look at your financials or your checkbook or your credit card statement for the last year. What have you spent for any type of ongoing business education? If you aren’t emptying some of your purse into your head, take a few minutes to think about what you need to learn to help build your business and sign up for something this week. Don’t put it off any longer. It doesn’t have to cost money. This podcast is free. I talk about this on one of my blogs at NetworkingEntrepreneur.com, I talk about emptying your purse into your head, and somebody got on and they left a message saying, “Well, you don’t have to actually empty your entire purse into your head. There’s material like this blog, and there’s other free stuff on the Internet.” Yeah, okay. Don’t take it literal.
Franklin didn’t mean to spend every penny you have on education, but he just meant if you spend money on education, it is money well spent. So I’m not suggesting you mortgage your house and go out and take programs. I’m suggesting you spend an appropriate amount of money learning how – and if you don’t have any budget at all today, there is so much free material on the Internet like this podcast and my blog and other things. But still, you’re going to have to take time. And guess what? Time is money.
So one way or another, you are going to either spend money or spend time doing this. I think something that really successful business people understand is that if you want to earn more, you have to learn more. And, of course, reading or listening to this podcast regularly is a good start. It wouldn’t hurt.
I think that’s true, and you don’t have to spend money. You can go to a library. There’s a library in our BNI group, actually, and we share books. You can share audio tapes. You can download podcasts, all kinds of things that are free.
There are a lot of things free. I’m going to do this right off the cuff. I hadn’t planned on doing this. But here’s a Web site that people can go to that I’m affiliated with, and it’s the one that sponsors this podcast, and it’s NetworkingNow.com. I’m going to give the listeners a code, and this code will give them six months free membership on NetworkingNow.com. They can get literally hundreds of PDF downloadables and audio presentations by me and other people. NetworkingNow.com. Here’s the free coupon code; it’s all one word: referralinstitute, all lowercase, one word, so no space in between; referralinstitute. So when they go to NetworkingNow.com, there’s a coupon code, punch that in, six months free. They will need to give a credit card to confirm they are who they are, but if they cancel at 5 months and 29 days, they’ll never, ever be billed. And tons of stuff that they can have for free at NetworkingNow.com, plus my blog at NetworkingEntrepreneur.com and, of course, this podcast, which they’re listening to now.
That sounds great. Thank you, Ivan. That’s very generous.
I think we’ve almost run out of time. Do you have anything else you’d like to say?
No. If the listeners of the podcast want to read some more material about this, there’s a blog that I did at Networking Entrepreneur in September of ’08 that they can go listen to and comment on as well.
Okay, great. Well, thank you.
I’d like to remind the listeners that this podcast has been brought to you by NetworkingNow.com, the leading site on the Net for working downloadables. Thanks for listening. This is Priscilla Rice, and we hope you’ll join us next week for another exciting episode of The Official BNI Podcast.