This week is BNI’s International Conference; we’re celebrating 25 years since our foundation.
Success is not an entitlement. It’s not a right or a claim that we should have. Yes, people have the right to pursue success, but that’s it. Success is most often earned, not handed over because you are entitled. If being successful were that easy, everyone would have the success he thinks he deserves. I think I was in my thirties before I truly understood and internalized that idea.
The secret to success without hard work is still a secret.
You can read the excerpt on Dr. Misner’s Entrepreneur.com blog.
Brought to you by Networking Now.
Complete Transcription of BNI Podcast Episode 180 -
Hello everyone, and welcome back to The Official BNI Podcast brought to you by NetworkingNow.com, which is the leading site on the web for networking downloadables. I’m Priscilla Rice, and I’m coming to you from Live Oak Recording Studio in Berkley, California, and I’m joined on the phone today by the Founder and the Chairman of BNI, Dr. Ivan Misner. Hello Ivan. How are you and where are you?
I am doing great and this is the International Conference Week for BNI. We are celebrating the end of our 25th anniversary.
We’ll have hundreds of BNI Directors, probably 600 or more from all over the world, and several hundred BNI members at our event this week, which starts toward the end of the week.
That sounds great.
Yeah. It’ll be fun, a great celebration of 25 plus years of the organization.
So what are you planning to share with us?
I have a rant for you today. You know, I received a few weeks ago a really disturbing email message berating me for sharing what he felt were some aspects of my success on my Facebook fan page. BNI has a fan page and Ivan Misner has a fan page. Maybe on this podcast, we can do a link to the Ivan Misner page for those people who want to see what it is that I am referring to.
It was mostly relating to my discussions about my business travel and corporate meetings that I did from my lake home over the summer, which I have talked about on these podcasts many times. I have to say that it really brought me down a bit when I read this. I was very frustrated, and I went to my library and picked up a book that I wrote years ago called “Masters of Success.” I read a piece in it that I wrote, called “Success Is Not an Entitlement,” which I hoped would sort of refocus my mindset after receiving this, what I thought was a vitriolic piece of email.
I would like to share this excerpt with the listeners of the podcast today. I have updated some of the material, but it is pretty much a direct excerpt from the article. I think it is important to understand. I feel like I am a 20-year overnight success. It has taken at least 20 years. BNI is now 25 years old. I hope that everyone, including my critic, can see some value in this message because I found value in reading what I had written years ago.
Everyone wants some degree of success. We might want it in different forms, but I have never met anyone who didn’t want to be successful at something important. This is good. I believe everyone is entitled to pursue success, but success is not an entitlement. Not long ago, I wrote- this is years ago. Not long ago, I was talking to someone I had known for many years about personal success, the growth of my company and some other personal goals I had recently met.
He looked at me and said, “You are really lucky. It must be nice.”
I said, “Yeah. I am lucky. Let me tell you the secret to my luck. First, I went to college for 10 years. During that time, I started several businesses. For the next 25 years, I worked really, really, really long hours. Along the way, I mortgaged my house a couple times. “ Actually, it was for BNI, but I didn’t say it in this article. “ And I wrote 12 books. If you apply that kind of effort to whatever you do, you, too, can be just a lucky.”
The guy laughed and said. “Okay. Okay. I get it.” But did he really get it? I don’t think so because he really never changed his behavior or started making different choices.
For about 20 of my 25 years of hard work, I didn’t feel very lucky or incredibly successful. It took hard work and it took good choices before I felt a modicum of success.The problem is that many people want to go from Point A to Point Z and bypass all the challenges in between. They work hard, so they feel that they deserve the success they want, and they tend to resent the success that other people have.
Success is not an entitlement. It is not a right or a claim that we should have. Yeah, people have the right to pursue success, but that is it. Success is most often learned, not handed over because you were entitled. If being successful were that easy, everyone would have the success they think they deserve.
I think I was probably in my 30s before I really understood and internalized that idea. I have been trying to instill this wisdom- and I wrote this a number of years ago. I have been trying to instill this wisdom in my then nine-year old son- he is now 17- by teaching him my mantra of success. Years ago, I asked him- I would do this all the time with him. I said, “Tre, what is the secret to success?”
He said in his young boy’s slightly bored sing song tone – you have probably seen it with kids. He said, “The secret of success without hard work and good choices is still a secret. Can I go out and play now, Dad?” I laughed, and I remember thinking nine might be a little young to start withthis kind of training. But then, maybe not. Any age is good to start with this kind of training. Success is not an entitlement. We are all entitled to pursue success.
I read this article and I started thinking, you know what, I am proud of what I have done with BNI and I am glad to share some of the successes the organization has had. In these podcasts, I talk about some of the places I am at for the organization and some of the things that I am doing for the organization. I do that because, including time- and you and I have done some interviews where I was at my lake home in Big Bear.
I think it’s really important to share those kinds of things with people because they can see what hard work can lead to. More important than anything else, it makes them feel like they are connected in some way. It makes you feel more personal, when you are talking about some of the personal things that are going on in your life and in running a network. I say this to BNI members who are being introduced to speak at a BNI meeting: talk about some of your personal background because people are interested in people, not just professions. Thatis why I share some of the personal stuff that I share because people are interested in people. They are interested in the kinds of things that I do for the organization, and in me as a person- not just the business stuff.
So I am going to continue to do it and I am going to continue to talk about some of the things- usually I tie it into business in some way. I am going to talk about the time that I take off, and those kinds of things that I am doing, especially as they connect to BNI.
I personally think that it’s really fun. Some of us just can’t leave our businesses as often, and we’re not working on the road. You go all over the world. I think it’s fun to see some of the places that you visit and some of the unique things that you do. It’s kind of a treat.
True. But remember, my business is all over the world. This summer I went to South Africa, Amsterdam, the United Kingdom, Scotland, England and Ireland. Those were business trips. Although I certainly took some time off as I traveled, those were business trips. I like to share what I am doing. Listen, I want members to know that I am not sitting in an ivory tower at BNI headquarters everyday of the week. I am out traveling and visiting regions. I have seen members. I meet members. It’s the fun part of my job, to go out and meet people and talk to them about how I am doing in the organization. I am going to continue to do that as long as I am associated with BNI.
I think that is great, and we get to enjoy it with you.
Good. I am glad. We are going to continue to share it on these podcasts an on my blog. Thank you very much.
Okay great. Thank you, Ivan. Well, that is it for this week. I would just like to remind the listeners that today’s podcast was brought to you by NetworkingNow.com, which is the leading site on the net for networking downloadables. Thank you so much for listening. This is Priscilla Rice, and we hope that you will join us again next week for another exciting episode of The Official BNI Podcast.