Today’s podcast focuses on the theme “Taking the hard path often makes life easier, and taking the easy path often makes life harder.” When a BNI group takes the easy path and doesn’t hold members accountable, the chapter struggles. Groups that work hard to maintain attendance and quality referrals flourish. If you do the hard work up front, in the long run, it’s easier to keep your group going.
Ask yourself: Are you practicing hard/easy or easy/hard in your life? What about your BNI group? Share your experiences with taking the hard path or the easy path in the comments here.
Brought to you by Networking Now.
Complete Transcription of BNI Podcast Episode 068 –
Hello everyone. Welcome back to the Official BNI Podcast brought to you by networkingnow.com, the leading site on the net for networking downloadables. I’m Priscilla Rice and I’m coming to you from Live Oaks Recording Studio in Berkeley, California. I’m joined on the phone today by the Founder and Chairman of BNI, Dr. Ivan Misner. Hello Ivan, how are you?
I’m doing great, Priscilla. Thank you.
Where are you coming from today?
I’m in beautiful Vail, Colorado doing the podcast today. I’m at a meeting of the Transformational Leadership Council. TLC is a group put together by Jack Canfield, who is a co-author of the Chicken Soup For The Soul series. It’s made up of trainers and what he calls, thought leaders, helping to transform peoples lives in various ways. A few years ago, I was invited to participate in TLC. I’ve been a member, now a founding member of the organization, for the last three years or so.
How many people are in that organization?
All together, there’s about one hundred people. Usually at the TLC Conferences you’ll get at least sixty to eighty people at the sessions. They are five days– lots of seminars, a lot programs that you hear. You may have seen the movie, The Secret. Half of the people in The Secret are members of TLC– A lot of truly transformational trainers in the program.
That sounds great. What did you learn?
I picked up a lot of things, but there was one that just so perfectly fit BNI. I thought it would make a great podcast. I had an opportunity to sit in on a presentation by TLC member, Steven D’Annunzio. Steve talked about a lot of things, but there was one that really resonated with me. It was a discussion about taking the easy path or the hard path in the decisions that we make throughout life. He said something that I think fits BNI perfectly. He said,” taking the hard path often makes life easier, and taking the easy path often makes life harder.” I sat there and thought about how much that truly applies to BNI. I’ve seen some groups that take the easy path. They don’t hold members accountable for attendance, or quality referrals, following the system or general support of the group, because these things are in fact, hard to maintain. The real tragedy is that they may go on this path for a really long time, not being willing to take the hard steps necessary to build a successful BNI group. The results are inevitable; the chapter struggles. Taking the easy path leads to difficulty for the chapter.
On the other hand, I see so many groups that work hard to maintain attendance, maintain quality referrals, follow the system, and cultivate a positive attitude. This is really difficult to do consistently. It’s hard. However, the results here are also inevitable. These chapters tend to be much more successful. That’s why I’m calling this podcast, The Hard Path Is Easier. The groups that are willing to do the hard work necessary up front, tend to have a lot of success. In the long run, it’s really much, much easier. Truly, in BNI taking the hard path often makes business and life much easier and taking the easy path can make business and life much harder. Steve ended his presentation by asking, “are you practicing hard/easy or are you practicing easy/hard in your life?” I think that this concept is a powerful question with significant meaning to every BNI chapter. I think it would make a great discussion with fellow members here on this broadcast. So, if you’re listening to this podcast, I would love for you to talk a little bit about your experiences with taking the hard path or the easy path in BNI.
That’s great. Do you have any other examples in your life or from your business experience?
Sure. I have teenage kids right now — one in college and one on her way to college and one preparing for college. That’s a great example of what I’m talking about. I am, of course, trying to coach my kids into going into college and being prepared for college. That is absolutely the hard path. Finishing high school and then going on for a college degree, it’s a lot of work for kids, but most people would agree, and certainly the statistics bear out that a young person with a college degree over the course of their lifetime, end up making substantially more money on average than those without a college degree.
I know, people always point to other really successful people without a degree, and they say this person–my favorite one is Bill Gates. Bill Gates doesn’t have a college degree. Bill Gates has 3 1/2 years of college from Harvard, so you can’t use Bill Gates as an example. He left early, but he came very close to finishing a college degree. He does in fact have a college [education]. That’s a great example of how taking the hard path can often times make life easier.
That’s a great example. What do you think, is there anything else you would like to add?
No, I think this will do it. For those of you listening to the podcast, I would really, really like for you to find examples in your life, personally or professionally. We would love to hear and see on the messages here on the podcast, examples in your life where you did things hard that made things easier, or you did things easy and it made things hard. And particularly, if you have a great example, you don’t have to name names or name chapters. If you’re with a chapter that really follows the program and that makes for a great chapter or you found that you didn’t follow the program and the chapter struggled. I’ve seen a lot of chapters where they didn’t follow the program, it struggled and all of a sudden they decided they had to buckle down and do the hard work and then they created a great chapter. I would love to hear your story or read your story here at BNI.com. I ask you the listener to take a few moments and write something down. We want to see examples of this in real life.
Thanks, Dr. Misner. That was very interesting. I would like to let the listeners know that this podcast was brought to you by networkingnow.com, which is the leading site on the net for networking downloadables. Thanks so much for listening. This is Priscilla Rice and we hope you’ll join us next week for another exciting episode of the Official BNI Podcast.