- “We’re not in Kansas anymore.” BNI is a new way, even a magical way, of doing things.
- “Follow the Yellow Brick Road.” Our fellow members show us the path we need to follow to grow our businesses. On the way we find companions, as well as heart, brains, and courage.
- The Wicked Witch of the West pursues us in the form of our doubts.
- Glinda the Good Witch appears in the form of your BNI Director when you need extra help.
- There is no all-powerful wizard. At first it seems superhuman powers are required to do all that’s asked of us in BNI, but we have everything we need within us.
Brought to you by Networking Now.
Complete Transcript of Episode 403 –
Hello everyone and welcome back to the Official BNI Podcast, brought to you by the NetworkingNow.com, which is the leading site on the net for networking downloadables. I am Priscilla Rice, coming to you from from Live Oak Recording Studio in Berkeley, CA. I am joined on the phone today by the Founder of BNI, Dr. Ivan Misner. Hello, Ivan. How are you today?
I am doing great, Priscilla, and I have a guest on tonight. His name is Greg Morrison. Greg has been in the field of law. He is an attorney and has been an attorney for 24 years. He is practicing family law in Texas. He has been a BNI member for eight years and is no the Co-Executive Director in the South Central Texas Region. His name is Greg Morrison, and Greg says that BNI has helped to grow his business a great deal.
I just had to have Greg on because he has the concept that I think is fantastic for BNI members. It is called BNI in the Land of Oz. Greg, welcome to the BNI Podcast.
Thank you so much Dr. Misner. It is great to be here with you.
I appreciate it. Greg, please call me Ivan. I love this topic, BNI in the Land of Oz. You have three points that you want to talk about. I think BNI members all around the world will love this because who hasn’t seen the Wizard of Oz? Everybody has seen the Wizard of Ox, practically. Your first concept is “we are not in Kansas anymore.” Talk about that for us, Greg.
Exactly. Isn’t that one of the best first lines that Dorothy delivers when she gets to the land of Oz, looks at what is going on and realizes this isn’t like Kansas. This isn’t like the place she grew up. So often, when people join BNI, pretty early on, they realize this is a different world. This is a different way of doing things- a magical way of doing things and a great way to grow your business.
Yeah. It really is, and you know, this whole idea of “changing the way the world does business”- I think fits with that really well. People join the organization- the whole concept of givers gain. I mean, you know, we don’t teach that in business school. I am here to tell you. We don’t teach that in colleges and universities, the ideal of helping other businesses so that you help yourself.
I love that idea. Your second point, Greg, is that there are a lot of parallels between BNI and the journey Dorothy took. You have a lot of points related to those parallels. Do you want to talk about that a little bit?
Sure. I would love to. In the land of Oz, Dorothy learns early on that there is a yellow brick road. If she follows that, it will lead her to where she can actually get her wishes granted and all of the things that she wants in life. The people who pointed that out to her in the land of Oz were the munchkins.
Just like that in BNI, early on, when we first join, it is our fellow members, like those munchkins, who show us this yellow brick road, this path, this system that BNI has developed to help people grow their businesses through referral marketing. As we go along that journey, we are fortunate because, like Dorothy who found the scarecrow, a lot of us are going to get a lot of education that we wouldn’t get anywhere else. Certainly in law school, they didn’t teach me how to grow my business through any kind of advertising or referral marketing.
We are going to make some of the best friends that we have ever made, like Dorothy found the tin man. And we are going to learn courage in our convictions and how to present our business in front of an audience, like the cowardly lion did in the land of Oz.
Just like in Oz, there are wicked witches in BNI, too. Those are doubts. When we first land in BNI and we first join this world, we crush one of the wicked witches, the wicked witch of the east. That doubt is gone. We now have at least put ourselves out there to grow through this system that has developed through BNI, but all through the course of the rest of our first year in BNI, that wicked witch of the west is still kind of hovering in the background putting doubt in our mind that maybe it is not working the way it should. It is our friends telling us this is wasting our time.
But because BNI teaches us about the VCP process and the time that it is going to take, the people who are really dedicated to BNI realize that is just part of the journey. If we stay on that path, that BNI lays out for us, we are not going to have trees that come and attack us or poppy fields where we are forced to fall asleep, or even worse, flying monkeys that attack us and try to take us off of our path.
We carry with us the whole time on the path our Toto, our business. It is our safety blanket. It is what we know. And like in givers gain that you mentioned, Ivan, we have a pair of ruby red slippers which we don’t always realize what they are for, but we learn that the givers gain mentality, the givers gain way of thinking of things can take us wherever we want to go. All we have to do is call on thjat concept. Call on our fellow BNI members. We can achieve whatever we want to.
And then of course there is Glenda the good witch, which is who I would like to think I come in as the Director. I am the person who appears whenever you are in really bad trouble in the land of Oz and you need some help. I am there to help you through that.
So we should be calling you Glenda now.
You know, I think that is a great analogy with the good witch being the Director. I think all too often, members don’t look at the Director as a mentor and that is really, I think, what that role- well, I created that role 30 years ago. That is exactly what that role was meant to be- a mentor for other members to help guide and coach them. I guess technically it was 29 years ago because it was about a year into BNI when I realized that we really needed to have people there locally who were helping and coaching. So I think the Director is a great analogy to the good witch, Glenda. Glenda, I think, was her name, yeah?
And I like the tin man, the lion and the scarecrow are all in a way chapter member mentors- people who are helping, giving advice and suggestions to the members as they go through their journey throughout BNI.
So your last point is your realization that it is not all a big, powerful wizard. You mean it is not all just what I am suggesting people do?
You know, just like the Wizard of Oz, we come into BNI so often and think, “Oh my gosh, this is so overwhelming. There is so much to do. I can’t do this. This is something only a special group of people can do- like wizards.” Then we realize when we get all the way down the yellow brick road, when we do all of the things that BNI teaches us to do, it is really just every man behind that curtain and we can all do it if we just follow the system that BNI has developed for us.
You know, I completely agree, Greg. Any man can do this, any woman can do this. It just takes some coaching, some guidance- you know, I would like to tell you and I am sure we have talked about this on podcasts before. I would like to tell you that I had it all figured out when I started BNI but I didn’t. I didn’t know how to network.
You know, I created BNI to surround myself with people who were more successful than me so that I could learn how to network because I wasn’t taught that in school. At graduate school, I wasn’t taught how to network so it was all new to me. So I know if we can figure it out and try to get it all in writing and in podcasts like this, I know that anyone can figure it out. Anyone can be the wizard and make BNI work for them.
I love your concept. We are not in Kansas anymore. BNI is different than any other network anywhere in the world. I think it is because of our philosophy and our values- our values of education, commitment, accountability. You gave so many parallels between BNI and the journey because BNI is definitely a journey and it takes time. You don’t get there overnight. It takes time and the realization that there is not a big, powerful wizard- you don’t need the wizard. Which she didn’t need- she didn’t need the wizard to get home. She just needed to believe in herself.
Great concept, Greg. I really appreciate it. Any closing thoughts?
In the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy does have to get rid of that wicked witch of the west, which I told you was doubt. She did that with her friends that she met along the way and one of the most simple things in the world- just a little water.
Just like that in BNI, if we follow the system and if we believe in the system and are coachable, we too can banish doubt and we can put that behind us and move on.
Yeah. Follow the system and follow the yellow brick road. It is so important. I mean, I have been saying for 30 years, “Follow the program. Don’t get sidetracked.” Don’t be going after bright, shiny objects. It is all about doing six things a thousand times, not a thousand things six times. Following that path that we all know works is so terribly important.
So you have been a member for eight years, Greg. Now you are a Director, an Executive Director. What do you like most about your – this wasn’t in the script, anybody. Greg didn’t know that I was going to ask him this. What do you like most about going to your meetings?
I love the whole givers gain mentality, that people are looking to help each other almost more than they are looking to get for themselves.
They didn’t teach you that in law school, did they?
They certainly did not.
They didn’t teach me that in business school, either. I can assure you. Greg, I love the concept. I hope that education coordinators all over the world take this concept and take it back to their chapter. Share it with your chapter. We would love to hear some other examples of how you think the movie, the Wizard of Oz, fits with BNI. I think this is a concept that is going to be around and used in BNI for a long time.
Greg, thank you so much for being on my podcast today. I really do appreciate it.
Thank you for having me.
Priscilla, back to you.
Okay. Great. Well, thank you both so much. I think that is it for this week. I would just like to remind the listeners that this podcast has been brought to you by NetworkingNow.com, which is the leading site on the net for networking downloadables. Thanks for listening. This is Priscilla Rice, and we hope you will join us next week for another exciting episode of The Official BNI Podcast.