“There are two wolves, one bright, hopeful and generous, the other dark, cynical and angry. Which wolf wins? Whichever one you feed.”
This line reminded me of the various articles that Ivan Misner has written on the core values of BNI. Repeatedly, he speaks in depth about the one thing that will make one person more successful than the next in business and in BNI. That one thing is a positive mental attitude.
A few years ago, while in my own BNI chapter, I found myself feeding the wrong wolf! I had been a member for 4 years, and had developed some strong relationships in the group, but I was frustrated! Every week, I was going through the motions, wondering why I wasn’t even receiving referrals from my power team. I felt that the chapter was falling apart. It was so bad, that I was ready to walk away and join another BNI chapter. The only thing that kept me there was the fact that I was a BNI Director, and it would look terrible if I left!
Eventually, I reached my breaking point and I was ready to leave. However, I decided that I was going to give it one more month. During that month, I was going to do everything by the book. I planned specific weekly presentations in advance, I did multiple 1-to-1s, I passed more referrals than I had in months, and more than everything else, I approached every meeting with an energetic and positive attitude! Guess what happened? The flood gates opened and I received more business than I had in the previous year combined! I had more business than I could handle.
So, it turns out that I was the problem, not my chapter. I was feeding the wrong wolf! My attitude and my weekly actions were having a negative impact on my business. I only wish I had recognized it earlier. We all make mistakes in business networking, but I encourage you to learn from mine, rather than making your own. Feed the good wolf!