A couple of months ago, I got an invite from a friend-of-a-friend who was interested in forming a new North Brooklyn chapter of the business networking organization BNI. I had heard of BNI, but had (quite luckily and happily) always been too busy working to check it out.
However, this personal invitation grabbed me. I’d be founding a new group (fun professional development activity), with this friend-of-a-friend who I totally hit it off with (fun social activity), and would almost certainly gain some new business connections (fun $$$).
But it turns out it’s a pretty long and involved process to get a group started, and as we go through the paces, I admit I’m experiencing bouts of cold feet.
Here’s a plusses and minuses rundown—maybe you can help me decide if I should continue?
- BNI has been around for 30ish years, is based on the who-could-argue-with-that? premise “Givers Gain,” and bazillions of business owners and sole proprietors around the world seem to swear by it.
- Chapter groups’ weekly meetings are usually held in hilarious old-school diners (around here, anyway), so members can look forward to a hearty breakfast and bottomless cuppa joe with their fellows as they sharpen their elevator pitches and swap referrals.
- There’s a whole lotta small business going on in North Brooklyn these days, with an especially hot injection of “creatives” in recent years. Business-swapping opportunities abound!
- Meetings are every week at 7:00 am. ’nuff said.
- There are dues, to the tune of about $100 a month, all told.
- Nine out of ten times I tell someone about BNI, they ask, “Is this a cult?”
So, dear readers, what do you think? Have you heard of BNI? What’s your impression? Had any experiences with it yourself? If you were me, what would you do?
One thought on “Join my networking cult?”
[…] connections came readily to mind. (Yes, this was also the outgrowth of our semi-hashed experiment: Trying to Form a BNI Group in North Brooklyn. Only Alison succeeded with her burgeoning Influentials group. Go […]
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