EP27: Dr. Ivan Misner - Powerful Business Networking Tips From The Founder of BNI

Business networking.

If you're an introverted bookkeeper, it can be a scary thing.

But, it doesn't have to be.

Just ask our guest today.

Dr. Ivan Misner is the founder of Business Network International (BNI) which
is the world's largest business networking and business referral organization.

It has over 7,800 chapters and 213,000 members in 72 countries.

So, he knows what he's talking about. 

During this fascinating interview, you'll learn...

  • 4 things to look for when deciding on what networking group to join

  • How identifying certain body language cues in others can enable you to approach them more easily

  • Why networking isn't a face-to-face cold calling opportunity

To learn more about Dr. Misner, check out his blog by clicking here.

To view his books, here's the website

To discover further details about BNI, visit https://www.bni.com/.

To watch the BNI video referenced in this episode, click this link.

To see the networking tools mentioned during the interview, sign up for our free resources.

This episode was voted as one of the TOP 5 Interviews to Help You Get Freedom in your Bookkeeping Business


Michael Palmer: 01:18 Welcome to The Successful Bookkeeper podcast. I am your host, Michael Palmer. Today's guest is a man who sees and once called The Father of Modern Networking. He is the founder of the incredibly successful networking organization, Business Network International or BNI for short. Doctor Ivan Meisner. Welcome to the podcast. It's an honor to have you. 

Dr. Ivan Meisner: 01:43 Thank you, Michael. It's a pleasure to be on and you know, it's, it's one thing to be called The Father of Modern Networking, but when they start calling me The Father of Modern Networking, then I'm going to really be worried. 

MP: 01:52 Hey, there you go. Exactly. You must be very proud of what you've created and the impact that you've had on so many small and medium-sized business owners around the planet. Can you tell us a little bit about your career journey leading up to creating business networking international? 

DIM: 02:12 Yeah. BNI. BNI was really, it's a great example of necessity being the mother of invention. Uh, I was 28 years old. I started my own consulting practice. Uh, I was looking for referrals from my consulting practice. One of the people who I had been working within referring was in fact, uh, an accountant. And so I wanted to deepen that relationship and develop other relationships and I was really dissatisfied with the kinds of groups that I was, uh, seen as I was going out there. Networking. On one hand, there were very social groups, there were all about the social interaction, the wine in the order in the evening and, and I wasn't seeing any business really being done. And then on the other 

DIM: 03:00 hand, there were Biz, some business groups that were just mercenary. It was very transactional and it wasn't really about building relationships and I didn't really like either of those. And so I formed BNI as a way of kind of merging those two concepts, having an organization that was very relational but at the same time was focused and had accountability. We don't teach this in colleges and universities anywhere in the world. We don't teach networking or referral marketing. And so we kind of developed this industry and tried to do it in a way that combined both of those together.

MP: 3:30 Yeah, it's, it's fantastic. It's interesting that you mention that it's not done in universities or even really where it should start is in high schools. Right. And I think that's what created such an opportunity for such a large, large organization. How, how large is BNI now? 

DIM: 03:57 Well, as of this morning, we have 7,876 chapters in about 72 countries with over 213,000 members worldwide.

MP: 4:15 Wow. You know, the reason why I'm so excited to have you on the show is that it's one of the things that we would say is almost essential to building a successful bookkeeping practice is to be involved in some sort of a networking group. And you know, the founder of our company, Pure Bookkeeping. And as well the author, co-author of the e-myth bookkeeper, she actually met the, a business coach at a BNI that helped her then put together the strategies and the mindset and everything else that she needed in order to grow her business to the level that she did, which was remarkable and extremely successful business. So the core of our history really is around BNI and we talk about it. I mean, we were talking about BNI all over the world really. 

MP: 05:04 And did you ever think that it would be something that would cross the whole globe, impacting all of these businesses?

DIM: 05:20 You know, I, I'd like, I'd like to tell you that I had this vision of an international business when I started being an I, but I didn't, um, I needed some referrals from my consulting practice and I put together friends and I wanted to help them and I hoped that they would want to help me. And what I discovered was that because we don't teach this in colleges and universities, uh, it went over really well and it was really kind of funny because I, I networked up, I brought in people who I felt were more successful than me. Every single person in that first group that I invited, uh, had been in business longer than I had all of them. And they were almost all older than I am and had more experience. And I brought them in because 

DIM: 05:58 I thought they knew how to network. It turns out they joined because I was a business consultant and they thought I knew how to network. We sat in the room and it's like none of us really understood the process. And that's when I say, that's what I said, you know, we kind of developed an industry. We did, we, we, we learned how to do this together. So, no, I didn't see it as an international organization that I think that came after. Really after about a year of doing this in one year, we, we opened 20 groups by accident and we, we opened it by accident because people kept coming to me and saying, why this is great. I, I love it, but I can't join because as you know, we only take one person per profession. And so they said, why can't join cause my professions represented? 

DIM: 06:45 Would you help me open up my own group? And you know, the first one I said, no, this isn't what I do. I'm not a business. I'm not a, I'm not a networking guy. I'm a business consultant. And she convinced me that it was really consulting to do this. And so I said, okay. And we opened the second one in a way. The same thing happened over and over and over again. So I think about a year into it, I realized I had struck a chord in the business community that I, I knew I had the problem. I didn't realize everybody had the problem. 

MP: 07:10 Wow.

MP: 07:18 You know, interesting how sliding doors, right. You would have said no to that and it would have been a different path. So, so 

MP: 07:27 interesting how, this is a fantastic analogy, sliding doors, the movie, um, we have a chapter in, 

MP: 07:36 Oh I think it's in Portugal or Spain did a short video based on sliding doors for BNI. I mean short, it's like three, four minutes long. And it's exactly what you described there with how BNI is a sliding door, where it's a nexus point where you could go one direction or the other. If I can find that video, I'll send you the link. It did a great short video and it's all, no words are spoken. It not a single word. It's all a, just action on camera. It's very cool.

DIM: 07:50 Please. I hope you can find that because first of all, I love that movie and I loved the imagery and the, and what it represented and I think it'd be very cool to actually post that on our, on our website. But it's a kind of, it takes us down kind of a cool, unexpected conversation in that going outside of your door every day really is a sliding door experience in the movie. If, if the listeners, if you don't know what sliding door is, go find that video and watch the movie. It's a great movie. I think Gwyneth Paltrow was in it. Just the power of the choices that we make, and so if we walk out of the door in the morning and versus staying at home, then there's going to be something different happening in our lives because we know we walked through that door. Very interesting around BNI your every single week 

DIM: 08:56 you're literally opening up an opportunity by just simply going and meeting with people who are ambitious and want to grow their business.

MP: 09:10 That's absolutely right. You know, I think all too often business people are cave dwellers. They get up in the morning, they're in this large cave with a big-screen TV. They go out to their garage, they get into a little cave with four wheels called their car. They drive to this other really big k with a computer called their office. They stay there all day long and at the end of the day, they get back into their little cave with four wheels in. They'd try back to their large cave with a big screen TV and they can't figure out why no one is referring them. Well, networking is a contact sport. You have got to go out and meet people if you want to build your business through referrals. And I know, I know that's gotta be difficult for bookkeepers. 

DIM: 09:42 Um, you know, I'm reasonably familiar with the behavioral style that you see cause when I was a consultant, a lot of the work I did was in behavioral styles and learning about different people and what their styles were. And, and bookkeepers like programmers tend to be much more analytical and not necessarily, well, they tend to be a little more introverted. Would that be a fair statement to say? Most definitely. Yeah. Yeah. So, so, uh, listen, I think what I teach is perfect really for introverts and, and I'll tell you why because listen, introverts tend to be much better at listening then just walking up and talking to people. And that's actually a strength. A good networker has two ears and one mouth and uses them both proportionately. Okay. A good networker has two years in one month and uses them both proportionately. There's this assumption that to be a good networker, you have to just go, you know, you have to walk around and say, Hi Michael, am I even, let's do business. 

DIM: 10:43 And when in fact, just the opposite. What we have found over and over and over again is that people who are good at listening are better. Networkers. I just did a survey of 3000 people online. I published it at entrepreneur just, um, a few weeks ago. The number one characteristic of a great networker. Number one, I was a strong listener. Wow. Now introverts have it made on that. They tend to be much a much better listener than an extrovert. Extroverts love talking and what's their favorite subject themselves? So they talk and they talk a lot about themselves, whereas a good networker should be like, you are here. My goal as an interviewer, you're asking me questions and I'm allowed time to expound on that. And, and that's actually a skill set that works great to be a fantastic networker. And so I think bookkeepers, their challenges in meeting people, they're uncomfortable maybe walking up and meeting people. And so there's, I have a couple of suggestions for, for people in that area, but in BA, basically, I think introverts can make a stronger networker.

MP: 11:54 I love it. These are what I like to call value bombs. And a, you're dropping a whole bunch of them, which is, which is excellent. And you know, what you're doing is you're inspiring bookkeepers that maybe and have not, you know because going in and meeting a whole bunch of new people might even be daunting. Uh, but you're inspiring them to think, hey, you know what, you, the listeners have a bit of a superpower here that's gonna work well by going into an environment like BNI. Now when they get there, they're great at listening. How do they get the opportunity to listen? 

DIM: 12:31 Well, there's a couple of things. First of all, you want to assess the room. When you walk in and take a look at it, you will immediately see people standing in open twos or closed twos. Now it's kind of difficult to describe a just on audio, the difference between an open and closed two, but imagine that you put your two hands together, almost like you're praying and separate them by a couple of inches that that's two people. Let's say you have the God view, you're looking down on him. That's two people standing perpendicular to each other talking to one another. It's very difficult to break into that conversation. Now imagine that you, you put the two palms of your hand together and your hands now shaped like a v and you're looking down at people talking and you see that v that's called an open too. It's much, it's much easier to strike a conversation with people who are standing in an open too than a close to now. 

DIM: 13:23 Now extend that to a close three that would look like a triangle from above, but an open three would look like you. So what you want to do is you walk into the room and the first thing you want to do is open. You want to assess the open groups, the groups that are standing in an open stance because they are very easy for you to just kind of slide in. You don't have to say anything, you can just kind of slide in, nod. And while they're continuing the conversation, at some point they're going to look to you say hello. And then that's your opportunity to introduce yourself and ask them each what they do and get them to talk. So when you walk into a room, look for open twos and open threes. There are two places you can find this in my books. 

DIM: 14:06 You can find this in my book called networking, like a pro, which is on Amazon. And you can also find it in the world's best, no marketing secret, but networking like prose and Amazon. Anybody can pick that up and see the graphs that I'm talking about. That's the first thing. The second thing is that whenever possible, go to networking meetings with somebody that you know who knows people at that group. So let's say, Michael, I were going to go with you to a meeting and it's a meeting that you know, many of the people I would ask you, would you mind Michael, what kind of walking me around and introducing me to people so that I can get the lay the land and I can meet people. You know, can I, can I just be by your shoulder and have you walk around and, and maybe as you meet people, you know, introduce me. Now if I'm an introvert, that's a great technique because I don't have to walk up to anybody. I got you doing it for me and you walk up, you walk up to, you know, Janet and you say, Janet, hi, it's great to see you again. Let me introduce you to my friend Ivan and then I can strike up a conversation with Janet or whoever else based on you making that introduction, that third party introduction. There are two techniques that work amazingly well for introverts. 

MP: 15:33 This is amazing. I just absolutely love this and I've never heard the examples that you've used around, you know, the hands and, and the, you know, the open and looking for those types of groups. I mean, I, I'm an ambivert so I, I love being on my own and doing my own thing, but I can, I can go and sort of, you know, thrive in an environment, but when I go and network, I, you know, it's not my thing. And it's like I go in and it's like if I get into a conversation, I can have a great conversation, but I've never thought about it from this open looking for the body language cues to know where to actually go because I do like having questions and I, uh, I do like listening to people and I'm curious, so it's all good. But for me, I'm getting a ton of value out of this and I'm thinking now too, this is going to be a bit of an open-loop here because I love the, um, the slogan, I don't know if it's a slogan, but then, let's call it a, um, philosophy of givers gain. 

DIM: 16:32 Yeah. But for me, givers gain is when I'm in a group that I know there's other people that maybe aren't comfortable, I'm going to look, how am I standing? What body language am I giving that will enable other people to come up and connect with me? I mean, that's kind of part of, this is another way of looking at it, right? If I'm at a networking group, why don't I just make me one of those people that are easily accessible and do the open, make sure my cues are already, are always open, whether I'm standing with one person or in a group, 

DIM: 16:58 right? And you can do that easily by just opening up your stance so that if you're standing perpendicular to somebody, you open it up a little bit. So you open it to a v and then somebody will fill that pretty quickly. Then it's really important to open it up again so that other people can come in. You do simple techniques like that or they're there, they're simple but very effective and they're the kind of thing, they're very subconscious. People don't even realize you're doing it, but there are other things that you can do that are certainly much more a conscious one is to be a connector and a, I think anyone introvert or extrovert can be a great connector by linking people together who need each other's services. And one of the best ways to do that is, of course, like I said, is to listen to people, get them to talk and to tell you who they are and what they do. 

DIM: 17:45 I think here's where networking goes wrong. Michael. People use networking as a face to face, cold calling opportunity. So they go to these networking meetings and they're trying to sell, sell, sell. I did a presentation in London a few years back and there are about 900 people in the room and I said to everybody there, I said, Oh hey if you are here, raise your hands if you're hoping to. It was an all-day affair or if you're hoping to, you know, at some point today sell something. 900 people raised their hands. Wow. I said, okay, great. I said, how many of you here today, if you answered this question for me, um, how many of you are here today hoping to possibly buy something? No one who's there, not one single person. This is what I call the networking disconnect. People show up at networking meetings, wanting to sell, but nobody is there to buy. 

DIM: 18:35 And, and that's why people go to networking meetings, especially introverts. And they feel like they need to get a shower when they go home because they've been sold to, sold, to, sold to. And that's not, to me, that's not what networking is all about. That's, that's direct selling. And to me, networking is about building relationships and that means you need to have conversations with people. And so, and you need to look for opportunities to help and connect them, which kind of comes full circle to why I was talking about you gotta be a connector. People will seek you out at networking meetings if they know, you know, everybody, if you've helped them before, they'll, they'll seek you out to connect with you again if you are a connector and are helping others. A, when you go to networking meetings, people want to talk to you. 

MP: 19:21 Beautiful. Uh, I have a business partner that is an incredible connector and he's just very curious and he loves people and he's, you know, some people might not get him right away because he's, he really has no problem going into a room and meeting every single person. But he really wants to know who you are, what's going on in your life and what you do, what your superpower is. And he literally, he's got a mind, it's like a photographic memory. He will literally say, Oh, you need to work with this person. I need to connect you with that person. And surprisingly enough, I mean, he's a very good salesperson because he's so well connected and he's driving business to all these other people that are just not even connected to him really at all. So it's very powerful. But can you talk a little bit about that mindset that's needed to actually be thinking strategically like that in one's life? 

DIM: 20:12 Yeah. Well, there's a couple of things. First of all, I think the foundation of everything I teach is based on what I call the VCP process. The VCP process, it stands for visibility, credibility, profitability. You must first be visible in the community. People have to know who you are and what you do. So you have to go out there and be recognized. You then have to establish credibility. And that's where people know who you are. They know what to do and they know you're good at it. Now they may know you're good at it because they've used your service and they know you're good, or they've observed you, uh, operating. Or they know people who know you and they've said, wow, man, Michael's really good at what he does. And so you know, the overtime you build this reputation. That's the reputation builder and it is overtime. 

DIM: 21:02 This is one of the things that people really get wrong is that they think that networking is a get rich quick scheme. It is not. It is a solid foundation for building a long term successful business. But, um, there's something that I, I write about in networking like a pro called the time confidence curve there. No matter what business you're in, it's going to take a certain amount of time before people have confidence in your ability to provide a quality product or service. So you've got to go into this understanding, that time, confidence curve. Now for bookkeepers, that time confidence curve is not short, not like a, a florist. You know, someone might refer a florist pretty quickly. You're talking about a bookkeeper or somebody who's managing my money that's on the outside of the, of the curve. You know, the only one that might be further out might be, might be the financial planner investing in your retirement money. So they're probably a little further out. So what does this tell you? This tells you if you're a bookkeeper, it's all about building the relationship because nobody's going to hand over their books to you until they trust you. Or until somebody refers you. Did they trust? Because that trust kind of has a, it has the ability to rub off on a via a third party. 

MP: 22:24 Yeah. You know what's fantastic that you brought that up because I think that's often not discussed in terms of the sensitivity that people feel around money and, and a bookkeeper is dealing with people's money. And now if you're a bookkeeper or an accountant, let's say in a large corporation, stop their money, right? It's different, right? This is a small business and small business, very close to the revenues, very close to the wallet of the, of the owner. So, you have to deal with all these money issues. So building that trust in that relationship is incredibly important, which is a long game. And so yeah, I've met people that have said, oh, you know, I tried BNI and it wasn't successful. And usually, when I ask what happened, it's because they, they didn't stay in it long enough. It's not a short term game. It's a long term game. And so let's talk a little bit about how to be successful inside of a BNI because I would imagine that not every group is the same and you've got to, you know, maybe date a little bit, a few different groups to find people that you connect with. But I'd love to hear your take on this.

DIM: 23:34 Yeah, absolutely. Let's see. I think you do need to look around and, and, and find a group that is a good fit for you, that, that you like the people, these are people that you could see yourself doing business with and referring. You know, if you, if you go to a group, any group, any networking group and you don't feel comfortable with the, with the majority of the people there, then that's not the place you want to be. So it definitely starts there. Now let's say you find a group that, and you know when you find one don't blink. You know when you when you're at a group and you go, I like these people. I think I could work with these people then pull the trigger and, and, and participate and join and then really actively participate. You have to be fully engaged in the process. One of the first things I recommend that people do is do effective one to ones with every single member. 

DIM: 24:24 A, you're talking about BNI specifically, every single member of the BNI chapter. So, and you can do one on one a week and if you're in a 40 member chapter, it's gonna take you a year. It's gonna take you a year and by the time you've hit all the 40 people that were in the chapter, then there are probably two or three new people, four or five, six new people in the group. So you're going to have to do them. It'll take you the better part of a year for you to do these ones to ones. Now the one to ones needs to be very focused. They can't be, you know, then the purpose of the one to ones are not just to socialize. All those socializing is part of the relationship-building process, but they should also be focused. I have a process in BNI, it's, it's out of a book I wrote called the business by referral and it's called the gains exchange. 

DIM: 25:09 And this is what I recommend that people do when they do to one, the one to one, they exchange their game's information. And that's an acronym. It stands for goals, accomplishments, interests, networks and skills, goals, accomplishments, interest networks and skills. So what happens is you sit down and I tell you what my goal is, accomplishments, interests, networks, and skills are preferably in writing. I give it to you and you did the same for me. Now, where the value of this is that the truth is it's the overlapping areas of interest where we make a connection. And when you make a connection, that's where you start to build a relationship. And when you build that relationship, that's when you start passing referrals. So the, the purpose of a gains exchange is to find connections. And if you do that with everyone in the group, you're really going deep and building relationships quicker. If your network is a mile wide and an inch deep, it will never be successful. It has to both be wide and deep in places. 

MP: 26:11 Yeah. Fantastic. I absolutely love the Gaines philosophy and something to as a listener to write down and actually come up with those gains for yourself and use them anywhere in life. Quite frankly. We actually, inside of our community, we talk about the seven secrets of marketing your bookkeeping business and one of the secrets is definitely being involved. We call it networking, but the main game here is, is definitely be an I. And we have such amazing success stories from our, our members and, and uh, customers all over the world. We're talking like, uh, you know, filling up their entire dance card just from working inside of a, a BNI. Now, one of the other things that we say is don't put all your eggs in one basket. I don't want Ken fat across, but this is definitely one of the big baskets. You want to have your gain for sure. 

MP: 27:03 And we actually have a whole bunch of resources and tools that we provide for what are some of the things you should talk about? How can you, you know, get inside of a conversation with people, you know, these meetings that you're talking about, how those meetings should run. So what I'll do Ivan on this and for the listeners, if you go in and get into the community and all of our free resources and bonuses, we'll put a copy of that so people can get access to that. And I'll make sure we write up that gains a bit as well as all the links to your books in different things that you've talked about today because there's been some real, real valuable stuff that you've, you've given us so far. I do want to ask a few more questions and I know we're sure we're getting a little long here, but, um, it's when I have a person that's giving so many value bombs, I'm going to start to tear up. 

MP: 27:52 If you, if you, if we have to end it, you know, what, what can people do in terms of, you know, assessing the group, like you said, like they go in and they and they are a little bit, maybe they don't feel comfortable or uh, they do feel comfortable. What, what do you see, like when a person comes in, what should they be looking for when they walk in through that door? You talked about body language before. What have you seen that has been this great environment for a great group?

DIM: 28:15 So I would say four things and I'll give you all foreign touch on them a little deeper. The quality of the group, the quantity of the members, the engagement of the members and the stories they tell. Those are the four things that will tell me whether this is a good group or not. 

DIM: 28:40 First, because with quality are they quality business professionals and you can, you can get a sense of that fairly quickly by having a conversation. Certainly a couple of meetings. You have a sense of how good these people are at what they do. A from hearing other people, cause one of the things in BNI that we do is people give testimonials about each other. And so when you're hearing really strong testimonials, that's good. The number of people. Look, if you're in a room of 16 people, you're just not going to generate a lot of business. There's a concept, I call it a squared connection effect, where 16 people actually have 256 connections, 16 by 16 and so I call it the squared connection effect. Uh, but here's something interesting. 32 people have something like 1,054 connections. Wow. So when you double your size, you quadruple the connections that you got amongst one another. 

DIM: 29:32 So you really want to look for a group that's, I would recommend at least 25 to 30 members if you can find a chapter of 40 or 50 members and it, and it clicks off on the first cylinder that they're quality. Now they're a decent size and they're highly engaged, really engaged in the meeting and the chapter on what's going on and listen to the stories they tell, listen to what they have to say about the program and how it's impacted them both personally and professionally. Those are the four things that tell me whether it's a great group and those are the four things I tell groups to do to be great.

MP: 30:10 Yeah, makes total sense. 

DIM: 30:18 You know, I think this episode so far has just been really fantastic and educational to have people be inspired to, to go and to check this out and to make this a part of what they do. Now, there's one thing I have noticed about bookkeepers is in working with, I mean hundreds and hundreds of them all over the world is that you know, they might be a little hesitant to do some things that are new or, or outside of their comfort zone. Like one of the things is in our program, we offer to coach and it's like, you know, Jeez that no one was booking a call with me. And I was like, I started reaching out and I said, you know, why, why, you know, this is part of the program and it's for you. And it's like, well, I was just afraid. I didn't know what it would be like. 

DIM: 31:00 I didn't know I was uncertain. And so I did a lot of work to figure out, you know, to make them feel comfortable and safe and, and all that so that they would take, take upon these, this valuable resource. I think people that are listening might think, oh, I want to do this, but they're afraid. How can we set them up to feel empowered to go to that first meeting or to reach out and, and, and, uh, go onto your website and, and go and get involved in this? What, some, some ideas. It is a great, great point. So first let me address it conceptually and then let me give everyone a suggestion. Um, there's an old Chinese proverb and I love this proverb it. So when's the best time to plant an oak tree? And the answer is 25 years ago. The second part of it is when's the next best time? 

DIM: 31:54 And the answer is today. So what happens is I see a lot of people who haven't done what they, they, they've come to the recognition that they probably should have been doing these things and they haven't. And so release yourself from that anxiety recognizing that you haven't done it is really the first step. And so the second step is to do it and that means you need to go out and actually start doing the things that we're talking about here. Just us. Just listening to us is only the first step. You recognize the issue. Now you have to do something about it. My advice would be either talk to another bookkeeper friend that you have that you know, might not feel like they're competition to you cause maybe they're a little further or talk to us someone you really trust and ask them about a local BNI chapter or you mentioned other groups. 

DIM: 32:47 Chambers can be excellent service clubs like rotary lions quantity. Ask people you know and trust about networks that they belong to and go visit. Don't make a decision to join. Just go visit and assess the group based on what I was talking about. So first step, you got to make this decision and you've got to do it today. The second step if you make that decision is to do it by referral. Don't just wing it. You can go to our website [inaudible] dot com but I recommend you talk to somebody. The best way to join a network is, oh my goodness, what a great idea by referral.

MP: 33:10 Beautiful. Thank you so much. And you know, as you're speaking, I, I, I started to think of one of the massive benefits of doing something like this is that we're, you know, our community is all about building a successful bookkeeping business. 

MP: 33:38 One that you love, one that you have fun in, one that you make really great money doing. And I, a lot of people out there, uh, that are listening are probably busy, right? They're busy with work. They have, you know, probably know enough clients, they're busy, but they're not making enough money. They're not charging enough and their business isn't really growing. And the reason I think that that's happening is a lot of the times people are just taking all the business that comes their way, whatever way that it comes. And it's kind of, you know, if you do bookkeeping and someone finds out you're good, they'll refer your business. The ID here. The big opportunity here is to get out of those safe harbors and go out and find great other great business people that have connector that are connected to great other businesses that can be fantastic clients that can create demand on your business that then enables you and empowers you to raise up the rates that you charge and the value that that comes more in line with the value that you have to offer and it will naturally propel you forward where you have a better business and a more holistic business. 

MP: 34:42 And I would say that there's no better place than to do this out there. And great community groups, you listed a number of them, the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, but BNI really, I mean across the board, it is highly recommended by all of our, the community managers. So many community members. It really is a great opportunity and that's why today's episode for sure has been just an absolute pleasure because you've given so many value bombs that I just, uh, we're going to get this transcribed and put that as well up onto the website. Cause there are so many great nuggets that you've given people today.

DIM: 35:05 Well, Michael, thank you, I really appreciate that. Um, I think one of the most important things I've learned in the last 32 years of running the world's largest business networking organization is that networking is more about farming than it is about hunting. 

DIM: 35:35 That it's about cultivating relationships with other business professionals. That's what really, really makes it work. And if your listeners would like to see more about what I write about, they can go to my blog and Ivan meisner.com that's Iva, n Mizener m I s n e r Ivan meisner.com. Literally been, it's 10 years I've been blogging. So there's lots of content up there, uh, at Ivan meisner.com all free stuff. And of course, Bni.com so thank you, Michael.

MP: 35:55 Excellent. Been a real pleasure. As I mentioned, we're going to have, if you're on your iPhone or your smartphone or wherever you're at listening to this, just click on the link below and you will go directly to all the links that Ivan has shared with us today. And so you can access his website and the different books that he's been talking about. 

MP: 36:27 This is a real opportunity and I really encourage everyone listening to take this on, embrace this and you will reap the rewards. Speaking from a farming perspective, it's been excellent having you on the show today and uh, we hope to have you someday in the future. We'll invite you back to have more value bombs. I'm sure you've got hundreds and thousands of more of them. I've got a few more and I have found a video we talked about, it was a from BNI Torino in Italy. There are no words spoken. I'll send you the link, I think if you like sliding doors, you'll love that video.

DIM: 37:00 Thank you. That's excellent. Thank you so much.

MP: 37:10 That wraps another episode of the successful bookkeeper podcast. To learn more about today's guest and what a great guest he's been and access all sorts of valuable free business-building resources. You can go to Thesuccessbookkeeper.com until next time, goodbye.