Wisdom from Woody Allen

“80% of life is showing up”, according to Woody Allen. But what did he mean by that, and does it suggest that most of our success at BNI can be earned simply by attending weekly meetings?

By ‘showing up’, Woody Allen was talking about putting in the hard graft rather than just wishing something good would happen. “I made the statement years ago which is often quoted that 80 percent of life is showing up. People used to always say to me that they wanted to write a play, they wanted to write a movie, they wanted to write a novel, and the couple of people that did it were 80 percent of the way to having something happen. All the other people struck out without ever getting that pack. They couldn’t do it, that’s why they don’t accomplish a thing, they don’t do the thing, so once you do it, if you actually write your film script, or write your novel, you are more than half way towards something good happening.

In a recent podcast Dr Ivan Misner, referring to the Woody Allen’s 80% quote, explained that BNI members have to do a lot more than simply show up at weekly chapter meetings if they want success.

Dr Misner identified five key action points. He said, “I bring this topic up because a year ago, I had a conversation with a man about his participation in a BNI group. He used this quote that Allen had to argue that he should be experiencing significantly more success from his networking effort than he was because he was just showing up. I had to have a conversation with him about it. It takes a lot more than just showing up.”

Here are the five key action points:

  1. Create a 60-second introduction that changes each time. Train a sales force rather than trying to make sales. Interestingly, Dr Misner downplayed the role of ‘memory hooks’. “I wish I had never written about them because people get so focused on doing memory hooks that they don’t educate people on how to refer them. So create a 60 second introduction that changes every single time.”
  2. Schedule a one-to-one meeting with someone from your group every week to build deeper connections and learn more about your fellow members – as well as them, of course, learning about you.
  3. Take on a leadership role in your group. This raises both your visibility and your credibility – as long as you do a good job.
  4. Bring legitimate referrals for other members. If you want to receive referrals you have to be able to give them.
  5. Immerse yourself in referral education. As well as training courses there are blogs and books.

You could add more action points to the list. However, these five points provide a strong foundation for success at BNI. Showing up is just the start.

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