Today we are talking with Dr. Ivan Misner, the Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of BNI, Business Networking International, the world’s largest business networking organization. He founded the company to help himself with his own professional networking when he was just 28 years old and realized he was onto something big. Today BNI has over 8,000 chapters all over the world, and last year alone the members referred over 11 billion dollars in business to each other. Dr. Misner shares how he started BNI, how he personally networks, and the nature of a referral. Dr. Misner has authored over 21 New York Times Best Sellers. He relocated to Austin in 2013, and the support of organic living in Austin helped him change his diet radically to triumph over health challenges, and heal himself from cancer. Dr. Misner is such an interesting guy and we hope you enjoy this conversation as much as we did!
[5:15] In 1984 he was looking around for networking organizations, and found groups that were either focused solely either on business or social, but he wanted to put BNI together to merge the two. He originally started BNI to help himself and his friends, and before he knew it, he had 20 groups established.
[7:14] Learning how to build a business through referrals is something that should be taught as basic education in business schools, but isn’t. Dr. Misner saw that it was needed, so he jumped on the opportunity.
[9:47] If you give a referral you give a bit of your reputation away so people can be hesitant unless they know the other business personally.
[11:15] It’s important to have the conversation about what it is you do and are trying to accomplish and the trust of people that can confidently recommend you.
[14:05] BNI is a referral organization, and only one representative from each profession is allowed in the chapter (ex: one banker, one lawyer, one chiropractor, etc). They get together weekly to pass referrals to one another. Last year BNI passed over 9 million referrals and generated $11.1 billion U.S. worth of business.
[14:35] Fun Fact: $11.1 billion is the same as the gross domestic product for the country of Liechtenstein.
[15:03] They have 8,000 meetings all around the world every week. They go to know, like, and trust other members, so they can feel good about referring them.
[18:23] Dr. Misner was diagnosed with prostate cancer and had six months to make a decision on what type of treatment he wanted. He checked out the holistic route so that he could be in a healthier place when he went into surgery but found that the radical food change helped him drop the weight and regain his health. He went from a lot of processed food to all organic and fresh food, overnight. After six to nine months of this lifestyle, the tumors started to shrink, and he no longer needed surgery.
[21:39] He went to a clinic in Mexico for some complex immunotherapy treatments, and went right back into remission.
[25:17] Thank you to our Sponsor, the Papasan Properties Group.
[29:52] His book coming out is titled Healing Begins in the Kitchen and is a recipe book for anyone looking to bring more natural and organic eating into their life.
[32:36] Some of his favorite places to eat are Trulucks, III Forks, and a wine tasting place by Trulucks! They work with him on his food needs! They also frequent farmers’ markets for fresh and locally-sourced foods.
[36:21] He finds that chefs find the alternative requests interesting, and a break from the normal routine!
[39:31] Next week we have Nicole Jensen of the Austin Tour Company.
Eat some vegetables and fish smaller than you! 🙂