Balancing BNI In A Busy World


As small to medium business owners, we are quite often filling many roles in our organisational chart. Sometimes it can be challenging to get to the end of the to-do (or to-be) list each day whilst juggling all of these roles, and then before we know it, it’s time for our weekly BNI meeting again. There goes the week and we haven’t had a chance to follow-up on finding a referral for a fellow business member, complete a 1-to-1 dance card with the new member who just joined, invite a visitor or follow-up on the referral from last week.

I noticed this was becoming a pattern that I wanted to change it, as it’s important to me to be a great contributor to my BNI GROUP. So what are some strategies I can do to find a little more balance in my week and make the most of my BNI Membership?  Well, I have put together 7 strategies and yes some of them may seem really simple (and yes they are), however remember Lao Tzu’s quote “Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”

7 strategies that can help find balance in BNI

1. Align my BNI Personal goals or intentions with the BNI Chapter Goals
. For example – my chapter goal may be to invite 120 visitors for the year. I can then break that down in to an achievable action for myself. If my chapter has 30 people and we meet 48 times per year, which may mean inviting 4 visitors per year (which is doable). I have heard some Directors talk about 2 visitors per month. However, the most important thing is to decide and commit to inviting the visitors. Then I can schedule a reminder in my diary when I am going to invite the visitor and monitor my progress towards my intentions (or goals). N.B. I also do this for the other areas in BNI – referrals, 1-to-1’s, attendance and testimonials and complete this in my BNI Weekly Power Hour (see below).

2. Know Your Why Why do I want balance? What fuels my desires? What gets me out of bed each morning? Knowing the answers to these questions relate to your why! Many of the influential and successful people in this world are driven by more than just money. Money can be a spin-off from living our lives on purpose, however for the majority of people it is not the driving force.

What is your driving force or your why? Is it to have more freedom, to leave a legacy, to inspire people or to show them that they matter? Can I ask you to take some time now to really get clear on why you are doing what you are doing. Also, in challenging times, your ‘why’ is what will drive and keep you going! I have heard Kody Bateman (Founder & CEO of SendOutCards) say that if you have really found your “why” it will make you cry!

3. Schedule and complete a BNI Power Hour each week in my diary. As indicated in number (1), I have broken down my BNI intentions (or goals) in to small weekly actionable steps. Once these are broken down in to the smallest possible step (i.e. invite a visitor), I schedule the actions in my task management system. Most of these actions are recurring actions (weekly, fortnightly or monthly) and because I like to track my progress, I tick off the actions once I have completed them.

  • What are your personal intentions or goals for BNI?
  • Are these intentions or goals in line with your BNI Chapter?

After you have identified your personal intentions or goals and they align with your BNI Chapter goals, you can identify your weekly, fortnightly, monthly, 3-monthly, 6-monthly or yearly actions. Then these actions can be scheduled in your task management system or diary. These tasks form the basis of your BNI Power Hour each week.

4. Fill out my personal GAINS sheet. One tip I learnt early on in BNI was to fill out my GAINS (goals, accomplishments, interests, networks and skills). I would share this in my 1-to-1’s and ask questions to make sure I knew what the GAINS were for the business I completed a 1-to-1 (dance card). This helps me stay aware of different opportunities that may be presented to me when I am meeting with clients. Hot tip – to follow-up on the business I met with, I would e-mail their GAINS sheet and what I learnt about them to see if I missed anything and I could also share my own GAINS sheet that I had typed up

5. Allow People to Support You. Now allowing people to support you – am I serious? But you can do it yourself? Can you really? If you do everything for yourself, you are blocking people from supporting you and this can have an impact on balance in your life and increase your chances of burnout. I really believe we are all here for a reason and with that we have strengths in a variety of different areas. Subsequently, we cannot be great at everything. So allowing people to support you is important!

For example – do you ever have times in your life where you really want to talk a situation over with someone to get a different perspective? Have you ever had a time when you knew what you were after, however you couldn’t quite figure out where to find it? Have you ever had a time when you just needed someone to listen to you? Well, that’s what I’m talking about – we all need the support of friends, colleagues and family around us to support us through our life.

So can I ask you to share with a friend, colleague, coach or family member one of the things that you are going to take action on this week and allow that person to support you in achieving that task? As you are doing this activity – notice how you are feeling.

  • The action that I am taking this week is – __________________________________________
  • The person I will ask to support me is – ____________________________________________
  • What did I think, feel, notice or observe as I allowed this person to support me? ____________

6. Reward Yourself and Celebrate Your Results in BNI. Yes you read it correctly – reward yourself and celebrate! This is important – so important in fact that many people forget to do it. When we are setting and achieving goals, many of us are so focused on the achievement of the goal that we forget about the process and the actual achievement of a goal is one single point in time. One wise person said a long time ago “The journey is more important that the destination”. So on our journey to finding balance in BNI – how do I reward myself and celebrate my results?

Can I ask you to write down 3 ways that you are going to reward yourself and/or celebrate for completing the actions you set for yourself this week? For me, one way I enjoy rewarding myself is going to the movies. It doesn’t have to be huge, however it just has to speak to you and you have to commit to doing it. After you have written them down, plan when you are going to reward yourself this coming week, celebrate and enjoy!

7. Take Time Out. Yes – just like professional athletes and nature – it is important to take time out and recharge our energy. What do you enjoy doing to recharge your energy? Do you exercise and hear the leaves rustling on the trees or the kids playing in the playground; smell the flowers in the garden or the salty air if you live by the beach? What do you do to take time out of your day?

You may like to write down 5 things you can do this week to recharge your energy and notice how you feel after doing them:

  1. ____________________________________________
  2. ____________________________________________
  3. ____________________________________________
  4. ____________________________________________
  5. ____________________________________________

So, there you have it – 7 Ideas to Balance BNI in a Busy World.  I hope they help you and remember – “Knowledge is a process of piling up facts; wisdom lies in their simplification.” – Martin H. Fischer and “The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.” – William James.

Jane Taylor is a BNI Director on the Gold Coast. She is the founder and director of Habits for Wellbeing and is passionate “Balancing Lives… One Habit at a Time” through coaching, retreats and speaking.

Categories : Networking Systems


  1. Excellent advice! I find “networking” with other like-minded people is the lifeblood of my business. A respected business mentor I work with has broken down our activity into very simple actions: Make all your phone calls before 9.30am and aim to make 2 appointments per day (with Sat & Sun off). So far, using this system, I have sat down 101 with 30 people in April and 30 people in May. I’m now aiming for 30 people in June.
    With the people I meet at BNI and other business events, I find I can keep adding to my “list” and I never run out of people to call. People are always interested to sit down with you and talk about themselves and their businesses. Out of that, you can always find how you can connect with them and discover areas where you can add value to them.

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