I recently published my first book. To describe the level of commitment this took would be like trying to describe the color purple to a blind person. Everyone knows that writing a book is a lot of work, it’s just difficult to truly comprehend until you go all the way through the process.
The topic of the book isn’t specifically BNI nor networking related. It is, however, a BNI book through and through. It’s not until you lean back on your network and you realize that it’s caught you – not letting you down, not letting you fall – that the real effectiveness becomes obvious.
This book was the result of literally dozens of people that were a product of my connection to BNI. I met a mentor through a BNI training I attended. That person subsequently introduced me to someone that would later become my editor. I hired several beta readers, one a BNI member, and another, I met at a BNI Visitor’s Day. The legal disclaimer, the front and back cover design, the logo and website, all done by people in my own BNI chapter.
During the writing itself, I was able to reach out to BNI members for help with research in their specific fields. This included several CPAs – one of them a published author – as well as a payroll provider, attorney, business coach, several national speakers, and published authors.
I also engaged several coaches to help me figure out what I was wanting to create, to help hold me accountable, and allow me to get clarity for my vision for the future. I even went to an optometrist because of the eyestrain I was experiencing from staring at a computer screen for more than 15 hours per day, yet another BNI member.
Each connection I made brought connections to five more. From those connections, I was able to secure an endorsement of the book from Dr. Ivan Misner. With that endorsement, I was able to secure several more, to include Hazel Walker and Lt. Col. Waldo Waldman, both of them bestselling authors. To round out the list I secured endorsements from NBA All-Star Mark Eaton and National Speaker Jim Roman, as well as many others directly because of BNI.
If you’ve read this far it’s likely you don’t need convincing that BNI is pretty amazing. However, when you’ve worked at building relationships in an intentional way like I have in my 10 years as a BNI member, you realize that it’s all been worth it when you work on something like publishing a book.
The real testimony about BNI, however, is not about writing or publishing a book. It’s about life, and what we experience during our journey. Just a few months ago, my Dad went to God. I never experienced a loss like I did with losing my Dad. What amazed me, truly amazed me, is the incredible kindness I experienced from those in my network that were there for me. Some to listen to me. Some to cry with me. Others, just a simple gesture. BNI is a lot of things to a lot of people. To me, it’s the truest embodiment of compassion for one another.
Mark B. Dolfini is a Area Director for BNI Central Indiana and author of The Time-Wealthy Investor: Your Real Estate Roadmap to Owning More, Working Less, and Creating the Life You Want. www.LandlordCoach.com