Today I went to a networking meeting in my home town. As I hadn’t done any face to face networking for over a year, I was slightly apprehensive about going (you had to give the 1 minute spiel which I’m not a big fan of) but I was also excited. I had been invited by a lovely lady, it was just down the road, was held at a great time and was in my favourite hotel in Shifnal.
I wasn’t given any details about the meeting other than it was something new – so I went along open-minded, looking forward to what would happen.
I got there to be greeted by a lovely lady.
With a BNI badge!
I know all about BNI – I was an active member when I first started my business 14 years ago.
In case you don’t know BNI is a referral based organisation which meets weekly, it’s very structured and you tend to either love it or hate it! I used to love it but I stopped going many years ago when I felt I was putting more in than I was getting out.
And until today I felt BNI was firmly in my past – and whenever I’m invited to a BNI meeting I politely decline – “Been there, done that, got the T-shirt”.
Had I known it was BNI I wouldn’t have gone! And the lady who invited me knew that – which was why she didn’t tell me!
When I came home and told my husband, he was outraged. He thought that was a dreadful thing to do – a waste of my time, disrespectful and was effectively treating me like a child by not telling me the truth.
But I didn’t see it like that. On the contrary I saw it very differently.
Far from being annoyed I was impressed at the risk she took in inviting me in this way – aswell as her confidence and belief in BNI.
I was also curious (which is how I experience most of my life incidentally).
Why was life presenting me with the possibility of BNI once more? Was it to remind me that BNI generated a lot of business for me once and helped create structure in my working week? Or was it to confirm that the rigid framework and structure was too restrictive for me?
Right now I’m not sure – all I know is it’s no accident it’scome along now as I’m looking to grow my business after a couple of years ofbeing largely dormant. It would also bea perfect place to market my one-day online retreats (and in person retreatswhen I create them)!
But I digress!
The reason this blog is important is because our perspective on life is EVERYTHING.
Had I taken my husband’s stance and been outraged about being misled, I wouldn’t have been able to receive any of the gifts from that meeting – and there were many.
Instead I would have been very justified in feeling cheated and lied to and grumbled about “some people”:
“People” who lie (or don’t tell the whole truth)
“People” who have no respect for others
“People” who treat you like a child
When the truth is we’re all “people”, we have far more commonalities than differences- it’s simply that we each have a different perspective on life.
For example, my husband likes to know exactly what he’s getting into, what to expect, how it works – that way he can be fully prepared.
I on the other hand like to explore and figure things out as I go, jumping into the unknown and seeing where it leads – trusting that magic is around the corner.
It is not that “my way” is “right” and my husband’s is “wrong” or vice versa.
We simply have different perspectives on how we approach life.
In truth I was blinded by my past experience of BNI.
BNI too has evolved (they have meetings at 10am for one thing!)
Just has I have shifted and grown, so has BNI.
And by limiting my viewpoint to what I knew from the past I wasn’t fully open to opportunity.
My “already knowing” was blinding me to possibility.
Ironically I wrote about this 2 years ago although back then I was convinced I’d evolved past it (I’ll share it with you tomorrow).
Today I realised I hadn’t evolved past it at all – it was still playing out in some areas – I was just blind to it. Just as we all have a tendency to be blind to our own patterns.
I used to think I was “above” other people – “more evolved” but in truth this was simply a way I kept myself separate.
It’s all too easy to point the finger out believing “the world would be a better place if” ….
Because when we do this we don’t have to look within – at our own patterns and behaviours – but this is where true freedom and transformation lies.
I could have stayed very smug on my own moral high-ground believing I know all about referral marketing and it’s not for me – when indeed it might be the PERFECT thing for my business right now.
Are there any areas of your life that you’re looking through with an “already knowing” filter? What new way of looking at it could totally transform it?
Do share below.