I get asked quite a bit why I belong, no... why I tend to evangelize BNI and talk about it with as many people as I do.
It really starts with why I do what I do for a living. It may seem that I'm simply a website designer and "computer guy", but it's really more involved than that. Sure, I create effective websites for our clients and we do offer IT services for businesses and municipalities, but what I really do it help people be successful.
When I'm launching your website or we're helping your organization with a technical challenge, we're really helping you achieve success. But why do I do that? It isn't about the money. As many owners of a small business will tell you, it's not the driving reason. I could most likely make more money by going to work for another company.
No, it's not the money at all. I've spent quite some time thinking about it. The "why" of what I do... and I figured it out!
When I was growing up here in Western Massachusetts I had what most children would consider a good childhood. I was a bit isolated as I grew up in a pretty rural area, but other than that, my sister and I had good holidays, birthdays and all the things kids think are important. It wasn't until just recently that I really sat back and thought about how hard my parents had to work to provide for us. They were young parents with a blue collar background. My mother was a factory worker and my father an carpenter. They didn't make a lot of money, but they always made sure that we had what would make us happy. I'd be willing to bet... no I'm sure they went without to make sure we had the toy or game we wanted.
When I was trying to figure out why I do what I do, I reflected back upon the jobs I've had as I grew up. I worked at a few places when I was in my teens and early twenties in retail sales and then shifted into a law enforcement track as a Public Safety Dispatcher and went through the Reserve/Intermittant Police Academy with the intent of becoming a police officer. Before that had a chance to happen, I took a position at a software company that produced software for the law enforcement and public safety industries where I quickly became their Director of Technical Support. When I left there I founded Turcotte Data & Design in 2005.
As I consider what all these jobs had in common, it became apparent that they were all about helping people. Retail sales is about helping people find the best "whatever" they are looking for, public safety is obviously about helping people and working for the software company was helping the people who help people! What I do now is help people be successful in business because I do not want them to have to work as hard as my parents did to provide for their families. That's why I do what I do. That's how I help people as a website designer. It drives me. I admit it... I'm a helper.
So when it comes to BNI and sharing what I consider a great opportunity to grow a business, I'm passionate about that as well. BNI accounted for 34.9% of our business last year. That's a pretty big percentage. But even more than the amount of revenue it helped us generate, BNI also allows me to help others be helping them grow their business through quality word-of-mouth referrals. When I talk to people about BNI, how could I not be passionate about it?! It aligns very closely with my personal mission... to help people. Being part of an organization that is focused on helping people is an amazing thing. People helping people. I don't know about you, but I'm all for that!
I'm happy to talk to you and even introduce you to those people that are committed to helping you grow your business. If I meet you in person or are connected with you on a social networking platform, I'll probably bring it up... but in the meantime just ask me and I'll share!
After writing this article, I had the great opportunity to record the following video with Dr. Ivan Misner, Founder of BNI.