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Philadelphia has its championship I was looking for some info on the net to do a 5 minute education spot on Friday and found your comment. I remain convinced that real networking is done informally between people that like each other. Later, in fake advertisement for Peeble , an app in which users are rated by Mario van Peebles, Mario calls him a rat-faced bastard and gives him two stars. They're also the only birds exempt from John's "Fuck you, birds! After a first round bye the Nationals would beat the Boston Celtics in fourg games to reach the NBA Finals for the second straight season. With the opening of the —07 season , the 76ers started out hot, going 3—0 for the first time since making it to the Finals five years previously.

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I am a real estate lawyer who has been in my local chapter for 3 years, joining as soon as I opened my own shingle. Initally, it was good for me. The real estate same one the while time sent me a bunch of referals. Now she works with sellers and sends me nothing.

Mortgage person does not send me s—t even though I know she is slammed. Meeting is so long and too strucutred. Hey Jack, thanks for reading. One of the things that sticks in my craw regarding BNI is their religious blame overtone.

Like the church I attended as a youth BNI puts itself above criticism. I remain convinced that real networking is done informally between people that like each other.

Once you gain the trust of someone you do business with and once they like you they will introduce you to their other associates.

This concept of structured forced networking that BNI mandates is absurd. There are probably a handful of people that BNI works well for. Good follow up comments to mine, Grumpy Nerd. YOu are right that many of the referrals are worthless or bogus. The one exception was when the real estate agent was sending me closings with ratified contratcs.

You are also right about the religious overtones. You are made to think Ivan Misner is like the Catholic Pope and is speaking with infallibility of the Holy Spirit when he says anything. Think people, I am finally starting to. I just have to plan my exit. I have only been a member a short time 8 weeks and every week I sit in disbelief at the brain-washing mentality. I am cynical and sarcastic by nature. When I stood up and told my chapter that I read Givers Gain and found it very insightful into the whole BNI story-I saw my mentor sitting across the room grinning from ear to ear.

I find myself dreading every weekly meeting and even though I have already made the money invested in return, it is complete waste of my time. As soon as we sat down and the whole BNI is wonderful sales pitch came out, I just felt like this was a cult recruiting for human sacrifices.

I looked at the price for a years membership and wondered how I would break even, let alone make a profit from the poor quality referrals I would surely receive. There were two competitors from my industry at the meeting as prospective members and the leadership tried to play us off against each other to gain a signup from one of us.

But the funniest thing for me was when the guy controlling the meeting got people to start filling out the membership forms and everyone apart from me just picked up a pen and started as if they were actually going to join. I could not believe that these people had actually bought into it and had become sheep in such a short space of time. Yup, a lot of ugly people in the early morning is way too much to take. But all kidding aside…what can one learn about someone in the 60 second commercials?

Nothing other than what they do. Are they reliable, honest, what are their ethics…no one cares…as long as referrals are passed. My spouse in the last 2 weeks referred four members to valued business associates. Now HE looks like the ass…geez, what the heck did you refer these idiots for? YUP, real proud I could refer these losers to you.

Each week I would create a new second commercial and present it with enthusiasm in the hopes that I would get referrals, but each week I was further disappointed. The lawyer, real estate agent and several home improvement business owners plumber, electrician, floor guy, etc. He then went on and on about how much business he had gotten through BNI. At the time I thought it would pay off. If anyone has figured out how to do it, please let us all know!

Fictional Bullshit - the referral was simply fabricated. Thanks for the feedback, Grumpy. Like any dysfunctional group, the BNI mucky-mucks made me feel as though there was something wrong with ME!

Classic writing and great points. As someone that runs and reads blogs a lot I found the lack of the usual crass or moronic comments aside from my fellow wood toothed un-schooled Brit compatriot very telling. The fact that people are pretty even keeled about their BNI experience speaks volumes to the veracity of it what you and they say are saying.

Once there I soon cottoned on to the weirdness of it all - having had a relative marry into the JWs it was all too familiar. That reference alone will bring you all kinds of sinister new traffic! Problem is that a keen radar gets well honed over the years and you know if only you trusted that first impression…. Now apart from this keen BS radar, I also have the vice of punctuality to the point where I am always stupid early to be on time.

I should have realised something was up when I arrived at 6. The hubbub down the hall should have been the giveaway. I ventured along and stuck my head around the door and there was like 20 people there already. I laughed but no one else did. The previous commenter mentioned the sudden rush for the breakfast table. Then the really odd bit struck me. Yet almost all of the script that the meeting chairman was reading out was directed at the benefits of joining.

I looked around and saw many dead and trancelike faces, most of them chomping away at caterers packs of Kelloggs or drinking powdered orange juice. Then came those strange pitches by nervous mumblers reading printed out speeches like reluctant best men at a wedding. Or did I imagine it? The next one did too. Then then next guy had a catchphrase - and everyone mumbled the punchline together whilst spitting Rice Krispies.

Others meanwhile scoffed a disgusting breakfast of overcooked crap on a plate clearly not listening why would they? Finally at the end it seemed there would be time for a chat with the two or three people present who probably could provide useful referrals but no, us visitors were not allowed to participate in that.

Really this was supposed to be the sales pitch, the hard sell, but my mob were not hot on that. Well ,partly, but the truth is that these people had kept me for so long that I suddenly realised my parking permit had expired 5 mins ago and I did not want to get a ticket just to be polite to these characters. Yes, sorry I left so abruptly, I erm ah um… Yes of course take my credit card details.

Enjoyed the comments since I last logged in. Not surprised to know that BNI sux just as bad on the other side of the pond. I left BNI and joined a small local networking group. It is very similar to the BNI meeting, but it does not do about a half-hour of the pontificaitng that you do at a BNI meeting. I had to give my 10 minute presentation at our chapter this past week. I had referred one of my staff and I was letting them know how happy my staff-member was with their services. This person then proceeded to tell me they tried to call me yesterday to see if I wanted to give one of their products as a door prize that day.

I said oh, I never got the message. What a greedy piece of crap whose business practices leave little to be desired.. Just got invited to a London BMI open morning and found this thread via Google after going through about 10 pages of various chapters. The whole thing doesnt feel right, just getting a random phone call and an invite by MAIL only, they dont appear to trust the internet. Having read all this i am actually pretty tempted to go along and just see WTF all these people are on purely for entertainment value.

There might even be an article in it i freelance. I understand your frustration. I am a lawyer and i only practice in 4 areas, mostly real estate closing. I want closings from the realtor and the mortgage person. They have not sent me crap recently which is why I am leaving. Like child custody and criminal. Have you been listening to my infomercial? It is funny you say what you did. I had gotten these strange letters before.

We had to send letters to 5 people or else. No one is going to respond to a stupid chain letter. Anyway, have fun and be ready to be recurited. The second was this morning when I was asked to attend by one of my clients. Considering we have a sizeable contract currently in negotiation I thought it would be prudent to attend and not risk offending them just as we are about to close the deal.

A number of things struck me as odd. I saw virtually no referrals from outside the group….. BNI has customers not members. Unlike a golf or service club, members of BNI have no equity in the organisation. They have no say in the rules or structure….. YOu only wasted 3 hours of your life instead part of 3 years. Jack that second article was good! I had no idea just how many people felt taken advantage up by BNI until I posted this article. Thanks for your blog as a place to vent!

Thanks to your blog, we are able to spread the word about this evil organization. I have at times seen all that was reported, and I have also seen it all happen very differently — all in the same chapter at different times. Our chapter is what WE make it be. One surprize I have had is how much of this can actually be helped by an active education coordinator and by an active membership committee that truly reviews how folks are doing each month.

Small nudges made at the right time can keep the bad trends away, but this may not be happening effectively in many chapters. The big BNI organization well, just oru area director did step in at one point and give us a good slap in the face and kick in the pants. The catch was that we really needed these pushes and I am thankful to the area director for the wake-up calls — they made our group much more effective.

So why would I be using your points? Because they have alot of validity and I want to review where we stand this week with respect to them. Simply pointing them out will do much to cut down on their frequency. I think we are OK overall but there are some places where frank comments are needed. So dear readers, what to take away? What Grumpy Nerd reports can and does happen, but it does not have to happen and it does not always happen. It depends on the chapter. Here is one stat I love and it is available in almost every VP report in every meeting: That is a reality check.

If you are in a chapter where these bad trends are happening, then step in and halt them. The chapter is what YOU make it be and you do not need to be a senior officer to cause changes. Think of it as protecting your investment. It is your chapter, make it work. By the way, she manages a home products store that supplies products to the home improvement people. I have been on a writing binge. Here is one more. I must have hit a nerve.

Hahaha, you said everything I had in mind, thank you! Everybody has to act the same way in this system. Great stuff, I was bombed out for missing six meetings in a 4 month period, thank the lord for that. BNI is a complete waste of money. My Chapter in the UK comprised the usual small smll town butcher, baker, candlestick maker.

I received no referals for my meeting room and office space brokerage and was criticised for not passing on referrals when I had none to give. If you want more punishment sign up to Ivan Misners Twitter account - Jeez, an endless stream of cod psychology and prattle.

BNI is a complete and utter waste of time and money. We got tons of referrals in BNI. Exactly one of them was worth a shit and let me tell you how that got fucked up. I like to reward people for passing sales leads to us. So I struck a deal with the member who passed the lead that he would bill the client for the work we were going to do.

Great it was all worked out. We submitted our proposal to the BNI chapter member who was in turn going to submit it to his client. Which of course put our cost way out of the market. The rest were utter and complete fiction to make the member quota. As a regional manager in a large city my former employer would pay for any networking group as long as it made sense. I figured man this guy is a legend in the military and doubted he would remember me as we had only met once or twice.

I walked up to MG to introduce myself and told him I remembered him from our unit. His comments are ones that I will never forget as long as I live. So are you completing the application or not? In all my years I have never been disrespected by another military member until that day. I knew then and there that they only gave a crap about money and nothing else.

Every single RSM in the company joined and came to the same conclusion: I must differ with you. The problem is that winners to losers in our chapter my estimate were 20 to 1. So for every 1 person that did a good business in BNI 19 others wasted their time. The pitch and show to new members was that a lot of business was transacted via referrals during the meeting.

How would they know that most of those referrals passed were pure fiction. Why would this blog get so much anti-BNI traffic? Because while there are a small percentage of BNI winners by and large it would seem that the majority of people that sign up for BNI waste their time and their money.

I went twice to BNI and decided not to join. I felt the only ones to benefit were the folk selling stuff that ever business uses. Printer paper, ink etc. Also I was unhappy with the simple formula one member of each profession. This does not give a true breakdown of businesses in your area. I also felt that in a time like now in a recession, to spend 3 hours a week and pay through the nose for it was just not cost effective for me, a sole trader selling my own time as a database developer.

I am a bit short of the hours I want but its only 7 0r 8 hours a week short. If your looking for business try the chamber of commerce in your area, or some sort of non cult network organisation. Non-cult, well put Glasgow! That is exactly what BNI is.

You definitely need to be in your chamber. I am in 2 groups, PNC and a local group. BNI was preventing me from getting out to change my business from closings to foreclosure defense.

I am getting with the people I need to be successful. It will take months for me to transition my business, but I will make it work without wasting 4 hours a week in BNI related things. Jack, are you running any ads on the Internet?

What you are doing sounds like a good idea. How much does that cost? Are you making good money with this blog? I am getting pennies, literally, writing what I have. I am patient, confident that my writing on anti-BNI and other topics will pay off eventually. I post my articles through triond.

He did quite a bit of work for that money. What I was talking about is using Google advertising for your legal practice. Size of the city you practice in.

How sophisticated your competitors are etc. Try it for a month to see if it works for your business. If it does great. You also have to have a running website for your business and an easy way for people to get in contact with you from the website. I got a webiste for the business. I am getting into foreclosure defense since the real estate closings have dried up for the most part. I am looking into the best way for SEO for the site, but I think I may do that for the foreclosure defense instead of the law firm.

LOL, I got two spicy comments on my last article. I deal with them. Have a good one. BNI is complete and utter bs. I would actually be stepping back by joining the group. Knowing they are all locked in there for 90 minutes each week giving each other hi fives and wasting there time is comforting to me. I think you nailed every important point in your post.

I saw BNI as the equivalent of a double A baseball team. Those that are in there are on their way up or are going to stay mediocre. Yes, it is great for Mr. After attending a number of networking events in the past few weeks, I have received two phone calls, a letter and a personal approach extolling the virtues of BNI membership. Taylor, I found this blog after googling BNI sucks.

Grumpynerd has done a great public service with this website. Thanks for the comments as always. I wish I had more time to dedicate to ranting on this blog! Yeah, I was involved in BNI for 5 years. It really helped me to discover ways to build my business in the first year or so.

After that, it was all downhill. You would be amazed at some of the conflicts of interest a chapter will have even with the one person from a profession rule. I was not looking for this and no idea how I got to reading such unhappiness and rantings of dissatisfied fellow humans.

It is a small PART of my overall marketing and the weekly 90 minutes is well worth the time and effort. It is not a panacea for bad salesmanship or lack of direction, business sense and target marketing. I have also made some good friends and business contacts that I can call upon for advice or discuss ideas. Some of us actually meet and figure out how we can help each other out. We invite each other to speak at other organizations so we can expand our clientele.

Yes, your membership is what you make of it just like your own business. If chamber meetings work for you, wonderful!

I find them to be an old boys club who are interested in drinks and the snacks at the mixers. No, I did not drink the kool-aid. I, and my chapter members, simply concentrate on the benefits that a BNI meeting provides.

The more intelligent visitors even ask the attendance and referral question before we get to them! And if start to see that our chapter is doing thing that you all seem to have inexplicably experienced, we will leave without hestitation. I think the problem lies with your chapters, directors, leadership teams and shame on all of you not to try and fix the problems. I volunteered for the leadership team after I saw things happening that I did not like.

But I was taught to do something about a problem and not just complain about it. Ladies and Gentlemen, maybe you need to visit my Reno chapter and see how you can be a part of the solution instead of the problems. Hey Grumpy, as you can see, I have been busy with foreclosure defense.

So I have not had time to write a new BNI rant. Matt, your situation sounded like mine. A good idea out of the gates, but not anymore. Good luck with your business. I see the flaw not in our personal execution or the execution of the local chapters but rather with the architecture of BNI. It is designed to show well to visitors insuring a high percentage of them fork over a membership fee. This while hiding the reality; piles of fake referrals, members trying to hard sell you on their services, and tons of turnover thus insuring a nice flow of cash up the pyramid.

But if you run a real business and want to grow that business there are many other options that will be more effective and waste less of your valuable time. You get some one to pay to join a group. Their role is to find more people to join the group. They can also volunteer their time to help run the group. If they quit, it does not matter because Ivan has made his dollar along with the the regional owner in my case Dawn Lyons. I want to start a business like that - everyone pays, they recruit new clients for me thinking it is to their benefit and they do my work for free.

Yes - some people besides Ivan and Dawn make a lot of money. The realtor, the contractor, a few of the folks with services everyone needs. Most people get very little. I spent a lot, and I mean a lot of time setting up meetings and meeting people for coffee, to try and dig deeper to get to know the various members better and send them referrals.

I honestly believe the people thought that. At least on the surface. But as many on here have pointed out, upon further examination, many of them would admit they had worked their fannies off for not much return. The whole mess is forced, unnatural and downright uncomfortable for most people. One of the most insidious things about this whole dynamic is that people indeed feel trapped and ashamed because they have been duped into spending a rather large sum of money, so they continue with the charade until they can at least feel like they have gone the extra mile.

I would guess this is about 1 year. One of the biggest wastes of time and money I have ever experienced. Another thing that irritates me are people at other networking events coming up to me and trying to get me to come to their awesome BNI chapter. Theirs is always different and the best. I try to get as far away as I can and still be in the same room with these Koolaide drinkers.

I went to a BNI meet last week for the first time. I reckon just like the Grumpy Nerd that it is useful when you are selling a commodity everybody needs at some point, such as plumbing. So not for me sadly! And if we go, he insist on going with us. Does he get a bonus for bringing new members to a chapter or what? This really upsets me and my husband to find out that he tries te set us up for a cult?!?

He genually seemed to take an intrest in what we were doing. He promissed us to sponsor our website for free. I feel so stupid and naïve to have almost bought this crap. We hurt a real friend for taking away his work on our website for a litte bit of money and a lott of his time for someone who was setting us up from the git go.

We would have been in deeper trouble if i did not read all this on your blog. You are doing important work. Before i wrote this post i even considered the possibility that he might be an innocent victim of this brain washing cult. But now, i believe he knew precisely what he was doing every minute he was doing it.

I am fascinated to see the hate and mistrust for the BNI concept. I understand some of the comments and feel as though other comments are out of line. I have been a member of BNI for 2. I am in the mortgage business so I guess that makes me one of the lucky ones. I must admit that I have taken advantage of the BNI structure by holding the President and VP slot so I could extend my membership without having to pay.

Gotta work the system. I do not really care for our area director. He visited one of my meetings and stood over my shoulder waiting for me to miss a step. With that said, I do think the concept is good if the members adhere to it. Our realtor has not recd a referral in a long time but at the same time she has joined our group but still uses none of our services.

My question - why join? I do enjoy the different views though. I have found that many BNI members are cut from the same mold. Some great posts here since I last checked in.

After being in my chapter for six years, I have come to realize it is just like you say: If it works for you, it works for you. I have also learned not to invite anyone that is looking for a silver bullet to becoming a gozillionaire. I think one of the tricks is to recognize BNI as a pyramid dressed in legitimate clothes. I too think the business model is fairly brilliant: Certainly not original or deep, but brilliant nonetheless.

I can hear it now: I am pro me and my business. Nothing more, nothing less. It is a tool that can be leveraged in marketing your product, good, or service.

I also learned very early on, NOT to sell to the other members in the group. Look forward to more! I see five or six folks defending BNI using their own success as a measuring point. What I want to know is, do all the other members in your chapter also enjoy similar kind of success?

I like how Grumpy did an income statement-like calculation with your own hourly rate to measure success rate. Everyone involved in BNI should really include your time and hourly rate as a consideration when measuring your BNI activities investment, otherwise you are just cheating yourself. At the end of the day math will usually save you. I spent x and I received y. Was it worth it? When you are talking about your time you always have to factor in the opportunity cost.

While I was at BNI I could have been; billing a client, getting real sales done, running a more effect ad campaign…. You are absolutely right about the math either working for you or not. There are folks that come into the group where the math does not end up working out in their favor.

The ones that have used your formula and the math is on their side, usually end up staying. I was approached by a fellow chamber of commerce member to join BNI. I am a new business owner and very badly need to make some money but in spite of this, I still believe in capitalism. To lock someone out because your think they are competition is wrong. What if the products you offer are inferior to the competition? I want to earn business because I offer my clients the best product for the best price.

I was invited to attend a meeting and even though the alarm bells rang when the chanting and propaganda started, I still ended up joining, something I deeply regret. Since then, I have found BNI taking up more of my time and gaining me no new business, to the point where my business stopped growing and started nose-diving.

When I pointed out some of the flaws in BNI, some of the brainwashed members began to look at me as though I had handed them a dead baby and blamed the sudden lack of referrals I received as being my fault for destroying any trust members had in me presumably because I had a mind of my own. Yesterday I had a phone call from our chapter director demanding that I accounted for every minute of my working week and my reasons for being in business. In the seven months I have spent as a member of BNI, I have realised that the chanting and the Manson Family recruitment drives are not designed to make you money but to get you to bring in more victims visitors, sorry.

The other thing I noticed about BNI was the fact that there is not a lot of networking done in a networking organisation! And so, after tomorrow, I will be looking for a real networking group and will be free from the gulag! Good luck to you Joe. You will do better now that you are out of BNI.

Funny, I had a cool-aid guy in the group months after I left show up at my South Carolina office to get me to do a will for her New Jersey mother-in-law who was visiting. I am not licensed in New Jersey. Yes Then we have nothing to talk about, go away. John, that is about right calling Misner a televangelist.

I think all types of this networking groups are pointless. I am going to stay in my Kiwanis and I am going to get with an attorney networking group since I do what few people will do, foreclosure defense. I have been reading through these posts for about 45 minutes, and find THEM to be a complete waste of time.

When it comes right down to it, you get out of BNI what you put into it, just like any other group. What BNI offers is structure and consistency so that members can educate and be educated.

My chapter was a chapter that was having difficulty a few years ago. We were dropping members and morale was down. A group of members came together and decided to move back to the basics of BNI and to work the program is it was intended. And the success continues. Since we are continuing to follow the BNI program as intended, and since we are all positive about it, our results continue to be solid. Yes, you can network with the chamber I am on the board of our chamber and kiwanis, rotary, and other organizations.

But what BNI offers is the structure that, when followed, generates results that can be tracked. I can look back over the past year and tell you how much business came from BNI.

The numbers are great, and I would be a fool to leave. So, it is unfortunate that so many of you have had such bad experiences in your time as BNI members.

I wish you had the opportunity to be a member of a chapter like mine. So instead of quitting, step up and lead your chapter to success. And instead of complaining because you cant work the BNI system, connect with someone who has been successful and learn how to make it work for you.

Have a great day. I am going to go write my sales manager minute for tomorrow. By the way, I asked for a specific business referral last week and guess what - I got a call monday from a member and am meeting with this potential client on Friday to do business. But the world needs suckers. Real networking is when you do business with people that you like and trust.

A real network is built over time by way of your good reputation. When you actually build a real business network no one expects anything out of you except your integrity and honesty. If it takes one week, one month or one year between referrals thats what it takes.

If you grow out of your business infancy that perspective will help you understand how ineffective and self serving the BNI business model is. After the first 15 minutes of reading the posts, it becomes quite clear that none of the posters understand what networking is all about. First of all, networking does take time and it is usually helpful to actual meet the person that you may be referring or who may be referring you. Complaining is such a big turnoff and bad if you are seeking referrals.

It would appear that most people on this post have spent more time writing this post than they have ever done in actually meeting people and getting to know them. I think their business suffers not because of BNI but rather due to their inability to get along with people. You really want to complain about the dues? Selfishness is not a marketing strategy! BNI is not for everyone and they most certainly have their faults. However, every meeting needs an agenda to efficiently manage the time and cover the basics.

Maybe BNI should update their meeting format but I would not want to be in a meeting with most of the posters on this blog without an agenda. Can you imagine 90 minutes of whining and complaining? Might this customer bring in one or two other customers who may do the same? Narrow-minded thinking and absolutely no concept of customer retention or word-of-mouth marketing. Best of luck to all of you and please consider a switch in your marketing from complaining to one of showing appreciation.

I agree whole heartily with current member. You get out of BNI what you put in. In my experience, some new members come in, expect other chapter members to carry the load, put little to no effort into it, and surprise, surprise are disappointed with results they get. Is it lost on them that other members see that they are trying to milk the chapter rather than contribute to it?

They are poorly run chapters out there where people do put an effort into and our disappointed with the results. These people should try to transfer over to another chapter and see what results come from there. BNI has served me very well in referrals, education, and good business contacts. No I am not brain-washed nor am I in my business infancy. I have been fed my share of Koolaid over the years, but this glass is still tasting fine.

I am sorry you had a bad experience with BNI, maybe it was poorly run chapter or maybe you are not right person to excel in BNI. I too wish I had read this before joining. I asked someone I knew who was a BNI member for advice. I did a couple of free jobs for the charity in the chapter which I was happy to do as I enjoy doing work for charities. I replied explaining my position and then actually I was more disenchanted with him than BNI.

I have gone along this morning, everything was fine but then in the post today is a letter saying they are opening up my classification. For everything I read, none of it sounded like the chapter I visited. We had no meeting fees for visitors. In the 90 minute meeting, joining was brought up exactly twice once at the beginning, and once at the end. There were no hard sells — members recommended I take an application and consider joining.

I was interviewed before I was accepted, and my references called. Since joining, I have made back my investment plus some.

Not everyone that applies gets approved, and not everyone that joins gets to renew at the end of the year. Sounds like some of you just ran into some bad groups. Sounds like you missed the point at BNI. Your comments up front are probably the reason: What will I say during my sales manager minute? BNI and anything else you do will only pay back dividends on what you put into it.

BNI is just another money spinner for the Owner. BNI India sucks really bad. A farmer toils in his fields all season, but the crops are dismal and the farmer is at his wits end. He goes to the Priest and asks for help from above. The Priest gives instructions to pray for the lords help. The farmer prays and prays. He prays before each meal and before bed. This is BNI in a nutshell. I have yet to hear any koolaid drinker even remotely hint at the possibility that BNI might not be as perfected as Shaman Meisner would have his disciples believe.

So remember, if BNI is not working for you, it is solely your own fault. The BNI marketing system is not to blame… How could it be?

Turns out, you probably were just not praying hard enough. Here is the deal in the most simplistic terms I can manage. It was the majority of our chapter.

To wrap up; very few people can make decent money in BNI but that money will be made at the expense of the majority in the chapter who fruitlessly waste their time going though the canned bullshit program set up by our dear leader. All of the people at the meeting seemed very friendly and prospects looked good. I attended a second meeting as a guest and decided to join. It is only after a few months that you begin to see the whole charade for what it is.

Hollow or low value referrals from members trying to avoid the embarrassment of not meeting their quota each week and lots of time spent chasing after bullshit. The rest however were chasing scraps and there were a number of members who I wondered why they bothered turning up every week. Although I did get work and did cover my membership costs, I dread to think how much time I wasted on fulfilling BNI dictat and following up poor quality referrals.

For example, the builder will probably also install bathrooms and kitchens, the IFA will also offer mortgages etc. The training events exist to groom you into getting more referrals and getting more visitors to meetings - not to train you in practices that may help your business. It is all about what you can offer BNI and how you can get it for them. I regularly joined the weekly conference calls with BNI central organisers and was shocked by much of the manipulative advice that was passed.

Everyone in the chapter was expected to contribute 40 names, who were all sent letters, then followed up with phone calls. And it is you that makes the calls all the time being told to carefully not mention BNI, early mornings, membership fees etc. Not only was I embarrassed to have to take part in this, but actually resented giving my valuable time to an organisation that sees you as a member of an unpaid telesales team rather than a valued client. A man who is the epitome of slick success and openly brags about his beautiful house and cars remember folks, it is your membership fees that fund his lifestyle.

During his speech, he claimed that our chapter was one of the top, most successful chapters in the region - which I knew to be a blatant lie.

One of my guests began to make noises like he was going to join and every atom of me wanted to stand up and shout. A few weeks later I left BNI as I was unwilling to waste any more time on chasing up nothing referrals and listening to bullshit so early in the day. It is the directors of BNI that make the real money and it is in their interests for membership turn over to be high, as it keeps those new member fees rolling in.

BNI is very much carrot and stick. However, you come to realise that the carrot is false but the stick is very real! I have not posted in a while. Had a guy who is still in the Chapter who joined right before I left come to the office.

The accountant in my BNI chpater is a client. She has opened her own shop. She asked about the networking group I am in. I said dues are just 50 a month and it is 2 hours a month and not 1 hour a week. Yea, no franchise-kickback fee to Misner. I am sooo glad I found your site!!! I am still in a cloud of daze after my BNI group non-renewed me.

In my line of work, I did not get many referrals. Those that were not just a bunch of BS, actually became clients. I generated a nice income from the accounts.

I think the concept of BNI is good, not great to say the least, and there are def. Thank you all for your honesty! I too was sucked in by the friendly, welcoming members when I first went to a meeting. I liked them and they liked me so much that within 3 weeks of joining I became the Social Director for the group. No one else would step up and take the position. Now I know why. The only reason I stayed in the position was because my membership was complimentary as long as I sat on the executive team.

Referrals were fluff, everyone wanted a favour and even BNI head office sucked me into doing work for them for no money. Not only that, but I put my professional reputation on the line for this group and I greatly regret it. I just quit BNI. I really liked most of the members, But I think that each chapter should be able to choose where they meet. Our contract just expired with the hotel where we have been meeting for the past year.

I have a real problem with the micro managing control issues. I quit BNI also after an agonizing 3 months. It is just one big circle jerk where all the members stroke each other!

Instead I was told how important it was that all members attend as visitors were coming. This summed it up for me, because when it comes down to it, the Directors are only interested in themselves. Oh and when they talk about everyone being your sales team. It dawned on me at another networking event when I found myself talking to another attendee about BNI more than about my own business.

We also opened up an area called World corkboards. My partner went to a BNI meeting last night. After speaking with him on the phone about an hour ago he wishes me to attend a 7am meeting tomorrow, to hear about it myself…he is willing to pay the joining fee. I was once part of a financial service company, whom like BNI, got you to pay the initiation fee, spread roses and sweet promises up front, but then choked you with meetings out of town and purchasing marketing material and MANDATORY seminars!!!

And hardly ever did I make any money…they wanted your focus more on generating recruits than your own business. Well BNI sounds the same. I believe that marketing and networking your business can be self attainable. You should not have to PAY a fee to someone in order to get business…for my online advertising business corkboardads. It will only grow bigger and better the more I continue to do the same…and Not revert back to mandatory meetings and paying for materials…information in which if you rally look for you can find answers online.

Let me know you read my post here. THIS is what brought me to your site! In fact, I was literally stunned by the detail and accuracy. BNI is a joke. If anyone is considering going, or has the chance to go, GO! Just think of the cost of going to the meeting as if it were admission to the theater… or the ZOO? Rotten, tainted, corrupt apples on the BNI tree. Here is a question I posed to some of my cohorts in BNI: Your BNI franchise owners leased, rented, or purchased the rights to re-sell the BNI marketing system in a given geographic area.

However, they place all sorts of obligations on their customers… I mean members. This is why BNI is so hot on sticking to the scripted agenda and talking points. I have it right from the top in Redland, CA. A dim bulb named Leroy Gaines in the home office put it simply: BNI admits that once the business transaction is over and you have paid your money, there is no more legally recognized relationship between anyone.

BNI has a perceived place of authority over its customers. Where does this perception come from? The customers who truly believe they are members of anything! I agree with the posters that say you get out of it what you put into it. I am so happy that I stumbled onto this blog! I was given the choice between being asked to leave or quitting my BNI group. Guess which I chose?

The problem started with a member who felt I was in conflict with his category. He harassed me, bullied me and tried to make me comply to his wishes throughout the last year. He kept thinking that I was taking work away from him. I complained to BNI leadership to no avail. When he bullied me the last time I got mad and told him I was tired of his bullshit.

He reported me for what I said, and now I am out. I felt pretty bad. I felt unfairly treated. After reading this blog I feel so much better. The other thing I found out was that 4 people have been non-renewed in the last few months. The person is just gone. No one says anything more about them. Look at a third party website such as http: In every business the people at the top make more.

In an MLM anyone can work up to the top, unlike in a pyramid scheme. If your upline is a creep, the whole team is going to be creepy. If you have a good upline, the whole team will reflect that. Any business, MLM or otherwise, can isolate people from friends and family. Also, please stop commenting under multiple names. You notice that they call people that disagree losers. You guys sound brainwashed. I probably need to stop Amway right?

Besides, what the fuck are you doing just sitting on your computer commenting negatively on blogs that you know nothing about. Your a hypnotized bitch and I believe that this guy makes 2.

I guarantee you wouldnt be such a bitch if you understood how to do the same thing, but some people just cant believe something and have faith, so they knock it down and shatter other peoples dreams around them. Well I hope someone shattered your dreams when you were a kid, because isnt that what everyone wants? To be around negative lethargic fucks who spend their days finding stuff that doesnt make sense to their peanut sized minds and calling it out because they dont understand it?

Well LOL to you too. Your whole life is probably a big LOL. Oooh whatchu gonna do read my internet code or whatever and come set me straight? Bitch I am straight, I aint crooked like you so consider waking the fuck up before your short insignifigant life is over in the blink of an eye. Here is my factual response to the author: Amway is an 11 billion dollar privately held, debt free corporation note in Forbes magazine several times and that is 1 in online health and wellness with all certified organic farms.

Like Uber, Etsy, Lift, Ebay and Amazon, the allow everyday people to work as independent business owners with them in exchange for compensation. Pretty sure the government would not have the owner of an illegal pyramid scheme as their Chairman and could definitely find Mr Devos Courtside at a game to arrest him for his 11 billion dollar illegal business.

The Federal Trade commission tried Amway and found it to be what they referred to as a legal and viable business that is not a pyramid because a pyramid is an organization with no real products or services that only circulates money through recruiting others people. Because Amway only pays when products are purchased not people signed up , they are by definition, NOT a pyramid. So you really have to be an idiot to lose money. You get paid a cash percentage of all spending resulting from your personal orders as well as referrals.

Unlike the job you probably work, Amway pays for performance not position. Your boss will always make more than you but in Amway if you cause more purchases than the person who introduced you to the opportunity , you out earn them even though they got started in business first.

I hope this helped to educate you. Would hate for you to continue to look like an uneducated liar to all you friends who watch football and will see the collegiate national championship winners hold up the Amway Coaches Poll Trophy, open Vogue magazine or watch New York Fashion week to see their national Artistry cosmetics campaign or watch the Orlando Magic or Chicago Cubs play and see Amway plastered all over the signage.

I have no boss. I am a real business owner — as in, I own every part of this business. I create the products. I do not peddle toilet paper or hand soap to my friends and family so I can make pennies on their subscription fees.

I have to actually think up something new, produce it, market it, and sell it. You want to be paid for performance? Create something yourself, and then see how you do. Can you make six- or seven-figures from your own creativity and grit?

I am not an uneducated liar, stupid or unsuccessful. Last I checked I had a graduate degree, a six-figure online business, and no boss. I think you are a good person and probably a good business owner.

Seems like he went out of his way to right that advisory. First off your friend seems a little fishy. I think your friend is you. Well I never heard of those tactics, and selling is optional. Do your research before you post these hilarious posts. Any network marketing works but it all depends what you put in to it.

Seen lawyers, doctors,all types of professionals in this business not just struggling middle America. Sounds like you have a grudge. Everyone has their opinion. Amway is a great business model, but there are knuckleheads just like in any business. This information is based on 1 person that sounds like she was weird and working with some weird people. They tried to get me to join them and invited me to go to their group meetings. I did go a few times and it was hard to sit through the whole thing.

I could not believe all the bull crap those speakers were feeding these people. Pyramid scheme or not, Amway is creepy and functions as a cult. These crazies nearly sucked me in. They immediately tell me not to tell my family about them, that my family would be skeptical about the opportunities amway would bring me, that my family would discourage me from doing it.

Had been in it for over 10 yrs, however, no longer in it today. But you people have no idea how it runs, your clueless. Your not even worth my time. I can see how one bad experience or one negative anecdote can turn you away from something—in this case, a business. Today you can also order condoms online from stores that offer them! You sound just like the people you say business owners involved with Amway call jealous.

Your review is just pathetic but then if Amway was not for you, you just got to move on in life and focus on something you have passion for. Spending time to rant against Amway will not make you money, you will only lose your time and what better you could have done instead! Amway is a good company and has helped a lot of people worldwide already which should be because they existed since ?

Some distributors just gets hyper-excited acting queer instead of thinking business-like. Their products are mostly good. Of course, prospecting is part of it just like any other business. Then the business presentation, then closing the deal or have the prospect sign up.

You have to guide your distributors until they can made it on their own. Just like any distribution business, you have to check how your dealers are performing.

Have a business mindset and hardworking attitude and you cannot avoid earning. Are u that much expert to comment on this?????

Keep watch on amway growth, still growing fast… new manuf. He gave me his website the day prior but I could not see what it was about. He kept saying that he was going to help me to have financial freedom as they have a strong network where they deal with professionals who work with Bestbuy, lululemon, etc. I feel like I deserve a good slap by allowing myself to go there.

You are going to ruin someone who is going to be a great leaders for his family one day. He understands that if he doesnt own, he will be owned by his job. For you to believe more in your 4 year, no guarantee, probably have student loan debt education will really help separate you from the masses but question his partnership with an 11 billion dollar corporation that is 1 online and has given him something he can own is sad. Your boyfriend decided to put himself in the way of that online traffic.

I believe he will be successful in 5 years if he keeps working hard and not let you steal his dream. Stop trying to get him to join you on the 40hours for 40years plan. I started this business a few years back and just listened and did what they asked me too. Because of it i was Able to bring my wife home. My mother was absolutely hooked into it and tried to sell all her church friends on it. Every product in our home gradually became Amway. Shampoo, soap, and yes, toilet paper. Amway was all they talked about, it was insane.

It was a creepy thing to watch my parents become absorbed in something like that. My son has gotten involved with this company. I am scared to death for him. We try to talk to him, but he seems so brainwashed that nothing we say has any impact.

My sister in Australia has been involved in this for decades and has made nothing, despite co-opting several others into the fold. I had to quickly learn to ask what she was inviting me to before I accepted any invitations and eventually had to tell her not to ask me to any more Amway things. Then she started on my fiance. This is a business for the gullible — perhaps why they do so well in religious communities. I went to a Amway meeting was one of the people in this situation they are creepy, the guy who tried to get me into Amway used my teammates death to incite conversation between us.

He used my teammates death to try make profit off of me. I say try because i had this guy who did this spend money on me, who would buy me dinner and i would always tell them how cool the ideas are, every meeting was the same they made it seem like a family instead of a business.

Thankfully i chose a better financial option which was spent that on weed and flipped that sack for money. This business isnt for everyone. Just try the products and of you dont like them then return them you have 6 months to return them. They probably left because they trying to be with people who were trying to succeed.

Take it from me im 16 years old and this business has not failed me yet. Do you even know what a pyramid-scheme is? I only learned about Amway today, but I can spot a bullshitter when I see one. So the only schemer I see here is you.

I absolutely agree with this post! The freaking nerve of these people!!!! Of course I put him in his place and hope that he never, ever dares to contact me again because if he does I will file a complaint for harassment!! You are full of shit. But you have to work for it. If you stay home watching T. Amway is the 1 business in the world and the best quality of products. Okay then, just like any other business with the same models and those more reputable, we can choose any model and become equally successful.

You have to work for any job your acquire. My wife started to sell this stuff. After a few months, everything in our house was Amway crap, bought with my money at ridiculous prices.

My family could not talk with her without her mentioning Amway in every breath. In an attempt to discover what was going on, I went with her to an Amway seminar. I saw how easy it is to brainwash people at cult meetings. And we lost most of our money on useless crap that nobody wanted to buy. And I lost my wife. I would rather attend training that are proven success from people that I know are reputable. I can build big business elsewhere not through this pyramid. First of all I have no problem buy the products from my own store, but they do tell you to get a whole new group of like minded people, which gurus do, that are not on your same agenda.

They do not tell you whatsoever what the mentoring is for. Second, they are selling the education behind marketing and how to do it more than the products. Okay I would have had no problem with that if they said that upfront. I am a teacher, I can sell education to anyone.

That is the biggest thing. That is because I know psychology so well I know sales tactics to skirt around the truth. I can learn all these techniques elsewhere and sell something more profitable. Just do you due diligence before you get started. The choice is up to you. I dont think that we should justify the blogwriter …. Amway takes advantage of gullible idiots, who can be found everywhere and turns them into Amway zombies. The zombies have been convinced that Amway products are better quality.

A long time ago when i was 8 years old my mom tried Amway. Governments around the world need to wake up to this plague called MLM which are nothing about pyramid schemes and snuff them out with the toughest legislation.

It gives ordinary people and even highly successful people who are willing to work hard, the opportunity to become an entrepreneur. You as an individual must just pick the right company for you to partner with, which suits your values. Amway is a very successful Network Marketing company. The Network Marketing industry is predicted by Paul Zane Pilzer to be the next trillion dollar industry by People are so quick to jump to conclusions about things they have no understanding or experience of.

I love seeing all the positive feedback tho. With anything good in this world there will always be ignorant people like the person who wrote this article who will try and bad mouth things. These white trash dregs then go on to wear that suit they bought 20 years ago for a funeral.

These meetings that the Marriot probably has to bathe the room in Lysol when these degenerates leave. Honestly it is sad at the end of the day. Trash people who have no concept of how making money actually works. Go to school, get a degree. There are two ways you can quickly judge Amway. The first is by taking a community college Economics class. MLM relies on obtaining wealth directly from those below you.

The other way that you can quickly judge Amway is by the profile of their members. Many come from lower middle class religious backgrounds and have recently undergone personal issues e.

Finally, some are often very protective and defensive of Amway online. Go ahead and see how many of the pro-Amway comments in this blog fit these traits — all of them. Ok, tell you what, if you have any actual questions, ask them right here.

If you truly market yourself as someone who is knowledgeable and can provide something more than opinion, shoot. She even stated in one of the comments above that she gets paid to market her own blog, and this is her business. You make great points. I enjoy the products and the rebates the companies pays me to have people I know and meet to shop through its online portal.

Everyone has choices and I choose this avenue. Actually the company pays us directly not the wealth from those on our team. What the team makes is their money and none of it goes to other team members.

The govt collects money through taxes and pays its bills and helps those that are less fortunate. Not this company; you eat what you kill basically. And as far the education of the members on my team, I posted that below. A friend recruited me into Amyway.

I joined initially but after going to one of their conference and hearing all the chants. I knew it was a Cult of desperate money hungry fools! That was the last they had of my money. I was a former Amway Business Owner. I quit after going to their conference in Illinois in or it has been a while. They also lie about their success rates. Oh, and by the way?

Like most Amway members. These comments are funny. I too am an IBO with Amway. How much did you make? This is a business for crying out loud, what business do you know has been successful without making an investment? Maybe we can change the dialogue. What would you suggest to this person to assist with their goals.

You earned a new reader today. Amway people are total scumbags who want to sell you their shit and promising great rewards, wasting a great deal of your time. I hate those pyramid schemes. Here is my experience from amway. I ended up getting like 5 or 6 people in under me and then some under them. I thought would I want to get somebody just like me in the business? I went back to finish my degree which my upline convinced me to quit school!!!

I got my degree. I am working in a job in my degree field server administration and she actually started her own business. The upliner got antsy and said he was making 6 figures. I asked him if he was, why did he have holes in the soles of his shoes and drove a bomb to our house? Problem with Amway, it IS a pyramid scheme and the money is funneled straight to the top. Last I heard these people had purchased a caravan and were driving interstate to meet new people in the hopes of roping them in!

They spend all their savings,tried to scam their friends and made nothing……. When i was 23 years old I was introduced to Amway through mutual friend. I had never heard of the company before that time. I went to school for business, yet was bartending because I couldnt find a job that I was really passionate about.

This was of making money was foreign to me, but I have always been open minded. I have now been in business for 9 years. It was really me just learning how to better communcate with people and developing myself as an individual I was extremely intreverted when I got in business.

For me, this has been a phenomenal opportunity! I have also realized that many teams under the Amway umbrella do very different techniques, just like not all football teams under the NFL banner are ran the same way.

I think this is a wonderful opportunity, but obviously not for everyone! Their are bad apples in every bunch, but that doesnt mean all the apples Amway business owners are bad.

Just someone who is 32 and speaking from personal experience. Hopefully people wont make a decision based off of someone who didnt make it, or even get in business.

How much do you make now? Nike and Apple have been partnered for 3 years. Also, amway is designed initially to be part time,no full time. I worked a full time job, while putting in time to build a business online. Working a traditional 9 to 5 job is a pyramid scheme, why? Is because you are working for someone else. Your working for their dream.

The richer gets richer while the poor gets poorer. Why work so hard on something in which you can never own. A traditional job would only be a pyramid scheme if you got paid by the number of people you recruited into the job, and also from the people your recruits recruited.

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