Laura Hurren joins Dr Ivan Misner of BNI

Laura Hurren joins Dr. Misner to share a story that illustrates the difference between a scarcity mentality and an abundance mentality.

A new BNI chapter was launching in a small town in Italy. They held an enormous launch event and Visitors Day, attended by more than 100 visitors. The members of the new chapter went to extraordinary lengths to make it a great event.

But to Laura’s horror, when the visitors started to leave after the event, the leadership team stayed on stage taking selfies.When she tried to persuade them to go outside and speak to the visitors and invite them to join, they assured her that all was well.

When she went out to see what was happening, she found the members of another BNI chapter, who had come 28 kilometers to welcome the visitors, answer their questions, and get them signed up to the new chapter.

Laura had never seen anything like it, but BNI members in Italy are very focused on the community. The most recently-formed chapter helps the next chapter get started. The members of this chapter described it as a collaborative economy.

The BNI chapters in this region (Piemonte Sud) recognize that if they work together, they can build their chapters more quickly and more strongly than if they work in silos. This is a perfect illustration of the abundance mentality: there’s a lot of business out there, and if you work with chapters nearby, all of you are going to be more and more successful.

Chapters that support their fellow chapters and support each other’s members build the BNI brand, build business, and build BNI globally. These chapters also participated in the Business Voices program from their desire to support the community.

If you hear of a chapter opening up near you, volunteer to help them.

Brought to you by the Networking for Success Channel on YouTube.


Complete Transcript of Episode 538 –

Hello everybody and welcome back to the Official BNI Podcast, brought to you by the Networking for Success Channel on YouTube, which features Dr. Ivan Miser and many other networking experts. I am Priscilla Rice, and I am coming to you from Live Oak Recording Studio in Berkeley, California. I am joined on the phone today by the Founder and the Chief Visionary Officer of BNI, Dr. Ivan Misner. Hello, Ivan, how are you today?

I am doing fantastic. Thank you, Priscilla. I have a guest who has never been on the podcast, but I have known her for many years. Laura has been an Executive Director and a Co-National Director. For over 20 years, she has been involved in BNI. Laura started when she was only 16 years old and she has been in BNI forever. She has been in the Founders Circle of BNI. She has been on the Franchise Advisory Board, which is sort of like a membership committee but for executive directors. I consider Laura a great friend, a long-time BNI Director, and she is also the CO-National Director besides coming from London and was also the Co-National Director in Italy. Welcome to your first interview on the BNI Podcast, Laura.

Thank you, Ivan. Thank you for such a warm welcome.

It is awesome to have you on and I don’t know if I gave your last name. Laura Hurren. Laura has a fantastic story. She told it to me at the BNI Convention recently, and I asked her if she would share it in a podcast because it is an amazing story that I think shows the difference between a scarcity mentality and an abundance mentality. So why don’t you tell the story, Laura? Then let’s talk about that and why we named it what we did for this podcast. Go ahead.

Okay. Thank you. So last year, I was privileged to attend the launch of a chapter in Italy in a town called Versano, which has just 20,000 inhabitants. It is south of Turin in the Piedmontese Sur region. Over 100 visitors attended the launch and we held it in the cinema, which is the only building that could accommodate that amount of people.

Incredibly proud of what they were doing, the members really did go to extraordinary lengths. They branded the cinema BNI. They were giving away popcorn in BNI cups. The leadership team was displayed on posters around the cinema as the stars of the show. It was a true event. I was blown away, and everybody was excited and engaged.

So we went through the launch which went incredibly well. We ended the formal part. the visitors started to leave the auditorium, and to my disappointment – almost horror, shock horror – the members stayed on stage, congratulating themselves, taking photos and celebrating. After all of their hard work, they appeared to miss one vital ingredient- that is taking the opportunity to talk to the visitors and to ask them if they wanted to join.

So I ran up on stage and I pleaded for them to go to their visitors, but they assured me that all was well. I really did beg them, beg them to go outside. In the end, I saw that I was getting nowhere so I went out myself to see what I could do. I was absolutely amazed to see the members from Sylipso, a chapter 28 kilometers away, which had been the previous chapter to launch in the region. The were there, in full, taking care of the new chapter’s guests, answering their questions and signing them up. All the tables were set. The visitors were sitting in front of the members from this other chapter, and it was the perfect visitor hosting. I had never seen anything like it.

I asked them why they were doing it. They said this is how it works. The last chapter to launch helps the next chapter to launch and so on and so forth. Why? because it builds the region more quickly and more strongly because they are able to tell stories of how it is working for them.

I have never in my 20 years in BNI seen anything like it in my life. It was absolutely fantastic and heartwarming to see. You see, there, they really focused on the economy- I’m sorry, on the conveniences. They call it a collaborative economy.

When you first told me this story, I had goosebumps. I was like, really? Seriously? You know, I see chapters and these chapters are reasonably close, but there, it’s a very rural area, so there is not much in between, right, in terms of population?

Yes. Absolutely.

Their chapters are kind of side by side, even though they may be a slight distance apart. There is not a lot in between. I see a lot of chapters that have a scarcity mentality, like, oh, no there is a chapter that is going to open up in another town next to us? We are not going to help them.

But to have a chapter go to this length to support a fellow chapter opening up in the next town, it just made me so proud to hear what that group did. And you had to be on top of the world to see the collaboration and cooperation between the two groups.

Yeah, I absolutely was, and I think it was their mentality as well. You know, this chapter that was just launching. They are ready to help the next chapter.