The Hard Path is Easier

By Dr. Ivan Misner, BNI Founder and Chief Visionary Officer

Early in my career I learned that people, like water, tend to seek the path of least resistance.  That is, left to their own devices, people will often do what is easiest rather than what is best (and generally harder).

Throughout my career in BNI I’ve seen groups that didn’t want to follow the system and applied very little if any accountability within the group.  I’ve seen some groups that take that easy path. They don’t hold members accountable for attendance, quality referrals, following the system, or general support of the group. Many of these things are, in fact, hard to maintain. The real tragedy is that they may go down this path for a very long time, unwilling to take the necessary hard steps to build a successful BNI group. The results are inevitable—the chapter struggles.

On the other hand, I see some groups that work hard to maintain attendance, generate quality referrals, follow the system, immerse in a culture of learning, and cultivate a positive attitude. This is incredibly difficult to do consistently. However, these chapters are almost always much more successful.

In life, taking the hard path often makes life – in the long run, much easier, and taking the easy path often makes life much harder.  We’ve all seen this during our lifetimes.  For me it started in school.  I saw kids that took shortcuts or didn’t study.  They took it really easy

Are you practicing hard/easy or are you practicing easy/hard in your life?

This is a powerful question for every BNI chapter to ask. It might make a great discussion with your fellow members. Is your group taking the hard path to success? If not, what can you do, right now, today, to help move the chapter forward on the hard path to make your life easier?

Remember, taking the hard path often makes life easier, and taking the easy path often makes life harder.

10 thoughts on “The Hard Path is Easier

  1. This is so true. I’ve found that when I work hard on building my region, amazing things happen at all levels. Thanks for reminding us that easy is not better, just harder to correct.

  2. And to prove this point even further, one can look at the number of Olympic medalists who have overcome adversity to WIN (my blog: http://baudino.co/victory-in-adversity/):

    – Chris Mears, Olympic Diver, defied death with a burst spleen;

    – Becky James, two-time silver medal winning cyclist, had to stop training for 18 months when she was diagnosed with early cervical cancer;

    – Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, silver medalist in swimming, suffers from bowel disease;

    – And the list goes on.

  3. Dear Dr Misner,

    I endorse your thoughts. The results though slow to come, but when it comes is enduring. However, the best thing I have personally experienced is this approach had made me more positive than before and am improving.

    The irony is, human nature tends to follow the path water follows and I find this approach with a large number of the chapter members in the initial period of their membership. Those who realise and change course, become part of the long journey.

  4. I came in with because my enterprise works on referrals. The Bni structural first felt very hard and time consuming for me. But on the way I picked a lot in things like the givers gain method and farming instead of hunting etc. These were real eye openers for me.
    I take back this into my life even though outside Bni it doesn’t happen much.
    I am now willing to wait and work for it in Bni to make it happen
    Thanks n Regards

  5. Our chapter has grown so fast, over 40 members that I am seeing this in our chapter. All of us on the membership committee are trying our best to catch these things before they become a habit. Thank you for the reminder

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