How to Build a Network of a Hundred Thousand Networkers

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Networking Pioneer Convinced that Giving has its Rewards

Dr. Ivan Misner never intended to create the world’s largest referral networking company. If you ask him, that’s at least part of why he was able to do it.

In 1985 Misner started the first chapter of what would become BNI (Business Network International). In the years to come, Ivan and BNI’s motto became “givers gain,” referring to the belief that people whose goals were help others usually gained the most. As it turns out, the more Misner gave to BNI and it’s members, the more inevitable it became that BNI would become a success.

Misner says he started BNI because he “needed a way to round up more business” for the business he was already running. He said the premise he presented several business acquaintances was to build a group around mutual benefit.

“I started BNI,” Misner says, “with the concept that our first duty would be to help others in the group get high-quality business referrals and to help them in any other way that we could. I honestly think it’s that idea and they way we’ve preserved it, that has helped what became BNI into what it is – a company with working chapters in 22 countries, one that did a billion dollars worth of referral business last year. The fundamentals do matter.”

A firm believer in having a clear mission statement, Misner believes that BNI’s success is clear proof of the immutability of a powerful and innovative direction.

“We may have stumbled upon it,” Misner muses, “but the idea that ‘givers gain’ has, I think, held us in good stead.”

BNI ( is a referral networking organization, which at last count had over 3,600 individual chapters in 22 countries worldwide. BNI’s Founder & CEO, Dr. Ivan Misner is the author of several book’s including the NY Times best-seller, Masters of Networking, ( and the recently released #1 best-seller, Masters of Success (


Michael Drew



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