I am huge on networking in Peterborough. The business has grown through recommendations and referrals from those we have met networking. I have been to BNI once or twice, but just found I didn’t like it. When I say I didn’t like it, I could even go as far as saying I strongly disliked it.

However, I was recently invited to attend BNI Quantum as a guest. I loved what I saw. The group were friendly, there were clear clients in the room and it was at a time that suited me.

So why was a super anti-BNI?

I’m not a rule follower. I like to do things my own way. That’s one of the reasons I run my own business, because I don’t like being told what to do. BNI has rules. However, as my business has reached that next level, I feel rules are what I need to take that next step.

Are the rules really that bad? I have to be there for a 6.45am start. That’s not really a problem for me as I’m often at the office from 6.30am so it’s a lay in really.

If I can’t attend I need to send a sub. I love the idea of subs. It gives me an opportunity to let one of my clients have a free breakfast and networking opportunity, while promoting me – in their own words. Surely an obvious win win?

I am allowed 3 days every 6 months as ‘unauthorised absences’. These are for those mornings when I am sick, the car breaks down, or at present – when I am wearing a large black boot and on crutches as I have sprained my ankle. While this might sound scary, what it is actually saying is that the people in the room are serious about business. Surely they are people I want to work with?

I also found that 2 of my larger clients came from recommendations from BNI. These are clients that I enjoy working with and they like working with me too. So why would I not join a group where I have 2 clients I like and could get more?

What put me off previously were the people in the room. Yet I decided that was BNI. That definitely shouldn’t be the case. Everyone is different and everyone has different personalities. Some people click and others don’t. It doesn’t mean BNI is bad, it just means that the group isn’t for you.

On arrival at BNI Quantum it was a yucky and raining morning. I was greeted by a member and his umbrella. I was greeted warmly and got to chat to loads of members. I quickly went from being super anti-BNI and fell in love with the group and what it was about.

So that’s how I went from being super anti-BNI to being a member, in just a few hours. Why not give BNI a go. You never know, you might like it!