When do we first learn about the value of networking?
Question for the chapter: Who learned about networking at school or University? Next to no one?
Who wishes they had learned about the value of networking at a much younger age and joined BNI much sooner? Most of us?
While some of us were told to start networking, it wasn’t until someone was kind enough to invite us to BNI and we joined that we started to learn the value of networking. In fact, we are all still learning how to network effectively.
Start them young
Who remembers Kashin (it might only be an Auckland thing), the plastic money box given to primary age children to start teaching them about money and saving?
Even though those children weren’t ready to start businesses or buy houses, ASB knew starting a relationship with young people by introducing them to savings meant lifelong good money habits and, not just by coincidence, lifelong clients.
If we agree most of us only learnt the value of networking when we joined BNI and we wish we had joined younger, then it’s a great idea to invite younger people to learn about networking so that when it’s the right time to be actively networking they know where to start.
Inviting Young People
We aren’t thinking of inviting primary school children but right now as the senior school and University year is coming to an end, students interested in business or involved in studies where they might start businesses of their own in later life would be great visitors.
Don’t think about them being potential members, although there are teenaged members of BNI throughout NZ so don’t rule it out. Having younger people visit BNI brings a different energy to the chapter, they can also teach us about new opportunities and trends.
How to invite
Again, don’t worry about them being potential members, many will be looking for school holiday work opportunities, internships, work experience, and career ideas. Just ask them if they’d like to learn about business, business opportunities and meet entrepreneurs.
A chapter with a range of ages will be fresher and more inclusive than one made up only of mature businesspeople. While we are never too old to learn the value of networking, we are also never too young.