The “King of Learning,” Nouman Noor Ali and BNI Master Trainer, Wendy Shaw, join us to discuss the benefits of Lifelong Learning as Nouman has taken up many courses on BNI Business Builder. Wendy had her own set of questions that she got insights from Nouman to delve deeper into his insights from the vast knowledge he has acquired from BNI Business Builder.
“I belong to what I identify as the best chapter in the region and soon to be the best in the world, BNI Warriors. I joined BNI Warriors, and I think I was the first member to have paid. So, I’ve been there from Day One. I’ve seen BNI Warriors grow from four to sixty or fifty-nine to what it is now. I hold the General Insurance category in BNI Warriors, and I represent Future Insurance Broker Services L.L.C. in Dubai, UAE. Looking forward to many, many more years in BNI Warriors and BNI UAE.” Nouman gives his introduction and hails his chapter, BNI Warriors, in quite a high regard.
Gaining and Giving
“What have you applied from your learnings BNI Business Builder that has impacted your own Givers Gain?” Wendy asks.
“To be honest, I mean Givers Gain is a rule and a philosophy I’ve been living my life by, even before joining BNI. But when I joined BNI, my biggest fear was ‘how am I going to give referrals?’ because I was amongst people who were business owners, and I was only an employee, still an employee, a solopreneur, and that was the challenge.
So over the years, what happened is it’s just practice. You learn about giving referrals, and the BNI podcasts come in handy. With all this wisdom, Dr. Ivan Misner teaches one how to find a referral and the voices you need to look out for.”
What has happened is over the last two, and a half years, the kind of referrals and the quality of referrals that I have given has improved considerably. I think 90% of referrals I give nowadays are closed businesses. I don’t give as many referrals as I used to before because they were not quality referrals, but BNI Business Builder has helped me identify the quality behind the referrals and how to look for the referrals, and I’m proud to be one of the highest givers, referral wise and TYFCB wise. I keep on challenging myself, thanks to BNI Business Builder. I want to be better than yesterday, all credit to BNI Business Builder,” Nouman answers.
Learning and Unlearning
“What is it that you learned that you’ve needed to unlearn or whatever you had to unlearn to allow you to learn” Wendy proceeds to the next question.
“So the very first thing again, I have to go back to my beginning. I’d come from a relationship management background where I was not doing sales. I was dealing with an insurance company, dealing with brokers, and just managing the relationships when I joined BNI. I was working for a broker, and I found it challenging. My first six months as an insurance broker was extremely challenging because my philosophy was completely based as a relationship manager, which was not giving me any business. Then I started learning when we got access to BNI Business Builder and started evolving with the business owners I surrounded myself with.
So, I had to go through the whole process of unlearning the way I used to do business, learning how business should be done, and implementing it. So it was a good combination of getting my ethical standard, which I hold pretty high, and merging it with the new learning and implementing it to gain success, to be where I am today, that was the biggest challenge for me. But three years down the line, I continue to lear, I love sitting with people who are more successful than me, and I believe everyone is more successful than me, and I want to learn from them. Knowledge is wealth. That’s the wealth that I want.” Nouman replies as he tells us that within him is a flame of seeking knowledge that will always burn bright.
“What are two recommendations that you could share, that if all of your chapter members were to learn this thing or do this thing, would have a massive impact at the chapter level and benefit all of the members?” Wendy asks.
“I think number one would be ‘Power Teams.’ I love the whole idea. The whole concept of Power Teams, the Power Team Business Builder Presentation, is around 13 hours long. We made it a point that we were going to introduce Power Teams into the Warriors, and I kid you not, they are very, very successful just in there for almost six to eight months, and I’m sure that the sky’s the limit. Every single chapter should implement that. It is a phenomenal way of getting your contact spheres together and making sure that, you know, you all collaborate to grow.”
“Power teams are self-driven; an individual member can drive it to start working and building their Power Teams, so don’t wait for your chapter to do something. It needs to be initiated by yourself.” Wendy adds.
“The second thing that has impacted me positively is the BNI Booster Series because we had some gloomy days just less than two years ago due to COVID. I had reached a point in my life where I had zero income for four months. I was actually in limbo whether I should even continue following my dreams or give up. My chapter members didn’t even know that, so I started applying for jobs.
I had given up all hope, but that’s where I would go for a 60-minute walk every evening, and I would listen to Booster Series. You have people who are just so inspirational, so motivational, sharing their ideas, sharing their history, sharing their presence, and sharing the future ideas; it is just phenomenal. I strongly urge people to listen to them. 60 to 70% of them are really worth it. You might not retain 100% of what you listen to, but that one minute of wisdom is worth listening to throughout that 60-minute Booster Series.”; Nouman says.
“How do you schedule your learning? What would be your top tip on how you allow yourself or create pockets of time to do this online learning or to listen to the podcasts? What do you do?” Wendy asks her final question.
“So usually I would listen to it when I would be on a treadmill rather than watching Netflix or anything, I would have something on from BNI if I’m doing a 30-minute or a 60-minute walk. The podcasts are fairly easy. If I’m doing it at the time that I have dropped off my kids to school, and I’m coming back home to get ready, I would basically have a podcast on, so that would give me at least one or two podcasts that I’d be able to listen to during the day. Initially, I have to be very transparent over here; when we did get access to the Business Builder series, I was in the middle of jobs, and I had time.
So, I remember the first time in about two months; I did approximately 3,000 minutes. I don’t expect everyone to do it, but it’s about just getting to find those 15 to 20 minutes a day and learning. There are approximately 750 podcasts. So, if you take about even 30 minutes a day, you would cover it quite quickly.” Nouman shares the recommendations that helped him out during a low phase of his life.
Upon asking, what course or program is great for new members to get started on, Nouman replied, “The Member Accelerator Program (MAP) is phenomenal. But, before the members get on to any more learning, come back to the basics, come to the podcasts, take it slow. First, listen to podcasts about visibility and credibility because I’ve seen that most new members are in a hurry to get business, but as Dr. Ivan miser says, “It’s not a hundred-meter sprint; it’s a marathon.”
You got to be patient, the real fun in the journey begins only after 18 months, in my opinion, and you know, it’s a wow factor that kicks in. So do the MAPs; listen to your podcasts about One-To-Ones; they are extremely important. I have my own way of doing One-To-Ones, so I believe that it should not be two One-To-Ones to get to know each other. I do three One-To-Ones. In the first one, be yourself. Don’t talk about business. Just talk. Figure out who you are. What is your personality? Let’s discuss our past. Discuss what makes us.
Then in the second one-to-one, usually, I go into it in my colleague’s office, and I dedicate 90% of the time just listening to that person and asking questions. The third one to one, hopefully, they reciprocate. I welcome them to meet with me and understand my business. So after those three One-To -Ones, I know what the person does, keep my ears open and listen about other members from my other members, then I can get them a referral. So yeah, listen to the podcast.”
Nouman and Wendy concluded with all the valuable recommendations to the new and seasoned members, saying, “Never Stop Learning.” Learning is the key to success and it should never end.