Friday, January 12, 2018

Life's But A Deal

Here comes another frustration post. But first, let me tell you an event.

Of late I was invited by an overly friendly aunty to one of her organization's weekly meetings. After I attended their meeting, I felt like my third eye was opened. It is something I have never seen before, that was the feedback I gave during the feedback session, an eye-opener.

So what is BNI? 
It is an American franchised networking organization which allows you to do business with the members only. These members, are all from different industries, and 1 industry only allows 1 representative, in other words you cannot have 2 bakers in the group. So it's like you can only have 1 accountant, 1 architect, 1 florist etc...Ok, you get the idea. So far so good?

So how does BNI work?
Once you join, it is compulsory for you to attend their weekly meeting, in this case it is every Wednesday lunch time. Before the meeting officially begins, they have lunch, which also doubles as a networking session. After the lunch, they'll start their meeting. So here's part of the agenda, everyone introduces themselves and their business services, it was limited to 30 seconds, some of them got a lil bit carried away. Then, there's product/service demo, each week different. This week it's a cleaning agent. Then there's report session from everybody, 1 by 1, they have to announce how many sales they made, how many referrals they've received or going to give some to anyone specific, and how many 1-2-1 (one to one meet up) they have done ALL within the past week.

So this overly friendly aunty told me a bit how it works and wanted me to be part of it. She said that in business world, is all about I help you, you help me. I support your products/service, you do the same. In other words, it's all about a deal.

Their yearly member fee is RM2000++, plus you have to pay RM25 during each meeting. So that's like RM3000++ per year. The number shocked me. One of the manager kept on convincing me that I should join cause I'll be getting many business from this group of people, which is about 50 of them. He also said there will be another baker who wants this position as well, and coincidentally this so called "baker" is also named Winnee.  Remember the 1 industry 1 representative rule? Oh, I met a Lok Yuk senior there, he said when he first join, they also told him another guy will be competing against him for the limited industry position. That is so obvious this is their tactic to let people join. Plus, when they say only allowed 1 person allowed from 1 industry, I notice some have more than 1.

It really sounded lucrative at first, but then, as I put more thoughts into it, I don't think this is a good business opportunity. Firstly, I'm not sure I can cover the cost of the yearly membership fee, secondly, I don't wanna do business like this! I don't wanna report how many business I've made, whose business favours I've returned, how many referrals I made and whom I've met personally EVERY WEEK. I can't imagine how pressured I will be after joining. I think it will be scary and tense.

So in the end, I had to say no.

Here's my point. this organization and the overly friendly aunty made me realized that this is how things work in the business world, I didn't fully see this before because I was too young and naive. I mean in the woman's group that I join, we did do business with each other, it's just that it wasn't that extreme, we DIDN'T HAVE TO SPELL OUT EVERYTHING TO EVERYONE EVERY WEEK. This BNI just opened my eye about the subtle yet pivotal rule of business - reciprocate. 

What I've learnt is when they do business with you, they have an expectation from you. They either expect you to do something for them, buy their products/services or support their causes. We are living in a realistic world where there is no such thing as I'm going to give you money/stuff for free. When I supported you, you have to support me. That's what the overly friendly aunty said. She stopped supporting her another baker friend cause the friend didn't reciprocate the favour, and that's why she turned to me to bake things for her. Now I'm worried that I have to do the same. I realized that when people helps you, mostly they have a hidden agenda. Either you have to join my organizations, come to my church, or buy my products.

I remembered so well there was this 1 aunty from the association, we barely knew each other and she already bought my cake. I was so happy. The next time we met during an open house, she dragged me to a corner and started to sell all her expensive oils. FYI, some of those oils did not smell good at all. Another time, after this aunty bought a cake from me, she makes me join her investment thing, and then spams me with stocks info EVERY single day. Thank God Hallelujah Praise The Lord, she stopped sending already. Another aunty, after buying my pies, wants me to join her tupperware club. 

You know when I realized this I never felt so betrayed, naive and stupid.

Aunties, it's not that I don't want to support you back, it's just that first, you make me feel uncomfortable by being fake, you bought my cakes not because you want to taste it, it's because you want things from me. Secondly, your products/services is way too expensive. You bought my RM75 cake, then I need to invest up to thousands in your oils or whatsoever. If I did that, I'll be spending more money than earning. This is what BNI do, except that they are strictly business, they have no charities or dinner parties, just pure business, literally let's get down to business.

And I also realized that RECIPROCATE doesn't only apply in business, it happens in our daily lives too. For example, all those missionaries who claimed themselves going into the far inland to do good stuff, you think they do all these for free? No. They expect you to hear their faith and want to convert you.

You know what, I don't think there is such thing as selfless good deed. Talking about this, I just wanna say, I've seen so many fake people and sadly I've becoming one of them. The other association that I join, when they do charity, they need to tell everyone about it, they need a journalist or a reporter to be present, they need tons and tons of photographs or videos to be taken. See, they are doing this not ENTIRELY for the cause or to make them feel good, they are doing it partly because of the PUBLICITY, and perhaps to earn a title of datuk in the future. And I hate to say this, but that's fake charity. A genuine charity doesn't need a reporter to report it to the whole world, with few coloured pages some more. Let me tell you, some of these aunties really like to take pictures.

Oh I don't know, right now, I'm so afraid to accept businesses from anyone. I declined one aunty and I think she hates me now. I'm really afraid of commitment, I can't do that, even with my once in every 2 weeks toastmaster meeting, I'm also having problems to commit. Ohhh, why can't I just sell things without having to worry that you'll pressure me into supporting your stuff. If it's convenient for me or free plus I'm in good mood, I don't really mind. But if it requires me to commit every week and cost a fortune, I'm sorry I really cannot. 

We have to admit it, life is but a deal, isn't it?

P.S. I really need to finish writing my China trip. Ohhh, it felt like an assignment cause I need to recall a lot of things, do a lot of researches, making sure that all the facts are true. Damn perfectionist. The worst part is, the more I procrastinate, the more I forget. I'm slowly forgetting a lot of things, now I only depend on pictures to ring some bells. Writing a frustration post is entirely different, all I had to do was express my feelings. Hope I'll finish it by this weekend. And those who are still following my blog, I just wanna say thanks for reading. This blog is all about how I feel about things, so it'll naturally be a bit negative. Anyway, thanks and have a good day.

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