International Networking Week Archives - Dr. Ivan Misner®

A More Purposeful Life (by Bijay and Anna Shah)

International Networking Week®: “A World of Thanks” story submitted by Bijay Rajnikantt Shah and Anna ShahBNI National Directors – BNI United Arab Emirates

BijayThe United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a beloved home for people of all ages, ethnicities, backgrounds, religions, and cultures. It has been more than a second home for hundreds of thousands of ex-pats, that have come to this gracious land and made a living, started families, and made life-long friends. With generations of families being settled in this Middle-Eastern country, the new-generation even considers the UAE as their first and ONLY home.

When Anna & I first moved to the UAE, BNI was not on our radar and we had no plans to make it our permanent home. We were just exploring what could be possible and if there might be any opportunities for us to make a good living and build a future for ourselves.

We came here knowing only 2 people in 2004. Fast forward 16 years later and we can proudly call the UAE our permanent home. Our 13-year-old son Aryan is born here and he considers this to be his first and only home. We are surrounded by an active community of over 600 givers in BNI and over the years made connections with thousands more both locally and globally.

As we celebrate the 14th International Networking Week and its theme “A World of Thanks”, Anna & I would like to take this opportunity to express our deepest gratitude to the following people for what and who were are today:

Bijay and Anna Shah share a “World of Thanks”

  • Dr. Ivan Misner & the late Elisabeth Misner for creating this amazing organization that is truly Changing the Way the World Does Business®. Over the last 16 years, the BNI system has helped generate over US$ 440 Million in new business for our members in the UAE.
  • Under the Leadership of our CEO, Graham Weihmiller, and the support of the BNI Global Support Team, the last 5 years have seen exemplary progress in our technology and systems – creating a pathway to an even stronger and brighter future both for ourselves and our members.
  • Our Members and our Executive Teams who trust us and followed the BNI system in an organization that changed their life. Their continued support and enthusiasm are what keeps us motivated in doing what we do every day.
  • Lastly and most importantly, the leaders of this great country we now call our permanent home – the UAE. The UAE has also taught so many to dream big and to keep thriving until they achieve success, all being the influence of the great and visionary leader, H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

H.H. Sheikh Zayed’s legacy is indispensable to healing the fractures of a world that is being disfigured by demagoguery and divisive politics. Upholding human dignity – treating “every person, no matter what his creed or race, as a special soul”, as he put it – was his principal objective in public life. He emphasized the urgency of opening up opportunities in “all sectors” for women and warned that no society that excluded half its citizens could prosper. He welcomed people from every part of the world with open arms, transforming the UAE into one of the most pluralistic societies in the world.

The momentous change over which Sheikh Zayed presided was never, in his eyes, a departure from the heritage of the UAE but an affirmation of its finest aspects. The true genius of culture and society lay, he believed, in their capacity to adapt and thrive in a changing world. A cursory glance at the Middle East shows how right he was – and how well he prepared the UAE for the 21st Century. In a region characterized by strife and conflict, the UAE is not only a haven of stability and prosperity but also the place where the future is imagined and brought into being. At the same time, it has given so munificently to the less fortunate that it has gained recognition as the most generous donor of aid on earth.

We owe a World of Thanks to all of the people mentioned above for helping us find meaning and making our life more purposeful – Thank you!

Bijay Rajnikantt Shah and Anna Shah | BNI United Arab Emirates National Directors

#BijayShah   #AnnaShah   #BNIUAE  

Tiago

The Language of Thanks (by Tiago Henriques da Cunha)

International Networking Week®: “A World of Thanks” story submitted by Tiago Henriques da Cunha, National DirectorBNI Spain SLC

TiagoIn 2021, BNI invites you to celebrate a World of Thanks! A World of Thanks is a universal and wonderful pledge!

All cultures have a way to express thankfulness. In Portuguese we say “Obrigado”, in French “Merci”, in German “Danke”… but although all these different ways of expressing our positive feelings about something someone has done for us are unique, they all add something special and distinct.

 

I believe from my experience that a glimpse on these ways to say “Thanks” makes our Thanking much more joyful and meaningful.

World of Thanks in Spanish is “Mundo de Gracias” to Tiago

The Spanish word “Gracias” has the same Latin origin as “Gratitud” or “Grace”. So when we say “Gracias” in Spain (or in Latin America), we are telling people that we are “Grateful” and that we wish them to be filled with Grace.

This has a poetic flavor, and it evokes for me the “Law of Reciprocity”: what goes around, comes around. In Spanish culture, saying “Gracias” is not just a word, but something that builds our relationship with that person. Where does this relate to the idea of Networking? I think it has everything to do with it!

Through Networking we should build meaningful relationships with people. Get to know them well, help them in any way that seems appropriate and possible, and yes… thank them when they do something positive for us. Through our Networking endeavors, we build positive, self-fulfilling Communities around us. When we thank people, we are generating well-being and well-feeling. And for that, I think that here lies the power of saying “Gracias”. What better way there is to build those communities than to tell people we are grateful and that we wish them to be full of Grace! That’ is one of the reasons I think Networking is so strong within the Spanish culture (although there is no direct Spanish word for it).

In Spain, relationships are a key part of our culture. People just love to be with other people, from big family gatherings to staying out late on the terrace chatting about anything. So networking comes naturally to Spaniards. Saying “Gracias” was very important to me when I started working in Spain. Coming from a very close country (Portugal), I had to make some adjustments to the way I interact with people. I soon come to discover the uniqueness of saying “Gracias”. In just 9 years, we have created a community of almost 9000 committed people who network together and thank each other every week. Through that journey, I discovered that when really meant, to say “Gracias” is a powerful and truthful relationship builder. No long-term positive relationship is possible without the mindset that saying “Gracias” represents and demonstrates.

So I would like to say “Gracias” to all the people who have helped me on this wonderful journey of developing BNI in Spain: our Members, Executive Directors, Directors and Ambassadors, National Office colleagues, both past and present, and especially to my family. To them, I wish “Un Mundo de Gracias”, a “World of Thanks”, a “World of Graces” during International Networking Week® 2021

Tiago Henriques da Cunha | BNI Spain SLC National Director     

#BNIespanaSLC   #Tiagodacunha

INW

We Care, We Share (by Avryl Au)

International Networking Week®: “A World of Thanks” story submitted by Avryl Au, BNI National Director – BNI Thailand, BNI Macau & Hong Kong, China

AvrylWhat a great theme, “A World of Thanks”, is to kick start the year.  Each week on Monday, it is my team tradition when we meet to plan for the week ahead that we share gratitude and thank someone in mind. We often send a caring message to team members who cannot attend due to caring for their own family needs. I am thankful we have a team that sets priorities right, family is our highest priority to care for. We often have full participation every Monday morning. For that, I am thankful to my team of Directors and Ambassadors of KL West and KL South, Malaysia.

I want to say a special thank you to the INW Committee 2020 and continuing to 2021, Desmond Sia, Daisy Lee, Wong Chee How, and Andrew Hooi. Together with a very supportive team of assistants from throughout the regions, INW2020 made history in BNI by introducing a bigger vision and the possibility of Diamond Chapters. The result was 3 double diamond chapters are now in existence, in less than 12 months from the event. The first two were kicked off in 6 months. I sincerely thank the INW Diamond committee for making the historical event.

AvrylAvryl

Avryl thanks her INW teams

In the upcoming INW2021 event on 1 Feb, the same committee has extended the theme  “A World of Thanks”, by encouraging the entire region to care more and share more of their success stories to impact those who are already in BNI and to those that are not yet in BNI. The event’s purpose is to showcase the effectiveness of BNI through the power of stories. They have put together a range of success stories from members who have given beyond expectations for the community they are in. This year the event is online and it is easier to share our stories with the whole world.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Directors, Ambassadors, Leadership Teams, Subject Matter Experts, and Trainers for their persistence and patience to support every member in 2020, one of the most difficult years for a large majority of us. A special mention to Pava and Yee Peng who has walked the extra mile to push forward and accepted more responsibilities for the good of others.

My sincere appreciation to everyone for making my journey in BNI for the last 20 years,  very memorable and fun.

Avryl Au |  KL West & KL South Regions, and Klang Valley, BNI Malaysia Executive Director

#BNIMalaysia #BNIChina  #AvrylAu

Frank

Changing the Way the World Does Business® (by Frank De Raffele Jr.)

International Networking Week®: “A World of Thanks” story submitted by Frank De Raffele Jr., BNI Executive Director, Hudson Valley Regions (New York, USA)

FrankAmericans are Too Selfish

What if I told you that I had wanted to get 80,000 people together in the USA to help grow each other’s businesses? Would you think Frank was crazy? Would you say it is impossible? Would you say to me, “Frank, Americans would never do that, they are too focused on themselves, they are too independent, they are too selfish”?

Well, they’re not.  For the last 36 years, hundreds of thousands of American business owners and sales professionals have worked together under the banner of BNI to live a Givers Gain life and to make a difference in each other’s lives.  For over one-third of a century, Americans with their entrepreneurial spirit have been thanking each other for referral business through BNI.

Frank’s Great Memory 

A few years back I was at a BNI chapter meeting.  Toward the end of the meeting, which is when everyone “gives back” to the chapter, a gentleman stood up and shared a big event he had going on that day.  He told the chapter of an appointment he had that morning to close the largest deal ever for his company.  It was NOT a BNI referral.  It was something he had been working on himself for over 3 years.  He was just so excited and proud of finally making it happen he wanted to share it with his “BNI family.”  When he finished telling of his accomplishment the room went wild.  Everyone stood up, applauded, hollered, shook his hand, and hugged him.

As I watched this happen, I thought, “This is amazing.  Where else does this happen?”  Where do you find a group of people who receive no benefit from your business yet are truly excited and happy for your success?  How crazy is it to have a group of people who want to help you grow your business, success, and desired lifestyle?  After, he said his family didn’t even react as his BNI chapter did.

I am Thankful

It hit me hard that morning how lucky and thankful I am for this lifestyle I lead. Through BNI I have built a community of people who are focused on growing their business by first helping others grow theirs.  A community of like-minded people who believe, live and practice Givers Gain.

In 2021 I am thankful for every Nurse, Doctor, Firefighter, EMT, and Police Officer that risks their lives every day for me. Someone they don’t even know. I am thankful for my wife that has put up with me for 30+ years. (God Bless Her!)  I am thankful for the person I am today because of my Mom and Dad.  They were amazing people and parents who taught my sisters and me the value of hard work, respect, honesty and giving to others.  The amazing part is that they didn’t talk much about giving to others, they just did it. My sisters and I learned it by watching them live it.

Finally, I am thankful for a man back in 1985 that decided the way for him to make more money at his business was to put a “referral group” together using the philosophy of Givers Gain.  A simple idea, that became a Global Network called BNI, and for 36 years has been, “Changing the way the world does business.”

My life has been affected in ways that Dr. Misner will never know.  That my family will never know. But I know. I know that I am a better person today than I was 28+ years ago when I first became a member. Thank you, Dr. Ivan Misner, and every leader I have met in BNI that has made me the person I am today.

Frank De Raffele Jr. | BNI Hudson Valley Regions Executive Director

#FrankDeRaffele #BNIUSA   

INW

Diana

We Have Your Back (by Diana Ninsiima Kibuuka)

International Networking Week®: “A World of Thanks” story submitted by Diana Ninsiima Kibuuka, National Director – BNI Uganda

DianaIn May 2005, we launched the first BNI Chapter in Uganda. It was an exciting event and I looked to the future with great expectation. Three weeks later, I had my son, and shortly after his birth, I was diagnosed with vertigo. Vertigo is a deliberating disease that incapacitates you and my doctors could not understand the cause or tell me how long I would be incapacitated.  I could not walk; I could not carry my baby and I could not lead the young BNI team.

After my diagnosis, I received a visit from my business partners, Bijay Shah and Muraguri Elizaphan, and the president of the chapter, Tracey Ntabazi. I could read the shock on their faces as they saw my condition. At that time I was a Launch DC and I had one thought “that my journey with BNI Uganda had to come to an end”. During the visit, I mentioned I did not know how long my condition would be persist.  Bijay, Muraguri, and Tracey left me with one clear message; until I was back on my feet, they had my back.

Today, I am the co-national director of BNI Uganda. The words shared with me in that season have stood the test of time and been proved over and over again. From that season, I embraced BNI Giver’s gain philosophy because I had seen it lived out. Today, BNI Uganda’s Kampala Region has some of the highest retention rates in the world, because we have a culture of watching out for each other and can confidently say to each other, “I have your back”.

Diana owes “Ulimwengu wa Shukrani” to members and leaders from across the world for walking with her and truly having her back:

  • Francios: ED from France: during my first global convention you shared your lessons from your ED experience and I believed I too could make a difference;
  • Runjhun Gupta: for the words of wisdom and courage you have shared in the past and continue to share;
  • Avryl Au: for initiating that conversation in which you expressed your interest in African Art and ultimately flying  over 11 hours to share your 20 years BNI experience with my BNI family;
  • Graham Southwell: for the conversation, we had over lunch when I attended my first Executive Council meeting;
  • Murali Srinivasan: thank you for the morning walks in Dubai and Warsaw and the wisdom you continue to share;
  • Claire Sherman: for answering all my questions graciously;
  • YP Lai: for the lessons you continue to share and doors your opportunities avail;
  • Kenny Olunbanjo and the team from Nigeria: for the celebrations and navigating this BNI journey together;
  • Mike and Beth Levin: you have shared of your resources and are ever ready to help;
  • Sandra Hart: for creating the platform from which so many told their stories and inspired me;
  • BNI Uganda family: you have watched out for each other and created opportunities for each other in all seasons;
  • Bijay, Anuradha, and Muraguri: for starting me off on a journey that has made it possible for us to make a difference together;
  • Mac Srinivasan: for your story to keep our years on the light and not waver; and lastly
  • Ivan Misner: a world of thanks, for without your courage we would not be.

Diana Ninsiima Kibuuka | BNI Uganda National Director

#BNIUganda     #DianaKibuuka    

World of Thanks

A World of Thanks

Welcome to the 14th annual “International Networking Week®”. Held annually during the first week of February, organizations around the world celebrate the power of networking and recognition. “International Networking Week” is an initiative of BNI created 14 years ago. This week, we are promoting our theme, “A World of Thanks”, by asking you to share your stories of gratitude and appreciation for those who helped you to grow or maintain your business during the difficulties of the “Great Pause of 2020”.

Welcome to “International Networking Week”

Please share this video with your chapter members this week during your BNI meeting.

This is the perfect time to recognize someone and say “thank you” in appreciation for what they have contributed to your life and your business. Thank someone in person (or online) during your BNI meeting this week or at any networking event celebrating “International Networking Week”. Furthermore, consider posting a thank you message on social media using the hashtags #aWorldofThanks and #INW2021 with your post.

Video Contest Winner

Thank you to all that submitted your video entry for this contest. I am honored to announce that Paul Richardson of the BNI Crossroads Chapter is the winner of the 2021 “International Networking Week” Video Contest. Please take a moment and click here to watch this award-winning video of Paul thanking fellow BNI member Caroline Matte of the BNI Champlain Valley Chapter who made a difference in his life.  Paul will have his business, and his BNI chapter in Vermont, USA, featured globally on BNI’s social media pages and featured in SuccessNet™ this week.

A World of Thanks

In conclusion, I would like to end by thanking the following BNI leaders for writing guest blogs during International Networking Week for my website:

 Wishing everyone a fantastic International Networking Week® 2021!

 

2021 International Networking Week

2021 International Networking Week

The 2021 International Networking Week is just around the corner. Fourteen years ago, I helped BNI® launch an initiative we called International Networking Week which is held during the first week in February of every year. This initiative continues to grow year after year and it is open to ALL businesses around the world.  It provides business leaders a chance to celebrate networking by providing gratitude and appreciation for those people who are in their networks.

This will be a week of global recognition and gratitude from February 1 to 6, 2021 to thank those business owners who have helped you to grow your business while networking. Therefore, it’s time to build your powerful personal network now. Invite various business owners who helped you to grow your business to your BNI online chapter to network and to recognize the power of networking. Watch our promo video for the 14th Annual International Networking Week.

Announcing the 14th annual 

International Networking Week

The 2021 International Networking Week theme is A World of Thanks”

Building on last year’s success, we are continuing this initiative by connecting the BNI core values of Recognition and Building Relationships through a program we’re calling, “A World of Thanks”. Studies show that gratitude improves the connection between people and enhances trust.  This, in turn, actually improves performance. Please use these hashtags when posting your thank you messages, photos, or invitations on social media: #WorldOfThanks  #INW21

2021 International Networking Week Video Contest

“Thank you’s” make a difference. So, I ask you to take this opportunity to thank someone who has helped you in some important way.  Thank them in person, in writing, or on social media.  But thank someone who has been there for you or your organization. We are looking for your story and we would love stories from every country worldwide. Please create a 30-90 second testimonial video of your story expressing gratitude to another BNI member who helped you this year. The submission deadline has been extended to January 15, 2021. Submit the video at https://internationalnetworkingweek.com/

I would like to take this opportunity to be the first to thank BNI leaders and members.

2020 was the most challenging year I’ve ever seen for business people around the world.  I am incredibly proud of how members and BNI leaders got focused by fear and not frozen by fear.  We watched people come together to support one another both personally and professionally. BNI members have told me that they are proud to be part of this organization, and so am I.  I was humbled by what I saw happen last year and I want to thank everyone for living the philosophy of Givers Gain and being there to support the people in your network.

I would like to especially thank the following BNI leaders for agreeing to participate as an International Networking Week guest blogger this year.  Look for their articles about “A World of Thanks” on my website during the week of February 1 to 6, 2021.

  •  Frank De Raffele   BNI USA
  • Avryl Au                    BNI Thailand
  • Bijay Shah                BNI UAE
  • Diana Ninsiima      BNI Uganda   
  • Tiago da Cunha      BNI Spain SLC

See, it’s that easy to thank someone.  Now it’s your turn.  Be specific and have it come from the heart. Take a minute to think of people you can thank during the week of February 1 to 6, and celebrate The 2021 International Networking Week with us.  You, and they – will be glad you did.

Frederick Marcoux

Say thank you and thrive! – by Frederick Marcoux

International Networking Week®: “A Week of One Million Thank You’s” stories from various international BNI leaders

Submitted by Frederick Marcoux, National Director – BNI Australia

Frederick Marcoux

This year’s International Networking Week theme is “One Million Thank You’s”. In Australia we’re really excited about this really engaging and meaningful theme! Saying “thank you” has a strong place in our culture. Furthermore, expressing gratitude and saying thank you is easy, fun and uplifting to give and receive. Therefore, this is really important and we’re doing it a million times during International Networking Week 2020!

Thank you to our amazing firefighters and other volunteers

The world press gave massive coverage to the bushfires happening in many parts of our country. We are still coming to grips with what 12 million acres of burned bushland and 1 billion animals killed means. However, many are suffering from the loss of loved ones and their property. Therefore, we are grateful to our amazing firefighters and other volunteers helping to address these challenges.

BNI Foundation Australia says Thank You!

We are grateful to BNI Global, BNI Members and Directors and others from 12+ countries who donated so far to the BNI Foundation Australia’s bushfires fundraising efforts (www.gofundme.com/bnifoundationaustralia). The funds will be used to help children and young people impacted by the bushfires. Furthermore, the GoFundMe organization itself donated $1,000 to our cause, and we are very grateful for that!

Resilience through abundance

Frederick MarcouxWe are very proud that BNI helps improve business resilience through the powerful support network we provide for business through our Chapters. It’s well documented that one of the top reasons for business failure in Australia is lack of support. Givers Gain® is serious business. Last year, the members of BNI in Australia generated $0.5 billion of additional revenue through a quarter of a million referrals. Members supported each other this way without expecting anything in return. This is an amazing display of abundance thinking and trust in the idea that “what goes around comes around”. This is why I believe that in BNI we support business by creating “Resilience through Abundance”.  The meaning of those few words put together is readily understood by business people experienced in our Givers Gain® philosophy.

Say thank you and thrive!

There are many more reasons to say “thank you”. In most cultures, the desire to be appreciated is common. It’s well documented that receiving thanks can have a profound impact on someone’s outlook on the day, on the week or even on their future. Does that sound a bit exaggerated? However, I don’t think so. The best job I ever had was when my accomplishments and efforts were regularly recognized and gratefully appreciated by my superiors.  Furthermore, there are even studies that show that someone regularly expressing gratitude has better heart health and more disease-fighting cells in their body!

Thank you Leaders of BNI in Australia

Frederick MarcouxGreat Leaders develop and nurture more Leaders, and BNI in Australia has many leaders who do just that! Therefore, BNI in Australia has more Franchisees than ever before thanks to the abundance mindset and awesome leadership of the Executive Director Team. A few months ago at the Global Convention in Poland, BNI Australia was awarded the “2019 Global Award for Franchise Development”. This means that Australia is the most developed “Franchised BNI Country” in the world today. Furthermore, that is thanks to the amazing collaborative spirit of our team. Therefore, in the spirit of recognition and expressing gratitude, it’s appropriate to acknowledge those who have contributed to this massive achievement:

  • Bob Greenup, Executive Director BNI Sydney Central for referring us Ilona Teremi the Executive Director of BNI Gold Coast. Plus, Paul English the Executive Director for BNI NSW South.
  • Braith Bamkin, Executive Director BNI Melbourne Central for referring us Lisa Thomas, Executive Director BNI Melbourne North and Helen Searle Executive Director BNI Melbourne West
  • Graham West, Executive Director BNI Melbourne East for introducing us David Harris
  • Glenn Anthoney, Former Executive Director of BNI Sydney North West for referring us Rebecca Raad, Executive Director BNI Sydney North West. Plus, Alison Attard, Executive Director BNI Sydney South West
  • Ilona Teremi, Executive Director BNI Gold Coast for referring us David McLean. Plus, Jeannie Anderson, Executive Directors for BNI Brisbane South East
  • Leisa Gill, Executive Director BNI Brisbane South West and Toowoomba without whom One Brisbane would not have been possible
  • Rob Warburton Executive Director for BNI Sydney North East for introducing us to Andrew Sim
  • Simon Derrick-Roberts, Executive Director for BNI Adelaide CBD and South for referring us Simone Douglas, Executive Director BNI Adelaide South

Finally, I would like to wish everyone an insanely great International Networking Week® 2020!

Frederick MarcouxNational Director – BNI Australia

 

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Sam Schwartz

One Billion Thank You’s – by Sam Schwartz and Yarden Noy

International Networking Week®: “A Week of One Million Thank You’s” stories from various international BNI leaders

Submitted by Sam Schwartz and Yarden Noy, National Directors – BNI Israel

Sam SchwartzYarden Noy

 

International Networking Week has a special place in the BNI Israel history. When it was first announced about 13 years ago, we decided to have our annual conference at the same time. This year’s theme is “One Million Thank You’s” we would like to change it to “One Billion Thank You’s” because in the last six years BNI Israel members reported / Generated on over “1 Billion Israeli shekels” thank you for close business. This is incredible.

We would like this opportunity and thank Dr. Misner for creating this amazing organization that is Changing the Way the World Does Business® influencing the economy of the small and medium businesses in Israel.

An attitude of gratitude it’s not a simple and easy thing to have and changing a culture to adopt it is even harder, but over the last 15 years since BNI was introduced to Israel, we were able to have thousands of members and directors that adopted this attitude doing business Locally Nationally and Internationally with BNI member all over the world.

According to the Israeli government statistics, the SME in Israel is responsible for 61% of the job in the commercial sector, generating 53% of the product and services that generate 78% from all the new net employment. We are proud to help our members and the economy to be successful.

BNI is not only a “Business Generating System” it’s a family!

We have a member Tomer Mor (photo above) that his parents went to Canada in 2018 for their Anniversary. His father felt some headaches and he was planning to go to visit the doctor but on his way, he fell asleep at the steering wheel. His mother woke him up at the last minute and took over driving. They went to the emergency care in the hospital where he had a CT done. They found 2 aneurysms: one new and one old and the brain was damaged, he was transferred by ambulance to a bigger hospital in Halifax which was an hour and a half away from the first hospital, he was hospitalized and waited for surgery.

The car they rented was at the old hospital and all their belongings were at the hotel. The family in Israel was worried and tried to find a solution to help the parents.

Tomer reached out to Hazel Walker which he met in the prior year when she was a keynote speaker at BNI Israel Conference. He knew she owned the territory in Canada. Hazel connected him immediately to Mike and Megan, owners of the BNI franchise in Halifax. They immediately took over and said, “Don’t worry. We will meet your mother tomorrow. We will take the keys and we will bring the car and your belonging to the hospital”. It took them over six hours on Friday to do all of this. They asked nothing in return! Tomer met with them after his father’s operation to offer to compensate them for all that trouble and they refused. So a big, big Thank You to Mike and Megan for the help and support.

A Week of One Million Thank You’s

We would like to thank our Members and our Executive Teams who trust us and followed the BNI system in an organization that changed their life. “One Billion Thank You’s” from the bottom of a heart to Dr. Misner and the BNI Global Support Team.

Wishing everyone a fantastic International Networking Week® 2020!

Sam Schwartz and Yarden Noy National Directors – BNI Israel

Jessica Gomplewicz-Milot

La Gratitude en France – by Jessica Gomplewicz-Milot

International Networking Week®: “A Week of One Million Thank You’s” stories from various international BNI leaders

by Jessica Gomplewicz-Milot, Directrice Nationale, BNI France et Belgique francophone

Saying thank you in France and receiving gratitude can be sometimes a bit tricky. Of course, you might have heard about how negative French people can be sometimes, but it is a bit more complicated than this! Let me give you a few explanations.

If you think about it, this difficulty to accept AND give gratitude starts in schools. While American teachers grade from 100% and then reduce the grade when they find mistakes in an essay or an exercise, French teachers start from 0 and add up points when you do good. It ranges from 0 to 20, the latter being perfection. You really have to prove that you are worth something, and it should suffice you. Having often 18/20 grades means you will be the top student of your class. If you get grades like 12/20 you are good enough to pass like most students, and below 10/20 means starting a schoolyear over again. 20 is not often, if ever, given. This is a good example of how French people have trouble recognizing their worth and accept and value gratitude. A lot of them are not cheer on or thanked for their hard work, and it almost feels too much when those moments of recognition arrive.

Take the French language for instance: many reactions to compliments or signs of gratitude consist in diminishing what they accomplished. “You shouldn’t have.” “It’s nothing really!” “It’s natural/normal, don’t worry about it.” “No, no; I’m nothing special really.” All these are quite common to say.

A Week of One Million Thank You’s

Thankfully we still exchange formally gratitude, especially in the workplace, through letters, thank-you notes, emails or, and that is the best possible option, gifts and food. If you want to wow a French person at the end of the year and express gratitude, chocolates, regional specialties and treats are always very happily received. It sounds a bit cliché but it’s true! Pro tip: this also works if you want to make amends for any misunderstanding or wrongs that happened along the path.

If your French coworker has trouble thanking you during the year, but later sends you a letter, an email, or even better, one of their regional products, you know they truly value you and the work you put in.

The key point that I want to make here is this: compared to American people for example, it can be trickier to make French people literally say “Thank you!” or to get the point across when you want to thank them. However, once they truly see the intentions and gratitude you give, and what they can give in returns, it creates long-lasting trust and bonds.

Wishing everyone a fantastic International Networking Week® 2020!

Jessica Gomplewicz-Milot| Directrice Nationale – BNI France et Belgique francophone

Here are a few messages of gratitude from our Members towards their Chapters.

Patricia Mancini

Member of BNI Bierset Liège net

“ “…you’re the right person for us in finance, credit and investment.”

What a pleasure to hear that, and what a boost to my self-confidence thanks to my Chapter and an organization that allow me to thrive… I say thank you to them, they understood that human contact allows real exchanges and real business.”

See the article (in French) https://bnisuccessnet.fr/actualites/25-temoignage/1169-temoignage-seul-le-contact-humain-permet-de-faire-des-vrais-echanges

Florian Branche

Member of BNI Argelès Success

“ BNI accelerated my professional life, I met the right people in the right place. I have changed my professional life and made friends. I get up at 5am once a week with a smile on my face to have fun!”

See the article (in French)

https://bnisuccessnet.fr/actualites/25-temoignage/1140-temoignage-grace-a-bni-je-n-ai-jamais-prospecte

Cécile Jamelot

Member of BNI Namur Capitale,

“I accepted the role of President because it is in line with my job: giving wings to companies, but above all to the people who are part of them. It’s a way for me to highlight each Member. I try to bring out the best in them and that each one can give to receive.”`

See the article (in French)

https://bnisuccessnet.fr/actualites/18-success-stories/1137-successtory-j-ai-beaucoup-recu-de-bni-donner-est-un-juste-retour-des-choses

Tim Roberts

Thanking Those Who Provided The Opportunity – by Tim Roberts

International Networking Week®: “A Week of One Million Thank You’s” stories from various international BNI leaders

Submitted by Tim Roberts, National Director – BNI United States of America

Tim Roberts

This week, BNI celebrates International Networking Week and its Million Thank You initiative. It reminds me of how important it is to think about those who have made significant impacts on our lives that may not have been obvious at that moment in time.  Who helped you with what may have seemed like an insignificant act that, through the butterfly effect, changed the course of your business or life forever?

Thank You, Seth Tebbetts

For me, it is Seth Tebbetts, a BNI member in the BNI Power Partners chapter in Nashua NH and owner of the Tebbetts Insurance Agency.  Back in 2002, Seth was a recruiter for another insurance company. He gave me an opportunity to chase my dream of being an entrepreneur.  Seth was able to help me see the possibility of unlimited growth and face the fears of uncertainty.  If it were not for Seth I would have ended up in a management program after graduation. I know I would have hated this and who knows where my path would have led.

I was very familiar with BNI at the time because of the involvement of my parents. However, I would not have been able to become a member if I did not decide to go work with Seth.  This decision led me down an amazing path: from a struggling member getting little results, to a successful member, to finding my passion for BNI, to working BNI fulltime, to becoming an Executive Director owning multiple franchises of BNI. Now, I am the U.S. National Director.  While there are countless people who I can and should thank along this now 18-year journey, it is Seth who helped me take the very first step.  There is no way either of us knew at the time that this is where it would all lead, but that is not the point.

A Week of One Million Thank You’s

I challenge all of us to think back and thank those whom without we would not be where we are today.  I often speak to BNI members and ask them, “When was the last time they thanked the person who initially invited them to their chapter?”  We also make sure to thank the person who just gave us a referral. However, without that initial invite, EVERY referral we have or will receive from BNI would never have happened.

Thank you, Seth, for convincing me to take the leap of faith to become an entrepreneur. Thank you for helping me be able to get involved in an organization that has made such an impact on my family and me.

Wishing everyone a fantastic International Networking Week® 2020!

Tim Roberts National Director – BNI United States of America

 

One Million Thank Yous

One Million Thank Yous – International Networking Week®

Welcome to the 13th annual “International Networking Week®”. During this first week in February, we at BNI and other organizations around the world celebrate networking worldwide. “International Networking Week” is an initiative of BNI created  13 years ago. This year, we are asking you to help us to spread One Million Thank Yous all around the world. Therefore, please provide gratitude and appreciation for those who helped us to grow our businesses this week. I would appreciate sharing this video with your chapter members as the “Educational Moment” this week. Thank you.

With gratitude, I believe, comes stronger connections. Think about those who’ve helped you throughout your journey. Have you thanked them? Well during “International Networking Week”, we invite you to do so. We all have people who are in our story, people who have helped us in some way. This is the perfect time to reach out and tell them “thank you” for what they have contributed to your life and to your business.

Identify those people and give them “The Gift of Recognition”. You can even thank someone at your BNI meeting or at a networking event this week. Demonstrate your gratitude for the things that they have done for you. Therefore, you can also consider sending a letter or thanking them on social media using the hashtags #BNIthankyou and #INW2020 with your posts. The truth is that the goodwill that you demonstrate will draw others to you just like a magnet.

With gratitude, I want to begin this week by thanking “YOU”. With your passionate commitment to networking, BNI is continuing to impact and enhance lives all around the world and I appreciate you. Furthermore, feel free to share in the comments about someone that you appreciate and thank them here for something that they have done in your life.

One Million Thank Yous

In conclusion, I want to say thank you to the following BNI National Directors for writing guests blogs for International Networking Week about “gratitude” this week:

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Wishing everyone a fantastic International Networking Week® 2020!

 

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