International Networking Week Archives - Dr. Ivan Misner®
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 MANZINI

Member of BNI Vitamine B

“ “…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!

 

2020 International Networking Week

2020 International Networking Week ®

The 2020 International Networking Week ® is an initiative of BNI®. It is an opportunity for business owners to show appreciation for their valued customers and contacts from networking.

This will be a week of global recognition and gratitude from February 2 through 8, 2020 to thank those business owners who have helped you to grow your business while networking. Furthermore, this year’s action item is to recognize and thank those people in your BNI chapter, chamber of commerce,  and other networking organizations. Take a moment to say, “Thank You” in person, in your meeting, and on various social media platforms.
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The focus of International Networking Week is to bring together representatives of government, businesses and community leaders from around the world to network and to recognize the power of networking. Speakers will offer advice and information on how businesses can grow and succeed through good networking practices.
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The 13th Annual 2020 International Networking Week is just around the corner. Therefore, it’s time to build your powerful personal network now. Invite various business owners who have helped you to grow your business to your BNI chapter or to your networking mixer. Invite them to network and to recognize the power of networking from February 2 through 8, 2020. Check out the promo video for the 13th Annual 2020 International Networking Week. Please use the hashtag with your photos and posts: #INW2020

 

The 2020 International Networking Week theme is “One Million Thank Yous”

Expressing gratitude completes the feeling of connection. Many people in your life have helped you in one way or another. Therefore, have you thanked them? Consider sending a letter to someone telling them what their actions meant to you, even if—especially if—it happened long ago.   It costs little or nothing. Furthermore, it almost always follows suit that they will demonstrate their gratitude for what you do.

When you show an interest in others by noticing the good things they’ve done; they will be drawn to you like a magnet.  Therefore, it will accelerate the relationship-building process and enhance their overall impression of you.”

In conclusion, the goal of International Networking Week is to celebrate the key role that networking plays in the development and success of businesses across the world. Networking events are being held globally to celebrate International Networking Week. For more information about these international events during the first week of February or to promote your local networking event on our 2020 International Networking Week website please see: internationalnetworkingweek.com

Making Dreams Come True – by Kollakit Thalerngnawachart

International Networking Week: “A New World of Opportunity” stories from various international BNI leaders

Submitted by Kollakit Thalerngnawachart

National Director – BNI Thailand

Kollakit Thalerngnawachart

As Thailand is one of the Asian Countries, SMEs in Thailand has always dreamed to grow their business globally, but never have a supportive platform and system to make such Dream come true.

In Thailand, relationship is the key to success in business. To build relationship, it takes a lot of time to get to know, and to make people like and  trust before doing business. With BNI platform and the business referral community, we create “A New World of Opportunity” to local SMEs (BNI Members) to connect faster with other BNI members in 74+ countries with over 240,000 businesses around the world who may want to source from Thailand products to serve their customers.  Our Members can do business across the globe with other BNI members through BNI Mobile application and can shorten the time to build relationship and start to do business faster.

One of our BNI Thailand Member who is “Local Wooden Furniture Manufacturer” and used to manufacture for other people brands at low price for many years.  After she joined BNI Chapter in Bangkok Thailand, she got support from other BNI members in her chapter to give her advices to change her business model to build her own brand-named products, so she can get away from price competition and to focus on her passion to innovate new design furniture.  Since she started to promote her business at BNI Thailand National Conference and met with BNI Member from Hong Kong who is Interior Designer and looked for sourcing new design furniture for her condominium customers.  With trust as BNI Family, she got initial orders to export to Hong Kong and that was “A New World of Opportunity” for her company.  Now she is expanding her new factory and showroom.  She also exhibited her products at BNI Global Convention 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand and got a lot of interest from BNI worldwide.  Thank you BNI Thailand Mr. Kollakit Thalerngnawachart, National Director for bring BNI into Thailand and Thank you to Dr. Ivan Misner for creating BNI into this world and give us a hope to serve more and become more.”

I am so inspired of her story and feel very happy for her success.  After her success story, we start to have more BNI Members who want to grow their business worldwide and plan to visit BNI in other countries. I am so proud of being part of BNI organization and thank you for Dr. Ivan Misner (Chief Visionary Officer and  Founder) and Mr. Graham Weihmiller (BNI Chief Executive Officer) for creating BNI for SMEs around the world and support their dream to the next level.

Wishing everyone a fantastic International Networking Week 2019!

Kollakit Thalerngnawachart National Director – BNI Thailand

Graham Southwell

Changing the Way the World Does Business – by Graham Southwell

International Networking Week: “A New World of Opportunity” stories from various international BNI leaders

Submitted by Graham Southwell

National Director – BNI New Zealand

 

International Networking Week has come around again. The theme this year is “A new world of opportunity’ and as I sit here thinking about the various activities we have planned this year, I find myself reflecting upon the changes that have taken place in BNI since we first got underway in New Zealand, some 20 years ago.  To say a lot has changed since those days is an understatement!  The business landscape back then would seem very strange to today’s Millennials.  The internet was only starting to gain traction, business websites were still ‘cutting edge’ and communication tended to be by telephone, letter or fax.  The opportunities to connect and network today compared to those times is astounding. Imagine a world in which there was no smart phone, google, text messaging, What’s App, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc!  And yet, this is the world into which we launched BNI in NZ.

Since those times, not only has the world changed, but the organisation has evolved with it – truly embracing new opportunities as they presented themselves. BNI has transformed from what was essentially a family business into a national and then international organisation – and today is truly a Global Organisation.  Just this week for example, I received an email from a member in Singapore, seeking an introduction into our dairy industry. In those early days, I remember entering member application forms onto an Access database – which I duly backed up every few days, storing the discs off site.  Today of course we have a global database in BNI Connect – who would have thought that we would end up with the entire business being stored in the cloud!  Dr Ivan Misner led the change and was always quick to embrace new opportunities.  He held the vision of a single global dataset and at the same time was the first person I knew to start writing a weekly blog, to use social media for business and to start producing weekly podcasts.  For the first time members had direct access to the founder of BNI and we had a solution to the problem of the proverbial ‘leaky bucket’.  Last year, the app was added to the BNI stable – and more recently through the app, the opportunity to pass referrals to members anywhere in the world.  BNI University has added a new level of opportunity in terms of training and upskilling and on it goes.  I don’t see the pace of change slowing anytime soon!

If 20 years ago I had had a crystal ball and could have seen what was coming – I might have thought that BNI would have a very limited future.  Who would have thought that today – with so many opportunities to network and pass business online – that there would still be a call for people to come together to meet over breakfast!  In fact, BNI is growing faster now than at any time in our 34-year history, Changing the Way the World Does Business through our structured word of mouth marketing campaign, our core values to include Givers Gain and through engaging with the very communities in which we are doing business – through the Business Voices campaign.  In New Zealand this takes the form of our support for hospice and our funding of Hospice New Zealand’s Palliative Care programme.  In addition, the various chapter led fundraising activities have now raised close to NZ$2 million dollars for hospice.  BNI truly is a remarkable organisation, the opportunities going forward are exciting and it is an absolute honour to head up BNI in this part of the world.

Wishing everyone a fantastic International Networking Week 2019!

Graham Southwell National Director – BNI New Zealand

Paolo Mariola

Collaborating Instead of Competing – by Paolo Mariola

International Networking Week: “A New World of Opportunity” stories from various international BNI leaders

Submitted by Paolo Mariola

National Director – BNI Italia

Paolo Mariola

When we talk about work, or more generally about the changes we are dealing with everyday, a word is often recurrent: the word opportunity. A word that, in the right phrase at the right time, create in the listener a series of thoughts, and hopes of reaching a goal or to realize a project. One of the synonyms of opportunity is a favorable occasion, that brings with it a positive change (almost everytime). And if we think about it, we live in an age where many opportunities are at hand. But above all, we live in what we could define the most relational age ever. The age in which relationships are not a way but a real aim.

When I think about this, I begin to reflect on the great opportunities that referral marketing has brought and continues to bring to professionals and entrepreneurs all over the world. And I always pause on one in particular. When we talk about marketing strategies, we usually declare “beat the competitors”, “doing better than competitors”…and so on. Referral Marketing turns upside down this point of view by finding in collaboration and not in competition the real opportunity for growth starting from a precise assumption: the global result coming from collaboration is larger than the sum of the single results that would be obtained individually. It is an approach to the business world that looks at the Other not as a competitor but as an opportunity: a great resource from a professional, intellectual, human point of view, able of enriching us and giving us the possibility to reach goals that we would not be able to reach alone.

For years I have worked as an entrepreneur in information technology and business processes. I have always realized that if I had tried to go on looking only at my interest or I had kept for me every business opportunity that came from my client, I could not say today that I had succeeded as entrepreneur. One of the fundamentals of my success, is that I have always been able to have competent and specialized people around me in those fields where I was not up to the task or who did not represent my specific preparation

Seeing today many Italian entrepreneurs and professionals who apply this approach to their business is certainly one of the things that makes me proud. Approaching the market by practicing the culture of abundance brings positive benefits for the customer, for suppliers, for the market and for the whole economy in a larger scale. Therefore, thanks to Referral Marketing and the culture of abundance, a new world of opportunity opens up to us. An opportunity as big as the world.

Wishing everyone a fantastic International Networking Week 2019!

Paolo Mariola National Director – BNI Italia

Ryszard Chmura

Nowy świat możliwości – by Ryszard Chmura

International Networking Week: “A New World of Opportunity” stories from various international BNI leaders

Submitted by Ryszard Chmura

National Director – BNI Poland

Ryszard ChmuraThe Polish economy is becoming more and more dynamic. In 2018, the GDP increased by 3.8%, thanks to which Poland aspires to advance in the ranking of the largest economies in the world. More and more companies are being established in our country year after year. There are now 3,175,407 of them operating in Poland. About 25,000 new business activities appear on the Polish market each month.

Many entrepreneurs, at different stages of development of their business, have to deal with challenges in their companies on their own, without any help or support from outside.

At BNI, we enable business owners to collaborate in groups, thanks to which we connect them in business. BNI is the largest business organization in Poland, bringing together reliable entrepreneurs and responding to all the problems faced by business owners in our country.

Currently, BNI operates in 25 cities in Poland and consists of 2 thousand members, who generated an additional net revenue of PLN 446 million from  BNI referrals in 2018 alone.

Because Success Can Be Planned

I joined BNI with an advertising agency in which I employed only 1 person and my company belonged to the BNI Group in Kraków at that time. In BNI, I went all the way from a Member, through various positions in the Leadership Team, Chapter Director Consultant, Chapter Area Director Consultant, to National Director.

Two years after joining BNI, I became involved in the development of the organization and started opening new chapters. Together with other entrepreneurs, we set ourselves the goal of bringing together as many business owners as possible in BNI. We have expanded the organization to 12 chapters and nearly 500 Members in the region.

From 1 to 150 Employees in 5 Years

BNI was the main source of growth for my company. The dynamic expansion of the organization in the region made my company grow very quickly. Using business referrals, I grew the company from 1 to 150 employees in 5 years.

Apart from receiving referrals from BNI Members, I was also able to learn from them how to run a business and manage a company. Thanks to BNI, I met my future partners and associates.

Since 2014, I have had the pleasure of being responsible for the development of the entire organization in Poland. There are two main goals that I have set for BNI. I want BNI to be present in every city in my country and I want BNI Poland to bring together as many reliable entrepreneurs as possible who are close to the idea of cooperation in business.

Business Growth on an International Scale

Being part of BNI is A New World of Opportunity. Our organization is not just a group of dozens of entrepreneurs operating locally. BNI is an organization that is built by business owners from around the world who want to support each other in business.

Mariusz Skalmierski, the owner of a company in the construction industry from BNI Victory Rzeszów, has found out about its strength and business opportunities on an international scale. Mariusz decided that he would go abroad with his business and start operating on the global market, especially in India.

He began his attempts to enter the Indian market with economic missions, meetings with politicians and local government officials, and visits to various fairs. However, these actions did not bring tangible results.

Only thanks to BNI and after holding meetings with companies from BNI in India did his activities on their local market gain momentum. Thanks to the help of other entrepreneurs from BNI, he managed to achieve his goal. His partner, Yash Vasant, is the director of two BNI Areas in India. They are opening a factory together and are going to specialize in the prefabrication of ventilation elements.

“Nowy świat możliwości” is Polish forA New World of Opportunity”

Thanks to your membership in BNI, you too can grow your business not only locally but also internationally. BNI is a global network of contacts – with almost 250,000 BNI Members around the world. It is a huge growth opportunity for your business and it is up to you how you use it. This is a new world of opportunity. Looking forward to meeting you at the 2019 BNI Global Convention in Warsaw this November.

Wishing everyone a fantastic International Networking Week 2019!

Ryszard Chmura National Director – BNI Poland

Marcos R. Martins

Co-creating a More Collaborative Society – by Marcos R. Martins

International Networking Week: “A New World of Opportunity” stories from various international BNI leaders

Submitted by Marcos R. Martins

National Director – BNI Brazil

Marcos R. MartinsEverything started in 2002, when I was in USA in a business trip and I was invited to a BNI meeting. It was winter, a dark cold morning when we arrived at the meeting place. We were very well received by the chapter members, and we kept an eye on the dynamics of the meeting. Frankly speaking, my first impression was that the meeting was an American thing made for American people. Because my focus on that trip was elsewhere, so I didn’t give continuity. Everything changed five years later, in 2007, when I was working with Executive coaching based on the development of Networking skills, so I remembered that experience with BNI. Searching BNI, it caught my attention realizing that this organization had doubled in size in the past 5 years, going from 2,400 chapters, 50,000 members in 20 countries to 4,900 chapter and 110,000 members in 44 countries. I also noticed that South America was the only continent without BNI presence. I immediately contacted BNI head office in USA, and the rest is history.

Now, 10 years after my first BNI training in January 2008, we placed Brazil and South America in the BNI maps. Today, there are 130+ chapters and 5,000+ members in 8 States and 70 cities in Brazil. These numbers are important to illustrate the growth of BNI in Brazil and around the world, but the best was about to come. BNI’s essence are the people. They are the ones who build those numbers and make the difference in our lives. Therefore, it’s not hard to imagine what happens when those people decide to help each other and recommend business opportunities to one another, in other words, to practice the reciprocity law. The Givers Gain philosophy permeates the BNI organization. If I give you a business opportunity, you’ll be interested in give me business in return or to somebody else in our chapter. Only the ones who are a part of BNI are able to understand the transformational power of the Givers Gain philosophy. That’s the beauty of Networking. We never know where it will take us, the doors that potentially will open in front of us. This philosophy may appear simple, but it is not obvious. Very few companies have such a strong culture as BNI.

What if I tell you that this organization and its strong culture has changed my life, professional and personally?

And has been doing the same in the life of thousands of people around the world? It seems too good to be true, right? As the CEO of BNI Brazil, I’m suspect to talk about it, but what can we say about the hundreds of members and directors here in Brazil who has witnessed the change that BNI has done in their lives and companies? They say that BNI leveraged their sales in 50%. Others say that 80% of their clients come from referrals of their chapter members. There are those who say they have completely redesigned their companies through strategic partnerships with other BNI members. Not mentioning many cases where professionals and entrepreneurs come to thank me, saying that because of the business opportunities received through BNI they managed to avoid shutting down their companies during the economic recession. How grateful it is to receive this feedback! To know that we are making a difference in people’s life is priceless! This is what motivates me to keep waking up every morning searching the expansion of BNI to reach more and more entrepreneurs all over Brazil.

Highlighting only one aspect of this transformation provided by BNI, for the first time in my professional life I was able to align my professional and personal values. I don’t have to be someone at work and someone else at home. Those who have already worked in big companies know what I’m talking about. When someone gets this alignment, simply, work stops being a burden and starts being a journey with purpose. During these 10 years leading BNI Brazil, the experience has shown me that in a bigger or smaller scale, people are being touched by BNI, members, directors, employees, also have given us the same feedback about this experience of alignment between values and purpose. Working in a collaborative way for the good of the others makes all sense to us in BNI.

A new world of opportunity

We know we are building together something much bigger, we are not just fostering more business to BNI members, we are contributing to transform people into better professionals, we are catalyzing business efforts to improve local communities where BNI is located. We are changing the way the world does business. BNI brings out the best of human being. As Dr. Ivan Misner, founder of BNI, says, the BNI Organization haven’t helped only the evolution of mentality from competition to collaboration, but, more important, the evolution of mentality from collaboration to co-creation. Nowadays, if companies like Uber and Airbnb are in the vanguard of collaborative economy, BNI organization went beyond that, it was not only visionary materializing the collaborative economy more than 3 decades ago, but also as the precursor of the co-creative economy. Where all stakeholders get together to build a greater good for society. Literally, they live the profit with purpose mind set. It is not enough serving the stakeholder with good products, good services, good salaries and good profits – all of that combined effort needs to be grounded in a higher purpose, positively impacting society in which this organization is inserted. Of course, we from BNI, seek to grow our companies’ profits, but we know that at the same time we are co-creating a more collaborative Society where fierce and predatory competition (scarcity mentality, which divides and subtracts: for one to win, other has to lose) gives place to “coopetition”, in other words, cooperation between people and companies, generating more business opportunities for all, as well as strategic partnerships between peers and / or competitors. This is the mentality of abundance, which sums and multiplies for everyone to win. This is the BNI organization in action. Be welcome to the world’s largest referral organization, where a new world of opportunity is waiting for you.

Wishing everyone a fantastic International Networking Week 2019!

Marcos R. Martins National Director – BNI Brazil

A New World of Opportunity

A New World of Opportunity

The 2019 International Networking Week™ continues our global theme called a “New World of Opportunity”.

 

Over a decade ago, I started “International Networking Week” to recognize the value and importance of networking to entrepreneurs. International Networking Week really is about creating new opportunities. Opportunities for our BNI members and opportunities for the communities in which our members do business. I believe to be truly successful in building your business you need to build a personal powerful network.

Show your appreciation to your best customer or colleague by giving them the gift of a larger network and the opportunity to pass and receive
quality referrals. Please invite your best customer or a trusted colleague to visit your BNI chapter during International Networking Week.

Guest Blogs:

This week I will be posting blogs on my website about networking from the following international business leaders:

Visit InternationalNetworkingWeek.com for more information.

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