Its 5.30am and I am posting a blog post about my amazing family(as John Parisi calls us) at BNI. This will be my last Wednesday morning at the BNI Yarra Chapter and I am chocked up with overwhelming emotion to think my journey has ended with the group.

 

A fabulous opportunity has come my husbands way which means I no longer can attend the early starts of 7am, my turn to do school drop offs. My husband has been an amazing support to me and my business, its my turn to support him now.  As one door closes, another opportunity will present itself, that I am sure of.

 

Please take a few minutes to read about this great network organisations called BNI.

 

I am so full of gratitude and love, when I think what each individual has brought into my life & my business. This group have some of the most inspiring, loving, generous people I have met:)

 

My journey with the BNI Yarra chapter began in Sept 2012. I had resigned from the Disability field for a few months to embark on building my photography business. I was invited to the morning meeting at OMG 7am in the morning at La Notte in Cartlton (are you serious) which means I have to get up at 5.20am, get ready and head out the door by 6.15am the latest!!!!  And you guys do it EVERY weds morning, what crazy cult is this, hmmmmm I don’t think this is for me

 

BNI what’s that? 

Continue reading if you have a few minutes to spare and I will explain the organisation on closing....

 

That morning(Sept 2012) I was invited as a guest, as their was an opening for a Photographer, I sat beside a gentleman by the name of Ian Murray who said “do you have your 60s informercial ready, I was like WHAT, NO!!!!

 

You mean I have to talk in front of 30 or so complete strangers SHIT!

 

OMG public speaking NOT MY THING AT ALL!!!!!! (lol it is now)

 

I was so nervous, I did it, trembled the whole way through, then I sat back down, listened to every one that also got up and spoke about their business and then watched how people where referring business to everyone, exchanging nos and most importantly closing thousand dollars of business.

 

Without hesitation I signed up the very next week, which meant I held the Photography Category with BNI YARRA Chapter.

 

Meeting every Weds morning, meant building trust, relationships, networking with each other, finding out more about other business’, you don’t feel alone, you gain confidence in public speaking, sharing great stories each week with happy customers, the highs and lows in owning your own business and for me I have met the most amazing bunch of people that I now call my friends.

 

It has been some of the best months of my life and please continue reading as I go through the members at the BNI Yarra Chapter.

 

David McIntosh (FleetSeek) my night and shinning armour, when everything that could go wrong the day before the Go Festival in March 2014, did go wrong, you presented yourself at my studio at the perfect time, we chatted & your support and your act of kindness (the chocolate love hearts) on that day, I will remember for as long as I live.

 

Caryn De Silva (Geared Asset Finance) ok the water works have started. This amazing and beautiful woman, proud to call my friend, will do anything to help you as an individual and your business, she is so driven and she has one of the biggest hearts, I adore you, she has been a huge support to me, as a friend and for my business.

 

John Parisi (Lacey Panels) has to be one of my biggest fans, your act of kindness and generosity overwhelms me at times.  The way you have looked after me and the ladies at BNI, is like no other, yes John we are family and friends we shall remain x

 

Deborah Leask (Eastland Family Chiropractor), when I first started at BNI I was quite overweight and was on some very heavy pain killers and then I started my treatment with Deborah, you are my healer, you healed me back to health. I have lost close to 20 kg and I have not taken any pain killers or even panadol for over a year now. You are amazing:)

 

Jan Chapman (MSP Blueshift) every week I look forward to your 60s informercial, your funny, your committed and I promise when you bring in your products to be re shot, I will see it as a Machine and not a person, creating NO DEBTH OF FIELD!!! Sharp as a tack...

 

Iain Gartley, the President (Graphic Effects) gave me my first referral for his business. I remember shooting it and editing the files that same night and I personally delivered the disc to him the very next day, because an opportunity presented to me and I wanted to be trusted by the group and it just grew from then on. Iain’s business Graphic Effects also did the most amazing work; signage for my studio, I just love it!!!!

 

Michael Scruse, the Vice President (web.d3) in the process of building my new website and nothing is too small or to big for this wonderful man. I loved our 1:1 get togethers and I love hearing his stories every week on how he has helped companies/individuals build amazing websites that reach their target audience. I CANT WAIT for my new website!!!!

 

Geoff Mckenna (Guidance Morgage Brokers) stories, happy client testimonials are always part of Geoffs 60 seconds and I believe Geoff you have100% attendance, yes???

 

Ann Watson (b there) life coach extraordinaire, when people speak of Ann, they all say what a wonderful service she provides to individuals, how she connects not only as a life coach but as a friend as well. “You should talk to Ann” these exact words come out of individuals. 

 

Judith North (Now Architecture) this stylish, beautiful woman. I just adore her, she is the BIGGEST advocate when it comes to the wonders of BNI. She also has been a huge support to me and my business and I have been grateful to have created for her, her family & friends life time of images to be treasure forever.

 

Rebecca Stewart (content creator, copywriter, editor) this woman does it all and only last week I found out she also does animation, her experience is vast. I have used her services time and time again and will continue to do so as we have connected, she knows my story oh so well:)

 

Alysia West (Collins & Co), gorgeous Alysia, we have yet not managed to lead you astray (talking about the more mature women in the group ie me lol). You are beautiful & smart and I soooooo want to see you in action at work, because you would make Accounting exciting and I may actually understand some of it, well maybe???? Can you draw pictures on the white board for me?

 

Maria & Marleen (Made U Look) these 2 beautiful and creative women have been the back bone of building my brand, I AM MY BRAND!!!!

Maria also gave me my first big corporate gig with MadeULook, so thrilled to be part of their journey and Marlene you are greatness & kindness rolled in one, you show so much strength and courage, you are amazing.

 

Catherine Brown (Travel Counsellors) I will never forget how nervous you were the first few weeks at BNI, you reminded me so much of me when I started and when I told you, you were like no not you? Yes me, that is why we have all connected, we have supported each other not only in business but as friends. Hmmmm we will not mention MY behaviour after a few too many champagnes, one very memorable night, oh dear:(

 

Renato Pozzebon (Ezicleen) also had the pleasure of photographing his adoring family and now he spends most of the evenings throwing rose petals to his wife and looking after her, lucky lady indeed...

 

Paul Naylor (Knox Only Carpentry) a quiet man, hmmmm what’s his story, took a little longer to get to know Paul but when I did, amazing, what “ you are enquiring about getting a Glamour shoot” alright!!!! Also hearing about one of his projects with Judith North was like OMG, these guys are so lucky to have both of you working on their home, building trust and relationships, this is what BNI is all about.

 

Carey Handfield (BTB3) my bookkeeper, warm, caring, has been a member for I believe over 8 years, see it does work! He is so patient with me and keeping me on track with my books, he must shake his head when he goes through everything and sees how much is missing, sorry Carey

I will improve.

 

David Hill (Tida Lighting) and his partner are a few months into BNI and I can already see how the referrals are starting to work for Tida Lighting. I also like how we(ladies at BNI) have started to include David in our quick coffee get togethers straight after BNI. Well that’s because David OMG you have the best bod and smile hmmmmmm.

 

Peter Davies (Chilli Realty) Best tag line, Chilli, red hot service, fabulous. I also had the pleasure of photographing his gorgeous family. You just see a different person when they are around their loved ones. These images are just so warm, loving and fun!

 

Robert Bonifacio (Essential Financial Services) probably the most serious in the group, but when you meet Robert at his home and he talks about his business and his family, you see him smile, you have a great smile Robert, you should smile more often :):):):):):):):):):):):)

 

Luke Primon (Primon Legal) with the very hot wife, oh my did I just say that lol. I love your foreign stories, they have me smiling for the rest of the day, you add colour to the chapter Mr Primon Legal.

 

Sandro Maio (Eastern Press) when I got my first promotional advertising printed by Eastern Press, wow is all I can say with the service that Sandro provided, and the quality of the printing to die for. I love the energy he brings to the group, at times we are scared that he may come out with the Hulk mask, but he has managed to keep it together for all of us, we are very very grateful Sandro!!!

 

Andrew Butler (Butler Plumbing) located in Melbourne’s first suburbs “Fitzroy”.

Lots of business being exchanged week after week with Andrew and the tradies in the group, Andrew is also the Event Coordinator, look forward to seeing the next event on Facebook.

 

Steven Fellowes (Wesfel Electrical) when I hear Steve’s story, how many vans he has on the road, how young he was & still is,when he started his business and how driven he is with his electrical business, its very inspiring. Look forward to seeing your new website up and running!!!

 

Anthony Ciancio (PSC Insurance) the quiet achiever in the group. Lots of business & networking with our Anthony, invaluable asset to the group, this is a must for me & hubby to get sorted. On our to do list Anthony, just because I am going I will not stop referring business to all of you:)

 

Roger Mazzon (Painter extraordinare) I had the privilage of getting Roger to paint my office in the studio and if I didn’t talk so much I am sure he would have finished sooner. At least I did the good Greek girl thing and feed him:)

 

Patricia, Hamish, Luke Broxton & Jurgen who are new to the chapter, you both are so blessed to be amongst such amazing, wonderful, inspiring and giving individuals. Your journey has only just began and I wish you all continued success as you network and refer each other thousand dollars worth of business.

 

BNI www.bni.com.au is one of the largest Business Networking & Business Referral organisation, whose primary purpose is to assist its members to find and exchange qualified business referrals. Last year members of BNI Australia alone generated more than $233 million in new business.

 

I LOVE U & WILL MISS U!!!!!

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