My BNI® Story

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Embrace the Counterculture

By: BNI Staff
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    My BNI® Story

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    BNI Staff

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This Member Success story and submission comes from Shawn Zwick, a BNI Ambassador and member of Queen City BNI in BNI U.S.A.

"Good Morning BNI!"

There’s a reason that all of our meetings start with the Chapter President welcoming us into yet another day with BNI. It’s because there’s new pages to be turned, knowledge to be shared, friends to be had and of course, money to be made; and isn’t that the reason that we all joined? When I joined BNI, what I really needed was a collection of people that I could rely on to send my customers to when they needed more help than I could offer. Reliable companies that I could suggest for Plumbing, Electrical, Painting and Construction work. My goal was to set up a network.

When I first joined Queen City BNI, I was greeted whole heartedly into a group of professionals who were above and beyond my expectations for a networking group. With every week that I attend a new meeting, I dive deeper and deeper into the lives of my fellow Members. Some professional, some personal, all a part of business. As an ancient of sales, I’ve come to realize that you’re never selling a product, you’re selling yourself. How you are, who you are and ultimately, how that translates into your business. To me, that seems like a sales pitch that needs to take place in person, and if I’m honest about what I love about BNI meetings, it’s that the pocket sized access to the world of information technology stops at the door.

The heart of a BNI meeting is that you are having a true HUMAN interaction with other people. You are put in an environment that forces you to look at the person across from you, to shake hands and give hugs. To listen with an ear unclouded by the white noise of our daily lives. To dig deep into other people’s businesses and eventually other people’s lives. This is the front line of the fight against the overwhelming forces of technology completely invading our lives. This is where the calls, the texts, the emails, the likes, and status updates hit a wall. This is BNI, and I’m sorry to say, you’re not phoning this one in.

So this is a call (pun intended) to all of my fellow BNI Members. To the people that show up every week and put down their phones. For those of you that show up early, and stay late. For the people that sit down in their car to return the 15 texts from your partner and employees after a chapter meeting. As much as you have business to attend to, as much as this order needs to be placed, as much as your mind is painfully rummaging through your to-do list for the day, it’ll all be there, waiting for you. 

Be at BNI. Be present. Make good honest connections with people and remember: The nature of a face-to-face, true human interaction is no longer the world’s culture, it’s the counterculture. 




I would like to recognize  Kate Dubenetsky of Hall Communications who sent me an invitation to Visitors day - I was likely one of her many. In addition, I would be remiss not to mention Heather Belanger of Lacillades Home Design. Being in the trades herself, and being able to facilitate the excellent customer service that she does while maintaining her friendships and composure in stressful situations is something that I struggle to do every day, where as she, makes it look effortless. 

Lastly, I would like to offer a quick shout out to all of my Queen City Family for making me as successful as they have. We get each other, and just like a single person can be given that gift, I feel like this whole group has been blessed with it.  They have made me a better person for almost 2 years of my life and continue to do so every week. Thank you all for being you!


Shawn Zwick

Visit Queen City BNI