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The Start of a Relationship – Bruce Elliott

Who doesn’t like to help someone?  No one – we agree.

That’s because whenever you help somebody, you feel good about yourself. When you feel good about yourself you smile and when you smile, it’s enjoyable to be around you. Being around you is one of the best ways to strike up a relationship and relationships are what BNI is all about.

That’s what attracted Bruce Elliott to BNI 16 years ago. In his previous employment as Traffic Director for the City of London, the career Engineer spent more time telling colleagues and citizens what they could not do as opposed to what they could do. And constantly telling people what they cannot do is not really conducive to striking up a pleasant, lasting relationship.

So when the City of London embarked on a downsizing program in early-to-mid 1995, Bruce made a decision to use this opportunity shift career paths and has never looked back.

Then Don and Nancy Morgan introduced Bruce and his wife Eleanor to BNI and they saw a comfortable fit. From the outset they believed that Givers Gain and they’ve been proving it throughout Southern Ontario since BNI began Canadian operations with the Woodstock chapter in October of 1995.

If you can think back to those faraway days, the iPhone was barely a glimmer in Steve Jobs’ eye, not that many people even had cell phones, we used fax machines for detailed communications and there wasn’t even a dedicated line for many of those fax machines.

“We often called ahead and had to say, `We are about to send you a fax`”, says Bruce. “You had to be very committed in the early days. Technology has made things a lot easier.” E-mail now is the primary method of communications and the telephone has become secondary.

“But we pride ourselves on relationship-building. You can maintain a relationship with e-mail, but it is not as easy to start a relationship via e-mail. That’s why I haven’t missed a 7 a.m. breakfast in 16 years. I like to welcome new members personally,” adds Bruce.

Just a few years ago, Bruce ran the SW Ontario region as well as the Alberta North & South regions, if you can imagine the co-ordination that involved! While he and Eleanor continue to work e-mail until 11 p.m. many nights, they manage to find some daytime hours in between BNI  activities to operate their  100-acre farm that includes a select stock of Arabian horses.

BNI, however, is likely to remain an important part of their lives for years to come, if the foreward Bruce wrote for the book Money on the Table, Referrals in the Bank, by Dr. Ivan Misner and Lee Abraham, means anything.  In the foreward Bruce writes that Money on the Table is, “…an exceptional tool to develop more referrals … if you utilize the ideas and techniques presented in the book.”

We know Bruce believes in the ideas and techniques in the book and we think he plans to continue to use them for the foreseeable future.



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