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One grateful business networking starfish …

by Richard Foulkes

This week its an olden but golden heartwarming story that is just right for the depths of Winter. Like the story of the Woodcutter that needed to sharpen his axe, this is a great opportunity to draw the chapter in with your story telling skills and then hit them with the payoff.

Some members may have heard it before. I read it first in “Chicken Soup for the Soul” by Jack Canfield. Interestingly, there is a link from Jack Canfield to BNI through Dr Ivan Misner’s membership of the Transformational Leadership Council. You can change the moral of the story to suit your own interpretation of the story but the story itself will work best if you memorize it so you can get the tone of the retelling just right!

Grateful Starfish

One morning, an elderly man was walking along the beach when he noticed a young boy picking something off the sand and throwing it into the sea.

As he got closer, the man realized the child was throwing stranded starfishes that had washed up on the shore back into the breaking waves.

Approaching the boy, the man asked what he was doing.

“The starfish will die if they’re still on the shore when the sun rises,” he replied.

Perplexed, the old man said, “But that’s pointless! There are countless miles of beach and thousands of starfish. It doesn’t matter how many you return to the water; you can’t make a difference.”

Unfazed, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and tossed it into the sea.

“Made a difference to that one,” he said.


BNI is like that. We can’t change the whole world but the referral we give to another member could make a world of difference to them and their family.

That’s the power we all hold in our hands as part of our membership of BNI, let’s all get stuck in and make a difference to each other!

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