An interview with Phil Bedford
Last week I was in Northern California with amazing people—catching up with old connections and likeminded entrepreneurs, learning new things, and preparing for some amazing changes ahead.
On Day 1, as I scanned the room, a bright pair of glasses and a cheeky grin caught my eye. They belonged to Phil Bedford, the Rebel Networker. Phil is quick to smile, super witty, and the kind of guy who gives you his full attention—for real—when you talk to him. There is a twinkle in his eye that makes you instantly want to hang out with him.
If you are a business owner and you don’t follow Phil already, start now. He’s a gamechanger. He graduated with a master’s degree in Engineering and then promptly decided to make the best use of it by starting a career in sales. Although he enjoyed life on the road and the thrill of sales, he realized that his true passion was in helping people achieve audacious success (more than they dreamed possible!) through networking and word-of-mouth marketing. So, that’s what he did.
Phil dove in. He studied. He learned. He networked. He connected. And then he did it all over and over again. He joined BNI—Business Networking International —and took the role of the Regional Directorship for the Middle East in 2007. There, he channeled his love for referral marketing into launching and maintaining the most successful chapter of BNI in the region. Today, he is living in Dubai and is a Qualified Master Trainer for The Referral Institute, he draws upon the ten years of experience he has accumulated to help private companies and networking associations achieve big results..
When he’s not networking, you can find Phil on the dance floor (salsa, baby!), riding his bike, or travelling around the world. Phil lives like he connects: full tilt!
I interviewed Phil on Saturday and asked him some of my favourite questions:
What is your definition of success?
“Having time to do what I want when I want it. That’s what is it is all about, the freedom to do what I want.”
If you had one piece of advice to give business owners what would it be?
“To make sure you surround yourself with the right entourage. People who support your business, who support your direction, who support where you want to be.”
How do you reward your successes?
“I don’t, I just enjoy the success. I had a challenged childhood and now I enjoy celebrating where I am now, I never thought I would be here.”
Who’s your role model?
“I don’t really have one, I respect a lot of people like Mike Macedonio and Eddie Esposito. I think that role models change as you grow. The one that doesn’t change is my wife Michelle; she keeps me on an even keel.”
What is your superpower?
“When presenting I can get into the minds of my audience and connect with them—making what I am saying relevant. I also see opportunity.”
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
“Being recognized and relevant.”
What do you do on a daily basis to ensure your growth and development?
“Learn from everyone I meet.”