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The Light Files - Janine Iannarelli

Janine Iannarelli

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Today’s guest loves the art of the deal. Laura Max interviews Janine Iannarelli, founder and president of Par Avion Ltd, an aircraft marketing firm.

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Laura: Hi everyone. I'm Laura Max, your host at the Light Files on the BusinessMakers.com brought to by Audi Central Houston. I'm here today with Janine Iannarelli. Janine is the founder and president of Par Avion. She is the broker of business jets. Welcome Janine to the show.

Janine: Thank you. I appreciate being here.

Laura: It's so great to have you. You founded your company, Par Avion about 18 years ago in 1997.

Janine: That's correct.

Laura: And you are a business jet broker. I've never met one before. How did you - How did you get into that?

Janine: Well you know I wish it was a more glamorous story other than simply by accident. I could say that I was in the right place at the right time.

Laura: That's how a lot of good things happen.

Janine: Yeah I met the right people and they gave me an opportunity which at that point in time I was able to prove I had the right skill set.

Laura: So you were very young. You were in your 20s when you started becoming a broker - for business jets. And from there you went on to found your own company. You've traveled all over the world.

Janine: That's true.

Laura: What are some of - What are some of your most memorable experiences?

Janine: Oh gosh you know I should save that for my reality show that I'll be on one of these days. But honestly there have been so many of them that it's hard to really pinpoint. But I think back to some of the drama that we experienced in our career - in my career - and one of them was early on working for an aircraft dealer here in town. And I had the opportunity to travel to the Philippines to secure some aircraft that were at the time sequestered by the government as a result of a coup that occurred in that country.

Laura: Oh my goodness.

Janine: So you know can you imagine? First big major trip for a young person: "Yeah I'm going to a country under government control." So headed there and I remember as we were touring the airport, and it's always ladies first.

Laura: Of course.

Janine: The first door I stepped through the military person on the other side jumped to attention and leveled his rifle at me. And it was like dominoes behind me. I stopped and everyone sort of fell backwards. And I'm like, "Don't move."

Laura: Oh my gosh.

Janine: But our host I remember came through the door and kind of slapped the rifle out of the way and dressed the guy down and we proceeded on. And I thought, "Well nothing really changes in the country does it?"

Laura: Well besides having all these amazing stories that I'm sure you've gathered over the years and getting to travel, especially at such a young age. I mean that's any 20-something's dream even though you've had many experiences since then. You said earlier when we were speaking that business jets are something that really enable business owners or large scale companies to grow their businesses.

Janine: Definitely. It facilitates the growth of business. I mean just think about the fact that you can expedite your mission requirements, whether it's moving immediately a response team to some sort of accident. I mean okay the oil and gas industry probably understands that best -

Laura: Of course.

Janine: Particularly if you have a well blow out and you need to get people there, you know, yesterday. Or just simply getting ahead of the competition, that first in that's able to pitch or survey an area and make a proposal, is generally the party that's going to win the deal.

Laura: So what makes you as an individual so passionate about this business - passionate enough to start your own business?

Janine: Well I'm not selling widgets. You know I'm selling - I like to describe it as a capital intensive, highly sophisticated piece of equipment for which intensive product knowledge is required, as well as having marketing knowledge and then business acumen. And you know put that all together and it's Donald Trump's The Art of the Deal, which I love. I absolutely love structuring the transaction. I love facilitating the needs of my client base. And I like prospecting for new clients. It's always a dynamic experience if you will.

Laura: So you're probably dealing with some pretty exciting clients in the business that you're in. Have you met anybody in any of your - any of your experiences that -?

Janine: Yeah we're not supposed to tell names but I would say you know certainly there's the celebrity quotient and I've met a few. And that's nice but not the excitement for me. For me it's always been the entrepreneur, the individual who is perhaps singularly responsible for developing a company that has gone on to either be a domestic powerhouse or a global powerhouse. I want to know how they did it. I just want to absorb all of that. So I like those success stories.

Laura: I feel the same way. That's why I have people on this show like you who have started their own businesses and are here to tell their stories of how they went from basically nothing to where they are today. So if you could tell us, what's one thing that you've learned, being essentially a business owner and having had so many, I'm sure, diverse experiences. What's something that you would tell someone who is maybe about to start their own business?

Janine: Well I think one of the most critical components of success regardless of whether it's in your personal life or in your professional life and that's time management. If you don't learn to organize the priorities and then address them you're going to have a problem every step of the way because you're never really going to meet the needs of the majority of the clients and you may miss the opportunities that were sitting there before you but they got buried under a pile of paperwork.

Laura: So time management; I mean what are some things that you think people end up spending way too much time on?

Janine: Oh, good question. I would say trying to be all things to all people which you never can be. I mean you need to really know your market. You need to know your core group. And you need to tailor your presentation, what you have available in terms of resources to focusing on that core group. And develop that particular market. I mean for me I often admit to other brokers who go after the Fortune 100 group and I say, "That's all well and good. I'm just not equipped to do that. I don't want to spend my time because I have the time." You spend so much time pitching a buying group and it's over and over and over, so many layers to get through before a decision is taken. I find that very frustrating. I prefer the entrepreneurial type, the small and midcap size company, the individual who drives the business because then the decision pretty much stops right there.

Laura: Well I feel like I could use your guidance today. I was thinking you know I get all these e-mails. I used to freelance - about a year ago and I still get e-mails asking me to do things that I haven't really touched on in a while that I'm trying to get away from. And it's still so tempting sometimes to give my focus to that and to go back there. But I'm so much more successful when I focus on just one thing, so -

Janine: Mm-hmm, exactly that.

Laura: Yeah I think a lot of people can benefit from that. So in all of your travels - We only have a little while longer but you have - Nobody can see the fabulous surroundings around me right now. But you have all these fantastic antiques and collectibles. And how did that -? How did that come up, just from traveling?

Janine: In part from traveling, developing an interest in that. I mean I have to admit to the fact that I had a rich, I should say cultural, environment at home. My mother was a great collector of certain select items. And just you know a great love for the arts and the music. And that further stimulated my interest in other visual (if you will) arts and collecting. And as you pointed out my having the good fortune of being able to travel all over the world and a personality that goes out there and meets people.

Laura: You do have that personality. I can identify it in you.

Janine: I would make it a point that wherever I ended up I'd go try to absorb the local culture and hunt and search for people who could enlighten me a bit further about things of interest of the area. So that's part of the driving force behind it.

Laura: Well I'm certainly inspired by you. You definitely do know how to connect with people and I think traveling with you would be so much fun. It sounds like you've had a pretty fantastic life. So thank you for joining us on the show today.

Janine: Oh it's a pleasure. Thank you for the invitation.

Laura: And I am Laura Max. I'm your host of The Light Files on the BusinessMakers.com brought to you by Audi Central Houston. You can find us each week on the BusinessMakers.com and on the weekend on Sunday at noon on News 92 FM. We'll see you again next week. Bye everyone.

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