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Value of your local Chamber of Commerce

Rich Wood

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Jun 17, 2018
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Salt Lake City, UT
Today, I attended a speed-networking local Chamber of Commerce Event - called First Fridays. There were over a hundred attendees, all representing different companies, products and services. We spent about 2 mins each pitching who we were, what we did, and what our ask was. After everyone had a turn at the table we would then move to a separate table with new people. You could then spend more time after the event with certain folks if deemed valuable.

I like to attend these events to get to know more business people in my community and find like-minded individuals. I find that there are typically a dozen realtors, promotional product marketing folks, insurance or financial planners, bankers, on-line marketing support services, or other services trying to be sold to business owners. I was trying to glean ideas for the fast lane lifestyle.

I began my introduction's today stating how I am working to become a fast-lane millionaire, and the concept seemed so foreign to most but very intriguing. I would follow-up with a pitch to read or download MJ's books.

I like to get to know others through these events, and utilize many of the services and products being represented by the participant's businesses. In fact, today I signed up for Sam's Club via a representative at the activity.

I encourage those on the forum who may be seeking new business ideas to attend local chamber events and you may find a couple of gem folks to be mentors, business partners, or like-minded friends. It is also a great way to get involved with community development, service opportunities, and overall give back to others who may be seeking the fast lane.
 

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In my experience, I've found all those "networking events" big time wasters. Everyone is trying to sell someone on something.

I can't recall where (or who) but someone here shared their experience with these "events" as well. Was it @Vigilante ? @RHL ?

I would follow-up with a pitch to read or download MJ's books.
Thank you.
 

lowtek

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Going to have to respectfully disagree here. I wasted so many hours at these networking events...

Most of the time, they are attended by the following (which you pointed out as well):

1) Insurance salesmen
2) Financial advisers
3) Real estate agents
4) Purveyors of fine MLM schemes

You will occasionally find serious people, but they are the exception rather than the rule. What isn't the exception, and what MJ alluded to, is that every one is there to sell you on their service. It's a massive circle jerk, and the only winning move is not to play.

If you're going to join a networking group, it should be something exclusive. I was invited to check out Eliances, here in Phoenix, which is a fairly upscale group of folks. Biggest opportunity that came out of that was a serious invitation for me to join the board of a new bank, and the invitation came from a serious former state politician. I declined, as I'm not the banker type, but it immediately became apparent to me that the group had merit. They filtered out the aforementioned groups.

Though, we did still get some riff raff. At one point some folks came in with the claim they had a "zero point energy" device, i.e. a perpetual motion machine. I was respectful and didn't scream at them, but it kind of killed the group for me.

I now avoid networking events, unless it's just to get out of the house and socialize with people. It's a much different experience with that mindset, and in that case I don't consider it a waste of time.
 

Rich Wood

Contributor
Jun 17, 2018
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Salt Lake City, UT
I appreciate your comments MJ and lowtek. Your feedback is greatly appreciated, and I have a great deal of respect for both of you. It can be very challenging to find others with similar ideals and interests, who actually are fastlane participants, and not merely salespeople.

I'll look to spend more of my time in the higher caliber organizations that may contribute to a greater extent to my personal and company goals.
 

WJK

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Oct 9, 2017
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I appreciate your comments MJ and lowtek. Your feedback is greatly appreciated, and I have a great deal of respect for both of you. It can be very challenging to find others with similar ideals and interests, who actually are fastlane participants, and not merely salespeople.

I'll look to spend more of my time in the higher caliber organizations that may contribute to a greater extent to my personal and company goals.
I sometimes go. I think of it like buying and/or reading a book. I look for that one gem hidden in the rock pile. One good idea or one new contact is enough to make it worth my while. I've played with the big boys too -- in my career in Los Angeles. I wouldn't call them "higher caliber." Yes, some had found great financial success. I learned that people are people, regardless of their station in life. I've learned some of my best lessons from the most unlikely teachers! It was all based upon my personal level of listening and understanding.

Back to your meeting... you practiced your pitch and reconfirmed your goals in front of a captive audience. One of my best training grounds when I was young, was in a local Toastmaster's group. They suffered through a lot of my blunders and mistakes. Did anyone say anything in their two-minute pitch that caused you to pause or think? (Even watching someone do something wrong can be a great lesson.) I think the real challenge in creating success is to creatively pay attention to what is already in front of us and to live in this moment. Always remember. Today is the only day we have.
 

DaveC

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Most of the time, they are attended by the following (which you pointed out as well):

1) Insurance salesmen
2) Financial advisers
3) Real estate agents
4) Purveyors of fine MLM schemes
I would add lawyers, job seekers, app bros with no actual app to that as well:)

I've found the most success getting specific about the kind of business you are in and start there after you do some of your own research. If you are in real estate, join the RE investors club. If you are a programmer, go down to the local incubator, etc...
 

msufan

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Mar 13, 2013
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Did anyone say anything in their two-minute pitch that caused you to pause or think? I think the real challenge in creating success is to creatively pay attention to what is already in front of us and to live in this moment.
Excellent post. You could find value in a group like this if you approached it in this manner.
 

Kak

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The value of a COC is directly correlated to how wealthy of an area you live in... AND... no matter what, brace yourself for the real "go getter" MLM'ers, realtors, low end money managers and insurance salesmen.

There is a level of political involvement to a chamber that I like, so it's not quite as bad as networking for networking's sake. I have been meaning to look into the chapter for where I want to move, not my local area.
 

Kak

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Going to have to respectfully disagree here. I wasted so many hours at these networking events...

Most of the time, they are attended by the following (which you pointed out as well):

1) Insurance salesmen
2) Financial advisers
3) Real estate agents
4) Purveyors of fine MLM schemes

You will occasionally find serious people, but they are the exception rather than the rule. What isn't the exception, and what MJ alluded to, is that every one is there to sell you on their service. It's a massive circle jerk, and the only winning move is not to play.

If you're going to join a networking group, it should be something exclusive. I was invited to check out Eliances, here in Phoenix, which is a fairly upscale group of folks. Biggest opportunity that came out of that was a serious invitation for me to join the board of a new bank, and the invitation came from a serious former state politician. I declined, as I'm not the banker type, but it immediately became apparent to me that the group had merit. They filtered out the aforementioned groups.

Though, we did still get some riff raff. At one point some folks came in with the claim they had a "zero point energy" device, i.e. a perpetual motion machine. I was respectful and didn't scream at them, but it kind of killed the group for me.

I now avoid networking events, unless it's just to get out of the house and socialize with people. It's a much different experience with that mindset, and in that case I don't consider it a waste of time.
LMAO!!!! You noticed the EXACT same thing as me, I didn't even read your post before posting.
 

msufan

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Mar 13, 2013
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LMAO!!!! You noticed the EXACT same thing as me, I didn't even read your post before posting.
If you didn't read his post beforehand, that's incredible. You guys nailed down the exact "4 types of people you'll see at a COC meeting" to a T. That's awesome.
 
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Kak

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If you didn't read his post beforehand, that's incredible. You guys nailed down the exact "4 types of people you'll see at a COC meeting" to a T. That's awesome.
I swear I didn't! LMAO

OP might want to give a look to Rotary Club. There is less shameless card slinging.
 

Kak

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Also the aforementioned "networking day" with the COC sounds like KAK hell, right up there with "clubbing" and flying coach.

2 minute elevator pitch? Really? That's bad. I loathe "small business," the crap people put themselves through to eek out 10 grand is baffling to me. They would, more often than not, do better in a traditional job.

Once again, SCALE, is paramount.
 

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