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I need ideas, pleaseViews: 1261
Sep 26, 2008 7:08 pmI need ideas, please#

Nancy Sherman
I've recently moved back to my old hometown in the midwest from the bustling burbs of Washington, DC. In DC everyone knows about networking and mastermind groups, but here in dullsville, none of the businesses have a clue. It's like they are still back in the early 1900s. There is a lot of fighting and backstabbing between the different small business owners and no one seems to want to grow their company -- yet everyone complains about the lack of business. Go figure.

I'm trying to start an organization that has three different components -- Networking, Mastermind and monthly educational seminars -- and I'm charging $75 a year for membership. People seem to be interested but then I hear behind my back that they are complaining to the Chamber that I'm in competition. I have a first, informational/educational forum set up for the first part of October with an expert on networking coming to give a presentation. I'm afraid that no one will come. Any suggestions?

Private Reply to Nancy Sherman

Sep 26, 2008 7:26 pmre: I need ideas, please#

William Carter
Any aspect of business is a risk. I certainly understand what you mean in respect to no one wanting to be involved. I spent some time in Fort Smith, AR and found the very same problem.

I would suggest, though, that you seek to find the greater need and play up that need.

Private Reply to William Carter

Sep 28, 2008 2:56 amre: I need ideas, please#

Denise O'Berry
Nancy --

Go for it! If two people show up, treat it like you would if 20 showed up. Add the value you know is there. Once word gets around about what a great group you have, people will be fighting to get in.

Denise O'Berry
MYOB Network Leader

Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/deniseoberry

Private Reply to Denise O'Berry

Sep 28, 2008 3:37 pmre: I need ideas, please#

Fred Keller
Hi Nancy,
Think positive! Be Positive!

When your meeting commences - you will find you will have the most important people there.
Above all: don't quit. You are about to experience a turn-around!
Keep Smiling!

PS: Great perspectives: http://v-retirees.first411.com

Private Reply to Fred Keller

Sep 28, 2008 5:09 pmre: I need ideas, please#

Paula Millar


Depends on where you are living for sure. You have lived in a completly different environment for a long time. They sense that, fear that, and regard that as way too new to trust that... i don't know. I don't mean to be the preveyor of bad news but I grew up on a small town. My folks had a restuarant there for 30 years. Small towns can be vicious in their demeanor and culture. You have to realize the fish bowl you are swimming in first. I would start to network in a peripheral way. Do you belong to a church, participate in local activities, school events, get to know as many people as will let you..

I have a sister who moved to Iowa. When we were younger we would never want to wait on the farmers from Iowa they are totally not tippers. They would even some times mock us and make us work hard with may extra trips with water or coffer just to manipulate us and then not leave any money. When My sister and her husband moved their years later nothing had changes. They build a house there. Karl her husband and an industrial arts teacher has build houses every place they have lived. He knew how to make relationships with local vendors, trade sometimes and just have all around good will from vendors supporting him to build his house and come back to their business to do more business. Not so where they lived in Iowa. People were so cold and strange and non of the building Vendors would ever give and inch on prices or give discounts or throw in something else for free.. Good will, none. You couldn't get into any town meetings unless you knew someone who had lived there a long time. They were so rude in that town because they were outsiders that as soon and my sister and her husband built the house they sold it and came back to Minnesota where people are much more friendly.

It is a reality I have found. There can be a certain culture designed to the negative side of things in small towns ( it feels like the 1900's) and I am not saying that I haven't found and experienced many small towns that were pleasant and a joy to spend some time in.

Some towns do have kind of a code and you have to figure it out.. Get to know someone who has been on the inside for a long time and is willing to help you make some inroads in if you can...

So it can be with some towns you need to figure out the lay of the land.

I lived in even a fairly large community here in Washington and it kind of like a small town here. Pastors meet and exchange information about people in the congregations that move on to new church and the pastors will warn the next guy if they didn't get along with that person.. When you meet people here they want to know immediately what church you belong to because it is a real church going community. etc...

Be careful regarding your first impressions. If you are verbose or strange or different ( hard not to be coming from a different environment) you could be doomed in some town. I know business people in my own home town that packed up and closed shop because people would just not accept them. it was just the baker for goodness sake.

Be responsible for the you are different, make and effort to blend in. Don't make waves for awhile.. take is slow.. if you can.

Good Luck
Paula Mary

Paula Mary- eWings Biblical Coaching Ministry

Private Reply to Paula Millar

Sep 29, 2008 2:28 pmre: I need ideas, please#

Nancy Sherman
Thanks for the advice everyone. I'll keep you posted on the efforts to get this town to network!!!!

Private Reply to Nancy Sherman

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