Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Eating breakfast at Pete's this morning I read this article:

Preparing kids for life-- Groups working to make sure kids ready for life after they graduate. http://www.thedenverdailynews.com/article.php?aID=4727

This article made it sound like they were accepting comments on a proposal to make changes in public education in Colorado. I'd just told my Optimist Club last week if we didn't start doing something that had a bigger impact with kids, I was quitting. So I felt compelled to attend.

No comments being collected now, that's all over. 6,000 were invited (I wasn't were you?) and about 1,000 showed up to voice their opinion at hearings held around the state.

Now every one was gathered to celebrate what a good job had been done to define what it means to have a good education.

It means that no remedial education has to be done when the graduate shows up for work or college.


Did we really need this study to figure that out?

More about it at http://highered.colorado.gov/Academics/cap4k/cap4k.html

I need the class about how to stay focused on my own work...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Comment about the new Franklin Circle Denver Open meeting Friday:

Barry Wolfman
I was curious walking in, with no expectations. My wife was with me as an observer originally...I'd asked her to come because she's a better judge of character than I am. (And if I chose to return, she'd know what it was about.) We will both be back, and have planned to do it every Friday (except 7/3). Nice dynamic in the room, considering no one had ever met. Mr. Wren did a great job of explaining while participating while involving us and keeping it moving & interesting all at th same time. We are looking forward to making this a regular event, and very curious to see where it goes and how it affects us. Thanks!

You can join us, more info and RSVP at http://meetup.com/Franklin-Circle-Denver-Open

If you have quesitons about this free group, or about starting or joining a tuition-based Franklin Circle, call me at (303)861-1447.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I sent out this media release yesterday:

June 23, 2009

Contact: John Wren cell

Since 1994, help for people who’ve had a bump or a bright idea.

DENVER--Not sure what you’re going to do Monday morning?

Free help is available each Friday afternoon at the Denver IDEA Cafe startup workshop. It meets from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at Panera Bread, 13th and Grant in Denver, near the State Capitol. More information and RSVP at http://ideacafe.meetup.com/1 or (303)861-1447.

Since 1994, the Denver IDEA Cafe has been helping people who are starting in a new direction with their career by inviting successful people to share their startup experience and then brainstorming to address specific questions or problems.

“We help people find their own path, we don’t give advice,” says John Wren, the founder of the group who still facilitates it most Fridays. Wren’s little book on startup Daring Mighty Things—The Simplest Way to Start Your First (or Next) New Business and links to the Denver IDEA Cafe and other groups he facilitates are on www.JohnWren.com.

Wren says the name IDEA Cafe and the brainstorming format is taken from a four-step business creativity model he developed for the seminar “Creative Marketing in a Recession” in the late 70s that was featured in AT&Ts Long-Lines Magazine.

IDEA is an acronym for: I= Inspiration or Identify the Problem; D= Develop Alternatives; E= Evaluate the Alternatives; and A= take Action. The meeting is free and open to anyone who is starting a new career, a new campaign or project, or a new business.

Why does Wren do it? “Speakers are people who I want to hear myself, and then we let others listen in. I tell people it’s a learning group and to not come to just network, but of course it is a networking tool for me,” Wren explained. “Dan Brogan, publisher of 5280 Magazine, says that we’ve infused Denver with a spirit of entrepreneurship over the past decade. I hope that is true, for the sake of my grandkids.”


John S. Wren, MBA+ www.JohnWren.com (303)861-1447 is the founder of the Denver IDEA Café. He is a business consultant and adult educator. He attended Cornell College and the University of Denver (BA ’69, MBA ’79) where he was President of the Graduate Student Association. He has also served as President of Colorado College Republicans, the Denver City Club, the Rocky Mountain Direct Marketing Association, and the Denver South Optimists Club. He just finished a two-year term on the Denver Lions Club board. He now serves on the board of Colorado Democrats for Life. In addition to his business consulting, he facilitates the Denver Socrates Cafe http://socratescafe.meetup.com/82, the Denver Startup Forum http://DenverStartupForum.ning.com, the Franklin Circle Denver Open meeting http://meetup.com/Franklin-Circle-Denver-Open and Denver Speakers Corner http://cocacop.meetup.com. He is the father of 4 grown children, and the grandfather of 4.
"A champion is someone who gets up when he can't." Jack (the Manassa Mauler) Dempsey, born in Manassa, Colorado on this date in 1895. World heavyweight champion from 1919 to 1926.

Friday, June 19, 2009

I have a friend who is a business consultant, he says his job is: "Working with business owners to help them make more money in less time, get off the treadmill, and get back to the passion that brought them into business in the first place, so they can use their business to help fulfill their lifetime goals."

This is a great statement of what I try to do with the Franklin Circle groups I help start with entrepreneurs, business owners and CEOs.

Can you join us this afternoon for the new, free Denver Open group? http://meetup.com/Franklin-Circle-Denver-Open

If you'd like to know more about how I can help you start or join a Franklin Circle, contact me: (303)861-1447 or John@JohnWren.com

Life's short, start now!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Breaking the habit of self-criticism can pay big dividends in mental and physical health. "The way you see yourself can be challenged and changed, and it can literally create new neural pathways in your brain," says Dr. Legato. "And as your thinking improves, your immune system improves, your digestion is better, you don't compensate by overeating or drinking, and your anxiety levels go down."

You may find you have mental and emotional energy left over for many other things -- including helping other people feel better about themselves.

Silencing the Voice that Says You're a Fraud. Wall Street Journal, June 16, 2009

I just posted this comment:

Being part of a small, confidential group with a good structure can help boost confidence in a very positive way. Young Ben Franklin started a group with his friends, they met together for over 30 years and played a key part in Franklin's life and the lives of the others in that original group. For more about how to start a similar group with your friends, see http://www.wikihow.com/Start-a-Franklin-Circle-Adult-Self-Directed-Learning-Group

If you'd like to discuss how you can start a Franklin Circle with your friends or to learn how to join one that I'm forming now, join us for lunch tomorrow. For details contact me at John@JohnWren.com or (303)861-1447

Friday, June 12, 2009

Excellent article in Wall Street Journal about SBA bailout program (click here) for small businesses, banks just getting information now according to Myung Oak Kim from Governor's Economic Recovery Team.

I heard Kim at workshop yesterday sponsored by Hewlett-Packard and SCORE that I helped promote.In photo: Michael Nordstrom, Hewlett Packard, and Margaret Shaw, SMA Global with the more than 300 Denver-area small business entrepreneurs that met with SCORE, the federal government’s small business counselor organization, at a free small business workshop in Denver yesterday (June 11) at the Denver Merchandise Mart. Topics covered included: New Colorado Stimulus Package Opportunities; Disaster Planning to Protect Assets; Going Green for Profit; Essential Marketing; and Forbes new America's Most Promising Businesses series.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Would you share your startup experience with people who are starting down a new path as they begin a new career, new campaign, or new business? Each Friday I need 2 or 3 people to share at the Denver IDEA Cafe. If you'd be willing, contact me at John@JohnWren.com or (303)861-1447. Thanks!

There is an interesting column by Gov. Bill Ritter in the Denver Post this morning.
See http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_12548293

This is the comment I just posted on Gov. Ritter's column online:

My Fellow Citizens,

Whether you support Gov. Bill Ritter for re-election (as I do) or you want to change horses, in Colorado you get a chance to make a big difference every two years with our wonderful Colorado Caucus.

I say it's wonderful because it's the best way for the average person like me (and you?) to get elected to local public office. That's why most of the rich and powerful look down their nose at the system. When you have all your ducks in a row, you don't necessarily want a lot of new ducks joining you!

Go to your local caucus in 2010, get involved with your neighbors, and by 2012 you could be running for office yourself, as some are now who attended their caucus Feb 5, 2008.

We had a groundswell of participation in 2008, and that should mean good things for Colorado, if our major political parties are open to the new voices, and our newly engaged citizens follow through.

To learn more (or to announce your candidacy!)attend Denver Speakers Corner. We meet each Sunday, 4 p.m. in Civic Center under the north pavilion on Colfax right across the street from the Denver Post. More info and optional RSVP at http://cocacop.meetup.com/2

"In our system of government, politics needs to be the part-time occupation of every citizen." Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower

John Wren, Co-Founder, Save the Caucus which defeated Amendment 29 in 2002.
This life is short, start now!

Join us for Denver Speakers Corner
Each Sunday, 4 p.m.
Civic Center North Pavilion
Details and Optional RSVP at

Monday, June 08, 2009

"Information wants to be free. Information also wants to be expensive. Information wants to be free because it has become so cheap to distribute, copy and recombine -- too cheap to meter. It wants to be expensive because it can be immeasurably valuable to the recipient. That tension will not go away. It leads to endless, wrenching debate about price, copyright, intellectual property, the moral rightness of casual distribution, because each round of new devices makes the tension worse, not better." Stewart Brand at the first Hackers' Conference
My comment in Ad Age Magazine today:

Just about every college and school district pushes their bricks and mortar with the claim that their school changes lives.

I organize adult self-directed learning groups based on what Ben Franklin and his friends first started back in 1727, what may have been Franklin's greatest invention.

In today's world education is manditory, but schools are optional.

John S. Wren, MBA+
Founder, Franklin Circles
"Life's short, start now!"

Thursday, June 04, 2009

On this date 20 years ago, the Chinese dream of becoming a modern society and choosing their own leaders was crushed.

Friends who have traveled to China recently told me this image or any reference to the uprising can't be found on the Internet there.

Good article in the Wall Street Journal today by their reporter who was there back in 1989 covering the story. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124407361243083255.html
Join us for lunch today? Franklin Circle (click here for info) free information session today, Thursday, June 4, noon to 1:30 p.m., Perkins, 1995 S. Colorado Blvd., Denver. RSVP via return email or just be there, no RSVP required.

Tomorrow, Friday, June 5, 3:45 to 5:15 p.m., 1st Franklin Circle Denver Open Group (click to RSVP) meeting. Panera Bread, 13th & Grant, Denver. $20. Help to start a free Franklin Circle with your friends and/or to join the new Franklin Circle for Franklin Circle leaders of tuition based groups on various topics that is now forming.

Blueprint for Hope (click here for flier) Wednesday, June 17. Wednesday, June 17, from 7:00—8:30 PM, Denver Marriott City Center, 1701 California St, Denver. Free and open to the public, refreshments will be served. Free parking is available at the Qwest Garage across the street from the hotel (entrance on Stout Street) for the first 75 attendees. RSVP by emailing Denver@BlueprintforHope.com

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

There is a free 4 hour seminar for writers at the new Arapahoe
Library on Parker Rd. and Florida, June 7th from 1 to 5 p.m.
See its announcement and details at http://www.meetup.com/Write-around-your-book/

This is a must for anyone wanting to WRITE and get A
BOOK PUBLISHED, and it's FREE! Presented by an author of over
30 published books by over half a dozen publishers and a
publisher of over 180 books! Hope to see you there!
"Poetry is the one place where people can speak their original human mind. It is the outlet for people to say in public what is known in private."

Allen Ginsberg, born on this date in Newark, New Jersey (1926). His poem "Howl" turned America into the 1960s overnight. It begins:

"I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix, angel-headed hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night…"

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Special Denver Startup Forum Small Business Bailout Meeting Thursday, June 11: DSF is supporting HP here in Denver, who is putting on a workshop and free lunch, focused on the bailout and small business, money that’s available for your shovel ready projects. RSVP at http://www.score.org/HP_events.html

New taste of Franklin Circles: I’ve started something new, the Franklin Circle Denver Open Group. We’ll use a modified Franklin Circle format for a meeting each Friday after the Denver IDEA Cafe. Cost is $20, you’ll get enough information at each meeting to start your own Franklin Circle or to know if you might like to join one of the tuition-based groups that are now starting on various topics here in Denver. Join us any Friday starting this week, June 5. More info and RSVP by clicking the meetup.com icon to the left.

New Franklin Circle for Franklin Circle leaders: We’ll have our first meeting Thursday, June 18. The cost is $350/month, which includes help organizing a group focused on the topic of your choice. If you know you want to be in this group, or if you just want more information about it, contact me at John@JohnWren.com or (303)861-1447.