Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Please forward, OK? Thanks!

Wednesday Report

Vol I, No. 1 August 12, 2009
Today is the 5th birthday of Denver Socrates Cafe.

This is the first of what I intend to be weekly reports about my work to help strengthen the grassroots, the voice of the common person in business and politics. Your feedback is much appreciated with your comments here if you have something nice to say, or your email to me at if you have a criticism :).

1) Did you see the advertisement for Denver IDEA Cafe in today's Denver Daily News, page 19? Pick up a copy of the paper, give it to any of your friends who are starting a new career, new project or campaign, or new business, OK?

2) A report back to you about how my fund-raising campaign is going--
A couple of weeks ago I sent this email to a few hundred friends:

Thursday, July 30

Dear Friend,

Quick note as I leave for Franklin Circle Denver South Open:

1. Franklin Circles: Can you join us today? No need to RSVP, just be there!
Perkins, 1995 S. Colorado Blvd.

Or meet with us tomorrow, 3:45 p.m. Panera Bread, 13th & Grant.

More info and RSVP "no" to get future invitations at:

2. IDEA Cafe: Did you notice the meeting announcement for tomorrow's meeting
in the Denver Business Journal? Also on p. 16 of today's (Thursday)
Denver Daily News. Should be a great meeting, hope you can join us!
More info and RSVP at

3. Would you help me help you? I'm going to start distributing this at each meeting:

OPTIONAL: Enclosed is $_____ to help cover John Wren’s time and out of pocket expenses helping people start. Do you want a receipt? ( )Yes, send me a receipt ( )No

Make checks payable to: John S. Wren, MBA

I've been doing these groups for over 10 years, doing it pretty much full time for the last two years.

Now I must start raising money to support the work I'm doing. If you could make a contribution now,it would be greatly appreciated. Send it to: John Wren, 960 Grant St. #727, Denver, CO 80203

I may form a 501C3 at a later time, for now your donation would be a personal gift to me. Thanks!

If I don't get contributions, I'll take that as a sign Denver really doesn't want what I've been providing,sort of like the Boy Scout helping the little old lady across the street that doesn't want to go! So I also am looking for consulting work that compliments what I'm doing with the groups to help people start their new careers, campaigns, and businesses. How may I help you?


John S. Wren, MBA+
Life's short, start now!

As a result of the email I got one contribution a couple of days later for $100 (thanks Julie!) and the questionaire at the meeting that week resulted in a few contributions of $20, a couple of $5, and a couple of $2. (Thanks Phil, Andy, Jeff, Drew, Dave, and the rest!)

I got very encouraging feedback, no one said I should just get a "real job" as I sometime hear from close relatives.

This email from David was very encouraging and right on target with his advice for me:

> Hi John:
> We've never met, but I get your emails, and always enjoy hearing about
> what you are doing, and how you are helping business owners succeed.
> I understand that you are a really generous guy who gives a great deal
> of time to bettering the community.
> In the vein of service, here's some free advice. I'm a marketing guy
> and would like to comment on your request for funds. I didn't find
> your approach very compelling at all and would be very surprised if
> this approach yields donations. My gut feeling is, you need a very
> different approach. In regards to consulting - you need to
> communicate SPECIFICALLY how you can help companies as a consultant.
> Ultimately if you are doing a bunch of networking, and spending your
> time helping other people for free, but are having a tough time paying
> the bills, maybe you should re-examine your business model?
> I know a guy just like you, a smart man with a passion for helping
> others. He wound up working for the SBDC in Denver and is extremely
> happy with his life. My point: there's a lot of need for guys like
> you. Take a different approach to raising funds and keep on going!
> Best of Luck
> David

Good suggestions, David, thanks. That's what I'm going to do, take a different approach to raising funds.

What I say at the weekly IDEA Cafe meetings to people who are thinking about starting a business is that in our market based economy, the market renders the final decision. So we'll see...

3) Here's my new approach, what do you think?


As a result of my business education and experience, here are my strengths, what I have to sell; I am good at:

1) Sales, especially on the telephone.
2) Getting favorable publicity for events, campaigns and people.
3) Connecting people who can help each other.
4) Adult training and education.
5) Understanding a business situation and creating a plan for growth.

The benefits of working with me as you start your new career, new project or campaign, or your new business? Start faster, for less money, and it's my belief that you increase your chances for success.

If you'd like me to help you or someone you know start or grow a business, give me a call and let's brainstorm ways I might be helpful to you.

Would you be able to have lunch tomorrow to discuss face-to-face your situation and how I might be able to help you?

Call right now (11 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time) and I should pick up right away. If you get my voice mail leave a complete message and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. Call now (303)861-1447.

If you know people who might benefit from my help, please forward a link to this web page along, OK? They will thank you, and so will I if you'll let me know what you've done.


4) So what do you think of my new approach? My intention is to find enough consulting work to allow me to continue the work I do with the open meetings that are intended to build community and strengthen the grassroots:

Denver IDEA Cafe Startup Workshop, Fridays from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

Franklin Circle Denver Open Meeting, Fridays at 3:45 p.m. right after the IDEA Cafe

Denver Socrates Cafe, Thursdays, 7 p.m., and a group being planned for Monday a.m.

Denver Speakers Corner, Sundays, 4 p.m., Civic Center,

Denver Startup Forum, community of practice for entrepreneurs and their advisors.

If I may be of service to you, please call me now at (303)861-1447.

Or if you don't need help right now yourself, but you'd like to help me pay my rent and other bills so I'm here when you do need me, your personal contribution would be gratefully accepted. Send it to: John Wren, 960 Grant St. #727, Denver, CO 80203.

I'll report to you back here next week with the results of this new approach.

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