Saturday, August 15, 2009

CEO/entrepreneur peer advisory groups are closed, confidential groups whose members act as sounding boards for each other. Here in Denver in 1996 or so I organized one based Ben Franklin's original which he called the Junto, and I've been starting new ones ever since. See Franklin Circles

This is what the American Dream originally meant!

See my comment at bottom of the Denver Post link:

As economic crises compel us to confront debates about taxes, health care and the common good, the enduring hyper-individualist conservatism of the 1980s now chafes against a president with a very different vision. (Producer John Hughes, who died recently) asks us not to obsess over society's differences, but instead to be confident in our own problem-solving talents and to remember that everyone is in this together.

We are, indeed, watching Barack Obama posthumously channel his fellow Chicagoan, Hughes. The president implores us, as "The Breakfast Club" said, to understand that "each one of us is a brain, and an athlete, and a basket case, and a princess, and a criminal" — that is, each one of us, however flawed, is of value.

David Sirota, Denver Post

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

John S Wren | Create Your Badge
John S Wren

Event: Aug 13 Lunch tomorrow? (Click here)
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.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Free help is available each Friday afternoon for people who want to start a new direction with their career, with a new project or campaign, or with a new business.

The Denver IDEA Cafe startup workshop 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 or (303)861-1447.

Upcoming speakers:

This Friday, August 14: Nick Armstrong who has started WTF Marketing specializing in web design, social media and millennial marketing; attorney and author Elizabeth Lewis; and computer service entrepreneur Gary Herron, founder of Angel Pages

August 21: Mark O’Sullivan, creator of Vanilla a free, open source, standards compliant discussion forum for the web; entrepreneur Mary Manka, a retired police officer and creator of Push Ups n Paws , a fitness bootcamp that includes your dog; and Julie Rekart, CPA, who has helped her startup clients take a proactive approach since 2002.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Denver Speakers Corner has been meeting for over a year each Sunday afternoon in Denver Civic Center Park. I just sent this email to our 84 members:


Sunday, August 09, 2009

Dear Denver Speakers Corner Member,

We are getting a lot of people just showing up for Denver Speakers Corner and not becoming a member or posting an RSVP here, which is great in one way:

Denver Speakers Corner seems to be taking on a life of its own.

The question is, should we continue as a group with so many inactive members? We’ll be deciding this over the next 2 or 3 weeks.

Also, we’ll be deciding whether or not to have a rotating chair person for each week who would attend the Denver City Council meeting each Monday evening, give a report about what had been discussed that week at Speakers Corner, and invite those attending to join us the next Sunday.

Keith will be chairing today’s meeting (what do you think about attending the Denver City Council tomorrow, Keith?) The group will follow our new procedure of gathering at 4 pm under the center arch of the north pavilion on Colfax by the fountain and across the street from the Denver Post, then moving to another location in the park.

Please join us at the meeting today, or RSVP “No” and let us know what you think in your RSVP comment:

If you’ve decided Denver Speakers Corner is just not something you are interested in, please cancel your membership. Right now we have 84 members, but many don’t RSVP. If that’s you, and you just don’t want to participate any more, please cancel, OK?

Or if you are supportive of the idea of a free, open forum for metro-Denver’s grassroots,RSVP now yes/no/ or maybe for today’s meeting, and while you are at it, forward a few invitations to your friends who might like to join us, OK?

If you have any questions, please give me a call at (303)861-1447 or email



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