Saturday, December 24, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

I always enjoy getting Christmas letters from friends. So I decided to try one myself this year. I’ve asked my four adult children to each write their own recap, which you’ll see below. Mine first:

It has been a busy year. I’ve co-founded an online Colorado Almanac and Small Business Directory with Robert Schwab and Scott Rogers. Robert was a business writer for the Denver Post before serving as editor for ColoradoBiz Magazine for 7 years. Scott has an incredible background as a digital engineer, developing an Internet presence for some of the top media outlets in the country. We launch in January, to get a peek at the beta test version, see http://pioneerhq.com/

I’ve started the Small Business Chamber of Commerce, Inc. to serve as the umbrella for the IDEA Café Startup Workshops and Franklin Circle Peer Advisory Groups I’ve been organizing since 1994 and 1996. The idea of the new Small Business Chamber is to cooperate with local chambers across Colorado and beyond to help them start similar groups. For more see http://www.smallbizchamber.org/

One of my motivations for forming the new Small Business Chamber is to encourage local chambers to do more to motivate their members to participate in the 2012 Colorado Caucus, what I believe is the best chance for the common person to serve in elected public office. Our wonderful Colorado caucus-assembly system for nominating to the primary ballot has been a pet project of mine since 2002 since a few of us formed Save the Caucus to fight Amendment 29 which would have killed the system. We were outspent 1400 to 1, but beat it 60% to 40%. For more see  http://www.cocaucus.org/

Do you enjoy a good discussion? Since the Friday after 9/11 I’ve been helping to lead discussion groups here in Colorado. Inspired by Chris Phillips book called Socrates Café (his new book is Constitution Café, he thanks me in the acknowledgements) and I’ve now formed a group to help people who are thinking of starting a similar group, see http://meetup.com/Socrates-Cafe-Beginners

I’m enjoying being a member of St. Ignatius of Loyola parish where I serve as one of the Eucharistic Ministers, and a couple of weeks ago I helped for the first time with a weekend retreat for homeless men put on by the Ignatian Spirituality Project. http://www.ignatianspiritualityproject.org/

My mother Jane Wren celebrated her 86th birthday in July. She has had some health struggles, and although she now needs some help each day she is still living at home, an inspiration for us all. Her support and encouragement are very much appreciated by me and my brothers Jay (who has gone back into business for himself) and Randy (who turned 60 this year.)

I want to share something about my wonderful “kids” with you in this letter. It seems best that you hear directly from them, so I sent them this email yesterday:

Roads just too bad to get together for lunch as we planned. Instead, would you each take a few minutes to write me a Christmas letter about your last year that I can include in my letter to my friends? Let's do it this once, if we like it we'll make it an annual tradition, OK?

Here are their emails they sent back to me to share with you:

Regan Jane Wren Hall, Aurora, CO (Married to Tim, mother of Joshua and Monica.)

Merry Christmas!

    2011 has been a blessing and a challenge for us.  Tim is now the owner of Mile High Technical sales.  He is enjoying working for himself, but launching a business has its challenges- especially in the area of time.  There never seems to be enough to get it all done!  All in all he is doing well and we are excited to see his business grow in the future.
  
     Josh is 12 and in the 7th grade.  He is a very kind young man and we are very proud of him.  Like many 7th graders, he does alright in school- but school work isn't his favorite. He does enjoy his social group and his many hobbies at home.  He is a great artist and enjoys magic tricks and "poi" along with riding his skate board and bike. 
   
    Monica is 6 and is in kinder garden. She is our family cheerleader and has never met a stranger- everyone she meets is her friend.  She loves school and riding the bus, which she has named Gus.    She is the drama queen of the family and loves to sing and dance.  Anything princess sends her over the moon and a recent favorite (after seeing the new Muppet Movie) is Miss Piggy. 
   
    I am taking classes at our local community college for a degree in Social Work.  I took the fall semester off for a much needed breather, but  I'm excited to get back to class in January.   Along with school I volunteer with a program in our church called Celebrate Recovery.  It has been very instrumental in my own healing and I enjoy giving back to others who attend the program. 

Have a beautiful Holiday Season- Regan (Wren) Hall


Brook Elizabeth Wren Sisan, Houston, TX  (Married to Ned, mother of Tyler and Jeffrey)

I love when people send out Christmas cards with what they have been up to for hte past year... and I always think... I should do that!  But, then I never find the time... or the writing skills to pull it off.  :( 

Tyler and Jeffrey turned three in March.  They started pre-school three days a week and are loving it and so is mom!  They had their first onstage performance this December singing Jingle Bells in the school performance.  Mom and dad were so proud!  Ned is busy with the buildings and an addition of a new fixer-upper house has kept him very busy lately.  He's a great coach with the boys and they have fun playing tackle football, hockey, baseball... and anything else they can manage to fit in at the end of the day.  Brooke turned the big 40 this year and had a big Mexican Fiesta to start of the new decade right!  We are all enjoying the wonderful snow that Colorado has giving us for a Christmas gift!

John Thomas Wren, Englewood, CO

Despite countless options, John Thomas remains single.  His Dr. has recommended high levels of stress, anger, and frustration, so he is currently employed as a Bar Manager at Fox and Hound in Littleton. When not repeatedly banging his head into a wall at work, JT finds his peace on the golf course. (This explains his horrible demeanor during the snowy season).  He is thankful this year for his amazing friends, terrific family, and the chance to celebrate Christmas with his family.

Allie Eliza Wren, Houston, TX

I've had a rough year but in it I'm sure I've gained some strength. And who doesn't have rough year sometimes? Coming out of it though, I work at a little community library in Houston and have even made a couple of friends:) I thank god for the grace and for my family and friends who have really helped me pull through. Besides my mom and sister and her family I am not fond of Houston. Luckily though I Have lived in some great places. Colorado for one, and Spain and Mexico, and New Mexico and Washington State. So I can't complain. I've read some great books this year, "Little, Big" the "Wicked" Series, "Cutting for Stone", stuff by David Sedaris and Augastine Burrows, Neil Gaiman, "Toughest Indian in the World" and a bunch that I've already forgotten. As far as movies go I saw "Hugo" with my nephew Josh, which was really neat. I have learned to knit and do a little bead work. I also taught Tyler and Jeffrey, Brooke's boys, the word 'weird' and I've enjoyed hearing the uses they come up with for it. I also started going to a Quaker church. In the coming year I'll work for NAMI a little bit and continue with my library job. And I may get a dog. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Liza Wren

Thanks “kids”. How many would do this for their old dad? I’m blessed to have each of you in my life.

I’ve decided to post this on my website JohnWren.com, which I’m trying to make more and more into just a personal journal, transitioning it from the role it has played in my business and political activities since 1994 or so. Next year will we all have scrapped everything else and just be on Facebook? Or will Facebook be replaced by something else in the next 12 years? We’ll see what Santa brings us all in 2012.

For now, I’m grateful for my life, my family, the work I’ve been given, and for you my friend. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. God bless us all!

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Leo Tolstoy's book Anna Karenina, begins: Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

This is obviously true, and it's the reason that the families shown on TV, in movies and on the stage are unhappy; to write about a happy family is boring.


What occurred to me this week is that just the opposite is true for business starups:  Unsuccessful startups are all alike; every successful startup is successful in it's own way.

One advocate of this is Wayne Rogers, who played Trapper John in the TV series M*A*S*H. A Princeton graduate and now successful business man, he writes in his new book Make Your Own Rules: "The entrepreneurial businessman (as opposed to the corporate businessman) must engage in a creative process, rather than an administrative process. The requirements for this are questioning the constraints of the system instead of blindly obeying them, not being restrained by the straightjacket of conventional experience, and thinking outside the box. The creative process as applied to business must be unencoumbered, and you should approach it by asking not only 'why?' but also, and more important, 'why not?' This leads to solutions that are not obvious or burdened by policy, tradition, and corporate regulation."






Friday, November 25, 2011

A friend of mine told me he'd just seen the new movie Melencolia. I asked him if he'd enjoyed it. He said it wasn't exactly that he'd enjoyed it, but that he was glad that he'd seen it. After seeing it myself yesterday with my brother Randy, I understand what he meant.

Life as we know it is constantly changing. I've been watching the PBS series on Nova about physics. String theory seems to keep coming up in discussions as a justification of one thing or another. Helps me to understand it is really just a philosophy, no real evidence for it.

Thanksgiving at Azura yesterday with my brother, son, and mother who is there for now was an experience. Mom didn't feel well enough to eat, so it was just the three of us for the meal.

If you're looking for a boost after the holiday, join us this afternoon for the Denver IDEA Cafe Startup Workshops. We have great speakers today and for the next couple of weeks.  This is not intended to be an every week thing for anyone, just a boost when starting in a new direction.

Socrates Cafe Beginners Group at 4 p.m. each Friday after the Denver IDEA Cafe, same place, Panera Bread, 13th & Grant here in Denver. We pick a topic, whoever suggested the topic speaks to it, then two others are chosen by lot to speak for 3 minutes. Then we take turns asking each other questions before everyone making a brief final comment about the topic. It's a lot of fun if you enjoy a good discussion.

I'm experimenting with this blog. More and more all business posts will be on http://www.SmallBizChamber.org

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

 In church bulletin: "Don't let worry kill you - let the church help."

I’m going to be on Corky Kyle’s radio show (click here to listen online) again this afternoon (Tuesday, Nov 22, 4 to 5 p.m.) please call with your questions or comments about grassroots politics or business.

We still need a few more beta testers for our new PioneerHQ.com (click here), our new Colorado Almanac and Small Business Directory. Our intention is help strengthen the small business community in Colorado, we plan on a formal kick-off in December, list your business or organization now to benefit from the publicity we expect and for the opportunity to make money sharing it with your online friends.

Your Small Business Chamber of Commerce http://www.SmallBizChamber.org (click here) is cooperating with local chambers of commerce across Colorado and beyond to encourage the formation of and participation in IDEA Café Startup Workshops and Franklin Circle Peer Advisory Groups.

Two ways to charge your battery Black Friday (Nov 25), to get a good start on your post-Thanksgiving finish for 2011: 2 p.m. Denver IDEA Café Startup Workshop (click here)--we share startup experience and brainstorm; 4 p.m. Socrates Café Beginners Group (click here)--we pick a topic, share our thoughts, and take turns asking each other questions. Both at Panera Bread, 13th & Grant here in Denver near the Capitol, join us for either or both.

The first time you quit, it's hard. The second time, it gets easier. The third time, you don't even have to think about it. -Paul "Bear" Bryant, football coach.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Great write up about our speaker tomorrow (Friday, Nov 18) at the Small Business Chamber's Denver IDEA Cafe Startup Workshop in new online journal foucused on startup, see http://tekhne.co/2050/its-hard-out-here-for-a-biomed-entrepreneur/

I've just posted thoughts about entrepreneurship education from Socratic Arts, new Harvard Tech Meetup, idea for entrepreneur or startup poetry, and an upcoming TV show about the psychology behind why  Israel is such  a big source successful innovators, your comments very welcome at http://Facebook.com/Small.Business.Chamber

Would you volunteer to help start a monthly IDEA Cafe Startup Workshop for your local chamber of commerce? Let me know if you'd be interested after you check out http://www.SmallBizChamber.org and attend one of the Friday Denver IDEA Cafe sessions that I personally lead each week.

As you can see, I'm continuing to experiment with this blog, trying to find the most helpful way to communicate with you each week. Your feedback is always appreciated, even if the suggestions don't always lead to immediate change. Thanks for any thoughts you'd care to share here or via email to John@JohnWren.com

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

 For John Edgar Wren, who passed on about this time of the day, the evening of November 15, 1979. This poem is from my sister-in-law Mary's funeral program:



Death Is Nothing At All

Death is nothing at all
I have only slipped away into the next room
I am I and you are you
Whatever we were to each other
That we are still
Call me by my old familiar name
Speak to me in the easy way you always used
Put no difference into your tone
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow
Laugh as we always laughed
At the little jokes we always enjoyed together
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was
Let it be spoken without effort
Without the ghost of a shadow in it
Life means all that it ever meant
It is the same as it ever was
There is absolute unbroken continuity
What is death but a negligible accident?
Why should I be out of mind
Because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you for an interval
Somewhere very near
Just around the corner
All is well.
Nothing is past; nothing is lost
One brief moment and all will be as it was before
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!
Canon Henry Scott-Holland, 1847-1918

We miss you, Pop.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

This worldwide promotion of entrepreneurship is in it's 4th year, it's never really caught on here in Colorado for some reason.

We are holding two special IDEA Cafes to help celebrate, see link on http://www.SmallBizChamber.org 

Please share this with your Denver friends who have had a bump loosing a job or a bright idea, they might find the free meeting helpful.

Monday, November 07, 2011

 This is another test. Do you like this style for my blog? Does what I'm writing about here make you want to come back? Any feedback via email to John@JohnWren.com would be very, very much appreciated.

It was a beautiful day here in Denver yesterday. It was a great day for a Sunday walk around Washington Park's Smith Lake.

The trees are beautiful, the snow storm we had earlier in the week didn't take the leaves off, so as you can see they were beautiful against the clear blue sky.

Another snow storm is expected tonight, but fair weather is expected again by Friday. If you don't like the weather here in Colorado just wait a day or two, unlike Kansas and Iowa where I've also lived. When storms set in there it just stays winter until the spring thaw. Tis a privilege to live in Colorado.

 My 86 year old mother, Martha Jane Wren, was in the hospital. Tutu, as she likes her grand kids to call her, is getting treated for a back problem she's been suffering with, stenosis and scoliosis.

Dr. West, the neurosurgeon she connected with there in the hospital, comes very highly rated. He's treating her with a steroid injection she received today.

Growing older is not for sissies. When my kids were little and they would get a bump I'd say, "it's lucky you are tough. That's sure true for my mom right now.


Too much information? My iPhone makes it easy to "check in" when I go to church, so that's what I've doing, along with a picture like this one.

These posts show up on Facebook. My friend Jane made a comment that made me wonder if this is maybe just a little bit too much about me. What do you think?

Are you and I Facebook friends yet? If not, send me an invitation, OK? My Facebook address is http://Facebook.com/John.S.Wren Do you use Facebook much? I've made it a habit to post there several times a day. Seems to me it helps me remember what happened for the day.
 The new, free Denver Socrates Cafe Beginners Group has gotten off to a good start with two very good sessions. I'm going to chair it another time or two, and then we will start rotating leadership. We pick a topic at the meeting, so no preparation is required. You can participate in the discussion or just listen in. Details and optional RSVP is at http://meetup.com/Socrates-Cafe-Beginners.

Would anyone be interested in starting a similar Socrates Cafe Beginners Group meeting at 5:30 p.m. at Trinity Church on Thursdays, right before the 7 p.m. meeting? I think it would be a good way to attract new members for that meeting, which may already be benefiting from our Friday group.



 I lead the Denver IDEA Cafe Startup Workshop for the Small Business Chamber each Friday. We invite speakers to share their startup experience and we brainstorm.

The hope is that this will be a model group for local chambers across Colorado and beyond to start similar groups.

If we are successful, we will lower the unemployment rate! :)  For more information about what we are doing, see http://www.SmallBizChamber.org. Let me know if you'd be willing to start a meeting once a month in cooperation with your local chamber. We also have a Facebook Page http://Facebook.com/Small.Business.Chamber

Your feedback about this style of blog post would be very much appreciated. Do you like the pictures? What do you think about mixing the personal info with the business stuff? If you like what I've done or if you hate it, your feedback would be very much appreciated. If you say something nice, I may quote you unless you prefer that I don't. Email me at John@JohnWren.com 

If you are thinking about going back to graduate school to study entrepreneurship, the University of Denver would like your opinions about what you'd like in a program. Please take a few minutes and respond to the survey I link to in the poll below in the post I made over the weekend, where you can also see my suggestions for life-long learning:

Sunday, November 06, 2011

 I just got this email from the University of Denver. They are gathering information from alumni and others about a new program on entrepreneurship they are considering:

We want your input on the MS of Entrepreneurship coming to Daniels!

Hello everyone,

On behalf of the management department at Daniels, I am conducting a survey (click here) on the potential of a Master of Science of Entrepreneurship being offered at Daniels starting Winter 2013.

Please take a second to take this super quick survey and help us get this program off the ground!

Every participant has the chance to win a $25 gift card to Starbucks by random drawing!!

Thank you!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

1.  Interesting column in the Denver Post yesterday about the value of a liberal arts education written by the new President of Colorado College (click here) Lots of follow up discussion in the comments, what do you think?

Of course lots of very successful people do very well with little or no formal "higher" education. From Steve Jobs and Bill Gates to Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Andrew Carnegie, many, many successful people have made it without a college degree. But none of them made it without LIFE LONG LEARNING. Today as never before school is optional, but life long learning is mandatory.

2.  One way to get a learning boost when you need it most is to attend an IDEA Cafe Startup Workshop. For details, and more about the interesting speaker who we have with us this week see http://www.SmallBizChamber.org

3.  Would you help us supercharge the Facebook Page for your new, free Small Business Chamber of Commerce? Please "Like" it if you haven't already and right now "Share" it with your friends. And please post links to interesting news and information about startup and small business. Thanks! See http://Facebook.com/Small.Business.Chamber 

4.  Do you want to connect with other Colorado businesses? Another way Robert Schwab, former editor of ColoradoBiz Magazine, Scott Rodgers, who has build websites for some of the leading radion and TV stations, and myself are trying to build the small business community across Colorado is with the new online Colorado Almanac and Small Business Directory, PioneerHQ.com (click here.) Before we officially launch in December, Sharon Russell and Peter Roberts are contacting local chambers across the state to let them know about our plans. Right now you can get a free listing for your business in our directory, click the above link and follow the directions on the site.

5.  If you enjoy good discussion on important topics with a diverse group of interesting people, join us some Friday afternoon for the new Denver Socrates Cafe Beginners Group (click here.)  It's at 4 p.m. right after the Denver IDEA Cafe at Panera Bread, 13th & Grant.

6.  There are a couple of big chamber annual events here in the metro-Denver area this week, with the big snow storm being forecast it will be interesting to see  how well they are attended. Here's an idea for next year: combine efforts!

7.  I'm slowly changing the focus here on JohnWren.com, I'll be posting a letter like this here for you once a week or so, then emailing my many good friends to let them know what I've done and I'll also post a link on Facebook and Twitter. Your feedback is always welcome, especially when it is posted as a comment here on JohnWren.com

Contact me with your email or phone call if I may be of service to you or anyone you know.

This life is short, let's get started!

John

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Chris Daniels will be with us this Friday (Oct 21) at the Small Business Chamber's Denver IDEA Cafe Startup Workshop to share how he started his career in music. Should be very interesting, more at http://www.SmallBizChamber.org Free.


Friday, October 14, 2011

You are invited too.

I just emailed this release to my media list:

PLEASE FORWARD

Note: This release will be distributed at the Occupy Denver camp on Broadway in front of the Colorado Capitol by John Wren at 1 p.m. today (Fri, Oct 14). Occupy Denver participants have also been invited on Twitter @IDEACafe.

 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 14, 2011
Contact: John Wren (303)861-1447
Today Hunter Lovins to share startup experience with Denver IDEA Cafe.
Since 1994, free help for people starting a new career, project, campaign or new business.
DENVER—The Small Business Chamber of Commerce's free Denver IDEA Cafe Startup Workshop meets from 2 to 3:30 p.m. each Friday at Panera Bread, 13th and Grant in Denver. Speakers and brainstorming. For speaker this Friday and more information see
http://www.SmallBizChamber.org or call (303)861-1447.
 
 
Today, Oct 14: Hunter Lovins http://NatCapSolutions.org on "My startup experience."
Oct 21: Chuck Morris, http://AEGLive.com on "How I started my career as a concert promoter."
Oct 28: Social media consultant and entrepreneur John Leavy http://JohnLeavy.com on "How I used social media to start my business of showing others how to do the same thing."
 
The Denver IDEA Cafe has met since 1994 to help people who are starting in a new direction by sharing experience and brainstorming. The new, free Small Business Chamber of Commerce has been formed to help local chambers across Colorado and beyond to form similar groups. 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.
###
 
John S. Wren, MBA+ http://www.JohnWren.com or http://Facebook.com/John.S.Wren is the founder of the new, free Small Business Chamber of Commerce http://www.SmallBizChamber or http://Facebook.com/Small.Business.Chamber Contact Wren at (720)495-4949 or John@JohnWren.com
Beta testers wanted for new Colorado Almanac & Small Business Directory. Get a free directory listing at http://PioneerHQ.com
 
 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Paul Krugman's column in the New York Times today wonders why the rich object to the Occupy Wall Street movement, it seems to be growing here in Denver the Denver Post reports, in light of the 1%'s  recent glorification of the Tea Party.

One big difference could be that the Occupy Wall Street is being orchestrated by the White House. If that turns out to be the case, I expect Pres. Obama will do a Lyndon Johnson and announce that he's decided to follow the advice of his hometown newspaper and not run for reelection.

Still, there is a spirt that the two movements share. Jimmy Carter told Charley Rose on his show recently that the spirit of the Tea Party is what got him elected as President.

Those who just want to just make noise will march with the various Occupy campers and their Tea Party counterparts. Those who want to make a real difference here in Colorado will start connecting with their neighbors getting ready for the 2012 Colorado Caucuses, for more about it and how you can get involved see http://www.COCaucus.org

Also in the Denver Post online this morning, a link to their business calendar which lists the Small Business Chamber of Commerce's Denver IDEA Cafe Startup Workshop. We have some very interesting speakers coming up in the next couple of weeks, hope you'll join us if you are starting in a new direction with your work.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

It's finally turning into fall here in Denver, cold, cloudy morning here now. Before I eat my late Saturday breakfast at Charlie Brown's (they fix great biscuits and gravy, but only on the weekends) here are a few things I wanted to share with you:

Hunter Lovins will be with us at the Denver IDEA Cafe next Friday (Oct 14). Should be a great meeting. Join us yourself if you are headed in a new direction with your work, starting a new career, a new project or campaign, or even starting a new business. And please let your friends know about it who are headed in a new direction, OK? It's free and open to everyone, we just ask that you bring your brain for the brainstorming.

This is the 100th anniversary of our wonderful Colorado Caucuses, the best chance for the common person to get elected to public office. Should be one of the most interesting yet. See why I say that, and get info about how you can participated at my new post on www.COCaucus.org

I'm going to see To Kill a Mocking Bird this afternoon at the DCPA with my daughter Regan. To see the details about the play, and to see what I think of the current problems with the Colorado Symphony, check out my www.DenverWhenWhere.com

A friend told me yesterday that this blog is too scattered, he finds in hard to engage because I cover too many things. What do you think? Was the last minute or so you spent here worth your time?

I'm going to post here briefly each day, only send out an email reminder to you once a week or so. If you want off the email list, just let me know when you next get one.

I hope you have a great weekend!

Friday, October 07, 2011

If Obama knew about the movement that has suddenly grabbed the headlines before it started and encouraged it in any way, it will be his Watergate, and he will be forced out of office eventually.

Occupy Wall Street protests are spreading across the United States. According to NewsMax and Rush Limbaugh, the movement is being encouraged by the Obama campaign.

My friend Robert Schwab sees the good in the movement. "Have at it kids. It's your time." I'm not so sure. Seems to me those who don't have jobs might be better off using their time in other ways, maybe starting a business in a garage, like Apple, HP, Walt Disney, and so many other businesses have been started in the past, documented in a great article I just posted on http://Facebook.com/Small.Business.Chamber

When I left Cornell College my sophomore year in 1967, I wrote a letter to the school paper explaining that one reason was the lack of intellectual freedom on the campus. When I suggested a demonstration to my fraternity on one of the day's hot topics they declined because of the fear of retribution from professors. Told of what had happened, my faculty advisor said, "That's the problem with small schools like this, no one gets pushed off the sidewalk."

My protest took the form of taking a full time job my last two years of college at a different school.

How would the world be different today if Steve Jobs had channeled his energy into political protests in 1976 rather than going to work in the garage where Apple was born?

Anyone who wants to protest by finding a good job fast or starting a new business is invited to join us this afternoon (Fri, Oct 7) or any Friday afternoon for the Small Business Chamber's Denver IDEA Cafe Startup Workshop. It's free and open to everyone, we just ask that you share your startup experience (we've all started something) and that you bring your brain for the brainstorming. For more see the link on the Small Business Chamber's Facebook Page, http://Facebook.com/Small.Business.Chamber

Please share this with your friends who might find a boost helpful at the end of a hard week. I'm going to stop by the Occupy Denver camp out in front of the Colorado Capitol at 1 p.m. to invite them to attend.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

As you can see from the posts below over the last couple of weeks, I’m gradually making this more personal.

My plan is to post here once a week or so things that are interesting to me and that seem worth sharing with you.

Each day I’ll be posting on Facebook, if we aren’t Facebook friends yet and you’d like to stay in touch that way, too, invite me at  http://Facebook.com/John.S.Wren

More and more, my work life is about helping to start new IDEA Café Startup Workshops and Franklin Circle Peer Advisory Groups in cooperation with local chamber of commerce and alumni groups, service clubs, and neighborhood associations.

To facilitate this process, I’ve organized the new Small Business Chamber of Commerce. I’m going to be forming a board of directors in the next few weeks, please let me know if you might be interested in serving. Each week or so I’ll post an update about our work on our website http://www.SmallBizChamber.org and several times a week I post on our Facebook Page http://Facebook.com/Small.Business.Chamber

My other passion is the statewide small business community Robert Schwab, Scott Rodgers and myself are trying to precipitate with our new online Colorado Almanac & Small Business Directory. Our purpose is to encourage startup and small business via local chambers and local community newspapers. We plan on launching this in the next couple of weeks, and we still need beta testers. If you haven’t taken a free listing for your business, please do so right now, while it’s on your mind, at http://PioneerHQ.com

Finally, the First Friday of each month is now an “Alumni” or “Reunion” meeting for our Denver IDEA Café Startup Workshop. Hope you’ll join us tomorrow or any First Friday to share for 2 or 3 minutes about your startup experience. No RSVP is required, walk ins are welcome at Panera Bread, 13th & Grant starting at 2 p.m. For more info see the link on http://Facebook.com/Small.Business.Chamber or http://www.SmallBizChamber.org

How may I be of service to you?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Denver Post editorial this morning asks the question, can the Colorado Symphony make it?  See my comment and link to the editorial on my "test" blog, Denver When & Where at http://www.DenverWhenWhere.com (Have an event you'd like me to announce there and then cover in person? Contact me for the details.)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

2305 S. Jackson Street, Denver, CO
After moving once in Loveland, then to Elm Street here in Denver where my brother Randy was born, and then to Hoffman Heights in Aurora, on Halloween, 1954 we moved into this house that mom and dad had built. I still remember being on one of our Sunday drives and dad going to talk to Mr. Peck on the corner to talk about buying the vacant lot. We lived here until my brother Jay was born, when we moved a couple of block to our Monroe St. home.

A couple of years after moving into the Jackson Street home, Dad built his final warehouse at 6265 E. Evans. The building still exists, but it has been converted to retails stores.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

558 W 5th, Loveland CO
 Labor Day, 1949 my parents, John and Jane Wren, moved into this house from Amarillo, Texas with me.

Mom and I visited the house again yesterday, it's improved considerably over the last 62 years in part because it is now part of an historic district.

It's made me wonder what is the difference between starting a business today and what it was like then, in those pre-Small Business Adminstration days.

Dad had bought a new car right after WWII and "flipped" it, then used the profit to build a new house which they sold to use as capital for the new business they started here in Colorado.

Dad was working for West Texas Wholesale company in Amarillo, selling non-food items to grocery stores in the Panhandle. A visit to my Uncle Jerry and Aunt Lillian had created the thought that they could do the same thing here in Colorado on their own, since Derby Market, a store in Loveland, wasn't stocking toothpaste, Rite dye, and the other items that were carried by West Texas.

I'll be forever grateful dad never had the "help" of a SCORE or SBA councilor. I'm sure they would have told him he was crazy for thinking he could make it on his own.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ever since I was in Psychology 101 and we talked about the impact of large organizations on the individual, I've been passionate about startup and small businesses.

My life and that of my family has been much, much better because my dad took the risk to start a business. Preserving the opportunity to do this same thing for others has been my primary motivation for most of what I've done in my career.

Now I'm putting my efforts under the umberella of the Small Business Chamber of Commerce, Inc. to cooperate with local chambers of commerce across Colorado and possibly beyond to provide IDEA Cafe type startup workshops and Franklin Circle type peer advisory groups to their members.

If you'd like to know more about how I can help you get and IDEA Cafe and/or a Franklin Circle started, please give me a call. If you want to start a Franklin Circle with your friends and neighbors that is free to those who attend, I'll help you for free.

Don Mares is with us at the Small Business Chamber's Denver IDEA Cafe this Friday (Sept 2), for more see http://www.SBCcBlog.com

We are making progress with the new online Colorado Almanac & Small Business Directory http://PioneerHQ.com. Our mission is to help strengthen the small business community in Colorado, again in cooperation with local chambers of commerce, not in competition with them. Take a look, and please take a free listing for your business. (Take a look at our Small Business Chamber of Commerce listing while you are there, we are listed under "Non-Profits.)

A few of us met for the first time to discuss Chris Phillips's book Socrates Cafe and those meetings led to what we now call Denver Socrates Cafe. The original group still meets each Friday at Panera Bread, 13th & Grant, and there is now a 2nd group that meets each Thursday at Trinity Church, 19th & Broadway, both here in Denver. That first meeting was held the Friday after 9/11, so we are coming up on our 10th aniversary. More info and optional RSVP for the Thursday night meeting at http://meetup.com/Denver-Socrates-Cafe

Are you and I Facebook friends? I post something there nearly every day that I think my friends might find interesting. See http://Facebook.com/John.S.Wren and also http://Facebook.com/Small.Business.Chamber.





Monday, August 22, 2011

Want to find a good job fast? Listen to my free podcast (scroll down, on left side of this page, then scroll down to Episode 5) then call me if you want my free help.

Great group of people will be at Denver IDEA Cafe this Friday for our 2nd monthly "Reunion" with previous speakers and attendees encouraged to attend. If you want seat at the brainstorming table, be one of the first to RSVP, or just show up. 2 p.m., Friday (Aug 26), at Panera Bread, 13th & Grant here in Denver. Free, we just ask that you bring your brain for the brainstorming. Please share with any of your friends who might find the meeting helpful. More info and optional RSVP at http://meetup.com/Denver-IDEA-Cafe or call me at (303)861-1447.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

One of the leading business journalists in the country, Robert Schwab, one of the top experts in the country on Internet marketing, Scott Rodgers, and myself are just about to launch a new online publication targeted to Colorado business owners and entrepreneurs.

Our goal is to eventually become the Colorado version of the Texas Almanac (click here.)

Take advantage of the publicity we expect this fall to help get the word out about what you are doing, by taking a free listing for your business. It only takes a few seconds, it will probably be the highest ROI investment of your time! And it will really help us as we get started. Thanks!

See more about what we are doing in these first days of the project and get your free listing, take a look now at PioneerHQ.com (click here.)