Saturday, June 25, 2011

Thanks for the feedback on the "Connect to Win" pamphlet I'm going to start giving away at Small Business Chamber sponsored meetings of our IDEA Cafe Startup Workshop (see draft below.)  I'd post the radically revised draft here again, but it just doen't lend itself to a Facebook post. Let me know if you'd like a copy and I'll snail mail it to you, or just get one from me the next time I see you.

I'm the speaker next Friday at the Denver IDEA Cafe (click here). Hope you'll join us. I'm going to share my own startup experience, with the focus on our new, free Small Business Chamber of Commerce, how it grew out of the IDEA Cafe and Franklin Circles, what we hope to do with it in the future. We're going to be forming a board of directors, let me know of anyone who might be interested. You? :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

June 10, 2011 Draft

THIS IS A TEST. The mission of your new, free Small Business Chamber of Commerce is to strengthen the grassroots in business and politics. The final version of this, perhaps expanded into a book, will become the handbook for your Small Business Chamber of Commerce, Your feedback on this would be very much appreciated. Contact me at (303)861-1447 or Thanks! John

Connect to Win:
How to teach, learn, and serve for fun and profit!
Don’t just network, connect!

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” President Theodore Roosevelt

Since the fall of 1727 when young Ben Franklin first met with a group of friends, Americans have been having a conversation to help us each answer the question: What’s my next step towards the first day on my next new job or with my next new client?

Before we start, we recover. In football recovery is getting back up, players are taught to hit and recover. If we are totally stuck and don’t know where to go for help with some big problem, especially if we have a medical problem and no doctor to call, we call 211, or 911 if it is an emergency. In Denver, help is just a phone call away when we really want to get back on our feet.

Longer term, we get more rest and exercise, eat better, read more, take more time for prayer and meditation, and when needed we take an hour or a day or longer to recharge.

Once on our feet (which might be now for you, or it may take a while), we make four considerations and perhaps write a simple one-page game plan. Then we share our plan to clarify our own thinking as we either A) Share this with a good friend with a suggestion that we help each other; or if we need more help we B) Ask 5 close friends to be supporters and include the elements of a WRAP plan in what we share.

1. Join. None of us can do much in isolation. We each connect and reconnect with institutions that are important to us. We completely commit ourselves to our church, temple, or synagogue and/or our 12-step recovery program. We join or become more active in a service club, chamber of commerce, trade association, or other group that is important to us. We go back to school or become more active in our alumni group. We join or start a peer advisory group or book discussion group. We make amends and restore good relations as best we can with our family. We marry well and/or create a healthy community. “First we make our institutions, and then our institutions make us.” Robert Hutchins

2. Work. We connect with good work that allows us to be good neighbors and citizens. Business owners and managers often recruit an intern, an assistant, or a professional who will create free time. Those who are unemployed or underemployed in a job that makes life all business look for an opportunity to become that assistant or some other good job.

Or we start our own business. Thousands of people have found startup help since 1994 at an IDEA Café Startup Workshop, now sponsored by the new, free Small Business Chamber of Commerce, where free help is also offered to help you start or join a Franklin Circle peer advisory/ self-directed learning group.

3. Participate. As good citizens we connect with our community. We join our neighborhood association, and we run for elected public office or just help other good people get elected. Google the political party of your choice and your ZIP code, make a phone call, and volunteer to help in your neighborhood. Then start a neighborhood Franklin Circle to share what you’ve done and encourage others to do the same. By the next election you’ll be able to make a real difference.

4. Grow. We connect with this great American conversation as life-long learners, adults learn best by being teachers. Many have found our local library to be a great resource for this.

As we grow we build on our strengths. Mickey Mantle didn’t stay at short stop. Some have found it helpful to take the free strength finder quiz on Others just ask a close friend, sponsor, mentor, CPA, attorney, or banker who knows us well for his or her frank assessment. Or we just take an honest look at our self: each evening for a week or more, we make a list of what went well for during that day (at least 3 things), and then analyze why they went well; once recognized, these strengths become our foundation for positive growth.

These words are the result of our shared experience with getting knocked down, stretching back to 1727 and now, we hope, from you, your feedback would be very much appreciated. We are in the process of expanding this into a handbook for the Small Business Chamber, and we are particularly interested in any good result you achieve as you advance towards your American Dream.

"The American Dream is "that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position." The first usage of the term “The American Dream,” in James Truslow Adams’s, The Epic of America, 1931

Secretary for this Small Business Chamber of Commerce Code/Handbook project is John S. Wren, MBA+ “I’m a recovering MBA. Much of what I learned in graduate business school I’ve had to overcome to be truly helpful to people starting in a new direction.” Wren is a Denver resident and long-time community activist, business consultant, and adult educator. He is the founder of the Small Business Chamber of Commerce. For more contact him at, (303)861-1447 or Your comments, suggestions and questions are encouraged.

John says to you: “Since 1727 people have found starting or joining a Franklin Circle helpful, it helped Ben Franklin, maybe it can help you, too. Contact me for more information about the group that is forming here now, sponsored by the new, free Small Business Chamber of Commerce. And please send me your suggestions for making this more helpful to others.”

Motto of the Small Business Chamber of Commerce:
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Is the abortion entrepreneur Warren Hern behind Stephen Singular’s (to the far left, with Bruce Goldberg who moderated today) new book? That’s the impression I got from their joint appearance at the Denver Press Club today, with Hern sitting on the front row of the small gathering, some of whom told me they’d been personally invited by Hern.

I asked both Singular and Hern about the financial arrangements for the book. Both dodged my question. Hern told me that it was a good question, and then  he referred me to his website where he said I’d see all the complicated details that he just didn’t have time to explain. I just looked and can’t find anything about his connection with Singular.

In 1987 Stephen Singular published his first book (“writing it was the best (business?) decision I ever made” he told us today), it was Talked to Death, about Denver talk show host, Alan Berg. On his website Singular says that first book “described how nine, obviously-fanatical neo-Nazis plotted to kill Berg and launch a white power revolution, designed to rid America of minorities.”

Singular has just written this new book because, he continues on his website, ”for the past decade, I’ve wanted to revisit this subject because highly disturbing pieces of the mindset -- the anger, fear, blame, hatred, and absolutist thinking -- of those who assassinated Berg have gradually crept from the fringes of our society into the American mainstream. They’ve become normalized inside major religions, the corporate media, and political leaders at the highest levels of our society.”

Singular’s new book is called The Wichita Divide. It’s about all these problems Singular sees with these major religions, the corporate media, and political leaders, the result, as Singular sees it,  of the neo-Nazis who have taken over the country. He tells this through the dramatic device of the story of the misguided soul that killed Dr. George Tiller, a shooting triggered by the failed efforts of the Kansas Attorney General to stop Tiller from killing unborn babies. Incredibly (how could Singular have the nerve to put out this book with out it?) Dr. Tiller’s widow would not talk with Singular, and Singular was anything but even handed in his handling of this explosive issue that divides so much of America.

This book seems to be all heat and no light on the direct issue of concern to me and I’d guess to most people, abortion. About all Singular had to say about abortion was that a lot of women get in trouble, we should leave it up to medical doctors to decide what to do since they have had the training.

Lots of legislation is on the horizon to protect the unborn, Singular says it’s the result of Tiller’s death. The abortion issue is perhaps the most difficult issue faced by this country since the Civil War. It doesn’t sound like there was anything in this new book that will help resolve it.

In fact, it seems to me that No Labels should throw a yellow flag on this obvious attempt to demonize a legitimate point of view.