Sunday, July 21, 2013

Will consult for food.

Did you notice the new headline at the very top of this page?

" Want real help now? Call me!"

And the new description of what I do?

"Starting? Want help? 5280 Magazine says I've "infused Denver with an entrepreneurial spirit." Since 1979 I've helped hundreds, there’s a good chance I can help you. or (303)861-1447 I pick up 9:30 to 11 a.m. Monday thru Friday. For more about my unique approach Google "John Wren Daring Mighty Things" and "How to Start a Franklin Circle.” I have a policy to give help to anyone, regardless of ability to pay. Your donation helps me to continue this, click below to donate now:"

Combined with this appeal for financial support that I'm writing to you right now, this feels a bit like I'm holding up a sign by the side of the road that says, "Will consult for food."  That's why I've put off asking you for money for as long as possible.

But I can't put this off for any longer. Today I really do need your help. Please hire me to help you, or donate so I can continue to help those who cannot pay. Here's why:

For the last 20 years as an avocation and full time for the last couple of years, I've seen my mission being to strengthen the grassroots, the common person who wants to start in a new direction, and I've done that primarily through groups I've formed and facilitated and that I've hoped would start to grow virally, with those I've helped then helping others in a similar way, which has not happened. 

My return to an emphasis on consulting and the appeal for donations to me personally on this page does not mean that I'm giving up on my project to help to common person and encouraging and helping  local chambers offer startup workshops and peer advisory groups similar to those I've held here in Denver for nearly 20 years. For more about the Small Business Chamber and the free help we now offer see or   

But writing this appeal to you now does mean I can't continue this work without your help, and I need your financial help now. 

As discussed by me here on this page and elsewhere for years, there is a lot of bad information about startup. The worst comes from your tax-funded Small Business Administration and it's many offshoots. A close second is nearly all academic programs. They preach a command/control approach to startup, with careful market research and formal planning, that is just not the way new businesses that become successful really get started. If they did, we'd have a planned economy and not the market economy that has served us so well since 1776.

This has been well documented by the research of Amar Bhide and is the foundational assumption of the recent, outstanding, and little known book that has been almost totally ignored by the media, the SBA, and achademia  "Just Start"  

The groups I've facilitated over the past couple of decades, what I now call IDEA Cafe Startup Workshops ( and Franklin Circle Peer Advisory Groups, provide real help from real people Over the last couple of years Ive experimented in ways to attract volunteer leaders for these self-help groups. We've not charged because those who we most want to help won't attend if there is even a small charge. 

One of the problems I've had is that the message of the SBA is so pervasive and so powerful that it's hard to attract seminar leaders as volunteers who will stick with our alternative message. I want to experiment with hiring and training certified leaders. 

But I'm out of personal resources to keep moving forward with this. Thus this appeal for your donation to me now. It would be dishonest to pretend that money given right now will do anything other than help keep me in my home office. That's why I'm making this appeal to you for help from my personal page you are reading now and not on the Small Business Chamber website. That will come later (see below.)

 I'll be transparent with everyone about what's donated, to those who donate $100 or more with a monthly email, with those who donate $1000 or more with a monthly luncheon (which will also include key Small Business Chamber volunteers) here in Denver, and the meeting will be open to the media and reported here for everyone. 

Over the next months this monthly meeting for donors will also function as an informal advisory committee for the Small Business Chamber of Commerce as it becomes a real organization, forming a board of directors, hiring and training staff, setting policies, and undertaking fundraising for the organization. 

I'll set a date for our first monthly meeting soon, to be sure we take into consideration your calendar, please donate $1000 or more today. If that's too much, I certainly understand, donate what you can now, and it will be very much appreciated. Your donation here now will be recognized here on and in the program for the monthly meeting unless you prefer it to remain anonymous. 

I believe this work over the last couple of decades to strengthen the grassroots in business and politics has been inspired by God, that it is important, and that no one else is doing it.

If so, this cannot fail. One thing for sure, I will not quit. 

But if I don't get your help now, I will be doing it in much more difficult circumstances. Anything you can give right now would be very much appreciated. Thank you! 

Call me if you have any questions about any of this. 


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Your comment or question here is very welcome! Or to keep it confidential email me at After you post or send it is very helpful if you then call me at (303)861-1447 to make sure I take a look at your comment here or your email. Thanks!