The entrepreneurial journey provides a wonderful gateway for
Connecting Now With Later. Some will attend because they are
wanting to grow their business. Others will attend because
they are in a reinvention mode. Still others may be doing
quite well, but they want to encourage others who need help.
Character development, personal accountability, flexibility,
core values, ethics, perseverance and a sense of humor are
some of the topics that emerge as important concepts to be
I will also
have an interactive component so that leaders around the world
can share what’s working and what’s not working in their
church-related entrepreneur clubs.)
Facilitators: Understanding the individual expectations of
each participant will help group facilitators design an
atmosphere that meets everyone’s needs. Some will attend
because they want to grow their business. Others will attend
because they are in a reinvention mode. Still others may be
doing quite well, but they want to encourage others who need
help. Engaging everyone will be the challenge. When forming
the group ask each participant express his or her expectations
for being part of such a group. Takes notes. Common business
sense, creative marketing and branding ideas/implementation,
balancing home life with busy schedules, character
development, personal accountability, flexibility, core
values, ethics, perseverance and a sense of humor are some of
the topics that may emerge as important concepts to be
considered by all.
yourself as a coach. Facilitation is an art – designed to
develop a group dialogue, with the facilitator stepping
forward if the conversation is getting off-track or needs
to go to a deeper level.
open-ended questions that foster more than “yes” or “no”
responses. The “5 Ws and an H” kinds of questions (Who,
What, Where, When, Why, and How) will help enhance the
clarity of issues at hand and will help to draw the
maximum number of people in to any discussion.
ice-breakers at the beginning of some meetings. Example:
“Two Truths and an Exaggeration” – Each person in the
group shares two real events that happened in his or her
life, along with one fanciful story. Here’s an example:
“Number 1: I once met the actor, Robert DeNiro, at a ski
resort in Utah and we rode up the ski lift together.
Number 2: When I was 19 years of age I traveled on a
sailboat from Los Angeles to
Samoa with my father, my
mother and my older brother. Number 3: I ran in the Boston
marathon when I was 29 years of age and was in the top 100
finishers.” The group then determines which one of the
three stories is not true about the person. This is an
engaging way for people to get to know each other, having
a bit of fun while doing so.
Another ice-breaker: The "Ah" and "Um" Game -- Give an
overview of your business for, let's say 60 seconds
without saying "ah" or "um." It's very hard for, ah, most
people, um, to do. Someone with a stopwatch can make sure
that everyone keeps to their time limit, so that the game
doesn't drag into a long time-waster. Small prizes (pen,
candy, etc.) can be given to those who manage to give the
overview of their business without "ahing" or "umming."
You can also add the word "like" into the mix, especially
if the entrepreneur club is made up primarily of next
groups have at least one person who loves to talk and who
is adept at highjacking the evening by introducing topics
that have nothing to do with the subject matter of the
evening (“it’s all about irrelevant topics”). There are
also some hyper-needy individuals who are like bottomless
pits, pulling everyone’s focus in his or her direction
(“it’s all about me”). Be aware of these types of
personalities and develop a strategy for keeping the
meeting moving in a productive direction, without
stripping anyone of his or her dignity or self respect in
Respect the schedules of busy professionals by always
starting the meetings on time and ending on time. If
people want to hang around afterwards, that’s wonderful,
but at least the ending time is honored for those who need
to get back home.
Chairs in a circle may work the best until the meeting
gets too large.
might be good each week to have someone communicate for
3-5 minutes on, “The wisdom lesson(s) God has taught me
through my business this past month/year.” The individual
then gets to pick the next person to share on the same
topic the following week.
may get the sense that at the end of a particular meeting
that you have only covered a fraction of the designated
material. Feel free to continue with the same material the
Because one’s business is the extension of the person you
may be amazed, at times, by the emotional pain some are
experiencing in their personal lives. Marriages and family
relationships can get out of balance as entrepreneurs are
struggling to build their businesses. And sometimes an
entrepreneur has invested so much emotional and financial
capital that it is hard to hear the gut-level truth about
his or her failing business enterprise. Be conscious of
the reality that the emc2
not designed to do “group therapy.” Embrace your
limitations. You can be a good listener and may even offer
some practical advice one-on-one after the main meeting is
over. But deep-rooted therapeutic issues may be best
handled by a trained Christian counselor. Have a short
referral list of pre-qualified (by you) counselors, who
understand the unique struggles of entrepreneurs, handy
for such situations.
Many entrepreneurs tend to be fast-paced, quick-thinking
people who do not have the time to waste attending another
boring, irrelevant meeting. Some have very short
attention-spans. Keep current with the issues at hand and
occasionally ask your members to communicate how things
can improve, so that your entrepreneur club is time well
spent for everyone.
any ideas that work for your group
here and we will publish them on the open forum
website so that other groups around the world
can benefit from your experiences.
a month you may want to turn your emc2
meeting into a special event with a local entrepreneur
coming to share his or her story, along with wisdom
lessons learned over the years. You can include an open
forum with audience members asking questions and sharing
ideas. This may turn out to be a favorite event. Emc2
members can invite
others to attend that meeting to get a flavor of what your
group is doing.
Looking for a great project for your
entrepreneur club? Consider becoming the catalyst for
developing your local issue of everyday matters® magazine.
Doing projects sometimes brings people together like
nothing else can. Check out the executive summary on the
website and then request the more comprehensive document
to be emailed to you -- YourLOCALmag.com
What a Typical Meeting
Might Look Like (should run like clockwork -- 90-100
Here’s a meeting agenda that
may work for your Entrepreneur Club [90 -100 minutes total for
i. Start on time with prayer. [3 minutes]
ii. Personal “laser-introductions” of all the participants
(e.g. name, what business you are building, number of years in
business, and what brought you to this meeting today.) [60 –
90 seconds for each person, depending upon the number of
people in the group.]
iii. Have someone communicate on “The wisdom lesson(s) God has
taught me through my business this past month/year.” That
person then selects the person who will share next week. [3-5
iv. Read the chapter of the book out loud together. This can
be accomplished by one person or by having different people
reading one paragraph until it is finished. (Be sensitive to
the reality that some in attendance may deal with dyslexia or
are challenged by reading in public. Make sure that there is
an honorable way for people to bow out of reading in public.)
[10 minutes. If it is a longer chapter, you may want to plan
to read only the portion of the chapter you will be covering
during that meeting.]
v. Break up into small groups by having everyone count
“1,2,3,1,2,3,1,2,3” until all have an assigned number. Each of
the three groups go to separate parts of the room or another
room to discuss the questions of the workbook. Each group
appoints a leader whose job it is to make sure that the group
keeps on schedule and then to report back to the whole group.
vi. After the separate discussions, each group comes back to
the main room and a designated person from each group
expresses a summary of the feedback from his or her group. [15
minutes...5 minutes for each group]
vii. Problems, Questions and Solutions: A few people can share
a brief overview of current challenges they are experiencing
in their particular businesses. The rest of the group weighs
in, sharing wisdom lessons they have learned in similar
situations. The Club leader must use excellent facilitation
skills to make sure that time spent on each problem and
solutions is maximized. If it is a complicated personal issue,
either the facilitator or a volunteer from the group can
arrange to talk with the individual after the meeting or on
the phone the next day. [Depends on how much time is left. If
the time is gone, you can state that you and a few others
seasoned entrepreneurs are available to talk afterwards.]
viii. Close on time with prayer – cookies, coffee and soda
provide an opportunity for some to hang around for a while and
talk if they want. [until you get too tired and want to kick
everyone out of the place]
Groups function best with questions that help them observe,
interpret, and apply what they find in the Bible text. The
questions should be forthright enough to allow each person to
take a turn as moderator, moving the group paragraph by
paragraph through a chapter. The material must not assume that
everyone understands Christian jargon or can easily comprehend
a religious mind-track.
the discussion to the chapter being studied. This keeps the
newcomers at equal advantage. As the weeks go by, of course,
everyone’s scope of knowledge enlarges, and the group is able
to refer back to chapters previously studied.
everyone to be responsible for keeping the group focused on
the topic being discussed. The facilitator’s job is greatly
eased if others in the group help by saying, “We’ve gotten
onto a wonderful tangent. Let’s get back to the chapter.”
These suggested guidelines keep a group focused:
Rules for the Group: Early in the formation of an emc2
group, each may want to set up their own purpose
statement and a set of ground rules that everyone accepts.
Below are some suggestions, which can be built upon:
Everything discussed within the meetings is absolutely
confidential. Because small businesses are the direct
extension of individuals, personal matters may be brought
forward to the group. If there is to be the expectation of
honesty, there must be a pledge of absolute confidentiality
among the members of the group. Trust, emotional safety and
mutual respect are the foundational building block.
- No one
will use put-downs or personal attacks.
others as you want to be treated.
has given each person has two ears and one mouth. Listen
carefully before speaking.
The meetings are for networking, but using the
meetings to recruit others into a network marketing or
direct sell-type business is discouraged. I have
genuine respect for these business models, but sometimes new
and excited MLMers can turn off their friends and can appear
pushy -- as though they are viewing their friends as
potential members of their downline. Chill. Keep it genuine
Hidden agendas can hinder honest relationships.
- The emc2 meetings are designed to be an emotionally safe place for people to
sometimes share what others may perceive as an off-the-wall
entrepreneurial idea. Judgments are not to be a part of
these meetings. Treat others the way you want to be treated.
Meetings will start on time and will end on time.
Participants are encouraged to talk afterwards, if they want
the first meeting:
Read or re-read
the book, "If Nobody Loves You, Create the Demand."
a signed copy at
WorkHardWorkSmart.com, if you do not have it
already. Also, order a copy of the workbook (due out in
March/April, 2009). The workbook connects the contents of the
book to the Bible, with a spiritual application...along with
excellent nitty, gritty information for becoming successful in
business. And my hope is that everyone attending the emc2
meetings on a regular basis will become wildly successful on
book/workbook combination should give you at least 6 months of
material for your emc2
group...perhaps more. Some weeks are so content rich that you
may discover that you will need an extra meeting or two to
cover the material. Feel free to add any material you think
helps increase everyone's knowledge. if it works, please
communicate to us so that we can add it to our open forum
exchange of ideas.
You also will
want to take the Personality Profile (photo album) at
MyGreatPersonality.com. You can also order The
Freeman Institute workbook on the same website, which will
give everyone an overview of how someone's personality impacts
their entrepreneurial success.
do the first meeting (especially if you are just starting
This is a very
important meeting. Most of the time can be spent getting to
know each other. If the group is small enough (under 12),
perhaps every person can share the story of his or her
entrepreneurial journey briefly with the rest of the group.
Plus in this meeting it might be a good time to establish the
expectations. Using a flip chart, write down the hopes, the
fears and the expectations of the group interested in
developing an emc2
Here are some questions you may want to ask:
i. What do you hope to receive by attending these meetings?
ii. What do you hope to give to others by attending these
iii. What would cause you to either stop attending or to hang
back, not wanting to participate.
iv. Tell us of your past experiences with groups (the bad and
v. What are some of the elements that help groups like this
remain relevant and a wise expenditure of everyone's time and
how can we utilize those elements in these meetings?
In anticipation of the following meeting, you will want to
encourage everyone to take the Personality Profile (photo
MyGreatPersonality.com. They can also order The
Freeman Institute workbook on the same website, which will
give everyone an overview of how their personality impacts
their entrepreneurial success. If someone attends the next
meeting without taking the Personality Profile, they will
probably feel left out of the discussion.
~ U P D A T E S T O T H
E W O R K B O O K ~
To the Facilitator: Below are updates and additional
discussion questions. I have listed the changes and updates
under the section indicated.
BEFORE the First Meeting ------------------
i. Develop a core group
of a few people. Meet several times with them for prayer and
strategy. These are the people who will help to make this
group a success. It is during these initial meetings that you
will create the name for your group. Feel free to use the
concept in your name. For instance, if your church is Maple
Community Church, you may choose to call your group: Maple
Use your collective imagination. If your group is going to be
more of an outreach to the community, feel free to develop
something that resonates with your mission statement.
ii. Come up with a
collective list of all of the hopes and concerns. Use the
items on that list for group discussion.
iii. Develop vision
and mission statements for the group, with input from the the
rest of the people you have brought together. This is
what you are all about as a group, which is
important for the leadership to cobble together.
* (In one of the first regular meetings you will want to
develop a collective understanding as to how
you will function -- your core values and a set of operating
principles, which is important for the entire group to cobble
iv. Develop a website,
which will help you determine exactly what you want the group
to look like and then
publish the website.
v. Now you are ready
to publicize your emc2
group to the rest of the
congregation and surrounding community.