Paul Finck, Life Mastery Coach, recently spoke to the Brookfield Chamber of Commerce at their November 2015 Lunch ‘N Net held at Hacienda Don Manuel’s new location in Brookfield.
His talk was on ’20/20 Vision – Where will our business be in the year 2020 and what we should be looking out for in our business needs going forward. Do we have a business plan in writing for the next 5 years? Do we have a business plan in writing for just the next year? What are our business priorities and are we following through on those priorities.
Paul brings to the table a vast array of skill sets including 30 years in sales, marketing and entrepreneurial experience. He has consulted in a great many industries, including the medical, dental, financial, retail, informational marketing, direct sales and speakers/coaches/trainers.
“Those Who Can, Do…Those Who Can Do MORE, Volunteer”
Those Members of the Brookfield Chamber of Commerce who have donated their time and talent were honored at an Awards Breakfast generously provided by the Village at Brookfield Commons. Giving support to enable the Chamber to pursue its vision of providing Education, Visibility, Connection and Service over 40 Members were noted for their contributions. From Venue Hosts to Board of Directors, Speakers, Newsletter Contributors, Committee Members, it truly takes a core of dedicated members to provide the Brookfield Chamber Experience.
Mistress of Ceremonies, Linda McCaffrey, noted that last year over 62.6 million people in the United States volunteered which accounted for 27% of the total population. This accounted for 7.7 billon hours of service with a value to the economy of $173 billion. She noted that volunteerism among church and educational group are increasing while involvement in civic, political and professional organization are declining thus making the chamber volunteers especially appreciated.
Benefits of volunteering were noted and include personal benefits such as improved health, stress reduction, learning opportunities, increased self esteem, development of empathy, discovering hidden talents, and finding resources. In the community, volunteering saves resources, improves schools, supports families, beautifies the community and supports local initiatives and causes. Volunteering encourages civic responsibility and is an investment in our community and in the people who live in it.
Our 2015 Volunteers represent business professionals as well as school administrators, and government officials. Thank you to Lisa Allaby, Scott Benjamin, Judy Brackenrig, Candee Caldwell, Chase Caldwell, Ellen Cavahlo, Helen Curtin, Jon Dupree, Marie Dupree, David Fernandez, Mark Gerber, Dipak Ghosh, Sharon Gialo, Matthew Gioglio, Michale Goldstein, Susan Hallman, Mark Jewett, Patty Kane, Hal Kurfehs, Marty Landgrebe, Carlos Lara, Joan Locke, Rebecca Lollie, Kevin McCaffrey, Linda McCaffrey, Susan Merlo, Kurt Miller, Marie Miszewski, Jon Monro, Karl Noivadhana, Patty Passarelli, Judith Pennington, Jacqueline Salame, Devon Scanlon, Leigh Schultz, Richard Starkins, Chris Taylor, Lauren Texiera, Melanie Turner, Marcie Tweedy, Linda Wagner, Drew Wagner, Lori Zezza.
Chris is originally from our area but after graduating from the University of Connecticut with a degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology and having been involved with the ROTC in High School and college, he was commissioned as an officer in the US Army. Serving in Bagdad for 14 months he is certainly one of our heroes. He served in an infantry company with specialties in artillery and intelligence. His time in the military taught himself discipline, life skills and that there are no excuses.
While stationed in Nashville, he met his wife of three years, Shannon, who eventually introduced him to the owner of Gryphon Capital Group.
Gryphon is a Nashville based organization but does business in many of the 52 states. All of the wealth managers at Gryphon are ex-military. Their motto is “Guardians of your Wealth.” Gryphon Capital Group, LLC is an independently owned company which gives its advisors the freedom to make the appropriate recommendations and choices for their clients. The model of many traditional financial services firms are focused on selling a product, not educating and helping clients with solutions. Chris and his company put the client’s needs first. He realizes that families still continued to struggle with financial solutions to debt reduction, saving for retirement, selecting adequate life insurance and building an attainable financial plan. He also noted that families and businesses want a relationship with their advisor, that they are not just a number or a name on a long list of clients. Chris provides access to the assistance and education when and where they need it most. His ideal client is “regular people” and also military members.
Chris moved back to Danbury to be near family. He and Shannon enjoy relaxing and a good bottle of wine. Chris plays amateur Rugby at the National Level. His team was recently 5th in the nation. They also have an American Eskimo named Sadie and rag doll cat, Bella. He volunteers his time doing finances for the Walnut Hill Church and is active in the New Milford Rotary.
He believes his strengths include being a true extrovert and being very disciplined. He loves people and learning about their dreams. His key to success is to always keep going, never compromising or taking shortcuts.
Gryphon Capitol Group
At meetings of the Business Before Breakfast of the Brookfield Chamber of Commerce, we always throw out a “Challenge Question”. The Networking Calendar for September and October was handed out and it was 2 full pages of events comprising of the events held by the five local Chambers of Commerce as well as several other events. It raised the obvious question….
“HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHICH GROUPS AND WHICH EVENTS TO ATTEND?”
- Large vs Small– Some attendees make their decision based where they could meet the most number of new people while others preferred smaller groups where they weren’t so overwhelmed and they could form deeper relationships with those in attendance. If bigger groups are your preference remember that referrals do not come from a onetime meeting. Decide who and how many people you want to meet and make arrangements with them for an additional meeting away from the crowd. In either case try to work the room as you never know who someone might know. These decisions are based on CONNECTIONS.
- Business Groups vs.. Interest Groups– If you play on a softball team or in a golf league, if you volunteer at your Church or belong to the Lions Club….these are all networking opportunities. People get to know your CHARACTER through sports or volunteer activities. These people make their decisions based on who and what they enjoy. Make sure you present yourself well and take a Leadership role. In both groups it is about VISABILITY and SERVICE.
- Social vs. Structured Groups– Some just like to unwind with likeminded business acquaintances and others wanted to learn something from a meeting. At the monthly Chamber Gatherings you can deepen existing friendships and find new resources or potential referral partners. In the structured groups such as BNI, or the Lunch and Learn Series, the attendees sharpen their skills to improve their businesses. The more structured groups also tend to give more visibility to those in the room as there are usually opportunities to share ideas or to introduce yourself to the entire group. The keys here are VISABILITY and EDUCATION.
- Hit Multiple Groups vs Concentrate on a Few– A few members indicated that they rotate events between the multiple chambers to meet more people. Others found it easier to schedule a few on a repeating basis. Consistence of event schedules is important. Here it is about CONVENEINCE.
- Time of Day– Peoples priorities determined the time of day that worked best for them. Juggling work, family and personal obligations made some times of the day better for some and impossible for others. Again CONVENIENCE was key.
- Makeup of the Group– There was a lot of discussion around this topic. Being around positive, passionate people who had a large sphere of influence was critical. Either groups of professionals with similar businesses or those who are their target market the chemistry of the group was one of the major factors driving decisions.
Whatever your preference and whatever you have found effective and convenient for you, there is one overriding theme. Networking outside of the business is crucial to business development and emotional happiness. You need to know WHY you network and then come up with a plan and goals associated with these activities. Interestingly NO ONE mentioned venue or price. It was all about the people and perceived gain. Do you network to get leads, ideas, learn a skill, find resources, develop friendships, find emotional support, or have fun? A couple of parting thoughts…
You will rise to the level of those with who you associate.
No one succeeds in a vacuum.