A recurring topic of amusing conversation between me and one of my clients is pointless business clubs and awards ceremonies.
If you are daft enough to part with your start-up capital to join a ‘business club’, you will at least at some point win an award. Just continue to pay subs long enough til your turn comes round and its in the bag. Trust me.
“Hurrah. You have won the Stoke Newington Entrepreneurs Circle Award for Most Admired Female Entrepreneur. Well done.”
My personal favourite being ‘Start Up’ Awards. Usually sponsored by either a bank (as if they are any sort of business role model) and a local paper touting for additional advertising fodder. Yawn.
I’m not knocking start-ups. It’s bloody hard work to get an idea out there, have someone take you seriously, get some funding and launch. Really it is. But the real hard work begins when the start-up cash runs out. When cash has to flow without a safety net. That’s when a business survives on its merits or more importantly, it’s customers. Or not. It’s staying up that counts.
And that brings me back to ‘networking groups’. Another stroke of brilliance: Attend a massively over-priced breakfast each month. Spend an uncomfortable hour meeting the same group of people and nervously pretend you are not there to sell your services whilst espousing some B.S. about wanting to meet like-minded, goal-orientated business owners. Jesus, who has the time. Isn’t that what Linked In is for?
Groucho Marx said, “I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member.”
There’s something in that.