The Small Business Movement (Week 3)

When building the dream, one can get so caught up in the process that we forget why we’re doing it. I try to keep the mission in mind so I don’t forget. For this reason, I was inspired to write, “Our mission isn’t to slay Goliath, but to level the playing field, so the Davids of the world have a fighting chance.” 

This week, I’m reminded of my role in all of this. I till the soil, plant the seeds and pull the weeds. I can’t control the rain nor the sun. I continue to create and share marketing content. I attend networking events and create videos. This is all designed to help create awareness for both Galt and the small business movement.

On Monday, as requested, I met with a gentleman who wanted to talk to me about my business. I knew from a little research that he did sales for a networking group, which I’ll not name. I suspected his intention was to get me to become a member of his group. I also knew that there was a very slim chance that would happen, because it wasn’t in alignment with our strategy.

We met and I can say that it wasn’t an unpleasant experience. He asked many questions about Galt and listened attentively to the answers. He complimented our business model, but felt we didn’t charge enough. “That’s stupid cheap!” were the words that he used. I wasn’t offended, and explained why the bar to entry was set so low. 

While some businesses have plenty of capital to work with, there are others who barely have two pennies to rub together. We don’t want to leave them hanging as they’re often the ones who need our services the most. Again, he listened well and grasped an understanding. 

Finally, I ask him about his organization, so that we can get on to the real reason he requested the meeting. He told me about how his organization worked. I returned the favor and listened attentively. I already knew that I wasn’t going to join his group, but didn’t want to turn down the opportunity to meet someone who serves some of the same people we serve. I could always learn something.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not against networking groups. I believe they can be a really good resource and highly instrumental depending on the business and their mission. For our mission, the group just didn’t fit. I explained this to him and we soon parted ways. As we did, I thought to myself, “Some day, I’m going to recruit that guy.” 

Tuesday was a rainy day. I had a 12:00 meeting in downtown Denver. I figured traffic wouldn’t be too bad since it was noon and not rush hour. It was a good thing that I decided to leave early, because there was an accident that brought traffic to an almost stand still. 

It looked as though I’d arrive at the meeting about ten minutes late. However, when I got there, I couldn’t find parking. There was major construction all around the building. I had to drive up a few blocks before I could circle back. I drive as slowly as I can, careful not to miss a parking opportunity, yet fast enough to avoid annoying other drivers on the road. 

After completing my circle back, I still found no parking, so I decided to drive farther down the street. I eventually found parking, but had to register on an app, so that I could pay. By the time all of this was done, I was going to be about 30-35 minutes late for the one and a half hour networking meeting. 

As I walked through the rain, slightly annoyed, I thought to myself, “You’re about to walk into this event extremely late.” I felt bad for a moment, but then thought, “I didn’t drive all this way for nothing. I wanted a reward for my efforts. I walked in somewhat apologetic, but mostly unphased. 

There were six people sitting around a table, whilst two others gave their presentation. The first presentation was informative and helped me understand more about the presenter’s business. Then, there was another presentation that represented ten minutes of my life that I’d like to have refunded. It was neither business nor education related. I remember thinking to myself, “I need to get better at selecting the events I attend.”

I was learning a lot from attending meetings. Often, it was learning what not to do and how to better determine which meetings would be good for me and which would just be a possible waste of time. On to the next one.

On Wednesday, I attended an event that I thought had more promise. It was more open networking rather than mostly presentation based. It was in a smaller, neighboring town. There were roughly 20 people in attendance. Right away, I could tell that many of them knew each other, some possibly for a very long time. 

It was a room full of mostly lenders, realtors. Not really the crowd I’m looking for, but you never know who you’re going to meet. I met a couple people, then we all circled in for door prizes and 30 second commercials. 

I’m not a fan of 30 second commercials, especially not 20 of them in a row. What’s the likelihood of someone remembering what 20 people said in 30 seconds? It’s almost like a weird game of telephone. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the value of an elevator pitch, but I don’t believe they are as effective in large settings. 

Either way, I have mine down and want to make sure that something sticks. I listened as each person went around the room attempting to connect in 30 seconds. Some did well, some were very forgettable. I noticed some clearing their throats just before it was their turn, indicating that they were more so thinking of what they were about to say rather than listening to what the others had to say. Rude, but also understandable. 30 seconds isn’t much time to make a great impression. 

I approach my 30 seconds with this understanding. 1. You have to identify a problem. 2. You need to provide a solution to the problem. My 30 second pitch might change depending on the room, but for this crowd, I say, “We’re all here for the same reason. We’d need or want more customers. The Galt app incentivizes customers to do business with you. If you’re a small business owner, get your business listed by visiting JoinGalt.com.”

I didn’t have any events to attend on Thursday, so I spent most of my day extending my education. I also need to put some attention on raising capital and lining up more giveaways. I started to feel a bit overwhelmed, so I walked away for a bit. I don’t want to get caught up being busy rather than being effective. I’d rather make no move, than simply make moves for the sake of saying I made a move.   

I go up to the lake, only a couple miles from my house. I need to clear my head and center myself. I was there for roughly two hours. I felt better, but still had no answer to the need for capital. For this reason, I shift my focus to where I can be effective. I continue getting the word out about what we’re doing and why.  

Friday was a busy day of meetings. The one I looked forward to the most was a tech event in downtown Denver. It was an event that spun off in the separate classes. I’m always excited to learn, but my main reason for attending was to meet other entrepreneurs and innovators. Those are my people. I was not disappointed. I was able to make some great connections and had fun doing it. 

My progress report, at least from what is revealed on the surface, is a bit disappointing. We only had 9 new app registrations, 1 new business listing, and 2 registrations for business listings. I specify what is on the surface, because we don’t know what’s developing under the surface from the work that we’ve put in. 

The following came to me at the end of this week. You purchased good soil, tilled the ground, planted the seeds, watered with consistency and pulled the weeds. You get discouraged because you don’t see results. Don’t stop! There are things happening beneath the surface that you can’t see. Stay with it!

That said, this marks the end of this week. Stay tuned for week 4. Thank you!

p.s. The app is available on Android and iOS. If you want to add your business to the app, you can easily do so by visiting JoinGalt.com. Otherwise, we hope you’ll use the app to support other small businesses.