What’s In It For Us?
I recently attended an Annual Meeting with my peers from all across the state of Tennessee. Other than a meeting each year in March with all the State Legislators, it’s about the only time each year that those of us in the Chamber world get to personally network, share best practices, and tell a little about what is happening in our part of the state.
At this particular conference the keynote speaker was one of the most well respected chamber consultants – speaker guys in the business. His name was Pat McGaughey. After many, many years in the business and after getting to travel the entire county working with Chambers of Commerce he shared a thought that I happen to share wholeheartedly. He said that a Chamber is an “us” organization and that the most successful Chambers are those that are able to convey the message and be known as an “us” Chamber. There really is no room for the “what’s in it for me” mentality in a well-run Chamber since our very existence is determined by how we all work together. Businesses that work well with others are often the most successful. Some refer to this as “an all boats rising with the tide” philosophy. Those that financially invest in the Chamber know not to join on Wednesday morning and expect folks to start calling them on Wednesday afternoon. These businesses are investing in the future of the community and in the hopes that together we can accomplish great things that none of us could accomplish on our own.
If you think about it; that is exactly how it works. We cannot sell the community as a great place to live, if the schools are not are not top notch. We can have the best school system around; but if we have a high crime rate no one will want to move here. If retail and office space is very cheap but there are no customers or available employees what’s the use of opening a shop. You get the idea; there is tremendous inter-connectivity and reliance on others doing their best as well. And, (and this is a BIG “and”) the community can make a difference by supporting those local businesses that call our community home. Folks, we need your support! Right about now you may be asking yourself, “what if I do want to shop local but have no idea what all is out there and can I really find what I am looking for right here”? Well I am glad you asked. There are hundreds of great local businesses, right at your fingertips waiting to serve you! You can check them out 24/7 at www.mtjulietchamber.com. Won’t you please help make sure it really is all about us?