Saturday, May 23, 2009

Expand Your World Through a Chamber

This is me, E.C., (blond hair) listening intently to Texas Gov. Rick Perry respond to a question I had asked him about his future political plans and running for a higher office.
You know, my usual, what's-next-on-the-list? question.
At this point in our conversation, he was explaining the "gridlock" as he called it, in Washington.
Basically, I gleaned from our conversation that it's very hard to do much within the political system relative to this gridlock- I was just going to share my almost #1 philosophy with him, which is: "If you Don't Like It, Change It"- but you know, he is the governor, I thought, he's already changed a lot of things- perhaps I should just respectfully listen to what he's sharing with me. So I did.
The point is: had I called up Rick Perry and said, "Yeah, I want to have a meeting with The Gov. today."
"Oh. My name? Marilisa."
"No, Marilisa".
If you are an entrepreneur, if you are a business owner- RUN- do not walk, to your local Chamber of Commerce and sign, as Robin Black would say, "thyself up" immediately!
Have you heard the basic premise of a 12-step program?
"It works when you work it."
Well, the Chamber of Commerce is the very same way.
If you simply sign on the dotted line, turn in your dues, I wouldn't expect much back.
The thing is, when one gets involved and regularly attends business mixers, community events, learns about non-profit organizations and political processes and issues in their community, the knowledge gained is truly priceless.
Am I going to tell you that all your business profits will be hinged in the Chamber and you just won't believe the return on investment?
Not exactly.
The Chamber of Commerce represents exactly 1/4 of my total business income.
Arguably, that's 1/4 that I would not have had otherwise.
But a Chamber is much, much more than what you can GET.
It's what you can GIVE.
It's who you meet and who meets you.
It's relationships you never would have had and intelligent, sharp, lovely people you never would have met had you just kept operating, in what I've always called anytime I'm interviewed, " a vacuum".
You will hear me write a lot on the virtues of a Chamber and today, is just one of those posts.


  1. That's cool you got to actually have a conversation with the governor! I have a feeling he lives the "if you don't like it, change it" mindset every day... it's just whether other people with equal or higher power wish to "change it" with you. :) *I* personally would have half-jokingly asked him if he was SERIOUS when he hinted that Texas can still secede! lol eek!

  2. You will never, ever see such pride for Texas until you go to Austin.
    When we met with the Texas Film Commission, her attidude was just through the roof!
    "If you shoot anywhere besides Texas, well, you're going to be over budget and your movie will flop at the box office."
    Naw, not that bad, but we do love our state!
    He didn't mention seceding to me, but I wouldn't doubt it one bit.
    Is it true they need to divide Calf. up in fourths?