Build, Grow, And Conquer With The Chamber of Commerce
I’m 22. I’m a startup founder. And I’m building a business empire. I’ve been on my startup journey for 1 year, 1 month, and 11 hours. I’ve been a Chamber of Commerce Member and Ambassador for 7 months, 8 days, and 2 hours. Because of the Chamber I’ve been able to build relationships, grow professionally, and conquer my fears. Because of that, my business is 10x stronger than it would have been without it.
“Your Network Is Your Net worth” – Jim Rohn
By far the easiest and fastest benefit I took advantage of was networking. But I’m an overachiever, so I also immediately volunteered to be an Ambassador. Full disclosure, I haven’t been a part of any other networking associations (i.e. BNI, Rotary, etc.) so I can’t make any claims about the Chamber being the “best” networking group you can join. What I can say is that it is a group worth joining. The members are friendly and genuinely want to help each other succeed. My startup has complex business relationships: we’re business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C), and business-to-government (B2G). Through the Chamber I am able to build all of those relationships.
“Challenge And Opportunity” – My Mentor
An unexpected benefit I attribute to my Chamber of Commerce membership is my growth as a professional. Regularly attending mixers, coffees, and ribbon cuttings may seem like your average social hour but it’s more challenging and rewarding than that. Chamber members cover the entire spectrum when it comes to the sizes and stages of their business. From small home-based businesses just starting out to large corporations generations old, young business owners to older business owners, sales representatives to general manages. And I try to interact with all of them. The challenge is that everyone speaks their own language. And out of that challenge I’ve had my communication skills tested more than a few times. But when I look back 7 months, 8 days, and 2 hours, I see miles and miles of growth on my professional journey.
“Our Deepest Fear Is Not That We Are Inadequate. Our Deepest Fear Is That We Are Powerful Beyond Measure.” Marianne Williamson
I’ve always thought I had no fear when it came to public speaking. I was wrong. The sheer terror I felt showing up to my first ribbon cutting as the MC and realizing “I’m the MC. I’m going to have to talk in front of people. A lot of people. Important people. And they’re all going to be listening to me.” was almost paralyzing. Simply recalling the memory causes a swell of anxiety in my chest. But I have a remedy for this: I recall how I conquered that fear. I got out there, stumbled over my words, and became extremely self-aware of my heartbeat, and did the thing. And if I can do the thing, I can do other things. Challenge and opportunity my friends, an active Chamber membership hands you lots of them.
There are many ways to build your empire. But if you want it to be 10x stronger, I’d start with the Chamber.
Matt Higa is the founder and CEO of Pineapple Empire. A creative agency focusing on helping entrepreneurs and startups build, grow, and conquer. Follow us on Instagram for a daily dose of motivation and inspiration @getpineapple.