I don’t want to see you anymore.
That doesn’t sound like a statement a Chamber of Commerce would make does it? Now, let me put it in context for you. When the most motivated people want to become super engaged volunteers I tell them this: If you’re a real Chamber success, you’ll see me so much that you won’t want to see me anymore either. It’s a light-hearted way to let them know that being successful on our plan requires some work, but it will pay off. We strive to put you on the right path to make business connections that can last a lifetime.
Let me tell you about my youngest success story. Meagen Morrison (no relation) began as a stylist for a local salon at the age of 20. She was brand new in a very competitive industry and really needed to build up a clientele. The salon she worked for was a long-time Chamber member and totally supported her efforts to do some marketing on their behalf and to build her business.
She remembers our first meeting when I dropped the bomb on her that we will eventually break up.
Meagen jumped into our Diplomat program with both feet. She was like my shadow. She came to every ribbon cutting, attended every meeting, and about 6 months later she could account that 30% of her business was directly Chamber related. She became such a super Diplomat that she was named Diplomat of the Year in 2010. By the end of the year, she could directly account for her clientele being 50% full of Chamber members and of course their referrals added even more!
And then it happened. After 18 months we broke up. It started slowly, missing an event here and there, but the writing was on the wall. She was successful! Meagen had so many clients it was hard to schedule an appointment for myself. Now the only time I see Meagen is when I am sitting in her chair. You may be asking why this is a pattern I want to repeat. Meagen still loves the Chamber, and she tells absolutely everyone that we were crucial to her success. She sends me leads and is still one of our biggest ambassadors. We just don’t see her face as much. Quite like raising children, you’re developing future leaders and there’s a time to let them fly.
When Meagen called me in 2014 with the news that she had purchased her salon and was now a business owner, I was so proud. It still makes me tear up a little. I was one of the first people she shared her good news with. She and I both know that her time spent with the Chamber provided the foundation to her success.
Meagen may serve again one day with us in another capacity, but one thing is for sure, she’ll always pay her Membership dues.