Google+ Google+

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Small Business Chambers Everywhere Effort

Today we are launching an effort to help people start new Small Business Chamber groups using's new program. See

This will be self-organizing. Go ahead, start a group now. I'd suggest you start with a monthly IDEA Cafe, let me know and I'll email you a newcomers guide you can customize for your group, and my thoughts on what makes for a good startup workshop.

Most of my effort for now will be focused on Denver and Colorado, but it is possible that this will spread around the world over the next year.

We'll be trying to help people start Small Business Chamber efforts that will have 3 parts:  1)  A monthly "Big Event", free to exhibitors and freet to those who attend; 2) a monthly or weekly IDEA Cafe startup workshop; and 3) Franklin Circle peer advisory groups.

A few of us are having lunch this Thursday to discuss a Franklin Circle Alpha Group that I'll use as my source of inspiration as we move forward. I'll keep you posted.

Happy New Years!


John S. Wren, MBA+
Founder, your new, free Small Business Chamber of Commerce

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I just sent this out to a couple of thousand people who are on my
email list. If you didn't get the email, and you'd like to be on the
list for next time, please let me know.  John Wren

December 8, 2010

Dear friend,

Your new, free Small Business Chamber of Commerce is off to a good start, but I need your help to keep it growing during this critical phase. Would you take just a minute now to help?

1.  Facebook Groups doesn't allow for unique URLs, but they allow for the announcement of meetings like our weekly Denver IDEA Café startup workshop. We already have nearly 700 members for our Denver SBCC group, when we get to 1000 we will schedule our first “Big Event”, free to exhibitors and free to those who attend. If you haven’t already, go to the Denver Group and click “Join” at:!/group.php?gid=145283622175466 HELP US GROW BY SHARING THIS GROUP SITE ON YOUR FACEBOOK WALL AND INVITING YOUR FACEBOOK FRIENDS. THANKS!

2. Facebook Pages are great places to post general information of interest to customers. If you haven’t already, it would be helpful if you would “Like” our Facebook page with the easy to remember URL at

4.  Starting something new? Share experience and brainstorm with us any Friday at the Denver IDEA Café.  This Friday (Dec 10) Ken Wyble from the South Metro Chamber is joining us to facilitate the meeting and he’s bringing some entrepreneurs from the South Metro Chamber to share their startup experience. Optional RSVP and details about the meeting at

5.  We are looking for people who would like to start an IDEA Cafe with their local chamber of commerce. Please let me know you are interested in learning more about this.

6.  Finally, I'm organizing a Franklin Circle for entrepreneurs, business owners and creative managers that will meet once a month for lunch, maybe more often until we jell as a group. If you or anyone you know might be interested email me for the details.

This life is short, let's get started!

How may I be of service to you?


John S. Wren, MBA+
Founder, your new, free Small Business Chamber of Commerce

Monday, December 6, 2010

18 minute Ted video worth watching: Amy Tan "How do we create?"

I think it was Amy Tan's book that my daughter and her girlfriends read over and over again in college. The last one took the nearly worn out copy to a book signing and the author was, of course, deeply moved.

Monday, November 29, 2010

I just received this very encouraging email:

"I support what you are doing. The chamber of commerce has not, for many years, offered much support for small businesses, and your organization is a much needed asset. The national chamber has focused on medium and large businesses for years, and only used the truly small local businesses as a revenue base to support the local offices while they became a lobbying arm immersed in crony capitalism at the higher government levels."

Let's each do what we can. If nothing else, post an encouraging comment and any thought about what we can do now here or on our new Facebook Page

Would you be willing to help us start a group near you? Let me know if you'd like to know more about how you could help.

Associated, we can accomplish more!


John S. Wren, MBA+
Founder, your new, free Small Business Chamber of Commerce
(303)861-1447 or

Friday, November 19, 2010

New SBCC Facebook Page

Have you seen our new Small Business Chamber of Commerce Facebook Page? We have the unique Small.Business.Chamber so it's easy to remember. Take a look and let us know if you "Like" what you see at

Our Denver Facebook Group has over 600 members now, when we get to 1000 we'll announce our 1st "Big Event", free to exhibitors and free to those who attend.

A new South Metro Group will start soon, watch here for details!

Great speakers at this afternoon's Denver IDEA Cafe. If you're not sure what you're going to do Monday morning, join us!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Saturday, November 27, our new, free Small Business Chamber of Commerce is going to support this as our November "Big Event." Click on the image below for more infomatin about how you can participate:

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Posted today on Craig's List:

10/29: Starting a new career? (Capitol Hill)

The Denver IDEA Cafe Meetup Group

Starting down a new path with a new project or campaign, a new career or new business? Want to get more involved with grassroots as an entrepreneur or newly-active citizen, or to share your experience with newcomers?

Then join us!

Each week we invite people to share their career, business, and political startup experience and we brainstorm.
Since 1994 we've heard from people such as: Dan Brogan, 5280 Magaz...
The Denver IDEA Cafe Startup Workshop
Friday, October 29, 2010 at 2:00PM
Speaker this week: Professional photographer and University of Denver photography instructor Roddy MacInnes,

What is the Denver IDEA Cafe?
Since 1994, we help people turn their inspiration into effective action.
Anyone who is starting a new project, a new business, a new career or a new career is invited to join us. How do we help? We share startup experience and we do brainstorming.
We also give you information about how to start or join a Franklin Circle peer advisory group, see
If we are successful, you will be too busy to come back to the Denver IDEA Cafe next week!
An RSVP is NOT required, but it's helpful if you do RSVP for a couple of reasons: 1) It reserves your seat; and 2) You'll get a reminder each week you can forward to friends, family, and business associates who you think might find the meeting helpful.
The first 9 to RSVP each week are guaranteed a seat until the start of the ...
See the full event details, including location, at
Check out what members are saying about The Denver IDEA Cafe Meetup Group:
"Great format, small group works best for this. I encourage everyone to try this group if you want some help getting started." - Anthony Sanchez, /MarketingClub
"Good place to foster ideas" - Joseph Alaniz
"The Group was warm,friendly,as well as caring. If you are looking for a group of people that will not only provide excellent business wisdom,and doing while genuinely caring...then this is the place for you!" - Dale Henderson
"We all think we can't take a couple of hours to get and share ideas. If you don't do that the business world will pass you by. This is a refreshing look at new ideas and new energy around start ups." - John Gies
"There is no reason in the world why any of us has to go it alone. The support is completely non-judgmental and I guarantee you will walk away with many many ideas. It's up to you to do the rest." - Melissa Bennett
October 26, 2010
Contact:  John Wren cell (720)495-4949
Professional photographer Roddy MacInnes with Denver IDEA Cafe.
Since 1994, free help for people starting a new career, project, campaign or new business.           
DENVER—The new, free Small Business Chamber of Commerce's Denver IDEA Cafe startup workshop  meets from 2 to 3:30 p.m. each Friday at Panera Bread, 13th and Grant in Denver. More information and RSVP at or, or contact (303)861-1447.
Speakers on the topic of "my startup experience," will be:
Oct 29:  Professional photographer and University of Denver photography instructor Roddy MacInnes,
Nov 5: Graham Russell, Truepoint Advisors, past Executive Director of CORE.

November 12: Lisa Cratty, Founder and CEO of the new Teagan and Mack baby clothing line.
Since 1994, the Denver IDEA Cafe has been helping people who are starting in a new direction by providing a free forum where successful people share their startup experience and then brainstorm specific questions or problems.
IDEA is an acronym for:  I= Inspiration or Identify the Problem; D= Develop Alternatives; E= Evaluate the Alternatives; and A= take Action. The meeting is free and open to anyone who is starting a new career, a new campaign or project, or a new business.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My friend Amar Bhide's new book A Call for Judgement continues to gain attention. The main argument of the book is that financial institutions don't do well when management is centralized and lending is based on financial formulas rather than the judgement of the loan officer.

With technology changing so quickly it is more important than ever that the "man on the spot" make the go/no go decision and then all the little adjustments that must be made on a daily basis. Once the reach a certain size, EF Schumacher thought the magic number was only 300 employees, business enterprizes loose their ability to adapt quickly to changing conditions and take advantage of local circumstances.

Maybe this number has grown beyond 300 employees with better information systems and better management practices. But at some point, large businesses are at a disadvantage and start making dumb mistakes.

It looks to me like Starbucks is making a mistake putting beer and wine into their coffee shops, what do you think?

We'll be brainstorming again in anticipation of our first monthly "Big Event" at this Friday's (Oct 22) Denver IDEA Cafe. Hope you'll join us, or email me your thoughts at Our brainstorming question will be, "what incentives can we give other chambers of commerce to cooperate with what we are doing and to staff a free table at our first event?"

Monday, October 4, 2010

 "The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong — but that is the way to bet." Fiction writer and journalist Damon Runyon, (books by this author) born this date Alfred Damon Runyan in Manhattan, Kansas (1880). His mother died when he was young, and his three sisters grew up with various family members in Kansas. But young Alfred Damon was raised in Pueblo, Colorado, by his dad, who was a gambler, an alcoholic, a literature enthusiast, and a newspaperman.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I've decided to post about the DU Alumni Symposium (see yesterday's post here below) on One inspiration yesterday at our first session, "Why do we still need libraries," regarding what we are doing here: Ben Franklin gave us our first lending library, so it seems to make sense that lending libraries would be open to helping patrons form Franklin Circles. More about that here and also a progress report about the idea of chambers of commerce hosting IDEA Cafe's across the state here Monday morning. I'm off now to DU for the chancellor's talk. Hope you have a great weekend!

Friday, October 1, 2010

University of Denver Alumni Weekend

I'll be attending classes this afternoon and tomorrow at the University of Denver as part of their alumni weekend. I'll post what I learn here for you here the next couple of mornings. Tonight the speaker at our dinner is the editorial page editor of the New York Times. It doesn't sound like Archbishop Chaput will be attending. :)

If you're at the dinner tonight look for me and let's sit together, OK?

My friend, entrepreneur Mary Clement will be filling in for me at the Denver IDEA Cafe this afternoon, and she has a couple of great speakers. RSVP if you haven't already at

Yesterday I went to Splashmedia's CEO Bootcamp on Social Media. As a result I'll be posting things like this to my blog here and at much more and you'll see a bit less of me on Facebook. I will also be creating a new website for the Small Business Chamber of Commerce where I will post a video each week.

I'm looking at a couple of options now for creating the weekly video. If nothing else, I'll post episodes of my old show, "John Wren's TV Journal," does anyone remember watching it on Channel 53? It was on each week for about 6 months, when it became "John Wren's Radio Journal" which ran for a couple of years on various stations. Does anyone remember either show?

Finally, I just received a copy of the printer's manuscript of the AA "Big Book." Lots of interesting editing marks that show the thinking of the group clarifying as the book went to print. The biggest change was adding "We" to the first step, and changing the subject from "you" to "we" for much of the rest of the book.

If any of this creates any thought you'd like to share with me, please post it as a comment here or share with me on Facebook if you'd rather, I'm there at One of the big emphasises at the social media boot camp yesterday was to have a conversation rather that a monolog performance, and I can't do that without your help!

I'll be back with news and ideas from the University of Denver tomorrow morning, will you join us?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It appears that Facebook no longer considers our site,, spam. Thanks to everyone who helped achieve this. I was told by experts yesterday that Facebook almost never reverses a decision on a Page, so you really accomplished something! Thanks!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Would you help me?

Help me convince Facebook that our rapid growth does not mean that our Small Business Chamber of Commerce is spam!

If you haven't already become a member, join

Then send a Facebook message to a friend (me if you want) to take a look at our Small Business Chamber Facebook Page, and give them the address You'll get a message from Facebook saying it is an abusive site and asking you to object if you don't think it is. Please object! Thanks!

Facebook doing this has slowed our growth to almost zero. As you know, we won't schedule our first "Big Event" until we get to 1000 members which will assure a good turn out for exhibitors. It will be free to exhibit and free to attend, but I don't want to waste anyone's time.

Thanks for your help. If you have any questions you can post them as a comment here, or contact me directly at or (303)861-1447. If you have any other ideas about how to fix this, please let me know!

Want to join me for this Thursday?

Thursday morning I'm meeting with these folks at JW Marriot, and hope they have some ideas for me: 

Learn Social Media Strategies that Drive Sales

  • Social Media 101
  • Successful Case Studies
  • Discover Proven Strategies
  • Learn Tested Techniques
  • Generate New Customers

CEO’s • Owners • Presidents • Senior Marketing Execs
Learn how to generate real leads and sales with social media.

  • What is Social Media?
  • What does the Fortune 100 know that I don’t?
  • Why is it so important for my business?
  • How do I use social media to create new customers?
  • How do I get started?

September 29: Westin, Westminster9:00am | 1:00pm | Register
September 30: JW Marriott, Cherry Creek
9:00am | 1:00pm |

Paul Slack has over 20 years of direct marketing experience, with over 12 of those years focused on internet marketing. Paul is a sought after speaker in the Internet Marketing and Social Media community and is frequently quoted as a trusted source.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I just got this from my friend, Dean Chris:


I hope you are well!

I thought you might enjoy my latest article in Forbes on applying mental toughness training from sports to business.

All the best,

Six Elements Of Mental Toughness
Top athletes have to master them. Business leaders do, too.
By Christine M. Riordan
Christine M. Riordan, Ph.D.
Professor of Management
Daniels College of Business
University of Denver
2101 South University Boulevard, Suite 664
Denver, CO 80208

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Yesterday the Denver Daily News, today the Denver Post!

My telephone was ringing yesterday after the Denver Daily News (if you missed it yesterday's paper, check it out here a couple of items below) had a very nice writeup about our new, free Small Busines Chamber of Commerce. The impact on membership was moderated by Facebook's decision to put up a warning message, because we are growing so fast, a reasonable precaution to prevent spam, I suppose.

If you don't like the warning, please help by objecting to Facebook and letting them know our rapid growth doesn't mean we are spammers. I will never send non-members anything via the Internet except my one invitation to join the group, hope you'll do the same.

Another problem today: the Denver Post's Online edition has a broken URL, it's clickable but doesn't go to our site. I just tried to call the newsroom to get it corrected  but no one answered the phone.

Finally, to help people, including myself :), understand why we have a Facebook Page and a Facebook Group, I just posted this on our Information Page for the Page:

If you "like" this page, you'll love our Facebook Group!

This Facebook Page has a unique URL that we use in media releases,

If you click "like" on this Page, it means just that, you like what we are doing, but you are not in the wheel barrow.

To be a member, free and open to everyone, now join our Facebook Small Businesss Chamber of Commerce GROUP. When we get 1000 members (we already have over 300 after just a few days) we will hold our first face-to-face 2nd Saturday Big Event here in Denver and then start trying to find leaders for similar events in other cities.

To get an invitation to our first face-to-face 2nd Saturday Big Event, join our Facebook Group.  Then invite a few of your friends on Facebook who might like what we are doing to join us, too. They will thank you, and so will we if you'll post what you've done on our wall, along with anyother ideas about what we can do to get to 1000 members as quickly as possible.


One of the things I learned as the founder of the Rocky Mountain Direct Marketing Association is that reader involvement is the key to getting a good response in direct mail. Seems to me the same principle applies here online, although it is a violation of the KISS principle, Keep it Short and Simple.

Thank you for being involved. Please post your comment here or on our Facebook Page or Group if you have a thought about any of this you'd like to share with our group on any of this.

Now let's go get started!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Your comments here would help us get off to a good start! A good start will be to hold our first face-to-face meeting here in Denver the 2nd Saturday in November and followup online meeting. The face-to-face Big Event will be free to exhibitors and free to those attending. Please make a comment here or on our Facebook Page, then invite your online friends to join us, OK? If you have any problems with leaving a comment or any other questions email me at Thanks! John Wren, Founder For more about me see
Small Business: A new, free Small Business Chamber of Commerce is being created by entrepreneur and long-time community activist John Wren. 
Your new, free, self-organizing Small Business Chamber of Commerce will use the Internet to connect with people who are starting in a new direction with their career, starting a new project or campaign, or starting a new business, to help them successfully start and grow. 
The group will be self-organizing. Members will be encouraged to get started, and then to help others get started. 
John hopes to have a volunteer leader for an IDEA Cafe in every chamber of commerce group. A monthly face-to-face meeting, a combination job-fair, trade show, and networking group will be held the second Saturday starting in November here in Denver.  
A meeting place and sponsors are now being finalized. This Denver meeting will become the worldwide model, which we will share on a monthly online meeting. 
For more information, see or call 303-861-1447

From Denver Daily News (click here) page 4 in today's print edition

Saturday, September 18, 2010

In just a few days we've grown to nearly 300 members on our Facebook group, but not everyone uses Facebook so I'm setting this site up.

Our mission is to strengthen the voice of the grassroots in business and politics.

We do this through a weekly startup workshop, a monthly Big Event face-to-face meeting and followup online meeting, and helping the formation of peer advisory or mastermind groups.

Join us!