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Hi my name is Bob Heath and I’m a chicken farmer. My family and I raise chickens on pasture, which makes them super healthy for you to eat.
My story is likely a bit different than most folks who intentionally go to a networking event or meeting. I began attending Connectors Club (CC) just to visit with folks. And the honest truth is, that’s still the reason I attend — I want to see and visit with my friends.
I’ve attended BNI meetings in the past. BNI certainly has its place, but that was too intense, too formal, and too expensive for what I was interested in doing — just visiting with people. So BNI was out. CC is basically $5 per week, which is right in my lane for visiting with other professionals. So that’s what I did and that’s what I do every week.
And everything that’s happened to rebuild my business from the ashes came about simply because I started visiting with people at Connectors Club.
The first week that I attended, I sat next to Bill Taylor. Bill’s a big guy like me, so we don’t intimidate each other. And Bill is Canadian, which makes him abnormally chill and easy to chat with. Furthermore, Bill is just a really good, smart guy. As I kept attending, I got to know other members — all solid folks, to a person.
However, there are two guys who have had a real impact on my story. The first is Mike Gruley. Mike is the kind of guy who wears nice and clean clothes but seems as if he would rather be working on a classic car in his garage. I honestly don’t know if he sees himself like that or not but that’s how he seems to me — just down to earth.
The second guy is Chris Tompkins. I’ll never forget the first week Chris began attending. I thought, “Oh man, that dude is uptight. I wonder what his deal is?” Turns out Chris had just lost his job as a high level Controller for Delphi, which he’d had for over 20 years. Chris wasn’t uptight, he was shell-shocked from suddenly being thrust into a world without control — which is a real shock to a professional Controller!
These two guys have become very instrumental in my life and business.
When I showed up to Connectors Club I was also a bit shell-shocked. My wife and I had just lost our home, farm, and business as a final blow from the 2008 housing bubble bursting. We lost everything but our clothes and furniture.
At CC, I was able to tell folks my story, and tell them of my passion for raising chickens and getting my farm operational again. Know what happened? I got encouragement and support from them. From that encouragement and support I regained my mojo and self confidence. And I gained even more.
Another great part of Connectors Club is the book recommendations that get tossed around. One of the books Brian mentioned several times was “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. I’d not heard of that book. But because Brian had mentioned it so many times, I decided to read it.
Holy cow, what a transformation that book brought to my thinking! I began to look for other materials about Think and Grow Rich and found more books and began reading them voraciously.
So I gained more knowledge by being a member of CC. Most weeks are filled with discussion and book sharing, which can lead you to greatly increase your knowledge.
So let me get back to my Chris and Mike story.
I am a 4th generation farmer. My dad and I farmed about 4,000 acres of corn and soybeans (that’s a big farm). I was also investing in real estate, and had a revenue of 4-6 million dollars per year, so I have a pretty good handle on what it takes to operate a decent size business.
I’d heard of a business operating system called the Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS®). Because of my background in operating a business, I knew that I needed EOS. And low and behold, Mike Gruley is an EOS Implementer who helps companies run on EOS. He looked like, walked like, and talked like a guy I’d like to work with … and now I do. Through Connectors Club, Mike became the EOS Implementer for Heath Farms.
Meanwhile, Chris and I were in a MasterMind group with Mike, and we all began to get to know each other rather well. This led me to begin asking them questions outside of our meetings.
As I started building my business plan, I asked Chris to have a look at crowdfunding platforms and to recommend the one to use for getting our farm rolling again. One thing led to another and before we knew it, Chris Tompkins came aboard as our Integrator, Controller, and all-around good guy for Heath Farms.
We use many people from Connectors Club to help us grow our business. Last time I counted, we used the services of 11 individuals/companies who attend the group almost every week — and we’ll be using more as our company grows.
It’s difficult to pare this down to a single takeaway, but I’ll try.
This is something I learned from a guy named Bob Proctor, who wrote “You Were Born Rich”: stop saying, “I know.” If you already know, then there’s nothing more for you to learn.
I encourage you to show up. Just show up with the idea of “I don’t know” and see what you might learn. For example: In one conversation recently, a first timer asked Bill Kerschbaum about SEO for her marketing. Well, that’s stepping right into “Bill World” and we all got an education about SEO for nothing more than the price of showing up and being willing to listen without “I know.”
Just show up. Brian is a warm and welcoming host. The group that has formed around him is equally warm and welcoming — and man oh man, the knowledge that is in that room! Just show up, learn, and listen.
And have a visit with me. I want to learn about you and I’ll tell you about my passion for chickens.
But first, you gotta show up.