Member Blog - Wendy Pease, Rapport International
December 14, 2022
During the Goldman Sachs 10ksb program that gathers entrepreneurs to build a business plan in a four-month program, I was assigned to a “growth group”. A growth group is the 7 people out of the group of 60 that you are assigned to be with during the program for small group meetings, support, and brainstorming. After the 4-month program, our growth group stayed together for three years. We did this on our own without support for topics, networking, learning, or structure. After we disbanded, I looked for another entrepreneur group to join to share experiences and learn .
The first CEO group that I joined wasn’t a good fit for several reasons, so I continued to look for a new organization that supported entrepreneurs.
After a fortuitous conversation with a friend who owns a business in Florida, she mentioned EO and said that there was a chapter in Boston.
After I checked out EO Boston, there were several reasons I decided to join:
Global – EO is global and connects business owners from around the world through events, online chat groups, industry groups, and learning events. As an owner of a company that provides foreign language translation services, I enjoy being connected to different cultures and languages so global organizations interest me. In addition, the perspective and diversity of thought brings insights and education that I would not receive in a domestic only organization.
Structure – Entrepreneurs like to talk and are used to running the show. EO offers structure and expectations so that people feel heard and included. I like this.
Experience shares – Part of the structure is how members are taught to share advice. Instead of telling another entrepreneur how to solve a problem, members are trained in sharing their experiences that relate to the issue. Then each entrepreneur can learn and decide on the right action to take for themselves. This is tremendous for learning how others have worked through challenges and giving ideas on solutions.
Events –The events list contained interesting and “once in a lifetime” events, plus exposure to famous entrepreneurs like those on Shark Tank. The events are impressive.
Travel opportunities – Instead of only being local, I saw opportunities to travel to fun places for learning and socializing.
Forum – Each member has the opportunity to participate in a forum, which replicated the experience of my “growth group” yet with the additional supports on how meeting run, how to coach, how to give feedback, and talk about difficult issues. Mandatory attendance each month was important to me as in the other CEO groups, members could miss meetings which decreased the learning and relationship value for the regular attendees.
In becoming a member, I attended an event and met members, participated in a mock forum, and talked to the membership chair. I thought I’d give it a try for at least a year.
In March 2020, I became an official member, just as the world closed down.
EO Boston did not disappoint – that year, the Learning Chair swiveled and held impressive online events, the forum chair placed me in a forum that met virtually, and I met members for outdoor walks. The start up feels a bit slow since it takes time to meet people, yet I’ve found tremendous value in joining so I’ve remained a member. See my next blog about the hidden benefits that I get from EO Boston that I did not expect when I joined.