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Posted by on Jul 31, 2011 in Influence, Networking |

Net-working for the Common Good

I recently had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know Brian Taylor, leader of the Coffee Break Networkers Meetup. He explained to me that he inherited the Meetup Group and that the name doesn’t do his group justice. With little time for coffee, the group spends 15 minutes networking before they get down to business in the areas of self-development and business education, otherwise known as entrepreneurial skills.

Here is a description of their group focus.

It’s easy to get lost in the sea of sexy sessions and seminars you can attend these days to “strengthen your online brand”, “think your way to success” and “blog and tweet like a pro”. But when push comes to shove, if you don’t have your business foundation laid properly, you won’t see results.

Every week we will be covering relevant (read implementable) training topics coupled with some individual and group networking. Additionally, the first meeting of every month is devoted to The Children’s Receiving Home.

It was actually the last part of that quote that most caught my attention. This is where the WORK part of networking comes in. THIS is where the NET is strengthened among the individuals who roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty to help an organization that has it’s hands full with the day to day operations of caring for abused, neglected and otherwise needy children. Brian and his group of true professionals help by cleaning vehicles,washing windows, planting gardens, cataloging DVD’s, scraping gum from the floor, and any other things that might be needed.

I am certain that this is the environment where relationships are truly forged, because their guard is down and they are focused on others. There is no worry about their agenda, their business card or their 30 second commercial. And the WORKers will be at the next meeting too! In fact, check out this email that Brian received from the CHR:


On behalf of all the staff, Board, and children we serve, THANK YOU for your continued support of our agency and for volunteering your time and energy to clean our vans and windows today. Let me just tell you, I am so impressed with your group; it is very rare to come across a group of volunteers who are willing to do the dirty work, and even more rare that they do it as cheerfully and enthusiastically as you all did! I had three different staff members remark on what a wonderful job you did and how pleasant and cheerful you all were. The fact that your group of entrepreneurs/business owners is willing to come out here every month with no agenda other than just to serve is truly inspiring. Please pass along my most sincere gratitude and appreciation to all your group members.

Wow! What a testimony!

Brian explained to me that often the CHR receives bicycles and toys that are well-received, but they are short the basic supplies and toiletries that the kids need immediately and daily, as they often arrive at the home with only the clothing they are wearing. If you would like more information about the Children’s Receiving Home and how you can help, contact the Donations and Fund Development line at (916) 482-2370 ext. 305.

For more information about the Coffee Break NetWORKers, visit their web page here.

influenSPHERE and Umpqua Bank, Twelve Bridges Branch in Lincoln are collecting toiletry donations for Brian to deliver on behalf of his group. Donations are accepted at Umpqua Bank 805 Twelve Bridges Drive, Lincoln CA 95648 (A special Thank You to Puja Markus Brooks, Store Manager at Umpqua for participating!)