I had the preconception that networking was for knobs and was full of go getters who were up their own asses with big egos - Look at me me me type people. So, avoided like the plague. Then in 2007 my wife and I bought a marketing business. After taking advice from other successful marketing businesspeople, I was advised to go networking. I decided this was not the route I would like to take…. however my wife persuaded me to go (yet another argument lost!).
I joined my local group and I remember very well my first 1-minute intro – I read my own name from a piece of paper, hands shaking and to be honest …whole body shaking. It was after this very first attempt at relaying to the group who I was and the purpose of my business that I realised that no matter how bad you are at this stuff, it really doesn’t matter…everyone is on your side.
Once I realised the potential, not just for my business but for me as a person there was no stopping me. I soon settled in and joined other groups too. Over the next 4 years we built the business, then sold it due to my wife having health issues. I really missed the networking side of things but thought it had been a good experience anyway.
Then a year later an opportunity came along for me to start my own networking business group…I took it and CAP Business Clubs was born. At the time of writing this, CAP is fast approaching its 9th birthday. We have grown from a single club into 5 thriving clubs. The journey has been incredible in so many ways, but I think the biggest change for me is ‘as a person’. I found that by listening and learning from a diverse set of members over the years I have become a better person….and let us be clear – A much better person. I have developed more empathy, more tolerance, much better business skills and I now fully understand power of collaboration. Doing things ‘Paul’ way was ok and worked to a degree, but now, I understand properly how other likeminded people can change the way you think for the good of your business and personal life.
There have been so many heart warming stories of members pulling each other up during challenging times. And especially during the ‘Covid’ period, where CAP members across all the clubs shone like beacons in the night. I am so grateful to be a part of this fantastic journey ….and best bit is – The best is yet to come!
Paul James - CAP Business Clubs