When my wife and I purchased our first home, we were blessed to have some friends help us move in. I remember two of my buddies were maneuvering a couch through the front door. I was carrying a box of my wife’s dishes, and a dear friend was carrying a box of my books. One of the books fell out and landed on the sidewalk. As a result, twenty men’s lives were forever changed.
The book was titled Starting and Running a Profitable Investment Club. It had been on my shelf for years. It was something I had always wanted to start, but just didn’t have the gumption. My friend encouraged me to pursue it, and together we called all of our friends. Now, twelve years later I can tell you with all sincerity it was one of the smartest and most worthwhile decisions I have ever made.
Our initial thought was of course that the investment club would make us wealthy beyond imagination, and in some ways it has. The real treasures have been the friendships formed and strengthened, the confidence we gained to pursue new ventures, the fellowship at each meeting, providing each person with a genuine purpose, and the ability to serve others and our community. We have gained knowledge of finances, networked with other people and organizations, started businesses and charities, and we have strengthened leadership skills. The benefits of a club are truly too numerous to name. (Did I mention it’s also just plain fun?)
You need to start a club. It’s easier than you think, and you will be so happy you did.
Your club might be an investment club like ours, or perhaps you have always wanted to be in a book club, a Bible study group, or maybe you like to work out and you want to glean ideas off of other athletes. Regardless of your interests, there are so many people out there that just want to be part of something and are waiting for an invitation. Your club needs a purpose, but it can truly be about anything! Having somewhere to go each month, genuine interaction with others, and experiencing something new is what clubs are all about.
I remember hearing stories about my dad rounding up a bunch of high school students that were cut from the high school basketball team. Dad was their age and decided it would be best if they just started their own team. (Seriously, this really happened.) They called themselves the Marysville Giants. Well, dad’s team scrimmaged all of the basketball teams in the league. This did wonders for the boys on the team. They had fun, improved their game, and really boosted their confidence. The high school teams they played improved as well from the scrimmages. It was a win-win for everyone. My brother and I thought my dad’s stories were more fantasy than fact, until an elderly man produced a worn picture of The Marysville Giants at my father’s funeral, and with a tear in his eye, named every boy on the team, including himself. More than fifty years later, this man honored my father for having started a club basketball team. It changed his life, he told us.
Clubs change lives.
Dad’s team didn’t go on to win any trophies, or championships that I know about, but it gave each member a purpose and truly helped them through life. Dad’s team I suppose was nothing more than a club, but don’t tell the veterans on that team. To them it was real and it was war!
Whenever I was down in the dumps as a kid growing up because I didn’t make a team, or didn’t get invited to a party or something, dad would look at me and say, “Well, …start your own!” And I did.
Two of my proudest accomplishments in life outside of my family and business have been the clubs I helped start. Once you a start a club it will take on a life of its own. Make a list of like-minded people you think might be interested. Pick a date on the calendar and invite them over. Have some snacks. Explain what it is you want to do and why. All the resources you need can easily be found in the library or on the internet. But remember, it wasn’t that book that fell out of the box twelve years ago that started the club; it was action.
Kelly Croy is a chalk artist and professional speaker. His presentations have entertained and amazed audiences across the nation including corporations, schools, churches, conferences, and numerous other venues where people come together to be entertained and improve their lives. Please consider booking Kelly for your next event.