Thanks to a lot of effort from a lot of people, Elevate has become something very special. From the founders to the current MC, our officers, and really all of us – this whole community. But at our core, we’re simply a networking group. Networking. Net. Work.

We’re about creating business relationships. A NET of relationships to do the WORK of catching business.

So as basic as this seems, I want to emphasize both sides of this powerful combination. On the one hand, we’re here to grow our business. If we’re not growing, we’re not staying. Not for long anyway. We want to make money. We want to close business. We want to expand and thrive. We all do. And we should. It’s part of what drives us.

But growth – at least significant, sustainable growth – cannot happen outside of relationship. And so we interact with each other. We learn about each other. We come to know and trust each other. And not just in business, but in life. The relationship element is key.

Elevate works as well as it does because success is generated from both of these ingredients. If we were to show up only interested in the numbers, in the business, but not about the people who are access to the referrals, we wouldn’t only be unpopular, it just wouldn’t work.

But at the same time, if we get together in 121’s and focus solely on relationship, and don’t offer enough attention to business, that won’t work either.

My sense is that though we’re all smart, and capable, and work diligently in and out of this room, each of us has a natural pull toward one or the other of these. It’s not black and white, but look for yourself. Do you tend to go right for business? Or do you tend to spend most of your time catching up on the latest life news?

If you notice a tendency, my invitation is to practice including a bit more of the other into your conversations.

And yes, depending on who you’re talking to and how long you’ve known them could have an impact. There is no right answer. And nothing to defend. It’s just a place to look, a place to practice.

Because it’s also worth noting that the growth and expansion I mentioned earlier doesn’t just come from the numbers.

We stand up in front of this group every week. We learn to present ourselves and our businesses in 30 sec and 5 min increments. We practice being charitable, social, responsive and responsible, a team, a community, a support structure. We learn. We practice. We learn some more. All on a valuable path towards individual and common goals.

And lucky us, it’s also a heckuva lotta fun!

Here’s to you, here’s to us.

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