EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

Yogi Berra has been known to have said some pretty amusing things. One of my favorites is: “People don’t go there anymore, it’s too crowded.”

We all know what Yogi means by all the things he is claimed to have said and it tends to bring a smile to our face, or at least to mine. But, with this particular one, the reverse is also true. If everyone thinks that no one is going to show up, or that a meeting is not going to be well attended, they simply won’t go. And, presto, the meeting isn’t well attended. A self-fulfilling prophesy.

Some of our chapters have a reputation for energizing meetings. Some chapters seem to have trouble getting that critical mass going to qualify under Yogi’s saying.

I’m not sure if you can actually go to too many chapter meetings. I know it’s hard to give up an evening in front of the TV, but it is just possible that you might get something out of it. I tend to be a risk taker, so what the heck. I go.

First there are those 90-second announcements. Why would anyone need to do that in front of an audience if they have practiced in front of a mirror? Do you really think an audience will make a difference? Well, yes it will. A 90-second announcement is one of life’s real power tools. And like any tool you use a lot, it needs sharpening if it is going to be effective. What better place to test out your prototype than in front of a friendly audience where you will get honest feedback and more than a few helpful suggestions. (You know that part about how you saved the company a billion dollars on paper clips? You might want to start with that!)

Would you like to collect a few resumes from other financial folks? I don’t know where you might go where you could collect a better and more targeted batch. And, if you are trying to wallpaper the world with your opus, I can’t think of a better place to start. Who knows, someone at the meeting who actually understands what you did for a living because they are also a financial type might have some great suggestions for you.

Did I mention job hunting tips? At meetings I attend, I try to get everyone to share something that they have found generates real results, defined as phone calls or interviews. I am always pleasantly surprised by the spin and variations on themes that I hear. (And I thought I knew everything about job search. I guess not!)

There is also that dire possibility that you will make a new friend or business contact at one of these meetings. Strangely, if you go often enough the odds increase. Of course then you are going to have to call them from time to time, network with them and generally allow them to be helpful to you in your search, and you will have to do the same.

It is a high price to pay, but then again, it just might be worth the cost.

Regards, Matt

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