As all of you know, The FENG is a circle of friends, not a fee for service. In order to join, someone needs to sponsor you. That act of friendship is how everyone gets started. It is one of those dumb things I came up with at the beginning of time itself that I believe has made our network significantly different from every other professional organization.
Of course, every week there are folks who want to join who don’t have a sponsor. When this is the case, we help them find one. It is kind of a Godfather thing: unless you are willing to put yourself in the debt of another person, you’re not going to be very successful at this “networking thing.”
The reason I am bringing this up tonight is that over the next few months (or over the next few years or decades if you prefer), I would like to encourage each of you to seek out those you know and invite them to apply for membership in The FENG. Just so I don’t disappoint someone you know, please keep our simple membership requirements in mind. Candidates sponsored for membership should be primarily Chief Financial Officers or Controllers, or any one of many senior level financial titles, and have a minimum of 15-20 years of work experience.
They do not have to be unemployed. Those you contact who are currently working, you might want to impress upon them the importance of building a networking BEFORE you need one. I believe that most of us found out too late.
As an older group, every week now I get notes from members who have retired asking to be removed from our membership. I also get notes from friends of members letting me know that they have passed away. (One of the sad things that are just a fact of life.)
My point in bringing this up is that in every case I check to see how many people those I am removing have sponsored during the years they have been part of our august body. Although sometimes I am seriously impressed, most often I find that they have sponsored no one or just one or two new people.
I hope you won’t let this be a story about you. If you feel that the person who sponsored you did you a favor much larger than you appreciated at the time, I would suggest that you go out of your way to bestow this same favor on other people you know.
Although we have registered 50,000+ people over the past 20 years and currently have about 38,000 on distribution for newsletter, we still need MORE new members.
(Yes, our plans for world domination are not yet achieved, although we do appear to be getting close.)
So, consider this an invitation to have at it. Go through your address book and call your friends who are not yet members. What are they waiting for? What are you waiting for?
Friendship is the gift that keeps on giving. And, if I may appeal to your inner accountant, it doesn’t even cost any money.