How to Start a MOOB Group!

There is safety in numbers. There is also a great deal of knowledge that can be had if you take a sharing attitude. You don’t have to be an island. There are good people out there who would love to pick your brain and in return allow you into their inner sanctum of experience.

Ed Roach

I have been involved in a group exactly like this going on five years now. We got together after a design conference in Phoenix and had a burning desire to carry on the conversation . We are a small group of four companies within a 6 hour drive of each other. I am the Canadian in southwestern Ontario, we have a member from Kentucky, Ohio and Illinois. We meet quarterly on a friday for a full day (8-5). We discuss everything that has to do with our businesses and how to make them better. We harbour no secrets and after all this time we have become very good friends. It is also a fantastic way to network and to expand the breadth of services you can offer. How can you get in on something like this? Here are 10 points to consider if you want to start your own MOOB (Mind Our Own Business) group:

1) Decide what kind of group you want to start. Ours are companies in the same industry: Branding/Graphic Design. You can build a group of varying industries, what is important is defining what your group is striving to accomplish by forming.

2) Choose members who have the same success values as the other members. They don’t have to be at the same stage in their growth, as a matter of fact it is more productive if they are not. It is important that each member is a self-starter, as attendance is important to carry on the momentum in order to last more than one meeting.

3) Choose how the meetings will be structured. Our MOOB group has an agenda, we meet where we can be uninterrupted. We have rented meeting rooms, and even met in a park setting over-looking a lake – very relaxing. Other than the agenda, the conversation in left unstructured and is governed by the host. We each hold a meeting in our city. We also assign ourselves homework sometimes between meetings. Also, we have a segment where we discuss recent books read. The conversation is non-stop and the day flies by.

4) Complete openness if absolutely key to the group’s success. Anyone who is not honest with regard to how they do business is a BAD FIT! Times are not always good. The group cannot help you if you are not completely open with your issues. If you cannot feel secure in opening up in your group than it is a BAD FIT.

5) We do not charge anything. The host covers the expenses of their day. We do not have dues. You can, it is really dependent on your objectives.

6) Sharing in the value of discovered revenue streams. In the course of our sessions, we have developed products that we each sell in our own markets. We have found our MOOB group to be lucrative in terms of ideas and motivation. We are currently trying to develop a monetary website where we can sell recordings of our sessions to our industry. This is a big cookie to bite into, but it will happen.

7) When should you meet? As I have mentioned, we meet quarterly for an entire day. If your group is from the same region, then perhaps you can start with half a day. You will be amazed with how fast time flies by.
The important thing is to give yourselves enough time so that everyone can get the value out of shared experiences. If one member is struggling with issues, you want to allocate enough time to satisfy their questions.

8) Decide who you don’t want in the group. And determine how new members are chosen. The make-up of the group is extremely important. If there are members who are just takers, then as in networking – they will not be productive members and they will alienate fellow members.

9) What happens if there is conflict within your group? Decide on a course of action if this unfortunate situation occurs. It is equally important to have an exit strategy that can be imposed on members, if it is deemed by the group, that the relationship has soured and they are adversely effecting the group.

10) Make it fun. All of our members really look forward to our meetings. We are passionate about MOOB. We were even written up by HOW magazine during our first year. We either have lunch in, or go out to some cool place in the host city. We also typically, go out for supper also. We don’t use Robert’s Rules but just freely jump from topic to topic. We laugh it up alot.

That’s about it really. If your group’s makeup is different types of companies, it can easily be developed into a networking group as well. Peer groups are sometimes called “best practices groups”. No matter what you call them, they are an excellent way to help you grow personally as well as professionally. You could develop a virtual group over the web as well. It doesn’t really matter so long as your group values are sound. I have found it another great way to further develop my personal brand.

Because we are called MOOB, I suggested we wear those cow-horned hats that Fred Flintstone and Barney wore at their lodge. It’s not important to note the reaction my suggestion earned.

Ed Roach

For more than 30 years, I have worked with hundreds of successful small businesses by helping them develop unique brand positioning strategies that differentiates them from their competition. I appreciate working with companies who see the value of going beyond mere slogans and have a desire to sell from compelling positions. I consult predominantly with businesses facilitating my proprietary branding process. This branding process effectively focuses a company's brand delivering a positioning strategy that can be taken to their marketplace.

I have international speaking experience and am the author of "101 Branding Tips," Practical advice for your brand that you can use today. I'm also a "expert panellist" with Bob Proctor (from The Secret)'s Matrixx Events in Toronto.

I have been interviewed in all media and I also blog extensively and uses the digital realm on the web to connect and promote my services world-wide.

I have international speaking experience including a recent event in Prague, in the Czech Republic and is the author of "101 Branding Tips," Practical advice for your brand that you can use today, the book is available on Amazon.com and the Amazon Kindle store.

My clients are from Canada, The United States, Ukraine, India, United Arab Emirates and Tanzania.

I recently facilitated a workshop in San Diego aimed at teaching Graphic Design companies how to build brands for their customers.

Comments

  1. Great post Ed, it’s a wonderful outline for anyone looking to start a similiar group for themselves. I like #8 best, you don’t need anyone who is not productive or contributing to your group.

  2. Thank you Vera, starting MOOB is up there as one of the best things I’ve ever done for my personal growth.

  3. This is a great tip for me. I am putting it in my kitty as one of the objectives I am to work on immediately.
    You really got me 🙂 with the No 4 point. Being an introvert, I’ve always found it difficult bearing it all open in the presence of others. But like you pointed out, it is hard to succeed as an island.
    Thanks for sharing.

  4. NaihaEcash,

    You will nor regret starting a MOOB group. The gard part is stopping the conversation.

    Ed

  5. Good point Audrey. I laughed when I read your comment. As you can see it was very late (2:38 am). The fingers, eyes and brain were obviously at odds with each other.

    I think my comment sounds like a Viking giving an opinion on MOOBs.

    Thanks for taking the time.

  6. As to me the fist question should be the wish to start a new group and only then you have to think about what is writing here

  7. Simple. They’re not members. Competition is essentially a mindset isn’t it? There is enough business for everyone. Because of the web, even our members which are 4-5 hours away from each other are still competitors. BUT, we choose to be allies rather than enemies. It’s been a good fit.

    I can assure you, that there are like minded people in your neck of the woods.

  8. Glen P Jon says:

    The concept of a group sounds great but, what do you do about trade secrets and jealous members.

    I live in New York where practically everyone is trying to out do the other guy. This is shameful but that’s the way it is. What do you use to eliminate jealous members.

    Glen P Jon
    http://www.homeemploymentlive

  9. A friend in the same biz emailed this link to me…hopefully we get going on your advice…which there is a lot of here…thanks Ed, looking forward to reading more!

  10. Thanks Steph. My next MOOB meeting is this Friday in Kentucky and I am juiced up and ready to share once more. I know we have often discussed setting up a MOOB network some day and arranging conferences for the different chapters to meet etc. I guess it is a topic for another article some day.

    I hope you are able to develop a MOOB for your purposes. You will prosper in it’s value.