“We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly, we shall all hang separately”

Ben Franklin

bill_scannell-bw_squareIt’s easy to get advice about your business challenges. Generally, either you can buy advice from an expert with the copious excess funds in your business that weren’t previously allocated elsewhere, or you can sift through decades of business literature in search of the solution that fits your situation perfectly.

Sound like a recipe for success? Probably not.

The reality is that we all struggle with challenges that are unique to us. While there are common themes, businesses are made up of people, and no two are exactly alike. That’s the bad news. Yet it’s also the good news.

We’ve all heard of the wisdom of crowds; that generally, a group of people contributing and sharing ideas together actually becomes collectively smarter than the smartest individual among them. Independence, diversity of opinion, decentralization, and a means of bringing the results of a brainstorming sessions to a meaningful conclusion are the four conditions that create crowd wisdom, and if you’re part of a peer-to-peer, or peer-to-peer network like Opportunity Knocks, you see it happen all the time. Great minds might think alike, but they generally won’t reach the best conclusion working independently. That’s part of the magic of the team meeting format. Getting small business people in a room together with some structure helps to achieve excellence.

In the quote above, Ben Franklin was purportedly addressing fellow statesmen at the signing of the Declaration of Independence, imploring them to “join or die”, to stand together against King George III. We all know how the story turns out, and while it’s a pretty fair bet you won’t hang for the mistakes you might make in your business, there’s no need for martyrdom. If you’re reading this, you probably are part of a great group already.

Spread the word of Opportunity Knocks. Bend as a community has been given many unique gifts by Jim Schell, the founder of this peer-to-peer group of small businesses. While it took his vision, experience and determination to get Opportunity Knocks started, it’s actually still in its infancy, and if we stand together, it can be so much better.


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