I’ve been meaning to write up this event for a while now. The last time I attended the Abundance Forum was back in October. I decided to wait until now, though, as Joe, Mike, and Rich decided to take a hiatus over the holidays. Now that the new year is here, I’m assuming they are ready and raring to go with a new gathering.

Name: Abundance Forum
Organization: Sandler Training Center – Ann Arbor
Location: Sandler Training Center – 501 Avis Drive, Ann Arbor, 48108
Date: Usually the last Thursday of the month, skipping November and December
Time: 3:30-6pm
Format: Open networking, snacks, speaker, more open networking
Size: 20-40
Attendees: Business owners who aren’t whiners
Cost: Free, but by invitation only

Joe Marr, Mike Wynn, and Rich Austin run a great business helping frustrated entrepreneurs approach the sales process with a lot more success. I can say this because I am a lifetime member of their Presidents Club. That said, they also put on an awesome networking event.

The Abundance Forum is a networking event where the rule is “no whining”. The folks who they invite to attend have decided not to take part in any of the economic misery that surrounds them. They are also all entrepreneurs who are responsible for the success of their businesses. As you might imagine, with those strict entrance requirements, the resulting crowd tends to be remarkably upbeat.

As far as I know, they always hold the Forum at the Sandler Training Center — and why wouldn’t they? The location is perfect for a relatively small gathering like this. There’s plenty of room to walk around and chat. Then they have plenty of seating for the formal presentation portion of the afternoon. Also, Theresa Hunt, their  office manager keeps things humming right along.

The speakers can be inspirational, educational, or both. In prior Forums, I’ve seen Marilyn Suttle, co-author of “Who’s Your Gladys?“, Shawne Duperon, 6-time Emmy winner and founder of ShawneTV, and it’s also where I first met my business coach, Jim Woods, of LST Advisors.

Kevin Gillespie captures the crowd with
another great story

This most recent gathering included a presentation by Kevin Gillespie, an inspirational speaker who talked about the tools we find in our mental and emotional toolkit. Kevin was a lot of fun to listen to because he did what many of the best speakers do. He told us stories. In fact, one of the titles on his business card is “Griot” which is an ancient word for “storyteller”. If you get a chance to see one of his presentations, you really should check it out.

I’ve often said that networking events are basically just parties in disguise and the Sandler folks definitely believe the same thing. They have plenty of food and refreshments to help along the convivial atmosphere. With the optimistic aura and great guests, don’t be surprised to walk out of there feeling revved up about your business. You’ll probably also walk out with a number of appointments for future one-to-ones with the other attendees.

Be sure to bring your schedule.

The Abundance Forum is invitation only. If you are a business owner and are interested in attending, just contact them and let them know. If you’ve got a positive attitude, I’m sure they would love to have you.