Several months ago, I discussed the concept of the Kereitsu Experiment. To recap, I invited 15 of my entrepreneurial friends to get together to see if we could develop a group that worked in concert to increase sales of our combined businesses by 20%. The goal was to get each person to set and attend 3 meetings per quarter with other members to determine how best they could help each other.
During our first meeting, we had serious dialogue about the ways that this collaboration could help. Each of the members were enthusiastic and some interesting conversations about potential relationships were started. What we were experimenting with was the creation of a community that would be focused on growing businesses.
Fast forward to this month. The results are in and while there have been some victories, the amount of interaction between the members has not really grown into the expectations that we had agreed upon during our first meeting.
There has been one member who is doing a paid project for another member. There have been a small number of documented meetings and networking sessions. But overall the project has not accomplished what we had hoped in the first quarter.
One facet of an entrepreneur’s experience that doesn’t get talked a lot about (we always look for the positive side of things) is knowing when a certain project has failed and to end it gracefully (and quickly). It doesn’t mean that I don’t care for the members of the experiment; I always have and will continue to do whatever I can to help support their goals and aspirations. What I have realized is that the grassroots nature or design of this organization was not conducive to keeping the member’s interest. It is much harder to build and sustain a community that works than is usually imagined.
I would urge each of the members to continue to use the keiretsu network individually to gain more advantages for your business. But it doesn’t make sense for us to meet as a group to try to increase our businesses.