You're out there doing your thing, working hard, running a remodeling business, and sometimes you forget — or maybe you just never envisioned — that you're an entrepreneur. Rather than reinvent the wheel as you encounter challenges, it's worthwhile to look to organizations and associations of like-minded folks who aren't necessarily in the same industry.
Begun in 1987 by a group of 22 entrepreneurs, EO currently has 108 chapters and 6,600 members in 38 countries. Members must be under the age of 50 and be the owner, founder, or controlling shareholder of a business with at least $1 million in revenue.
The Gradisons meet locally with a group of about 60 EO members, and within that larger group they are part of a 6-to-10-person forum that meets monthly to discuss business and personal issues. “They help you see things in a different light,” says Joe, who believes that the smaller forum group's annual retreat has most helped him and brother Mark. “We used it to present our next year's business plan. It provided the commitment we needed to put the effort into creation and revision annually.” Getting people together from “different backgrounds offers a blend of skills that will ultimately provide good input,” Joe says.