We had a great meeting on Monday. Mostly, we talked about what the Bootstrap Network is, and how it's all about connecting with others who can help you with your business, and helping other people in turn. We pointed out that the Yahoo group is the main means of communication, and how 800 Bootstrap members and Business Week magazine have found that it works extremely well.
We also talked about the Boot Boards which are about to be re-introduced. Boot Boards are groups of 5 - 7 Bootstrap members who meet monthly as a "Board of Directors" for each other. There was a great deal of interest in that initiative. I'll post more about that tomorrow.
By the end of the meeting, everyone knew that they didn't need to be alone in their efforts, and that they would all benefit by working together. There was so much excitement and energy at the end, that I experienced the following:
* One accomplished independent water color artist I know gave everyone in sight a big hug and told them that he was glad to see this community being brought together. He told everyone how he could help them and offered to help in any way he can.
* A newly independent painter who recently terminated her contract with a leading local gallery to follow her own path was thrilled to find that she wouldn't have to make her journey alone. I introduced her to Roi, since he made the same move several years ago, and he's going to help her get started and give her the encouragement she needs.
* A well-regarded painter who has been exhibited in London and Miami and had seemed to be convinced that he could make his way on his own was overwhelmed by the synergy and excitement of the group, and he TOTALLY wants to help and be a part of this.
* A gifted abstract painter who moved to Austin 8 months ago and didn't really know anyone was thrilled to meet everyone in the group and be a part of such a great bunch of people in the art community. Her husband, who is not an artist, told me that they had been looking for something like this ever since they moved to Austin. He's also excited and eager to help in any way he can.
Mind you, this was no Tony Robbins meeting. This was all business. And it got everyone really excited!
Ariel Zarate spoke briefly about the Artspark Festival promoting collaboration between visual artists, video game designers, and local theater. There will be cash prizes in excess of $10,000. Entry deadline is April 16. I can send you a link if you're interested. We will be talking more about collaboration with local theater and other art forms very soon.
I handed out some simple forms asking for everyone's name, e-mail address, what they would like some help with, and how they can help others. I will be connecting everyone who attended according to their interests and abilities. We had 15 new people say they wanted to join the group!
I hope you can make it to the next meeting.