I’ve spent some time in country clubs – sort of accidentally. I used to have reverse-snobism about the country club set – I fancied myself more down to earth, less exclusive, unimpressed with wealth perception. But I actually see the value of them now, in fact of all clubs.
So the good thing about clubs that congregate for like interests or even socioeconomic status is that they serve a purpose based in community. They connect people of like minds, like education, like social status, like views – it’s easy. So whatever you may think of tennis whites and over priced Cobb Salad, just to use the country club as an example, they can be useful connection-stations. But something important to consider is that as a small business owner, you can’t fully thrive on “like.” You have to have different, you have to have unexpected, and you have to have surprise – and you don’t always get that with your “peer” group. Creativity, innovation and risk thrive on factors that are outside comfort zones and expected conversation.
This is exactly why you need clubs of people who are the same (it’s comforting and fun), contrasted with congregations where you are NOT the same, but share similar values. I always loved SMARTY for this reason; I love meeting people I might never know socially but who I connect with, learn from and respect – because so many of them have helped me grow my business and see life in a different way. We need those intentional collisions in life to stay smart and agile in our work – and life experience.