Just wanted to share a quick update on where I am career wise and wondering what Dave is up to? Home life is going well and Carolyn and Hannah are having a good summer (so is Kristy...)
I joined Centennial almost 6 years ago after heading up the National Scrip Center. As I liked to call myself, the Steward and Servant of this organization that was a non-profit organization supporting other non-profits. We raised over $20 million a year for charities and associations and non-profits across the United States. This was a great experience and while I thought I came to the NSC to do one thing (grow it to get back closer to $100 million a year) the fact was the overall financial structure of the entity was not right and we also had an attack from an unscrupulous for profit competitor (too long a story to go into here) - needless to say I ended up shutting down NSC. One thing that I took with me in my heart when NSC was finally done was the excitement, the passion that a team has to help others. I stood along side some AMAZING individuals that moved mountains to help charities, schools, non-profits. I missed that rush from the higher purpose.
So I joined Centennial after looking at the other job and career opportunities before me. I loved the idea of taking a successful, stealth, business and defining its brand and building its whole marketing and sales approach. When I joined the founder who hired me gave me a list of objectives to achieve. I believe I achieved all these objectives, and then some. It was a wonderful place to work and a great team to be on. I learned a great deal and I hope brought a great deal to the effort as well. As I like to say, change is the only constant, and well change shifted its fate filled eyes towards me.
Recently I started to think what next? I wanted to lead an organization again, be able to apply my approaches to business and to teams. I wanted to do something that was more than just business, something with a heart and a soul focused on helping the world – and was really a creative business at the heart.
So about 5 weeks ago I received a call from someone I respect and worked with ten years ago. We have stayed in contact over the years. They basically summed it up, “Dave I have a starting idea for a new business but I need someone to come and take it to the next level and to make it a stand alone business. There is only one guy I know that can do this and have fun at the same time, that is you. So you want to come create a business from the ground up? Be employee one? Build this the way you think it should? Lead it? Its time to get the band back together! (The Blues Brothers... I guess that makes me Jake?)” Wow... I knew this was something to seriously look at and think about.
So I sat down over a vacation at the Outer Banks (OBX) N.C. and typed up my ideas around this possible business and target market. It flowed naturally from my mind and fingertips. It felt right. Next I typed up my pros and cons comparison list. I also remembered that saying I heard many years ago “do what scares you a little bit, gives you that sense of excitement.” So after talking about it and doing a brain dump on the idea and gaining alignment with my future partner II said “yes” to the next adventure.
While it was very hard to leave Centennial, I know that the team that is there driving market and business development is a very, very strong team and they will do great things. The company is growing into new markets, strategic partners and offerings. Change will be good for them as well.
So what is it I am doing? Well I have to figure all that out. I left Centennial on July 30th and have been working on the planning, development and marketing around the business idea ever since. Summed up in simple terms the business is about helping associations and non-profits improve performance around corporate sponsorships, membership loyalty and fundraising. The rest is still in the works (name, offering, full business model, marketing, plans... Oh my... Take a breath David, OK breath in and out...) The goal is to set up a business that not only helps the world by helping associations and non-profits, but also is a successful business with creative team members doing amazing things.
Just so you know, Singing Eight Enterprises, It is the code name for the project I am working on (you know me I love project code names) Eight is a super lucky number in Chinese beliefs, it means good fortune. Almost like a natural luck. Singing is the idea to take this luck, these good wishes and amplify them (there are those that believe the universe is connected through tone and song, that the string theory is about harmony though different tones) and enterprises is a tribute to my last place. The real name of the business is TBD.
I will be sharing, looking for support and an ear to bend as I move forward on this adventure.
Best in Spirit! David C
A few ways to stay in touch:
My home email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cell is the same: 707-484-3620
Twitter Account: chiefbeekeeper1
Websites: www.carrithers.org and www.businesshive.com