When I was a young man, I almost always loved making connections whenever I went to a party or other social gathering. It was both terrifying and exhilarating! Once I broke through my initial shyness or self-doubt, I would find myself engaged in an energetic conversation with strangers. I began to appreciate that I had inherited my mother’s connectivity skills and was, like her, a “social butterfly.”
Some years ago, my cousin May, a pharmacist in Dallas, Texas, shared with me a story of how she met her husband at a Meetup event. It was my first time hearing about the online-offline social platform and I quickly stored it into my mental lexicon. Some years later, I recollected that Meetup would be a great way for me to market my new film company and my real estate brokerage, but subtly. I could add value by teaching others how to market their professional services – a skill set that I was fascinated with and one that was lacking in the legal community – and, in return, my new tribe would know, like, and trust me enough to refer me to their friends and family whenever there was a need of my services. I created Tanner Enterprises (a company name I was always fond of for obvious reasons) to host networking events and the Jacksonville Professional Entreprenteur Network JAX PEN was born!