When is a Hammer not a Hammer

Written while CEO of the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce

My grandfather was a cabinet maker, and shortly after his funeral we went through his shop to decide what to do with all of his tools. He had a building full of every kind of tool you could imagine. As we were going through the shop, I was reminded of a conversation with my grandfather when I was probably nine or ten, I asked my grandfather which tool was the most important. He didn’t even hesitate. He quickly grumbled “my hammer, that’s why I wear it right here on my belt. I always keep my hammer close.” I realized then and better understand now that my grandfather valued his hammer over all the expensive drills and saws because he used the hammer the most. The value of the hammer was tied to its use. So, when is a hammer not a hammer? The answer: when the hammer isn’t used. What’s the value of a tool that doesn’t get used? Nothing. Much like a tool in a tool box, a Chamber membership is much more valuable when it is used. The Chamber offers an entire tool box to use along with a host of other resources. In an effort to encourage more members to use the tools available and get maximum value from their membership, we are kicking off two initiatives starting immediately. The first we are calling the “Stump your Chamber Challenge.” The Chamber is an informational hub that stretches over the entire county. Our goal is to be the “go to” organization to answer business and community questions. All a member needs to do is call us with a question. We then have 24 hours to provide an answer or the member is refunded their annual dues. If we do answer the question then we ask the member business to pledge to recruit another member. Win-win, that’s a pretty good deal. The second initiative is “Connect 4.” The Chamber is connected to more than 700 local businesses. Every business person needs to meet new people, make new contacts, and discover new prospects. The Chamber can help. Any Chamber member can provide a list of four chamber members or representative or employee of our local governments that they would like to connect with; we will make an introduction and attempt to facilitate an opportunity to meet. Simple enough. Some of our members already take full advantage of their membership, while others never open the tool box. These two initiatives are intended to introduce all our members to more of the tools available through the chamber. When you find yourself reaching for a butter knife instead of a screwdriver, remember that the few extra seconds to choose the right tool actually saves you time. That is what the chamber is here for, to save you time, make your life easier, facilitate your business. The chamber is here to help, and we are very capable of helping. Put us to the test. You pay us to work for you, put us to work, and make us earn our money!

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