I founded LoCo Think Tank in early 2014, after I had departed a 15-year banking career to pursue my local-food restaurant dreams. I knew by observation that peer advisory can be a positive force in a small business owner's life, and I created LoCo to help me transform myself into the entrepreneur I knew I was born to be.
The restaurant never came to be, we got a food trailer instead which we operated for a couple of seasons, and started a second LoCo chapter along the way. During my second season, my LoCo chapter encouraged me to park my trailer and get a job - one that would be flexible enough to let me attend to a growing LoCo Think Tank. So that's what I did, working for Thrivent Financial - a great company. Later, we started a third chapter of LoCo, and then a fourth and a fifth, and in early 2018 I went full-time LoCo (some would argue it was much sooner - about the time I quit my cushy bank job haha...)
LoCo stands for LOcal COmmunity Think Tanks, or "make you crazy if you don't talk to somebody about your small business challenges!" Our business model is to attract highly accomplished business-owner retirees or semi-retirees to the role of the LoCo Facilitator, and then to build diverse groups of abundance-mindset business owners around them. The Thinkers (what we call our members) gain perspective, accountability, and encouragement, and the LoCo Facilitators gain a double-dose of purpose and get a little walkin' around money for their time. LoCo Think Tank takes the lead on identifying new members and vetting them to make sure they bring skills and experiences that add to the vibrancy of the chapter.
It works. And the investment is much less than traditional peer advisory group models because of the give-back mindset of our LoCo Facilitators and the abundance mentality of our Thinkers. We're in Northern Colorado and planning to grow throughout the Front Range and beyond in the years to come. We're having a lot of fun, and making a lot of impact.