Caerusnet Is Celebrating 15 Years In Business!

Caerusnet is proudly celebrating its 15th year in business!  What a journey it has been since first starting the business in Brighton, MI, in 2008.  And my how the world has changed since.  Yet, regardless of our constantly changing world, Caerusnet is nimble and responsive to the needs of today’s small business professionals, service providers, start-ups and solopreneurs.  I truly feel our network attracts the best quality members and I thank you all deeply for your support.

A little history on how I got here as the founder of Caerusnet.  Back in 2006, I was the owner of a mortgage brokerage in Livingston County and had spent many years supporting BNI.  I helped start many BNI teams in the area back then, including one of the largest in Michigan, where I served as a founding member, president, educational coordinator, and in the end, a membership committee member.  For me, BNI was huge time and financial commitment and many members found themselves burning out, including myself.  While it was mostly a positive experience for me (especially as a networking newbie) it ended horribly.  Due to member politicking and shenanigans, I was blackballed and kicked off the team I helped start and put my heart into.  I was devastated and was left alienated and heartbroken.  As they say “that which doesn’t kill us, often makes us stronger”.  And that was the case with me.

At the same time as my membership with that referral organization came to an end, my then wife also let me know she was filing for divorce.  Then, the financial collapse of 2007/2008 kicked in, and I had to also close my mortgage company, which I started with my best friend from back in my college fraternity days.  We were not able to keep our friendship in tact and he moved to Denver, Colorado.

To say 2007 was a difficult year for me would be a true understatement.  I lost virtually everything that was important to me, outside of my two children, who were most important to me.  I was forced to take deep and honest looks at myself to figure out what I had done wrong, could have done differently, and wouldn’t do again.

A good friend of mine, Chuck Dodge, said to me “Steve, things don’t happen to us in life.  They happen for us.”  How right Chuck is.  Without all these things that had happened to me, Caerusnet would have never been created.  To this day, I’m very grateful to BNI, my ex-wife, my ex-best friend and for closing my mortgage company.  For without those events happening, Caerusnet may have never been created.  And today, I’m one of the happiest, most content people I know.  There’s something to be said for being able to face adversity and going after your dreams.

The 2020 pandemic also changed the face of Caerusnet.  We are no longer simply an in-person referral team experience.  We’ve also been able to excel at offering online teams.  As a result of the online experience, I was able to move to sunny southern Arizona and now manage my Caerusnet practice from there.  I cherish my annual return trip to Michigan in July so I can connect with Caerusnet members in person for private appointments, as well as with an extremely energetic audience at the annual Caerusnet breakfast.

Here is a short list of things I’m proud of from the first 15 years in Caerusnet that immediately come to mind:

Over 80,000 documented referrals passed and counting, between the members of the six teams I personally facilitate in Brighton, Ann Arbor & Canton.

Close to 25 Caerusnet teams in Michigan facilitated by wonderful professionals who are delivering the Caerusnet culture to their members.

Approximately 350 Caerusnet members who all take the concept of “know, like & trust” to heart.

ReferralTopia, which is Caerusnet’s signature online professional development and networking event, is now in its fourth year of production.  Think of ReferralTopia as a giant-sized Caerusnet members meeting, which is also open to the general Michigan business community.  Past events have gone so well, this year we are doing two of them in 2023 (March & October)!

The Caerusnet golf outing, which is currently organized by Wendy Caverly, who facilitates five Caerusnet teams.  This event is a great way to go into the fall every year.

The Caerusnet Podcast, now in its second year.  I absolutely love talking with Caerusnetters about their individual experiences and share their words of wisdom to benefit the entire network.

A fantastic website that is colorful, functional, and constantly improving.

So, while I’m very thrilled to be celebrating 15 years of Caerusnet being in business, I’m already eyeing the 20-year mark, and am continually making improvements to our network.  My ask is that we all raise our standards a little bit higher and make 2023 the year we all do more to help others.  After all, if you help others get what they want in life, there’s a great chance that you’ll have what you want, too.  At our team meetings, aim high to have at least one referral, one visitor, or schedule one trust builder meeting.  Trust Builders can be with members of your own Caerusnet team or members from other teams.  After all, we are an open team network where members know members from Caerusnet teams all across Michigan.

“One To Win” is my motto again in 2023 (this saying was also my 2021 motto).  One is simple.  One is necessary.  If we all give one, we will all win.  Thank you for your support in helping make Caerusnet the special network that it is.

Stay connected,