Years ago, I was deeply disappointed by the company I hired to revamp the Caerusnet website.   As a result, I had become very skeptical of people in the website design space making promises they couldn’t deliver on.    I asked a Caerusnet Member and Facilitator, David Kozler from Kingdom Cartridge, if he knew of someone he really trusted to work on my website.  I said “Please don’t refer me to someone, unless you really feel they’re fantastic.”  Dave said, “I have the guy you’re  looking for!” and he quickly referred me to Brian Surowiec from Essential IT.  Since then, Brian’s company not only fixed the issues with the Caerusnet website but they’ve since gone on to do more work for me and I am an extremely satisfied customer.  Brian also joined Caerusnet as a Member and a couple years later, decided to launch the Caerusnet Milford team as a Facilitator.  Brian is also instrumental in a company he and his wife run together, Strawesome, which sells reusable glass straws all over the world.  I had the chance to interview Brian for this unique and informative success story.

How long have you been in your profession? 25 years.

How did you get into this field? I was offered an entry-level IT job right out of high school at Oakwood Healthcare in Dearborn (now part of Beaumont).

What is the best thing about your business/career? It’s like a game of basketball – a constant movement that requires changing, adapting, problem-solving, creativity, new relationships, teamwork, keeping score, training, coaching, etc.

How are you different and/or what’s your niche?  Essential – in that we also work well with essential business, like hospitals, etc.

What is it about the Caerusnet model that you like most? I like that it’s facilitated – both as a Member and as a Facilitator. As a Member, I can just show up to the meetings and focus 100% on connecting with the team rather than having my attention split between connecting and doing some other job/role. I’m an ‘ex-BNI’ Member who served in all the leadership roles during my 5 years in that organization; it felt like it was like having a second job to me.  As a Facilitator, I enjoy leveraging my networking and small business experience with the great tools and structures Caerusnet provides to lead my group. Facilitating a group to benefit my local small business community is very satisfying and fulfilling to me.

Any tips on learning how to find situations where you can create a referral or invite a visitor? I always ask my customers what marketing methods they choose to grow their business. Usually, that opens up the conversation where I might learn something new and they typically ask me the same question back. It leaves a wide-open opportunity to share Caerusnet or anything else that might be valuable for them to explore.

Tips on how to be successful in Caerusnet?

Two part answer.  A) Set your intentions. Make a list of what you want to create or have happen out of your participation in Caerusnet. Then make a list of actions you could take to move towards those outcomes. Pick a few and take action. Show up and participate. Look back at your intentions from time to time. You might be amazed.  B) Do Trust Builder Meetings every week. Find ways to get to know and trust your Members; work-related and personally, if possible. I find getting to know what life experiences the other person has and what they are interested in supercharges my ability to become aware of ways I can support them in addition to referrals.

Want to connect with Brian?  Find him using the Member Search Engine by clicking here!