Lessons Learned.

“Impact Venture Capitalists!”

Morning Team…

It was a good 2 days.

Three-hundred and forty-five Impact Club members, in two local communities, committed donations of over $34,000 to Journey 4 A Cure, and Rise Above Ministries to help special needs families. I couldn’t be more proud.

Look at those photos.

Cookeville, Tennessee on the top. Northern Va on the bottom.

All smiles.

From the Mayor of Cookeville:


There’s Only One Cookeville!

So, what happens when a community of people with big hearts want to bless others? They listen to this cool idea shared by Amber Flynn-Jared, (Impact Club Highlands), and instead of each person giving $100 to a random local non profit, they come together (184 strong for this first one) and give $18,400 to a single organization. Congratulations to Becky Davidson, Jon Alex and Rising Above Ministries on being voted the first recipient and Amber for her leadership! Shannon and I are honored to be a part of this and as Mayor it makes me very proud of our City!


And while, yes, there is only one Cookeville. Local pride. The desire to give back and make a difference is not unique. Impact Club is sweeping the nation. On a now daily basis I am asked the question:

“How can I start an Impact Club in my city?”

I would love to launch 100 new clubs next week, but unfortunately, there is an immense amount of operational support and infrastructure that is required. And right now, without the tech infrastructure complete, we don’t have that capacity to launch any more than just a couple each month…

And as Impact Club grows, it gets more complex.

So in this earliest phase, we (myself and co-founders) are striving to learn from each event – what went smooth? – and what went rough? to be able to plan, build, and forecast for possible solutions.

Like any movement, if you’re not diligent in controlling the narrative and direction, it can get away from you. And when that happens, that’s when it becomes something that is was never intended to be.

I am aware of that, at all times.

When I see something. I’m quick to step in. Problem. Find the solution.

My only three goals are this:

1) Support our co-founders in the absolute best way that we can from an operational and infrastructure standpoint. It is not easy to organize an event for members, when that # ranges into the hundreds.

2) Help every Member to make a life-changing Impact in their community, through the principles of Elevated Philanthropy.

3) Push local charitable founders to build powerful StoryEngines!

So far, we’re right on track!

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Short Memory. Lesson Learned.

When you do things that are public – whether it’s giving a speech. Organizing an event. Or growing a business. The tendency that we all have, is to dwell on, and replay in our head the few things that went wrong.

The check-in process wasn’t perfect. The sound system was muffled, people couldn’t fully hear the presenters.

Both of those things happened this past week.

At one point during the Impact Club Highland event, as people were crammed into the hallway, trying to check-in from two diretions, where there was little organization, and lots of confusion…

Amber, my co-founder, says to me, “You’re gonna kill me, aren’t ya?”

“No, I’m not.” (laughing)

I have a short-term memory about those kinds of things. That’s not to say you don’t learn from them. But what happens, happens. And next time, taking what you learned, it won’t happen. We have all been unprepared. Made mistakes. Underestimated something…

Didn’t plan as well as we should have…

We said X, when in hindsight, we should have said Y…

As I was introducing Impact Club Highlands, I believe I said, “Holy shit…” To which Amber reminded, “Ryan, this is the Bible belt.” Everyone laughed. Chuckled. I could have chosen different words…

But it happened, I can’t change it… so I don’t dwell on it.

To dwell on something rather to learn from it and move on, just causes angst and undue stress. Ryan Sloper, for example, Northern Va co-founder, had a snafu with the sound system – he couldn’t sleep that night…

When we talked I said, “Good, next time that won’t happen.”

He said nope. (reassuringly)

He then wrote an email to members, issuing an apology:


Hey guys, gals!

Another amazing event last night!!! Special Congratulations to our winner Journey 4 A Cure, who took home a $16,100.00 check. Without each and everyone of you this would not have been possible. I can’t thank you enough! We have an amazing group that continues to grow and strengthen the chain of inspiration once person at a time! We have now donated a total of $42,400 to our local Northern VA community in the last 7 months!

Truly incredible!

As great as last night was, though, I do have to apologize…

The audio was truly not up to par. That was my fault. I should have done a better job in confirming the sound system. A good majority of you were unable to fully hear the 3 charities present. We talk all the time about how important it is to tell stories that connect and inspire an audience. But when you are unable to fully hear them, it makes it quite difficult to accomplish that.

This is 100% my fault and I apologize. I especially want to apologize to our 3 presenters Dorine Harter, Carried to Full Term, Donna Carmical, Journey 4 A Cure, and Debbie Abbott, Literacy Volunteers of Prince William.

As we continue to grow we will inevitably encounter problems, and I promise that we are learning from our mistakes. Rest assured. We will have the most top-notch audio equipment that Northern VA has to offer for our next meeting.

Once again I appreciate each and every one of you! Thanks for bearing with me and I look forward to seeing everyone at our next event in October.


Almost every response, of course, was: “No apology needed. You’re doing great things.”

People get it.

We’re all human.

And yes, while small mistakes can be annoying, and cause us to dwell on them – they do not take away from the bigger objective. Which *WAS* achieved. 2 days. 2 local communities. $34,500 donated.

Small picture: We learn from our mistakes.

Big picture: Moving on!


July 25th – Impact Club Conejo Valley (CA – 2nd Event)

July 27th – Impact Club Temecula (CA – 3rd Event)

Aug 22nd – Impact Club Frederick (MD – 3rd Event)

Sept 13th – Impact Club Boise (ID – 2nd Event)

Sept 18th – Impact Club Fox Cities (WI – 2nd Event)

Oct 1st – Impact Club Eugene (OR – 2nd Event)

More announced soon…


By the end of 2017, we will have raised millions to fund local charities.

-Ryan Fletcher

Co-Founder, Impact Club – forever Grateful.

PS: Encourage everyone you know to learn the Language of Story. If they do, life, business, fundraising, relationships, the attraction of opportunity, clients, money, love, etc. will be much easier for them.

About IC

Impact Club® is Crossfit® for those who want to make a difference. We are Impact Venture Capitalists. There are local and national leaderboards. We compete. We use our intelligence, connections, propensity to solve problems, committed hearts, and unrelenting conviction to turn small donations into huge impact.