Northern Colorado Business Group Goes for the Win-Win

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by Dora Hildebrand

In 2009, Amanda Griffith and other small business owners from Fort Collins attended a conscious business meeting in Denver. Tired of rising at the crack of dawn for the drive down I-25, they decided to form their own a local group. Conscious Business Connection (CBC) was born.

CBC is a group of Northern Colorado small business entrepreneurs who consciously create their businesses and lives by connecting with each other on a personal level in a supportive, encouraging, “win-win” environment. Because members of this group are passionate about what they do, they spend time building community where members feel safe to share their challenges and accomplishments. Attendance varies from 25 to 50 people weekly.

Every other meeting, the group spends time participating in interactive activities designed to build relationships. Unlike traditional networking that focuses on sharing leads, this group schedules activities such as improvisational games, team building exercises and visualization processes to help people break down their professional shells while encouraging friendships to form. The group believes in building community first and then letting leads and referrals happen naturally. This bond between members is what contributes to the success of the group as well as its members.

Creating bonds has worked for Griffith. While teaming up with Rachael Jayne Groover to build the CBC network, they became close friends. When Groover needed to add another employee in her business, she recruited Griffith from CBC. They now work together in The Yin Project, a program that inspires women to be powerful and feminine.

On alternate weeks there is a speaker with an empowering message about goal setting, optimizing online presence, conscious leadership, finding an authentic niche and other subjects that help members reach their fullest potential as socially, environmentally and spiritually conscious business entrepreneurs. A recent program focused on how entrepreneurs can easily become overwhelmed and in turn ineffective. The featured speaker was Ronda Wada, creator of Transform Your To-Do List: From Overwhelmed to Overjoyed.

Mary Dravis Parish felt welcome at CBC from the onset. She keeps returning because of the outstanding programming and the supportive people. The educational programs help her build her Enhanced Living business and the community building activities challenge her to go beyond her comfort zone. “It’s fun to laugh and act silly while breaking down barriers,” says Parish. She now considers CBC her mid-week pick-me-up. Although many others attend for that mid-week recharge, there are those who can no longer attend regularly because of conflicting schedules. Yet they continue to connect with their CBC friends, consider themselves part of the group, and return to the meetings when they can.

Peggy Gallagher, a Fort Collins Feldenkrais instructor, regrets no longer being able to regularly attend meetings. “This group is different,” she says. “It is more ‘heart- and-soul’ based, rather than [being] just about business and networking and I really miss that connection.”

CBC meets weekly on Wednesdays from 8:00 to 9:15 a.m. at Whole Life Center for Spiritual Living, 2020 S. College, Fort Collins. The welcome mat is always out at CBC, especially if you are open to laughter, new ideas, genuine conversation and unexpected connections. To learn more, contact Amanda Griffith at 970-308-4836,, or just show up at their next meeting!

Dora Hildebrand, co-founder of Spellbinders Oral Storytellers, Larimer County, is a storyteller, writer, and editor of the book Pioneer Journey, published in 2006. She’s a former legal administrator, now retired, who loves living in Fort Collins. <>