To be Inspired


The history of the Inspire sessions the Chamber runs goes back 15 years to the GFC year of 2007 when Ryan Hamilton was finding the existing networking events lacked a buzz and thought “I can do better.”

So, Inspire was born. Run by Ryan, with a bit of inspiration from Tony Robbins and other upbeat American motivational speakers. Fashioned on the premise that an early morning dose of structured enthusiasm and activity followed by a short presentation from an inspirational businessperson will get you fired up to greet your day and help you make the most of your month.

It starts off with the typical Kiwi networking over a coffee or tea as the patrons filter into the Bill Gallagher Room at Wintec to be there by 7am. Ryan gets the party moving, usually with asking you to interview the person next to you then share the info gleaned with the rest of the attendees. A perfect way to break the ice, and the group of between 40 to 50 gets to meet some very interesting people. A few months ago, a couple of execs from NZ Blood Service were really struggling to get donors. They came along at the recommendation of their manager, and after a turn to talk to the person on their left, they were introduced to Steve Tritt and through him to the 300+ staff at Waipa DC, many of whom were only too happy to become donors. 

On the odd lethargic morning Ryan has been known to bring along his boom box and get the audience participating karaoke style in an AC/DC take off, which certainly does get the blood rushing and breaks down the barriers between people. 

From there it is on to the speakers. Quite a wide range of people give their time. Each in their own way remarkably inspirational. 

Proving that the best leaders do not shout, the quietly spoken Chris Joblin outlined the vision and ambition of his team at TGH to us last month, whilst a few months earlier the amazing and equally softly spoken Rachel Karalus outlined her journey and that of her family in giving Pacifica a strong community core in the Waikato.

One of the more gobsmackingly 10-year overnight sensation presentations was given by David White, the CEO of Shift 72. A company that David built slowly with many permutations until Covid gave them their door opening opportunity and high velocity growth ride. Doubling your staff several times during Covid and now globally dominant in your niche is a hell of a story.

In a similar manner the final Inspire session last year was with the ball of energy and focus that is Nick Mowbray of Zuru. The insights and stories from their rollercoaster run as young entrepreneurs in China to global domination is the stuff of legend. It left all in the audience somewhat breathless with the highs and lows of their journey but showed what can be done by a trio of determined siblings from the Waikato. 

If you need a dose of good inspiration and do enjoy a coffee and a network, then get along to the Inspire sessions of the Chamber on the first Wednesday morning of each month. A connection or two, an insight or three, and you and your business could be inspired to be a rocketship.

Inspire is free to attend for non-members of the Chamber. Upcoming speakers include Ian Foster and metabolic neurologist Dr Matthew Phillips. If you’d like to experience it for yourself, visit our website: https://business.waikatochamber.co.nz/events/calendar. 


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