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We need to get serious about B2B, B2C relationships with fellow Gulch members

Posted by BrettRocketSci 6 months, 1 week ago to Business
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How many of us are putting our money where are values are? In other words, how many of us are trading with people and companies who share our values and principles?
I'm in the process of establishing a new independent agency for insurance and financial services based in the Sacramento CA region. I will need and benefit from a comprehensive network of other professionals and services to support my own business and serve my clients.
Despite the many challenges, injustices, and threats that exist in our world today, we must recognize (and embrace) the benefits and opportunities that still exist. One of those is the ability to seek out and do business with people & companies who share our values - locally and anywhere through the web. If we each don't bother to take the time and energy to invest that effort and act consistent with our values, what the heck are we doing here, I honestly ask you?? (I mean here on Galt's Gulch online, and here on this planet to be blunt about it.)
I just finished looking at all of the businesses listed in the Marketplace and will be making some phone calls to explore exclusive or preferred B2B arrangements. Within the next couple of months you should find me there, but I'm writing this quick post to say don't wait for that. Make a conscious decision to seek out, qualify, and build relationships with others who share your values beyond the immediate and superficial transaction. I'm very thankful we have this Galt's Gulch Online and saw the power of it immediately. We must turn this community into more than an online forum for news, commentary, discussion, and commiserating. The urgency is now. The time to create our own Gulch - from wherever we live - is now. I'm not getting paid to promote the Marketplace on this Gulch, it's for my own selfish interests. I want to find a comprehensive ecosystem of businesses and partners there who can help me survive and thrive in the years ahead. Let's get seriously focused and productive people! With integrity - meaning, with other people here in the Gulch. Who else is committed to that?


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  • Posted by handyman 6 months ago
    You raise a good point – one I’d like to see some discussion on here in
    the Gulch. I have seen very little evidence that Objectivists put much time
    or energy into seeking out other Objectivists with whom to do business.

    Here is something to consider when doing business with vendors (be they
    large companies or mom-and-pop shops) that hold convictions that are adverse
    to Objectivist principles. Assuming that these vendors are making a living or
    generating profits from their business, it is likely the case that some portion
    of these funds go to organizations (charities, churches, political causes or
    any of myriad variety of educational projects) destructive of Objectivist principles
    and the kind of society Objectivists would prefer living in.

    Assuming all other things being equal (like quality of product and service, price,
    etc.) and you had a choice of doing business with one in reasonable alignment
    with Objectivism and one contrary to those values, why would you not do business
    with the former? Granted, in many cases you don’t know. But why wouldn’t you
    make some effort to find out?

    Here is some food for thought and a topic on which I’d love to get some input
    from fellow Gulchers. Objectivists tend to be quite independent. Indeed,
    independence is a cardinal virtue. But is it possible to take that trait down paths
    that are not self-serving? Objectivists often are inclined to steer away from
    associations that might have overtones or even just appearances of any kind of
    “groupism.” Why might this not be self-serving?

    Consider the psychological concept of cohesion. Basically this is a trait that unifies
    a group of people working toward common goals. I can just see some Objectivists
    already cringing in horror at the very concept of cohesion. But before you reject it
    out of hand, look up something about it. The findings might surprise you.

    A significant aspect of all this is that not being cohesive may not be self-serving.
    Why? Consider this tendency among cohesive groups of almost any kind be they
    groups involved in sports, politics, military operations, commerce, or indeed,
    organizations of any kind: THEY WIN.

    I look forward to see what kind of product/service you’ll have to offer.
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    • Posted by 6 months ago
      Thanks handyman for joining the discussion. I had hoped that my post would stimulate more of it. It's an ironic and amusing battle cry, but I believe it is time for the individualists to unite!
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      • Posted by Jstork 6 months ago
        "Individualists Unite." I can see that as a bumper sticker. Love it. Kind of like "Who is John Galt?" written on the back window of my car. Only a few people know what that means. I have only had two people in the last year or so honk or give the thumbs up because they know what it means. I am curious as to what might happen if the movie "Atlas Shrugged" hit the mainstream theaters. Would the philosophy pass by many? How many lives could it potentially change?
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        • Posted by LibertyBelle 5 months, 4 weeks ago
          I saw the movie; was unwilling to miss it; but it did not begin to do justice to the book. In fact, I could have written a better script. (Not to brag about being a great writer, because Ayn Rand had already done most of the work, and once the decisions had been made about what to cut and what to save, it need not have involved much but straight copy from the book).
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    • Posted by unitedlc 6 months ago
      I agree that my perception of Objectivists is embracing of independence, so it can be hard to gather for a common goal like this. I also agree that, all things being equal, it would be illogical to do business with someone who does not share your values if the inverse exists. I do think, however, that Objectivists may also be much more concerned about their own pocketbook and convenience to go out of their way to find an "inconvenient" vendor on a message board, as opposed to a local vendor that has a proven track record in their community of providing quality service at a reasonable price, regardless of their philosophies. This is an unfortunate side effect of our self serving nature. I would hope, that when an Objectivist has a moment of altruistic emotional thought (since we are human and all), that he would point that benevolence toward giving another Objectivist a shot at their business, as opposed to helping someone who does nothing to help themselves... ;)
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      • Posted by handyman 6 months ago
        Thanks for the thoughtful reply, Unitedic. I concur with most of what you said. Searching for an online vendor/supplier is often not as satisfying as going to a known entity just around the corner. This could change, though, with all the increasing online businesses available.

        I do want to nit pick with your term "altruistic emotional thought." The term "altruistic" would normally denote taking an action with no thought of personal gain. The interactions I am promoting are done with the full intent of being self-serving in some way. Engaging in trade with entities that support your values would be one of them. The nature of that kind of selfishness is not immediate or even material. Supporting one's values in trades of this sort is consistent with the virtues of justice and integrity and necessarily longer range.
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  • Posted by Mitch 6 months ago
    I agree with you 100%, it just doesn’t need to be stated precisely… The minions would have you in pieces then the whole in California. That kind of success brings unwarranted attention to yourself here in Sacramento. I’ve played around with the idea of a dedicated Amazon of the B2B world for some time (since 2003) but unfortunately, I don’t have the resources to implement (both money and time).

    An open bidding board for goods and services with feedback would naturally attract “our kind” plus others that could see the light.

    Negotiations outside of cash would inspire the Galt in all of us…

    Mitch
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    • Posted by 6 months ago
      Thanks for speaking up Mitch. You are in Sacramento too?! Please confirm or clarify.
      Little trivia, before this Gulch formed I started an Objectivist B2B site through Squidoo. Didn't ever take off for various reasons... if you want to make a run at that let me know, but I would recommend we try it in the Marketplace here first because it already exists and we have a huge number of members already.

      How to bring up our philosophy tactfully and effectively with strangers, customers, prospects, casual acquaintences... this is something I am going to put conscious effort and experimentation into.

      Wouldn't it be great to build a self-sustaining business, career, and economy with people like us here? It's high time we stopped daydreaming and wishing for that day. It needs to get out of a novel and into reality. That doesn't mean I will offend or refuse anyone else. But if we don't make the effort, that guarantees it will never happen doesn't it???
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      • Posted by Mitch 6 months ago
        Lincoln to be precise…

        I don’t necessarily disagree with you, my only problem is that there isn’t enough of “people like us” to build a business on, well a serious business anyway. I’m just saying, limiting the participants to a small group is a sure way to failure. Might be better to build an automation model that enforces these business ideas on the unwashed masses, kind of like sneaking vegetables to your kids by hiding them in the mash potatoes.
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        • Posted by Ducky 6 months ago
          Holy smokes, we're in Lincoln, too, and in the same line of business!
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          • Posted by Mitch 6 months ago
            Hey Ducky, very nice… I love Lincoln, enough small town but close enough to a large city. People here are great and usually a common mindset. I’m in Information Systems, specifically I build automation for cloud computing environments; my specialties is server based computing, Windows platform and automation on a budget.

            Mitch
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            • Posted by Ducky 6 months ago
              We love Lincoln, too--Have you been up to their shooting range? My husband and I teach a 2-day rifle program, out at SacValley Shooting Center, an hour from here. I just love the region and its proximity to everything from Yosemite to the Monterey Peninsula (my home base).

              All of our business is now done over the phone and internet, having moved away from clients in Oregon to move to SoCal (for our kids to attend VanDamme Academy), and then again 10 years later, SoCal for Lincoln, to be near my mom.

              So how does your project of financial services/Insurance fit in with your Info Systems work?

              Ducky (aka Linda)
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              • Posted by Mitch 6 months ago
                I thought we might be speaking apples and oranges… I’m interested (or was years ago) in the information technology and automation aspects of brining businesses together, not necessarily the financial aspects but everything.

                I use Dilman Range on occasion, great please… I became acquainted with my M&P Shield there, had a hard time initially because it’s an extremely small gun.

                Mitch
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                • Posted by Ducky 6 months ago
                  Hi Mitch, OK...got it...must admit, I'd had a blonde moment and confused you with Brett with regards to the "line of business." That's ok, I'll be fine ;^) It's just neat to find out we have other Objectivists not only in our area, but in Lincoln!
                  We love Dillman Range, but only go up there on weekdays--we've seen too many muzzle sweeps and unsafe handling by folks who show up on the weekends. Still, I would encourage you to get as much range time with your pistol as possible--not only will it help you gain confidence and familiarity with your firearm, but will greatly improve your marksmanship. Maybe some time, you can send me a message, and we can plan to meet you up there? Early afternoons, usually Tues or Thurs are best for us. If you have a rifle, consider coming out to our event at SacValley Shooting Center, Apr 8 and 9th, where we'll be teaching an awesome 2-day rifle class. The details can be found at Appleseedinfo.org / Programs / Marksmanship Clinics. We'd love to see you out there!
                  --Ducky
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              • Posted by 6 months ago
                Hey there Linda, you're in the neighborhood too! I live in Folsom. Wonder if Lincoln or the Shooting Center is closer to me. Looks like a toss-up. I would like to visit you when you are at the shooting center. Can we arrange that?
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                • Posted by Ducky 6 months ago
                  Hi Brett, Well I would acquaint myself with both ranges if I were you...they're both wonderful. We will be out there at SacValley Shooting Center, Apr 8 and 9th, teaching our 2-day rifle class. The details can be found at http://Appleseedinfo.org / Programs / Marksmanship Clinics. If you're not able to attend, you are welcome to stop by during lunch on Sat (approx. 11:30-1:30-ish)--we will be telling the story of the day we became Americans--the original Patriots' Day, April 19, 1775. After lunch, we will have a special commemorative course of fire, in which we will read the names of the first 13 Americans killed that day, followed by a salute of fire. (If you're a participant, you get to salute!) We do this special Patriots' Day Appleseed every April. My husband and I have been instructors with Appleseed since late 2012, each teaching almost 50 full weekend events.
                  We'd love to see you out there!
                  ---Ducky
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                  • Posted by 5 months, 4 weeks ago
                    Thanks a lot. Sounds fun but it would have to be a weekday for me. Are you up in Lincoln during the week?
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                    • Posted by Ducky 5 months, 4 weeks ago
                      Yes, but we don't have any rifle events up here. We do enjoy meeting friends at Dillman Range--usually early afternoons Tuesday or Thursday, because of our work schedule and the range events (you can check their calendar online). Let me know if you're thinking of heading up there, or otherwise might be in our area. It'd be fun to just sit and chat for a bit.
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        • Posted by 6 months ago
          Mitch - I had to look on a map for Lincoln. Very close! Close enough to meet in person. Let's make it happen ok?
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          • Posted by Mitch 6 months ago
            I’m just speaking from experience and analyzing reality, eyes wide open and always better then hopes and wishes. Why would you build a business where you limit you cliental? These objectivist ideas are openly accepted by a lot of people, just not overtly; or put another way, most people would love to purchase a good or service from a reliable source for a fair price.

            I’ve always had the opinion that we here need to be more accepting of others that might not toe the objectivist line but maybe agree with 80% of the objectivist ideas.

            Would have to say that I disagree with you on limiting your success and I caution you about cautioning others. (joking here)
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            • Posted by 6 months ago
              Thanks Mitch. Perhaps the full context will help explain. Although I am still open to the possibility that my approach to be bold and open about my philosophical preferences is a mistake. But, the market I am targeting is people age 65 and over who have enough money to not be on Medicaid yet not enough money to not care about any of their medical bills for the rest of their lives. The number of people in between those two extremes are increasing about 6,000 people PER MONTH in my region. So I'm thinking that I can be more targeted to a particular type of person in this age bracket... and be the #1 go-to guy for all of them who care about their individual liberty. Especially when it comes to their healthcare choices and where their money goes now and after they die.
              Any thoughts on those assumptions? Glad to read them!
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        • Posted by 6 months ago
          Thanks. I caution you about your attitude. They become self-fulfilling prophesies. There is a term and concept called Attraction Marketing. By being bold, public, and confident about your brand and unique value, you will attract others who are sympathetic with and aligned with that type of person or company. Yes, it can be subtle and implicit as well as hit-you-over-the-head style. This is what I intend to put into practice and experiment with. You know that we Objectivists have some key phrases and sayings that will get our attention. :-) For instance, I can fill my ad copy with a few "per se"'s!! LOL There are more serious terms and concepts of course. But I intend to have fun with it. We have to enjoy the journey.
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  • Posted by LibertyBelle 5 months, 4 weeks ago
    It would be nice if such an organization existed.
    Actually, it did once exist--it was the Association of Objectivist Businessmen. There was an AOB Newsletter, and it came out, I think, once a month.
    In fact, I had a subscription to it. (I was told that one did not have to be a business owner to get
    a subscription). But that periodical quit publish-
    ing, I don't know why.
    I benefited from it, because it provided a way
    for me to get in contact with someone who would
    sell me plastic gloves (required as a health mea-
    sure on my hot dog cart), after my boss started
    buying them from Red China (which products I
    refused to use, and for which for a while substituted Zip-
    lock bags); but AOB eventually helped me get
    the right gloves.
    So there is a good reason for the existence
    of such an organization. But I would beware of
    getting an attitude of "I will do business only with
    Objectivists, and never any outsiders." After
    all, if I wanted to get a job somewhere, or to
    start a business, I would not like it if my neigh-
    bors were to get the attitude of "So you're an
    Objectivist?!--Sorry, I don't want to buy from
    anybody who is not a Christian." Or, "What
    church do you go to?--None?! I don't rent rooms
    to people who are not Christians, and never even
    go to church!" etc.
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    • Posted by 5 months, 4 weeks ago
      Thanks. I remember that organization! Wonder what happened with it...
      Thanks for the caution. Being exclusive is not my strategy or goal. It is my strong preference, but I do need to be thoughtful and careful about making this counterproductive for others or myself. Thanks.
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  • Posted by Jstork 6 months ago
    I love the comments. I rub my hands together with anticipation of what could come of this. Trying to work legally with other objectivists within the constraints of the government makes me realize even more how they are slowly tightening the shackles that bind us.

    Thank you all for the encouragement.
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    • Posted by 6 months ago
      Thanks for the comment Jstork. Glad this is encouraging for you! You missed your first chance to make a shameless plug for yourself so now I'm asking for it -- what business are you in?
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      • Posted by Jstork 5 months, 3 weeks ago
        I do general construction, fabrication, problem solving, and idea creation. I do this in my time off from my full time job and when I am not working in the summer. I have worked on greenhouse erection, a solar array of 9.5KW, wood gasifier/boiler installation including (simplified pipe fitting and electrical) in order to keep the projects simple, and affordable, small concrete pours, light and heavy duty mechanics and troubleshooting, all the way down to fencing and landscaping. I often help troubleshoot problems and create solutions for various farm, and general construction issues and projects. If I don't know the answer, I will try to find it. Kind of a glorified jack of all trades and master of none. Just trying to make the world a better place. The fellow I often work with is much the same and between the two of us, we can do a lot.
        Sorry that this probably doesn't help as it is not very specific.
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  • Posted by  $  Wgingram 6 months ago
    What is a B2B or B2C? Abbreviations mean nothing to some of us and you elitists love to show how cool you are by using such short cuts to conversations.
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    • Posted by 6 months ago
      Oops, sorry. Glad you asked for help. My mistake and apologies for thinking these were known to everybody. B2B is Business to Business. B2C is Business to Consumer. Imagine a self-sufficient Gulch (or any economy) and I think you'll see that you need both types of business transactions on a regular basis. Better now?
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      • Posted by  $  Wgingram 6 months ago
        Remember this - Many people speak and write the English language properly and don't take short cuts. Short cuts are lazy thinking for proper conversation. At least that is how ( I ) see it.
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  • Posted by philosophercat 6 months ago
    Objectivism is the most powerful idea in 2350 years of human thought. Who doesn't put it to work? Objectivists. Look at BB&T Bank. They teach the virtues to each employee and they have honesty as a virtue as Bankers! WHat a great marketing tool. I met with branch managers and worked out ways to put these virtues to work in direct marketing to the high profit line of financial management for new customers. Lets say you know the VP marketing for a small regional bank which wants to grow fast. You put me and her together and I design their new "Trust Honesty" marketing campaign. Soon you are hiring and investing too.
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  • Posted by philosophercat 6 months ago
    In my experience an insurance and financial services agent doesn't make a lot of money unless they establish the confidence of their clients in their ability to create investment opportunities. You participate and provide your services to the investment entity. That's how to make money. What you are doing is being the honesty and moral integrity connection between investors and what are hopefully honest Objectivist entrepreneurs or developers. I have several investible companies and development concepts from my days as an entrepreneur and development consultant. You as an honesty broker could license the right to sell them to your clients. They get innovation pretested for honesty you get fees and participation and I get to move breakthrough ideas that I don't have time for as a philosopher. In todays world truth, honesty, integrity, innovation etc are values that are worth a lot. What do you think?.
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    • Posted by 6 months ago
      Thanks. Truth, honesty, and integrity are what I value tremendously and what I want to emphasize. But I suspect there are other "trigger words" or phrases, in a good way, that will make these words connect better with people rather than sounding cliche or unreliable. For instance, BB&T bank could say what they say. But when you learn that every employee is given a copy of Atlas Shrugged to read (still true?) then THAT means something more!
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  • Posted by Herb7734 6 months ago
    I personally don't think that the Gulch is the forum for what you propose. If you wish to create a forum for Gulchers in the mode you describe, I suggest that you get together with other Objectivists and go to it. This blog was created by people promoting the Atlas Shrugged movie as well as all other things Ayn Rand. They've put much time and effort into it and it is a greatly appreciated place to meet and converse with other like-minded folks, but, I suspect that you would change the nature of it.
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    • Posted by 6 months ago
      Thanks for this input and reaction Herb. I'm glad you wrote it. I'm sure others share your sentiment. I respect that a lot of people are here, like you, mainly for the social connections and conversations. I don't want to take that away or minimize it. It's not an either-or. More like "yes, and..." The creators did create a Marketplace here too, right?
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  • Posted by Mygood 6 months ago
    Hello everybody. We are in area as well. And what I was really curious about is to find out for our business about financial services that are not under FDIC. Services that can be used by Californians and not just by federal U.S. citizens.
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    • Posted by 6 months ago
      Hi Mygood. Nice to make another nearby connection! Not sure I understand your question and goal but if I can help after learning more I would like to. Sounds like you might be looking for cryptobanking, like Bitcoin. Can I suggest you start a new discussion on the topic and explain the question fully? Thanks, Brett
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  • Posted by lrshultis 6 months ago
    The purpose of business is to create a product or service that others might find useful. The purpose is not to find some cushy collective of others to feel good within. During Rand's time, my great disappointment was the 'Collective' formed by her followers and seemingly accepted by Rand, thus giving a cult like existence to the first decades of Objectivism. Your job as a business person is not that cushy collective with either a religious or philosophical agreement among members and clients, but to produce something useful for your clients should they decide to deal with you. If you have a usable product or service people will beat a path to your place and give you a profit and you will be much happier than making some kind of altruistic attempt at somehow changing people, none of whom have any agreement religiously or philosophically with you, into surrogates of yourself. It is a waste of your time. Let the market rule and enjoy the results, good or bad.
    You would not like a Gulch where you could be ejected for the least little infringement, as were some in the Rand's Collective, of thought or action which would be less free than today's USA.
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    • Posted by 6 months ago
      Thanks for the comment. I think you read something into my post that I didn't intend. I'm going to be doing the same difficult, ethical, and valuable work no matter who I do it with. Part of that is marketing myself. But the market has a lot of competition. Doesn't it take you a lot of effort to find businesses and business owners who you trust and know well? Especially for sensitive areas like financial planning and insurance products & services? What if you were shopping for a new investment advisor online, and discovered that one of them put Francisco's speech about money on their website? I'm not talking about any enforcement system beyond our existing free market - everyone still has to offer and deliver value on their word. I'm talking about "getting the word out" in a different way. Does that change the conversation?
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  • Posted by  $  TomB666 6 months ago
    Over time as mention of novels pops up here I have bought them (Kindle edition almost always) because I have NEVER been disappointed with them. Your post about the market place made me realize that some of our fellow Gulcher's writings don't get mentioned so I did not know that there were several I'd not heard of. I have writings by Vinay Kolhatkar, Dale and Kalia Halling, Robert Gore, and Allan Ashinoff and am looking forward to purchasing others as I have the time to read them. This is one area where we can support each other rather easily in this digital age. As to other products, I'll make a point to check the Gulch in the future to see if one of us offers it.
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    • Posted by 6 months ago
      Thanks for the testimonial Tom. Glad I steered you into the Marketplace here where you found more value! Now where's that commission check... just kidding. I'm building future awareness and demand for when I'll be there. ;-)
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