For many of us, Mondays are the groan-worthy start of the work week. But what if you could make Monday mornings a source of inspiration, education, and connection? The gang at Unstuck Monday Meetup aims to do just that as they bring entrepreneurs together each week to bust through problems and obstacles so they can focus on growing their business.
Unstuck Mondays started as a small group of friends getting together at the old 720 Cafe in Lawrenceville. Founders Adam Paulisick, Nate Mitchell, Knowledge Build, Kit Mueller, Majestic Lane and Phil Marzolf would meet each Monday to talk. “It started as a few guys getting together to focus specifically on diversity in entrepreneurship,” says Kit Mueller.
The group quickly grew by word of mouth and within a year outgrew 720 and Zeke’s Coffee and found a home at Repair the World, a nonprofit volunteer center in East Liberty.
Unstuck meets every Monday at 8 am. There’s plenty of complimentary caffeine and “just north of 45 attendants on a good day,” says Mueller. The meeting follows the same general format each week.
Attendees can first make announcements and invite other members to events, specifically free events open to the community. Then, participants are encouraged to introduce themselves “without telling your life story,” stipulates Mueller, “and then something relevant to this week’s subject or something you’re stuck on.”
From there, the meetings vary. Some meetings are spent working through struggles the entrepreneurs are facing, others involve a morning workshop or lesson. A recent session focused on developing interviewing skills that could benefit attendees in a formal interview setting as well as informal networking events.
The entrepreneurs attending the Unstuck Meetups come from a range of trades and backgrounds. “Our intent right now is to drive diversity in the numbers,” explains Mueller. At the conclusion of each meeting, the week’s facilitator encourages participants to come back and bring someone who doesn’t look like you.
All are welcome and they would love to see more women there. While entrepreneurs in the tech scene attend, many others are small business owners or involved in entertainment and media.
“Nontechnical entrepreneurship is a big focus,” Mueller says. “People who are opening retail stores, culinary artists or chefs. Makers of any type.” The wide swath of backgrounds allows for unusually varied lesson plans and conversations.
While the meetings have an open format, there are two main ground rules. First off, no selling, explains Mueller. “We don’t want a bunch of vendors here getting young entrepreneurs to buy their services or self-help improvement stuff.”
Secondly, “you have to distinguish if you are offering a fact or an opinion.” Both are welcome, Mueller says, but speakers must explain their point of view so not to confuse other participants.
Ultimately, the goal of each meeting is to help attendants feel less stuck. Whether it’s a physical or mental obstacle, the objective is to help entrepreneurs work through them. It’s not a venting or a therapy session, says Mueller, but a space to work through problems and inspire solutions. “There is a safety here, but there is also the encouragement to keep moving.”
It’s also not traditional networking. “We recognize this is a great opportunity to meet new people, but we also recognize that solving problems together is the fastest way to build meaningful and sustainable relationships.”
For more information on the Unstuck Monday Meetups, visit the group’s Meetup Page.