Being a BRIDGE Member: What’s it mean?

First and foremost, BRIDGE is here to be a resource for the community. We have become the go-to for asking for and receiving referrals for a wide variety of consumer and business needs.

When we started this journey as “Lakeland Business Leaders” we wanted to offer opportunities for businesses to connect. But what we soon discovered was that there was a need greater than just among business owners. With so many “options,” people wanted to feel like they could belong to something that felt personal.

Over the years, we have learned the power of these connections, even beyond what we can measure.

So, even though BRIDGE exists inside of Facebook’s ecosystem, we have created our very own ecosystem. Basically, we have created a platform within a platform. And slowly, but surely, we have found our “Tribe.” Today, we’re made up of generous entrepreneurs who recognize the importance of access and affiliation to this community – a community that works hard to raise awareness for those entrepreneurs and businesses who might not be known in the community – yet.

Does being a BRIDGE MEMBER mean something?

Only if you understand what we’re here to do. While “Access” to the platform is free (much like Facebook is free) we are powered by people who recognize real value, and want to see all of us succeed.

So, when you invest in a $150 BRIDGE membership, you’re investing in seeing this community thrive. And, you’re saying “when we all win, we all win,” because you’re committed to making it possible for this platform to exist.

This is where membership comes in.

Membership comes with a variety of benefits. But we try hard to make the value of this community speak for more than just paid members.

However, in order to be sustainable – to keep serving the community well, we need to be healthy. And, because we are powered by those who share our vision – and who appreciate the value this community brings – not just to their business, but the community as a whole – we work hard for them so that they can grow in our community.

This is where BRIDGE is different than any other organization we have found. By staying open, and serving the public. By allowing referrals to be made for non-members, we carry all of the risk. Because anyone can be mentioned, without one penny being spent.

This is where generosity comes in.

We have all heard the phrase pay it forward. Why did that movie, and the concept catch on? Because it is in giving, and in giving back that we feel the most satisfaction and fulfillment. Our members report that after investing in BRIDGE, cultivating the relationships it offers, and being a business with a solid reputation, they can look back and see that these connections really and truly helped them speed up their growth and now, they want to help others achieve the same success.

It’s a cycle, just like any that exists, and it’s making a difference in the community for those who see what we offer as something special, not just for their business, but for all of our businesses, and that is why we are here – because it is the love I have and that I have discovered others have – for making our corner of the Universe more accessible, more open and more economically viable for MORE businesses, more people and more organizations.

I invite anyone reading this to consider a membership to our community. Because, when you join, you make a statement of solidarity. And an investment in yourself, and your business to become part of the solution to the problem of being alone. Join our tribe, and you’ll discover you’re not alone – we’re all in this together.