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Covid Hit My Business Hard, So I Stole From My Church To Survive … And It Turned My Business Around

business networking businessrelationship connection covid19 pandemic strategic networking tipclub Feb 13, 2023

The pandemic in 2020 caught most everyone by surprise and the rapid spread of Covid-19 hit my company harder than most.  Across the country, I had to shut down every single one of my business networking groups and in-person networking events which accounted for nearly 90% of my business.  Up until that point, I had been running a business networking company, Tipclub, for nearly 15 years and it was “successful enough” to make a living yet there was no significant growth.


My Old Business Was Toast

My traditional business networking model was broken.  I had to find some fresh ideas and new concepts … and fast!  One Sunday morning while I watched my church’s service on TV (attending church in-person was still prohibited during the pandemic), I started to hear words and phrases that stuck with me.  Phrases like “Help others”, “Live on purpose”, “The four-week challenge”, “Small group support”, “Get connected”, “Build life-changing relationships” and other words of wisdom that began to really sink in with me.  

Could something positive and life-changing really come from this pandemic?  Could this “curse” on my business really be a blessing in disguise?

I even found old church handouts that caught my eye years earlier that I had saved for some reason:

It brought on an epiphany.  Could some of these concepts be applied to my business?  Could I “steal” these ideas from my church to design a new business model and change how I’ve been networking and connecting people over the last 15 years?

In other words, could these powerful messages on connecting, serving others, and building relationships I heard at my church really make a difference?  Could they actually help my business survive the pandemic?

One thing was certain: my old business was done.  I had to move on or lose everything.


A New Business Is Born

If my old business was burnt toast, then my new business had to be as fresh and reinvigorating as a new loaf of bread just taken out of the oven.  I had to reinvent myself and reengineer my company – from scratch – to make my new vision clear and my purpose well-defined.  

I got to work and created a new business plan.  I designed innovative systems and developed new strategies.  I took careful notice of what worked at my church with its people that helped them unite and overcome the horrible pandemic.  Over the next couple years, I took bold measures and made risky moves to relaunch my business.  Here are a few examples:

  • Launched the 30-Day Tipclub Challenge app that helps build life-changing relationships
  • Designed the 4 P’s of our Strategic Networking Model – Purpose, Plan, Personalization, and People
  • Formed small groups for people to get connected for networking and support
  • Introduced a new “People Helping People” slogan


It’s All About Relationships

Most of us have heard of the profound yet simplistic KISS principal – Keep It Simple, Stupid!   I would like to introduce the new FORE principal – Focus On Relationships, Endlessly!  Always focus on your relationships – in all forms in life, at all stages of life, and throughout your life from beginning to end.  Why?  Just look at the missions of the most effective churches, fastest-growing businesses, and most successful organizations in the world.  It’s almost always about helping people and building relationships.


I’ll admit it, my “old” business networking company focused on bringing professionals together to practice exclusivity, pitch themselves, and essentially sell to each other.  Now, my “new” strategic networking company focuses on connecting supportive people, strengthening real relationships, and building robust communities.


Did It Work? 

Time will tell, but Tipclub’s numbers are rapidly rising.  Our revenues almost tripled from 2021 to 2022 and are projected to double again in 2023.  This past year, we launched new courses, apps, blogs, podcasts, groups, and workshops that focus on connecting people and building relationships.  

On top of that, I actually go to work every day with a new energy, an inspired vision, and a new sense of … purpose.  And having a purpose is the difference between making a living and making a life.


- Michael Marcellus, Founder & CEO, Tipclub Inc

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