Daniel has a busy life, like most of us. He works about 10 hours a day, and his wife puts in as many hours in her job. He has two young children, a large house, a commute, and a dog.
He is currently working on the biggest project of his career. There is a mountain of work facing him every day, but he knows that one more hour at work is one less hour with his family.
Colleagues in his department, most of which are older, often tell him he should join the profession’s association. They have been members for years. They come back from conferences and chapter meetings brimming with enthusiasm. Daniel knows he should join, but he also knows there is a time commitment and is not sure how he would fit it all in.
When someone says the word “competition” we tend to think of the other associations like ours. Or the smaller niche associations. Or even our own chapters and components. We imagine that potential members do their homework and carefully consider the pros and cons of joining the list of organizations we consider our competitors.
More often, the real competition for associations is time (more specifically, our potential member’s lack of time). The at-will decision to join is often not about what association to join. The decision to join is usually about whether to join at all.