Top 10 Takeaways from the 2015 Inc. 5000 Conference
To say I was excited to attend the 2015 Inc. 5000 Conference honoring the fastest growing companies in America would be a great embellishment. Sure, I feel proud to be part of a team who has built a company from the ground up, but like most entrepreneurs, I have a lot on my plate and barely know what month it is. I thought, OK fine, I’ll swoop into the land of Mickey Mouse, pick up some swag, and try to make the most of this boondoggle…at least we could stretch it into the weekend and enjoy some sunshine.
Off to Orland my wife (and co-founder) and I flew. Upon entering the convention center and resort, I noticed that things were a bit different than I had anticipated. In fact, my expectations could not have been more wrong.
Suddenly I realized that I was surrounded by 5,000 entrepreneurs—just as crazy as me—who shared a lot of the same business challenges and were open and humble enough to. I didn’t know another soul in attendance, but it was obvious that there wasn’t the 9-5, corporate slug searching for a free vacation type mentality here. No politicking, no cat talking, no back stabbing corporate antics…just a bunch of risk takers who thrive in the face of fear every day. AND, the presenters were all rock-star status, been there/done that, pragmatic yet entertaining, speaking my language, kinda people. I quickly realized that this was no boondoggle. This was an investment in the future of our company.
So what was the great epiphany? And how do I boil it down to a Top 10 List? Probably easiest if I do it by personality. In no certain order.
Carey Lohrenz, first ever female, F14 naval aviator, entrepreneur, motivational speaker and author of Fearless Leadership (the topic of her presentation), on how do you get 5,000 19-year-olds to work together on an aircraft carrier.
1) Having one single purpose is critical
2) Great teams embody two qualities, belief and trust
3) Feel the fear and do it anyway—comfort is one step away from irrelevant
4) Be the catalyst
Robert Herjavec, successful entrepreneur and star of Shark Tank and Dancing with the Stars.
5) Your brand has to be easy to do business with
6) If you don’t have fun and if you exude joy, it is hard to get someone to do business with you
7) Founders tend to be great in adversity, and amiss in calm times
8) I’m a nice guy until people start complaining
9) A great brand is a story that never stops unfolding
10) Nothing is impossible, in fact, the word itself says I’m possible
We will be back next year…count on it!