On May 15th I am hosting my third annual Small Business Matters Conference. This is a tribal meeting. Marketing guru Seth Godin suggests in his best-selling book “Tribes” that we are all chief of our own “Tribe”. My tribe includes Vistage members, GrowSmart participants, colleagues, and friends. Who are the members of your tribe?
Why a meeting? One might think in today’s world of instant and digital communication there would be less of a need for tribes to meet. I disagree. I believe the need for tribal connection is greater today than ever. Here are my three reasons for believing this:
#1. I believe you have an incredibly tough job. Most of my tribal members are small business owners and their executives. You live and work in a world of great uncertainty despite the amazing amount of data available to each of us with a single click. Uncertainty whether we should buy or sell. Hire or fire. Go fast or slow. These are very tough strategic decisions that may be made easier with the help of small business experts with extensive knowledge and experience.
This conference will feature twelve (12) expert speakers on the topics of Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Marketing, and Work/Life balance (Happiness).
#2. I believe that you have a very lonely job at times. There are issues that you wrestle with that you can’t talk about with just anyone including your direct reports, spouses, and friends. You operate to some degree in isolation and it’s refreshing to be able to meet other CEOs and business owners to share these issues. Ask questions. Share best practices. Provide support. Often times we find out that many of our peers share similar issues. We are not so alone. The power of executive connection cannot possibly be understated.
This conference will be an opportunity to connect with over 200 small business owners, executives, and trusted advisers.
#3. I believe that business success does not lead to personal happiness. In fact, it’s the other way around. Personal happiness leads to entrepreneurial success. I am embarrassed to say that many of my tribal members are unhappy. They believe that if they can just add one more client, close one more deal, fix that one cash drain; they can be happy. Never happens. It becomes a mindset of always setting higher and higher hurdles to achieving happiness and the track is endless. The secret is to find happiness first.
If nothing else, you will find happiness at this event. You will laugh. You might cry. You will make new friends. You will enjoy this tribal experience. I guarantee it.
I look forward to seeing each of you on May 15th.
USEFUL WEB TOOLS
Huffington Post Small Business America
This is a great website for articles on small business, best practices, and entrepreneurial stories. See below for just a few recent examples:
8 Things Entrepreneurial People Do Differently
65 People Who Could Care Less About My Small Business
VIDEO OF THE MONTH
Feeling Held Hostage
One of my favorite authors, Verne Harnish recommends this great TED talk
“A veteran hostage negotiator for 40 years and author of two outstanding leadership books – Hostage at the Table and Care to Dare, George Kohlrieser shares his story about how he talks Sam out of killing Sheila and George in this short TedX talk. All of us, at times, feel like we’re being held hostage – even by ourselves. The key is learning how to bond quickly with people, even with those who are despicable. Men have a particularly tough time doing this in general and George, IMD professor, hosts a highly touted one-week program called High Performance Leadership that helps top leaders at major firms learn how to do this with all the people they encounter. This TedX talk might save your life and your business – watch it with your people and family (and listen while doing email today).”
A LITTLE HUMOR…
Office Olfactory Offenders