Some time ago I wrote a blog entry suggesting that You are Who You Associate With … the underlying message being that if you want to be successful then you should associate with successful people. At a much more basic level, you will be a more positive person if you associate with positive people!
Last week I attended a conference for entrepreneurs, held in Ottawa it was called TiECon Canada. It is an international conference held here for the first time and I spent a day and a half associating with entrepreneurs … who must be the MOST positive people in the world. Did you know that if it were not for start-up companies there would be ZERO job growth (in fact negative job growth) in all developed countries!
TiECon Canada was hosted by the local Ottawa chapter and proved to be worthwhile at a number of levels. Here are just some of the reasons, other than the sheer positive impact on my energy levels, that I found this to be a worthwhile conference.
1. I learned more about TiE … an entrepreneurial organization with 2,500 charter members in 60 countries around the world who are all willing to lend a hand to their fellow members! Think about the power of that for an entrepreneur!
2. I heard business lessons from panels of serial entrepreneurs who have been successful, and had failures and were willing to share their experiences.
3. I heard business lessons from “the new breed of entrepreneurs” … the very young, but successful entrepreneurs who are having significant success in the “internet age”.
4. I heard stories and lessons from established Venture Capitalists … representing organizations in Ottawa, Toronto, Boston and California. Good insights into what these people look for, how to raise money, how to run businesses that attract their attention … which translates into having good business practices!
5. I heard a great story of overcoming adversity to reach success from an Ottawa entrepreneur who went from welfare kid to serial entrepreneur, through many trials and tribulations. In fact I bought Brad Loiselle’s book, “Keep Moving 4ward” … you could do worse than to buy it too!
6. I reconnected with many friends and colleagues at the event … rekindled relationships and caught up on their lives.
7. I attended sessions about the future of tech … listening to people who spend their lives on the leading edge and hearing from them about their predictions.
8. I witnessed some “investor pitches” from a number of companies, learned about their exciting new businesses and even found applicability to my world.
9. I was introduced to unhaggle.com a great way to take some of the hassle out of buying a new car. I am currently in the middle of using it, so perhaps I’ll give an update when the process is done!
10. I also came across a company that provides “volume pricing power” to small entrepreneurial companies, Edge to Epic … a great possibility for independent contractors. I am meeting with this company in a week or so … and I believe they will be able to bring value to the contractor community that Eagle, and companies like ours deal with every day.
I took literally 10 pages of notes during this conference, came away with a dozen business cards and met some great people.
1. If you want to be inspired, to be energized and to meet great people hang out with entrepreneurs.
2. If you are an entrepreneur, run your own business or aspire to those things look into TiE … a great organization.
3. A good investment of time into getting away from the day to day, in a learning environment can pay off big dividends.
4. You don’t need to take a course in a classroom to learn (although there is nothing wrong with that either)!
5. Life is good!
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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