Wow! I’m exhausted and exhilarated at the same time. Just got back from The Perfect Business Summit 2010 in Las Vegas. It was the first-ever national conference for Entrepreneurs & Investors and, by all accounts, it was a huge success! The Summit was produced by Dan Bliss, co-founder of PerfectBusiness.com, a site dedicated to entrepreneurship that provides professional business planning software, startup resources and inspiring interviews with leading entrepreneurs. PerfectBusiness was one of our first Docstoc partners so I have gotten to know Dan well. He is a scrappy entrepreneur from the Midwest, as am I, so we have become good buddies. When Dan shared with me his intention for the Conference, I immediately hopped on-board.
As we all know, there is no lack of Conferences or Trade Shows these days. But they tend to be industry-specific. There really was no broad-based, national conference addressing the key issues any entrepreneur faces when launching a new venture, regardless of whether he/she is opening a store, has invented a product or is delivering and product or service via the Internet or mobile app. My role was to wrangle kickass speakers, VCs and angels to participate and solidify marketing partners. Basically, it was a Bus Dev role for a startup Conference that was focused on starting businesses. A dream come true for someone passionate about entrepreneurship and fascinated by entrepreneurs and their stories.
The speaker list for the Conference was outstanding. We had over 60 great entrepreneurs, across many industries, discussing all manner of relevant concepts from bootstrapping to how to get your invention into stores and how to drive traffic to your site. Some of the keynote speakers and panelists were:
Tony Hsieh of Zappos.com – his book Delivering Happiness is a must-read. This is my favorite Tony quote: “Profits are like oxygen. You need it to survive, but ultimately what matters is passion, growth, and a higher purpose.”
Jeff Taylor of Monster.com – this guy is wildly entertaining and lists being a DJ as one of his best talents. According to Jeff, “Some people think that they’re great at everything. I happen to know that I’m terrible at a lot of things, but I’m good at a few things. So I had the advantage as an entrepreneur of hiring into my weaknesses.” Love this statement as it is so important to hire a great team that fills your “holes”. Of course, being able to actually delegate to them and let them take ownership and shine is also another great skillset of successful entrepreneurs. For more info on Jeff and his fellow panelists on the CEO Roundtable, check out this great article from moderator Laura Petrecca of USAToday.
Kimberly Fowler of YAS Fitness Centers – Kimberly was the lone female entrepreneur on the main stage. Her talk on bootstrapping and perseverance was inspiring and educational. If you want to learn from her story – check out her amazing DVD Overcoming Obstacles.
You can check out the entire line-up and a schedule of all the break-out session topics here: http://www.perfectbusiness.com/summit/.
For more insight into the successful entrepreneurs that shared stories of their “start”, check out this great blogpost from Tina Ong.
Hope to see you at next year’s Summit!