There's nothing like meeting the people behind the 5,000 fastest-growing companies in the U.S. and hearing their thoughts to revitalize my own. Thank you, Inc 5000. Add in 40 thought leaders from Alex Rodriguez to Jen Rubio and you have got some seriously good advice on your hands for you company. Also, I am very sore from the TruFusion morning workout.
Here are some of my favorite quotes of the day. You better believe I'll be putting them into practice when I'm back at Alice HQ.
1. "Make sure you're not smoking your own dope in your own business."
Adam Lowry, co-founder of both Method Products and Ripple Foods, doesn't mince words. And apparently, he doesn't take himself too seriously, either. He certainly could. Soap company Method has netted more than $100 million. His Ripple Foods raised a $65 million Series C last year and is getting lots of attention for its "dairy" products made from pea protein.
The reason he's been able to keep his businesses growing? He isn't so up his own you-know-what that he can't see that he still has to compete. Now that's wisdom.
2. "Trust is the conduit of influence. It's the medium through which ideas travel."
I'm in awe of social psychologist and author of Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges, Amy Cuddy. I mean, she has a PhD from Princeton and teaches at Harvard Business School but looks perfectly at home wearing a tiara in her Twitter profile pic. What's not to like?
The co-founder of Citizen Confidence Project's talk on the subject of "How to Harness Your Power" was highly quotable, but this one about trust really stuck with me. I hope that being honest with my employees and partners means that they trust me enough to listen to my ideas and take them to heart.
3. "The majority of business owners with a mission-driven initiative say it has a strong impact on the overall success of their business."
Well, imagine that. Doing good for the world around you isn't just the right thing to do, it can be profitable, too. This was one of the learnings shared by Jenn Flynn, head of Small Business Bank at Capital One.
Their Small Business Growth Index Report is full of nuggets of good news like this one. For example, did you know that nearly half of women-owned businesses saw an increase in sales in the last six months? I'm so grateful that Capital One is measuring these stats and letting people like me know we aren't alone in having had a sunny 2019 for our women-owned, mission-driven business.
4. "One thing you can control in life is preparation."
I was hoping for wise words from investor, entrepreneur, and yes, former Major League Baseball all-star, Alex Rodriguez. I wasn't disappointed. It's clear that this gem originates from his time on the diamond. No matter how forbidding a player or team you're facing, you have to be prepared.
The same is true in business. Whether you're preparing a million-dollar pitch (remember when A-Rod was a celebrity guest on Shark Tank?) or simply meeting with a prospective client, the most important thing you can have in your arsenal is thorough preparation. Of note, Rodriguez is the fifth in baseball history in strikeouts. He said that as a ballplayer and an entrepreneur you have to own failure, learn from it, and move forward.
5. "Go wide with your storytelling but specific with your vision."
When asked if there is a difference was between product marketing and service marketing, Jen Rubio, the co-founder, president, and chief brand officer of Away, said that it was all brand marketing.
If there's one thing that woman knows (and I happen to know that it's quite a lot), it's building a thoughtful story around a product. The photos on the Away website tell compelling stories of travel to places both exotic and quotidian. It is truly art, but it's art behind a product that people actually want and need. The storytelling brings people in, but the vision of easy travel is never forgotten.
Today is going to be another awesome day at Inc 5000. I am looking forward to the incredible Lisa Price, founder of Carol's Daughter, which sold to L'Oreal. I must see Michael Acton Smith the CEO of Calm--because I am not. And I am cautiously curious to hear from Bob Parsons, previously with GoDaddy and now CEO of PXG and YAM. Continue to stop into the Marketplace to get HR advice from Insperity, Financial tips from Capital One and apply for a $10,000 grant at the Alice Lounge. Most of all, let's celebrate you and dance our shoes off at the gala.