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Live From BizSmarts Expo 2011

by Lisa Byrne on September 28, 2011

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Hundreds are gathered at the Washington Hilton today for the 2011 BizSmarts Expo with a goal to “grow your mind + grow your business.” Sponsored by Capital One Bank and WTOP 103.5 FM with over 25 exhibitors, attendees can roam the expo or sit in on one or all five panel sessions. The lineup includes:

  • Disney Institute Leadership Workshop Session “Disney’s Approach to Business Excellence”
  • Panel Discussion: “2012 Greater Washington Economic Outlook”
  • Corporate Social Responsibility: Fortune 500 Company Best Practices for Small Business
  • Keynote Speaker Harvey Mackay, author of the New York Times best-seller “Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive” and “Use Your Head To Get In The Front Door”
  • Disney Institute Leadership Workshop Session “Inspiration to Innovation”
The panel discussion on Greater Washington’s economic outlook for 2012 included Barbara Lang, President and CEO of DC Chamber of Commerce; Joe Andronaco, President of USA Technology; Bridget Bean, District Director of the SBA Washington Metropolitian Area District Office; and Tony Pica, Capital One Bank’s Market President for Northeast Maryland and Sr. VP and National Small Business Banking Executive. Some interesting tidbits from the panels included:
  • In Q2 2011 44% of small businesses and 42% of large businesses surveyed in the district felt economic conditions were improving and almost half felt they were stable thus far in 2011
  • Women and women of color are starting new businesses at 7 times the rate of other demographics
  • DC is a challenging place to do business ranking us 51/51 as a state
  • SMB’s are shopping around for banks more, just as they are used to for lawyers
  • TIP: Interview your bank — don’t ask for the Branch Manager, locate the Business Bank Manager
Lunch hour was spent with keynote speaker Harvey Mackay, a wonderful and engaging gentleman. Leading with how ALL industries have seen more changes in the past 3-5 years than we have in the last 20, Harvey noted how the Internet is the more powerful force in the world today. It’s speed and wealth of information has made our customers way more knowledgeable, intelligent, demanding and sophisticated. We now live in a time where current college graduates are predicted to change jobs 14-16 times and move through 3-5 careers in their lifetime. He shared many things worth pondering, here are a few that resonated with me:
  • Don’t stifle window gazing, thinking should be encouraged at all times
  • There is zero correlation between IQ and creativity, ZERO
  • When anything’s been done the same way for a long time it’s often being done the wrong way
  • Every single person in this world must think global
  • Creativity is simply finding a new or improved way to do something
  • Practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect
  • A goal is a dream with a deadline – write it down
  • People don’t care how much you know about them when they fond out how much you care about them
  • Chemistry and likability – THAT’S what makes people buy from you
  • Build long-term relationships by humanizing your selling strategy
  • Little things don’t mean a lot, little things mean everything
  • It’s not the people you fire who make your life miserable, it’s the people you don’t fire
  • If it is to be, it is up to me
  • If you have integrity nothing else matters, if you don’t have integrity nothing else matters
  • We are the people we meet and the books we read
Did you attend the conference? What were your thoughts?
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