I blocked my calendar months ago in order to attend New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW) and it did not disappoint. Similar to the way others spend time at spas or at the beach, for me, there is nothing as rejuvenating as an event where new ideas are all around. I wrote about entrepreneurial energy years ago after my first NOEW experience and always enjoy Baton Rouge Entrepreneurship Week for the same reason. Seriously, I love a conference schedule so good that choosing among concurrent sessions is a challenge and last week I was flitting around trying unsuccessfully to catch them all.
Here are some noteworthy ideas that I heard:
From Leslie Miley (@shaft), the importance of environment or ecosystem. Miley contrasted the story from a tv documentary he saw about kids being taken into prisons to teach them consequences of deviant behavior with his own experience of visiting Apple when he was thirteen. This greatly influenced his ultimate path of becoming an engineer who has worked for some of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies.
Miley is currently working with Venture for America to expand opportunities beyond Silicon Valley by growing the startup ecosystem in cities around the country including New Orleans. If you or someone you know is entrepreneurial and early career, the Venture for America Fellow program is worth a look. I shared more from Miley’s keynote on my facebook page last week.
The importance of ecosystem for startups and for careers is a concept mentioned throughout NOEW2017. In terms of networking, Kelly Hoey (@jkhoey) recommends researching what’s happening in the ecosystem where you want to be and find a way to be involved. She also said do your homework and approach companies on something relevant to them, rather than cold calling.
Another theme that cut across speakers and sessions was the idea of visual story telling, i.e., the idea of using a powerful visual to tell a story fast and with impact. Katherine Lay says visual storytelling is everything now. The goal is to simplify and distill. Marketers must identify the trigger for each audience. Clients (or potential clients) want to be validated, want to be pulled in, and the right visual can do just that.
Bevy Smith (@bevysmith) mused about how people want to skip the middle. She said the beginning is the honeymoon phase or possibly the ingenue auditioning for their life; everything is new and exciting. She refers to the end as the Miller Life moment, the time of celebration and accomplishment that we all enjoy. The middle is the work. Her aha about this middle phase is that she previously considered it the time to hustle but has realized it is truly the time to strategize.
Ben Castoriano and Everett Fineran‘s session on negotiation strategies was jam-packed with great information. The first step of a successful negotiation is to value everyone at the table and work toward a solution in which everyone gets something. It is a simple and basic negotiation concept that is sometimes forgotten.
These ideas are only the tip of the iceberg so expect more from NOEW in future blog posts.
It was a great and energizing week. Knowing where you get energy is an important piece of the self-awareness puzzle. Where to you go and what do you do to get energized? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.