Following the momentum from Friday, I came in the next and final day of the conference with high energy after a refreshing night of hotubs and socializing with peers from other colleges across the US. Below are some quick encapsulation of the 3 speakers I visited for my breakout sessions:
Kevin Langley, Ellis Construction, Inc.
Kevin is currently the CEO and co-owner of Ellis Construction, Inc., a regional commercial contractor based in New Orleans, Louisiana. A serial entrepreneur, he also owns various other companies in construction, real estate, environmental technology and new media. He did a talk on “Entrepreneurial Leadership” that taught young millenials to learn how to start establishing a life of purpose as an entrepreneur and leader. Entrepreneurship is all about fulfilling the needs for ourselves and for others; thus, we need to focus on the most important things in our lives by identifying what our strengths are. Using Armstrong’s 7 kinds of Smart (Word, Picture, Music, Body, Logic, People, Self) as a guide, we need to ask ourselves these questions: (1) What is my most precious gift, (2) How do I use this gift in a way that brings me joy, and (3) How can I use this gift in the service of others. Then as we become more self-aware, we can develop our skills based on what we know our gift is. Kevin did suggest us to find and read Strength Finder 2.0, a book about discovering people’s talents.
Steven Hooper, Network & Social
Steven is the founder and managing partner at Network & Social with his brother, Chad. He is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the company’s operations, events, and partner relations. Steven’s motivation behind starting Network & Social stemmed from the belief that the company could offer professionals and entrepreneurs a better way to grow their network, and make new business relationships. There are many obstacles in growing networking events in college campus, such as the difficulty to attract non-traditional business majors or those who are not oriented towards professionals. In this session, Steven gave a guide on how to host successful events on campus that engage the entire student body and community. Basically, the event organizers must sell the idea of “being able to collaborate, communicate, and sell yourself in the workplace”, meaning that it’s time to build your network now. Other helpful tips that Steven gave include how to leverage and sustain business relationships, how to make your personal brand, and how to approach someone in a personal manner. Near the end of his talk, Steven introduced us to his NSEE (Network & Social Entrepreneurial Event) program that, according to him, will improve the success and outreach of the CEO chapters through each of these key steps: (1) Event Concept and Planning, (2) Marketing Technique, (3) Business Sponsor Engagement, and (4) Event Execution and Fundraising. If only Denison has a CEO chapter…
Duane Spires, Kick It USA / World Class Fight League
Duane is a national motivational speaker, business coach, professional MMA ring announcer, and serial entrepreneur. He was the recipient of the 2011 Empact 100 award, where he was invited to speak at the White House in front of members of Congress and other important decision makers about the importance of teaching entrepreneurship to young adults. Titled “5 Insane Persuasion secrets that will subconsciously trigger people to buy what you are selling!”, his presentation was probably the most engaging throughout the entire conference for me. Here are the 5 secrets: (1) Create rapports with your target. Ask the magic question – “What would make this perfect for you?” – and repeat back their responses, (2) Give first and close later – “Law of Reciprocality”: be the person who offers help to lots of people, (3) Law of Social Proof – ask people to provide effective testimonials to mobilize others’ reception towards your products, (4) The one word that will make you more money because people are programmed to accept it no matter what!, and (5) the art of the bonus – always prepare an added after-effect. I left the room feeling much more confident in my ability to persuade others.
Overall, it’s been a blast experience at this CEO conference. There are multiple other connections being made, elevator pitches made being presented, businesses being aided, ideas being honed… that I have not yet mentioned. Now I am confident to say that I am motivated to drive out the entrepreneurial spirit out and make real changes in my communities.