According to organizers, “GrowCo, Inc. Magazine‘s Grow Your Company Conference, is exclusively aimed at growth strategies, over 3 days with a line-up of business experts, interactive sessions, and networking opportunities.” Did they live up to this, and would I recommend other entrepreneurs flying across the world to attend this??
The quick answer is that I achieved “my” goals of being inspired and building my international networks. From my experience, a great list of speakers can be both a “pro” and a “con”. I am always concerned when SME-orientated conferences bring in big business leaders to discuss how to grow a business. The reality is, many of these speakers are merely managers (and even bureaucrats) rather than entrepreneurs. However, on a personal level, the speakers I learned the most from were Alli Webb (Founder of DryBar), Cal Henderson (Co-founder of Slack) and Chieh Huang (Co-founder & CEO of Boxed). Still, there was a lot of great information shared and my impression is that many of the speakers knew how to scale off business, and the topics looked relevant to any company in growth mode. For example, there is a real emphasis on quantifiable goal setting rather than wish making, with which many small business owners struggle. Furthermore, the networking opportunity with other entrepreneurs was always a positive latent benefit.
In this troubled economy, it is always reassuring to find organizations, media, and events that want to bolster the back bone of the economy, which is small business. GrowCo has made that goal a significant part of Inc. Magazine‘s business model.
Another great thing about GrowCO, was the amount of business books that were given to the delegates, some of which I have recommended are below.
The Growth Dilemma by Ami Kassar (South African born): This book is intended to help entrepreneurs decide how big they want their businesses to grow, how quickly, how much risk they want to take, and how much leverage they want to use. When I spoke with Ami, he said that book will help readers challenge their assumptions and beliefs about what they want their businesses to achieve, and find their financing comfort zone to foster their goals.
The zen of social media marketing by Shama Hyder: Social media is a crucial tool for success in business today. People are already talking about your business using social media, whether you are using it or not. By becoming part of the conversation, business owners can start connecting directly to their customers, as well as finding new ones, easily and inexpensively while spreading the word about their products or services.
Rise and Grind by Daymond John: New York Times bestselling author of The Power of Broke and “Shark” on ABC’s hit show Shark Tank explores how grit, persistence, and good old fashioned hard work are the backbone of every successful business and individual, and inspires readers to Rise & Grind their way the top. It might be convenient to believe that you can short-cut your way to the top, but the truth is that if you want to get and stay ahead, you need to put in the work. You need to out-think, out-hustle, out-perform everyone around you. You’ve got to ‘rise and grind’ every day.