Last month I and more than 2,000 fellow business owners and entrepreneurs had the privilege of attending an amazing event in Washington, DC. All of us were graduates of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program (10KSB) and the event apparently was the single largest gathering of small business owners in the United States.
In short, it was incredible. Speakers included Tyler Perry, Warren Buffett, Sara Blakely, Michael Bloomberg, Sir Richard Branson and so many other fabulous business leaders. But the best part was being in the presence of thousands of other entrepreneurs, with all of their creative energy and “can do” attitudes. Someone said (and it’s absolutely true) that there were no “time wasters” in that conference center. All of us are the problem solvers, the ones who ask how something can be done, without much reverence for the obstacles that might be standing in the way of actually getting it done.
It was an exciting, invigorating and life-changing couple of days. I came away inspired and energized, and my very favorite thing happened on a bus one night, en route to a reception at Union Station. I was sitting alone and a nice young man from Brooklyn sat down next to me. We naturally started talking about our businesses and I mentioned an idea I had to grow part of mine. Within seconds he started to brainstorm with me and within the course of the 15 minute bus ride together we crafted a pretty solid concept.
Then he surprised me, but in a way that exemplified what was so great about the conference.
“I’m giving you homework,” he said. “This is a great idea. How are you going to move it to the next level?”
“Hmmm… Well, I can make a teaser video about the concept and put together some materials.”
“Okay, when can get get that done by?”
“April 1 is Easter. I’m calling you on April 2 to see what you’ve got.”
Within seconds I had accepted a calendar invite to talk with my new friend April 2. We arrived at our event, got off the bus and went on to have countless other amazing conversations that evening.
One of my co-alum, Leticia Velez, is featured in this video if you’d like to learn more about the program.
At the conference I learned how powerful and important small businesses really are to the economy as a whole. Some of the interesting stats that I learned about small business are:
- Small business accounts for 29.6 million businesses in America
- They make up 99% of U.S. employer firms
- We create 63% of net new private sector jobs
- We employ 58 million people – nearly half of America’s private workforce
Elin Barton is the President of White Knight Productions and the host of the podcast, Ready, Set, Grit. Her first book, Ready, Set, Grit: A Three-Step Formula for Finding Your Purpose and Turning it into an Incredible Success, will be released in 2018. To find out more about how you can use video as a smart tool to grow your business visit our website.