Breakthroughs on the Bayou provides what is missing from so many other events – real “one on one” time and opportunities for conversations to take place to tap into the treasure trove of wisdom, experiences and resources other business owners can share.
For the last 37 years traveling to Board Meetings, Trade Shows, SBDC meetings, Chamber of Commerce, World Furniture Market, Buying Group meetings I began questioning the ROI or Return on Investment of going to these meetings and shows. They are costly – in time and financially. You are pumped up while there but after returning home become deflated when you realize you must spend thousands more to get the remaining puzzle pieces. Or, you need their ongoing coaching (call and report your status.)
Many times it is the same old Kool-Aid being served each year just in a different package. Many of these new marketing or personal improvements were cookie cutter concepts that are designed for all business owners and for all markets. These concepts came on with much hype, but fade fast. They burn vast amounts of time and money from unsuspecting business owners.
However, one of the greatest goldmines I found at these meetings was during meal times. Here you could glean tidbits of information from other business owners such as resources, contacts, success stories, and even horror stories while you ate breakfast, lunch and sometimes an evening meal. I wished many times we had longer meal times for these one on one conversations.
I had and still have so much to learn, and realized I needed to figure out how to fast track my learning. I realized I needed to learn from others—those who had been in the trenches, who had battle scars and stories to tell. I needed to learn from them what not to do. Once I learn this I could improve my odds of discernment by 50%.
Because of this I took advantage of the opportunity to attend Dr. Sabrina Starling’s Breakthroughs on the Bayous Retreat. I wanted a great ROI and I wanted input from the attendees. I volunteered to be on a “hot seat.” I had a concept that I wanted to bounce off of these business owners. They didn’t know me and I didn’t know them. They were from all walks of life and all parts of the country.
I felt this could be my first “walk about” to learn what others thought about my new Ppod concept. I wanted to see if there were any there who could see value and opportunity in this concept. I wanted to see if there were like minds or was I off track? I was looking for outside validation to move this project forward.
The real validation came one on one. During the break after my hot seat, we went on a walking tour of Sabrina’s property. Here the group was spread out and I had two different movers and shakers come and visit with me about my idea. They saw the vision and it’s potential.
At this retreat, these individuals and their experiences are treasure troves. Most are eager to share their knowledge. The key to this learning is to ask the right questions and then the hardest part – become a great listener. Ask a question, take a few bites of food. Then ask the next question.
Owner, Hunter’s Furniture & Appliance
Breakthroughs on the Bayou Retreat Alumnus