I returned from my second annual Small Giants Summit in Detroit recently, so I want to reflect on those powerful and incredible few days.  This year, we rallied more cohort friends from our 10KSB program and headed to Detroit to experience the SG summit together.  The days were long and packed full of incredible keynotes, talks, workshops, and social hours.  The community once again surpassed my expectations: it’s truly a group full of positive energy, optimism, and the desire to help those around them.  I met many amazing people doing great things in and out of their work environments and changing the “antiquated” ways in which businesses are run.  I walked away from the three days in Detroit with so many exciting ideas, things to think about, and new friends that I know I can count on!

The opening keynote at Small Giants was done by Michael Brennan.  He was previously the CEO of United Way for Southeastern Michigan before making the pivotal career switch to open a non-profit called Civilla that tackles social issues.  The title of this blog refers to a point Michael made during his keynote about knowing your “no matter what” in life.  He didn’t feel satisfied in his career at the end and wanted to make impactful changes, but he knew that before he could step down from his career, he had to know what his no-matter-what was.  It made me think about my no-matter-whats and if I even know what they are.

As a business owner, there are many things that we both know and don’t know.  I can articulate that which drives me as the CEO of my company and that which drains me, but I know I haven’t taken the time to sit down and evaluate my no-matter-what.  I am looking forward to spending some time figuring out my no-matter-what and holding myself accountable to living my life while keeping that in mind!

One of my favorite parts of the summit was once again the workshop led by Corey Blake called The Pink Spoon of Purpose.  He’s not only an incredible leader, but he engaged a whole room of people and focused them to extract such powerful realizations.  What is our purpose in life? Are we living a life which fulfills that purpose?  Once you understand your purpose, you can see how a lot of what we do in life is working to fulfill that purpose.  I believe there’s always room for improvement on how we can live a more fulfilled life.  It’s a journey and a work in progress, and the first step is knowing what your purpose is.

All in all, another incredible and inspiring year at the Small Giants Conference.  I feel fortunate that I could travel and spend time with some of my closest friends and fellow business owners from Chicago.  We’ve taken the time to form special and unique bonds; we’ve gone deep and been vulnerable with each other, not only in business but in our personal lives.  For that, I deeply appreciate my colleagues!  I look forward to continuing my journey in the SG community, and getting to know and help others involved as well.