Today and yesterday I spent my time at the Future Business Leaders of America National Leadership Conference. This year we got lucky that it was in St. Louis; it is held in three different cities every year.
Friday: We had the opportunity to tour the Peabody Energy headquarters. Once we got there, (we had to walk four blocks in thirty degree weather) we were taken up to a conference room. A couple of bigwig employees, including the head procurement manager, talked to us about what exactly they did (after half an hour of telling us about coal). There was also a guy who talked to us that started as an intern. He gave us some great advice about internships: Keep finding new opportunities until you find the company that feels right for you. He also said to check out as many different departments as you can as an intern; the more knowledge you have, the more employable you are. After our visit at Peabody, we went back to the hotel to go to our first session. The running theme between the three sessions was that with hard work, anything is possible.
Saturday: I went to three more sessions. The first one was about improving your communication skills. The speaker talked about being in the present. He also talked about how you should always consider every POV. People are so stuck in their ways, so if they’re not going to consider other points of view, you should. The second session I went to focused on how you can make money and start a business by improving existing ideas. His main idea was that you need prove the people, who keep telling you that your goal or dream is far fetched, wrong. That is what fuels passion, and what ultimately creates success. He also said to keep this question in mind, “Who will you make proud?” The last speaker I went to was the CEO of a company called Custom Shades. He talked about how 80% of entrepreneurs fail on their first business. Only the persistent will make it. He said that in order to create a successful business, you have to build your business based on your purpose in life. Build your business based on what you want to give back to the world.
Through this conference, I got to meet a lot of like-minded people, from all over the country, who have the same passion for entrepreneurship as me. I learned that failure should not be a scary thing. Failure should only be looked at as a learning experience. In life, you are going to fail, but it’s all about how you rebound from that that really matters.