GrowCo 2015 Highlights and Snapshots

I’ve already talked about my love of Nashville and how much I enjoyed it in the few nights I was there, but I had a lot of people ask if I planned on sharing my highlights from the GrowCo conference too!

Well, absofreakinglutely. It was, after all, the best part of Nashville.

Inc. Magazine is one of my favorite publications in the business world. I read at least a dozen Inc. articles a day (and that’s not just because it’s part of my job!) I genuinely love their content and idolize their editors and writers. True story: I fangirled meeting a few.

Naturally, you can understand why I looked so excited on Day 1 of the conference.

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Here are just a few of the highlights from my experience at GrowCo and some snapshots of my favorite speakers. Whether you own your own business, run your own blog, or just need a little inspiration in life or your career, hopefully these lessons will inspire you too!

Johnny Cupcakes Doesn’t, In Fact, Sell Cupcakes

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I didn’t know much about Johnny Cupcakes before GrowCo, but after getting to see him talk and spending some quality time chatting with his sister and mother at their pop-up shop, I’m a Johnny Cupcakes fangirl now.

I am all about an amazing experience – Johnny Cupcake’s t-shirt and accessories stores and business delivers. Just check out their cool stores. Hitting up his store in Boston is now on my to-do list.

Your Mother’s Salad Dressing Can Be Worth Millions

One of my favorite reoccurring themes from GrowCo was the number of founders who developed their product and walked into a Whole Foods and essentially convinced them on the spot to sell their product. The story of Tessemae’s Dressing was just that. Founder took his mother’s beloved salad dressing, bottled it up, walked confidently into Whole Foods and turned a bottle of dressing into a multi-million dollar business.

The point? If you have something awesome, find a way to monetize it.

The Shark is Awesome

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Daymond John was absolutely fantastic. From his excellent business tips to his witty jokes about the Kardashians, Daymond was an amazing speaker. He also had a soundtrack to go along with his talk which had the audience bopping heads to everything from Money Money Money…. to Run DMC.

But he also had some valuable lessons. My favorite quote from his talk? “A no is an absolute maybe.”

Watch Out for Those Intrapreneurs 

One of the things I loved about all of the speakers was how often they used intrapreneur and entrepreneur interchangeably. As one of the first two hires at Onboardly, I’ve often feel like more of an intrapreneur than an employee. I firmly believe once you cross over into the land of intrapreneurship, a spark goes off and it’s just a matter of time before you have your first big idea.

Hearing Evernote’s CEO Phil Libin share that despite their massive million dollar growth, his employees’ career progression and future is top of mind, was an awesome thing.

Rejection is Just an Invitation to Keep Going 

I’ve never used AirBNB but I’m consistently impressed by their growth around the world and I’m looking forward to staying in one this June in Miami. I had the opportunity to sit in on two talks that included AirBNB co-founder Joe Gebbia and amid the many awesome knowledge bombs he dropped, one piece of advice he offered really stuck with me: “Rejection is just an invitation to keep going.”

Whether you’re trying to get published, get a new job, or get your idea off the ground — solid advice is solid.

Jessica Alba is a Stunning Human Being (and inspiring too!) 

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As a popculture junkie who has watched Into the Blue (rip Paul Walker) a thousand times, I was very excited to see Jessica Alba in person. And let me tell you – she is as absolutely stunning as you would imagine. But perhaps what was most amazing, is how incredibly humble she is.

When asked why she didn’t call it the Jessica Alba company, she very confidently explained that it was never about her or her fame. She wanted something that would last forever and be immortalized in its own way.

Boom!

Starbucks is Where Every Good Idea Starts

Despite being so accustomed to hearing the word “Zumba” I was embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know one man was responsible for the cardio phenomenon. And hearing the business idea came from a coffee meeting at Starbucks? Perfection.

I’ve always said with a Starbucks in hand you can take over the world. Or in this case – become a millionaire.

So in closing, what did I learn at GrowCo?

Experience is everything.

If you have something awesome, put a price tag on it.

A no is a maybe.

Rejection is an invitation to keep going.

Keep drinking Starbucks.

If you’re reading this and attended GrowCo – I’d love to hear what inspiration you brought back from Nashville.

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