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Rare Air

T File | Posted on October 09, 2014

Last week I attended the Inc. 5000 conference in Arizona. Out of 5000 privately owned companies, and 14 female CEOs on the entire list, IGS placed in the top 20%. I finally said, "Good job, Towan!" The conference changed my perspective on life, wealth, and access. I could go on about the people I met, but for now, I'll share a few key observations.

  • Family Impacts Finances. We attended a private session where two speakers' net worth is, at a minimum, $40 million each. They stressed the value of having a comparable and smart business partner and cited the importance of leaving a legacy by passing wealth on to one's children and spouse, many of whom attended. It made me ponder, How do you transfer wealth without it being messy if you're unmarried or have children by separate partners? No judgment, just curious. Seriously, that's a real question.
  • Seize New Opportunities. Many types of businesses were represented. One person had 22 businesses. I had the opportunity to chat with Brandi Temple, President and Founder of Lolly Wolly Doodle, about a new business I'm launching next year. She was amazing. She offered to connect me with some of her people.
  • Private Access. My business partner and I chatted with Marcus Lemonis, Bob Parsons, and Norm Brodsky. They were casual and approachable. I kept thinking. One woman asked Norm Brodsky for help; within 24 hours, she told us that she had the starting structure of a deal. By the way, before this, he didn't know her.
  • Money Knows No Culture. Everyone had mutual respect for each other. It wasn't about race. There was mutual respect and recognition because you had earned the right to be there.
  • Work-Life Harmony. Business owners, including me, complained about not having enough time. We all agreed that there is no such thing as work-life balance at this level, but what you do attain is work-life harmony. Other CEOs stressed the importance of having a partner to share the load emotionally, spiritually, and in terms of family responsibilities. It's not a solo effort; it's a family effort, a legacy.

One of the speakers, Dr. Brene Brown, is a powerhouse! Her New York Times best-selling book Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead is amazing! By far, she is one of the most impressive people I've ever heard. Learn more about her here.

Since making the Inc. 5000 list, I have received invitations to exclusive clubs, been invited to CEO boot camps, and have been power-networking at another level. God is amazing, and I am truly blessed. Pinch me.