Imagine a day filled with powerful speeches by some of the country's most successful and sought after entrepreneurs, pitches from startup business owners and a hosts of networking opportunities... now you're thinking novel. I had the pleasure of attending the NovelDay Innovation Summit hosted by Novel City Chamber on Friday, November 17 and it was amazing!
The Powerful Panel
The agenda included the COO of Virgin Mobile, Doug Smith, along with Christopher Darden, prosecuting attorney in the OJ Simpson trial, Cici Rojas of Tico Productions, and Anita Darden-Gardyne, CEO of Oneva. What a lineup! I was blown away at the transparency of the panelists. The panel answered questions about diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Here are three key takeaways that stood out to me:
Be proactive not reactive (in business).
This takeaway is number one because it hit me in the chest like a ton of bricks. Anita Darden-Gardyne made it clear that being successful in business was about being in front of trends and changes. You will get left behind if you’re not doing industry research.
Be aggressive in business.
Do you ever find yourself being passive in business? I do. This takeaway was the fire that I needed to take myself more serious as an influencer and content creator. Aggressive means, “ready or likely to attack or confront; characterized by or resulting from aggression.” How does that relate to business? Being aggressive in business means doing your research before entering meetings, reaching out to industry experts and not taking “no” for an answer.
Be strategic about networking.
Cici Rojas hit this point on the head by explaining the importance of the right connections. I can attest to attending events and neglecting to build my network because I was stuck in my shell. Moving forward, I challenge you to give out at least 5 business cards at each networking event that you attend. It is not enough to attend an event; you must shake hands with the people in charge.
More About NovelDay
Anita Darden-Gardyne spoke openly about her exciting partnership with Microsoft and the importance of diversity certifications for small business owners. If we want to see more growth for minorities in business it takes people like Anita Darden-Gardyne and Christopher Darden sharing their knowledge with the rest of us. Every time someone reaches back to lend a hand and share seeds, a bridge is built.
My Favorite Part of NovelDay
My favorite part of NovelDay was experiencing the small business pitches. It was inspiring to see startups discuss their value, quantify their results and share their dreams. Do you have dreams for your business? If so, my advice to you is to start keeping track of the impact that you are making.
- Where do you see your side-hustle in 5 years?
- What can you do today to stop being passive in business?
Special thanks to Novel City Chamber for having me. I will be at the next NovelDay Innovation Summit.