I attended the EO Canada regional conference in Ottawa Canada last week. It was exciting seeing my EO friends and I enjoyed the opportunity to learn from the speakers. It was a busy 3 days with lots of learning and amazing off site events.
Ottawa is the capital of the Province of Canada like DC is to the US. Ottawa is Canada’s fourth largest city and is also where their parliament resides. We took a tour of the different chambers that make up the parliament. It was interesting as well as educational to learn the similarities and differences between Canada and the US.
The highlight of my trip was traveling by train along the river heading north of Ottawa to a small town called Wakefield. The 90 minute journey gave way to some amazing scenery and provided invaluable time to just sit and talk with fellow EO members.
One of those members whom I was traveling with on business was Ben Ridler, the CEO of Results.com. Along with 2 other EO friends, we dined together and each shared stories about our businesses, the economy, and life in general. Accompanied by perfect weather and a spectacular view, this experience was yet another once-in-a-lifetime experience for each of us. It’s not often that you find the time these days to just sit and enjoy the company of friends from around the world all at the same time, with no clock ticking in the background.
On Friday Matt Stewart, one of my oldest EO friends, and I rode bikes alongside the Ottawa River, stopping along the way to take in the massive scenery and hopefully take home a few reminders of it in the form of photographs. We ran into a rock sculptor along the way, an older man full of stories to share as he shaped these rugged rock forms into pieces of art.
Noteworthy are two speakers I had the pleasure of learning from on my journey. I will be discussing them in more detail in my next two blog entries, but for the record:
The first is Peter Thomas who bought the rights to Century 21 in Canada and helped it soar to 9 billion in real estate before he sold it 11 years later. Peter shares his theories on the S curve and adds some interesting perspective on what a business needs to do to get past the end of the curve.
The second speaker I’d like to mention is Dewitt Jones. He had a 20 year career with National Geographic, creating hundreds of extraordinary visions as a photographer and is now rated one of the highest speakers in YPO and EO. His message is powerful and relates to finding the extraordinary out of the ordinary, and that there is more than one right answer. His message applies to life as well as business.
Being an Entrepreneur is sometimes lonely and can be a difficult place. The weight of many peoples lives are depending on you to get it right and to make things happen for everyone’s future. My EO time is very important to me because it is being with my tribe and it makes the world a lot less lonely. The energy, passion and zest for life can be intoxicating around my fellow EO friends and takes you back to what being an entrepreneur is all about: taking a risk and using our creativity to change our own part of the world.