Newton O'Neill Communications
PR with a personal touch.
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Thinking Time


I've attended or hosted a few entrepreneurial events in the past few weeks thanks to RISE Global and Fed Ex's My Story program for small businesses. Both are top-notch programs and incredibly helpful for small business owners such as myself. The best part about these activities - at least in my opinion - is meeting other brave entrepreneurs, learning their stories and the learning process as a whole. As a presenter at a session titled "PR for Small Business" (clever title, I know) during RISE Week, I certainly re-learned the valuable lesson of  triple checking my set up needs. Nice, yet brief powerpoint but no projector. I also learned how forgiving the audience can be. No admission, free snacks and beverages don't hurt. Of course, I discovered a variety of new businesses out there and the passionate people behind them. I learned that if I do this kind of thing more often, I'll be more relaxed and just may get darn good at it.

At a Fed Ex My Story session tonight featuring Gary Hoover, entrepreneur extraordinaire, teacher and expert presenter, the audience of small business owners, including myself, was able to bask in the incredible knowledge of a man who's been there, done that, succeeded, failed and everything in between. The man has incredible gusto for his work and the business of business. Hoover laid out so many brilliant yet totally logical points on the path to entrepreneurship, from the "why do it?" (wealth is not the answer) to who's done it well and characteristics of a successful entreprenuer. And with success comes failure -- there's almost always failure on the path to success. Things I've known or heard over the years, but easily slide to the dark corners of my aging brain.

What I love most about these programs and seminars is that, when they're done well, they get me thinking. At tonight's presentation by Mr. Hoover, thinking was included as one of the key ways in which to learn. THAT made me stop and well...think. The other methods in which to learn: study, observe, experience/experiment/trial & error are well known -- everyone engages in each method at varying levels at different points in life. But, taking the time to think and process what we've absorbed via study, observation, experience, etc. seems to get the short end of the stick, at least in my world.  I'm willing to bet that's true of many of my peers as well. Those of us who multi-task every waking moment (and often in dreams), allow little time for pure thinking. Sadly, lack of unadulterated thinking time is scant for most all but the very young and the very old. Beginning and end of life provide more time for playing and thinking. That's a shame.

This requires some alone time -- apart (at least mentally) not only from other humans, but electronics or other distractions. A big bill to fill in this day and age. Yet, I challenge you and me to create more time to think, process AND play. I'm certain we'll all grow and enjoy life more because of it.