B.O.L.D. Conference reflection by Jade Heuer:

Thursday was our big day. We traveled all the way to Carlinville, Illinois, to experience the B.O.L.D. Conference. When we got there we were greeted with name tags and a bag with a pen and writing pad. The conference did not actually start until 10 so we networked until everything got started. We were introduced and then walked to another building where our breakout sessions took place. The first session I went to was Cindy Zlotow's. She did not go into the specifics of her business, but what I got from it was a lot of ways to market your things online. I told her that I was doing resale clothing for my business and she said Poshmark and Mercarri were really good online websites to sell my clothes to. It is all about posting things on your social media that are relevant and in good timing. That helped a lot. The rest of the session she basically elaborated on that.

Next, I went to Jim Allen’s session. His story was very interesting. From being physically abused by his father to being the big man in boss was moving. When he started working for the company he works at now, he started as a janitor and maintenance guy. He had no schooling or anything. While putting together a room for a retirement party, he noticed how some wires were hanging out of wall and unto the floor. So he got down on all fours and tried to make the place look nicer. While doing this, the head person in charge saw this and took note. Sometime later an opening for an IT position opens and he goes for it. With no experience and only will power, he took that obstacle on. There was even a big disaster with his interview, but he went through with it. He was the first person to be marked off the list as a candidate. But that big boss that noticed him that one day totally changed his life forever and gave him the job. Jim worked relentlessly and got certified, studied, and did all of the things to make him a successful IT guy. His hard work and will power worked for him in the end. This inspired me. Not only was it a type of rags to riches type life, but in the world now it is so uncommon to see anyone get a job without experience. It just gave me hope for the future.

When sessions were over, we all walked to the dining hall and had a fantastic lunch. We rushed to the conference area to hear Eric Thomas. Eric was very inspiring. He talked a lot about his past and what has brought him to where he is today. He told us three key things to keep us going. 1. Do not accept the world that’s been given to you. You need to dream beyond your parents dreams. Dream of what you want and how you can make a difference. 2. You must reinvent yourself to stay successful. Life happens. His wife wound up getting a disease and now they have to roll with the punches and stay proactive during this time. We must do the same if we want to have healthy businesses and relationships. 3. We must use skill and hard work. Everything is not handed to us. We have to have the will over the skill. We may not know how to do something, but if we have the will to do it, we can develop that skill and move mountains. I learned a lot from Eric. His is in accord with Jesus Christ. That really inspired me by how open he is with his faith. He helped a lot and I loved hearing from him. He is even investing in the CEO class for next years event. That is crazy!

Overall I had a great day. Personally, I do not think the Macoupin CEO kids did much in the making of the conference. I would say that our group had a bigger influence and worked a lot harder than them. This is only an outside perspective and I could be totally wrong, but I did not see them doing much at all. I had a great day and am glad I got to spend Valentine’s Day with my friends.

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