By Shannon Miles, CEO and Co-Founder, BELAY
We tried something new in Nashvegas recently. I hope people in Nashville don’t hate their city being called Nashvegas as much as I hate when I hear Hotlanta. Sorry, Nashville. I really love you guys. As BELAY (a 100% remote company), we descended on the city for three strategic events and, as always, had a blast doing. Here’s what we were up to and what we learned through BELAY On Nashville.
Our trip started with a contractor meet-up where local Virtual Assistants and Bookkeepers joined us for lunch to meet face-to-face. We always enjoy that face time because it’s so rare. We had some BELAY swag waiting, did a Q&A session with Bryan, myself, Cris and Mandy from Contractor Care and Lori, who manages Client Relations. Stacy and Seth were in the background making it all happen.
A highlight for me was Lori interviewing our client, Josh Moseley, Executive Pastor with Ethos Church, as Josh shared his perspective on how he’s benefited from being a Bookkeeping and Virtual Assistant client. The day was capped off with a training session from Lori on The Ideal Team Player.
What we learned:
Our contractors really, really care. They want to connect and be part of the BELAY fold. This was demonstrated not only by the large turnout of locals, but the fact that 2 Virtual Assistants flew in for the event - Amanda Niznik from Orlando and Gwendolyn Hayes from San Antonio. What? Who does that? I was blown away.
We will always look for new and innovative ways to connect with our contractors, but this event confirmed that those connections are time well spent.
And shout out to our team - they put together an amazing experience with a very thoughtful agenda. You did this owner proud!
The EntreLeadership team with Dave Ramsey’s group are some of our favorite people on the planet! We co-sponsored their One-Day, along with StoryBrand, InfusionSoft and Digital Marketer. I’m sure you know this, but they know how to put on an event. We were just honored to be a small part. The event was unique in that it was simulcast around the world and featured Dave Ramsey, Chris Hogan, Christy Wright and Pat Lencioni.
We had a fantastic dinner with Donald Miller and learned more about what he’s doing with StoryBrand to help organizations clarify their story to take to market. Our team has personally benefited from his ideas over the years and it has been fun to watch his influence grow.
We also launched a contest during Entreleadership to win three months of virtual assistant services.
What we learned:
EntreLeadership constantly finds ways to reinvent themselves. They are a dynamic organization who loves small businesses and growing leaders. We align with their hearts and mission. And Becky Powell and John Felkins rock!
We also learned that Digital Marketer is an incredible company and everyone should look at what they are doing. We learned so much from them while talking over breakfast at Henleys and sipping some bourbon at Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery.
Nashville Leadership Luncheon
We had the privilege of sponsoring the Nashville Leadership Luncheon, organized by Blain Wease with Provincial Development Group, LLC. Our team of Theresa, Amy, Lori and Lisa shared a table with our amazing clients: Stephen Whitson, President of H-S Whitson Construction Co., Inc., Connia Nelson, Senior Director of HR with LifeWay, and Sue Farmer, Assistant to Connia Nelson with LifeWay. We love some client face-time!
I served on a Q&A panel with John Boyens with Boyens Group Inc. and Gigi Butler of Gigi’s Cupcakes. I learned a lot from John and Gigi’s talks, especially about the importance of building a brand and the power of sharing a story. We each shared our experience with courageous leadership and had time for grand total of one question. It was a comical part of the day, but was just the result of a technical difficulty.
The luncheon concluded with a dynamic speaker, Mr. George Shinn. Mr. Shinn is the former owner of the Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets as well the Charlotte Knights and Gastonia Rangers minor league baseball teams along with the Raleigh–Durham Skyhawks of the World League of American Football. He shared from his heart and, as much as I don’t do sports, or sports analogies, his life’s story was extremely compelling.
What we learned:
Nashville is a well-connected town and this is a great networking event. If you are anywhere in the area in May of 2018, you should go to the Nashville Leadership Luncheon. We’d love to see you there, as will be sponsoring the event again.
I also learned that God has a sense of humor and constantly reminds me of the duality of my life. The luncheon was in the Bridgestone Arena and the last time I was there was for a Ludacris and Black Eyed Peas concert a few years back. Oh, the irony.