The P.A.

A weekly address from Patrick Adams,
President of St. Louis Community Credit Union

A Tale of Two Conferences

On July 27th, 2015, posted in: Uncategorized by

conferenceI was invited to attend a conference. It was a little bit different from my normal conference attendance in that I wasn’t a speaker, nor was it a conference that fell in the genre of financial services.

Now this wasn’t my first conference outside of my normal credit union affairs. Under the category of “things you would find surprising about me,” I have attended a Star Trek convention. It was when my son was a little “Trekkie,” and he wanted to see all of the “action figures.” As a sidebar, I found myself stuck somewhere between shy and scared to death by those in attendance. Adults who were in full wardrobe and character of their favorite Star Trek personality were prominent. YIKES! As I recall, the guy who played Scotty held a chat plus Q & A. He was brash, irreverent and in his full Scottish brogue made fun of those in the audience. Hindsight being 20/20, he may have been drunk.

Same son — fast forward 20-plus years, and he again is the culprit who extended the invite. This time, though, he is a successful entrepreneur/business owner, and he thought I might enjoy a conference where the topics engaged the entrepreneurial spirit and thoughts of those who make things happen on the small business end of the spectrum, far, far away from Apple, Procter & Gamble and the like.

Unlike the previous conference experience, there were no action figures (plastic or otherwise), just men and women with great ideas, tremendous energy and a calculated risk-taking mentality that was contagious. I found myself taking notes and daydreaming about what might be the next great idea that cracks the market space and makes me a zillionaire.

“Believe in what you’re doing” was a theme. So was working hard & smart. Leveraging resources was pervasive in the speakers’ discussion points. Use tools, people, capital, technology, market data and guts to make an idea work. While these men and women are measured and aware of the need for risk mitigation, they are not preoccupied by the paralyzing intimidation regarding the prospects of loss.

Take chances. Good, sound thought followed by execution on the idea. I was mesmerized by the general mood of getting things done in a dogged and efficient approach. And the networking was off the charts — learning from each other was spirited and encouraged.

Not one to meddle much in my son’s affairs (unless called upon), I asked if he practiced these many principles. In his always understated response, he noted that he had more money in his accounts today than at the end of last year.

In other words, “Beam me up, Scotty, beam me up.”

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