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Everything Zen

Most people recharge their inner spirituality at a local church, synagogue, or mosque. For me, an event organized by SpeakerCraft president Jeremy Burkhardt usually does the trick. His companys recent dealer appreciation conference is a case in point.

In early spring, many companies in the industry squeeze their dealer line shows, media tours, and dealer-appreciation events into the already crowded industry calendar. Runco International, for example, hosts an annual Mexico Getaway event, enabling the video products manufacturer to award its top dealers and reps and enable them to interact with company founder Sam Runco, his team, and select members of the press. While awards events like these are pretty standard fare in our business, Runcos added focus on family-friendly activities like sack races, egg toss competitions, and the best digital cinema movie night youll ever experience at a hotel pool, help make this event stand out in the crowd.

Another standout event is SpeakerCrafts Global Intellectual Gathering (the GIG), which was held last month in Palm Springs, California. This conference, while held at a luxurious desert resort with spa and golf amenities, was focused much more on helping dealers to hone their business acumen and inner spirituality than on selling more gear. No doubt about it, Burkhardt wants his top 150 dealers and reps to sell even more products than last year, but product sales pitches were kept to a minimum.

With a speaker lineup featuring Andy Andrews, Brian Tracy, Bob Rosner, Tim Gard, and Michael McMillan, the GIG 06 was a whos who of best-selling business book authors and, well spiritual advisors. They focused on leadership skills, sales techniques, managerial philosophies, and business strategies. In particular, Brian Tracy and Andy Andrews provided their personal rags to riches tales that were focused much less on financial success and much more on a spiritual awakening that they experienced on the journey.

The tough talk of special guest keynoter Henry Rollins hammered a similar point home. Rollins, the outspoken punk rocker, USO volunteer, and television host is a big believer in making the most of what you have to work with. An avid reader, world traveler, and harsh critic of lazy people, the very eloquent Rollins encouraged attendees to read more books and to travel more to broaden their worldview.

If Rollins was too direct for some, then Andy Andrews Seven Decisions closing presentation hit the mark with nearly everyone. It was Andrews who reinforced the idea of continually seeking wisdom, through books and through friends who challenge your opinions and hold you to a higher standard. He pointed out that successful people make quick decisions and change their minds slowly. After acting decisively, these successful people take the necessary steps to fine tune their decisions and to make them work. He emphasized the importance of choosing to be happy and becoming the kind of person that other people want to be around. Most important of all, Andrews said, is to become a person of action.

To illustrate his point, Andrews referenced the Butterfly Effect, an idea that a butterflys wings might create tiny changes in the atmosphere that could ultimately cause a tornado to appear. His point was that every time you do something, something else happens as a result. Its a simple concept that most of us probably have never considered. Thanks to Jeremy Burkhardt and his team for flapping their wings and reminding us that theres more to life than profits and losses.