The Value of Community: Owner Summit 2017

There’s something really special about community. Not just any community, but an authentic community with honest relationships, candid conversations and moments of real connection. I’m fortunate in life to have community in many placesfrom my church to my gym to my neighborhood. But for the last few days, I got to experience community with other agency owners around the world.

This week, I had the privilege of meeting, talking, and learning with people from Poland, Canada, Croatia, Columbia, all over the US, and probably many other places. I connected with people who had just a few employees and those who had 100+. We were able to share ideas, talk about real struggles with our agencies, and find ways to chart the course forward toward helping our teams, clients, and families.

This was my third year in a row attending the Owner Summit put on by the Bureau of Digital. This event brings together other agency owners from all over the world. To be completely honest, I was pretty intimidated the first year and even the second that I came to this event. I’m used to being the most knowledgeable person in marketing and technology in most of the circles I’m in, and I found myself feeling like I was on the bottom of the totem pole instead of the top. That’s a humbling experience, but a valuable one.

This year, I started to feel like this was a place where I belonged, a community where I fit in. Many of the agency owners I was able to hang out with have already walked the paths that Design Extensions finds itself walking through. Frankly, I spent a lot of time picking the brains and processes of those who have made a multiple of our company’s revenue. It’s not just about the money though, it’s about the people. The last few days I connected with so many individuals who have the heart to help others improve and grow their teams, and are just plain nice folks to be around.

The speakers and presentations planned were excellent and valuable, but I often found that the space between the scheduled events was where the real magic happened. The ability to ask genuine and focused questions of peers in the industry is priceless. The opportunity to make friends with people who fight the same battles is incredible.

If you’re not in a digital agency and have made it this far through this review, you might be wondering what the point is for you. It’s this: Community matters. Whatever industry you’re in, however long you’ve been in business, and regardless of where you live, finding a group of people who are like-minded but have a variety of experiences can have a powerful effect on your future and the future of those whom you are responsible for.

To everyone at Owner Summit who I was able to spend time with, share stories with (even the scary ones about ghosts), and learn with, thank you. For Carl and the others at the Bureau who spend a lot of hours putting these events on, know that you’re helping make lives better for those of us running agencies and hopefully for the many others who are employed by them.

And for our clients at DE, Owner Summit is just one more way that we’re committed to staying ahead of the curve, always learning more, and being the absolute best we can be as an agency to help your business grow.

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