If your boss tapped you on the head with a silver wand Friday morning, that may not have been a good thing.
About 450 community leaders, business owners, politicians and other members of the Blount County Chamber of Commerce filled the ballroom at the Airport Hilton Thursday night, Feb. 3, for the Chamber’s 91st Annual Meeting. Keynote speaker Jane Applegate passed out “magic wands,” telling business owners to tap those in their workplace who were a bad fit. “Never work with anyone who gives you a headache or stomachache,” was one of Applegate’s six maxims for small businesses.
Applegate is a small business expert, former investigative reporter and small business columnist for the Los Angeles Times and author of “201 Great Ideas for Your Small Business.” She is also the leading speaker for Bloomberg Television’s “Idea Exchange.”
The other five “great ideas” Applegate presented Thursday night included:
Set your ego aside and ask for help.
Don’t let technology rule/ruin your life.
Work hard. Play harder.
Applegate also outlined four pillars that she said all successful small businesses rest on: Management, Money, Marketing and Morale. Applegate said she believes, based on her travels and speaking engagements across the country, that the economy is brighter and beginning to come out of the recession and “darkest time in America.”
“A lot of business owners are going to benefit from pent-up demand,” Applegate said. “You just cannot go on much longer without buying things, hiring people, expanding, getting back to business. I think that is going to have a wonderful result for small business owners around the country.”
For the Chamber’s business reports, CEO and president Bryan Daniels acknowledged that 2010 has been a tough year, not only for the Chamber’s members professionally, but personally, with the death of two key members of the Chamber team: retiring CEO and president Gen. Fred Forster and business manager Deborah Buckner.
As he talked about the lasting legacy of Forster and Buckner, Daniels also reviewed the good things that have happened during 2010 and expressed optimism and renewed hope for the new year. Outgoing Chamber Board Chair Doug Horn also reflected on the year past before handing the gavel over to new board chair Greg Wilson.
Corporate sponsors of the annual Chamber meeting were Alcoa, Inc.; Alcoa Tenn Federal Credit Union; Charter Business; and Multi-Media Solutions.