Success Defined

The last 10 days, after speaking at two conferences, I feel positive about life.

In Vegas I moderated a CSR panel for the Women in Default Services conference.  Four amazing companies sat on the panel – Freddie Mac, PEMCO, U.S. Bank and Microsoft.

First, to innovate the panel I organized a tour of Zappos Downtown Project, where $350 million is being spent to revitalize the city.

Why that tour?  Because Zappos is so innovative.  They’re developing a creative, community minded downtown Las Vegas by asking their employees a basic, common sense question, “If you could develop a city, what would it be like?”  Answers: A dog park. It’d include a family owned hot dog stand, barber shop, and bakery.  There would be a place for entrepreneurs to meet and to listen to innovative thinkers.  The city would be walking friendly.  They city would care about environmental issues. We’d live in sustainable buildings and recycle.

Thanks to those unlikely master developers, Vegas is creating that environment.  Congratulations.  New schools are being built.  There are community events, a speakers series, a TechFund to seed tech companies, a monthly arts programs.  In September the recycled Container Park will open and many small family owned business have opened their door.  Bravo.

I hoped the tour would inspire my CSR panel to thrive with out-of-the-box community-minded thinking, and it worked.  During the panel discussion we reminded the audience that one person can positively change the world, that their business can thrive (like Zappos) by providing great customer service and community engagement programs.

The highlights: interacting with the audience, discovering 90% of them volunteer, and sharing community engagement ideas.  The room was alive with infectious positive energy.

I left Vegas, a city hit hard by the mortgage crisis, feeling hopeful especially after I met people willing to create a more positive world.

Last Friday I spoke at the Women’s Business conference, hosted by SCORE, SBDC and IWE where I was featured as a success for racing Ironman and for developing my CSR business.   Throughout the day many ladies spoke about success. It gave me pause.  What defines success?  Here are four elements I shared:

  1. Embracing fear.
  2. Disciplining the mind to eliminate negative thoughts.
  3. Forgiveness.
  4. Doing what makes your heart sing.

Sing loud and proud.
Don’t stop. Always Tri.