Thursday, July 19, 2012

Oakland Connect Event Recap

By Kendall Warson, Women’s Initiative Intern

Michael C. Bush (right) and Ian Philabaum (left) at the Connect Event

Last night in Preservation Park in Oakland, Success Link Specialist Ian Philabaum organized a highly informative, fun, and engaging Connect Event for Women’s Initiative. The organization holds such events to support graduates in maintaining a strong and successful business through the inevitable ups and downs they face.

Yesterday evening, Michael C. Bush was invited to speak to graduates and supporters of the program. Michael was born with an intuitive interest in business. He has an impressive resume, having taught at Stanford and Mills colleges. He also founded Inner City Advisors, a non-profit organization which focuses on creating jobs in urban areas. Specifically, he teaches an
“8 Factors Framework” which he spoke about last night in tandem with the subject of “Intelligent Risk Taking”. His words were real; he truly confronted the issues and challenges that small business owners face. Ultimately, by having a strong mission and core business values, Michael believes taking risks is the true key to advancing one’s business. He presented a challenge: to confront one’s fear and step past it.

After Michael spoke, the attendees at the event did activities at their respective tables. Graduates and connectors (volunteer business leaders from the community) identified risks they had taken in the past. Furthermore, the groups discussed personal business issues. Each business owner explained the risk they would need to take to overcome the problem. At the end of the discussion, everyone was able to share whether or not they felt it would be an “intelligent” risk for the small business owner to take.

The event was not only entertaining to attend, but empowering to be a participant in. Michael’s words spoke candid truths about risk and he was able to inspire graduates as well as connectors to empower themselves to make thoughtful changes which may have uncertain results. The entire night was a complete success and a played out harmoniously.

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