brought to you by guest blogger – Jared Ruutikainen

20150424_163321I recently earned the opportunity to travel to Scottsdale, Arizona to attend the Southwest Regional Conference.  This was not only my first conference, but my first time visiting the west coast.  The best part about this experience for me was the opportunity I had to spend time with successful people in our business outside of a work environment.  I was able to network, learn, and build relationships with other business professionals, and realize that they are no different from myself or anyone else, they have just put in the time and effort to get to the position they are at.   

As for the conference itself, I did not know what to expect.  What really surprised me though was how the focus of the conference was on the future stars of the business; the people in my position currently developing the skill sets to be an effective leader and business professional.  Several of the entrepreneurs from that region got up to speak and impart upon us advice on what it takes to be successful in business.  It was a great opportunity to hear from people who all have been in the shoes I am in right now, and who are now all at different stages in the business.  

20150424_164309Lastly, what was really awesome for me was that we collectively raised over eight-hundred dollars for Operation Smile.  Operation Smile is a nonprofit organization that raises money to sponsor surgeries for children born with cleft lip and palates.  As a business we have, in the past, raised enough money to sponsor a medical mission for Operation Smile and are committed to doing so again this year.  So, it was incrediblyJrewarding for me to help contribute to that cause.

~ Jared Ruutikainen