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Practicing Gratitude and Other Lessons from AVEC 2016

Practicing Gratitude and Other Lessons from AVEC 2016

One of the dumbest phrases in existence to Bert Jacobs is that of “work-life-balance.” Simply put, as this chief creative optimist reasons, work is a subcategory of your life. “Bringing the things you love to your work make you more efficient, more fun to be around, and you’ll build better businesses.”

Bert Jacobs of The Life is Good Company delivered an inspiring opening keynote to AVEC 2016 attendees.

Jacobs co-founded The Life is Good Company with his brother after they spent the better part of the first decade of their adult lives driving up and down the East Coast selling T-shirts out of their van, affectionately dubbed “The Enterprise.” Their success story is built on the basic idea that life is inherently good, which was a message the brothers found resonated so deeply that people wanted to express it with their clothing. The T-shirt served as an emotional vehicle. While many of the principles the Jacobs brothers expounded are as clichéd as they come, $100 million in revenue couldn’t make the verity of it any clearer.

“You can focus on what’s wrong with yourself or wrong with the world, or you can focus on what’s right in your life,” Jacobs stated in his opening keynote address to InfoComm’s AV Executive Conference (AVEC) held in November in Miami. He went on to hold up gratitude as the ultimate symbol of optimism. One rule they’ve developed over the years at The Life is Good Company is that they never say “we have to,” but instead, “we GET to.”

Amidst these values that are all too often brushed aside, AVEC attendees participated in workshops to develop skills in same side selling and creating the customer experience. Jacobs set the tone for the conference brilliantly, launching the conversations into new realms of deliberation. The lessons attendees cited as AVEC was concluding were far reaching across business disciplines and supremely relatable.

Finding what you are currently good at and focusing on that—instead of pretending you are an expert on everything under the sun—is a vital step in differentiating yourself from competition and truly bringing exceptional services. So your your snazzy new website looks beautiful and lists all the right jargon; too bad it doesn’t mean anything to your customers if you’re not prominently stating the problems you solve. Building communities within your own organization is a first step to then outwardly building communities with your customers. Your intricately detailed sales process doesn’t mean much if you’re not taking into account calculable results in the end. “We think of success as closing the deal,” stated B2B adviser and author Ian Altman, “instead, we need to focus on what results matter.”

I, for one, am grateful for the opportunity to have participated in such a vibrant meeting of the minds. Looking forward, I hope to sustain the inspiring momentum from AVEC as the road that is 2016 comes to an end, and we soon pop the champagne to embark on the new path of 2017.