Thursday, April 12, 2012
Leaving the NWFA Expo: T-Minus 30
By Scott Avery
So I’m giving myself just 30 minutes before I board to put my thoughts together for the NWFA Expo I just left, which is still technically happening while I write. I missed the wife and kids, so I peeled out a little early. I could literally describe it in four words: fun and fast-paced. This year was a revelation for the quality of the event compared the previous convention. The efforts of the NWFA staff, sponsors, and everyone who set foot in the door created the most positive, friendly and energetic event I’ve been to for so long.
My head has been buzzing from all of my really great new and old friends I’ve met at the Expo. There were other ethanol-fueled reasons, too, but we’ll save that for the next time I meet you all because I need to be quick, and the stories were too many for just the four days I was there. Remember I only have 30 minutes to write before I get into my coach-class cubicle for the next eight hours. The stories, though, are what our phenomenal keynote speaker told us to remember, because they make us all unique and different but give us common ground. They provide depth to your character.
I walked across the stage today and got a new degree, which is always cool. I’d like to give you another thought about things beyond the plaque that will get hung up in six months when I get around to it. I used to be a scientist; I put in six years to earn two degrees and spent six years working in the industry and I left without looking back. I knew some stuff about science but never really hit many significant accolades … maybe I didn’t try hard to stand out and it was because I was in the wrong field, where I couldn’t develop a passion for the career. I’ve spent around 10 years with NWFA now, and I feel like a Swiss army knife of knowledge because of how many opportunities this place has given me. The doors for excellence and the best network were so open at convention, and I can’t say enough about the smiles and happiness from all my friends.
I’ve heard it said that the wealthiest men built of good character always say their most valuable possession is their Rolodex—not their money. I totally agree. Genuine character and enthusiasm is a hallmark of literally every individual I met. I heard the stories about things being down and tough. The thing I say is that just by making it down to the Expo, you are going to walk away with some new improvement to your business and overall state of mind. The difference isn’t measurable right away, but the next year I’m ready to hear about all the new successes from every friend I have at the show.
Time’s about up, so I gotta be quick. Let’s do it again next year in Dallas, and I’ll bet it’s going to beat the show this year because it’s just the style of this group of people to always improve. Just make sure to remind me that it’s my turn next year to buy [my fellow HF blogger] Howard Brickman a bottle of great bourbon.