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Opinion: One idea can change a career, life

The Strategic Suite

Posted online

It’s almost here. Christmas, you ask? Yes, Christmas is close.

But what I’m talking about is 90 Ideas in 90 Minutes. Entering our third year, and with no disrespect to former speakers of this series, Springfield Business Journal has gathered a powerhouse lineup for 2018. We have national speakers, a doctor, a world-renowned nonprofit leader, a diverse set of business owners, strategists, a judge and a chief.

All are planning to share their 10 best ideas with you on Dec. 5. On that day, the doors at Springfield IMAX open at 7:15 a.m. for SBJ’s ticketed guests (go to for more information).

Here are this year’s speakers:

• Nathan Adams, CEO of Epic Strategies LLC;

• Becky Borthwick, associate circuit judge in Missouri’s 31st Circuit Court;

• Dr. Jose Dominguez, surgeon with Ferrell-Duncan Clinic at CoxHealth;

• Julie Higgins, CEO of I Pour Life;

• Rick Meewes, managing partner of Reliable Superstore;

• Kurt Theobald, CEO/chief strategist of Classy Llama;

• Jennifer Rothschild, speaker and author;

• Brad Schrock, owner of Kitchenland USA Inc.; and

• Glenna Wallace, chief, Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma.   

Over the past couple of years, I’ve learned with this event that not all of the best ideas have to do with business, but they can definitely influence our business lives. So, I’m excited to share my 10 ideas that may help in your life or business.

1. Tell the truth. Yes, I mean don’t lie. But what I really mean is to tell the whole, candid, clear, honest truth. Some people may not be able to handle it, and you may not be able to tell it to them, which means you need to build trust and be vulnerable with other people. Then, they will be able to hear your message in the spirit you mean it.

2. Put your oxygen mask on first. You cannot be a proper caretaker of others unless you first take care of yourself – your health, attitude, sleep pattern and mental status. When your business is in order, you can help others.

3. Your significant other is the most significant person in your life. Be romantic. Be kind. Listen. Buy flowers. Leave love notes. Laugh. Do thoughtful things for them. When you do it consistently, it doesn’t have to be giant overtures. Sit down together. Say you’re sorry. Don’t keep score. Love is an action.

4. Stop talking so much and ask more questions
. Chances are, you’re talking about yourself way more than people care to know. I read somewhere that people think seven times faster than a person can talk. Imagine what they are thinking while you go on and on. Break your own pattern. Stop and simply say, “So, tell me about you.” Make note of how their physical appearance changes when they get to talk about themselves for a bit and how demonstrating interest in them can add more to your experience as well.

5. Teach kids how to ask questions. Our children are the lights of our lives, and there’s nothing more rewarding than celebrating their accomplishments. But just as adult relationships and conversations need balance, be aware of how kids ask questions (or don’t) and that seeking to understand other’s perspectives is a skill that will impact their relationships and careers.

6. Stop blaming poor leadership
. Regardless which side of the aisle dominates your thoughts, you should realize that leadership starts with you – at home, at work and in the community. Live by your own principles, as diverse as they are, and make good things happen because of your convictions. We need leadership now, more than ever.

7. Change your self-tape. I’ve heard people say, “I’m not creative” or “I’m not good at math” or “I’m not a people person.” You are exactly what you tell yourself. Convince yourself that you can.

8. Use your phone to change your life for the better. You can count calories, run a 5K and track your exercise and heart rate. If you have a smart watch, it will tell you to stand up, to breath and to keep exercising. All of it could save your life.

9. Don’t let your phone turn you into a robot. I think this is going to sneak up on all of us. Recently, I found that we can all check our average screen time usage and it will break down how much time you spend on apps. This is where we all need to apply my first idea and be honest with ourselves. Do I need social media that much? Is the addictive qualities of our technology impacting life? How much is too much?

10. Be present
. As mental health continues to elevate as one of the most important topics of our generation, understand the power of presence and how it can impact your life and others.

As we prepare for the December event, we are currently producing the 90 Ideas in 90 Minutes guide. After reviewing the ideas shared by these executives, we are more excited than ever with the energy, innovation and thought-provoking discussions ahead. As your Business Authority, Springfield Business Journal is proud to host this exciting event and spur ideas within our community.

Springfield Business Journal Associate Publisher Marty Goodnight can be reached at


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