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Former Cowboy talks small business at U.S. Chamber event in Irving

Southlake contingent attends U.S. Chamber Small Business Event

Over a dozen members of the Southlake Chamber of Commerce attended the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Series’ kick-off event on Wednesday, April 4 at the Irving Convention Center.

Chamber President/CEO Mark Guilbert, past-chair Ian MacLean, chair-elect Dave Garner and several board members led the chamber’s contingent. MacLean serves on the U.S. Chamber’s Small Business Task Force and helped plan the agenda.

Dallas Cowboys Legendary All-Pro strong safety and three-time Super Bowl Champion Darren Woodson keynoted the seminar. Using his own start-up company, CounterFind, as an example, he shared how to navigate through change – even dramatic change – in business.

CounterFind tracks and eliminates ads selling counterfeit merchandise online. While the company is still in its infancy, it recently received an investment from the Blue Star Innovation Partners, a fund founded by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

Darren Woodson joined the Dallas Cowboys in 1992, as the team began its Super Bowl successes.

He shared how painful change can be. Jerry Jones bought the Cowboys in 1989 and immediately released legendary head coach Tom Landry, replacing him with Jimmy Johnson.

Coach Landry ran a family-like operation, allowing the players to return home after the season’s final game and trusted they would return to July workouts in shape. Johnson created dramatic change that required his players to remain in town and hold off-season workouts – all on a voluntary basis.

The change in discipline moved the team from four consecutive losing seasons to three straight Super Bowl titles.

Woodson shared his secret to success by identifying four categories of employees:

• Content: Those who will show up five minutes late for the job and be distracted. They want the paycheck but will never give you their best. You can’t win with Content.

• Compliant: Those who show up on time but, like the Content, will never volunteer. They will do what they are told to do but nothing more. They will get you beat, and sometimes fired. They are never fully on-board.

• Committed: Those who show up 5-10 minutes yearly for the meeting. You never have to ask or encourage them. They like what they do and want to support the team. They will stay around late and even help clean up after the meeting.

• Compelled: Those who are energized and on fire. They show up 30-45 minutes before the meeting. They will bring you up and make you better. They have instant energy and are on fire to be successful.

Woodson shared a pivotal point he learned from a conversation with fellow Cowboys legend Roger Staubach: Focus primarily on what you’re good at – what makes you special; focus less on what you need to improve.

Woodson’s presentation was followed by presentations on Authentic Small Business Marketing in the Social Era, Cybersecurity & Small Business, Spotlight on Small Business, Scaling Your Small Business for Success, and Spotlight on ilumi – a local company that received funding on the TV show Shark Tank.’

Tom Sullivan, Vice President of Small Business Policy for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, shared how the organization is reaching out so much to small businesses nationwide. Additional locations for the series will be in Atlanta, Minneapolis/St. Paul and Phoenix.

The U.S. Chamber’s annual Small Business Summit takes place October 2-3 in Washington, D.C.

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