I have returned home from my EO adventure in Istanbul, Turkey. What an amazing time with 800 entrepreneurs from 91 EO chapters in 39 countries around the world! We heard many interesting speakers, including the Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, who sent a recorded message for us. He told us about their country’s openness to trade and commerce. They are the fastest growing G-20 nation at 8.5%.

The city of Istanbul has 16 to 18 million people in a nation of 75 million, so the streets are very congested, which made it slow for us to get around. This worked out well because the city was beautiful, and there was so much to see. They had two key bridges that changed colors at night. It was an amazing site!



Matthew Kelly, the author of “The Dream Manager,” was the opening and closing speaker. He had us think about what we wanted out of the conference and asked us to write down our biggest challenge and greatest opportunity, so we could get our wheels spinning as the speakers shared ideas. His constant reminder that you are working to be a higher version of yourself really stuck with me. When we are striving for that, we find peace in who we are.

He discussed that entrepreneurs do what they do because the future can be bigger than the past. This struck me as something that is so true. We will sacrifice now and take the risk of the unknown because that burning desire in our gut tells us it is the best thing to do for a better future. He was inspiring and right on with his key points.

Another great speaker, Doc Hendley, rocked the house from a “do good and change the world” type of way. Doc started out as a bartender, but he woke up one day with this message in his head of Wine to Water. He started researching water and discovered that more people die from lack of clean drinking water than from any other cause. This hit home for me because my favorite charity is CharityWater, which I wrote about recently (see more here). He told his story of going to the worst places on the planet and helping change lives for others, while he almost lost his. Check out this short video on Doc here.

This presentation was so powerful and touching that it allowed over $55,000 to be raised for Wine to Water within one hour after his talk. Interestingly, Doc lives just over the mountains from us in Boone, NC. Fellow EO-er Kirk Finnerty and I are going to work hard to bring Doc to Knoxville and hold a big EO community event here for support Wine to Water.

There were many other talks including “The Happiness Advantage,” the spiritual talk by Dandapani, or the talks by current EO They all inspired me want to dig deeper, search out, and work each day in some small way of being the highest version of myself. members who have risen up from incredibly tough life challenges. They all provided examples or further knowledge of how to strive to be the highest version of yourself. It was an amazing EO University that filled me up in many ways from all sides.

They all inspired me want to dig deeper, search out, and work each day in some small way of being the highest version of myself.