Wow! And he owns....
The main speaker is incredibly dear to me, as he has known me for a very long time. He has seen me transform from a young enthusiastic business woman (girl), to a woman that has more confidence and knowledge in so many different areas of business and industry sectors. At long last I can say that to most companies - I can add value. I think that transition is obvious in so many ways, and when you see someone on that journey, it is quite interesting to say the least.
He has seen my ambitions change and evolve. From running a business and living a great lifestyle, to building a global business with big plans for expansion backed by innovation and an aggressive business plan. He has also seen me diversify my own portfolio, and be able to work "on" the business and not "in" the business.
More than a Wikipedia profile
Jack Cowin is more than his Wikipedia profile. He is a strong, capable, stateman-like man with incredible business acumen and an ability to be a real person who takes into account the people he is dealing with.
As a mentor, he has been incredible. He has been there for me over and above what you would expect from any person, including a close friend, to be there for you. He is the person I bounce stupid business ideas off. He is the person who makes me question even my light bulb moments so that I am sure to think it through to the end. Even if something is a good idea and I have the ability to execute it, he still asks me the hard questions. Even though sometimes it would be nice for him to just confirm that it is a great idea. He pushes me to think differently; not 1000 clients, but 1000 licensees and 10,000 clients.
Sometimes you just need a shoulder to cry on
He is also, sometimes by mistake, the shoulder I cry on. I think having three daughters has helped him to have empathy toward the human side of things, where business really doesn't matter. Something has become too hard, hurt your feelings or broken your heart - not necessarily in that order. His advice is always solid and considered, and I know he always has my best interests at heart. I can ring him anytime and he will pick up the call and offer advice.
Yesterday stopped me in my tracks. All of a sudden, the things that are on his CV became real. He stopped being my mentor or the best businessman in Australia with the best ethics. Through a journalist, I realised that he is as good as it gets anywhere in the world - and he is coming to Townsville to speak to people who have ideas, are in business or want to start one, and tell his story so that perhaps maybe something in what he is saying creates a light bulb moment for them, or helps them in some way. He is doing this just because he is a good man.
Star-struck - a tad embarrassing
You know how some people get all star-struck by celebrities? I don't. So I don't really know what that feels like as they have a job, or perhaps are reality TV people who desperately want to be famous. It's not my cup of tea. However, all of a sudden, I feel star struck that I have this person who I hold in high esteem as the keynote speaker for a little old conference in Townsville that aims to inspire people to think differently.
I now think that I absolutely shouldn't be introducing him at the conference because I might open my mouth and nothing will come out. Such is my admiration for Jack Cowin and his accomplishments, both professionally and personally. His family are fantastic in every way, including the people that they have married. You really don't get any better than what this man has achieved.
My question is: What will your story be? I know mine won't be anywhere near as good as his, but I am going to work on it.