I’ve reached out to many of you and had the opportunity to listen
to concerns and stories of devastation, to share in the heartbreak of having to
let teammates go. We’ve witnessed our industry come to a standstill and watched
our life’s work evaporate within days. We share this common bond of hardship and
worrying uncertainty. When will it end, and what’s next? The unknown is so
uncomfortable and demoralizing after working so hard for so long.
But we have another common bond, and a very important one:
We are all entrepreneurs. We are the same people who started businesses in an
industry that barely existed. We risked it all for an opportunity to not only
build a business, but an industry.
Each of you has taken a dream and developed it into an
incredibly successful business. Your impact as an entrepreneur in this industry
and on this world is undeniable and a term used often these days,
unprecedented. You have hired hundreds if not thousands of people. You have
created opportunities for strangers who are now teammates, clients who are now
friends, and vendors who are now strategic partners.
Perhaps most importantly, you have paid it forward and
changed the lives of many people. As part of EDPA I’ve witnessed what you have
done for your industry and communities. You should stand tall and be proud of
all you have accomplished. This moment in time will not take this away from
Your experience as an entrepreneur will be needed again, and
more than ever. The good news is that this time you all are far more
knowledgeable and experienced. Think about the opportunity before you — you get
to start your businesses again and this time with tremendous experience and
wisdom. You get to reset everything. The mistakes you made the first time will
certainly not be repeated. Remember the first million you sold? How hard was
it? How profitable was it? I assure you the first million you sell this time
will be much easier and much more profitable.
What separates entrepreneurs from all others is our mindset.
That was not taken from us in this crisis. It will be the reason you will
succeed again, only this time better than ever. I can’t wait to witness
Stay tradeshow and event strong!
David Walens, President