By Marni Usheroff
The Orange County Register.
Arianna Huffington had some unusual advice for entrepreneurs at Saturday’s OC Business Summit: Get more sleep.
“When we are building a business we often forget the distinction between succeeding and thriving,” said Huffington, chairwoman and president of the Huffington Post Media Group.
“Succeeding at the expense of our health and well-being is not succeeding. It’s shrinking to become our business or our product.”
Audience member Christopher David, 27, of Redondo Beach took Huffington’s words to heart. “I’ll go home and take a nap,” the startup founder said.
Noted national media figures and Southern California small business executives shared the stage at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest for the conference.
Saddleback’s founder Rick Warren has grown the church to over 20,000 members. It was his second time hosting the OC Business Summit on its sprawling campus.
Joining Huffington as speakers were writer Malcolm Gladwell, Forbes Publisher Rich Karlgaard, Freedom Communications President and Co-Owner Eric Spitz and Warren himself.
The day included question-and-answer sessions with the speakers and Warren. Local small-business people spoke on panels about the challenges of running their companies. Much of the advice touched on transformation. Here are some excerpts:
— Gladwell on why business change is like any other kind of transformation: “It’s not about the number of IQ points in your head, it’s not about what you hold in your hand, it’s not about how much money there is in your wallet … it’s about whether you understand just how extraordinarily powerful the kinds of things that reside in our heart really are.”
— Karlgaard on successful companies building a “soft edge” of cultural values: “When you invest in the soft edge you develop loyalty with employees and customers.”
— Spitz on building an experience for your customers: “Recognize that your product is only a piece of what you’re delivering to your customer … it’s all about an experience. … It’s the experience I get when I come home with your product. It’s the experience I get when I call your customer service line. I think once you realize that that is the holy grail, you start to get ideas around how you can improve it.”
— Panelist Tim Price, executive director of brand development for INK Agency in Irvine, on social media: “If you don’t define your brand, somebody else will do it for you.