I told you I was heading to the #nerdvana of Quickbooks Connect last week, but honestly: if you weren't there, here's just some of what you missed.

- The founder of the now-national chain drybar, Alli Webb, talking about how they don't sell blow-outs, actually: they sell a feeling. I swear every woman in the room was Googling "nearest drybar" well before she was off-stage!

- The thrilling only-in-the-US refugee-camp-to-riches story of Derrek Ayongo and his Global Soap Project.

- America Ferrera on stepping outside your comfort zone to tell the stories others aren't telling.

- Malcolm Gladwell telling the story of Fleetwood Mac, of all things, as an illustration of how the path to success takes, yes, 10,000 hours AND ALSO compensation learning + 16 bad records + trial & error + the support of a partner.

- Michael Phelps and the impact of looking at his goals, taped on his closet door, every day, since the age of 8.

- Tony Hawk, Jillian Michaels and Christian Siriano & how their mistakes have made their businesses stronger; and finally

- Olympian and Most Adorable Human on Earth Simone Biles, who spoke about courage and what makes a good team player.

Actually, that wasn't really /finally/ since there was still Shaquille O'Neal after Simon Biles, but by then I was already in the car en route home. I just couldn't stay away any longer.

I can guess what you're thinking. You're wondering: wait, I thought this was a Quickbooks conference. To which I am responding, I KNOW, RIGHT? And you thought it was going to be all boring accounting and accountants and stuff. Hah, fooled you.

It's the best conference ever!

All about the work, the single-minded-ness, the devotion it takes to be successful, and  how important a strong team is for that success. Not to mention:

A small business owner's chance of success increases by a whopping 75% when she partners with a financial professional.

Get help. It pays!

In addition to that roster of all-stars speaking from the main stage, consider also:

- Excellent, practical and inspiring break-out sessions. I attended at least 4 on pricing, along with others on Facebook ads, productivity, and practice management. Yes, I even attended a session that the presenter had considered calling "Red, White and Weed," about opportunities that may be coming up once marijuana is legalized in California and other states and what we can learn from the wine industry to help us prepare for that. Ooooh, and a panel of Shark Tank-funded entrepreneurs shared their stories: super-interesting and inspiring.

- Access to great vendors, demos, third-party apps in the Expo Center. Also: swag.

- Delicious food. This is not rubber chicken. Just as one example, I am talking about a guacamole bar at happy hour. A guacamole bar! At the big party (more on that in a sec), the tables were laden with platters of sushi, Indian food, pulled chicken sliders and burgers. Not to mention the dessert table with its, among other items, warm chocolate chip cookies and tiny glasses of milk. 

- Drinks. Why, yes: there WAS a robot tending bar.

- Mind-blowing entertainment, as usual. i LOVED hearing Sekou Andrews for the third year running, shaking up the 5,000 people assembled with his glorious poetic voice. And the LED-illuminated drum corps, Spark? Like something out of Cirque du Soleil! At the big night-time party at the Civic Center across the street from the Convention Center, they brought in Third Eye Blind. A great party, complete with glowy bracelets. 


- Really great people from all over the world, &

- Being appreciated, fed & fêted by Intuit, as a Thank You for being users of and evangelists for their product every single day.  That feels so good.

Seriously, SUCH a great time. If you're a small business owner and/or bookkeeper, accountant or money coach, don't miss the chance to attend the next Quickbooks Connect, November 15-17, 2017. Early Bird pricing is available. 

I'll be there FOR SURE, fourth year in a row, ready to get educated & inspired, make important business connections, and generally have a great time.

Let's hang out!