For the opening speaker in the Florida Blue One Spark Speaker Series, it only seemed fitting to welcome a local. Jacksonville-based Carl Smith kicked off the series with his talk “Your Money & Your Life.” Smith, owner and founder of local tech-based company nGen Works, took the stage April 18 at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts Terry Theater.
Based on the idea that most businesses are using archaic operating systems in everything from office culture to the bottom line, Smith spent the hour giving a chronological overview of his 25-plus years as a small business owner. Peppered with self-deprecation and plenty of four-letter words, Smith was entertaining and full of energy while sharing his story.
In the beginning of his talk, Smith remembered being at a dinner event with Garrett Oliver, brewmaster of The Brooklyn Brewery, and how he had said, “We could all be millionaires, but there’s that one thing we won’t do.” Smith said Oliver was referring to cheating, stealing and hurting people. Basically, if people would do virtually anything to make a buck, they’d be rich.
For those not interested in squashing the little guy to get what they want, Smith offered words of wisdom on owning your own business, having a happy team, and still creating financial security.
“Money is an exchange of stored energy,” he said.
This proved the meat of Smith’s speech. When someone offers you money, they are asking you to do something in return. This can come in the form of mental or physical stored energy, as evidenced by Smith’s relationship with his grandmother.
“I try not to speak ill of the dead,” Smith said, “but my grandmother was not a very nice person.”
The matriarch came to live with the Smith family and offered young Smith $20 per week to listen to her – literally sit there and listen to whatever she felt like saying, which was usually about … More