Xerocon 2018

Today marks the end of a hectic, full and inspirational 2 days at Xerocon 2018 – the annual conference for Xero Partners including Accountants, Bookkeepers and Add on Partners. It really has been an amazing event with a total of 3702 people in attendance. It is truly an amazing experience and I am in awe of the organization that goes into such an event – the mere act of moving that many people from room to room, feeding them, making coffee etc is done with military precision.

This is my 6th Xerocon and probably one of the best for a number of reasons including the quality of plenary speakers (more on that later), the layout of the rooms, the food (and drink), the number of Add on Partners (I think I read there were over 80) and the added benefit of networking and meeting some really interesting people.
This year we were privileged to hear from Mark Manson, author of the New York Times best seller, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***, whose message was: “If we want to be better, happier people, we’ve got to stop trying to be positive all the time…“ (go buy the book!). See some photos below with some of the key messages – really interesting stuff!

We were also blessed to hear from Dr Gill Hicks, one of the most thought provoking, powerful and life affirming speakers in Australia and the UK. Dr Hicks is a survivor of the London terrorist bombings in 2005 and her thoughts on what is truly important were inspirational.

Professor Genevieve Bell. Distinguished Professor at the Australian National University, Director of the 3A Institute and Senior Fellow at Intel, Professor Bell is tasked with building a new applied science around the management of artificial intelligence, data, technology and their impact on humanity. Her insightful comments around what she terms the 4th wave of industrialization were amazing.

The absolute highlight for me however was Sharon McClafferty who is the co-founder of Slipstream Coaching. Her presentation “Demand work-life balance (for yourself and of others) was outstanding. I have listen to, engaged with and paid lots of cash to many Coaches or Consultants over the years, but her message around finding a balance was truly something I will not forget. Her story of the apparent successful Senior Partner in a large Accounting firm whom everyone looked up to and aspired to be and who retired at age 48 only to die from a massive heart attack at age 58 as a homeless man in Sydney really struck a nerve and I freely admit brought me to tears (maybe it was the aircon☺). That Man was her Dad.

Of course it wouldn’t be a conference without some technical stuff and there was plenty. Xero as a company simply doesn’t rest on its laurels with plenty of new features in the mix. Add on Partners galore made for a really worthwhile experience – it is always good to meet some of the people you deal with face to face.

I’ll try and share a few more thoughts that came out of the conference in the coming weeks. In the meantime enjoy some of the photos, buy some of the books and take some time to reflect on your own experiences in business but more importantly in life.