Why Participating in Industry Events Matters
Guest Post by David Roitblat, Better Accounting Solutions
In just under a month, on October 24th, hundreds of members of the merchant cash advance community will descend on Times Square in New York City, at the New York Marriott Marquis, for deBanked’s Broker Fair event. Every aspect of the industry will be represented, from brokers and ISO shop reps to specialized lawyers and accountants.
I will be there representing my business, Better Accounting Solutions, and it will be the upteenth time I’ve attended this tremendous event. But attending industry pow-wows was not how I envisaged spending my working hours at the start of my career.
When I worked at entry-level jobs in accounting firms, I didn’t think attending these events was worth the time and financial investment, instead choosing to believe that if I put my head down and worked for the 24 hours that the events were being held, I’d be positioning myself better for my professional future. And when I opened Better Accounting Solutions in 2011, that attitude didn’t change, especially now that it was my own time and money on the line.
This whole approach changed on the advice of a mentor a few years in. Hearing me explain how I thought the business could be scaling quicker than it was, he suggested attending, and participating, in an accounting conference that was coming up. When I pushed back with my familiar list of grievances, he didn’t attempt to refute them, instead repeating his advice, adding that how could it possibly hurt.
I attended that first conference, and haven’t looked back since.
All the elements of industry events that I had previously dismissed proved to be incredibly valuable and are an integral part of Better Accounting Solutions’ story, and how we got where we are today.
It’s why I encourage everyone that’s involved in the MCA business to shake off the headsets and get their heads out of the screens, and to take this opportunity to connect with real people.
Here are some of the key takeaways that I got out of that first experience that remain true to this day:
1. You never know who you’ll meet. Industry events bring together people from all different backgrounds and experiences, and you never know who you might meet and what kinds of connections you might make. Many of the people I met at these conferences, especially at Broker Fair once we had established ourselves in the MCA space, have gone on to be my mentors, advisors, supporters, clients, and friends.
2. It’s a great way to build your network. I came into the industry very green, feeling my way around by letting my work do the talking. But when I opened my own business, I needed to let my actual talking do the talking, and learn the art of networking. Networking is all about building relationships, and industry events provide an excellent opportunity to meet new people and start making connections that can help you in your career.
3. You can learn from others. When you’re working in your own space, it’s possible to inadvertently build a bubble around yourself, insulating yourself from current trends and happenings in the business. Industry events are a great way to learn from the experiences of others in your field and hear about the latest developments and advances.
4. It can help you find a job and advance your career. Sometimes, all you need is an opportunity to get your foot in the door, and events like Broker Fair are great places to find that chance. At industry events like these, it doesn’t take a lot to bump into industry figures and leaders, and if you connect with them and hit the right notes, these people just might be your next employer, mentor, partner or client.
As a token of gratitude for all that I’ve gotten from it over the years, Better Accounting Solutions is a sponsor of Broker Fair, a testament to our belief in this event. I’ve gotten tremendous value from Broker Fair, and it’s why I’m such an advocate for events like it.
We can’t let ourselves be held up by the reasons we think of to avoid attending, for a supposed lack of finances or time. Avoid naively thinking like I did, that you can grow in this business if you keep doing exactly what you’ve been doing until now, minimizing yourself in the very same circle. This is the best investment you can make in yourself right at this moment.
And once you take the plunge and make a firm decision to come, stop feeling guilty and that you should be contained in your office instead. Networking is real work, and can only come when you let go of that guilt and allow yourself to think bigger.
It’s at places like these where I met people that lent me their ears and gave me a chance, a major factor in Better Accounting Solutions earning our reputation as leaders in specialized accounting for the merchant cash advance industry.
It happened for me, and it can happen for you too.Last modified: September 30, 2022
David Roitblat is the founder and CEO of Better Accounting Solutions, an accounting firm based in New York City, and a leading authority in specialized accounting for merchant cash advance companies.
To connect with David, email firstname.lastname@example.org.