My journey to Chicago for IMTS was one of the most humbling experiences of my life, the main take-away from this for me was that I am by far not alone in this big world.
As I got on the plane at 5AM Thursday morning, I was a mix of several emotions. Predominately the excitement of the unknown.
Before my journey began, I had the help of some incredible people that believe in me enough to make sure this could happen, make sure I was taken care of when I got there and to make sure I was taken care of when I returned. If it was not for these people in my life that believe in me, this incredible journey would not have even happened.
As I took the train in from outside the city I had this nervous pit in my stomach, In my minds eye, I pictured tomorrow land or stark expo. I had visions of drones serving me drinks and all the booths being manned by robotic arms.
I came to Chicago for opportunity, I had no expectations (Minus Iron Man flying in through the roof) just the thirst for learning something new and seeing old friends I have not seen in a long time. My natural curiosity is what drove me while I was there. The fact that I even made it was humbling enough, let alone what happened to me while I was there.
I knew once I attended this event that my life would never be the same. I knew that I would view the world a bit differently after those short 72 hours, 20 plus miles walked and sleepless nights of being with some incredible people from across our great country.
As I approached McComick Place in my uber, all the nervousness was quickly replaced with child-like excitment. I was excited and focused on the tasks that I laid out for myself.
As I walked the show I couldn't help but smile. My mind went wild with all the new ideas that I could help implement when I got home. The new machines, tools and software that make manufacturing so great, Continuous improvement.
I have been to a million trade shows but never IMTS, and this by far took the prize.
While I walked the expo I had the chance to see many of my old friends I have not seen in years as well as meet new friends. As big of a world that Manufacturing is, it is still small and everyone knows someone that you know. The community is what makes this industry tick, not the technology but the people behind it.
My thirst for knowledge and hunger to succeed drives me but the one thing that was driven home while I was there, was the support that is offered.
No hand outs, just hands up. If you believe in what you are doing, it makes it easier for those around you to believe it too.
I had the chance to spread the word about what I am trying to accomplish and meet some incredible people and hear about their individual journey's on how they became a success in the world of Manufacturing.
The common denominator behind each story was they all had a support team in place that was there to pick them up when they were knocked down.
That being said, the only way I wont be successful is if I give up. I have the best support team in the world and I'm incredibly blessed to have them all in my life. I am extremely confident that the future of G-Rex Enterprise will be bright and I will have the ability to change the lives of those around me, those I care about and those that I don't even know yet.
IMTS 2016 started a new chapter for my company and I look forward to attending in 2018, and my goal is to have my own booth by 2020.
Thanks for the good times IMTS and thank you Chicago!!