“Apprentice” TV show alum and up-and-coming speaker Wes Moss engaged the audience at the Financial & Insurance Conference Planners annual meeting in November with his easygoing style and blend of personal anecdotes, stories of successful entrepreneurs, and career advice. “The future of business is people taking ownership of what they do,” Moss said — especially in a field such as meeting management.

“Every event is like a small business,” he said, with the planner as the owner, responsible for everything from managing the budget to creating and promoting the product. The challenge, as with every business, is to balance risk-taking with business smarts — something that can be done only if meeting planners look at the big picture, becoming strategic partners in meeting their companies' goals, not just getting the logistics right. “Instead of just working for a paycheck, you need to become indispensable,” Moss said. “We all possess a wealth of entrepreneurial skills that we use every day in the course of our jobs — to manage people and clients, to meet goals, to solve problems. Each of us can benefit from tapping this entrepreneurial mind-set.”

Moss has released his first book, Starting from Scratch (Dearborn Trade Publishing, 2005), a quick read that outlines the career paths of successful entrepreneurs who are not necessarily household names. Their stories inspire because they are “ordinary” working men and women who took chances, faced obstacles, and persevered in their dreams.

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