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‘Riled Up’ at Convenience Distribution Business Exchange


CHICAGO — Challenged with the mandate to get attendees “riled up,” Convenience Distribution Business Exchange keynote speaker Jeremy Gutsche — author of the bestselling book “Better and Faster: The Proven Path to Unstoppable Ideas” — told audience members his goal was to make them “better and faster” at finding new, cutting-edge ideas that would help their businesses thrive.

Gutsche then launched into a fast-moving, energetic and enlightening talk and slideshow that covered topics ranging from the traps that block success to ways chaos can actually create opportunities in a business environment.

He explained that while we are experiencing history’s highest rate of change, “our brain is hindered by 10,000 years of evolution as farmers.” That, he said, means we’re conditioned to become complacent, repetitive and protective of past successes — the “three traps of a farmer” that cause us to repeat what we’ve done rather than adapt and make changes that would propel us to even greater success.

The antidote, Gutsche said, is to fight some of those farmer instincts by tapping the three “hunter instincts” that allow you to be insatiable, curious and willing to destroy.

He concluded with 16 homework questions that play off the “hunter” mentality. Among them:

  • How often do you experiment with ideas that might not work?
  • How much time do you spend hunting new opportunities?
  • What success is blinding you from trying new ideas?
  • How much simpler would you design your business if you had to restart from scratch?

“The next breakthrough is closer than you think,” he said. “Your own success holds you back.”


The Convenience Distribution Association (CDA), formerly known as AWMA, kicked off its 2015 Business Exchange in Chicago on Wednesday, Sept. 9 with the keynote address by Gutsche, CEO of, a welcome address by CDA Chairman Rob Sincavich, and awards presentations.

Sincavich reflected on the recent enhancements the CDA has developed. He also previewed changes to come that will set the stage for future success in the convenience distribution industry.

For instance, CDA’s new IdeaXchange — a dynamic, private, collaborative, members-only online community — was the first new initiative Sincavich highlighted in his address.

“CDA’s top priority for 2015 has been to make it easier for members to communicate with each other on an ongoing basis,” he said. “The IdeaXchange accomplishes the goal by providing instant access to CDA members and a place to share articles, ask questions, meet and learn from others in the industry.”

Other additions to the association’s roster of products and services highlighted by Sincavich were:

  • Manufacturer's Advisory Council;
  • 2017 Marketplace Planning Task Force;
  • Enhanced government affairs program;
  • New online tools to track legislation and contact lawmakers;
  • New interactive website (;
  • New Member Relationship Manager with a single sign-on for all CDA web-based activities; and
  • New app for iPhone and Android users featuring Convenience Distribution magazine and real-time CDA information.

"With burdensome compliance concerns, margin compression and increasing competition from new retail formats, keeping your finger on the pulse of the industry is imperative to our success," he stressed.

The Convenience Distribution Association is the trade organization working on behalf of convenience products distributors in the United States. Its distributor members represent more than $92 billion in U.S convenience product sales, serving a wide variety of small retail formats. Associate members include leading convenience product manufacturers, brokers, retailers, suppliers and others allied to the industry.

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