Adrienne Palmer, an Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) member in Dallas, Texas, embodies the qualities that make EO entrepreneurs truly special. After 20 years managing the digital agency she founded, Adrienne now pursues opportunities to share her knowledge with other entrepreneurs, to grow alongside her peers, and to meaningfully explore the world.
Adrienne recently participated in an incredible adventure in Zimbabwe as part of a MyEO trip. MyEO, one of EO’s most loved benefits, is a platform that makes it easy to connect with other members based on shared passions and interests.
We asked Adrienne to tell us more about the MyEO Tasimba leadership experience. Here’s what she shared:
When I stare at the wooden carved elephant I brought home from Zimbabwe, I can hear her say, in her low rumbling voice, “Don’t forget who you are.” She reminds me daily to stay connected to all I learned about myself and the world during our MyEO trip into the Tasimba leadership experience.
It was a week fully immersed, a week disconnected, and a week exposed to all that Zimbabwe and the wilderness have to teach us. Of course, being EO members, we already share a bond of aligned values, similar life challenges and experiences, and a common language, all of which provided fertile ground for connection. Taking that connection into such a transformational environment created a bond among our clan that will be a part of us forever.
More than a safari, Tasimba provides a unique immersion into the African wilderness. (This video from Tasimba captures the spirit of the program.)
It is no easy feat, getting a group of EO members to let go of control, and step away from their businesses and technology. In the midst of wilderness and raw environment, we were supported by a team that removed any distraction or worry and took care of our every need. The Tasimba team arranged for the private flights to the remote camp, hired the most knowledgeable and accommodating professional guides, reserved an exclusive five-star camp, and organized meetings with people that truly understand our entrepreneurial way of thinking.
Our clan embraced the opportunity to disconnect and slow down. We accepted the invitation to think about our own lives, our goals, and what we can learn from the natural order of things.
There were plenty of breathtaking (and a few heart-stopping) wildlife encounters as well as scenery burned into our forever memories. But this was also a deep exploration into the heart of Africa, and into our own hearts.
We were challenged to consider the impact of our lives on the planet. What brought us here? That question was about more than the geography of Zimbabwe and this trip, but what brought us here to this place in our lives and to this clan.
We immersed ourselves in the culture and the community. We spent a week getting to know the land, studying the animals and their behaviors, being awestruck and amazed at every turn.
We were captivated by the opportunity to tap into the knowledge and perspectives of our guides—who seemed to be able to answer any question and make connections to enhance our understanding of nature. We soaked in all we could learn from special guests—who are taking a stand to address the biggest challenges the country is facing. We visited the leader of the nearest village and talked with his family, discussed leadership and decision making, and spent time in his home. We went to the local school to talk with seventh- and eighth-grade children to learn their perspective on life.
Every day, we stopped for Indabas (similar to EO Forum meetings) in the wilderness in order to reflect on what we were seeing and experiencing and how our perspectives were shifting.
EO members who are interested in this unique private safari and leadership journey: The next opportunity to experience Tasimba with MyEO is after EO GLC 2020, from 10–17 May 2020. Learn more about this magnificent MyEO event here.
All of the conversations fed our entrepreneurial curiosity and our insatiable desire to learn and understand. Our worlds and our business success were put into perspective. What difference will our businesses, and our lives, make when all is said and done?
A keystone species is defined as “a species on which other species in an ecosystem largely depend, such that if it were removed, the ecosystem would change drastically.” We, as humans, are generally not a keystone species. But can we be keystone individuals? We were challenged to consider how our time on this planet could matter. The search—and living the answers—will be a continuous journey.
We left Africa knowing we have been deeply transformed. A few days after my return, I received a postcard from our new friends, with this quote:
Africa smiled a little when you left. “We know you,” Africa said.
“We have seen and watched you, as you have seen and watched us.
We know you have not forgotten us. You cannot leave Africa,” Africa said.
“We are always with you, there inside your head. Our rivers run currents in the swirl of your thumbprints;
our drumbeats count your pulse; our coastline is the silhouette of your soul.”
So Africa smiled a little when you left.
“We are in you,” Africa said. “You have not left us yet.”
It is true. Africa is alive in my soul. I still hear the sounds of the bush, smell the rain, and feel the energy of excitement and wonder. And I know I will be back with her again soon.
Adrienne Palmer is the founder of Insite, a digital agency based in Dallas, Texas. Since transitioning from an active management role at the firm, she continues to serve as a board member. She also shares her experiences as an entrepreneur at speaking engagements and embraces her love for adventure and exploration by swimming with sharks, diving off cliffs and, of course, traveling in Africa.
Connect with Adrienne at this year’s Startup Grind Global in Silicon Valley, where she will be a panelist at an EO-moderated event.